Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Forum Jump  
Complete Romantic Symphony VSL recording/score
Last post Tue, Nov 21 2017 by William, 32 replies.
Options
Go to last post
2 Pages12>
Posted on Fri, Mar 08 2013 03:34
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

I decided to put this entire symphony done with VSL on Soundcloud and my site, since "classical" type works don't seem to sell much (at least mine don't) and one of my goals is live performance (which is not easy to accomplish for massive pieces like this!)  Also, I put on an "archive" page the scores for that particular title, and Invocation and Ritual for Orchestra which was played once live but not as well as the VSL recording!  These were done with all VSL and MIR and any comments would be greatly appreciated.

http://williamkersten.com/Archive.html

Posted on Fri, Mar 08 2013 08:02
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

Hi William,

This isn't really a comment on the 'music' per se, but since you asked for -any- feedback...

I have a niggle. And I preface this by reiteratng that, afa VSL, you are absolutely da man. Also, I am about 99% sure that it's a waste of bits because it's an artistic choice. But anyhoo...

FWIW: I would enjoy this, and the lions share of sample mockups I've heard, about 100% more, if only the sound space were more like a typical small concert hall.... which is how I typically experience (and enjoy most) symphonic music. I believe that everyone is so enamoured of the 'Hollywood Sound Stage' that is has just become normative to make the reverbs sound 'epic'. So this might sound a -lot- more pleasing to me if it -were- a score behind some adventure movie.

Again, I am not worthy of your VSL skills so if that's what yer going for, cool breeze. This is more a political statement than anything else, I suppose. I just think 'smaller' sounds more -believable- and less fatiguing. (I know I'm old... I can only listen to 4-5 minutes of 'Wagnerian Space').

Beyond that, it's yet another seriously impressive example of how good VSL can sound in the right hands. Sincere congratulations

---JC

William wrote:

I decided to put this entire symphony done with VSL on Soundcloud and my site, since "classical" type works don't seem to sell much (at least mine don't) and one of my goals is live performance (which is not easy to accomplish for massive pieces like this!)  Also, I put on an "archive" page the scores for that particular title, and Invocation and Ritual for Orchestra which was played once live but not as well as the VSL recording!  These were done with all VSL and MIR and any comments would be greatly appreciated.

http://williamkersten.com/Archive.html

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Fri, Mar 08 2013 18:30
by winknotes_282
Joined on Mon, Dec 23 2002, Posts 189

Romantic indeed.  Bravo.  Nicely done.  Is this playing back right out of Sibelius (or whatever notation software you've used)? 

Also one minor detail.  You have 'muted' marked for the brass at m. 607 but the recording is open.  Personally I think open is the right choice there.  For what that's worth :)

Great job.

Steve
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Finale 2011, 2012c
VSL SE
Posted on Sat, Mar 09 2013 03:35
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

 thanks Suntower and you  may be  right that it could be mixed with a smaller venue. I sometimes have the same reaction actually.  winknotes, thanks and there are some discrepancies between the score and the recording.  The piece was recorded in sequencer, mainly by playing on keyboard except for the harp glissandos which were programmed since there were some lesser used one (but still possible on harp) that were not specifically sampled. 

Posted on Sat, Mar 09 2013 06:20
by Casiquire
Joined on Sat, May 01 2010, Posts 325
The huge crescendos are FANTASTIC. I have to disagree with the comments about the space--I'm used to opera houses and symphonic halls and the sound you've achieved calls to me! There are occasional bits here and there that don't sound "quite right" as far as transitions, but they're so few and far between in such a long piece that they're not even distracting, and who knows if I would have noticed them had I not known that I was listening to samples. (The only example I can think of is a flute line somewhere in the middle where the vibrato sounds odd, maybe a non-vibrato or progressive vibrato would be more natural? Can't really remember it anymore.) Really great job on this, I shudder to think of how much work went into it! Thanks so much for sharing it.
Posted on Sun, Mar 10 2013 15:59
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

Thanks Casiquire!

Posted on Mon, Mar 11 2013 13:01
by cocoa_magazin
Joined on Thu, Jan 10 2013, Coburg - Oberfranken, Posts 10
This is so incredibly good. I know just such an immense VSL-quality only from Marcel Barsotti. Thank you for this music!!! I bought it on Amazon.
Michael Pilipp -
Posted on Mon, Mar 11 2013 15:00
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1061

Well done William. I navigated through your website. I wasn't aware of your 'Production Tracks'; they are wonderful! By the way, the incredible coincidence is not that I too have a work titled Invocation and Ritual, but that it was also composed in 1996 or 1997! Mine is very different however. Best of luck with it all.

