• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Topic: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet
    http://www.soundclick.com/player/sin...songID=8887472

    This is my first attempt to get beyond mid-19th century sound.
    Not terribly successful in the composition and too successful in sound production. In fact, some of it sounds like no instruments known to mankind in any century.

    A "good" example is (what should be) the viola at about 4:48. That's the GPO4 Viola KS Solo. Any idea what I can do to make it sound more like a string instrument?

    I think the vibrato is a bit too much throughout, but as I recall, there's nothing I can do about that. Am I remembering correctly?

    I also have problem with balance. I have the 'cello part cut back quite a bit but it always stands out. Maybe that's just the way I've composed it, but from looking at the score I would not expect that of the 'cello any more than the other instruments. Is it common for the GPO 'cello to have to be cut way back in a string quartet, trio, etc?

    Pat

    P.S. I've already made some minor changes since I posted this 3 hours ago. But nothing that fixes the problems I mentioned.

  2. #2

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Many changes since I first posted this. I expanded the 2nd them and turned it into sort of sonata form (if you ignore key relationships). There are a lot of dynamic changes and some tempo changes that I hope make it sound more realistic.

    There are still some very odd sounds coming from the viola. A really prominent example is at 5:14. That's the same one that used to be at 4:48 as mentioned in my original post.

    Pat

  3. #3
    New Member casals51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    near Lyon, France
    Posts
    15

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Hello Pokeefe,


    I've just listened to your adagio until the end, because I have to admit that the first time you posted it, I gave up after a few seconds, due to your audio rendering. I was wrong, cause you wrote, I think, a very nice, very moving piece of music . I didn't notice any odd sounding from the viola, even at 5:14 as you pointed it. The viola sounds differently from violin, as Wikipedia says: « the viola's timbre sets it apart: its rich, dark-toned sonority is more full-bodied than the violin's. As its mellow voice is frequently used for playing inner harmonies, the viola does not enjoy the wide solo repertoire or fame of the violin. ». That's why, to me, everything is ok regarding your viola part.


    For the cello balancing concern, did you try not to use any volume controller, but only CC#1 Modwheel in order to shape your dynamics, not only for the cello but for all the instruments?


    But, what's about your rendering? May I ask which soundcard do you use? On which computer, OS? Which software to record audio? Which buffers, periods, latency settings? Which quality for your MP3 (or other) file? I dare ask you all this, because I think GPO can sound much better than this.


    Best Regards,


    Francis

  4. #4

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post

    For the cello balancing concern, did you try not to use any volume controller, but only CC#1 Modwheel in order to shape your dynamics, not only for the cello but for all the instruments?
    I'm using GPO4 as a plugin to Sibelius 6.1. In Sibelius, score dynamics control the CC#1 levels. The Sibelius Mixer levels control the Aria volume control sliders. On a scale of 0-127 I've got the Sibelius Mixer levels set at 109, 109, 95, 81 (violin I, violin II, viola, 'cello) which results in Aria volume levels of -1, -1, -3, -4 dB respectively.

    I've got Sibelius's playback "performance" style set to Expressivo which causes it to tweak CC#1 on most notes. I've also put a lot more dynamics specifications in the score than I would if humans were interpreting the score.

    So far the only "modifications" I've made to Sibelius's default output is to extend the duration of some notes to 105% of the note length to try to have better legato. (A slur causes Sibelius to increase note duration to 102%.)

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post
    But, what's about your rendering? May I ask which soundcard do you use? On which computer, OS? Which software to record audio? Which buffers, periods, latency settings? Which quality for your MP3 (or other) file? I dare ask you all this, because I think GPO can sound much better than this.
    Ok. Here's where both my lack of equipment and lack of understanding get exposed. I've got an old Dell Dimension 2400 with Pentium 4, 2.66 GHz, 2 GB RAM, running WinXP SP3. I've got the original SoundMax Digital Audio card (about to be upgraded to an M-Audio 2496). I don't know the buffers, periods, latency settings and have no idea how to find out.

    However, is the sound card even involved here? I know it is involved in producing sound on my PC, but how does it figure in producing the MP3 file? I have not idea what goes on in Sibelius when I tell it to export and audio file, but it produces a .wav file. I then run it through a free .wav to .MP3 converter from Mthree Development. 128 Kbs - 44,100 Khz.

    Pat

  5. #5
    New Member casals51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    near Lyon, France
    Posts
    15

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Well, regarding Sibelius, I'm a little embarrassed because I do not use it. I use Overture, which makes it very easy to draw freehand with the mouse a controller CC # 1 curve in a piano-roll-like window. I am even more embarrassed with GPO4, because I don't already own it. I plan to buy it, especially for the new quality of its brass ensembles, but for now I use GPO1 Full Edition and the version that was included with Finale 2007. However, with regard to balancing the cello, as I haven't practiced ARIA yet, I can only refer to Kontakt 2. In kontakt 2, we can adjust each instrument, asking it not to respond to standard controllers CC # 10 (pan) and CC # 7 (volume). If you can do so with ARIA, the Sibelius mixer will no longer be useful to balance the volume of instruments, but you'll be sure to only use the CC # 1 controller. To balance the volume of instruments, you can certainly do it in ARIA itself for each instrument.


    Regarding your audio interface, yes, latency is an important issue. The smaller the latency (in milliseconds), the better the sound. I don't know if the Soundmax card is able to achieve low latency with its original driver. In awaiting your new external sound card, I suggest you download and install a free ASIO driver, called ASIO4ALL which should allow you to lower the latency. An ASIO capable driver is essential for a good quality sound. When creating MP3 files, try 320 Kbs rather then 128 Kbs: you'll get a bigger file, but it will have then a pretty good quality vs the .wav file. You can also use CDEX (http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/).


