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Topic: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

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  1. #1

    The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    I\'ve just completed a short woodwind quartet.
    I used the Westgate Woodwind Collection,
    exclusively.

    The piece is titled \"The Four Broiders\":
    http://www.fairhurst.com/jon/music/JonFairhurst_TheFourBroiders.mp3

    I wrote the composition in Sibelius, then played
    the parts into Cakewalk at 2/3 speed. I used the
    built-in metronome.

    I found that I needed a minimum of articulations
    for this neo-baroque style. The velocity layers
    provided more than enough variety. All voices
    rely mainly on the vibrato sustain patch, except
    the clarinet, which is non-vibrato.

    I tried using a fader for expression, but found
    that I needed to be more exacting for this piece.
    I kept some fader stuff, but drew most of the
    expression control by hand.

    The last step in the sequencer was to add a touch
    of variation to the tempo. I then rendered the
    four tracks from Giga.

    During the mix (in Vegas, after normalization) I
    found that the flute and oboe had a bit too much
    in the dynamics department. Rather than re-tweak,
    a bit of compression did the trick. I also applied
    some subtle EQ to each track to help give the
    players some space.

    For reverb I mixed to two busses - one for the
    center instruments (flute, oboe) and one for the
    sides (clarinet, bassoon). Each bus got the
    acoustic mirror treatment with a touch more
    wet and a few more feet of pre-delay for the
    sides. I like the overall sound, but after
    setting it aside and re-listening, I think I
    went a bit too wet on the mix. Oh well.

    I didn\'t need any overall compression. And I only
    used a touch of mix automation to balance the
    tracks. The dynamics are 99% due to velocity and
    expression control.

    Thanks for listening. Let me know your reactions.

    Oh yeah, I let the players breathe at least
    once every four or five measures. They may be
    turning a bit blue by the end, but I think it\'s
    playable.

  2. #2

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    VERY Nice!!,
    Jon,
    Good use of \"fugue\", it sounds me sometimes like Mozart...,And talking about mix etc.. very realistic!.
    Very Good Jony!!.
    Take care.
    D.M

  3. #3

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Very nice Jon. I enjoyed that.

    Its funny cause sometimes we get so caught up in analyzing a piece of music (our own and others) that we forget that music can be great to just sit back and enjoy too.

    Which is what I just did with your song and a glass of wine. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Lovely quartet. Nice.
    J

  5. #5

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Truly a great piece of music. At times I thought I was listening to Bach.
    Personally I\'d really like to be able to create this kind of well organized and structured baroque type music, quartets and what not. I find it so \'rationally\' stimulating, so pleasing to the mind.

    The only thing I would say in the way of suggestion is I think the notes should be more staccato, more separate from each previous note, to give it a more light and clear-cut feel. As it is, each note seems to slide into the next a bit too lazily.

    Just my two cents.

    But I loved the piece. Listened to it 4 times.

    Bob

  6. #6

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Very nice Jon. I picked up a greater understanding regarding the applications of eq,compression,reverb thanks to the detailed explanation of your approach. I think I can hear the compression. And not sure what this would sound like less wet. It would be interesting to hear.

    I think you also were successful in finding the right range for the samples. Wonder if you \"on purpose\" made any changes in what plays what compared to what you originally had planned. Again, very nice composition and very helpful learning experience for me. Thank you.

  7. #7

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Just wanted to chime in with another example of Westgate Woodwinds. This is from my SISS mini demo, the woodwinds just isolated. There\'s a nasty cut somewhere in the track, because I edited out the places where there were no woodwinds But I really like how they fit in a tutti mix because they are kinda \"dirty\". VSL is handsdown the best for solo stuff and runs and such because you can actually play your own runs and it sounds fairly convincing. But Westgate certainly has a place too.

    http://www.simonravn.com/media/WGwoods.mp3

  8. #8

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Gracias Diego!

    Scott, I\'m glad you enjoyed it - especially at the experience level rather than analytically. Wine helps :-)

    Thanks Jamie.

    Bob - writing this style of music is like solving a puzzle. It definitely triggers the neurons!

    I agree completely about the lazy legato. I was going to go for a faster tempo, but decided not to push it. I think you\'re right that popping the notes a bit would liven it up. I tried some of the other articulations (portato, marcato, staccato), which are quite nice, but I didn\'t like the way that they settled in. I may try shortening the durations, as currently many of the notes actually overlap a bit for poor-man\'s legato.

    Glad you listened to it multiple times. Even though I\'ve heard it over and over, I find that I follow a different thread during each listen, which gives a unique experience each time. I had attempted to use dynamics to bring only two voices to the forefront at a time, but I didn\'t fully succeed. Half of me thinks it\'s too busy, the other half loves the business :-)

    Joanne - I went into the mix details specifically because of your previous threads. To be honest I\'d be surprised if you could hear the compression. The expression control is more dominant. I could only tell the difference with a before and after.

    I\'m thinking that I had too slow an attack on the compression though. The ff flute attacks are still harsh, but the sustain of the loud notes is reduced. I\'m livin\' and learnin\'.

    Regarding the instrument ranges, I was really lucky. I had originally written this for two voices on piano. As it happened, it mapped perfecly to flute and bassoon. I then moved some measures to the oboe and \'net and filled in the gaps to get four full voices.

    Simon - Beautiful work, and wonderful counterpoint. It definitely plays to the strengths of WWC. This lib was meant for melodies that are slow, with feeling.

    I plan to experiment more with note durations and articulations - especially on the flute. My son really liked the double-fortes on the peaks (Sibelius\' auto-expression played it that way during composition), so I went with that. But now I find it obnoxious. I purposely avoided listening to Bach when writing the composition, but I should have listened to some before making the performance. I\'m sure that I can do the library more justice, even at 145 bpm.

  9. #9

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Jon,

    Just one other question:
    \"For reverb I mixed to two busses - one for the
    center instruments (flute, oboe) and one for the
    sides (clarinet, bassoon). Each bus got the
    acoustic mirror treatment\"

    What does this mean? I know to apply reverb as needed to each track typically with each voice getting a different application. How does this differ from what you did?

    Thank you.

  10. #10

    Re: The Four Broiders - A Woodwind Quartet

    Originally posted by Joanne Babunovic:
    Jon,

    Just one other question:
    \"For reverb I mixed to two busses - one for the
    center instruments (flute, oboe) and one for the
    sides (clarinet, bassoon). Each bus got the
    acoustic mirror treatment\"

    What does this mean? I know to apply reverb as needed to each track typically with each voice getting a different application. How does this differ from what you did?

    Thank you.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Yes, please elaborate on the \"Acoustic Mirror Treatment\"...I am quite familiar with Acoustic Mirror, but you are saying you applied it to individual tracks..(?)

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