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Topic: Essay for Strings

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  1. #1

    Smile Essay for Strings

    In my Essay for Strings,I have tried to exploit the wonderfully diverse sounds and moods of the GPO4 string sections - violins, violas, cellos and basses.

    http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=9594928

    I hope you enjoy the music. Antony

  2. #2

    Re: Essay for Strings

    Antony -

    Compositionally, this is a nicely written piece. It's a very pleasant listen and seems to showcase the strings in a thoughtful, deliberate way. I like your compositional chops!

    I have only one suggestion. It has nothing to do with the composition aspect of this piece. Compositionally, its satisfying to my modest ears. However, it seems that there may be room to add more reverb to the overall sound of the music. Yes? No? One of the things that I've learned during my visitings to this web site is that thoughtful and strategic use of reverb can add great acoustical depth to the sound of instrumental libraries (which tend to be recorded mostly "dry"). It seems that with just a little bit more 'verb and this piece would sound like it was recorded in a moderate to large sized orchestral hall.

    Anyway. . . it's a nicely written piece and I most certainly enjoyed the listen! Thank you for sharing. . .

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: Essay for Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    Antony -

    Compositionally, this is a nicely written piece. It's a very pleasant listen and seems to showcase the strings in a thoughtful, deliberate way. I like your compositional chops!

    I have only one suggestion. It has nothing to do with the composition aspect of this piece. Compositionally, its satisfying to my modest ears. However, it seems that there may be room to add more reverb to the overall sound of the music. Yes? No? One of the things that I've learned during my visitings to this web site is that thoughtful and strategic use of reverb can add great acoustical depth to the sound of instrumental libraries (which tend to be recorded mostly "dry"). It seems that with just a little bit more 'verb and this piece would sound like it was recorded in a moderate to large sized orchestral hall.

    Anyway. . . it's a nicely written piece and I most certainly enjoyed the listen! Thank you for sharing. . .

    Ted
    Hi Ted, Thank you very much for your feedback and I'm pleased that you enjoyed the Piece ! I'm using Finale 2011b + GPO 4.02 with 'Stereo Stage ON and Garritan Ambience Concert Hall 2. I havnt tried to 'tweek' anything further as my choice was to go for a very crisp rendition, with no overlap between the themes .

    However, I admit that there are differant ways of viewing the 'Reverb Scene' but I have made my choice here.

    Your intelligent comments were much appreciated and I hope to be hearing from you again.

    Best wishes, Antony

    SUNDAY 14/11/10

    HI Ted,

    I hope you get to see this edit of my original reply to you.

    Your apt comments have resulted in my uploading a new version of Essay for Strings. I have retained that 'crisp rendition' that I mentioned, but I think that I have improved the overall sound of the string orchestra.

    I f you can spare the time to put pen to paper, let me know what you think of this EDIT

    bast wishes, Antony

  4. #4

    Re: Essay for Strings

    Permit me to make a few "professorial" comments:

    there are a few parallel 5ths in the opening minutes that are a tad jarring.
    I find some of the tendency to heaviness in the low register a bit too prominent. Without seeing the score, it's more difficult to comment precisely.

    I DO like the musical ideas.
    One thing I found nice, but a tiny bit over-used in the piece, was your use of baroque-style sequence patterns. They are nice, but don't over-do them. They get tiring to the ear.

    At 5:38, there seems to be a "wrong note" in the bass. A rather prominent dissonance that doesn't fit.

    I'd suggest lightening the bass parts, mostly. And maybe varying more those long held notes.

    The little Tchaikowskian passages in all-pizzicato were very nice.

    The end is a bit disappointing. About 45 seconds before the end, it felt like it was going to take off to something very grand and dramatic, but it just came back down and ended quietly. To me, it was a bit of a let-down. I'd have liked to feel the grandeur that is possible with a lush string ensemble.

    Still, a very good piece. I'd recommend you explore the upper registers of all your string instruments much more. The entire piece was, as I said earlier, a bit bottom-heavy.

    Be careful about not over-using your "favourite registers". It's a tendency we are all prone to. Explore those areas that are outside what might be the "usual" register.

  5. #5

    Re: Essay for Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Antony D I Barnard View Post
    Hi Ted, Thank you very much for your feedback and I'm pleased that you enjoyed the Piece ! I'm using Finale 2011b + GPO 4.02 with 'Stereo Stage ON and Garritan Ambience Concert Hall 2. I havnt tried to 'tweek' anything further as my choice was to go for a very crisp rendition, with no overlap between the themes .

    However, I admit that there are differant ways of viewing the 'Reverb Scene' but I have made my choice here.

    Your intelligent comments were much appreciated and I hope to be hearing from you again.

    Best wishes, Antony
    Hi Ted, Your comments have now resulted in an edit and a new version upload.

    I think that I have retained my 'crisp rendition' but have added to the overall quality of the sound. Its a bit of a subtle edit but I should like to know whether you consider it an improvement, if you can spare the time to put 'pen to paper'. I look forward to hearing from you. Antony

  6. #6

    Re: Essay for Strings

    An eloquent essay. I like the broad gestures, and the different tempi, very Romantic. Good use of the theme too; I found the rapid descending use in the accompaniment particularly clever. The piece is indeed a bit Tchaikovsky, or perhaps Elgar. A treat for the ear.

    Wrt to the reverb: the sustained strings sound fine, but the pizzicato sounds as if played in a bit box, very boomy. I know it's a difficult choice, but I think Michel's comment on the sound can be resolved by EQ'ing the reverb, or changing the patch.
    Theo

  7. #7

    Re: Essay for Strings

    Hi Antony -

    It was nice to hear your composition again. To my very humble ears, there were many moments when orchestra sound seemed authentic and real as if played by live musicians in a hall. I think that the application of reverb, and how much to add, is matter of personal taste. It seems that a number of people here add little to no reverb. Others add more.

    One of the "Kings" of achieving ultra-realistic sound is our Dan, as you probably know. (Gosh, I wish I had his ears for acoustical details!) In the past, Dan has been very kind to post his methodology in creating ultra-realistic sounds using reverb to help achieve this. I know that he uses a reverb plug-in by Audio Ease called Altiverb. Although it is a bit expensive, and CPU hungry, it is an amazing plug-in. When he has the time, he seems very approachable to ask questions and seek thoughtful comments and suggestions. Checking out his post history or doing an "Advanced Search" on this bulletin board will reveal his past posts where he goes into great detail in explaining what he does to achieve a realistic sound using the Garritan libraries. It's worth the time and effort.

    I know that most of the time I have to EQ the reverb. Depending on where it's applied, it seems that I have to tone down the 250 range often. Also, I tend to group each orchestral section and add varying amounts of reverb to each section. Not a lot, but just enough to get that "almost real" sound. (And, I use Altiverb a lot of the time. I took the financial plunge, years ago, and purchased the plug-in! Thanks Dan! LOL!)

    Again, this is a beautiful composition. It was a pleasure to hear it again! Happy composing, Antony!

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  8. #8

    Re: Essay for Strings

    I'm in awe of the talent on this forum. You guys all belong on "busts" (like Beethoven. NOT the female type! )

    Great orchestration and arrangement here. Delightful listen. Takes me to nice places far away!
    JB

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