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Topic: Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

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  1. #1
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    Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

    Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach.
    Transcribed for two flutes by Norman J. Nelson

    http://www.box.com/s/ziv2gzo0ol4xivqj7rq3

    I chose this project because I really like the music and I needed to learn and/or improve my MIDI and audio skills. Also, all the movements are short and with only two instruments the detail work would not be overwhelming.

    The skills I especially wanted to learn or improve were:

    1. tasteful, but effective, use of the Aria Player's controllers for portamento, random pitch variation, and random timbre variation. (I used information from Tom’s flute tutorial as well as some information on GPO controllers buried deep in the Finale User’s manual. I found that I preferred to add only 5% to 10% of these and mostly in the kinds of places mentioned in Tom’s tutorial. At significantly higher levels I found that they call too much attention to themselves.)

    2. better use of Logic Pro’s reverb capabilities. (I used LP’s pan controls and the Platinum-verb plugin independently on each track to try to simulate having the first flute to the listener’s left with the flute angled toward the audience and the second flute to the right with the flute angled toward the back of the stage. These were kept quite dry as if the listener were only a few feet in front of them. Then I used LP’s Space Designer plugin on the combined output to simulate a medium sized recital hall with the listener in the middle of the hall.)

    3. output each movement at an appropriate level so that the listener could set a volume level for the first movement and not have to adjust it for the following movements.

    I would greatly appreciate comments on any aspect of this project but especially the three items above.

    Thanks for listening,
    Norman

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Re: Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

    Hi Norman,

    these sound excellent! Very well done intonation and tempo.

    I enjoyed listening to these recordings very much.

    Cheers,
    Reinhold

  3. #3
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    Re: Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

    Quote Originally Posted by reinholdbehringer View Post
    Hi Norman,

    these sound excellent! Very well done intonation and tempo.

    I enjoyed listening to these recordings very much.

    Cheers,
    Reinhold
    Thank you, Reinhold. I am pleased you enjoyed them.

    Norman

  4. #4

    Re: Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

    Really beautiful work, Norman!

    And I really admire what you were talking about, systematically going about getting the most out of ARIA for classical music. I think you accomplished everything you mention in your post. The flutes are pretty far apart, but that's as you described. You wanted to put the listener in the middle of the house, and it sounds like that. I think you might want to experiment with having the listener a bit closer, since these recordings are fairly reverberant/wet. Not distractingly so, but I find that moving the listener back beyond the front section starts giving the impression that the hall is empty.

    Very nice, natural sounding recordings. Applause to you!

    Randy

  5. #5
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    Re: Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Really beautiful work, Norman!

    And I really admire what you were talking about, systematically going about getting the most out of ARIA for classical music. I think you accomplished everything you mention in your post. The flutes are pretty far apart, but that's as you described. You wanted to put the listener in the middle of the house, and it sounds like that. I think you might want to experiment with having the listener a bit closer, since these recordings are fairly reverberant/wet. Not distractingly so, but I find that moving the listener back beyond the front section starts giving the impression that the hall is empty.

    Very nice, natural sounding recordings. Applause to you!

    Randy
    Randy, thanks for the suggestion. When I burned these to a disk and played them in my living room with me across the room they seemed to be too wet. The ambiance of the living room was added to that already in the audio and the fast moving notes in the fourth movement began to blur. Also, the empty hall effect you mentioned became more obvious.

    Norman

  6. #6

    Re: Five Arias from the Magnificat by J. S. Bach

    Quote Originally Posted by jandjnelson View Post
    Randy, thanks for the suggestion. When I burned these to a disk and played them in my living room with me across the room they seemed to be too wet. The ambiance of the living room was added to that already in the audio and the fast moving notes in the fourth movement began to blur. Also, the empty hall effect you mentioned became more obvious.

    Norman
    Hi, Norman - OK, well I thought you might find things a bit wet when you listened again in critical mode, but I wasn't sure, since tastes in reverb amount can vary so much. It's helpful in reverb plug-ins when there are EQ controls. Dampening the high frequencies reduces the Empty Hall effect - which is logical. Sound is more bright in an empty venue. The bodies of audience members absorbs reflected sound waves and dulls them. So it's not just a matter of reverb amount, but how that reverb signal is being treated.

    In projects rendered in notation programs like Finale, one often hears a very bright, very wet reverberant sound - It's probably the default levels left as they are by users who don't care to dig into the complicated process of improving their audio export.

    As I said, I really admire how you're working to nail down the best possible approach to your work. More power to you!

    Randy

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