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"Regeneration" – some feedback required

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Tino Danielzik, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. #1 Tino Danielzik, Jul 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    Hi everybody,

    it has been a long time since my last music post. I had a lot of other stuff to do, so there was no time for writing music. But now there is a new piece and I am hoping that you guys may have some time to take a closer look and give me some helpful feedback. I bet there is a lot wrong about this piece, but now I need some fresh ears to check it. Don't hold back with your harsh opinions. :cool:

    Original Version
    http://www.tinodanielzik.com/Regeneration Master.wav

    Revised Version
    http://www.tinodanielzik.com/Regeneration Revised Master.wav

    (Updated) Revised Version 2
    http://www.tinodanielzik.com/Regeneration Revised03.wav

    Thanks a lot in advance! :)

    John Eldridge and Aaron Venture like this.
  2. Hey Tino!

    Glad to hear from you :D

    That was nice. Here are my thoughts after 2 playthroughs:

    Clean start, I'm with ya.

    0:28 It's slowly getting old. The fact that the focus is lost at 0:52 doesn't help. 1:15 - alright, something's happening, but then I dozed off again. You only got me back at 1:37 and from then on it was a nice ride. I'll get to the rest in a second, I'd like to offer my thoughts on how to fix this troublesome minute. I've learned this the hard way - Mike was listening to my piece on air and he said that he wasn't captured by the intro and just moved on to the next piece. My reaction, at the time, was that "the best part is coming, come on!" and Mike made a point that all parts have to be the best parts. They should each play a role. and should never get boring. If there's a snoozer section, it needs changing.

    I'll note that this piece is far ahead of the piece I submitted to that livestream a year ago, but I feel like the problem is similar.

    So at 0:28 you introduce your B Side. But there's not an overly significant change in dynamics nor does someone else come to double the melody (strings come in, alright), and the pattern of your melody remains the same as the A section, it's just the notes that change. This is a great moment to introduce a counterline. Perhaps a bassoon or a cello. Nothing too fancy, just make some play on the chord tones. Just keep it interesting. Keep working that counterline and slowly introducing more motion through to 1:25, as that's when it all goes into a suspense. That settles this early part.

    Next thing I noticed is the chord at 3:19. Not so sure about that one.

    I enjoyed your performance and think it sounds pretty good. I would suggest putting some reverb on the strings. to help cover the legato transitions and ambience cutoff in the samples. It will also create a natural tail for that last note in the violins as the music fades out.

    I'll listen again later and/or tomorrow and post more comments if I detect something :D
    Tino Danielzik and John Eldridge like this.
  3. Thanks for posting, Tino. I enjoyed this piece a lot! Your lyrical style and rich progressions are elements I really admire. Well done!

    Now, for some hopefully helpful feedback...

    Regarding the melody, I think reducing note count slightly will make it phrase more naturally and easier to hear the connection with later parts as you move the harmony around it. You have a very clear rhythmic pattern at the start that is good, but when used across all 8 bars (0:00-0:25) fully connected it felt to me like it needed a breath in the middle (0:12) to make it two distinct phrases. You can move the extra notes to another instrument. You actually did just that a bit in the second pass by splitting the line thus letting the connecting notes be pick up notes to the clarinet instead of being a kind of run-on for the flute.

    Something like this:


    The same phrasing feedback when the horn takes the B section at 0:52. I also think this line is pretty high for horn for this type of phrase. Perhaps solo trumpet instead? Really needs to come out as well. As Aaron says, it lost focus.


    Yes, this and at 3:12. Sounded like they were about to setup a move to some darker section that didn't materialize, so those two chords just sounded out of place.

