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Topic: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

  1. #1

    Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    Calling all tech-heads - this is one for you.

    A few months ago, I lobbed a bit of incidental orchestral music the way of this forum from a dramatisation of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, and several people made some very good suggestions which I have just got round to implementing. HOWEVER, there's one problem which I can't resolve.

    Raymond pointed out (accurately) that the high violins at ca. 30"-46" (and repeated later on) sounded distorted in the original version. That's OK, I thought, I'll remedy that. I moved the pan, changed the note-lengths, eventually changed the sounds as well (instead of Gagli 1 + 2 I chose Strad 1 + 2, neither of them conflicting with the other violin sound), altered the reverb ... but it STILL sounds distorted. Have I done something with the phase ? I don't even understand what that means, but the sound is horrible enough to justify it. I haven't got a clue what to do about it.

    The piece is called "Sad" and is up on the index page of my redesigned site (thanks to T Monaghan !) at www.vivmarsh.co.uk . All suggestions extremely welcome.

    Thanks -

  2. #2

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    It's distorting because the gain (volume) is too high at that particular spot during mixdown. You are "going into the red". Digital audio is not forgiving of that.

    Larry G. Alexander

  3. #3

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    Afraid not Larry - no red on anything at all. In fact, peaks were about minus 9. Thanks for trying !

  4. #4

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    Lovely piece, once again, Viv.

    30s-46s strings in Sad, right? Dang, could be my aging
    ears, but... I'm not hearing the problem. The strings are
    slightly raspy and a little thin; but that's normal to them.
    If anything the strings are low in the mix; and I don't hear
    any general evidence of red-lining.

    A few possibilities. If you're mixing on headphones, this
    may be headphone resonances you're hearing. Also go
    jangle all your audio wiring, see if you've got a weak
    connection or cable somewhere. And more remotely,
    it could be some manner of aliasing due to a sound card
    setting or problem. Is that, perchance, a CreativeLabs
    card...? I've run into just this in the past with those cards.

    Perhaps better ears than mine can offer more on this.

    My best,


  5. #5

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    Hello, Viv

    I'm so glad you're back. I really enjoyed and was intrigued with the incidental music you posted some time back - And here I am drawn in again and really liking what you've done with this. So effective for theatre, I should think.

    I have no idea what you and Larry are hearing as distortion in the recording - I listened to the piece twice, then several more times over the supposed trouble spots. On my humble little playback set up here on this computer it sounds clear and fine.

    As David helpfully theorized, it could be that you're not hearing things accurately, either through your headphones or speakers.

    Wonderful music cue!

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    For what it's worth, I'm not hearing any distortion at all. Sounds fine. Nice piece, by the way.
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    Very lovely work....quaint, calm...and sad. Nice composition and excellent production.

    It sounds fine to me too. No distortion at all.


  8. #8
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    I enjoyed Sad. It was a nice kind of sad.

    I hope your problem is easily corrected.


  9. #9

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    Hi, Viv. Same here, didn't hear anything unusual. Enjoyed it as much as on first hearing. Listened again to 'Olives' as well...!
    We sure don't hear enough from you here...!


  10. #10

    Re: Northanger Abbey - what have I done ?

    I still can hear the distortion part. I had that too, you know. I'll explain.

    When using in the KP just one instrument patch, say violins1 at a certain volume (almost any volume), and I assign two tracks in Sonar or maybe any other sequencer to that violins1 instrument, and when they are playing the same notes, than some interference occurs (distortion).

    Recently, I made that same mistake again and assigned a copied part/track of violins 2 also to that one instrument in KP. What happened? That wrong put phrase sounded very, very distorted. So I erased that phrase and it was gone.

    Lesson? Yes, never assign two tracks violins (or maybe any other instrument) to the same instrument patch, when they are playing the same notes. That is the reason why GPO has for other instruments Player1, Player2, etc..... In the manual has been written, page 62, under piccolo flutter, the table of woodwinds "Plr instruments do not share samples wich each other..... etc. e.g. don't use French horn 1 plr1, plr2, plr3 with french horn 1 (solo)."

    I think that also applies to other instruments one way or another, so be very very careful assigning two tracks to only one GPO patch.

    Raymond - but still it is a wonderful romantic piece of music.

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