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Topic: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

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  1. #1

    It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    Music lovers,

    (I borrowed this from Larry and I like it)

    I have been lurking for a while in this forum before deciding on the GPO train. I am glad I did. The reason was not the sound that came out of the box (had a test version a few the sounds with some notation program) but this community. To all beginners, like I am: Here are some very fine folks that can demonstrate how to compose and orchestrate ... and they show this with wonderful results. I take my bow to dpdan, valhalx, Fabio and many others.

    I have to add that I revised my first impression of the GPO sounds in the moment I began to work with it in a notation program. I use Overture now and it is amazing how GPO begins to sound once you use proper dynamics. You just can not play building brick notes on a keyboard or from a sequencer. But what you get if you shape the notes is much better than a nice "sound out of the box" that stays static.

    Uuups - I nearly forgot the link to my piece. It is my first composition for strings and needs much tweaking still. I hope you enjoy it nevertheless and I am open for critical remarks.

    Hannes

    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...rings_01_C.mp3

    EDIT: This rendition has fairly high dynamics which means the pp is waaaayy low. Best to be heard with high volume.

  2. #2

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    Welcome aboard -- and off to a great start, Hannes!

    I think I might get a look at overall dynamic range on this when you go back over it for further tweaking. Some of the lower levels were way, way down, to me.

    You're getting some great control over the strings, though, I must say, and developing a full, rich sound and texture with them.

    Good job!

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  3. #3

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    David,

    thank you for listening!

    I was trying to emulate sort-a-like live dynamics - which is not possible but one can try. So this is supposed to be heard with full volume because else one would miss the pp passages. Don't worry, it will be not loud very often, but then ...

    You are right, maybe I should make a more compressed version for easier listening.

    Hannes

  4. #4

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    David,

    thank you for listening!

    I was trying to emulate sort-a-like live dynamics - which is not possible but one can try. So this is supposed to be heard with full volume because else one would miss the pp passages. Don't worry, it will be not loud very often, but then ...

    You are right, maybe I should make a more compressed version for easier listening.

    Hannes
    Ah, now, Hannes... see that in bold up there? I gotta take you back a step on that. If I don't, I fear you'd be working under a false and limiting misapprehension about the capabilities of your tools, and of the abilities you can (and will) develop.

    It most certainly is possible to get extremely realistic dynamics. And it can be done in notation.

    It does take technique and control, though, my friend -- which is something that comes with time and effort.

    Compression is not the answer in this case, by the way. It's rarely used to any extent in this style of music and with these production techniques.

    The real solution is, in fact, to a.) plan dynamics ahead so you don't run off the ends of hearing... lol, and b.) get a better handle on managing and notating the dynamics in Overture.

    Trust me on this one, Hannes -- I went through exactly these issues of control when I was learning to work with GPO and Finale. It's like wrestling with a bear at first; but bit by bit, you do win the round!

    All my best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  5. #5

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    David,

    ah a discussion ...

    which is great, because I am here to learn. Thank you for responding.

    I was cutting edges when I said that I would do a compressed version. If I may explain my approach ...

    In a live concert the dynamics are up to 120 dB. Digital recording can reproduce 90 dB, tape recording in the old times could do 60.

    What I have found is that a normal string section in GPO can give a difference of 28 dB if fed it with a cc01 value of 1 or 127. This is the reason why I used the X-Custom sections that can do about 50 dB - still not really comparable to live dynamics but better.

    After a series of listening test I decided set up my dynamics like so:
    pp: cc01= 1
    p: cc01=20
    mp: cc01=40
    mf: cc01=60
    f: cc01=115
    ff: cc01=127

    The first graph shows these values (y-axis=cc01 value):


    Even more interesting is which output levels these values produce (y-axis=output level in dB):


    Notes:
    - The differences between the dynamics are much higher here than in what Overture proposes (they take a difference of 10 in the cc01 value per dynamic step). The problem I have with those values is that I hardly can hear any crescendo from mf to f then - very opposed to live performance.

    - Note that I decided to leave away pppp, ppp, fff, ffff. This is a somehow classical approach where "fortissimo" and "pianissimo" are simply the loudest and softest we can get.

    - Interesting: The cc values from 0 to 40 give the biggest differentiation. But maybe they are those that are most frequently overlooked. Good place for a mp at cc01=20.

    So I have set up my mix for reaching exactly 00 dB with a fortissimo in all instruments and from that down I have dynamics to pianissimo with -50 dB.

    The problem seems to be that either I have been too drastic or our listening habits demand more compressed dynamics (I am not talking about compressors). I am not ready with thinking here and thank you for every comment.

    My approach was inspired by this very interesting article:
    http://www.cdmasteringservices.com/dynamicrange.htm

    But as I said, I just began thinking and trying.

    Hannes

  6. #6

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    Few, if any, composers think in decibels... lol -- I certainly don't.

    Hannes, rule one, across the board, all issues related to sound: the ear is the ultimate arbiter.

    Dynamic markings are by no means absolutes that are determined by mathematical formulae or geometric charts.

    They are relative to the instrument, the ensemble, and even the physical environment and the piece itself.

    Listen to what your ear says, and to what your experience as a musician tells you. Then set your dynamics accordingly.

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  7. #7

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    David,

    sorry for sounding too technical. I switch easily from technics to music and back and sometimes forget that others don't necessarily want this.

    I made up these numbers after a series of tests about what I personally would consider as a mezzopiano compared to the maximum output. So the basics of all this is my ear ... which is by no means objective. And formed by live performing ... my experience with electronic music and mastering still leans towards zero ...

    EDIT
    I should add that if I pull up the volume a little bit all sounds very natural for me and then there is much headroom for the forte and fortissimo. A problem indeed is that in average it is less loud than normal.

    Thank you for your care and arguments
    Hannes

  8. #8

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    David,

    sorry for sounding too technical. I switch easily from technics to music and back and sometimes forget that others don't necessarily want this.

    I made up these numbers after a series of tests about what I personally would consider as a mezzopiano compared to the maximum output. So the basics of all this is my ear ... which is by no means objective. And formed by live performing ... my experience with electronic music and mastering still leans towards zero ...

    Thank you for your care and arguments
    Hannes
    I had four semesters of acoustics at university, and have been a programmer and engineer for over thirty years. It isn't that this is "too technical", or not what people "want" here, Hannes. To the contrary, a very large proportion of forum members are tremendously astute, technically.

    But, as you imply yourself: There is no objective standard for dynamics -- at least not in the context we're discussing.

    I think maybe where you're running into some difficulty could perhaps be simply mixing your engineering knowledge with your aesthetic perceptions.

    Now, as much we engineering types hate this sort of comment: Some things you're better off not trying to think about formally... just follow your instincts.

    If your ear says it's right? It's right.

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  9. #9

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    David,

    I will sleep a night about it and then try a new version. Thank you for being so dense.

    Hannes

  10. #10

    Re: It is spring and here comes my GPOpus 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    David,

    I will sleep a night about it and then try a new version. Thank you for being so dense.

    Hannes
    I believe you may come to appreciate my "density" in this case substantially more, somewhat later... lol.

    In any event, you're most welcome.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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