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Dvorak 9th Symphony Movement IV
Last post Wed, Feb 06 2019 by Paul McGraw, 17 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Nov 25 2018 22:28
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

This midi-performance uses a separate instrument for each part. I tried to match the sound quality of the recording by the London Symphony Orchestra. All are full libraries.

Woodwinds - All VSL
Flute I, Flute II, Oboe I, Oboe II, Clarinet I, Clarinet II, Bassoon I, Bassoon II

Brass - All VSL
Dimension Brass 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, VSL Bass Trombone.

Timpani - VSL

Strings - VSL plus Spitfire
VSL Orchestral Strings, VSL Chamber Strings, VSL Synchron Strings and Spitfire Symphonic Strings

Spatialization
MIR Pro - Teldex + Miracle
Additional reverb for brass and timpani Altiverb 20th Century Fox Soundstage.

I would have thought that using four different rooms; Teldex, Synchron, Air Lyndhurst and 20th Century would end up a mess. But I am really very happy with the result. I think the complexity added to the sound by the different rooms actually helps it sound more realistic.

I look forward to your verdict.

Dvorak 9th Movement IV

Posted on Sun, Nov 25 2018 23:40
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 512

I enjoyed this very much, although I must confess to listening on less than ideal speakers from my laptop, and so can't comment too much on the sonic details.  That said, I think your approach to mixing/matching various room reverbs is a good one that many people are scared to try because they think it will sound "wrong."  When I started using synchron, I blended them with instruments in the teldex, and the qualities of the two halls (synchron/teldex) together heightened the overall richness/warmth.  

The best thing is to trust your ears and remember that in the digital world, you can break rules to achieve your end goals.  Too many people rely on the text attached to certain settings (for example, using Ozone as a mastering tool, one might be unduly influenced by the presets for "lush high end" or "enhanced low end" or "warm tube", etc.)  If you explore the characteristics of the sound, you might attach a vocal plate preset to a french horn...nothing wrong with that if the sound matches your desired outcome.

Congrats on this great rendition!

Dave

www.DavidCarovillano.com - NEW SITE!
www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Nov 27 2018 16:15
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5495

That sounds really good! very expressive and the mix is well-balanced.  

Posted on Tue, Nov 27 2018 18:34
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Thanks, Dave, I appreciate your comments. 

Thanks, Bill, I think I have improved little by little and now I am not sure if it is possible to get any closer to the sound of a professional orchestra. The area that gives me the most doubts continues to be the strings. The level of room sound in Synchron Strings and Spitfire Strings is very high. In some ways that helps them sound more realistic, but sometimes it just seems too much.

Anyway, thanks for giving a listen and for sharing your response with me. No one can ask for more than that.

Paul

Posted on Wed, Dec 12 2018 10:36
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1563

Paul,

First of all I have to compliment you on taking something like this on.  It's courageous because everybody has their favorite recording of this work and they tend to compare what you're doing with samples to what they are used to hearing instead of treating this as just another interpretation of a classic.

Overall, very nicely done.  I thought the tempo was perfect.  I often hear real orchestras play this too fast and it annoys me.

I listened to it in my car stereo twice and I though the strings might have sounded a bit blurry to me during the fast passages.  Not sure if you layered the strings but I find myself automating the volume of the solo strings a few DB's higher during fast passages to get a little sharper sound but it might just be my ears.

Also, the lows and mid lows sounded a bit muddy in my speakers but again I was listening in my car while driving so that may have had something to do with that

Everything else sounded splendid to me though. 


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Wed, Dec 12 2018 12:01
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post

Paul,

First of all I have to compliment you on taking something like this on.  It's courageous because everybody has their favorite recording of this work and they tend to compare what you're doing with samples to what they are used to hearing instead of treating this as just another interpretation of a classic.

Overall, very nicely done.  I thought the tempo was perfect.  I often hear real orchestras play this too fast and it annoys me.

I listened to it in my car stereo twice and I though the strings might have sounded a bit blurry to me during the fast passages.  Not sure if you layered the strings but I find myself automating the volume of the solo strings a few DB's higher during fast passages to get a little sharper sound but it might just be my ears.

Also, the lows and mid lows sounded a bit muddy in my speakers but again I was listening in my car while driving so that may have had something to do with that

Everything else sounded splendid to me though. 

Thank you so very much for listening and providing feedback. That means a lot to me. Thank you.

I wish I could take credit for the tempos, but I very closely followed the tempos used by the LSO conducted by   Istvan Kertesz. It is fascinating to me how much tempo interpretations vary in classical music and even for a single piece depending on the conductor. 

The blurring in the strings in fast passages was intentional, and perhaps a bad decision on my part, I always second guess myself.  I used CC automation in Cubase to increase the humanization setting during fast passages, then bring down the humanization setting when the speed decreased.

The strings are layered, mainly Sychron Strings and Spitfire Orchestral Strings in close to equal amounts. I also layered in at a lower volume level VSL Chamber Strings and VSL Orchestral Strings. I did use CC7 volume automation to change the mix between libraries depending on the orchestration, and thus make more prominent the library that had the best sound for a particular passage. The strings were an enormous amount of work.

Thank you for telling me about the muddiness in the mix. I will do some research on the issue. I knew absolutely nothing about mixing two years ago and still find it a difficult challenge. But I think I am getting a little better at it. So I will for sure look at this issue. Thank you again,

Paul

Posted on Wed, Dec 12 2018 13:45
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 512

Hi Paul,

Using CC automation to adjust the humanization in fast vs. slow passages, as well as adjusting the balance of the strings depending on the section of music is quite a brilliant idea, and one that I hadn't given thought to.  Now, whether or not it works in practice is open to debate, and of course, using your own example, some might agree it benefitted the piece while others might not.  That said, just your willingness to experiment and think in these terms, in your quest to realize the most convincing performance is wonderful and what leads to greater understanding and progress.

Cheers,

Dave

www.DavidCarovillano.com - NEW SITE!
www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Wed, Dec 12 2018 23:07
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1563
Interesting you mentioned the humanization factor with the strings. Maybe you caught the thread that I started on the subject?

Until recently, I've always been under the assumption that more humans mean less humanization because, as I think William pointed out, all of the human nuances are baked into the ensemble performance. But then Jimmie hellfire suggested using humanization for repeating notes to give the ensemble performance just that much more variety.

Here's a link to the discussion for reference:

https://www.vsl.co.at/co...-Humanization#post278766

Anyway, don't completely rework your piece solely based on my critique. As I said I was listening in my car while driving so it could have been the less than ideal listening conditions that led to my critique. However, if 3 or 4 more people say the same thing then maybe it wouldn't hurt to look into it.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Sat, Dec 15 2018 10:31
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post

Hi Paul,

Using CC automation to adjust the humanization in fast vs. slow passages, as well as adjusting the balance of the strings depending on the section of music is quite a brilliant idea, and one that I hadn't given thought to.  Now, whether or not it works in practice is open to debate, and of course, using your own example, some might agree it benefitted the piece while others might not.  That said, just your willingness to experiment and think in these terms, in your quest to realize the most convincing performance is wonderful and what leads to greater understanding and progress.

Cheers,

Dave

Thanks Dave! I appreciate the positive comments. In this piece I think I got fairly close to the sound of the CD, but I know it still isn't perfect. 

Paul

Posted on Sat, Dec 15 2018 10:55
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post
Interesting you mentioned the humanization factor with the strings. Maybe you caught the thread that I started on the subject?

Until recently, I've always been under the assumption that more humans mean less humanization because, as I think William pointed out, all of the human nuances are baked into the ensemble performance. But then Jimmie hellfire suggested using humanization for repeating notes to give the ensemble performance just that much more variety.

Here's a link to the discussion for reference:

https://www.vsl.co.at/community/posts/t50529-Do-More-Humans-mean-more-Humanization#post278766

Anyway, don't completely rework your piece solely based on my critique. As I said I was listening in my car while driving so it could have been the less than ideal listening conditions that led to my critique. However, if 3 or 4 more people say the same thing then maybe it wouldn't hurt to look into it.

Thanks for the referenced to the other thread. I did read the thread and mostly agree. I added a comment to the thread. I think Jimmie Helfire has an excellent point.

Paul

Posted on Thu, Dec 20 2018 17:04
by stefan_telser
Joined on Wed, Mar 14 2007, Posts 107

Hi Paul

The preformance sounds very convincing and I think it is a great achievment-

I cannot possibly imagine managing such a long piece in any DAW. I'm quite overwhelmed  to manage my 2 minute renderings.

Do you break the piece down into smaller files?

The only suggestion I would make is trying to advance the notes of fast legato string passages by a few ticks. As the transition should have been completetd on the notes beat it is triggered at the beat of the note by the legato patch. I don't really know if it would make an audible difference, it's just an idea.
The performance is very good, so don't give it too much thougth.

