• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Topic: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Hi,

    I have to admit it - I did not know this wonderful piece before joining this forum. Shame on me ...

    On the other hand this shows how this listening room educates. I have learnt about many great pieces here, so thank you!

    This Adagio by Samuel Barber, apparently released for string quartet first and then for string orchestra, has been a milestone for midi interpretations. DPDAN has done an unequaled version, and Michael Hulas work is also very impressive. I recommend that everybody tries her/his hands on this sooner or later because afterwards one listens to these examples with even more admiration.

    I named this thread 'getting closer' but I should say that I do not mean 'getting closer to a real recording'. I mean that I currently try to get more emotional and touching with samples since this is what we need at the end of the day - may it be realistic or not.

    A related point is that many commercial recordings and even some live concerts are to reverby for my personal taste. Reverb helps a lot to 'close the sound', make it a shiny surface and therefore a shiny product. But a polished, shiny surface keeps the listener outside, and so something in me always wants to break this surface for pulling the listener into it.

    So the indegrients here are a GPO string orchestra, EQing, not too much reverb and a thin layer of NOTION violins added to the first voice - all that formed, kneaded and colored to be a subjective statement but by no means perfect or 'real'. First page only, sorry.

    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...o_mix3b_p1.mp3

    EDIT
    For reference a more reverbed version:
    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...x3b_p1_wet.mp3

    Totally dry but I like it also
    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...p1_002_dry.mp3

    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  2. #2

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    I really like Adagio for Strings. You might have known it before you knew it. This is the theme used in Platoon. Anyway, it sounds like a good start. It could use a little more reverb though. When using samples without it, there seems to be a feel like it is a robot playing the notes.

  3. #3

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Quote Originally Posted by cmbmusic
    I really like Adagio for Strings. You might have known it before you knew it. This is the theme used in Platoon. Anyway, it sounds like a good start. It could use a little more reverb though. When using samples without it, there seems to be a feel like it is a robot playing the notes.
    Actually I slightly disagree here. If the work sounds robotic without reverb it will be the same with the verb. So this is not what really helps.

    I think we currently have an inflation of reverb in midi world because everybody wants to sound mighty and the ambience knob is what seems to help at once. But I find that I like more and more sound of the old vinyl recordings, and they had often less reverb.

    For a reference here is the same piece completely dry. I don't think it sounds robotic.

    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...p1_002_dry.mp3


    Hannes

    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Orcas Island
    Posts
    11,454

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    Hi,

    I have to admit it - I did not know this wonderful piece before joining this forum. Shame on me ...

    On the other hand this shows how this listening room educates. I have learnt about many great pieces here, so thank you!

    This Adagio by Samuel Barber, apparently released for string quartet first and then for string orchestra, has been a milestone for midi interpretations. DPDAN has done an unequaled version, and Michael Hulas work is also very impressive. I recommend that everybody tries her/his hands on this sooner or later because afterwards one listens to these examples with even more admiration.

    I named this thread 'getting closer' but I should say that I do not mean 'getting closer to a real recording'. I mean that I currently try to get more emotional and touching with samples since this is what we need at the end of the day - may it be realistic or not.

    A related point is that many commercial recordings and even some live concerts are to reverby for my personal taste. Reverb helps a lot to 'close the sound', make it a shiny surface and therefore a shiny product. But a polished, shiny surface keeps the listener outside, and so something in me always wants to break this surface for pulling the listener into it.

    So the indegrients here are a GPO string orchestra, EQing, not too much reverb and a thin layer of NOTION violins added to the first voice - all that formed, kneaded and colored to be a subjective statement but by no means perfect or 'real'. First page only, sorry.

    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...o_mix3b_p1.mp3


    Hannes
    Hannes,

    This certainly is a wonderful piece and your excellent work on it does it justice. You just keep getting better. There are so many ways you can do the Adagio - even with live players and it can sound vastly different. And reverb has a lot to do with the overall sound.

    GPO and Notion blend very well together.

    It may be a good excerce for us to all work on the Adagio and show different interpretations. What would you think of a group exercise where we can all show our techniques for acheiving string textures. This may be the perfect piece.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Gary Garritan

  5. #5

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Gary,

    I think this is an excellent idea! The piece is beautifully inspiring and at the same time it is a landmark to orientate the own skills.

