I\'ve just added some new music to my mp3.com page. I reworked the first movement of the Brahms 2nd piano concerto, as well as adding mvt 2+3 plus a Chopin ballade(I\'m still working on mvt 4). It would be great to get some impressions( good or bad ).
(note if you are over a firewall you may need to use the download buttons)
I\'m still using the same sounds as before( Post Grandioso, DanDean solo strings, winds and brass ), however I\'ve doing the lines a bit differently and mixing a bit of solo string with the ensembles. I found that layering some tremelo strings in places helped tremendously. I\'ve also adjusted the reverb a bit placing the orchestra more behind the piano. I used more vibrato with the woodwinds, and cleaned up some shrill attacks.
I worked a great deal on expanding the expression in the playing of the first movement. I think it breathes much better now, and the climaxs feel stronger. Looking back my initial performance seems mechanical now to me, although I\'m interested in what others might think. The old performance is still on the Dan Dean site: http://www.dandeanpro.com/mp3/BRAHMSPI.MP3
The third movement was more difficult than I thought it would be, largely due to the solo cello though the entire movement. It would be nice to have a sample where I could modulate the level of vibrato, although I\'m not convinced that using LFO or pitchbend on a vibrato free sample gives natural results.
It has been a dream to be able to realize performances that I could not achieve without this technology. It is also gratifying to know that things will only get easier as things progress.
The strings have been tough. I\'m using Dan Dean solo strings, which I\'ve modified by overlaying adjacent samples to create section waves and building new gigs from these. I also overlay the staccato samples on the sustain ones, controlling the amount of this mix with velocity. Only having forte samples has felt quite limiting here. I need to invest in a more fully sampled string section at some point, although I want to finish the Brahms before doing this( I\'ll probably need to get a new hard drive for my computer too). I must admit that the Vienna performance set looks pretty tantalizing, especially the legato feature. My hope is to have a way of automating much of the tedious work I currently do such as smoothing out transitions and spend more of my time on interpretation.
For reverb I\'m using Cakewalks FX3 soundstage. In general I use the dryest( or closest) setting on the piano and upper strings and the wettest on the french horn( which does point backwards, after all ).
I\'ve thought of perhaps layering a couple of reverbs.. trying to get a local resonance effect with one and then appling an overall hall reverb. I\'ve not yet experimented with this. In general it seems that if you make the settings such that you get a nice long tail, you have to mix in more of the dry to avoid washing things out. But then the raw sound can lose that smooth resonant sound you get with a short tail wet blend. It seems to me that a good reverb should be handling both of these effects together.
For the brass( just solo trumpet and horn ) I\'m using a patch I created using the ddean solo brass with some dynamic lowpass filtering on the breath control to handle brassy swells. The soft notes in the horn are basically loud samples with the filter down. Unfortunately the gigasampler lowpass filter can knock out too many of the upper harmonics and dull the sound. A more selective filter would be nice to have.
What a piano sound! Incredible!
I have been listening to these pieces in the studio, in my car, at home and on headphones and I have never heard such a piano sound from samples.
I see this as a major achievement! Brilliant.
An excellent job.
Sharmy: I did use different distances and positions for many of the instruments in the reverb(particularility in the first movement), but perhaps I should expand the range more than I did. The brass is only horn and trumpet in this. The Dan Dean trumpet I was using is a bit bright and thin at the low volumes I\'m mixing it at, so perhaps I should be EQing up the bass?
I\'m tempted to add some ensemble brass sounds to fill it out a bit. I could even try adding tuba.. but that might be a bit too much in a Brahms Concerto, no? I have to admit that I\'m somewhat afraid to experiment with the orchestration. Brahms was such an incredible genius.
Michael: Thanks for the great sounds. I\'m going to try and do something with the bos once I finish the Brahms. I think it would be especially nice for Scriabin or Ravel.
Alex: I don\'t think I\'ll be displacing anyones job anytime soon. It takes me too much time to do this stuff to make any money at it. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]