• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Topic: Skating

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Skating

    This is one of three movements from My Threewinter Scenes. I think of the style as "BaroqueImpressionism." It tries to portray the feeling of being out on a cold butbeautiful Winter day, skating on a pond or river, and also tries to capturesome of the imagery of sky, wind, sun, clouds, etc. Here is the link:
    http://www.mpdmusic.com/listening-area.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Shelton, Washington State
    Posts
    3,015

    Re: Skating

    I Liked your Skating Michael.

    It being BaroqueImpressionism I guess it will sound a little different.

    There's lots of neat music here and I can tell you put a lot of thought into this.

    It sounds like it could be tweaked a little here and there for more musicality in the rendering.

    At about 4:40 I think the the brass need some work. They're a little too blaring for what's happening with the rest of the orchestra. That might work with real instruments but samples are a different animal and need massaging.




    Phil

  3. #3

    Re: Skating

    Hello, Michael - I just got through skating on ice, and I can't even really skate!

    Congrats on your debut here in The Listening Room - glad you finally found the actual Garritan posting area.

    Seeing this thread made me realize that I'd left a question from you dangling in General Discussion. Sorry - You asked:

    Quote Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
    By the way Randy, can I post in the Garritan forum, even if all my sounds are not Garritan? most of them are, but some are East West. Thanks,
    The answer is that while the main point of this Listening Room is to share Garritan projects and help each other out with using Garritan Libraries, for the last 1/2 a year or so we did loosen up the guidelines so that projects using other sound sources are welcome too.

    BUT we've gotten lax on a guideline we'd agreed to, and that's to list what instruments we're using when we post music. We don't want there to be confusion, like "Hey, where did That instrument come from? I can't find it in my Garritan collection." So it would be good if you could add to your thread here and list the Libraries you used - Apparently a blend of Garritan and EW. Let us know more specifically.

    Also it would be good to know what recording software you're using. My guess is that this piece is from Finale or another notation program? The recording has two attributes common to notation renderings-

    1) A quantized sound, like all of the notes are playing absolutely perfectly on time, like the notation in a score. Some form of "humanizing" would make the piece more musical and life-like - a blurring, a messing up of timings, the way an actual orchestra plays.

    2) A lack of dynamics - There's very little dynamic use of volume in the recording. It's sounding pretty much the same, with a tame volume throughout, without a sense of drama which all music has when performed by live musicians.

    Phil pointed out an area that stuck out to me also, the brass at around 4:40. They're too loud in proportion to the rest, and don't have enough reverb to help them sit back more.

    It's pretty music, just sounding a bit stiff in the rendering, which makes it unclear how much stiffness is from the composition itself, and how much is in the rendering which isn't serving your work as well as it could.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: Skating

    Randy, thanks for the feedback. I use Sonar. The stiffness comes from the fact that I use the step-record function, due to poor keyboard skills. As for the instruments, they are:

    Flute 1: GPO
    Flute 2: East West
    Oboes 1 & 2: GPO
    Eng Horn: GPO
    Clarinets: GPO, EW
    Bassoon: EW, GPO
    Horns: GPO, EW
    Trumpets: GPO, Dimension Pro
    Trombones: GPO, EW
    Tuba: TTS-1
    Harp: GPO (via DP - pocket orch.)
    Percussion: GPO
    Violins: EW, GPO (tremelo)
    Violas: EW
    Cellos: GPO
    Bass: EW, GPO, DP

    I guess I need to figure out how to make it sound less processed, like it came out of a blender. Dynamics, expression - not a lot there. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

  5. #5

    Re: Skating

    Phil, thanks for the feedback. You are right, there's room for a lot more musicality, I have not paid enough attention to that. as for the brass, you mean the trumpets? I wonder if it's because they have such a distinctive sound. They are from the Dimension Pro synth that comes with Sonar, and they are very bright. I really like them. I'll have to see about toning them down though, since both you and Randy picked up on this. But I really appreciate the feedback. So many people listen and never let you know what they think. So thank you very much.

  6. #6

    Re: Skating

    Hi Michael,

    This is a very interesting piece you submitted. It depicts perfectly your intentions and it is quite enjoyable for a broad audience.
    I do agree with Randy and Phil about the trumpets around 4.40'. They sound rather aggressive. Another remark could be that the balance within the orchestra is sometimes unnatural. The strings (in general) remain in the background throughout the piece, but around 3.30', the pizz. violas (cellis?) are fairly strong in comparison with the soft string settings. The solo flute is very nice (Garritan I suppose), but comes in front of the orchestra (as if that player would be moving around on the stage). However, all these points are merely technical issues. The music itself is so beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Max

  7. #7

    Re: Skating

    Quote Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
    Randy, thanks for the feedback. I use Sonar. The stiffness comes from the fact that I use the step-record function, due to poor keyboard skills...
    Hello again, Michael!

