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Topic: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

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  1. #1
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    SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Looking for a model of an Alto solo, I was prompted to look at this piece for orchestra by Darius Milhaud.
    THIS is a real challenge. The 1st of 3 movements. (P.S.}
    Had to redo recording-entered at 4:00 CST-Thursday
    I. VIF

    hi-fi URL: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getpl...id=7353084&q=h

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Hi Gary, Just listened to Scaramouche, interesting piece by a composer I wasn't familiar with. I had to look his bio up, I thought it interesting that after Milhaud emigrated to the US and took up a teaching job, one of his students was Dave Brubeck, who named one of his sons Darius.
    I liked the piece, but the recording IMHO still has some problems. There just doesn't seem to be definition and warmth to the instruments. Have you exhausted the possibilities of the settings in Finale? What about a separate program that you could take your tracks to and do the eq's and reverb, etc. in?
    You can download and try out SoundForge for free and there are many other options. I would like to hear your work in a better "room"! Thanks for sharing this piece, John

  3. #3
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    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Thanks for listening, John.
    I'll revisit Finale andd see what I can do.

    Gary

  4. #4

    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Hi Gary,

    I agree with Bigears about the ambience. The instruments are very immersed in the reverb and for me, that has a negative impact on the clarity of the piece. The piece is very interesting and I too was unfamiliar with the composer, so I thank you for having widened my musical horizon. I like the overall mood. Somewhat playful and generally upbeat. There are hints of tension and discord that provide some ups and downs and keep my attention throughout. Nice work and I am sure that it will benefit from a dryer ambience so that the listener can better connect with the individual instruments.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Best regards,

    Little Red King
    http://luridcactus.com/MusicPage.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Gary,

    I agree with the above - it almost had a live sound to it, of the kind recorded from the back of the hall. Made it kind of hard to get the full definition of the sax. Having said that, it's great that you got this piece out there - Milhaud is a fine composer, one who is kind of in eclipse, at the moment. I can tell, however, that there is a lot of nuance to your rendering; even with the "muddy" sound, it's clear that there are a lot of articulations and dynamic shadings.
    Ron Pearl

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    ronaldmpearl.com

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  6. #6
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    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Thanks for listening, Ron & Little King.
    I am wondering-after several attempts-if the quick tempo influences the tone quality of both instruments. The sax never sustains a note & the piano is about the same.

    In the case of reverb, should the piano have low reverb & high volume,
    and the sax have higher reverb & low volume?
    Should the room be as small as possible, or larger?

    Gary

  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Gary,

    I don't know too much about making reverb perform well, but in this case/piece, I'd go with a smaller room.

    Just a thought...
    Ron Pearl

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  8. #8
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Hi again Gary, I thought you might want to take a look at this thread where there is a screenshot of the Ambience reverb in Finale showing the settings.
    It's the post from etLux, down 3 or 4 from the top. Hope this helps a bit. John

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=64560

  9. #9

    Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Quote Originally Posted by garymosse View Post
    Thanks for listening, Ron & Little King.
    I am wondering-after several attempts-if the quick tempo influences the tone quality of both instruments. The sax never sustains a note & the piano is about the same.

    In the case of reverb, should the piano have low reverb & high volume,
    and the sax have higher reverb & low volume?
    Should the room be as small as possible, or larger?

    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    At this point, I'm not sure what I would suggest as reverb settings for the two different instruments. That would depend on how you see the placement of the instruments on your stage. If, in your mind, the two instruments are quite close to each other and you want both of them to have the same feeling of intimacy, then maybe you'd want to have them both equally wet. If, on the other hand, you want to make one instrument feel more immediate, then give it a bit less reverb and give the other instrument a bit more. Usually, the more we hear reverb, the more we think the sound source is distant, so the amounts of reverb will suggest how close or distant the instruments are. I am not a Finale user, so I don't really know how this applies to that application.

    In general, for starters, I would suggest that you dose the reverb fairly equally for the two instruments. Then reduce the size of the room and, even more importantly, bring down the amount of wet signal. Maybe put your dry signal at 0 dB, bring your wet signal to -inf and gradually bring the wet signal up until the overall effect creates the illusion of space that fits your vision of where your two musicians are playing. Once you've got something you like, you might try another cycle of tweaking by playing with the room size, bigger and smaller, to see how it sounds. After which you can try re-tweaking the amount of wet signal. Once you're happy with the results, you could try varying the amount on each instrument if that is possible in Finale. At some point you'll feel like you're getting diminishing returns for your efforts and that's probably the time to stop and just enjoy the music .

    Thanks once again for making me aware of Milhaud.
    Best regards,

    Little Red King
    http://luridcactus.com/MusicPage.html

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Re: SCARAMOUCHE for Alto & piano

    Yes, he is tricky, Darius!

    Your rendering of this piece immediately made me think of his most known orchestral creation called:

    "Le Boeuf sur le Toit." opus 58. containing the delicate bitonal melody lines.

    Keep up with the good work, Gary!

    Fred

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