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Complete "The Rite Of Spring" performed by Jay Bacal
Last post Mon, Feb 01 2010 by stevetrumpet, 107 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Mar 17 2009 14:42
by bartdelissen
Joined on Fri, Sep 21 2007, Baarn, the Netherlands, Posts 51

Mmm... the soft part are very convincing indeed...

The poweful parts also sound quite realistic with the right articulations, but they tend to sound very MIDI quantised which is a shame.

But nevertheless,it's impressive

no other sample library comes this far...

Posted on Tue, Mar 17 2009 14:47
by felliniflex
Joined on Mon, Apr 14 2008, Santiago, Chile, Posts 49

Amazing Work Jay! i was wondering since sunday morning why nobody was posting anything about this! Truly incredible. Congrats Jay.

What about some Korngold next? Maybe the Sea Hawk Main Theme

FELIPE OPAZO - Musician, Arranger, Composer, Producer
Macbook Pro 2.2 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, 500 GB Firewire 800 Lacie Quadra HD, Mbox 2 Pro, Pro Tools 7.4, Logic 8, Sibelius 5
www.myspace.com/felliniopazo
Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 02:16
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

I did not have that impression about the quantizing of loud parts.  I am usually very irritated by that problem and did not notice it at all here.  I think you may be reacting to the fact that the piece is played very accurately - not inhumanly accurately, but more accurately than usual with live players.  That is one thing I find interesting about this - to be able to hear  the rhythms so clearly.  I have heard numerous recordings and they all vary radically in sound and feel, due to the extreme difficulty of playing it.

Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 11:22
by bartdelissen
Joined on Fri, Sep 21 2007, Baarn, the Netherlands, Posts 51

Well, it sounds too perfect for a real orchestra... so that's not human...

but still, as this being a detail, any other sample library would make the entire project impossible to even think about.

Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:17
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7289
bartdelissen wrote:
Well, it sounds too perfect for a real orchestra... so that's not human... [...]

Good point!

I don't want to argue if this is the case or not with Jay's great version of the "Rite" - I just find the question per se interesting if a musical perfomance  _has_ to be "human" (read: like we are used to hear it), or if it wouldn't  be a valid point-of-view to say "This is how it was (maybe?) meant to sound like". Having quite a background in electronic music, I have to say that "perfect" timing can have its charm in the proper context, so why couldn't this be true for so-called "orchestral" music, too ...?

... but this is a topic for a different thread. I don't want to hi-jack this one.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:35
by bartdelissen
Joined on Fri, Sep 21 2007, Baarn, the Netherlands, Posts 51

Then you would do electronic music with orchestra which is indeed another context.

Such Classical pieces are always much harder than composing original music with samples, since everyone refers to noteworthy performances...

So when I listen to any classical composer I refer to classical orchestra with the performances and interpretation and that's what I want to hear, no matter how interesting some editing and adding electronic aspects can be with VSL (I've also done it before ;-)

And once again, I once succeed with VSL...

Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:40
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1978

I quickly want to say something here as well. There is a psychological effect when it does not sound to what we are a custom to hearing, we are often disoriented. I've encountered this a few times myself with reactions of passages of my own pieces, not rhymically but in other manners. The real question should be, does it sound musical? Period!

Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:45
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370

There's an interesting point about real orchestral performances and sampled ones. It's not that a live orchestra doesn't start all at the same time on the note they're meant to start on - it's more to do with the overall timing. The timing of a phrase or phrases becomes much more organic with a real orchestra - thus creating constant minimal fluctuations in sound. Completely impossible to do with samples.

The timing can be messed around with in a computer - but the infinitesimal sound variations from 14 violins cannot because these are always the same snapshots in time of the recorded sound. The sound always remains the same and never fluctuates.

Posted on Wed, Mar 18 2009 16:06
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

Yes, what Dietz said is interesting.  An example of an electronic piece done by an orchestra is Blade Runner's soundtrack album.  It was NOT as good as the original analog synth by Vangelis.   In fact, it sounded totally insipid compared to the awesome power of the majestic synthesizers he used. 

The other aspect is what the composer imagined.  What did Stravinsky imagine, and what did he think when he heard it played by the orchestral players desperately trying to count right as the meter changed before their eyes every bar?  There are few orchestras that can play this piece at all, let alone really well.  And how close to Stravinsky's brain  is "really well"?  It is possible this is the first time the rhythms and notes have been heard exactly the way they were written.

