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Topic: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

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  1. #1

    New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Hi All,

    My first large scale Giga rendition just went live at MP3.com. I\'ve tried to create a combination of virtual orchestra and synthesizers. I\'m not totally satisfied and ask those with more experience how I can improve the instrument placement and stereo image. I used Soundstage on each instrument as well as a number of Giga libraries. Please have a listen it\'s the top piece on the page, Today is a Gift, orchestral version. Here\'s the link;
    http://www.mp3.com/stevechandler

    Thank you,

    Steve

  2. #2

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Hi All,

    Most of you seem to get a response faster than this. I\'m guessing you want to download the file, so here\'s the link. I\'ll admit it\'s a big file (10 MB). I hope you find it worth it.
    http://play.mp3.com/cgi-bin/play/play.cgi/AAIAQqhZIwDABG5vcm1QBAAAAFKytQAAUQEAAABDtYOkPMmbCI K7w7h5YY0V_UhbsV4-/Today_is_a_Gift_Orches.mp3

    Steve Chandler

  3. #3

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    I started to download it, but I\'m on 56k, so... yep.

    I\'ll be on cable for a short time this weekend. Hopefully I\'ll remember to drop on by and hear your piece.

  4. #4

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Steve,
    I\'m not sure how much help I can be, but Ihear a number of things to comment on. Here goes, feel free to ignore/disagree with any or all of this.

    Compositionally, there are some nice thematic materials, and good, interesting justapositioning of the instrumentation. overall there is much I like. You have a burgeoning talent-keep working and writing.

    Your transitions move from smooth, nicely-thought out alterations to jagged, seemingly random shifts in orchestra. Part of this is mixing, but much is the need of a transitional element (even a sustained note from a previous instrument would help.)

    The biggest problem with your MIDI orchestration is the use of copies of one part directly mapped to another at the same time. It sounds more like an organ tham a pair of instruments, one of the major aural cues that MIDI is in play. Pan the instruments partially left-right, and change artifacts on each independently to avoid the MIDI organ effect.

    But like I said, keep working/practicing/posting. Develop the chop I\'m hearing and good luck.
    I could say a lot more, but honestly, I\'m totally fried-just got out of my gig and can barely read the screen.

    Dasher

  5. #5

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Dasher,

    Thanks for your comments. When you\'re rested if you would elaborate I\'d appreciate it. Thanks.

    Steve

  6. #6

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Hi guy, I\'m back.

    I was REALLY fried, last nite, and wanted to give you some immediate response, as you seem to be trolling pretty heavily. Let me see if I can elaborate.

    First, before anything else, I\'ve now gone through the pice about ten times, and overall, I think it\'s very good work. I\'m NOT \'classically trained\' like many of the folks here-my experience is 50-plus years with jazz, R&B, and generally \'improvisitory\' sort of music of a wide variety, so some of what I\'m trying to say will perhaps sound nebulous, and it DEFINITELY reflects personal bias-I don\'t know how to get around that, my apologies. But here goes.

    I\'m going to separate the comments on the music from the mix and MIDI comments. The first part is about the music as a composition, but before that, I need to add yet another disclaimer, after a night\'s sleep. I realize that exactly the sort of thing I\'m going to be \'complaining\' about is at times very much what is required in a filmic context. Therefore, if it was your intent to illustrate evolving plot lines, ignore most of the comments.

    I will, however, further disclaim my disclaimer by adding that the really great scores I\'ve heard link the various themas in a way that creates a unified structure (and while there are some great moments in this piece, that is what I find lacking in places.)

    You have some wonderful ideas. For example, the opening section is nicely done, with interesting and evocative textures. There are some great thematic moments in many places through the piece, and some interesting orchestration/timbral concepts you have produced.

    I do not hear a unifying underlying organization for them, however. It\'s as if there are all these great ideas you want to incorporate, but the structure to paste them all together is not as complete or coherent as I personally like. When I listen to music with many disparate entities, such as this, (I\'ll reference Stravisky, Copeland, and the like) I like to hear either some sort of transitional device that links one section to the next, or a distinct separation of the sections. Upon repeated listening, I realize that some, but not all, of this is related to the mix, or to the timbral selection.

