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Topic: Sleep, Holy Babe

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  1. #1

    Sleep, Holy Babe

    Another Christmas song, although at least this one's an original. "Sleep, Holy Babe" started as SSA and harp; changed to two violins, viola, and harp; and now is flute, clarinet, viola, and harp. I'm pretty happy with the current instrumentation, though, so I think I'm sticking with it. Created with Finale 2009 through Garritan Aria and the included GPO lite.

    http://www.matthewprins.com/sleep_ho..._02-25a_eq.mp3

    Matthew

  2. #2

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Hi "mdprins"-Matthew

    I'm always up for some Christmas music throughout the year, and this was a special treat since it's an original.

    This is a really lovely song. You have to be pretty happy with your orchestration of it - Interesting, the changes of instrumentation you've gone through. What you have now sounds lovely, I agree you should keep it.

    On the technical side, it's sounding a bit stiff, and it's due to having created it in Notation. It's a matter of the dynamics remaining rather constant throughout, and the velocities of the instrument being constant also. It's something notation users always struggle with, I know - I just know exactly what you have here could sound even nicer with a more natural, organic sounding recording.

    Thanks for the delicate Christmas cheer!

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    On the technical side, it's sounding a bit stiff, and it's due to having created it in Notation. It's a matter of the dynamics remaining rather constant throughout, and the velocities of the instrument being constant also.
    Yeah, I know. Human Playback in Finale helps, but it's by no means the end-all be-all. The dynamics do go from pp to mf, with hairpins all over the place, but I may have to accentuate them even more to get Human Playback to sound more realistic. Unfortunately, Finale's all I really know -- I'm a composer by trade, not a sequencer -- so I'm probably going to have to work within the program's limits.

    Any hints anyone has, I'd be happy to hear them...

    Matthew

  4. #4

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Hello again, Matthew - I hope you got the main point of my response, which is that I really like your gentle Christmas song. You know about the yearly Garritan Christmas CD? Maybe you should submit this for the up-coming album.

    The technical things I passed on with the hopes of it being helpful. If there was just a way to easily edit the velocities of notes individually that would be such a help, since velocities trigger different attacks. Having CC1 continuously undulating, rather than just ramping up and down via dynamic commands would also be helpful.

    "...I'm a composer by trade, not a sequencer..."
    --I'm sure you didn't mean that as a slam against composers who use sequencers like Sonar. Because of the ability to more easily produce demos, one can see why so many composers use audio/MIDI "DAWS" in connection with their notation programs.

    Lots of Finale users here. Look around for tips if someone doesn't get on this thread with some ideas for you.

    Thanks again for posting your lovely piece.

    Randy B.

  5. #5

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    "...I'm a composer by trade, not a sequencer..."[/I] --I'm sure you didn't mean that as a slam against composers who use sequencers like Sonar.
    Oh, no, no, gosh no, no. What I should have said that I'm a sheet-music composer by trade, not a sequencer. My composing projects to this point have entirely been focused on notes on paper (about which I know something, with 30-odd works published/accepted for publication) rather than creating sound files through sequencing and editing MIDI data by hand (about which I know as much as my 3-year-old). Dudes and dudettes who can compose and create music that way amaze me.

    Unfortunately for me, my current (self-inflicted) project requires me to concentrate on creating sound files rather than sheet music -- hopefully within the confines of Finale rather than having to learn, in essence, an entirely new language. So I'm here to learn.

    Matthew

  6. #6

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Oops -- I meant to respond to these bits of your message as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I hope you got the main point of my response, which is that I really like your gentle Christmas song.
    Oh, I did, I did, but I have this nasty tendency to focus on what needs to be fixed rather than what's already good.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Having CC1 continuously undulating, rather than just ramping up and down via dynamic commands would also be helpful.
    Undulating how -- randomly adding or subtracting 10 (or whatever) points from the velocity? I think there's a way to do that in Finale, although I don't know if it'll work with Human Playback. I'll have to see, though, and maybe try it out.

    Matthew

  7. #7

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Matthew:

    A very nice Christmas piece. It certainly has a
    quiteness about it that enhances the modal quality
    and produces a serene setting.

    I don't use Finale much, but you can vary your
    dynamics with hairpins or the MIDI TOOL. It's
    amazing what some of our best composers have
    produced with the Finale notation program. Et Lux
    (David Sosnowski) is a great one to listen to. He
    has produced some very amazing music with Finale
    throughout the years.

    Good to hear some of your music, Matthew

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    This is a lovely Christmas piece.

    I hope you can find out all the techniques used to create a natural sound.

    The sequencer vs notation debate is a continuing saga.

    My dream is to combine the two into a next generation music making tool.

    This could be possible with inexpensive digital displays instead of sheet music.

    Thanks for posting this music.



    Phil

  9. #9
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    Hi Matthew, I enjoyed hearing your "Sleep, Holy Babe". I am always ready to hear new Christmas music and I like your original piece. The modal melody does make it sound like it could be from ancient times. Nice choice of instruments.

    As Randy has written, the instrumental lines could benefit from some midi controller data. It seems to me like a mountain of work whether in Finale or a sequencing program. You have to learn a great deal either way before you gain the control over the notes. It's a deep well, but combining and integrating cc# data with the Human Playback capabilities in Finale can achieve some remarkable results. Others have recommended the work of etLux as a benchmark of what can be done in Finale, and I also can echo their praises.
    If you haven't already listened to "Damaged Beauty", you can check it out here:
    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=64532

    Keep up the good work on your worthy project, and please keep sharing it with us here. Thanks, John

  10. #10

    Re: Sleep, Holy Babe

    After reading these comments, I think I'll set "Sleep, Holy Babe" aside for now, simply because I don't have the time (or probably the ability) to give the audio realization the attention to nuance that it deserves. Even though the other two pieces of this project I've posted here still need some work, both of them, I think, are much more forgiving to a lack of nuance than "S,HB" is. Perhaps once I've done some more work on the other "easier" realizations on this project and thus have a little more experience with this, I'll come back to "S,HB".

    Thanks, everyone -- I've really appreciated your honest feedback.

    Matthew

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