One other thing about the timing, etc.  I agree on timing being more organic live, of course.  But part of that is a musical thing that can be done by a sufficiently good MIDI performer.   An example is not merely using a "humanize" or random computer function on a step sequenced line, but playing it in with your own timing mistakes which are - if you are good - musical mistakes such as being a little slow in the middle of a line, and then speeding everything up just a little to end up at the right point at the end.  This cannot be emulated easily by automatic humanizing alone and is very close to what happens in the orchestra.  Concerning the fact that each individual string player in an ensemble is playing slightly differently each note, that is true especially in a small slow chamber string ensemble performance... BUT often you will not hear that in a symphony orchestra performance.  Because of the massive number of instrumental sounds coming at you, your brain simply does not have the prcoessing power to note that kind of variation.  And so in the case of a large orchestral MIDI performance you can in fact create an almost perfect representation. 

Posted on Thu, Mar 19 2009 11:50
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370

I agree you will not hear the nuances of constant sound variations in a string section(s) when there is a full orchestral ensemble winding it's way up. You will, however, hear it only too clearly when the sampled strings are exposed - especially when it's legato style lines being played. This has always been the bane of sample libraries - the strings exposed, especially in the higher registers - and this is why good purveyors of sampled music do all they can to hide this fact through 'other' orchestration - which in itself leads to the subject of pieces of music being written to the strengths of the sample library and not the other way round.

Jay's magnificent effort dilutes quite a large part of this argument, but I could go on to say that on the other side of the coin, in other words when actually trying to write an original piece - it becomes far more difficult in my view, to utilize enormous amounts of available sampled articulations, than when doing it with something already written as in The Rite for example, whereby the articulations are more or less written in tablets of stone based on the A/B ing of one's favourite Rite recording.

Posted on Thu, Mar 19 2009 16:53
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

I don't fully agree with that about the legato lines, though it is true you hear the uniformity of sounds with legato when there are repeated legato phrases - that is a huge problem, almost like the machine gun effect.  The Legato Machine Gun Effect.  In other words, if you have an ostinato that keeps repeating a legato skip from a middle C to an A above it in eighth notes, it will sound artificial in almost the same way as a single note sample being used on a repetition.   This is such a problem because it is, at least with this technology, not correctable without sampling alternate legatos.  Which is a huge undertaking.  A single legato instrument is a huge undertaking!   So perhaps in the future VSL will be able to develop an engine that creates alternations in legato transitions via scripting. 

However what I don't agree with is on a less repetitive legato line, you don't really hear that extreme uniformity of sound all that much.  It can sound quite natural when exposed.  Witness the other Bacal work on the Vaughn Williams Fantasia. 

That is an interesting point about the difference between playing a pre-existing work and one's own new work.  It brings up the questions of how much a composer is influenced by the sounds available right in front of him, how difficult it is to use them, how lazy or compromising he is in doing the performance.  Right now I am looking on the VSL as a huge reservoir of sound, a vast ocean of possible expressions, into which one can dive and swim for months (like Jay) or which one can dip one's toes in.  But it allows you to do either stiff, poor performances or beautiful expressive ones, based on how willing you are to use its full potential.  As has been said before, this is the same as a great musical  instrument that one can play badly or brilliantly on, based on musical ability.

Posted on Sat, Mar 21 2009 18:00
by G.R. Baumann
Joined on Mon, Mar 16 2009, NW-Atlantic Coast, Posts 102
Guy wrote:

The real question should be, does it sound musical? Period!



I'd sign that!

@ Jay,

Oh my God!

Standing Ovation, and thanks for sharing, this is truly spectecular!
Posted on Sun, Mar 22 2009 22:01
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

 By the way Jay, what did your piano teacher think of the Rite?

Posted on Mon, Mar 23 2009 09:44
by Mobius
Joined on Mon, Jun 06 2005, Brighton, U.K., Posts 128

Hi Jay,

I very rarely post on this board. But I couldn't ignore what I just heard without leaving a comment.


Despite the huge leap forward that VSL provides, with all the MIDI
mock-ups I have heard so far I have always felt that the realism is
frustratingly lacking. They always get close, but not close enough to
make me forget what I'm hearing is just a bunch of samples (albeit
cleverly combined). If I hear a MIDI mock-up of a famous piece from the
classical repertoire that is substantially inferior to the real thing
then in my opinion, from a listener's perspective, the whole thing is
pointless. Obviously I'm always going to reach for my recording of
Beethoven performed by the LSO, or other respected orchestra, if it
moves me more than a sampled rendition. If it doesn't make me want to
listen again, then it has ultimately failed in its purpose. And I'm
talking about making music for the love of it, rather than when writing
for media where the practicalities of time and money severely limit the
pursuit of realism and listening pleasure, which play second fiddle to the needs of the project at hand.