    You have moments of romantic, inspirational orchestration followed by more avant-gardish string and wind writing, followed by a few bars of tradition, then more modern, then martial, etc. What I miss is a sense of completion of the current material before moving to the next. This is NOT always true, some transitions are done very nicely and imaginatively.

    Bottom line, I\'d like to see you go back to the studio and focus in on the transitional bars, and see if they work for you, or if you were just trying to get to the next section. I think you\'ll know which are which. There actually aren\'t that many places I have real trouble with that are related to the actual composition, and I don\'t want to give you the impression that I\'m ragging on you, or that I dislike the work. I think you\'ve got a lot of talent, and this reflects in your writing, I would just like to see you evolve it a bit further.

    APPEND EDIT... Tonight at my regular gig I realized what was going on-you\'ve got material for a whole suite of compositions in there. I would suggest isolating the thematic material, and using it to build several different pieces. Not \"too many notes,\' rather, \"too many theme sets.\" You\'ve ot at least three different compositions in there, and that could easily reach 5 or 6 if you were to extend and elaborate on some of the shorter themes. And any one of those could reach the time limit you currently have by judicious appending of the extended material.
    end edit, but not comments...

    Now, the MIDI rant. While I DO like a lot of what I hear, a lot of what I hear that I don\'t like is stuff I (and probably everybody else on this forum) have done, so I think I can help shed some light on your quest.

    It sounds to me like you have taken some tracks and copied/pasted them into other instruments, rather than replaying the track on the new instrument. I\'ve done it many times, and it virtually never does what you want. The usual result is what I call the \'MIDI organ\' effect. It doesn\'t sound like two instruments, rather it has the mechanical effect of one densely-timbred instrument, like a pipe organist playing with all the stops out.

    it\'s one of the most common mistakes in recording MIDI tracks. Each instrument has its own articulation, that does not translate well to different synth patches. You mentioned you were trying to incorporate electronic sounds into the piece, FWIW, the electronics sound to my ear like attempts to emulate live instruments, which IMO winds up sounding like a cheesy synth rather than an \'electronic\' sound. When I play electronic instruments these days, I try to make it clear that \'this is a synth\' so the sampled instruments more readily take on the characteristics of live players.

    Again, this effect may have been exactly what you were trying to do, but from your initial comments, I don\'t believe it.

    Mix-wise, the best teacher is experience. Listen to recordings that are from the same general field you\'re trying to attain. If you\'re serious about learning to record well, if this is to be one of your \'instruments\', I\'d recommend going to the Recording Forums at (I think) musicplayer.com. People like Ed Cherney, Roger Nichols and Ed Massenberg chair these forums, and there is an immense storehouse of knowledge to tap.

    Generally, the rules for positioning an instrument in a mix (and orchestration) are something like:

    a) Be aware of the timbral density of your currently playing instruments. If you have several instruments (sections are considered a single instrument here) in the same timbral space, it\'s a good idea to have them separated by panning location.

    b) Louder is perceived as closer. Less reverb is perceived as closer. Conversely, less volume or more reverb sends an instrument to the rear.

    c) a ff instrument is generally brighter than a pp instrument as well as louder.

    d) instruments in the center tend to be heard as louder than the same instrument on the extreme right or left. (Very subjective statement, but I\'m talking especially about electronic timbres here, where the traditional apparent loudness cues are less obvious.)

    I hope this is of some help to you. This was a lot of hard work on your part, and I don\'t want you to think I don\'t appreciate that, or that I am trying to diss either the music or you. If these comments seem harsh, please bear in mind they are extremely subjective, and any number of the \'trained\' ears that work in this genre may have very different opinions about what works and what doesn\'t. I call \'em like I sees \'em, and I recognise that my musical sensibilities are one very small part of the spectrum. If I didn\'t hear real potential, I would not have bothered to spend the time listening and commenting, but take everything I say with a grain of salt.

    Dasher

    Good luck, and KEEP WRITING!



    [This message has been edited by thesoundsmith (edited 03-31-2002).]

  7. #7

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pantonality:
    Hi All,

    My first large scale Giga rendition just went live at MP3.com. I\'ve tried to create a combination of virtual orchestra and synthesizers. I\'m not totally satisfied and ask those with more experience how I can improve the instrument placement and stereo image. I used Soundstage on each instrument as well as a number of Giga libraries. Please have a listen it\'s the top piece on the page, Today is a Gift, orchestral version. Here\'s the link;
    http://www.mp3.com/stevechandler

    Thank you,

    Steve
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Steve,

    Thanks for posting your music, I really enjoyed listening to it.