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Mon, Mar 11 2013 20:35
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

I listened to the entire thing today. That's a compliment right there... I've turned down sexual bribes if I'd sit through Mahler. :D I'm just telling you my bias up front---only so much Tod und Verklarung I can deal with. My comments are the kind of criticism -I- would want... as opposed to the 'WOW! Great job!' kinda thing. Take it FWIW...

Some niggles:
@14:46 The violin legato sounds synthy.
@  23:00 the brass sounds a bit choppy.
@23: 21  1/8th notes in strings also choppy…
Then the next section... gets -too- quiet
@26:00 I dunno why, but the organ stops sound wrong. Like a baroque organ, when what you want is Saint Saens 3rd.
@ 31:00 the harp arp sounds kinda metallic

...and the finale snare seems a bit bright as well. I suspect that this (and the harp) is a mixing thing because when recorded up close they do sound bright. But in a real audience, from the audience you hear a much 'mellower' sound since those guys usually play @ the back of the stage.

AFA 'the composition'. I have two overall thoughts:

1. The more I listen, the more 'tone poem' it sounds rather than 'symphony'. I don't wanna be too hard on this. I'm a real -snob- about 'symphonic logic'. I don't mean 'sonata form', I mean how everything sounds like it's part of a 'plan' with real development of ideas that bears a lot of clever analysis. To me, -most- 'symphonic' music since Brahms are really 'tone poems'... (very nice) ideas strung together. It takes a lot of stones to call something a 'symphony'... it implies a TON of responsibility. I think we are all so influenced by movie music and the whole idea of 'leitmotifs' and so on, that I'm not sure it's even possible to write convincingly that way any more. I think our DNA is now 'cinema'.

As I listen to this I hear -sections-, implying a character or a scene---which is great for a tone poem or movie, but not -symphonic-.

2. I find myself wishing for a bit more counterpoint. Again, the themes sound very 'cinematic'... they are clean and beautiful, but most of the time I find myself thinking something -conversational- is missing. IOW: they're just the right density for a -visual- counterpoint where a lot of musical dialogue would be distracting.

Again, again, not trying to be a killjoy. It's very cool. I know that 'symphony' is now, in common parlance, pretty much synonymous with 'big orchestra'.

If this weren't 2013 I wouldn't have said anything. But to me, all this stuff is now so 'malleable' that I'm not sure any 'Opus' can ever be concerned 'set in stone' now. It seems reasonable that you might wanna continue 'tweaking'. Some of my niggles are more questions as to what is -possible- in terms of realism. And some are me wondering out loud what makes for 'symphonic' music in 2013.

I just watched 'Frankweenie' and at the end there is a -squadron- of credited assistants to Danny Elfman on 'MIDI Preparation'. It struck me again just how much work is involved in this stuff. Again: I salute you.

---JC

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Mon, Mar 11 2013 21:06
by icecubeman
Joined on Fri, Nov 09 2012, Nitra, Posts 201

Very well said!

Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 00:21
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

 thanks Errikos, Cocoa and Suntower. 

Suntower, on the symphonic form, the reason I called it a symphony is not that it is a "big orchestra."  It is because the 1st movement is sonata allegro form, the second binary form, the third a scherzo with contrasting middle section and the last a sonata allegro.  The 1st and last movements have specific development sections.  The other movements do not have specfic sections but use development throughout.  So technically it is a symphony, not a tone poem.  Just because it sounds somewhat like film music doesn't mean that it is film music.  I admit being influenced by film composers, who I feel are in general better than many of the classical composers of the 20th century but haven't yet been given enough credit.  Also - tone poems use symphonic development, and as a result of Liszt and Berlioz symphonic form changed radically to be much more free than a classical symphony.  I suspect you think only a strict classical symphony is a symphony.  So you would like a modern work like the Prokofieff "Classical" symphony, which eschews the freeing of symphonic form to larger structures that started with Beethoven, progressed throughout Tchaikovsky, Bruckner and Saint Saens, and culminated in Mahler.  But actually this symphony is far more symphonic (not necessarily better, just more "symphonic") than many "serious" symphonies written by major composers of the 20th century.  Hohvanness for example started calling just about anything long a symphony.    To me, what creates a symphony is a matter of development of motifs that recur throughout movements, or even between movements.  This has additional cyclical recurrence of motifs as well as development within the movements. 

 

Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 02:42
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

No offense intended, sir.

Just gave you my impression after one partial and then one complete listen. It may well have all that structural rigor and more... I just wasn't consciously -aware- of it so much as the 'scenic' aspects... I kept thinking of it as a depiction of something (Strauss) rather than as a thing unto itself.

I think it was Hindemith who famously said, 'opinions are like assholes'

OK, it may have been someone else... :D

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 10:11
by angrygm
Joined on Thu, Jul 14 2011, Posts 39

For the love of all that is holy, please message me and let me know how you are mixing your strings.

I'm in a dilemma at the moment, because I actually have access to Hans Zimmer's older string library (long story), and I am in the process of trying to fuse that with VSL, and any tips would be appreciated.

