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Topic: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

  1. #1

    "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    Just finished this sucker. . .

    Spent all night writing, sequencing and then, finally, "mixing down". It's a rough mix, so I would appreciate any comments on making the over all sound better.

    It's temporarily titled "Repeat that Cliche". There's a number of musical cliche's, actually. Some are chord progressions, one is a musical line that's been "quoted" in MANY-A-SONG/Instrumental, etc., etc. My goal, actually was to finish this to add to my "Holiday CD" that I give as gifts to friends and family. So, for good for for bad, it took a few "musical cliche" stuff, mixed it together and came up with this piece! LOL! Another goal, I should add, is simply to WRITE MUSIC! I need to practice and this piece has provided me a wonderful time to practice putting "pencil to paper" and recall compositional and arranging skills learned long ago.

    Anyhow. . . I'm tired but extremely happy to be doing some music writing. As mentioned before in other posts, writing music is exercising atrophied muscles for me. It hurts but it feels good in the end.

    So. . . here's my latest. . . Repeat that Cliche . I will change the title for this year's "Holiday CD", of course. But for now, the title fits the music! LOL!

    Enjoy. . .


    P.S. This number is 80% Garritan sound libraries (JABB, GPO and Stradivari). The "guitars" are Chris Heins Guitars and Music Lab's RealStrat. This bass is from Wizoo Sounds. Everything else. . . Garritan! (You're one great guy, Mr. Gary! )


    PPSS . . . I notices that THIS post marks my 666th post! Not a good sign. . . .

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  2. #2

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    This is my 667th post. . . Phew. . . I feel better! LOL!

    Happy composing, folks. . .
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  3. #3

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)


    It's a waltz, but it swings so nicely. Worth all the
    time you spent with it.

    Your music has really come up a notch or two in the
    last year. Always a pleasure to tune in and listen to
    what "Ted" has to say, musically.

    Great track, Ted

    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  4. #4

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)


    A great Jazzy waltz. I am not much into waltzes (SP?), but this kept my attention throughout the entire piece.

    You asked for suggestions, so I will give one observation. Don't put too much into this because it has been a long day and I might have heard things that weren't there. Towards the beginning, there seemed to be a few spots where the attack velocity of the violin was a bit harsh. Later on it seemed to be fine.

    The ones I mentioned are around 1:26. On a second listen they are not as bad as I thought at first. You may have intended them that way and that's fine too.

    Well done


  5. #5

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    Allow me to join in the applause! Very nicely done - nice integration of the various libraries, nice orchestration, attention to detail in the individual tracks. There's been a lot of tweaking going on, and to good result.

    BUT.........there's always got to be something, right?

    Two very minor things - first, the snare drum at the beginning - I'd love to to hear it more on the offbeats in a jazz swing type of role rather than just the downbeats of 2 & 3 which sounds a little martial to me. The rest of the piece is trying to sway and move and the snare drum is forcing it to march in a straight line. Second - also the snare drum - on the very last note of the piece, what happens if you replace that snare hit with a light cymbal "ding" or even a triangle? The snare sound makes the ending a little abrupt, bringing the energy to a distinct halt, whereas a ringing cymbal or triangle, or whatever, lets the energy dissipate smoothly on its own.

    OK - now go do another one!
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA

  6. #6

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    First, I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to the piece. I've since rested my ears a bit, then had another listen. Of course I found things that are need some more tweeking, changing, etc. Your comments are sincerely welcomed and appreciate the thoughtful responses that you all provided. Thank you!

    Jack - I appreciate the warm words. A few years ago I made a decision to work on a skill that's been sorely neglected throughout the recent years. When I first started to put "pencil to manuscript paper", again, I thought it would be like "riding a bike" after not riding one for a while. I was wrong. If I am earnest and follow through with the whole "pencil to manuscript paper" thing, it seems to take me FOREVER to just write the piece. First, my eye-site isn't spectacular for close-up seeing. It's that "aging" thing, I guess! But it's more that I am out of shape to when it comes to "hearing the melodies and harmonies" in my head, combining what I hear with composition and arranging skills (learned 25+ years ago) and then writing it all down. Yep. A fair amount of time was spent just writing this piece. But 25+ years ago, I would have written such a piece in nearly half the time. I am a firm believe in the concept of "practice makes perfect". I simply need to practice. And I am. Each time I put that 'ol "pencil to manuscript paper", the whole compositional process gets a bit easier.