    Other commentary:
    1:40-1:52, thought the violins could back off just a bit. Give that juicy brass and cellos combination room to shine. :)
    2:04-2:30 really nice progression
    2:30-2:50, the cello arpeggio is nice, but too dominant. Focus is struggling again. Sprinkle some of that bassoon counterline magic that Aaron suggested here as well.
    3:20. Oh that brass. Such a nice complement to the strings here.
    3:35-3:46. Love that string figure in context of that harmony.
    3:47-3:50. Goosebumps. Every. Time.

    At the end, give the rendered output a couple more seconds of rendering for reverb. Just kind of cuts off oddly in the WAV file.

    Hope this helps. Again, really great piece! Made me smile time each time.

    Tino Danielzik and Aaron Venture like this.
  4. #4 Tino Danielzik, Jul 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    Hi Aaron and John,

    guys, thank you so much for all your great feedback and advice! Very helpuful and creative ideas and thank you for the very detailed and time consuming explorations, much appreciated!

    The First Minute Problem
    Yes, I can totally see that it gets quite boring after a while, I guess it sound more like underscoring at the moment, a thing I always tend to fall into too much. So yeah, decorating it with more counterpoint (bassoon/cello) is a great idea. Changing the melody a bit will definitely be a heavier task to accomplish, once you introduced the pattern in the first few bars it will be hard to skip a note or two in order to give it more room, but I will give it a try of course.
    Regarding the high Horn in the B section, yeah it is a high d-flat (or e-flat) if I am remembering correctly, I doubled it with clarinet but it‘s propably a bit too quiet, I will push the dynamics of the clarinet a bit or double it with a second horn, but it should be playable, it‘s just a second or two, or I am just wrong. :D

    The Chords at about 3:12
    I think this is an orchestration issue. The tuba and the trombones play very low so it gets a bit muddy down there and may cause the confusion. I changed the melody from minor to major in this section in order to give it a dramatic developement and a majestic feeling. So there shouldn‘t be a problem with the chords, since these are all simple major (and some minor) chords. So I guess it‘s the orchestration, I am going to fix that.

    The Reverb
    Hahaha... more reverb? Well, okay, I don‘t have a problem with adding more. There is already so much reverb in there that I didn‘t think about adding another layer. :D But yeah, I can do that.

    Again, thanks a lot for the very helpful comments. I will post a revised verison soon.
    Aaron Venture and John Eldridge like this.
  5. Hey there,

    here is the new version. I rearranged the beginning a bit, cleaned up some chords in the end and adjusted the mix slightly (added reverb as recommended). The mix still needs some improvement, there is some white noise in the background I have to reduce. But please let me know what you guys think about the changes. The thing with the bassoon as a counterpart didn't work out, so I came up with another idea... some piano. Probably not the most elegant idea. Leaving out some of the notes in the melody line didn't work out as well, it sounded weird and not really cohesive. Anyway, here we go:

    Revised Version
    http://www.tinodanielzik.com/Regeneration Revised Master.wav

    Thanks in advance!
    John Eldridge likes this.
  6. I liked the added piano. Shifting the melody owner at 0:52 helped with the clarity. Chords at 3:12-3:20 are much better/clearer and very rich. Nice improvements!
  7. Hey everybody,

    don't wanna bother you guys with this, just wanna keep you updated. After a little break I went back and did some additional improvements, some little arrangement tweaks and a slightly different mix.
    If you have any further recommendations for improvements please let me know. :)

    New version:
    http://www.tinodanielzik.com/Regeneration Revised03.wav

    John Eldridge likes this.
  8. In general I really like it. Lots of beautiful harmonies and nice melodies and good control of midi phrasing. What I miss is a clearer periodic structure and perhaps less activity in the phrases/melodies towards the end (better sense of a periodic structure). As it is now I feel there is too much going on all the time, not enough time for breathing and a sense of dynamics and contrasts. For structure I really recommend spending some time with some of the newer epic John William's stuff, just listening and going through the sheets and counting themes (melodic phrases) can teach a lot. Usually he just do variations of the same 3 melodies, thus keeping the red thread as well as not boring us (by means of variations).

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