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Topic: Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

  1. #1

    Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

    Don't put your foot on the heartbreak. Works in progress. Love to hear feedback and some hints on how to make them sound better. I am sure I can get more out Garritan & Finale!





  2. #2

    Re: Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

    Hi, Thunderwolf - Something right off the bat that I like is that you've worked up some pop music with Finale. The vast majority of the time people are either doing "paint by numbers" renditions of classical music, or are writing original things in the modern classical style. I think this is great to see Finale being used for pop.

    These sound pretty good, and I can hear that you've done a lot of detail work on them. The recording is pretty decent too.

    There's a bit of the "notation sound" in this, referring to the quantized sound of it. You could experiment a bit more with the humanizing tool in Finale to blur it up a bit more perhaps.

    And here's something which was an issue for me especially with "Don't Push Your Foot..." - It can be tricky to adapt vocal music to instruments, especially when it's pop which doesn't rely so much on melody as one of its strengths.

    It's debatable, but here's what I feel is a good approach when adapting a line originally performed by a singer: - To not take the melody so literally, playing what was originally every syllable of the lyrics. The result can be that stuttering "da da da da" on one note thing which works in a vocal, but sounds a bit unmusical when a solo instrument plays it.

    My solution is to adapt the melody so those repeating notes are smoothed out to fewer notes. Maybe one measure is "da da da da - da da" - all on one note. Make that one one whole note. Doing that simplification throughout what was first a vocal melody can make it more suitable, more musical for an instrument to play.

    It could be worth an experiment for you to try that. I'm sure not everyone would agree with that idea, but it works for me, and when I've used that approach, I feel the results are more satisfactory.

    Enough notes for now? I think so! - I admire what you're doing here.


  3. #3

    Re: Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

    Hi Randy -

    Thanks for taking the time to listen, and for your great advice.

    I generally play the melody line on my midi keyboard and then work up the arrangement using the notation on Finale. I do tend to find that when Finale quick inputs what I've played it tends to 'regiment' out the melody a little. I love your suggestion of simplifying the melody line instead of trying to reproduce it in full. I think that will result in a much more rounded arrangement.

    Thanks again. Really appreciated.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Canyon, Texas, USA

    Re: Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

    Hi TW,

    Randy's suggestions are always good. I hope they work well for you.

    All of my work starts from a Finale score. I have found it helpful to make a copy of the score for audio purposes since even with "human playback" the sound can be somewhat stilted and unmusical. Here are some things to try.

    1. Experiment with all of the human playback settings and find the ones that come the closest to achieving what you want. you can use the "change human playback" plug-in in to change from one human playback setting to another ,or turn human playback off, in the middle of a piece. If one setting is better in some ways and another in other ways take a look at their details and create a custom setting that combines the best attributes of each.

    2. Listen carefully to the original recording and locate the notes that the singer really emphasizes or really does not emphasize. If a note is strongly stressed try adding one of Finale's various accent marks to the note. One of these might be perfect. If not use Finale's MIDI tool to adjust the key velocity and possibly the start and stop times of the note. If you use the "percent alter" command in the MIDI tool to affect key velocity I have found that 105% is barely noticeable and 125% seems like a real accent. The MIDI tool changes will only work if human playback options are set ti incorporate changes to MIDI data. Sometimes some notes need to be softened.

    3. Singers and instrumentalists almost always shape long notes and phrases of multiple notes with crescendos and diminuendos. Try adding hairpins from the smart shape tool to simulate this. If human playback puts in too much or too little dynamic change when you add these, human playback preferences has a slider that allows you to adjust the amount of "emphasis" the hairpins insert into a melody.

    This detail work may seem tedious at first but you will soon have a clear idea of how each thing affects the sound and can go directly to what will work best.


    PS Here is a link that will explain how to get Finale to playback your recorded MIDI data.
    In the left column choose "Playback"

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

    I liked your arrangements but I have to say I agree with Randy that these sound a bit too straight out of Finale. Both Randy and Norman gave you some great suggestions. I'd like to add a little one - after it is sounding pretty good in Finale export the midi file and put it into a sequencer (if you have one available). This will give you a lot of control and allow you to replay parts manually.
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Suburban NYC

    Re: Two Arrangements of Kate Bush - The Man With The Child In His Eyes &

    Hi Thunderwolf,

    I listened to both of your song-based arrangements/orchestrations and there's some pretty music in them. It's always interesting to hear how different musicians re-interpret music that began life in the relatively simple song form. I enjoyed listening to them.

    You've already been pointed in the right direction with excellent tips from those that responded before me in getting your Finale-based music to sound more realistic. Personally, the single most unrealistic thing I hear in Finale-generated music (before you develop more experience with the available tools in Finale) is the lack of phrase definition. IOW, when there are four trumpet half notes played, and they are followed by another phrase of four trumpet half notes, there is no separation between the two groups of four notes. There needs to be short, subtle endings to a phrase (on wind instruments it often coincides with what can be played in a single breath!) When you hear strings of notes played without any breaks, it makes the music sound "organ-like" and less acoustic. Even string lines need to be phrased for maximum impact and emotion.

    Good luck with your music and keep posting it for us to enjoy!



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