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Topic: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

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  1. #1
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    Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    I originally posted this because of some Kontakt issues I've had, but I like the way it turned out so I'm posting it here too in case there are any Wagnerians here! Feel free to comment.

    I made this mixdown partly as an educational task but also to "tune in" the instruments in my orchestral setup. I like using the smaller libraries better, so all samples except the timpani are actually from the SILVER Edition of EWQLSO.

    I don't have access to the full score, so I used a public domain MIDI file as a foundation and worked from there. The mix has been compressed somewhat, and it also uses a convolution reverb.

    Oh, there's a phone ringing at 13.07. Pretend it doesn't exist. It's part of the issues I mentioned .

    The file can be found at:
    http://www.f.kth.se/~arwa02/Wagner_T..._EWQLSO_SE.mp3

    /Arne

  2. #2
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    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    Arne, I was disappointed for the first two minutes as I thought the piece was a little stilted with not enough flowing legato but you sure made up for it thereafter. It sounded very good for the vast majority of the remainder. Interesting that you did this mostly with Silver.

    It was a pleasure listening to this piece as I hadn't listened to it for a considerable time and I don't listen to music as much as I used to......I probably, also, neglected Wagner too much....he produced some amazing compositions.

    I hope your work continues in the way you have started .

    Good effort.

    Frank

  3. #3

    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    Very good work indeed: that's QUITE an accomplishment. If I'm being REALLY fussy the slow part of overture could do being more legato: it's a little too "choppy" at times. But the Venusberg music (the fast bit) is most skillfully done: again, though, the bit when Venus comes to seduce Tannhäuser is definitely overloud.

    I could tell that the mix had some compression but it didn't affect my enjoyment.

  4. #4
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    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    Great comments already.

    Frank:
    You really hit the spot. I've been trying to get those viola and cello lines to sound right but I never seem to make it. Silver really don't do legato. I'm considering fixing this issue by fixing my patches myself and I'm glad you're saying it, since there's no escape for me now.

    I can't believe developers use virtually millions of dollars on recording the samples, but NO ONE seems to care about programming proper patches that sound good and are easy to use. I'm totally convinced VSL quality would be possible with a <5 GB library if developers focused more on programming patches instead of filling up our precious RAM . I want a library easy to use, fast to load and that I can have laying around on my computer just like any other application.

    It's easy to neglect Wagner you know, he doesn't know when to stop . When you listen to his amazing stuff, it's just more amazing and goes on and on. But if you're listening to something from him that isn't your taste, you're more or less stuck with that for the next 30 minutes. :P His genious orchestration is just amazing though, this is one of the reasons why I chose to do this piece.

    John:
    There's just so much contrast in this piece, it's really hard to have ANY recording of this piece without compressing it.

    I'm not very familiar with the motifs of the opera though. But I'm really curious about it. What theme is the seduction motif? Maybe I should have read the libretto first. :P

    /Arne

  5. #5
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    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    First - I love Wagner. Second - VIs are still young and virtual samplers (and most sample packages) are not fully matured.

    My take (have not listened as fully as I might) is that in the first minutes the attacks on the instruments are too precise and the layers sound "sythy."

    Now there are two ways to look at that problem. One is to work on getting this to replicate what a "real" orchestra would do.

    (I almost hear the screams of "Heretic, Heretic -- take him to the gates and stone him" coming as I write the next pargraph.)

    The other is to do what I feel Wagner would have done -- and Tomita has tried a time or two.

    That is to take advantage of those areas which sound otherworldly and "synthy" and design sound to the piece -- not assign "traditional instruments."

    I feel the lack of modern technology was the limitation that Wagner fought. It is apparent to me he never could score the depth or etherial feel of sound he wanted -- so was forced to use instrumentation available at the time. Wagnerian Tuba works OK - but what if you take that tuba sample and process it to a richer sound -- bringing your creativity to it?

    OK purists -- the heretic has had a say. I admire anyone who has the patience to get Wagner to sound right -- particularly since even Wagner felt that it (whatever it was) did not sound like he wanted it too.

    Recreating modern orchestral renditions with samples is hard work -- and takes creativity to one extreme -- tinkering withg what was on paper and might have been in the master's mind -- takes it another way.

  6. #6
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    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    Quote Originally Posted by arwa02
    Great comments already.

    Frank:
    You really hit the spot. I've been trying to get those viola and cello lines to sound right but I never seem to make it. Silver really don't do legato. I'm considering fixing this issue by fixing my patches myself and I'm glad you're saying it, since there's no escape for me now.

    I can't believe developers use virtually millions of dollars on recording the samples, but NO ONE seems to care about programming proper patches that sound good and are easy to use. I'm totally convinced VSL quality would be possible with a <5 GB library if developers focused more on programming patches instead of filling up our precious RAM . I want a library easy to use, fast to load and that I can have laying around on my computer just like any other application.

    It's easy to neglect Wagner you know, he doesn't know when to stop . When you listen to his amazing stuff, it's just more amazing and goes on and on. But if you're listening to something from him that isn't your taste, you're more or less stuck with that for the next 30 minutes. :P His genious orchestration is just amazing though, this is one of the reasons why I chose to do this piece.

    John:
    There's just so much contrast in this piece, it's really hard to have ANY recording of this piece without compressing it.

    I'm not very familiar with the motifs of the opera though. But I'm really curious about it. What theme is the seduction motif? Maybe I should have read the libretto first. :P

    /Arne
    Interesting reply Arne. It might help the legato effect if you overlap the notes slightly in the pianoroll.....just a thought. The point in your second paragraph has been answered, to some degree, by the philosophy behind GPO.

