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Topic: My first GPO piece =P!

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  1. #1

    My first GPO piece =P!

    Hello, everyone! This is my first attempt composing a piece with GPO, so please bare with me...

    OK... since I can't really think of a creative name for my piece, it'll temporarily be named "Introduction and Largo" as of now (unless some of ya'll can give any uh... suggestions for a name?)... I used some harp work, strings, a flute, and some other various percussion...

    And please (without being too harsh) critique my piece. This is my first time using GPO, and it'll be nice to have some tips, suggestion, or what not, to improve and such...

    Thanks =P

    http://cata.dmusic.com/

    -Cata

  2. #2

    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Cataclysm,
    Congratulations on your first GPO piece WOOT!

    You have alot of great ideas.
    Something that will really make a huge difference is to go into each and every midi track, one at a time and listen as if you are spying in on one microphone in the orchestra (solo mode). Do whatever it takes to make it sound as real as possible. If I may, here are a few ideas for some technical issues with your presentation.... I hope you are using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of some kind, otherwise, getting very close to a realistic representation is hard to do with just notation. IMO

    In some areas, some of the strings are pumping in volume on the attacks. Alot of the times, this is because the notes' velocity (attack volume) is just too high, or the notes are overlapped too much in the midi track, or both. To get a real nice legato string sound, many of us choose to overlap the notes so that the end of the previous note lingers ever so slightly into the next note. Make sure it is just a small amount. The only way to know just how much, is to experiment.

    As I listened, the harp was really low in volume, so I reached over and turned up the volume to a pleasant listening level, then the flute came in and it sounded as if it was ten feet long It was just too loud, mixing is just a balancing act where we are literally the conductor, swooping in the phrases with TLC, and lovingly applying just the right amount of dynamics to keep it interesting and emotional.

    I could not help notice how awesome the harp part is in this piece. At times it is just right, and other times it is too perfect (timing). Quantizing is a very nice feature especially for pop oriented music where the driving beat must remain consistant, but this type of piece would rather have your own feeling. Depending on the elaborate settings (or lack thereof) of your DAW's quantizing feature, you can use quantizing to keep parts from flamming.
    Try your best to stay away from quantizing with classical type of music, unless it is used to tighten things up, but even then, you should always go back to those notes that are now perfect, and make them human sounding with a "humanize" or similar feature.

    Another very touchy subject around here is whether or not a part is actually playable on an instrument. When the harp gets really moving, I believe it would be impossible for a harpist to play those notes that fast. Slowing down the tempo at that point, would be a very simple thing to do to preserve the integrity of the piece, at least from a realistic point of view, well mine anyway

    All of these are just opinions and suggestions from my perspective. Enough about what's wrong, it is clearly a very nice piece, and you have worked a long long time on it. I commend you for posting it here and asking for advice.
    I trust you can apply some of these tips to make your piece really shine.
    I would love to hear the piece again after some other folks have added their suggestions.
    Keep up the great work!

    Dan

  3. #3

    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Oh wow, I'm certainly flattered. Thanks a bunch for the compliments =P!

    LOL, thats a lot of stuff you threw at... It made me realize how amatuer I was in using GPO... And I really have no clue how to implement some of the tips you gave me.

    As I listened, the harp was really low in volume, so I reached over and turned up the volume to a pleasant listening level, then the flute came in and it sounded as if it was ten feet long It was just too loud, mixing is just a balancing act where we are literally the conductor, swooping in the phrases with TLC, and lovingly applying just the right amount of dynamics to keep it interesting and emotional.
    You know, that's what I've thought too...

    But the thing is... I can't really change the dynamics on certain instruments... It was the Flute Solo (Vibrating)... And literally, the dynamics sound exactly the same as a fortesimmo when I try to make the dynamics piano. I really don't know what's wrong with that (or maybe it's me... or Sibelius.. either way)... It's the same for string instruments as well... barely any difference in dynamic change...