Well I have to tell you that your performance - and I use that word
deservingly - has finally overcome those limitations. I can honestly
say that vast stretches of your rendition of The Rite of Spring were
frighteningly vivid and authentic. With a sampled orchestra there will
always be near misses, where you can hear that a transition, or a
repeated phrase, or the intensity of a note is not quite right. But these
problems have been hammered down into the tiniest of instances by a truly mighty baton of programming excellence.

I'm sure your efforts will inspire many VSL devotees to try and emulate such a magnificent achievement in their own work.

Pure genius!

-Darren

Posted on Mon, Mar 23 2009 15:31
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

 I agree on that. I stopped listening to the fact it was samples and just listened to the music. 

Posted on Mon, Mar 23 2009 16:57
by Mahlon
Joined on Sun, Jan 08 2006, The decadent South, Posts 441
William wrote:

 I agree on that. I stopped listening to the fact it was samples and just listened to the music. 

 

I've noticed that in the last 6 months or so, I've been doing the same thing more and more -- just listening to the musicality of the music. I think recently we've had some very skilled musicians/composers posting. It's such a breath of fresh air to not have to think about the realism and just listen to the artistry of the composition/performance.

Mahlon

Posted on Tue, Mar 24 2009 00:27
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1978
Mobius wrote:

Hi Jay,

I very rarely post on this board. But I couldn't ignore what I just heard without leaving a comment.


Despite the huge leap forward that VSL provides, with all the MIDI
mock-ups I have heard so far I have always felt that the realism is
frustratingly lacking. They always get close, but not close enough to
make me forget what I'm hearing is just a bunch of samples (albeit
cleverly combined). If I hear a MIDI mock-up of a famous piece from the
classical repertoire that is substantially inferior to the real thing
then in my opinion, from a listener's perspective, the whole thing is
pointless. Obviously I'm always going to reach for my recording of
Beethoven performed by the LSO, or other respected orchestra, if it
moves me more than a sampled rendition. If it doesn't make me want to
listen again, then it has ultimately failed in its purpose. And I'm
talking about making music for the love of it, rather than when writing
for media where the practicalities of time and money severely limit the
pursuit of realism and listening pleasure, which play second fiddle to the needs of the project at hand.


Well I have to tell you that your performance - and I use that word
deservingly - has finally overcome those limitations. I can honestly
say that vast stretches of your rendition of The Rite of Spring were
frighteningly vivid and authentic. With a sampled orchestra there will
always be near misses, where you can hear that a transition, or a
repeated phrase, or the intensity of a note is not quite right. But these
problems have been hammered down into the tiniest of instances by a truly mighty baton of programming excellence.

I'm sure your efforts will inspire many VSL devotees to try and emulate such a magnificent achievement in their own work.

Pure genius!

-Darren

I can't agree with this statement and is not very fair I find. There have been other very realistic mock ups as well, over the past year by various people. Without looking too far listen to Symphony K385 by Mozart and Beethoven 3rd symphony programmed by Yoshitan, which I must say is extremely impressive and realistic. If you tune in more often the recently added page you might be surprised. Vienna Symphonic Library


Posted on Tue, Mar 24 2009 02:00
by JBacal
Joined on Sat, Mar 27 2004, Posts 1206

 Guy, thanks for pointing out Yoshitan's new performances.  The Mozart is excellent.  The Beethoven is amazing.  Great stuff!

--Jay

Posted on Tue, Mar 24 2009 02:23
by paulhenrysmith
Joined on Sun, Feb 09 2003, Boston, Posts 158

I picked my jaw up from the floor after hearing Yoshitan's performances.  (Let's finally stop using the derisive term "mockup" now, shall we?)

I would urge you all to listen his the work that has not yet made it to the VSL demo pages:

http://vienna.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/kansei.html

Don't worry about not being able to read Japanese. Just click play on any of these and you'll be amazed.  I've been working on Beethoven symphonies for years with VSL and this pretty much takes the cake for now.  Yoshi, I bow down low before your awesomeness!

- Paul

Posted on Tue, Mar 24 2009 02:47
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1978

This could become confusing having these symphonies on Jay's Rite of Spring  thread so I'll create one of these 2 awesome works.

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