    Hope it helps.


    Francis

  6. #6
    New Member casals51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    near Lyon, France
    Posts
    15

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Oh, sorry for having spoken of your future "external" sound card. After googling a little, I realize it's an internal PCI card. Make sure of its latencies capabilities!

  7. #7

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    You have some nice ideas and melodic movements here. It tends sound all one volume level to me. I understand from the conversation on the topic that you are using Sibelius. I use another notation program as my starting point, but I believe the concepts will work for Sibelius as well. Put in an exaggerated amount of dynamics and crescendos and decrescendos. The will help in making the melodic lines come alive. For instance, a long held note is not simply played at one dynamic throughout by a musician. They will either lead it into the next note with a crescendo or back off the volume as they near the end of a phrase. This adds a feeling of motion or direction in the individual parts.

    The piece is a very nice piece, so don't take my comments wrong. I think you have done a lot of work on this. What is lacking is the life of performance. Listen to each instruments line by itself and see if you could add direction to the notes using dynamic markings.

    I enjoy the piece and do hope you will try some of the suggestions to milk the piece for all it can be.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  8. #8

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post
    ... However, with regard to balancing the cello, as I haven't practiced ARIA yet, I can only refer to Kontakt 2. In kontakt 2, we can adjust each instrument, asking it not to respond to standard controllers CC # 10 (pan) and CC # 7 (volume). If you can do so with ARIA, the Sibelius mixer will no longer be useful to balance the volume of instruments, but you'll be sure to only use the CC # 1 controller. To balance the volume of instruments, you can certainly do it in ARIA itself for each instrument.
    I don't know if there is a way to disable this part of the Sibelius / Aria interface. I think I can, but I don't understand why I would want to. The Sibelius Mixer volume and pan controls seem to be successfully passed to Aria

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post
    Regarding your audio interface, yes, latency is an important issue. The smaller the latency (in milliseconds), the better the sound. I don't know if the Soundmax card is able to achieve low latency with its original driver.
    I understand that (at least somewhat) but I still don't understand what it has to do with the quality of the .wav file. Is the card involved in creation of the .wav file?

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post
    In awaiting your new external sound card, I suggest you download and install a free ASIO driver, called ASIO4ALL which should allow you to lower the latency. An ASIO capable driver is essential for a good quality sound.
    I did that some time ago but think I did not do the configuration correctly. I think it was never being used. I'll try again.

    Quote Originally Posted by casals51 View Post
    When creating MP3 files, try 320 Kbs rather then 128 Kbs: you'll get a bigger file, but it will have then a pretty good quality vs the .wav file. You can also use CDEX (http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/).
    Francis
    Thanks. I've downloaded it and will try it soon.

    Pat

  9. #9

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Rich, this is the 3rd time I've tried posting a response. Let's see if I succeed this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichR View Post
    ... Put in an exaggerated amount of dynamics and crescendos and decrescendos. The will help in making the melodic lines come alive. For instance, a long held note is not simply played at one dynamic throughout by a musician. They will either lead it into the next note with a crescendo or back off the volume as they near the end of a phrase. This adds a feeling of motion or direction in the individual parts.
    Most of the changes I've made recently to this piece have been adding dynamics, but I think you are right - I need to exaggerate them. Many of the crescendos and decrescendos, especially on held notes, are pretty weak.

    I've tried to improve the dynamics (and made a few other changes), but I'm still not satisfied. I seem to hear a greater dynamic range when when playing in Sibelius than when playing the .wav file Sibelius creates. (That could be my imagination.) Anyway, I encoded it at 320 Kbs as Francis suggested and uploaded the new version for further critique.

    Thanks for listening and making suggestions.

    Pat

  10. #10
    New Member casals51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    near Lyon, France
    Posts
    15

    Re: Adagio Doloroso for String Quartet

    Hello Pokeefe,



    I don't know if there is a way to disable this part of the Sibelius / Aria interface. I think I can, but I don't understand why I would want to. The Sibelius Mixer volume and pan controls seem to be successfully passed to Aria
    I suggested to do this because I thought maybe your difficulty in balancing the cello could come from GPO cello samples originally recorded louder than the other solo strings, so not using volume controller could help to prevent it stand out, but perhaps I'm totally wrong. I thought about that because when I download a midi file from the web, planning to render it, I usually remove all CC#7 and CC#10 from the event list before importing it into Overture, as I want to create my own dynamics and pan, dynamics with the modwheel of course, and because I have noticed that shaping dynamics with the volume controller makes GPO samples sound less natural than using the modwheel (since CC#1 curve variations not only affect decibels, but also, say, the instrument attack and timbre, when CC#7, I guess, do not at all) and I hypothesized if you let ARIA decode the Sibelius mixer volume setting, this could influence the sounding of GPO, but now I wonder, the Sibelius mixer is probably more a gain fader than something sending midi signals. So...

    I understand that (at least somewhat) but I still don't understand what it has to do with the quality of the .wav file. Is the card involved in creation of the .wav file?
    Of course it is! The card components quality (converters), its capability to handle, on a same duration, many smaller parts of the audio signal rather than one big part (it has to do with buffers), all of these factors determine how many informations (thus, quality) are send to a .wav file when creating it.


    Your new adagio version sounds better at 320 Kbs, the sound is clearer, but I still recommend an ASIO driver or the soundcard upgrade.


    Francis

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •