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Brass Quintet

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Paul T McGraw, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. This is an original brass quintet in three movements. I. Sonata, II. Scherzo, and III. Fugue. It is 11 minutes in length, but I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

    I used all VSL instruments for the midi-performance. I want to thank @Doug Gibson who helped me avoid issues with my harmonies and also helped me with my counterpoint. I hope the fugue is now free of any obvious counterpoint foibles.

    Here is the link to the music on Orfium.

    Here is a link to the score.
    John Eldridge and Aaron Venture like this.
  2. Paul, thanks for sharing this piece. The shape of the primary statement is clear and it was fun to hear how you took it so many places. There's a lot for me to learn from you in this piece with respect to stretching and shaping a core idea across an arc that spans multiple minutes.

    I listened multiple times over the last couple weeks and the same thing struck me each time I listened to it fresh. It's hard for me to articulate, but there's something about the opening version of the statement that felt static. I hesitated to mention it initially because if I listen to the piece even for just 60 seconds and then go back to the beginning the effect is gone. At that point I can hear where the statement is going and it makes perfect sense. So I experience a transient first impression. I tried playing with variations to see if I could figure out why I felt that way and wasn't able to put my finger on it, so I think my feedback is likely less than helpful. It may be because the shape starts and ends on the tonic, but I'm not sure. Changing it to not do that though changes the strength of the statement that you rely on later, so I don't really have a better suggestion. In the end I'm not even sure I would suggest attempting a change because every time I listen to it I end up humming that core statement throughout the day so it's working. :)

    A really nice performance, too, that conveys the message.
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  3. Thank you @John Eldridge both for listening and for your comments. Thank you for all of the positive comments, but also thank you for sharing your negative thoughts as well. I believe I follow what you are saying. And yes, a phrase that both begins and ends on the tonic is going to be prone to seeming static I suppose. I wish I had considered that myself, but the truth is that I did not. So my bad. As I began searching for a suitable motive, I wanted it to be simple, yet original. Not easy.

    Once again, thanks for the comments, and perhaps I will do better next time.
    John Eldridge likes this.
  4. I'm still a beginner and I never really listened to much classical music, so I don't have very "qualified" feedback, but I was quite impressed by how natural and smooth it sounds, both in the development of the composition and the sound of the instruments! I don't think I could tell it's sampled music in a blind test, but I'm no expert.
    The only thing that bothered me a bit was an uncomfortable (for me at least) buildup of high frequencies towards the end. This might very well be a personal preference thing, but it is something where I would experiment with a dynamic EQ ( this was recommended to me as a good free one: https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/ ) to limit some of those higher frequencies above a certain volume. Your milage may vary and I didn't actually try it out. I did use it in a similar situation on some strings and found it quite useful.
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  5. Thanks for your comments. I never heard of a dynamic EQ, or the concept behind it. I will have to look into it. Thank you.
  6. #6 Martin Hoffmann, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
    I think I've learned about it in this e-book, you've probably seen the thread on VI too:

    I quite liked it, but it's possible some of the info is redundant with some of Mike's Masterclasses (I don't know enough of them yet). For me as a mixing beginner it was a good entry.

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