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Topic: A Little Something in 3/8

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    A Little Something in 3/8

    I was told my Christmas music was without emotion or meaning and didn’t have much of a chance of getting on the Christmas Album, so I thought I would work on that. Nothing special here; just an hour’s work of experimentation on a warm summer evening.
    https://www.box.com/s/l4t8nyv9spbmllu9jfc9

  2. #2

    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    Hi, Tom - I know you get frustrated over the technical side of production, it's not your thing. But you said you want to work on getting more life into your recordings, so here's a few things:

    --The velocity levels are all low in this, causing an unnaturally slow attack on all the string notes. Hear the brief welling up on each note? At higher velocities, they would be more realistic throughout.

    --In ARIA, you need to turn the Length control slightly to the right. The default setting has an unnaturally short cut off. Hear that odd chopping off effect? With the control just slightly higher, the decay of the sound is more natural.

    --The volume is low for the whole recording everything needs to come up.

    --The balance is off, with the cellos too low in the mix.

    --The dynamic level sounds constant from start to finish. I know it's a piece that shouldn't be fluctuating a great deal, but there just has to be some dynamic contrast to make the recording sound more natural.

    You're working Finale - I honestly don't know how to achieve any of these things in that program. It's fairly straight forward and even easy in DAW software - which isn't of much help, unless you'd like to start using your Cubase - I think you have Cubase?-- more, to produce recordings after you've done the notation work.

    Hope you don't mind the technical notes - I offered them since you indicated in your post that you'd like to work on making things come to life more.

    Randy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hi, Tom - I know you get frustrated over the technical side of production, it's not your thing. But you said you want to work on getting more life into your recordings, so here's a few things:

    --The velocity levels are all low in this, causing an unnaturally slow attack on all the string notes. Hear the brief welling up on each note? At higher velocities, they would be more realistic throughout.

    --In ARIA, you need to turn the Length control slightly to the right. The default setting has an unnaturally short cut off. Hear that odd chopping off effect? With the control just slightly higher, the decay of the sound is more natural.

    --The volume is low for the whole recording everything needs to come up.

    --The balance is off, with the cellos too low in the mix.

    --The dynamic level sounds constant from start to finish. I know it's a piece that shouldn't be fluctuating a great deal, but there just has to be some dynamic contrast to make the recording sound more natural.

    You're working Finale - I honestly don't know how to achieve any of these things in that program. It's fairly straight forward and even easy in DAW software - which isn't of much help, unless you'd like to start using your Cubase - I think you have Cubase?-- more, to produce recordings after you've done the notation work.

    Hope you don't mind the technical notes - I offered them since you indicated in your post that you'd like to work on making things come to life more.

    Randy
    Thank you kindly. I did this little piece so that it is short and easily worked on. I will get on your suggestions right away. By-the-way, working on another video and hope to have the music for it done soon. Fortunately it will be performed by live musicians (at the producer’s expense) - J

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    Hi Tom,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis View Post
    I was told my Christmas music was without emotion or meaning and didn’t have much of a chance of getting on the Christmas Album, so I thought I would work on that. Nothing special here; just an hour’s work of experimentation on a warm summer evening.
    https://www.box.com/s/l4t8nyv9spbmllu9jfc9
    I listened to your piece and read Randy's comments ... I agree with everything! Nice composition on your part and great suggestions from the doctor.

    Seriously, I hope you are able to remain patient with the process; it takes a lot of time and doing it exclusively from within notation software takes even longer. But stay with it! You are such an accomplished and prolific musician, trust me, you have the hard part down already ... the talent and gift to create really good music. Now, turning the virtual performance into an emotional and realistic performance just takes time and perseverence. Just wanted to encourage you and tell you we have all gone through this painful period. But good news: It does get faster and more intuitive the more you do it.

    Good luck and thanks for posting your music!

    Frank

  5. #5

    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    how many dynamics are you putting in this?
    how many hairpins?
    slurs?
    articulations?

    Are you using HumanPlayback? if so, what are you telling it to "play back"?

    Remember that Finale is a notation-based program, and as such, requires complete notation if it is to interpret your music with any likelihood of realism.

    I KNOW Finale is capable of surprisingly realistic playback. So that isn't the issue.

    I'd be happy to look at your Finale file and give you pointers, if you so wish.

  6. #6

    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    Hello, Tom. Very nice piece. Randy, Frank, and qccowboy made excellent comments with which I agree. I would also take their suggestions to heart! I especially liked the section around 1:00 with the running eighth-notes (?) in the cello and bass with the upper strings' suspensions.
    Arthur J. Michaels
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    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    I agree with the rendering issues, but to your point - you certainly can write music in the "normative" manner. You clearly know your harmony and rules of ctpt; still, it sounds fresh, and quite lovely. And for something you threw together in an hour ("oh, this old thing?"), pretty impressive!
    Ron Pearl

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    I can not begin to tell all of you how much I appreciate your input. So, allow me a first very basic question: If I am going to use Cubase Studio5, do I need to put tempo and dynamic changes in Finale 2012, or do I write it without detail and add it all later in DAW?

  9. #9

    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis View Post
    I can not begin to tell all of you how much I appreciate your input. So, allow me a first very basic question: If I am going to use Cubase Studio5, do I need to put tempo and dynamic changes in Finale 2012, or do I write it without detail and add it all later in DAW?
    Tom,
    Thanks for posting this!!

    Your compositional skills are excellent..the piece you "threw together" is engaging, idiomatic, and holds my interest. That's the major part of the battle. Wish the heck I could do that...that's my retirement/summer plan! (5 yrs away)
    If you will send me the Finale File, I'll see what I can do with it in terms of expression...you can try it too, and we can compare.

    Michel gave you a hint: hairpins, articulation, etc....yes, you can do it in Finale and ARIA. It will take a fair amount of marking and fiddling, but the results will be worth the effort. Randy's point on velocity/attack is also well taken. All these points can be resolved in Finale+ARIA, btw., though using the MIDI tool in Finale is NOT my idea of a good time.

    Overture is more "performance-friendly" than Finale, but Finale produces nicer printed music and is more stable, generally speaking.

    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
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    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: A Little Something in 3/8

    How do I send the Finale file to you?

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