Best Stefan

Posted on Sun, Dec 23 2018 18:56
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Originally Posted by: stefan_telser Go to Quoted Post

Hi Paul

The preformance sounds very convincing and I think it is a great achievment-

I cannot possibly imagine managing such a long piece in any DAW. I'm quite overwhelmed  to manage my 2 minute renderings.

Do you break the piece down into smaller files?

The only suggestion I would make is trying to advance the notes of fast legato string passages by a few ticks. As the transition should have been completetd on the notes beat it is triggered at the beat of the note by the legato patch. I don't really know if it would make an audible difference, it's just an idea.
The performance is very good, so don't give it too much thougth.

Best Stefan

Thank you, Stefan. I really appreciate the positive comment. 

I did not divide the composition, but I was forced to "render in place" some of the tracks, converting them to audio tracks to save resources. Otherwise, I would have run out of memory and CPU power. I do not use a multi-computer setup with a host and a slave. It was entirely done in one computer. I like your idea of moving start times back by a few clicks. VSL humanization works by adding delay to notes. So it might make some sense to make some kind of adjustment. But I am not sure how to determine what would get the adjustment, and by how much. And if we get it too perfect, we lose the humanization effect altogether. Interesting idea regardless. 

Paul

Posted on Mon, Feb 04 2019 19:16
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 26

Hello Paul,

This is fantastic !  The New World Symphony is one of my favorite classical pieces. May I ask how many hours did an endeavor like this take you?

I just completed a composition that is about seven minutes long and it took me about 120 hours from conception to the final master.  I do not use midi and was just wondering about the time that is put into creating the final piece.

Here is a link to that composition.

 

https://www.broadjam.com/songs/johnminardi/composition-24/Play

You may have to cut and paste the link.

Once again, I think it's great and I can appreciate the time you put into this.

John Minardi

Posted on Tue, Feb 05 2019 11:59
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Originally Posted by: Minardi Go to Quoted Post
Hello Paul,

This is fantastic !  The New World Symphony is one of my favorite classical pieces. May I ask how many hours did an endeavor like this take you?

John Minardi

Thank you, John, for the kind words. I am not sure of the exact amount of time as I worked on this off and on over a period of months. First I copied the score into Sibelius. That was a long and laborious process all by itself. Then I exported a midi file from Sibelius into Cubase. In Cubase, I literally selected articulations note by note. I painted dynamics and expression note by note. Also varying note attacks and release tails. 

At that point, I still needed to sculpt the tempos measure by measure.

Then I worked on the strings by recording my riding of faders to change the balance between the various string libraries depending on each phrase. VSL excels in detail, perfect for fast agile passages. Spitfire excels in the more lyrical work.

I am not a fast worker. Fortunately for me, I am retired, so I can take my time. Putting it all together, I would guess that I spent about 200 hours on the project. But it could have been more.

I will definitely give your piece a listen. 

Paul

Posted on Tue, Feb 05 2019 20:46
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 26

Hi Paul

Thank you for your responce.............Wow....I can imagine copying the score must have been quite a chore in itself.  I have been wanting to do something like what you have done with another favorite piece of mine; the planets by Holst.  I am still using Windows XP and a recording software called Samplitude. I am retired also but using my exsisting setup might require a lot more time than I have left on this earth to accomplish that task !

It has been very rewarding using the Vienna Library to accomplish the final recording of so many ideas I have had in my head for so long. I was in and out of playing drums in various bands for a good portion of my life. I always had a secret love though of classical, film scores and orchestra music in general. I have not had any formal music training but when I became retired I needed something to occupy my time. This might sound silly but I purchased a copy of John Williams' Star Wars Suite For Orchestra to see what I can learn from that.  I think it's been a lot of help but took a long time and study to make sense of the music. For a long time, written music seemed to look like some one dipped a chickens feet in ink and let it run accross the page.  A few books and the John Williams book help me out with making sense of things !

Best wishes to you paul and hope to converse with you again some time.

 

John Minardi

Posted on Wed, Feb 06 2019 00:39
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1986

Sounds really good.

Paul did you work on the mix since the 1st time it was posted? 

Posted on Wed, Feb 06 2019 02:48
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 422

Originally Posted by: Guy Bacos Go to Quoted Post

Sounds really good.

Paul did you work on the mix since the 1st time it was posted? 

Thanks, Guy. Good to hear from you. I would like to answer your question, but honestly, I do not remember. I do often make changes or corrections. I get so focused on a track that I think I lose perspective. So after not working on it for a few weeks, sometimes I hear new things and make changes. In this case, I just do not remember if I did that or not. I might have, but do not remember doing so. 

Paul

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