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Topic: How bad do I suck?

  1. #1

    How bad do I suck?

    Ok guys,

    I finally took my first \"plunge\" at orchestrating. First and foremost, excuse the clipping heard on the recording.. it\'s a long story and it\'s getting very late.

    Basically this entire excerpt is improvised (I\'m a jazz musician... what do you expect). I really want to know whether I have \"potential\" in the orchestrating field.

    I laid down any parts that came to my head and went from there. The piano part didn\'t take long because well... I\'m a pianist and it\'s all improvised. Liszt and Chopin did stuff like this ALL the time. Improvised at that...

    If it sux...well It\'s all impromptu-- made up on the spot. Please tell me what I need to work on as far as balance and whatever else. Be nice! After all it\'s my first shot at trying to catch up with the big boys in here.

    If the piece sounds a little blurry, it\'s supposed to. I was thinking of a thunderstorm with lightning, a quick tad of a beautiful rainbow, and then close with a mighty sunset. (ala Rachmoninoff mixed with a few other people)

    I don\'t own any percussion library so I envy Simon Ravn on this one. I wanted that Big Bass drum sound and cymbals he has but... it\'s no percussion in this one. The piano functioned as the big bass drum with some crashing octaves. (I stoled that from Horowitz). Also if the timing seems off in the instrumental and octave passages, it\'s because I forgot to \"up\" the resolution on my sequencer. At times it might sound rushed or robotic. I played it in the keyboard the best I could several times. Please look beyond the faults and give advice/compliments/flames... and whatever else.

    Piano = Steinway B (yes this baby can move mountains)

    (Bosendorfer just couldn\'t give me the piercing highs and thunderous lows. I needed unclear lows so I chose Steinway. bosendorfer lows = very clear. Not so good for thunderous effect.)


    The mp3 can be downloaded at:

  2. #2

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    Well done. I think it worked well. Could the piano balance be both more forward in depth and more central in the sound stage. To me it was just extreme left. Giving the piano more presence might achieve the dynamic highs and bass you mentioned you liked the Steinway B for but to my ears, seemed to get swallowed in the overall reverberation (which I note you did want).

    But impressive.

  3. #3

    Re: How bad do I suck?


    Thanks for responding Well I shoved the piano left because I thought that\'s where it usually sits on stage when it\'s used within the orchestra. Where do you advise I place it because I\'m not quite sure. Should I shove it to the middle and just use eq so it won\'t wash out the brass section? That\'s what was happening when I had it in the middle before (without eq though). I\'m all ears.

    Also the piano left hand passages when used with pedal mask out the celli and bassoon if placed center. It\'s like two bulls of the orchestra fighting for space in the sound stage. This can all be corrected with eq but I don\'t know if that\'s the right way to go. What would you advise?

    I still have the fresh wav files to do another mix.

  4. #4

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    Nice start - keep on!
    what I suggest is doing something that does not exist in the real world - move your piano around (or make the listener fly). When the solo part starts separate the two hands and bring the right hand dryer to the other side and closer.
    have fun!

  5. #5

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    How about if I run the piano through a Leslie Speaker with a tad of distortion? !

    No I\'m kidding.... Yeah... maybe I\'ll move the piano around a bit. But where? more up front, farther back (I doubt), left, right?

    It seems ineveitable drowning out the double basses, celli, and bassoon with the piano when I have to use heavy pedal. All the instruments are playing passages in the same range in this excerpt.

    Then again, I wanted that \"wash of sound\" effect. If this were another piece \"Mozart Like\" maybe I wouldn\'t have to worry about the masking effect because not much pedal is needed.

    Thanks for all responses thus far. At least I know I have some ounce of orchestrating juice in me.

  6. #6

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    fmfgs suggestion sounds good - seperating out the two hands. Re placement, well I guess for a concerto, the piano sits just left of middle and at the front of the stage. If it\'s not a concerto - your right, left and middle of the platform. I\'d try not to use the EQ to highlight an instrument but play with different levels of reverb - bring the celli forward as well in the soundstage. Goodluck.

  7. #7

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    Great Work! I cannot wait to hear more. I don\'t know if words could describe the excitment of your music. It\'s the best thing that I have heard in a long time.

  8. #8

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    Good stuff esteven. A pleasure to listen to

  9. #9

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    Very nice Estevan! For your first effort it is awesome.

    -- Martin http://www.mp3.com/starbirth

  10. #10

    Re: How bad do I suck?

    Guys...wow....thanks.... This forum is wonderful. People actually listen to others\' work and give constructive advice. Even if you are a newbie composer like me, they still take time to listen and give helpful feedback. What more can one ask for. Thanks all... I\'ll keep working on my skills now that I know I got a little somethin\' there.

    Much appreciation.

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