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A Light Adventure [Practice]

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by George Streicher, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. #1 George Streicher, Sep 14, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    I've been trying to put to use some things I've learned through Mike's masterclasses. Primarily, I was trying to focus on "horizontal development," modulation and clearly defining A/B sections. I wrote a simple little piece on piano and then orchestrated it. The following is the result:

  2. Nice piece so far. I could nitpick about the theme but I like it. But not so much the orchestration here. Also it is very much drown into reverb. But thats a mattter of taste I would say. And you double like over a couple of octaves the melody..I don´t know whats going on there. Later it is getting better..simplify the orchestration in the beginning with pure colors. Make your statment clear with the orchestration so the melody should be imo first have a focus. What is your focus? Violons right? Then use them. Don´t double everything there with flutes..throw them out, do that later or for counterlines. and if use them for highlightly a certain note in your melody like a resting note or the melodic peak. You know?
  3. Thanks for the notes! I'll take a closer look at it. I think maybe my template balancing is a bit off, so I over compensated on the melody line with doublings to hear it better. Any tips for the first halfs orchestration?
  4. Did you replace the old link with that new YT link? Is that the same exact version? I ask because the Fl & CL have controller curves in the beginning but no midi notes anymore. That is a technical thing but don´t copy paste so much, I see you copy paste controller curves which is no go for me personally. Second you put all of your underpinning chords just on this ensemble string patch which is just dull..because the midi notes trigger not only violins again..but also violas, cellos and whatever else, often shared on one midi note. That is a bit lazy imo. Sure..Strings are very homogenous and that is from a perspective of blend no big deal but it is not very accurate I have to say. Better think about what notes of your voicing you can elegantly put into what instruments and what voicings. Also to avoid this just holding strings pad you can work with a shimmering arrpegiated orchestration which creates a bit of movement down there. or when you want to hold chords create a bit more of movement which the dynamics and amphesize your melody a bit. The harp can be used to more effect in arrpegiating very gentle too.

    Stylistically I felt you could complete the cadence at Bar 9 and 17. so that you land on the tonic. At least once there? To give also the thing a bit more rest and time and a finish? That is a compositional thing here. Bar 41 I feel is not the strongest chord to go back to your Motif. BAr 41 creates a diminished harmony feel which resolution would be for me to go more for a minor tonality at Bar 42 because you used the B note in the melody which creates a tension to the otherwise Bb maj with the rest. Why not going and using Bb7 instead or a suspended version like you did before? That would go easier back to the major tonality in Bar 42. Just as an example. I mean 43 / 44 recapitulates that thing which I like though.

    When I have more time later or tomorrow, I am going probably to add more thoughts.
  5. #5 George Streicher, Sep 15, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018

    Yea I replaced it with a new link and deleted the flute / clarinet doubling at the top. I've actually since done a version without using the "section articulation" sample and instead broke it into the individual strings sections as it should be; though my computers RAM hated me for it haha.

    How can I get that shimmery interlocked arppegiating strings effect with samples? I use primarily cinestrings, though i have some other libraries too. Should I maybe use a tremelo patch to kind of blur it?

    Thanks for all your input so far!! Really appreciate it.

    Here's my latest edits:

  6. Hello @George Streicher and congratulations on some fine work. Clearly the version 2 is much improved. Your piece has a "Disney" vibe that is very appealing. In my opinion, @Alexander Schiborr is giving you some great advice. I like the piece and enjoyed listening to it. I still have a lot to learn, but I will jump in to offer just one thing. Personally, I would have liked a little more contrast. The A and B are very similar in "feel" so we do not get much contrast. The piece is short, so it is not critical.
  7. It is not that easy to pull that effect of in a convincing way. Samples behave stiff. However, Short explanation:
    The shimmer effect is the flowing movement created by the strings or / and the winds outlining harmonies, cellos for instance playing 8th notes while Vloas playing 8th notes too but the other direction. There are also techniques where you do 8th and 8th triplets combined. That technique can be applied also to Woodwinds, harp. Bones can accent on the 4 beat count to goose the harmony a bit together and to give a slightly accent. I mean..if you like just string pads..nothing wrong with that. Then it is a technical question that you just program them better in your version. No tremolo..use a legato patch or something with legato scripted sustains. You should perform that btw because the imperfection of your performance can contribute to support that effect.
    George Streicher likes this.
  8. #8 Alexander Schiborr, Sep 15, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    PS: George, you might love that reverb on your orchestral tracks but for this kind of music, just my few cents working with a slight drier scoring stage approach would support that style of music. Some instrument in your mockup sound wishy washy a bit because the transients and tails blur too much and the verb doesn´t add anything nice. It sounds a bit sterile. Maybe experiment in your head building a better 3D depth with your instruments by that order: Strings, Winds, brass, Percusion. I often do the least reverberation on the strings because they sit closer to me. By overdoing reverb..with strings..you get that pudding sound..and you lose the bite and punchyness what is crucial imo. However taste may differ in that regards, just my suggestion. Other than that I really enjoyed your piece.:)
    George Streicher likes this.
  9. #9 Claude Ruelle, Sep 15, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    This is a great piece! I too prefer the V2 - much clearer orchestration, however, I also think that the mockup sounds a bit too wet. Personally to recreate the interlocking strings 'shimmer', I just layer a sustain patch underneath - This is what I did here using Soaring Strings:

  10. Those strings sound fantastic! I might have to look into that library. And love the idea of the shimmery interlocking strings. How did you arrange it? Who's doing what? I'm definitely going to use this in a new version of the piece.

  11. That's a pretty cool technique, I've been pretty much addicted to it since I learned it from Mike. Here the interlocking happens between Violas and Cellos. Violas are playing 8th notes whilst Cellos are playing triplets. They both play an arpeggiated figure going in contrary motion - Violins are playing the melody and Basses are holding the bass note.

    In an orchestral context, I'd probably use trombones to hold the chords.

    This is exactly what John Williams does in Harry's Wondrous World:

    He also has the oboes playing triplets.

    Mike does it in The Race:

  12. #12 George Streicher, Sep 15, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    Thanks! I gave it a shot and posted it on this page as "A Light Adventure v3" Am I on the right track?

    Alexander Schiborr likes this.
  13. Yes! And adding the harp definitely works - I wouldn't necessarily use woodwinds at that dynamic. I did input a couple of bars in Sibelius using only Strings and Harp and this is the balance Noteperformer gives me with everybody playing mezzo piano:

    Noteperformer's balance is supposed to be accurate, but I guess the real test would be to put that in front of a real orchestra :D
  14. Yepp, something like that. Hear that it moves more and also supports your flow in the melody better instead of just holding the pad.
    George Streicher likes this.
  15. #15 George Streicher, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
    Awesome! Would it work to have a french horn softly holding the chords under the strings?

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