    In some areas, some of the strings are pumping in volume on the attacks. Alot of the times, this is because the notes' velocity (attack volume) is just too high, or the notes are overlapped too much in the midi track, or both. To get a real nice legato string sound, many of us choose to overlap the notes so that the end of the previous note lingers ever so slightly into the next note. Make sure it is just a small amount. The only way to know just how much, is to experiment.
    Yeah, I had trouble getting to get the smooth legato... But I don't quite understand what overlapping is (pardon my newbish-ness)

    Another very touchy subject around here is whether or not a part is actually playable on an instrument. When the harp gets really moving, I believe it would be impossible for a harpist to play those notes that fast. Slowing down the tempo at that point, would be a very simple thing to do to preserve the integrity of the piece, at least from a realistic point of view, well mine anyway
    You know what's funny? My GF used to play the harp (she past away two years ago), and wrote down and played very similar notes to some of the solo harp sections... Maybe not that fast though, which is a good point, that I've probably sped it up too much... So yeah, I agree as well.

    I haven't tried the DAW yet... So that'll be very new to me as well...

    Well, I certainly thank you for giving me such lengthy, useful advices. Gives me the spirit to compose more... Though it is, indeed, a lot more complicated than I had much expected...

  4. #4

    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    ....anyone else?

  5. #5
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    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Cataclysm,

    Very nicely written. For your first piece your did well.

    I too liked your harp (and the flute too). Very interesting runs. As a harpist, some of it may not be playbable on an orchestral harp. Using the glissando packets you may be able to get a better approximation. As far as the mix, that is DPDan's specialty and I defer to his expertise.

    Gary Garritan

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Absolutely yes.
    I was listening just now before to go to bed!!!
    I really enjoy it man!!! There are a lots of ideas!!! all really nice!!
    The flute part is simply lovely!
    What is the instrument coming with the flute in the second part of flute solo?

    The strings sound good, even if you could reach a little more legato melody.
    "Your harp" sounds extremely well!!
    In my opinion in the finale part you could achieve a great results if you add a little bit of reverb!!!
    Anyway, if this is our first GPO piece, I am sure you will compose and orchestrate very good pieces, man.
    My congrats to you,
    Roberto

  7. #7
    Senior Member valhalx's Avatar
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    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    As everyone has pointed out, this is rich with ideas and imagination. The composition is amazing. Practice with balance and mixing will make it even better. Excellent first GPO piece.
    Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them. Richard Strauss

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  8. #8
    Senior Member squoze's Avatar
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    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Thank you for making and posting this music.
    For your first GPO piece, your getting some good press.
    DPDAN is king of the mix--hear him now, understand him later.
    Praise from Mr. Garritan himself, well deserved, Gary is always very generous.
    And beach, the hardest-working reviewer here.
    Valhalx says excellent, I say bravo!

  9. #9

    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataclysm
    My GF used to play the harp (she past away two years ago), and wrote down and played very similar notes to some of the solo harp sections...
    Cataclysm......oh that's sad, I am so sorry to hear that.
    Well, keep up the great work in her honor! Lots of harp

    Squoze, you are so nice!
    Did you get blessed with being far enough away from Katrina, I hope so.
    I feel so sorry for any girls with that name.
    Thank you!

    dp

  10. #10
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: My first GPO piece =P!

    Cata,

    I echo the above impressions. I just have one thing to add - you stated you couldn't get the flute to play different dynamic levels. In Sibelius, you have to use Mod wheel messages. Do this: select a note>Command E (create expression)>type in ~C1,xx. The xx stands for a number between 0 and 127 - the higher the number, the louder the dynamic level. Play around with it, and you'll see it makes a huge difference. It does not, however work for the harp - for that, select a note (or notes) and go to the Playback panel. There you can increase/decrease the velocity (again up to 127); this changes the intensity of the attack, resulting in a change in volume -as it would do on a harp.

    Hope this helps.


    Really nice first effort.

    Looking forward to more!

    R. Pearl

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