    Thanks for posting the instruments you used. That makes it clear what we're listening to.

    I did go on a bit on technical aspects, but didn't mean to "bust your chops." I don't find much commentary feedback on compositions to be of very much value, so I tend to focus on technical aspects that I might be able to help people out with. I want you to know I wasn't overlooking your actual music, which I enjoyed hearing.

    In a recent discussion thread in General Discussion, Step Record in Sonar became a topic. Even though I've used Sonar for years now, I've never used that utility, and so it was informative for me to hear more about it on that thread. My understanding is that a big attraction of Step Record is that a keyboard can be used for input, so a variety of Velocity values can be entered along with the note. I'm still not clear on what the rest of the attraction is though. In the Piano Roll View, you can easily insert notes directly. You would just need to also user your cursor in the Velocity Pane to change values, but that's a very short and easy process.

    I work almost exclusively in the PRV, mostly recording from my keyboard, but I edit notes, and sometimes insert them by hand too. All with the Snap To off, so notes don't come out impossibly quantized.

    Something from that thread I mentioned is that you can turn the snap off when working with Step Record - you're not stuck with notes all being perfectly quantized - That would be a good thing for you to try. That will instantly make results less stiff sounding.

    There are ways of easily randomizing note starts after the fact, if needed. We talk about that on that thread also.

    Are you using instrument volume control on your tracks? That's done with either CC1, CC11 or CC2. It's critical for breathing life into the samples. It's something so intuitive to do with the mod wheel of a keyboard, but once you know what volume curves should look like in the controller pane, one can draw it in also.

    In any case, I hope you stick around. And keep visiting General Discussion where any and all topics are welcome. We have a lot of conversations about working with MIDI there.

    Thanks again for posting the music!

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: Skating

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Hi Michael,

    This is a very interesting piece you submitted. It depicts perfectly your intentions and it is quite enjoyable for a broad audience.
    I do agree with Randy and Phil about the trumpets around 4.40'. They sound rather aggressive. Another remark could be that the balance within the orchestra is sometimes unnatural. The strings (in general) remain in the background throughout the piece, but around 3.30', the pizz. violas (cellis?) are fairly strong in comparison with the soft string settings. The solo flute is very nice (Garritan I suppose), but comes in front of the orchestra (as if that player would be moving around on the stage). However, all these points are merely technical issues. The music itself is so beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Max
    Thank You Max for your feedback. It's encouraging to hear that the music is able to reach people, despite the technical problems that have been rightly pointed out, and which I am in the process of thinking about addressing. The flute was indeed the Garritan solo flute with vibrato, by far the best sampled flute I have heard. So much fun to use! Not sure what to do about it seeming too "upfront." I do pan the flute close to the center, and did not make any adjustments to its position for the solo. Those trumpets at 4:40: I used that patch mainly because it's so bright and resonant, and cuts through everything else, whereas the GPO and EW patches have trouble at that point eing heard. But everyone seems to think they sound unnatural, so I'll look into changing that. Glad you enjoyed the piece, and thanks for letting me know!

  9. #9

    Re: Skating

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hello again, Michael!

    Thanks for posting the instruments you used. That makes it clear what we're listening to.

    I did go on a bit on technical aspects, but didn't mean to "bust your chops." I don't find much commentary feedback on compositions to be of very much value, so I tend to focus on technical aspects that I might be able to help people out with. I want you to know I wasn't overlooking your actual music, which I enjoyed hearing.

    In a recent discussion thread in General Discussion, Step Record in Sonar became a topic. Even though I've used Sonar for years now, I've never used that utility, and so it was informative for me to hear more about it on that thread. My understanding is that a big attraction of Step Record is that a keyboard can be used for input, so a variety of Velocity values can be entered along with the note. I'm still not clear on what the rest of the attraction is though. In the Piano Roll View, you can easily insert notes directly. You would just need to also user your cursor in the Velocity Pane to change values, but that's a very short and easy process.

    I work almost exclusively in the PRV, mostly recording from my keyboard, but I edit notes, and sometimes insert them by hand too. All with the Snap To off, so notes don't come out impossibly quantized.