    First, compositionally, I really like your style, very distinctive and iconoclastic, PLUS beautiful. Let me comment here that your music reminds me a lot of some of the orchestral works of Erik Satie (Ever listened to that?). This is a compliment! If you haven\'t listened to E. Satie orchestral works, please listen to \"En habit de cheval\".
    And, I agree with Dasher here: you have a lot of talent going on in your music, try to cultivate it, and keep the original nature of your composition.

    I understand the point that Dasher makes about transitioning in your piece, but I personally like it the way it is. Part of the beauty of your piece lies in juxtaposition, rather than layered transition. This is very subjective, and Dasher\'s comments are as valid as mine (actually more, because he\'s an experienced and talented musician, whereas I... well, you get it).

    Regarding reverb and mix, I\'m afraid that I couldn\'t find anything wrong with your music, and I like what you\'ve done with the help of Soundstage. A question, did you apply another reverb on top of the Soundstage output? I\'m curious, because I\'ve heard that Soundstage is not good enough on its own (dirty tails or something like that), but I don\'t hear any such things on your piece.

    Instrumentally, GOS sounds beautiful, as do the trumpets. I liked the electronic sounds over all as well, and it fits in nicely with Satie\'s tradition of using weird instruments, which I like

    Dasher is right on about the MIDI cut and paste \"organ effect\". It is a lot of work to play each section separately, but it pays off. Isn\'t there some type of plugin to randomize MIDI tracks and make them sound more human (as in slight variations in same lines played by different instruments)?
    Another thing is that some of the fast lines on wind instruments on your piece sound a little artificial, and very likely the product of using keyboards to play wind parts, eh Bruce?

    Last thing I\'d like to do is encourage people to listen to your piece, because it sure is worth it. If you don\'t have a fast connection, just start downloading while you have dinner or something, you bumms!

    And, please take my comments with a few tons of salt, because my experience is very little.

    I\'m looking forward to more of your music, Steve. Keep\'em coming!

    Best Regards


  8. #8

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Hi All,

    To MrArkadine and Dasher, thank you for your comments. I appreciate that you took the time to listen, analyze and comment. There is a previous version of the piece farther down the page, it includes some description of the purpose and point of the piece. The MIDI file for that performance fell victim to an unfortunate disk format error (user error) and I chose to recreate the file pretty much from scratch and use it as an opportunity to get to know Giga and some libraries.

    As far as the copying and pasting you guys nailed it, I\'m guilty. The fact that you caught that indicates some pretty good ears at work here. I did make efforts to disguise the effect, but quite obviously I was unsuccessful.

    Compositionally, I\'ve been criticized in the past for my juxtapositions, but that\'s my style. I have worked to include trasitional passages, but sometimes the point I\'m trying to make requires a sudden shift. I\'ve chosen to avoid giving a detailed description of the piece because I find many prefer to assign their own images and thoughts to various sections. This piece is the final movement of a multimovement work that musically describes this sentence, \"Yesterday is History, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift,... that\'s why it\'s called the present.\" It\'s cute psychobabble, but I like it and there\'s wisdom there.

    Finally, Dasher if you like Jazz, check out Smokey Bar Nocturne farther down my page (sorry no Giga on that one)

    Thanks again for listening.

    Steve

  9. #9

    Re: New Piece up with GOS, DDSB and even BOB trombones

    Steve, that\'s why I tried to make my comments as prejudice-free as I could. There\'s a fine line between commentary and criticism, which gets stepped on my music critics all the time.

    If part of the concept is to incorporate this type of justaposition, then it becomes a question of \'taste\', a null-semantic word for \'you may or may not like it and I may or may not like it, but let\'s not fight!!!\'

    The effort involved is obvious, the talent likewise. \'MIDI organs\' are unfortunately all too easy to hear, one way to avoid the syndrome is to incorporate a slight randomizing function on the volume, duration and start times of the copied tracks-do each one individually, of course!)

    I\'ll check out the other track this evening, when I get out of my day gig.

    All the best.

    Dasher

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