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Topic: Levitating

  1. #1


    EDIT: 7/20/09

    In this recording you will hear various kinds of rhythmic "white noise" tracks which are part of the composition. One respondent on this thread mis-identified them as unintentional recording artifacts.

    I've made a thorough demonstration with the noise tracks soloed so it's now abundantly clear that these sounds are indeed an intended part of the piece.

    Thanks for coming to hear "Levitating" - RB

    (click title for MP3)

    For Western instruments (Woodwinds, Strings, Percussion) and Eastern instruments (Sitar, Tabla and others), this composition is also for natural sounds (primarily vocal) and synthesizers (a large array).

    GPO is the source for orchestral instruments, plus The Strad and The Gofriller Cello. JABB and CMB make contributions of some percussion and group instruments. The rest of the instruments are from Sound Fonts and Cakewalk's Dimension synth/sample player.

    This is the first segment of a possible suite. Details of the whole project will come later as it develops.

    There is a simple story to what this first segment is about. Westerners go to India, meet a group of advanced Yogis, eventually are witness to human levitation.



  2. #2

    Re: Levitating


    both times i tried to play this on the site my computer crashed. then i downloaded it and it's doing the same thing when i run it through quicktime.

    i am going to try and run it through my internal soundcard now... this better be a damn good song!!!!!!!
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  3. #3

    Re: Levitating

    Oh no, Keith! What the---??

    It's a regular MP3, quality up to the max, so it's a bit bigger than some MP3s of this length (7:00). But I don't know why that should crash you.---Argh!

    ---Is it a Mac vs. PC thing--??

    Thanks for trying--Hope it works out!--


  4. #4

    Re: Levitating

    its so weird. i can't run it through my external soundcard, but it's fine on my internal one. i've never had that happen before. i don't think it has anything to do with the length - just one of the weird things i guess.

    it was a really cool piece though. i'm glad i finally got it working. unfortunately, i had to listen through my crappy speakers and not my monitors (because they hook up into my external card), so i couldn't get the full effect.

    the lines were awesome when the flute played, followed by the other woodwinds (basoon or oboe maybe). then the effects with some of the instruments added to the "trippy" feel. i felt like i was hallucinating. my favorite part was around the 6 minute mark with the crazy string lines - that must be you coming down from your trip.

    were you using a major b6 scale through most of it, because i really like the sound you got? and did you use some taikos near the end?

    i will say that the overall mix was really quiet. i had it at full blast and it was still difficult to hear at times. but all in all it was nice to hear you step out of your normal mode.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  5. #5

    Re: Levitating

    This is cool Randy.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician


  6. #6

    Re: Levitating


    So these guys are going to India to see a bunch of bears float around?

    Why are these bears advanced (oh, of course, because they can float),
    but are they all named Yogi?

    Is there a Booboo there as well?

    I have never heard music like this from you and must say this impresses me even more.

    There are a few places in this where the Cobras are crawling across the keys (I think they ate all of the cats). I have never heard that from you and did I just hear a goat in there?

    Where and how did you get the ohmmmm in there?

    Great piece!!!

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  7. #7
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: Levitating

    Good morning again!! - A complex tapestry of musical characters were leading me down a garden path, to Swamee-dom, I was floating, then the wind blew me away and I awoke, to find my self typing this note.
    Very good and strange, even by my jaded standards!
    Thank you for stretching out!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  8. #8

    Re: Levitating

    I'll return later to write more replies--but for now I have to say--

    KEITH! - I am certain nobody has ever demonstrated such tenacity to hear one of my posts. I am just as clueless as you about Why in the heck this techno snafu happened - but omg, you surmounted it and finally broke through. That is extremely Beyond The Call of Duty - I am very touched that you kept trying, even though you ended up having to hear it on your computer's "crappy speakers."

    What you missed out on were some pretty deep rumbles during the forte passages, but I'm sure you at least got the idea.