    Ron - Besides attempting to stretch old "music composition muscles", I'm also exercising newer muscles that go along with the knowledge of computers, software sound libraries and sequencers. I've actually been doing the whole sequencing thing since the late 1980's. It's only been recently that I've worked out with software sound libraries (and getting them to work nicely with the computer). The Stradivari is a wonderful tool. But working with it is like learning a new instrument. I input my midi information via a Keystation Pro 88 (by M-Audio). It's a great device!! It has LOTS of faders and turn-knobs. I think it's great for computer-based sequencing. I use one fader, configured to CC-11, a lot. Unfortunately, it does different things to different software sound libraries. Silly, silly me! When I used it to sequence-record the Chris Hein Guitar stuff, I forgot to set it back to zero when working with the Stradivari (and visa-versa!!). So, not only do I have to fine tune some of the Stradivari sequences because of technical "glitches" (human error! ), I have to do the same for the Chris Hein Guitar recording which also uses CC-11 to help modulate its sound. Mistakes sure do happen when I do an all-nighter to sequence projects. YIKES! LOL!

    By the way, I'm trying to "emulate" the processed jazz violin sound (like from the violinist who used to play in Dixie Dreggs). I am sure that my experimenting with this emulation magnifies velocity and CC errors. LOL!!

    bmdaustin - The snare drum!! For this particular number, I used a snare drum sound from Wizoo Sounds. It has a nice drum roll sound which I like to use every-so-often. This one particular snare-drum patch has several different recorded volume hits, each with its own key-controller. I find this particular snare drum patch helpful in attempting to avoid that dreaded machine-gun effect for faster snare fills and rolls.

    "Recording" drum parts is probably one of my weakest skill when sequencing projects such as this. Like many people, I do the cymbols, snare, bass drum, tom-toms, etc individually. And no, I don't loop (and I probably should to help speed up the sequencing process). For this piece, I'm attempting to emulate that jazz drummer stuff that I've heard on so many recordings. It just didn't come out sounding like those great jazz drummers!! LOL! I actually "buried" this particular snare part deeper in the mix just so it doesn't stand out! LOL!! I've been told before that "keeping it simple" is sometimes the best way to go for a good sounding recording. I surely did not keep it simple this time. Listening to the snare drum track by itself is a bit frightening!!! LOL!!

    Again, thank you for your time and thoughtful responses!

    With much gratitude,

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  7. #7

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    Good morning, Ted

    Well! I'm certainly glad you knuckled down and got some work done! Enough of this lying fallow and having trouble getting back on the bike stuff.

    It's simply been too long since we've heard music coming from your direction - This is a very welcome relief from the dry spell!

    Really really wonderful track you've come up with from your all-nighter session. Beautiful stuff.

    --From looking through the thread so far - I CERtainly sympathize with the confusion that can happen when several different libraries are involved in a piece, and you have to keep changing things depending on what MIDI controllers the instruments respond to. It's not quite like in the old days of MIDI when you Knew that all instruments would respond to cc11 for volume, cc1 for vibrato --simpler times indeed.

    --The snare - In the second half, I really feel you accomplished your aim, "...I'm attempting to emulate that jazz drummer stuff that I've heard on so many recordings..." I'll agree that early on, the straight boom chick chick waltz pattern could perhaps have been altered a bit to make the rhythm swing more.

    Your title and post both talk about how this started from stringing together "musical cliches." For what it's worth, I think that as musicians we can be overly sensitive from what we can sometimes consider to be "cliches." The listening public often wouldn't consider the same elements as "cliches"--as trite. I feel the success of a piece has to do with what is done with whatever string of notes which are chosen.

