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Topic: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

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  1. #1

    "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    MP3:

    https://www.box.com/s/wjuu27c6ppvy8rm37ff0

    PDF Full Score:

    https://www.box.com/s/oysqw6q1ygn2i70lem40

    Here is my unfinished "Euphonium Reflections," for solo euphonium and concert band. The solo part is about a grade 4. The concert band score itself is about a grade 3. I'm aiming this piece mainly for high school groups.

    I want to tweak the scoring, add more percussion and dynamics, write the ending, work the balance better, and clean up the score a bit.

    This piece uses Garritan Concert and Marching Band 2 with convolution reverb.

    Please comment on the music and its presentation.

    Thanks.

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Hi Art,

    Good to see you back here with a new offering!

    I'm in the middle of a bunch of things (including rehearsals), but wanted to let you know I downloaded your piece and score yesterday, listened a few times, and will comment in a day or so when I get a little more time. This is a very nice piece!

    I love that you included the score; this is so educational ... there's a lot for me to learn from your number.

    Talk soon,

    Frank

  3. #3

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Hi Frank, Thanks for your note. Yeah, I've been away from the forum for a while. Family stuff (good things!).

    I'm eager to hear your comments! Thanks again.

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  4. #4

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Hi Art,

    You've made an interesting start with your concert band composition. It will certainly be a good piece for high school bands (with a lovely euphonium solo). Hopefully you'll finish it in the near future.

    As to the sound, there is quite something to say, but as you mentioned it, it needs tweaking and acoustic improvement. It needs more 'depth', relief, contrast and instrument positioning (close/distant, panning). But the whole concept is very welcome!

    Max

  5. #5

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    It needs more 'depth', relief, contrast and instrument positioning (close/distant, panning). But the whole concept is very welcome!
    Hi Max. Thanks for your comments. Any suggestions on how to do that--Finale with Garritan CoMB? On the left, I've set the flutes and clarinets to about 30, and on the right, I've set the tubas to about 95. Are you suggesting going farther left and right with this panning (with everyone else spread between)?

    Are you also suggesting more reverb? Less reverb? More selective reverb? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks again, Max. As you can see, I am eager to learn.

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  6. #6

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Hi Max. Thanks for your comments. Any suggestions on how to do that--Finale with Garritan CoMB? On the left, I've set the flutes and clarinets to about 30, and on the right, I've set the tubas to about 95. Are you suggesting going farther left and right with this panning (with everyone else spread between)?

    Are you also suggesting more reverb? Less reverb? More selective reverb? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks again, Max. As you can see, I am eager to learn.

    Art
    Hi Art

    I'm definitely not a tweaking specialist. I mainly trust my ears and try and retry to achieve a decent overall sound.
    What I mostly do (to start with) is creating a natural balance (as it would be in a real band). After that, setting the pannings, again as they would be in an orchestra (per group). If possible, bring the front row instruments to the front (by changing the mic positions) and vice versa. Add a natural reverb (minimise the 'wet' reverb' - 40% wet and 60% dry is mostly OK, but for small ensembles 20% wet can do). Recently, I prefer the natural convolution (Garritan) instead of the active reverb. So it's actually a little more than just panning.
    I hope this modest and brief explanation can help you a bit further. Remember: trust your ears.

    Max

  7. #7

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Hello, Art - I really enjoyed the elegance of your piece. It has such a calm, confident momentum that doesn't waver. I'm picturing a school band getting a good work out with this, especially the Euphoniumist tackling his/her very active lead part. Congratulations on this.

    And I see you and Max have been talking a bit about getting a bit more refinement to your Finale mix. Max's encouragement about setting the pannings so there's a more natural balance is good advice. I would add that the "natural balance" needs to be a bit exaggerated in a recording. For instance, you said that you have the flutes and clarinets at about 30. Even though those groups are close to each other in a physical seating arrangement, you don't want groups exactly on top of each other in a recording. Move them apart from each other enough so you can hear the difference between them when you audition the playback. 30 is also a fairly subtle panning. Depending on what else is in a piece, it can almost be unnoticed. Try moving them even farther left, and separated a bit, as I said.

    Using Convolution instead of Ambience is also a good suggestion, because the results just automatically sound more natural. And then the application of reverb is really an extension of the panning. The theory is simple - the closer an instrument is to the audience, the less reverb, since the sound isn't bouncing around as much in the performance space's enclosure. I hear your euphonium is the most dry and loudest, that probably works, the effect being that the musician is separated from the rest of the band and much closer to the audience. You may want to experiment with that lead actually in the same space, with the differentiation being accomplished primarily through volume control. The idea of what you've set up for the euphonium is good though.

    I would say that overall, this could be a bit wetter. And Max's advice to just let your ears be your guide is really the bottom line to setting up a mix. Keep auditioning the playback, listen on speakers, not headphones, because phones exaggerate the panning - what can sound wide there can sound less stereophonic on speakers.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    Hi Randy. Thanks for your comments! I'm taking your advice, and Max's, and experimenting with spreading things out a bit more and separating instrument sections. I'll also wet it down a bit more. I compose and playback mostly through speakers. Things sound pretty differently to me in headphones! Thanks again!

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  9. #9

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    I would say that overall, this could be a bit wetter. And Max's advice to just let your ears be your guide is really the bottom line to setting up a mix. Keep auditioning the playback, listen on speakers, not headphones, because phones exaggerate the panning - what can sound wide there can sound less stereophonic on speakers.


    Hi Randy,

    I fully agree with you. I've always worked with a good headset, but that resulted very often in a
    disappointing orchestral panning. The headphones build as it were an unnatural surround sound in your head (ears), that is far too wide. In reality the listening angle is probably something like 60° to 120°, never 180°. That's why I've bought a pair of decent studio monitors and subwoofer. The performance settings are always turned to 'neutral'. That provides an audio overview that is realistic.

    Max

  10. #10

    Re: "Euphonium Reflections" for solo euphonium and concert band

    I fully agree with you. I've always worked with a good headset, but that resulted very often in a disappointing orchestral panning. The headphones build as it were an unnatural surround sound in your head (ears), that is far too wide. In reality the listening angle is probably something like 60° to 120°, never 180°. That's why I've bought a pair of decent studio monitors and subwoofer. The performance settings are always turned to 'neutral'. That provides a audio overview that is realistic.
    Max: Thanks for this information. What studio monitors and subwoofer do you use? Any recommendations there? My headphones and speakers are listed below, but I'm looking for studio monitors. I do most of my work with speakers, not headphones.
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

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