    --passing thought--Could the problem be related to how I used the highest MP3 mode, and you're playing this on a Mac--? I dunno. I'm just left wondering if other people are going to have similar problems. I had no hint of a problem after testing out the MP3 first in Sonar where I made it, then in Windows Media Player, and finally once again in the Box media player. As you said, it just must be one of the inexplicable computer things. ? -

    What you said about how trippy the piece was for you - I couldn't be more tickled. When I first played this for Kate, she sat here for the duration with her eyes closed -When it ended she looked at me wide-eyed and said she felt like she was stoned, on a trip of some sort--I couldn't possibly hear a more satisfying response. As I worked on this, I kept going back to the space I wanted the music to come from, and it was definitely an altered state I was trying to capture. Thanks for letting me know you had an analogous experience- !

    The "crazy string line" part you're pointing out about 3/4 the way through---I'm Really glad that especially tripped you out. It was my version of a classical improvisation which occurs after the half way point in a classical Indian Raga.

    It was fascinating to do some research into what I was wanting to emulate, and there's much I could say, but my interpretation of this most vigorous, fast, and wild part of a Raga is the sound when body, mind and spirit are making the most direct, electric connection with the Universe. Up until then, the primary purpose of a Raga is to aid in meditation - then when the person meditating has reached the deepest state of relaxation, paradoxically, the most electric part of his experience happens.

    "...were you using a major b6 scale through most of it, because i really like the sound you got? and did you use some taikos near the end?..."

    The opening half, which is a meeting of West and East, is written in the Indian scale called Bhairavi. The scale's notes - if starting at C, are:

    C - Db - E - F - G - Ab - B - C

    I think I fudged in a few places, but for the most part I stayed in that Bhairavi scale for the A section, placing it in our key of A. It has an unmistakably Eastern sound to it - what used to be called an "Oriental" kind of scale.

    I modulated to the equivalent of our key of D for parts B and C. I didn't stick to an Indian scale in this second half, marked by the entrance of the Sitar and the other Indian stringed instruments - This section is my abbreviated version of a classical Raga (the authentic ones being much longer) - And the primary structure for a Raga seems to be in concentrating on a primary tone (D in this case) and a secondary tone (Db in this case). There is no harmony and no key change allowed - the Tanpura drones on the primary note and the rest of the music alternates between sections with some proscribed guidelines and some other sections marked by improvisation within certain guidelines. It's the dominance of D and Db, and the freely alternating F# and F natural which blurs the distinction between the Western concept of "major" and "minor" which doesn't exist in Indian music.

    Towards the end, that's the GPO Bass drum which you thought maybe was a Taiko. I gave it as broad a dynamic range as I could through MIDI volume control, and as often happens, found the range too narrow for my purposes once the track was rendered to audio. So I upped the dynamic range even more, automating its audio track from a medium level to maximum during the mix. Later, when mastering the mix in Sound Forge, I found I was able to make the Bass drum reach even a higher volume with more envelope work.

    Speaking of dynamic range, this recording has a broader range than I usually allow in a recording. I often find myself needing to narrow the range down because the quiet sections will end up just too soft - the contrast between ppp and fff needs to be narrowed to make a track sound acceptably constant enough in its volume.

    But this recording has really maxed out, loud forte moments, full of bass and to the top, almost peaked out levels. If a playback level is set so those loud sections are at a nice healthy - LOUD level - then the soft sections work, but they are much quieter in contrast than I usually allow.

    So you were playing this back at probably a medium level and over small speakers - I can easily see the lows would have been too low under those conditions. I almost decided to even this out more, as I usually do, but really wanted to keep the dramatic dynamic contrasts. The loud sections are full tilt, very full and loud - Maybe I should warn listeners that this needs their Loud volume level, so that over regular speakers, the walls quake a bit with the deep, loud sections, and the softer sections will be appropriately gentle but still very audible.

    Thanks for appreciating that this is out of my "normal mode"--at least the one the members here have heard the most. Over the years I've actually produced a lot of things you wouldn't find typical of me. I'm glad to present a Garritan based piece now which is different from what you've heard before.

    Thanks much, Keith--Again, your determination to hear what this was is very appreciated.


  9. #9

    Re: Levitating

    i don't think this was a mac thing as much as it was a presonus firebox thing. it played fine when i ran it through that my internal soundcard.

    lots of times i export my tunes as 24 bit aiff files that are huge in comparison to any .mp3 and they play fine through them. maybe it was the exact kilobyte that causes a firebox to burn!!!
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  10. #10

    Re: Levitating

    Or I must have dropped my headphones or right at the beginning there is some distortion going on........... (too much for continuing listening).


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