    Thanks again for the chance to listen to the Tannhauser overture...you make some good points about Wagner but you're right, his good stuff is just brilliant!!

    regards

    Frank

  7. #7
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    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    First - I love Wagner. Second - VIs are still young and virtual samplers (and most sample packages) are not fully matured.

    My take (have not listened as fully as I might) is that in the first minutes the attacks on the instruments are too precise and the layers sound "sythy."

    Now there are two ways to look at that problem. One is to work on getting this to replicate what a "real" orchestra would do.

    ...

    That is to take advantage of those areas which sound otherworldly and "synthy" and design sound to the piece -- not assign "traditional instruments."
    I think you're entirely correct in everything you say. Computers are and will never be anything else than an imitation if people only strive to imitate the orchestra. There's a lot that can be done today that can't be done within the orchestra. You're not even off implying that Wagner probably would do it all :P.

    I'm interested in the orchestra because I'm fascinated by it as a performing arts. I wouldn't compose only to make a "final" recorded version of a work, where the RECORDING actually is the work of art. Making a recording is like making a movie. Composing for the orchestra is like writing for the theatre. I'm more fascinated by the latter, and I use Virtual Instruments only as dummie actors giving me a hint of how the final work could sound.

    Now, if your dummie actors are pretty good actors, then you can try advanced stuff on them all the way from the start. This helps in the writing process. But if they're TOO good, they get needy and very demanding (i.e. VSL) you need lots of resources and work just to keep them happy. In my eyes, you're better of with medium talent dummie actors (silver, GPO, etc). This is getting very filosophical.

    I'm only putting together this Wagner piece to learn more about orchestration (and to give my dummie actors some practice). I also think that computer rendered orchestral pieces are a great way to get royalty free music out to people (instead of MIDI files), and this is often a great way to get people more interested in art music as performing arts.

    When I think about it some more.. it's really a neat idea to render classical pieces using computer generated instruments to try and emphase the intentions of the composer. :P


    Interesting reply Arne. It might help the legato effect if you overlap the notes slightly in the pianoroll.....just a thought. The point in your second paragraph has been answered, to some degree, by the philosophy behind GPO.
    It makes a different but it's not really the sound you want. I'm just going to layer my strings a little differently, and shorten the initial part of the sample. With some tweaks I'm sure it will sound great.

    I own GPO and it's ok (nice price) but I'm really not very fond of it. It has more programming than Silver, but it's still lacking IMO. I think developers should sell their packages with lots of different instrument "sets" depending on how much control you want, and the way you want to control your orchestra. It's not like data size is an issue since patches only are couple of kb's.

    I'm using Kontakt now so I have the ability to use only some instruments from GPO and others from Silver if I want to, but I just happend to prefer the sound of Silver.

    /Arne

  8. #8

    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    Very nice work!

    A few comments: did you apply a layer of reverb over the whole mix? It sounds a little muddied when the brass makes their enterance at 2:15. Around 2:43, the brass seems to lose some articulation. How is the velocity on the notes? Speaking of velocity, do you use crossfaded samples? I noticed at certain crescendos the sound seems to thicken rather suddenly rather than gradually.

    But all these points are if you are looking for realism rather than just trying to learn orchestration by sequencing a great piece. I thought the winds that start the piece sound realistic. The detached strings in the first two minutes don't bother me too much unless the score wants it legato. In doesn't sound that artificial, but more like a conductor who adheres to precision over the overall musical effect. The big ending sounds great.

    Can you email me the midi file?

    Overall, I think it is quite good.

  9. #9

    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    Arne this feels like an orchestra! Well done
    Theo Krueger - Composer

    www.TheoKrueger.com

    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  10. #10
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    Re: Comments! Wagner - Tannhauser overture EWQLSO.

    A few comments: did you apply a layer of reverb over the whole mix? It sounds a little muddied when the brass makes their enterance at 2:15. Around 2:43, the brass seems to lose so...
    ...
    Yes, the whole mix has been reverbed. I din't put a lot of time into it, but I tried to make it stay pretty faithful to my original Tannhauser recording. I'm not really scared of having recordings a bit muddy sometimes. Since it's convolution, it's the way it really would sound in that particular hall. BUT, there's also a big chance that some of the instruments (dry) have a bit to much of a tail to start with. I've never used this particular orchestral setup before, so It's not perfectly adjusted yet.

    The legato section do have some issues that haven't been taken care of (foremost, the volume is "jumping" way too much). Also, I'm just using the Silver Edition, and even though you can get almost everything out of it if you put the effort into it, the legato section probably won't ever have the sound of a $3000+ library.

    There are some missing notes/articulation. I actually have no idea why this occur. I've tried to mixdown the file in realtime etc. but only sometimes these problems occur when I PLAY the file in Cubase. I'm pretty confident the MIDI cc's are setup correctly, but it just won't work consistently. I guess I could make several mixdowns and cut and paste until I have a final working version.

    I don't think SE uses crossfaded samples for it's programs?. Sure, it's a piece of cake to fix that in Kontakt, but I haven't gotten to it. I don't have a lot of experience using it, but won't the sound actually sound "doubled" if you use crossfaded samples? Wouldn't woodwind solo lines sound chorused sometimes? The timbre is a lot bigger issue to me.

    Arne this feels like an orchestra! Well done
    Thank you thank you

    /Arne

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