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Topic: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

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  1. #1

    Smile Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    In trying to familiarize myself with the Solo Strad, I deleted the melody line from a mostly-finished piano piece I had lying around on my hard drive and replaced it with the Strad:

    Cakewalk by John T. Hall (1900), 02:18, 2.7MB MP3

    I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a bowed-string player, so I'd be grateful to anyone who would be kind enough to give me feedback on articulations, phrasing, and so on so I can sound like someone who actually knows how to play a violin.

    Thanks!
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Hi Godfrey,
    IMHO, the articulations and phrasing are already very good. My main criticism is that this all plays at the same volume, i.e. you need to use CC#11 to breath some expression into it. (even using a MIDI slider after recording the rest is o.k., if you don't actually have a pedal). My "personal" guideline for how to use expression (I don't play violin either), is that I imagine I'm trying to sing it, taking into account my own breathing
    And for this ragtime-style, don't be afraid of using some pitchbend occasionally, to "slide" up to the note at the beginning of certain phrases (violin purists will argue that this is a bad habit.. but you'll sound more "real", no matter what they say! )
    Cubase 5.1 | Cubase 4.5.2 | Digital Performer 7.0 | Mac OSX 10.5.8 || Mac "MDD" dual 1GB | 1.75GB RAM | MOTU PCI-424/2408mk3 | MOTU MidiTimepice AV

  3. #3

    Talking Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Hi, vic_france, thanks for your response!

    I did use an expression pedal, however apparently mine is not very linear; its values during the piece ranged from 90-127 (I can tip it down below that range, but have very little control over it; shoots down to near-silence in a very short distance).

    I did have more portamenti in there originally, but it sounded like I was trying to be sloppy, so I took most of them out. I'll experiment with putting a few more in again, so thank you for the feedback.
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  4. #4
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    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey
    I did have more portamenti in there originally, but it sounded like I was trying to be sloppy, so I took most of them out. I'll experiment with putting a few more in again, so thank you for the feedback.
    Using the pitchbend wheel gives a different result from playing legato in order to achieve portamento. Lower the pitchbend wheel, play the first note of a phrase (it will sound one tone too low, if you have lowered it all the way.. try just half way down), then rather quickly let the pitchbend wheel go back to centre position. This certainly gives a "folky" flavour to the phrase

    Does your host have a Transformer module, in order to exaggerate the movement of your CC#11 (so that you aren't stuck between 90 and 127)?
    Cubase 5.1 | Cubase 4.5.2 | Digital Performer 7.0 | Mac OSX 10.5.8 || Mac "MDD" dual 1GB | 1.75GB RAM | MOTU PCI-424/2408mk3 | MOTU MidiTimepice AV

  5. #5

    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_france
    Does your host have a Transformer module, in order to exaggerate the movement of your CC#11 (so that you aren't stuck between 90 and 127)?
    It's not so much exaggeration that I need as a complete remapping; I apparently have an exponential pedal (below is the curve I get when I do a linear physical motion across its full range). Giorgio has suggested that I try MIDI-OX, which I have just found and downloaded.

    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  6. #6
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    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Jeff,

    This is a really nice rendering of the rag. The Stad works well here and has a nice bite to it that compliments the piano. I agree that some dynamics would make it a little more real. But I also understand your grief with the expression pedal. Thanks for sharing it with the forum.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  7. #7

    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Okay, I deleted the data from the expression pedal and recorded another pass using a slider of my BCF2000 to control CC11, and re-uploaded to the same place. I can't really tell if it sounds better than the original version or not.
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Yes, it does sound better. But I still think you should try using CC#11 more.. maybe it is too high too much of the time? Leave some headroom so that you can give certain notes a "push". (imagine using the pedal like a car accelerator pedal, and "revving up" each note!) Remember that key velocity doesn't have very much effect on the actual volume of the notes with the Strad (it is more for "attack"), so you do need to compensate via CC#11 (I'm sure that when you originally played it on the piano, that melody line had all the dynamics it needed! )
    Don't get me wrong.. it is already very good , but we are going for perfection here!
    (actually, just before you faded it out, I thought the dynamics of the last couple of phrases were really good!)
    Cubase 5.1 | Cubase 4.5.2 | Digital Performer 7.0 | Mac OSX 10.5.8 || Mac "MDD" dual 1GB | 1.75GB RAM | MOTU PCI-424/2408mk3 | MOTU MidiTimepice AV

  9. #9

    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    What a fun piece Godfrey, you are already making great strides with the Stradi. !!

    regards Joe

  10. #10

    Re: Strad: a cakewalk (feedback welcome)

    Godfrey, nice job on this, to my ear -- I think you're
    making great headway getting articulations and
    phrasing to go where you want them.

    Interpretively, the one comment I'd make, though, is
    perhaps you're paying so much attention to the Strad
    you may be neglecting overall dynamics, tempi, etc.,
    a bit. Not that I don't do the same thing... lol --
    getting all of this under control is a rather large
    handfull.

    Delightful piece!

    My best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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