    Something from that thread I mentioned is that you can turn the snap off when working with Step Record - you're not stuck with notes all being perfectly quantized - That would be a good thing for you to try. That will instantly make results less stiff sounding.

    There are ways of easily randomizing note starts after the fact, if needed. We talk about that on that thread also.

    Are you using instrument volume control on your tracks? That's done with either CC1, CC11 or CC2. It's critical for breathing life into the samples. It's something so intuitive to do with the mod wheel of a keyboard, but once you know what volume curves should look like in the controller pane, one can draw it in also.

    In any case, I hope you stick around. And keep visiting General Discussion where any and all topics are welcome. We have a lot of conversations about working with MIDI there.

    Thanks again for posting the music!

    Randy
    Hey Randy, thanks for the clarifications. I am going to check out that forum thread you mentioned. I'm hoping I can find ways to make the music more natural sounding. I do use CC's. I set the overall level for an instrument with CC11, then use CC7 for on the fly adjustments. As for velocity, I set a starting velocity for each instrument. Now, with GPO, this seems mainly to affect volume, but also attack. In EW, it actually changes the sound of the instrument quite dramatically. For example, a horn will be soft and mellow with lower velocities, but loud and brassy with higher ones. So the actual timbre changes. Thanks again for your most valued input,

  10. #10

    Re: Skating

    Quote Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
    Hey Randy, thanks for the clarifications. I am going to check out that forum thread you mentioned. I'm hoping I can find ways to make the music more natural sounding. I do use CC's. I set the overall level for an instrument with CC11, then use CC7 for on the fly adjustments. As for velocity, I set a starting velocity for each instrument. Now, with GPO, this seems mainly to affect volume, but also attack. In EW, it actually changes the sound of the instrument quite dramatically. For example, a horn will be soft and mellow with lower velocities, but loud and brassy with higher ones. So the actual timbre changes. Thanks again for your most valued input,
    Hi, Michael!

    I'm going to give you some info in response to your new post. Now we're into topics better suited for General Discussion, but this is fine for now. As you continue your work with Garritan and Sonar, more discussion topics and questions are bound to come. I invite you to post those further inquiries in General Discussion where most members hang out and are likely to see your posts.

    Now - going through your post:

    --You're not using volume control correctly. You need to reverse those two controllers to start with - CC7 is for setting the overall volume of an instrument, and CC11 is for control throughout a piece. You'll notice in Sonar that when you use CC7 on a MIDI track, it's controlling the volume slider in ARIA. That's most often a "set and forget" general volume level for the instrument.

    --Then you use CC11 (or CC1) for Expressive volume control of an instrument as it plays throughout a piece. Garritan instruments are programmed to have their timbre change as well as volume when you use CC1 or 11. Lower values have a darker tone, higher values have a brighter tone, like physical instruments when they're played.

    --You don't want to use this instrument performance volume control just for "on the fly adjustments." I believe you mean you're just inserting values when you need the instrument to be louder or softer for a given passage. The intention of the programming, however, is that you use Expressive volume control to perform your music. Here's a screen shot I did recently. This shows the volume data for a flute in a Sonar project. As with all the instruments in this project, the volume is almost constantly fluctuating, just as a live flutist plays his/her instrument. Emulating how physical instruments are played is the basic theory for how to use MIDI software instruments.



    --Velocity - You're setting a starting level? You must be referring to the Velocity setting in the Step Record dialogue. I highly recommend you turn that off. You need your Velocities to also vary throughout a piece. Looking again at that screenshot, you can see the flute's velocities are different for each note. That passage was played on a keyboard, so that variety of velocities is a natural artifact. But I think you're using your keyboard when you use the Step Record mode? Turn that Velocity setting off so it can capture a variety of strengths/levels. Velocity levels can also be edited in the PRV with your mouse.

    --The rest of your post is describing the difference between how Garritan instruments and other MIDI instruments handle velocity. In the standard MIDI spec, velocity is designated to control volume, along with CC11 Expression. So with most software instruments, the harder you hit a key, the louder the note. That's exactly as you described - the EW instrument sounds change "quite dramatically."

    But in Garritan instruments, velocity is only controlling the Attack envelope. The softer you play, the slower/softer the start of the note. The harder you play, the more immediate and sharp the attack. Since you're controlling actual volume separately, with CC1 or 11, you have more control over the instrument. You can have loud notes that start with a soft attack, for instance.

    Ok! As I said earlier, please feel free to keep posting questions and comments over in General Discussion. I look forward to seeing you again.

    Randy

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •