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Grand Guilds - Main Theme (Critiques, Comments, Suggestions!)

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Eduardo Lopez, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Hello again!

    I wanted to share the Main Theme for a Videogame I´m scoring. This was particularly an exercise in development, since I´m only using one motivic idea for the whole piece, going through several moods related to the game story!

    I would welcome very much any suggestions, comments or critiques!

    *This is not a mockup, it´s just the playback from Noteperformer (which is surprisingly good!), so no need to comment on the production side, I´ll get to do the mockup later... Also, the score engraving is not super tight, still I would appreciate any comments on the engraving or notation!



    Thanks everyone! :D
  2. Hello Eduardo! And thanks for sharing your output.

    Firstly, I must say I really enjoyed listening to your piece. After having listened it quite a few times I can say I like your orchestrational choices pretty much through out the whole piece. Especially, I think the section starting at about 1:48 is brilliant in terms of orchestration.

    These are only my thougths, but I think that the section between 0:16 and 0:48 could benefit from some more movement in the bass, maybe a faster moving counter bassline in the low brass or strings. I think it would definetily increase the energy there.

    Then, I really liked the harmonic transitions in the section starting at about 2:20. It had plenty of excitement and tension to it.

    At 3:11, where the brass enters, I was wondering whether a syncopated rhythm in the brass, against the piano accompaniment, could give more breath and a nice pulsating feel to the music?

    A nice and warm brass chord in the end! A great way to finish the piece.

    Anyway, great job there!

    Eduardo Lopez likes this.
  3. Ah! that´s some great advice, @Niko Tompuri! I´ll definitely take that into account! Thanks for that! :D

    And thanks for the kind words... :)
  4. Can you provide a way to look over the score without going onto issuu ? It's a pain to navigate the pdf from that site.
    Eduardo Lopez likes this.
  5. @Eduardo Lopez I love it! Great piece. Fantastic job with developing your theme. Since NotePerformer is fairly well balanced, a live performance or midi-performance should also work. My one doubt is the solo piano part. Why? You have an entire orchestra at your disposal. Why a solo piano section? This isn't a piano concerto.

    Anyway, here is a great video that proves why we love NotePerformer!

    Eduardo Lopez likes this.
  6. Hey, @Doug Gibson (your critiques are always super welcome and amazing! :))

    Sorry for the super late reply, been quite bussy and I´ve been trying to get away from distraction (social media and shit!).

    Sure, Here it is!

    *A few notes about the engraving:
    -The chord symbols are there now just in case I want to change or re-orchestrate something and don´t remember what I did. my "final" published version would not have that, for sure!
    -The Tempo Markings are all messed up cause I was trying to "humanize" Note-Performer a little bit, so there´s like a million rubatos, rits. and accelerandos that I would need to get rid of on the final version.

    Thanks a bunch! :)

    Attached Files:

  7. Hey @Paul T McGraw! :)

    -Thanks a bunch for the kind words, man! This was definitely a great exercise in development! (although I felt I overdeveloped some parts, but oh well...).

    -I know! Note-Performer is amazing! been super happy with it for the last year, I even sometimes no longer deliver "Kontakt Mock-ups" to clients until they are approved, and save a lot of time!

    That Star Wars example was pretty neat! I think the guys at Note-Performer might nail some amazingly close to real mock-ups in a few years, if they keep developing it!

    -About that piano: Well, at that moment I wanted some "intimate" feel, also a bit nostalgic, so I think no other instrument "filled" that need for me at that moment, I also liked the idea of the "recapitulation" of the opening piano idea. I mean, I was not 100% happy with it, but close enough... :rolleyes:
    Even though... I must say I am guilty of really liking to use the piano together with the orchestra as an "extra color" in the orchestra, wish I could do it as good as Stravinsky in Petrushka or in Manuel de Falla´s Nights in the Gardens of Spain (love that piece!). But I do get your point... and if it was perceived too protagonic, perhaps I failed at my intent... so that´s nice to reflect upon! :)
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  8. Reading the score here. I only had time to look at the first 4 pages and take these comments to improve your notational skills. I take it that's also why you took so much effort to make the score.

