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Topic: Letter to Sarah

  1. #1

    Letter to Sarah


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    South of the Ohio River

    Re: Letter to Sarah

    This is a very nice piece, Jon. I'm not one to make a lot of critical comments as I'm somewhat of a novice in that area. My only comment would be that the drums sound a bit too close for my tastes, especially the crash cymbals. They seem to intrude on the mood you are trying to establish. However, as I said, I like this piece.
    Dayton, Kentucky
    Personally, I'm waiting for caller IQ.

  3. #3

    Re: Letter to Sarah

    Beautifully written Jon and very nicely rendered as well. I really enjoyed the context of your work taking into consideration a conversation where the focal point are the pauses to gather one's thoughts. Excellent idea!

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  4. #4
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Letter to Sarah

    I really liked this. It's real inspirational.

    I would have mixed it a little differently but it does the job.

    I hope your friend found some healing in your music.


  5. #5
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Letter to Sarah


    Very nice - you capture this style very nicely. The piano solo sounds a little distant; perhaps it is just my speakers.

    Nice use of the strings sustaining in the background. It is easy for them to get overdone, and you restrained them, here. Liked the little "kick it up" modulation near the end.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Ron Pearl





  6. #6
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Bellingham, WA

    Re: Letter to Sarah


    We are definitely from different generations but I recognize talent, skill, craftsmanship, et.al. and it is very obvious, from this piece, that you possess all of these and more. I am not into this genre' but you got my attention when you shifted your tonal center--very refreshing.
    I, too, like you, am struggling with all of the do's and don't's of getting every note "tweaked" to perfection, overall balance, reverb, etc(?????) I think your piece is in a very well written form, going where it needed to go, peaking at the proper time and achieving your goal.
    When will we hear something you've written for the French Horn I see in your picture?


  7. #7

    Re: Letter to Sarah

    Quote Originally Posted by jjloving View Post
    It has to be more than just the track volumes, yes? I agree that the kit feels close, and the piano distant - I just don't know what to do about it!!
    I think it might be part of it. I am by no means an expert in getting the most our of the sound libraries, but it seems like the piano might be able to be mixed in a little higher. I also don't know how you are working with your drum sounds, but there are occasional cymbal crashes that really pop out. Musically it's just fine, it just happens to be mixed a little on the hot side for my tastes.

    The other thing might be how your drum and piano sounds are working together. The piano has a rich tone that feels like it's in a large concert hall, lots of ambient reverb. The set sounds like it is in a sound enforced studio. I'm not entirely sure this would be possible to recreate live without studio manipulation. That might be triggering something in your ear that makes you feel like something is off. The only other thing I could possibly suggest is to add in some very subtle bass to fill out the combo in the bigger sections. Then again, it's your piece, and if you don't want it there, then it shouldn't be there!

    All that being said, I like it. It's always a very good sign when people can't really complain about the music construction and only offer suggestions for the production and the mixing.

  8. #8

    Re: Letter to Sarah


    I am also a fan of this.

    The piano does seem to far away when playing by itself and we are sitting right next to the drums.

    Are you using sib5? If so, then if you decrease the wet a little for the piano, it might help and the opposite for the drums. Or increase the size for the drums. All of this is done thru the KP2 player.

    Well done


  9. #9

    Re: Letter to Sarah

    Hello, Jon

    I'm sure glad I paused long enough during my busy morning to click on your post.

    "Letter to Sarah" really grabbed me. The blend of symphony, rock and a New Age kind of minimalism reminded a bit of the music in "Mr. Holland's Opus"--That make sense?

    Ever since Procol Harum and The Moody Blues started using orchestras with their "progressive rock" - I've loved the sound of drums and other rock instruments blending with orchestral sounds. And Piano in the lead almost always appeals to me.

    I like your composition and sensibility in this very much.

    I see the tech suggestions on this thread, and I understand what they're talking about--moving the Piano forward in the mix would be good. The drums could probably be tamed some too - but I didn't think they intruded as much as others have felt.

    Here's something I know, however - When I first started using drum machines and later, drum samples triggered from a keyboard, I always thought the crash cymbals were too soft. I had a habit of cranking them up, because it Seemed more like what drummers do - but actually, that isn't right. The default medium volume that crashes are usually programmed at actually does sound better.

    So I'm saying I understand and can relate to your impulse to have them REally crashing in the listener's face like that, but if you experiment with pulling them down, you'll probably hear a better result.

    Thanks for this--Really neat track.

    Randy B.

  10. #10

    Re: Letter to Sarah


    It may be simple, but you did a great job with it.

    Liked the way you orchestrated the "letter." Moments
    of mostly piano presence does a lot for this piece and
    the ending brings your piece home as you began it.

    Good work, Jon

    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

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