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Topic: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

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  1. #1

    Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    A short piece featuring mostly Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods.

    The harp is X-Samples, percussion is London Orchestral. Also a little Cinebrass.

    This is straight out Finale 2011 using HP instead of a DAW.

    It is a sketch for an intended larger scale work, probably a clarinet concerto.

    I would be grateful for any feedback please.

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...ongID=10809696

    Regards, Graham

  2. #2

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Graham
    Now, this is scary - being the first to comment!

    - such a beautiful, peaceful and gentle piece of music! and out of finale as well!

    Well done! A pure joy to listen to! Heard it twice!

    Del
    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock

    http://www.mdtcommunications.com

  3. #3

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Graham - me again!

    Just cruising around and I wanted to listen to your piece again. I find the Cinematic strings are more natural than many libraries - more like the sound of a real orchestra at times. The only thing I would be concerned about in this piece is the cymbal swell at 1:54 - I do find it a bit out there but it is very subjective in terms of what you want to say with the writing. I sense a deep longing in this piece. YOu also did a nice job with the winds - something I need to learn more about.

    One of my all time favourite string pieces is Samuel BArber's Adagio for Strings, so you know where i am coming from. Every time (without exception) i hear that piece it takes me away.

    Best

    Del
    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock

    http://www.mdtcommunications.com

  4. #4

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Quote Originally Posted by DelCarry View Post
    Graham - me again!

    Just cruising around and I wanted to listen to your piece again. I find the Cinematic strings are more natural than many libraries - more like the sound of a real orchestra at times. The only thing I would be concerned about in this piece is the cymbal swell at 1:54 - I do find it a bit out there but it is very subjective in terms of what you want to say with the writing. I sense a deep longing in this piece. YOu also did a nice job with the winds - something I need to learn more about.

    One of my all time favourite string pieces is Samuel BArber's Adagio for Strings, so you know where i am coming from. Every time (without exception) i hear that piece it takes me away.

    Best

    Del
    Thanks Dell,

    I'm really pleased you came back to this and am grateful for the additional comments.

    Yep, that cymbal roll is a bit brash! Less velocity would be beneficial with this. I was also wondering whether the woodwind were a tad too forward in the mix as well. Someone advised me a while back to always give the woods a little more presence and I think this is good advice - but they can sound rather shrill if over done.

    Cinematic Strings are my favourite. They were recorded in a real hall which helps add warmth. Also, it's not a massive string orchestra which probably improves detail and definition. I think it's 12 first and 8 second violins.

    I love the Barber Adagio too - an all time great!

    Again, many thanks.

    Regards,

    Graham

  5. #5

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Great piece, and very expressive strings.

    Cinematic Strings sounds like a great library.

    How did you get finale to work well with the Cine Strings and others?

    I've tried to get finale 2011 working nicely with East west and project sam, and its a bit of a chore. With HP on (which is the only real way to use Finale for playback) I find it does things it shouldn't, and reduces the volmne of the Kontakt playing samples to inaudible levels.

    Cheers
    Graham
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  6. #6

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking View Post
    Great piece, and very expressive strings.

    Cinematic Strings sounds like a great library.

    How did you get finale to work well with the Cine Strings and others?

    I've tried to get finale 2011 working nicely with East west and project sam, and its a bit of a chore. With HP on (which is the only real way to use Finale for playback) I find it does things it shouldn't, and reduces the volmne of the Kontakt playing samples to inaudible levels.

    Cheers
    Graham

    Thanks Graham

    There's a number of things / tips I'm happy to pass on about using Finale with various libraries as I've done quite a bit of experimentation on this during the past two years.

    EWQL is quite easy to work with but things go belly up with Project SAM Brass and some other libraries. It's all to do with cc1 and cc11. Different libraries and Finale use these controllers differently. The piece I've just posted was primarily intended to solve some of these anomalies - and I think I've almost cracked it.

    Must dash for work (late again!) but I'll get back to you later with more detail about my Finale set up.

    Regards

    Graham (also)

  7. #7

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking View Post
    Great piece, and very expressive strings.

    How did you get finale to work well with the Cine Strings and others?

