1st. Respighi - Feste di Roma - Circenses (about 1 minute) - volume!!
2nd. Respighi - Pini di Roma - Villa Borghese
Played by the Radio Symphonic Orchestra of Bratislava.
Also used an "Introduction to the Classical Orchestra" where groups of instrumentalists played their separate parts. Useful for getting 'the sound'. And of course other material from CD.
I studied sound balances in an orchestra, the relation between woods, brass and strings. Learned a lot from this. As flutes are considered feeble, romantic, weak, this is all but necessary. They can be very pronounced in the right setting. I also took advices from a violinist, about the possibility to play loud at high notes (e.g. long notes aren't played in "a single bow"). As samples last only about 7 seconds, you will notice some "hick" somewhere. In the samples it is not as obvious as in a real orchestra. He talked about some "masking" techniques, but I cannot reproduce that in english. Barely understood it in plain dutch (it has to do with hand-wrist-elbow movement).
This time I re-started with the raw notes, without any controller info from Overture and did it again, note by note (almost), looking at the velocity levels, CC#64 effects, overlapping (more not than often), length of the samples, and those variation controls #22/#23. FOR EVERY INSTRUMENT!!
It may not happen, but using a string KS for e.g auto-alternating up- and downbows sound different from their counterparts (Vlns 1 KS versus Vlns 1 Short Bows KS). I also noticed that using the subset of the main instrument (better to use pizzicato strings than applying F1) gave a clearer and more controlable sound. So split up your midi file!!
Using higher velocities with a rather high CC#1 (almost at 127, max. value) will deteriorate the sound. Using the portamento control CC#20, can be very harmful in legato phrases, especially when two consecutive notes are nearby. I didn't notice this under KP1, but under KP2 it is dangerous.
I experimented with different orchestral seatings and stuck to the most common with the exception of the trombones (left instead of right) at the same row as the trumpets. Timpani a bit to the left, other pitch-less percussion more at the left, glockenspiel, tubular bells, and harp, left and near the 2nd violins(close to left woods).
Very confusing and complicated was the reverb versus the panning. As I am not having Altiverb (still 8 months to go!!!!!!) I chose PerfectSpace with impulsfile ORCH-concerthall from Lexicon PCM90Halls (2.125 sec.) and with rather high reverb settings and pre-delays (dry at inf). Leaving all mathematical calculation, considering distance, speed of sound, etc., I entered higher values for pre-delay - just trusting my ears, equipment and overall perception. All output is non-compressed!!!!!!
Using automation in Sonar (or any other well-built sequencer) pays off. It is an ordeal, true, but the result is really worth doing so. Don't be modest using the volume silders. In a real orchestral environment, they go from the caressing pp to the fierce ff more often than you think (depending on the music of course).
Now, it is done. Time to order the Steinway.
Almost forgot. Those trumpet glitches in part 4 are on purpose!!!!
Let me be the first to congratulate you! Very well done. I remember listening to it the first time and liked it then. But now everything is clearer. Very good job. I liked the trumpet figures in the Festival (two sixteenth - eighth). Those are hard to make sound real in my opinion.
You're study and dedication to learning the tools is inspiring and motivating.
Keep up the good work. Also thanks for sharing your insights you've learned along the way.
I just finished listening to the 1st mvt. this morning. I remember when this was first posted, and I want to say how much I admire your tenacity and will to achieve more with this. Your efforts have -- from what I've heard thus far --paid off hugely with a piece that is commanding, professional, and and stirring. Your goal, of course,was to make it sound more "real"; this you have done! It's paradoxical to have to apply so much technical effort into emotion-powered creations... but it's all worth the aggravation in the end, I know you'll agree. It's obvious that adhering to DPDan's mixing/mastering doctrines and advice elevated this project to this new exhilarating height. My admiration and congratulations are yours.
Thank you, guys. Now I have enough "knowledge" and gear to go on to the next project. And a special thanks to DPDAN who challenged me to do it better, better and again better. OK, there is always something to improve. Maybe that particular note or phrase could be better, louder, smoother, more at the foreground, but these thoughts are the same considerations as choosing a recording conducted by Bernstein or Solti.
Uw hard werk heeft in voortreffelijkheid resultaat opgeleverd!
This is a remarkable achievement, and I too offer my congratulations and admiration! I am learning myself how much work it is to "massage" these works into musical shape, and I have yet to attempt anything except very small ensemble pieces. The good thing is that it all gets easier as we learn how to use these tools and then bring some form and technique to bear.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful symphony with us, John