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Topic: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

  1. #1

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    Hi Jon,

    I rather like this piece. It is very provocative and has hints of Bela Bartok. The level on my player was a tad low (could be my system). What you went through to render this to audio seems like a ton of work (the lazy part of me showing now). Any way to simplify?

    Again, very nice composition. I can really see this piece being performed by live humanoids.


  2. #2

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    Man oh MAN, you put a lot into that. (Did you REALLY have to go to all that trouble? hehehe Excellent usage throughout tho\'. If I could make a couple of suggestions, (only because I know the library so well...)

    1) Try using the \"HrdSus\" samples instead of the \"detache\" samples for some of the intense separated bowing articulations.
    2) At the beginning, you might want to try using some MIDI volume to create a more realistic \"fade out\" on some of the longer notes...

    But hey...that\'s just MY opinion. For all I know, this is EXACTLY the sound/articulation you wanted all along!


    P.S. Might you be able to send me the .wav or aiff of this so I can post it on the website?

    Kirk Hunter

  3. #3

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    Jon, in case you\'ll change the articulations as suggested by Kirk, I\'ll be happy to hear them too. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Alex Cremers

  4. #4

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    nice piece. Still not a fan of the sound, but love the articulations.

  5. #5

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    I liked the music but I found the panning very distracting. The levels did seem very quiet - especially at the start.

    I\'m sure you meant this effect but it felt like I was sitting on the stage with the players - but I had my back toward them; only they were at each side of me rather than behind me; except the cellist, who kept giving me a scare from behind (sorry, I\'m trying to express in my own non-technical way why I had a hard time listenining to it). It was as if each instrument was being pumped into my ears through its own tube. Again, you may have wanted this, but it left me feeling like there was no blend - each player sounded strangely disembodied from the other; there was no resonance. The field of each instrument just sounded so narrow - it wasn\'t like they sounded too close, I think I just expected the sound to \'spread\' more.

    I found the actual sound of the strings quite authentic but grating. I think the mood of the piece suited them.

    I think I\'d like to hear it panned more traditionally (I\'m an old fogey) and maybe you could run it through some kind of room simulation in Sound Forge to get it to blend a little more?

    This isn\'t a criticism of the music (although there was one pizzicato theme that sounded rhythmically stilted (2:50-2:58)).

    I hope I don\'t sound too critical. It\'s just that this is so close to sounding really terrific that I thought I\'d chip in my 2 cents. The music reminded me a lot of the kind of stuff you hear on British television dramas; very effective.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Melbourne, Australia

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    Hiya Jon,

    The music is very very good!!! Reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock movies and also, strangely, the score from \"Signs\" (Mel Gibson)... Don\'t know why... I am only just starting to get into writing/studying this sort of music, which I call \"abstract\" as it departs from the \"conventional\" music from Classical/Romantic period which I love and have been studying for a long time now... Anyhow, if possible, could you give me some pointers to any books/references that helps with the study of 20th century music??? Very much appreciated!!! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Again, fantastic piece!!! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    Two thoughts...

    If you use \"tremolo\" effectively, the composition will be creepier. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    From 2:51 to 2:59, alternate pizz by 2 violins is very difficult for musicians to play together. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    Thanks for the feedback everybody!

    *** Rob - The humanoid comment is well received. I put a lot of effort into making it a playable score.

    *** Kirk - Thanks for the great Lib! I\'ll look into the other articulations. I think I used spiccato in most of the intese parts, but may have messed up on some of the voices.

    But really, this wasn\'t as much extra effort as it seems. Writing it in Sibelius is, well, just writing it. That took the most time & effort. (No way I could improvise this.) Well, writing and choosing the articulations. Hand editing in Cake wasn\'t too bad, as it was mostly about drawing the expressions. I could have recorded a live fader movement. I\'ll try that in the future, but being a guitarist, piano player, drummer by hobby I never learned how to do live swells and such very well.

    The mixing won\'t be bad the second time around, as I can just use the template and drag new tracks from new compositions into that. I hope GS 3.0 allows mutiple wave captures in the future. That would have cut the render time by four. And, I didn\'t really need to go to mono files. It just seemed the thing to do at the time.

    The bottom line is that the composition/articulation-selection took the longest. Had I needed to perform it, that would have been second longest. The mix just wasn\'t too time consuming.

    *** King - What do you not like about the library sound? I find that the violin (a 17th century Stradivarius) to be only slightly shrill in some ranges, but that could be my speakers or room resonance as well. But it\'s nothing that EQ couldn\'t cure. Isn\'t it?

    *** Z6 - Thanks for the feedback. Your post is critical in a good way :-) Are you listening on mains, minis or headphones? That can make a big difference in imaging. If I was able to place the cello behind you, I\'ll have to jot that setting down for future reference :-) The comment about not blending is a gem! I need to run the mix on to an aux bus and add an overall reverb to blend it all together. I knew to do that, but forgot. Duh! And you\'re right about the pizz echo part being stilted. That\'s the one place that the Sibelius quantization peeks through. I should punch a live performance into that part.

    *** meeehoon - Glad you liked it! The violin stabs are definitely influenced by Bernard Herrmann\'s Psycho score. Stay out of the shower! Now I need to pick up Signs on DVD so I can give a closer listen.

    I haven\'t done any reading about 20th Century music to speak of, but Schoenberg, the 12-tone master - has written on the subject. I recently bought Shostakovich\'s String Quartet #8 and listened to it repeatedly as inspiration. I didn\'t use the themes, but let my subconscious chew on the technique.

    The best pointer I can give is to find a simple yet compelling theme, and push it around. That\'s what makes the difference between 12-tone randomness and music. And I wasn\'t ashamed to go tonal, when it suited me. My main theme was C - E - Eb. But the theme doesn\'t need to be the tones. It can be rhythms as well.

    *** Ken-P - You\'re right about the tremolo! I \"found\" it at the end of the piece, but decided not to overuse it. I didn\'t want the piece to be too \"comical haunted house\". Then again, if used in a cartoon or for kids, the creep factor can fit right in. Regarding the alternate pizz, I was worried about the practicality of that. I kept looking for that next level of pizz density, but everything else I tried became too disjointed. The cello picks up at that point to help hide the mechanism of that passage. I may bring it further up in the mix - or I\'ll have to hire some *really* good string players :-)

    Thanks again all. This is my first piece of this nature, and your feedback really helps the learning experience.

  9. #9

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    I agree with Z6 about the panning. It does not sound like the instruments are playing in the same space. The disembodied sensation that results does however intensify the mood, which may have been intentional.

    I also wonder whether part of the problem is the inherent limitation of mono samples. It is a pity there are no ambient stereo samples in this library, like in the new flute library (according to what I have read on Kirk\'s website).

    Compositionally, the music is good IMO.

    EDIT: these comments were typed before I saw Jon\'s reply.

  10. #10

    Re: Spider! - KH Solo Strings

    There\'s something about them that jsut sounds \"thin\". It may be the make of instruments, but I\'m not so sure. I know its solo and they \"should\" sound small, I just personally like a different sound I guess.

    EQ could help, but I think its more about recreating the room sound as well to \"round out\" the sound. The articulations are fantastic.

    Since I dont have the lib I prolly shouldn\'t comment too much. I may pick it up still. The articulations alone mean that they may help in layering with ensembles to make for a \"loser\" feel. I definitely wouldn\'t use these for a rich solo over a full orchestra tho. There is a specific tone I\'m after tho, so I may have to do it myself. Unless VSL or QLSO nail it

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