    I've tried to get finale 2011 working nicely with East west and project sam, and its a bit of a chore. With HP on (which is the only real way to use Finale for playback) I find it does things it shouldn't, and reduces the volmne of the Kontakt playing samples to inaudible levels.

    Cheers
    Graham
    Hi Graham,

    You probably know a lot of this already but as requested, here are my thoughts on achieving better dynamics with Finale.

    I'll start by saying that I think compositional technique plays perhaps the biggest part in all this. Dynamics is about change over time so it's necessary to consider every line being played - where is it going, where should it rise and fall, what role is it playing? This is precisely why I like to use notation rather than a DAW. My Finale scores have hairpins over nearly every phrase of every line. I think dynamics is first and foremost a musical consideration rather than something that's added in an attempt to make something sound more real. In that regard, choice of instruments in creating a build up or to provide light and shade has an important part to play. With Cinematic Strings, the vibrato patches can be used to give more energy in places - but what I'm really talking about is adding in more brass or percussion to create drama.

    Dynamics is also about change in timbre not just volume and you need to recreate this for realism. This is achieved with samples that x-fade through velocity layers. Most libraries do accomodate this. Speaking for myself, I wasn't making use of them which was a big mistake. They're essential for brass where a note needs to evolve from a quiet mellow tone through to a loud brassy tone.

    The challenge for me arose because x-fade is nearly always controlled by cc1. By default, the expressions you put into the Finale score such as pp or mf trigger velocity not cc1. This is ok for percussive patches but not sustaining instruments. You need to create another set of expressions so that fff, for instance, triggers cc1 = 120 for use with sustaining instruments. Now you can draw in hairpins and see the cc1 mod wheel respond as required to change vol and timbre. You will need to use x-fade instruments (modfx if using EWQL SO) and select the Finale playback option that allows you to specify which cc you want to use for dynamics (hairpins). If you're using the recommended x-fade patches, select cc1. If you don't want to use x-fade patches, you can choose cc11 (expression) but that merely alters volume and is not so realistic.

    I've opted for x-fade for ALL sustaining instruments which is satisfied by all the libs I've used in this recording.

    Now, this is where I'm confused and various experiments haven't proven conclusive! I think the interpretation of hairpins is a global setting which means all the sustaining instruments in your template need to be either x-fade (cc1) or cc11. If you mix EWQL cc11 samples with say Project SAM x-fade cc1 brass samples, things start to go horribly wrong in my experience. However, most libraries and Kontakt allow you to add a script or provide some other mechanism to reassign controllers. I'm confused, because Finale also allows you to customise playback settings for different libraries and instruments which sounds very powerful - but I can't fathom out to apply a desired hairpin interpretation at this level. As I said above, it appears to be global.

    Another fascinating subject is Finale HP's automatic expression. This is very useful to create swell on each note and hence breathe life into playback. I've made great use of this in the past but had to drop it from this latest project as it was messing up the mod wheel. I'd love to see an option that says use cc1 for dynamics and use cc11 (volume expression) for minor swells on each note. I believe this is how cc11 is intended to be used and is what you would do with a DAW (?)

    I few more pointers: Use the full range from 1 to 127 for cc1. I was operating in a restricted window of about 10 to 64 - a legacy from earlier projects using a less sophisticated library when the aim was to distance the strings as much as possible because they sounded so synthy!

    I hope there's something here that might help. I'd certainly be keen to hear other takes on this - and to be corrected if I've got things wrong.

    Regards,

    Graham

  8. #8

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    Hi Graham, really appreciate you taking the time to go into detail. I really want to get back to composing in finale as for me it was a far more creative and realistic way of composing music.

    A lot of what you said makes perfect sense. The main thing I needed to achieve was having HP still on (essential I feel) and still having Finale work with the library.

    Another approach I've yet to try is to compose in finale anyway, and export to my DAW - then edit. Ideally I'd love to stay in Finale though, so I'll try the techniques you mention here. I run the libraries though kontakt 4, so I've got a lot of options to change cc assignments and not just stick with default library specifics.

    Cheers
    Graham
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  9. #9

    Re: Intermezzo - Cinematic Strings and Westgate woods

    such a beautiful, peaceful and gentle piece of music! and out of finale as well!

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