    THE cliche chord progression for '50's pop, for instance, is C, Am, F, G, G7. Does that mean that progression should be banished from any composer's vocabulary? I don't think so. One can still write a song that sounds fresh but which uses that chord progression. While one could maybe say the base chord structure is "cliche" - I say, who cares?--it's what's done with the raw material that matters. When it gets down to it, a thoroughly educated and perhaps jaded composer could consider Any shift from one chord to another as "cliche" because they're aware of pieces which use that particular shift.

    And so on.

    In other words - I Am glad to hear this won't be the title you stick with. You should be pleased with what you've written and not apologetic for it in the least.

    I love your piece, Ted. YAAAAH you!

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)


    This is sweet! Pat Metheny meets Bob James.

    At first from your description, I was expecting more of a ding-ding-a-ding type of jazz waltz. But this jazzy in its own way without being clichéd.

    My prime comment would be to add some actual jazz solos within all this excellent ensemble work other than the tiny snippets we hear in the sax.

    Due to the sing-song-y character of the theme, titles like "Rollerskating" or "Blowing Bubbles" come to mind.

    Nice work, let's hear more!


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    Clichés or no, this sounds great. I think you are more trying to evoke a certain style than using too many tired clichés. Anyway, as I said, sounds great.
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10

    Re: "Repeat that Cliche" (Jazz Waltz)

    Randy - Thank you for the listen and the kind words.

    Yep! Regarding the technical aspect of working with the different sound libraries, it's as if one needs a PhD in software engineering to make some of them work properly. I do NOT necessarily mean this in a negative way, though!! I really do like having the control and challange in attempting to create realistic sounding instruments. Although I do not think that GPO and even JABB are difficult (not at all!), they do allow the "sequencer" arranger considerable control in creating realistic sounds. The guitar libraries (the Chris Hein Guitars library, in particular) is complex even for me. Well, to be honest, trying to get realistic sounding guitar sounds isn't easy to begin with, but working with the Chris Hein Guitar library is quite the challenge! Add to it the fact that in order to make an electric guitar sound like an electric guitar, one has to use another plug-in like AmpliTube 2 (which I own and use). Also, I'm not a guitar player. So that significantly handicaps me. But the Chris Hein Guitar library. . . it is SOOOOO COOL! And it's complicated!! (For me, anyway.) I haven't even begun to explore this library. I am glad, though, to have a keyboard controller like the Keystation Pro 88 with all of its faders and control knobs just to control the Chris Hein Guitars beast. And it sure does make plenty-an-opportunity to make errors by forgetting to zero faders and control knobs (or forgetting which faders do what to the library) .

    With regards to "musical cliches". I honestly didn't mean to refer to them in a negative manner. I have to admit, though, that I find if difficult to listen to Pop Music radio stations anymore. I do not mind if/when people use (for example) the I - iv - IV - V chord progressions. But do something with them!!! Many (if not most) pop song writers do write interesting stuff to the "musical cliche" chord progressions to help make them sound less "cliche-ish". But many don't. It's a musical taste thing, for me. At the risk of sounding too judgmental, I just can't bring myself to listen to the radio much anymore. I come here, instead!! This is the place to listen to good music!!!

    Now. . . I actually took a college music-composition course (it was an elective) that championed using all sorts of cliche chord progressions, line cliches, etc. I LOVED that course! LOL! (I think it was a muzak writing course, or something. I really don't remember. ) But I must admit that I as I attempt to re-utilize music composition stuff learned 25+ years ago, I try to avoid the "musical cliche" lines and chord progressions. Except for THIS number! I shamelessly "put it out there" just because, well, I wanted to. LOL! I know that my family (which will receive this number with this years "Holiday CD" which I'm printing as I type) likes songs with I - vi - IV - V chord progressions in them. My father, especially.

    Also. . . to be honest. . . I was in a hurry and I need to get this little project done and out in the mail for the holidays.

    Thank you, so much, for the listen, Randy. I see that you've posted another musical number for Dorian. As soon as I'm done here, I'm going for a listen!

    Warm regards and Happy Holidays to you!

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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