    I have seven or eight recordings of it, and each is different. Different tempi, different sound, different ambience, different dynamics. So a non-trivial part of such a rendering is to get an own standpoint conductor-wise. I know I am not ready in that regard and this is why I only did a page for a start.


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  6. #6

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    I uploaded a more reverbed version, it is also linked to in the first post. The comparision may be interesting for somebody.


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  7. #7

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F

    So the indegrients here are a GPO string orchestra, EQing, not too much reverb and a thin layer of NOTION violins added to the first voice - all that formed, kneaded and colored to be a subjective statement but by no means perfect or 'real'.
    Hi Hannes,

    I think your version is truer to real life than some of the popular, budget CDs that often feature this work - and which, too often, are swamped with reverb. For me though, the big question is not so much the reverb - but how did you get such a warm sound? I'm constantly trying to get the GPO strings to sound more mellow.

    Regards, Graham

  8. #8

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamKeitch
    Hi Hannes,

    I think your version is truer to real life than some of the popular, budget CDs that often feature this work - and which, too often, are swamped with reverb. For me though, the big question is not so much the reverb - but how did you get such a warm sound? I'm constantly trying to get the GPO strings to sound more mellow.

    Regards, Graham
    Hi Graham,

    thank you for listening and commenting.
    BTW thank you also cmbmusic and Gary, ahem ...

    Short answer: Brightness knob and EQing.

    Long answer:
    I use the Sus+Short AG patch of the x-folder versions for everything. They do not only have good attacs but also the tightest legato. Only thing is that I go to the midi file after recording and reduce the velocities.

    I set the cc01 slider to -100 % at the Kontakt player.

    Then there is the brightness knob. I do not hesitate to use it.

    But now comes some extra magic. Have a look at my DAW. I use two monitors but have put the pictures one over the other:



    The whole thing is a setup in energyXT which is a modular host. I have created an object called 'Hannes_Strings' where in the upper right edge you see GPO in the Kontakt player. Every channel output is connected to a row of effects that influence individually the timbre, legato and volume.

    In the lower part of that screen you see one element of these - a parametric equalizer where two bands are roboted by an incoming cc curve. These two bands are linked, when one gain goes up the other goes down. So the overall brightness of an instrument can be formed without much volume change.

    Now I started to use this by drawing cc curves with hand but found it much too indirect. Instead of this I am using the software tablet2cc that you find on the other screen. With the sliders I can quickly assign the brightness and attack parameter of the Kontakt player but the main field is the most important one. The x-axis is assigned to cc01 and the y-axis to my brightness EQ. So the forming of a tone can be done by a graphical 2-D gesture, similar to writing letters per hand. Lines, curves, circles ... every gesture has a specific sound.

    This enables me to play something like this in realtime:
    http://www.frischat.com/compose/Hann...hat_V1test.mp3

    The big advantage is that you can form a tone not only by the modwheel but also do timbre changes in realtime.

    The only thing I did after the take was to reduce the velocities (maybe I can change a setting in my keyboard so this will be even obsolete) and make some legato transitions more tight.

    Hope this helps anybody - has taken me a month to figure it out.


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  9. #9

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    Hope this helps anybody - has taken me a month to figure it out.
    Thanks Hannes, this takes me beyond the 'simple' Finale / GPO world that I'm familiar with - but I guess that explains why you're able to craft the sounds that you do. My own workaround has involved dropping the velocity to almost zero - but I would never have thought of using the short / sustain AG patch! I need to take a much closer look at what you're doing here as I'm sure this will help to point me in the right direction. Thanks for your detailed reply, it's much appreciated.

    Regards, Graham

  10. #10
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: Strings - getting closer? A Barber Adagio version

    Hannes,

    I actually like the dry version - didn't think I would. My only suggestion regards the weaving in of the Notion instruments - the violin stands out a little too prominently ( would it work with the Garritan solo instruments? Or perhaps, that is how the ensemble is constructed?). I think it is just the levels, but when the first violin comes in, it is just a bit too loud. Maybe just a wee bit of reverb?

    Good job!!

    R. Pearl

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •