• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Topic: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor



    An unfinished "English Ballad"

    (click image for MP3)

    -------------NOTE: Two more MP3s are posted below.

    A bug in the ARIA Engine had broken part of the coding used in my SFZ instrument, The Autoharp. But that bug was fixed in the most recent ARIA Engine update. Hallelujah! That prompted me to put together a video about The Autoharp (currently on display in General Discussion) and to open up some past projects that used the instrument.

    One Autoharp project was originally to be in my unfinished musical based on "Ivanhoe." I posted a song from the show a couple of months ago featuring our own Francesco singing the song.

    In preparation for writing this particular song, I listened to a lot of Medieval English Ballads. But after several weeks of working on it, I went in a different direction and didn't use any of the work I'd done on my quasi-English Ballad.

    I used bits of this for demonstrating The Autoharp, but here's the full piece as I originally wrote it. There were nonsense lyrics for this song to be sung by The Fool and Robin Hood's Merry Men*, but you won't hear those in this recording. The melody and harmony lines are important though, so I have the Soprano from the FREE Sample Tank filling in on both parts - You know, a woman singing, "aaah"--not my favorite thing to include in a recording, but it has to do for this. That voice is pretty good though - I recommend anyone needing a free solo female voice to get Sample Tank.

    The rest of the instrumentation is mostly from Garritan World:

    Recorders:

    Piccolo
    Sopranino
    Soprano
    Alto
    Tenor
    Bass


    Another woodwind and a stringed instrument from World:

    Folk Shawm
    Mandolin

    And two percussion sets from World:

    Riqq
    Daff


    Playing counterpart to the Mandolin is my own:

    Autoharp

    And the bass is from:

    Broomstick Bass


    EDIT: By PM, someone requested to hear the woodwinds alone from this mix. So here's an export of just the 6 World Recorders plus Folk Shawm used in the recording:

    Recorders and Shawm

    EDIT: I'm adding another MP3 to this thread. This time I've isolated the two stringed instruments - the Garritan World Mandolin and my Autoharp. They do a nice duet backing for this, so it could be fun for people to hear them perform by themselves.

    For this export of the two instruments, I moved them closer together than they are in the full mix, and brought the reverb level down. The wider panning was needed for the full ensemble, but in duet, that panning made the two virtual musicians too far apart.

    Mandolin and Autoharp duet

    Randy

    * The nonsense lyrics from this unfinished quasi-ballad:

    Hey ho
    (Tuppence an arrow to fill up my quiver)
    Hey ho
    (Four tasty cakes and a song by the river)
    Hey ho
    Farmer and the crow
    The bloom of my heart nay wither.

    I can't believe that fortune gave me
    Such a beaming smile.

    But here I am protected by
    The best of men upon the isle.

    CHORUS:

    Singing
    Hey ho
    Farmer and the crow
    A fool can prattle forever.
    Singing
    Hey now
    Farmer and the sow
    This life is a strange endeavor.

    The woods were dark I hid my head
    And said a foolish prayer.

    Then came a soldier dark as night
    With such a royal kingly air.

    singing...(repeat Chorus)

    BRIDGE

    I once had a dream that my lot would change
    Freedom and coins a-jingling.
    How could I have that I'm wondering?
    But that's a thought that is so strange.

    (repeat Chorus)

    ----

    CODA

    Hey ho
    (Tuppence an arrow to fill up my quiver)
    Hey ho
    (Four tasty cakes and a song by the river)
    Hey ho
    Farmer and the crow
    The bloom of my heart nay wither-

    I know I'm not so clever
    And life is a strange endeavor.

  2. #2

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Hi Randy,

    What a pleasant piece. The female aah-voice doesn't bother me at all, I've heard a lot worse. Lovely, catching tune and instrumentation. It can't but make one feel happy.

    Thanks Randy!

    Max

  3. #3

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Your renderings are incredible. The female voice sits perfectly in the mix.

  4. #4

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Randy, I think your middle name is "Rendering." What a lovely tune! And I really like the female voice. The tune sounds very singable, and I liked the unexpected chord changes here and there. Way ta' go!
    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

  5. #5

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Hi Randy,

    What a pleasant piece. The female aah-voice doesn't bother me at all, I've heard a lot worse. Lovely, catching tune and instrumentation. It can't but make one feel happy.

    Thanks Randy!

    Max
    Max, thanks so much! I'm glad the sampled voice doesn't bother you, I've certainly heard worse also. I made you happy? Well what could make me happier?!

    I had a request, for some reason sent by PM instead of posted here, to post the Recorders from this project by themselves. So, I'm adding that to the original post, and also here.

    Recorders and Folk Shawm

    That was exported simply by muting all the tracks but the 6 Recorders and the Folk Shawm.

    I remember before Garritan World was released, those of needing Recorders in projects would go scrambling for Sound Fonts online. SO nice to have those good sounding instruments in a Garritan Library now. And so fun to play.

    Thanks again, Max.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    The world instruments are perfect for this piece. I listened to the woodwinds by themselves and they sound very nice indeed. World is a nice library. I think your song is a great period piece. It sounds like what minstrels might play at the kings court. I enjoyed the listen. Jay

  7. #7

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardMc View Post
    Your renderings are incredible. The female voice sits perfectly in the mix.
    Why thank you, Richard. It's especially nice to hear the recording being appreciated since I didn't slave over the mix as much as I usually do. Being an unfinished, unused song, I thought it deserved some rescuing, and so I'm glad I did that - but I didn't devote as much as time for fine-tuning tweaks as I usually do. I'm happy enough with the results though, and glad you are too.

    And I'm also glad you think the voice(s) fit well. The biggest chunk of time I spent on this revival of the project was on an experiment that I finally discarded. In the past I've used a morphing plugin several times to make sampled voices pronounce words. Basically, a spoken track becomes the envelope for shaping the sound of samples on another track. But it doesn't make for natural sounding results. The sound is interesting, spacey, and that's what I was getting on this when I tried to make the singer perform my lyrics (at the bottom of the thread starting post) - It was distracting, and put the focus totally on that effect instead of the music, so, it was one of those experiments that was fun to do, but it had to be discarded.

    I'm adding another MP3 to this thread. This time I've isolated the two stringed instruments - the Garritan World Mandolin and my Autoharp. They do a nice duet backing for this, so it could be fun for people to hear them perform by themselves.

    For this export of the two instruments, I moved them closer together than they are in the full mix, and brought the reverb level down. The wider panning was needed for the full ensemble, but in duet, that panning made the two virtual musicians too far apart.

    Mandolin and Autoharp duet

    Thanks again, Richard.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Aha, something interesting. This is really a nice piece. Fine music!!!

    PS. some time ago we had a video about "Recording in 2013". Can't you do the same with some local singer? I think you have enough hardware to make her sing like "Callas" (just joking).

    Do you have more "put-away-somewhere-but-I-don't-know-where" pieces? Make them shine here!!!

    Thank you for posting this one.

    Raymond

  9. #9

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Hi Randy -

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your "English Ballad" song. Nice melody & arrangement and nice rendering. The song is very "catchy". It still amazes me how there's "instrumental" libraries and dedicated software programs out there that include a convincing human voice patch (some with the ability to sing words). As others have said, I didn't mind the female "ah". It would be cool to hear this piece sung by a real female, complete with lyrics. Are there any plans to add lyrics?

    Your Autoharp patch is really nice, Randy. (Thanks for including the Mandolin and Autoharp MP3 file which showcases your instrument nicely.) I plan on purchasing your Autoharp patch when I know that I have the time to load it up correctly in the Aria Engine.

    I like your style of composition, Randy. It's always a pleasure for me to hear your projects.

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  10. #10

    Re: An "English Ballad" on the cutting room floor

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Randy, I think your middle name is "Rendering." What a lovely tune! And I really like the female voice. The tune sounds very singable, and I liked the unexpected chord changes here and there. Way ta' go!
    Hi, Arthur - I'm glad to see you on my thread, especially since you enjoyed it so much. As always, it's much appreciated when a listener takes the time to let the poster knows a work has been heard.

    I like the new middle name you've given me, but modesty prevents me from officially adopting it. Though I may be out of the elementary school of mixing/rendering, I don't feel beyond middle school. Always more to learn, improvements to be made. Thanks for saying this sounds good to you, though.

    And yeah, that Sample Tank solo female voice is darned good, especially considering its free. It has a reasonable amount of Portamento between overlapping notes, and that helps a lot, even though the amount of Port isn't controllable.

    When I'm emulating a particular style of music, like the Medieval English ballads that I listened to before writing this, I just can't seem to restrain myself from going beyond the bounds of what's actually authentic. I Have to expand at least a bit, throw in touches that are anachronistic to the style-And so it was with this song. The A verse is within the bounds of the old ballads, but in the B section, I do go through some progressions that are unexpected, just as you said. Makes it more interesting for me, but it's nothing too wild. This definitely needs to have "English Ballad" in quotes, indicating it's only a quasi-ballad.

    Thanks again, Art!

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 4 1234 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
  •