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Unique Uses for VSL
Last post Sat, Jan 20 2007 by cerupcat, 6 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Jan 19 2007 16:46
by euphking
Joined on Mon, Sep 20 2004, Indiana, US, Posts 14
I've seen some amazing music float through this forum, and some rather unique uses of the library, (a Tuba / Euphonium Quartet by DaveTubaKing comes to mind.) I have another unique use for the library.... Marching Band!

Yes, that's right. I actually discovered VSL when I was looking for a way to make cost effective recordings of marching band music without hiring an entire high school band.

In this piece I've used VSL Pro Edition for all the wind parts and many of the percussion. The Battery is Virtual DrumLine 2 and it's all created in Logic. Oh, and this is my first original composition for marching band with battery by Brady Sark. So far only the opener, called Inventions, is complete. Take a listen:


Just FYI, the descriptions were written as advertising for our company, not my myself. Surpriseops:

So what do you think? Has any one else used VSL in a unique way or an unusual setting?


Posted on Fri, Jan 19 2007 21:02
by DaveTubaKing
Joined on Fri, Feb 27 2004, London, Posts 757
Yeh that was groovy - and the mix sounded really good.

Top Job Big Smile
David Carter (DaveTubaKing) http://www.davetubaking.com

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Posted on Sat, Jan 20 2007 03:18
by cerupcat
Joined on Thu, Apr 06 2006, Posts 10
I'm a huge fan of marching bands (especially ones that come out of Indiana) and noticed that you work with Marching Show Concepts which I must say has some great things on it that I've loved for a while now. I do some work with high schools in California and have hopes of possibly using VSL for marching band music like yourself. Hopefully that opportunity comes along where I will get the chance to do this.

As for your piece, I think you did a very nice job. There's some nice moments in there that will allow for some great drill design also. The "humanity" concept along with the four movements will be a nice musical/visual package I'm sure.

As far as unique uses, I may be using VSL (kontakt bundle or opus 1) for use in an electronic instrument I am creating for a school (UCSD) final. One instrument already created is a modified laser harp/instrument, that I would like to use VSL with, but I may create something new which uses the VSL library as it's sound source.

Good work and I hope to here more!
Posted on Sat, Jan 20 2007 04:45
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5514
This is interesting to hear, good job. I am also working on midi performance of some band pieces. The VSL sounds lend themselves really well, as you can use the ensembles and solos both to get large numbers of winds.
Posted on Sat, Jan 20 2007 20:58
by euphking
Joined on Mon, Sep 20 2004, Indiana, US, Posts 14
Thanks everyone for the compliments. It's been a great process writing a piece for marching band and I've learned so much just by doing it. And of course, having VSL to help me realize the parts has been invaluable.

Cerupcat, yes I work for MSC and I'm glad you like some of our shows. Indiana is definitely a hot spot for marching band. I've been to BOA grand nationals for the last 6 years now, and it's been fun to watch the activity evolve. You should definitely write something, even if you don't have a group to play it yet. There's 16,000 high schools in the US, so I'm sure you can find someone to play it.[Wink] (Of course that's me saying that before I've had anyone play my stuff, but I've found high school directors are usually pretty open to reading stuff down. It's good to expose the kids to a living composer and some new music. And it's a great learning experience for the composer...)

As for this piece, it's actually been really challenging for me to keep the drill in mind as I write so that the sections flow well together and the drill writer can stage things in time. It's also dawning on me that typical fast tempos for contemporary marching bands in the US is around 172 BPM on the slow end, so what I've written is probably not fast enough, oddly enough.

William, I'd love to hear what you are working on. And thanks for the reminder about layering in the solo instruments. I sometimes forget about that trick.

Thanks to everyone who has listened. Any other unusual VSL applications out there?
Posted on Sat, Jan 20 2007 22:08
by cerupcat
Joined on Thu, Apr 06 2006, Posts 10
Thanks euphking, I'm sure i'll have the opportunity to possibly have some music played since I work with a few groups and network with local directors. Right now, it's more of a time problem since I don't have a lot of it haha (with finishing up school right now). I hope to attend a BOA grand nationals some day, I've seen almost all the videos that I could find which is of course a whole different experience from being there in person. Being on the west coast it's not easy to make it out there (especially that time of year); the farthest I've made it is to Vegas Regionals (which I performed in a couple times 8+ years ago).

Even if you haven't been thinking about the drill as you write, I can envision some nice forms evolving since there's a nice flow to your piece. It's funny you mentioned how 172bpm is almost on the slow end of faster marching band pieces. There's definitely a higher standard for marching precision in the Indiana, Texas, and the like states. I would say in California 172bpm would be about midrange fast tempo while the fastest being no more than 190bpm; although, seeing BOA 200bpm is nothing unusual. [Indifferent]

Keep up the good work! Big Smile
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