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Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by George Streicher, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. #1 George Streicher, Jul 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    Another attempt at writing. This time I tried copying orchestration techniques from various pieces I enjoy. I tried to keep things simple melodically, etc.

    Please rip this to shreds.


    Attached Files:

    Kaan Akalin and Claude Ruelle like this.
  2. I like it. Good job in many ways. You know your harmonies are good, the melody is good, orchestration is technically good. I am going to offer two suggestions.

    1) Why the piano? Did I not hear a harp in the mix? A harp would, in my opinion, give you a more colorful sound, and keep the flow of the piece going. As it is, all is going well, then bam, a piano. First thing that goes through my mind is, the composer is a pianist so he couldn't stop himself. You could put those chords in the strings, in the woodwinds, even soft brass or a celeste as previously mentioned. The piano is way overused by media composers in my opinion.

    2) The orchestral texture at 1:30 gets a bit murky. This is a problem I have with my own writing so I recognized it immediately. It is hard to resist the temptation to double and triple every note of the harmony. But the end result is muddiness. Possible alternatives. If you want a bright texture, make sure you have at least a fourth between every note below middle C. Try to not double the harmony note that is in the bass. For a balanced texture you need very few instruments playing the third of the harmony. I picked up on that by looking at scores.

    Those are two very picky things. The piece sounds great as is. It has a sort of fantasy quality that I like.
  3. Glad you liked it! And great suggestions. I didn't even really think about the piano, honestly. But I love the idea of just giving those parts to the harp and keeping it more active! There are definitely harp parts in there already, doing little triplet arpeggios under certain parts and lots of gliss throughout.

    I'm going to give a shot at re-orchestrating the full section at 1:30. Maybe I just Goldsmith it and do French Horns + Violas on the Melody, Violins + Flutes on the counter melody, Trombones + Low winds on the chords, Basses + Tuba on the bass?
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  4. Great stuff! I really enjoyed the piece.

    Quick question: What are Violas playing from 0:37 to 0:50? It seems like they're absent.
    George Streicher likes this.
  5. Nice track George. Apart from the other comments..probably use a little less reverb on the send..it sounds a bit borderlined soupy..I think a bit less would make the sound better.
    George Streicher likes this.
  6. No need to change very much, you just want a bit more clarity. The suggestions I made are not firm rules to follow on every bar. every track. They are just tips to use to reduce a murky effect when needed. I like your writing.
    George Streicher likes this.
  7. #7 George Streicher, Jul 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    Thanks! They're doing a little 8th note figure over the cellos arpeggios basically supporting that harmony. They might be a little too quiet though

    Thank you anyway! I've created a v2 and in that big section I have the Trombones + Low Winds holding chords, The Tuba and Basses on the bass, Violins I & II and Violas in octaves on the counter melody, and the French Horns and Trumpets on the main melody. Does that sound a little better?

    Just pulled back the verb an additional -2db. Also posted a v2 Dry & Wet for reference. Still working on figuring out mixing - I wonder if I muddied things up with the tape saturation a little...

    I've also attached the score I'm working on putting together in Sibelius:

    Attached Files:

    Max Arthur and Paul T McGraw like this.
  8. @George Streicher it sounds wonderful. Your changes are terrific. The track is even better now. I love the vibe of this track. Mystery, adventure, and far-away places come to mind listening to it. Great work.
    George Streicher likes this.
  9. Pay attention to your runs vs. your legato. Legato sounds in comparison to the runs much closer, z-depth is not correct, also I prefer the dryier version overall a lot more, projection works better there in my opinion. My tip: Use different reverb send amounts for different parts of the orchestral sections and use a master reverb just to glue (a maximum a nearfield ambience with very less wet mix but a bit tail.)
    George Streicher likes this.
  10. Me too. I was actually surprised by how much. I don't do mixing, so I just try and listen to the notes, but it did indeed work much better for me over-all.

    That's great. Keep it up. The simple melody is very effective, and you keep on getting better and better. Congrats !!

    Well...... I'm your huckleberry if that's what you want.

    I fucking hate the move you did at measure 34 moving into 35 onwards. You gave up on the piece.

    Where did those runs come from, and that tam-tam thing.......... no.......... send them back

    That's a cheap out. Push yourself more. It's the compositional equivalent of using some patch from Omnisphere ..... just to take up space.

    Do you remember that cereal commercial for Trix? "Trix are for kids"

    What I think , and look it is already emerging ......I can see it taking shape, you need to focus on with your craft is creating "3-layers" and how they (the layers) develop in the piece. You put me "on hold", and it's slow, vague, and not executed very well.

    At 1:30 we get to more solid ground. It's a nice idea.....but seems like you don't know how to develop it further.....so you bailed.

    Your ending..... kinda sucks too. What was that ? Either go "all in" or don't go at all. Flutes and Piano doing a Phrygian thing...... no.... don't.


    Look, I am only more direct because you are getting better. Otherwise I would just ignore this, or smile and wish you well.

    I used to explore a lot "texture" (still do) but realized it was strength that was holding me back.

    From 2006 - This is from the ASCAP "Buddy Baker" film scoring workshop. It was about this time that I began to question the effects I was putting in a lot of my scores. (You will hear the foli and sound from the film..... the radio and button clicking sounds)

    At the time I was really proud of the texture @ 1:10 to 1:20. But you can hear how "off" things are getting.

    The closest work of my own I have to offer would be this piece for High-school string orchestra and piano.
    As you'll see ..... I still have a sweet tooth for "color" and "Trix", but I think the "back-ground" is much more solid.

    If you have a solid foundation you can build on top of it.

    Someone it appears taped it. Like I said ..... it was high-school kids for a summer camp....so adjust your expectations.
    That said for 5 days of rehearsal.... you can see where indeed things can be pushed ......as long as you know where to push.

    PS. In case the title is unclear........ here is a video about the subject. I actually saw this. For whatever reason I walked out to my parents front yard
    and looked up............ there they were. It's a great "Yarn" and Urban legend. All I can say is emphatically those were not flares. Doug Gibson does not write music about flares in the sky. I don't know what it was......but it was something, that would have made you go "What the fuck was that". Perhaps Stealth Bombers ??

    Kurt Russell still talks about it

  11. #11 George Streicher, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
    As always - thanks for your straight forward input, @Doug Gibson

    The fact that you say I'm improving is very encouraging! I think so, too.

    I am struggling with structure and development and I think I need to delve into this issue further. Perhaps a tutor or a class that focuses on this? (Already taken Mike's Class - maybe a revisit would help.)

    I think the real estate for additional ideas are in the piece; I'm just doing them once and throwing them away. Like that little B section @ 00:55 - that should probably come back after the larger restatement.

    I do get frustrated with not having enough to say - and I think I really need to map things out fully and arrange them earlier on

    I'll probably take a crack at this on the piano and come back to it. It feels like it' needs to be a 3:30 piece, but it's falling around 2:30 currently.

    I also feel like I need to be getting "further away" from my central idea / A section before I come back to it in a BIG way.

    It doesn't feel terribly earned to me
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.

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