    Needs bar numbers!!
    Bar 1 Timpani/violin: A tremolo is inherently multiple strokes/bows. Ties are notes held. The two are opposites. Don't use ties on tremolos.
    Bar 1: violins: Drag bottom staff a bit down so con sord. sits above. Orchestrationally I would not divide the firsts here but have firsts do the harmonic and seconds do the tremolo. More players are better able to play quieter.
    Bar 3: Make sure the grouping of the beats is consistent in all instruments. Timpani and violin 1 is 4+1 while the rest are 3+2. The tempo shifts suggests that everyone should be 3+2. Still I wouldn't beam across beats here or elsewhere.
    Bar 4 Piccolo: No need for the dim.
    Bar 4 Piano: 8va line only goes to the end of the notehead.
    Bar 6: No need to divide up brass for simple swells like this. I does need a dynamic, a poco or molto underneath the first hairpin.
    Bar 6 Horns: Stick to arabic numerals like the rest of the score. Here though just write a3.
    Bar 8 Trumpets: Make it into two voices so there are both up and down stems.
    Page 4 bar 3: Untieing the last note makes it a clearer accent.
    Adjust the end of the rit. line so it falls down alongside A tempo. Delete it from Tpt and Hp since none of your other tempos are there.
    Indicate a fermata on a quarter note rest for ALL instruments.
    Next bar: Cym. has half note staccato and l.v.!! choose only one!
    Doug Gibson and Eduardo Lopez like this.
  9. I won't address things @Thomas Bryla has already. Let offer some "global" suggestions.

    Don't have two staves for each violin when often they are in unison. Same with the Cellos

    You have not really written for 6 horns. It gets confusing.

    Watch out for large leaps. Often you have leaps for no good reason, other than it looks like copy/paste is getting the best of you.

    for example: page 3 - 2nd stave of violin 1- see the jump from Bb middle line up a 9th to C. Not going to happen. Also look at that slur on Violin 2 bottom stave......."slurs gone wild"

    Page 6 Trumpets: You have 1&2 low, and then jump at the 4/4 bar. The voice leading for 3/4 would work fine. You have them going the whole time and 3/4 just hanging out. Avoid this.

    I think 3 of the LARGE time signatures is enough. 4 looks cluttered to me.

    If this is Sibelius: Learn to use the voice 1/ voice 2 function. This way you can have stems up/down. It will make a lot of these passages clearer.

    Personally, I would rather notate something as 8th notes and double the tempo vs. having quarter = 45 and using 16th notes. (piano part page 14)

    It's easier on the eye and it sounds like that to my ears anyway.

    Don't break the beam on the triplet 16ths.

    Double bar lines can be very handy for showing new sections of a work.
    Eduardo Lopez and Thomas Bryla like this.
  10. PS. I would love to see Mexico City some day. I hear it is a wonderful city.
  11. That´s great advice!

    Thanks a bunch, @Thomas Bryla! :)
    Doug Gibson likes this.
  12. Thanks so much for all the advice! I´ll correct and make the changes! :p

    Some of these things are my fault for using a template, like the 6 Hrns. that I didn´t need, should have changed it to 4. Also the division of the staves in violins and cellos! Will thing about this next time!

    Thanks, @Doug Gibson!


    *Yeah, you should totally come to visit México sometime! The capital has a lot of things to see, lots of archeology, pyramids and ancient tombs, also giant colonial buildings and palaces!, if you come in spring, the center part of the city is filled with purple trees and flowers called Jacarandas (a variation of the Japanese Sakura Tree).
    Maybe It would be better to hire a travel guide in the main city, since it is gigantic!

    I wouldn't stay in the main city more than a few days though, there´s a lot of things to see in other states, like the "Frozen Waterfalls" of Hierve el Agua or beautiful colonial cities like San Miguel or Leon Guanajuato, the people are super friendly, always smiling and so many colors and great food!
    Doug Gibson likes this.

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