Imac Pro
32 gig ram
Nuendo 10
VE Pro 7
Vi Pro 2
Synchron
Kontakt
Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 11:46
by winknotes_282
Joined on Mon, Dec 23 2002, Posts 189

And why couldn't a symphony do both.  That is have all the structure of a classical symphonic form as well as describe something?  There are numerous examples of symphonies throughout history with "programatic" subtitles.

Suntower wrote:

It may well have all that structural rigor and more... I just wasn't consciously -aware- of it so much as the 'scenic' aspects... I kept thinking of it as a depiction of something (Strauss) rather than as a thing unto itself.

Steve
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Finale 2011, 2012c
VSL SE
Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 13:51
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1061

It is so refreshing to witness discussions in this forum about what is/can be termed a symphony (for what it's worth I also hadn't realized that William's movements had more or less strict formal outlines), instead of discussions on brass swells realism, pleas to VSL to record full orchestral symphobic patches, or the right I.R.s for locomotive string-quavers...

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 16:39
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

I wasn't offended, and like hearing criticisms and initial impressions. 

On mixing strings, the sound of this is mainly default MIR. I had a little less overall hall wet than default.  Also,  as is normal for many mixes I usually have an individual decrease of wet on basses and a slight INCREASE of wet on violins even though they are closer to the listener than the basses.  I also decided to  EQ the cellos a little in low range because in a concert hall setting they are not as bass-heavy as they are when close miked.  I also noticed that the "bite" settings are very useful for basses and cellos that are more aggressive like loud staccatos or sforzando.  Another thing I did was EQ violins with an analog high shelf down a little because sampled violins tend to be very pronounced in high frequencies compared to hearing them in a concert hall.   So on violins there is overall a slight increase in reverb and a slight decrease in high frequency.

by the way, is there any point to putting MIDI and VE setups along with scores and recordings?  I had thought of doing that on the same webpage, because I have noticed a few people wanted to look at those, to check out the effect of certain keyswitches, controllers, etc.  That would ostensibly be the point of posting something like this, since just showing off a piece of music is a little irrelevant to a Forum.  Maybe that should be a requirement for anyone posting music here, to post the MIDI file etc.   Because otherwise, it is as if you are trying to keep secret how it was done ----  on a Forum that is about how it is done! 

Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 19:06
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

@William, if you could post your MIDI, VE setup details, you'd be doing a tremendous service to the entire community, I frankly do not understand why that is not s.o.p. for -all- the VSL demos. There is no end of frustration for noobs to hear those wonderful sounds, dole out thousands of dollars and then... sound -worse- (initially) than the 'out of the box' sounds of some other libs. The learning curve of VSL is steep and seeing how the sausage is made is fantastic. I've PMd several demo composers for this info and it's striking that they all seem puzzled by the request... because for them, the techniques are so basic... like riding a bicycle, I guess. But one forgets just how tough it was to learn to ride after one has been doing it for a while. PLEASE DO!

@Winknotes: Musical criticism, like anthropology, seems to change with time. I can only tell you how -I- was indoctrinated... There was an inherent superiority ascribed to those composers who had internalised formal logic to the greatest level. Basically the Viennese. And in the 20th century? Bartok. Stravinsky. Webern. 'Beauty' and 'Romanticism' were given 2nd place in terms of 'greatness'. Beauty and 'feeling' were considered somewhat like 'empty calories.'  And the latter works of Mozart or Beethoven were more highly regarded because they had grown more fond of counterpoint and less concerned with 'pure melody'. Brahms was so loved because his work was 'nutritious and delicious'. Wagner reviled as gluttony incarnate. I thought a lot of this was just rubbish; glorifying 'structure' the way some people admire 'engineering'.

But I now see the truth in a lot of this. The thing I realised is that Brahms natural setting was counterpoint, thematic development. He didn't have to -work- at it. It's who he was and that's why it was so good. Very few of the 'beautiful' pieces of the Romantic literature are as interesting to me now as the 'deep' pieces. Beethoven's Symphony even symphonies are much prettier, but much weaker than the odds. The early quartets more fun but far less satisfying than the latter. I think the 'Romantic' drive of just bathing in a beautiful melody doesn't fit within those boundaries. When I hear a Tchaikovsky symphony, I hear a very gifted -songwriter- struggling to escape from a formal straitjacket.

This is called: getting old.

---JC

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
Posted on Tue, Mar 12 2013 21:24
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5512

Speaking of symphonists and getting old, I somewhat agree but also disagree.  Because in getting old I am trying to figure out what is really valuable.  As a result, though I appreciate great works that represent thought and form such as Beethoven's late quartets, I actually value Tchaikovsky of the 6th symphony more than ever, because it truly evokes powerful emotion within the symphonic form.  And that is a valuable achievement in itself that will never lose its meaning.  Also, the structure of the 2nd movement is the equal of any classicist, but almost no classicist could ever create anything as powerful as that march - not even Beethoven (at least most of the time though obviously in the 9th 2nd movement he did).   Though Brahms is always a perfect example of the blending of feeling with structure.  On the other hand, Mahler in the 6th symphony shows the ultimate fusion of form and feeling, but then evolves beyond that in the 9th symphony (and partial 10th) to create something unique, neither Classical nor Romantic.    Though all this is probably a just another recurrence of the old debate between Classical and Romantic which can never be won - only argued about and indignantly defended.   Almost as bad as PC vs. Mac!

Posted on Wed, Mar 13 2013 00:02
by winknotes_282
Joined on Mon, Dec 23 2002, Posts 189
William wrote:

Speaking of symphonists and getting old, I somewhat agree but also disagree.  Because in getting old I am trying to figure out what is really valuable.  As a result, though I appreciate great works that represent thought and form such as Beethoven's late quartets, I actually value Tchaikovsky of the 6th symphony more than ever, because it truly evokes powerful emotion within the symphonic form.  And that is a valuable achievement in itself that will never lose its meaning.  Also, the structure of the 2nd movement is the equal of any classicist, but almost no classicist could ever create anything as powerful as that march - not even Beethoven (at least most of the time though obviously in the 9th 2nd movement he did).   Though Brahms is always a perfect example of the blending of feeling with structure.  On the other hand, Mahler in the 6th symphony shows the ultimate fusion of form and feeling, but then evolves beyond that in the 9th symphony (and partial 10th) to create something unique, neither Classical nor Romantic.    Though all this is probably a just another recurrence of the old debate between Classical and Romantic which can never be won - only argued about and indignantly defended.   Almost as bad as PC vs. Mac!

You're probably right.  It is a matter of opinion mostly.  I just think one could find examples of great structure and beauty in melody, counterpoint and all.  One example I'm thinking of is Barber's 1st symphony in one movement.  It's a brilliant form with some killer melodies.  Granted it's not the formal design of Mozart or Beethoven but great architecture nonetheless.  

I do agree with most of what you say SunTower.  I totally agree that counterpoint is sorely lacking in most composers' vocabulary today.  I'm certainly guilty of this myself but endeavoring to correct it.  It takes ALOT of work which is why I think most people don't try to write anything contrapuntal.  Also I agree that what people hold up as models (namely movie music) is a poor example for writing concert music.  At least in terms of form/design and development.  It's not a knock on film music but its purpose is quite different than concert music.  It's that simple.  Now I do think some film composers have a brilliant craft and the orchestrators in hollywood are very good as well.  But I always try to point people to the source of what these guys/gals are copying (for the most part) and study that rather than the 1-2 minute movie cue. 

I enjoy debating these things though even if there is no resolution.because it makes me think and maybe consider something I hadn't before.

Steve
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Finale 2011, 2012c
VSL SE
Posted on Wed, Mar 13 2013 02:23
by Suntower
Joined on Wed, Mar 16 2011, Seattle, Dublin, Posts 276

Forgot one thing re. 'Reverb'. I call this the 'John Barry' effect. Next time you watch an old James Bond movie, the reverb on the some of the string cues are almost Tiki Time. If you were to hear 'John Barry Night' at your local 'pops' concert, it
would probably -suck- unless half the players were off-stage like in Wagner. Clearly, the composer knew he could use that as a studio effect, like a guitarist with a delay pedal. A guy writing concert music wouldn't even be aware it was possible.

Frankly, most of use get the majority of our ideas about 'timbre' from movies and games... and much less from sitting in a room with no distractions and listening to a CD of an orchestra recorded in a 1,500 seat hall.

I think what feels -normative- in terms of reverb has actually moved away from reality in the same way that most people mis-perceive -lots- of things nowadays because we're saturated with 'bigger than life'. Another example: ever notice how FUCKIN' NOISY the world is? And how bright... even at night? For most people, it's never -really- 'quiet' or 'dark'.  It may -feel- dark or quiet, but if you went out to a desert you'd go 'Wow! I forgot.' That's how I feel about DAW reverbs. The truly realistic amount no longer sounds like 'enough'. And I kinda blame movies. ;)

YMMV

---JC

DAW: Cubase 8.5/64
Controllers: CME UF8, Roland VDrums, Exp. Pedal, Sus Pedal.
Main: Sandybridge Win10/64 16gb Boot Dr: SSD, Samples: SAT-600
Slave: Intel Q8400, 16gb RAM Win10/64
VEP5, VIPro, Chamber Strings, Tenor Sax, Epic Orch, EWQLO
2 Pages12>
You cannot post new threads in this forum.
You cannot reply to threads in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.