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Topic: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

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  1. #1

    String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Hear are mp3s of the movements of a String Quartet I completed last year (links below). They are realized with GPO4 (solo KS strings, Aria Play string quartet preset & Concert Hall 2 effect) - with minor adjustments) and Digital Performer. I took a course on using DP in the spring, so I'm new to audio production. I used some compression on the first three movements, none on the 4th. Also I think I now know how to set up the controls and effects in the Aria Player (the 4th movement sample I completed yesterday, and I'm most happy with that sound at this point). I'd like your feedback on the sound. any suggestions on use of EQ (I didn't use any), compression, etc? I'm not convinced I need any of the DP effects for a good sound (but I'm very willing to learn!). I also had to jack up the Vl. 1 and 2 in the Aria Player Mixer to balance the Viola and Cello.

    Movement III is complete. The other movements are the first couple of minutes. Again, any feedback or guidance is appreciated. I would like to create good renditions of my orchestral and chamber works.

    http://www.johnnewellmusic.com/mp3s/...wn%2010-10.mp3

    http://www.johnnewellmusic.com/mp3s/...and%20grit.mp3

    http://www.johnnewellmusic.com/mp3s/...le%2010-27.mp3

    http://www.johnnewellmusic.com/mp3s/...%20light.a.mp3

    Thanks! John

  2. #2

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Per your own comments, I'd say by IV. you've gotten to a fairly
    able level of rendering... and avoided the majority of missteps
    most of us make, by then.

    I might note perhaps more attention to introducing variances
    on held or repeated material. Long held notes quickly grow
    stale without some dynamic shift (even if small); and repeated
    notes, trills, and so on -- slight changes to durations and
    dynamics help avoid "motor" and "machine gun" effects.

    For the music itself, John, I'm pleased to hear both a fresh
    voice with intriguing ideas and a craftsman behind the pen.
    String quartets, as well as being amongst the most difficult
    forms to render well in samples, are also a challenge to
    write originally, without repeating history.

    Well done! May I look forward to hearing the completed
    work.

    My best,


    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  3. #3

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Very interesting. I do like the fourth movement best, considering the incompeleteness of the clips. But it does sound like you're improving the recording quality as you go along. Please continue! This is encouraging news for contemporary fans.
    Arvid Hand
    Theory-Comp./Piano
    ASCAP

  4. #4

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    I also like the 4th movement best. The whole piece is very well recorded and balanced. As David noted above, some of the instruments in the faster sections sound a bit "machine-gun", but impressive nonetheless. Would make a nice score to a modern "Avante-Garde" style movie or documentary.
    John B.

  5. #5

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Hi John

    I'm not normally a lover of the classical string quartet form of music, but while being quite modern at first appearance, these movements still retain a sense of lyricism and complexity of rhythm and structure that fit in with the tradition but make them quite fresh and engaging.

    I too particularly like the last one, and will be interested to see (hear) it completed.

    As to sound advice, since you particularly ask for it, I can offer some advice, but this is a learning area for me too, so whether it is sound or not remains to be seen...

    I think you're right not use compression in classical music ... this brings all the music to a perceivably louder overall level and is expected in "popular" music but in the classical tradition we expect to hear the full range of natural volumes, making it unecessary.

    You've used panning well to space out the instruments, though perhaps a little too much to my ear ... the violin in particular seems a little too far off to the left in comparison to the other instruments. A string quartet can be quite close and intimate, with all the sounds fairly close to the centre, so long as they are still distinguishable.

    The instruments sound a little as though they are all sat in a straight line, rather than an open circle, you can use a "wetter" reverb setting on the two central instruments to make them appear nearer the back of the stage, leaving room to bring the two outer instruments more centre stage.

    Likewise, a higher predelay on the reverb (the time before hearing the delayed reverb signal) for the outer instruments will bring them nearer the front.

    EQ arose out of the need to restore ('correct') the original quality of a sound lost through either the recording or transmission processes. You should shouldn't any need to use it for this purposes with quality sample libraries like GPO, other than perhaps a low cut and high cut at the extremes of human hearing - there can still be sounds outside this range which are an unecessary drain on speakers/headphones and allow you to dedicated more volume producing capacity to the audible sounds.

    It was then used to 'creatively' enhance the sound to something more or different than it originally was. Again, the strings all sound very realistic so, it is seems unecessary here for your purpose.

    A third use (though it is arguably an example of the second one above) is to balance the frequencies used on each instrument ... two or more instruments using the same range of frequencies can fight to be heard through a stereo signal, so EQ allows us to emphasise each sound more in one or two key frequencies, giving them each a deciated space in which to be heard. As the instruments in a string quartet naturally play in different ranges, this should also not be necessary, unless you want to make them sound very tightly packed.

    You could google "3D mixing" for more on these general points, if they're the sort of thing your were looking to understand.

    Good work though ... I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Hi John;
    I concur with most of the comments above, except to add go into the Controls in the Aria player and set both Var 1 and Var 2 to a value of "10", and when using these instruments especially, crank the Stereo Stage setting to 100%. You may have already done these things but if not, doing so will add realism and individuality to each of the 4 voices.

    Keep at it!!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  7. #7

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Thanks for listening David! Good point about variation. I did some, but there are places it definitely needs work. GPO does give me the tools to accomplish what you said.

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Per your own comments, I'd say by IV. you've gotten to a fairly
    able level of rendering... and avoided the majority of missteps
    most of us make, by then.

    I might note perhaps more attention to introducing variances
    on held or repeated material. Long held notes quickly grow
    stale without some dynamic shift (even if small); and repeated
    notes, trills, and so on -- slight changes to durations and
    dynamics help avoid "motor" and "machine gun" effects.

    For the music itself, John, I'm pleased to hear both a fresh
    voice with intriguing ideas and a craftsman behind the pen.
    String quartets, as well as being amongst the most difficult
    forms to render well in samples, are also a challenge to
    write originally, without repeating history.

    Well done! May I look forward to hearing the completed
    work.

    My best,


    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  8. #8

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Peter, thanks for listening, and for your feedback. Exactly what I'm looking for. I didn't use EQ at all in GPO or in Digital Performer... I used the string quartet preset in Aria Player, which had pan settings (I moved the cello back however); but I understand your comment, and will work with reverb to see if the musical space can be improved.

    John

    I am happier with the overall sound of IV, as I did it without any compression.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Jeffrey Gale View Post
    Hi John

    I'm not normally a lover of the classical string quartet form of music, but while being quite modern at first appearance, these movements still retain a sense of lyricism and complexity of rhythm and structure that fit in with the tradition but make them quite fresh and engaging.

    I too particularly like the last one, and will be interested to see (hear) it completed.

    As to sound advice, since you particularly ask for it, I can offer some advice, but this is a learning area for me too, so whether it is sound or not remains to be seen...

    I think you're right not use compression in classical music ... this brings all the music to a perceivably louder overall level and is expected in "popular" music but in the classical tradition we expect to hear the full range of natural volumes, making it unecessary.

    You've used panning well to space out the instruments, though perhaps a little too much to my ear ... the violin in particular seems a little too far off to the left in comparison to the other instruments. A string quartet can be quite close and intimate, with all the sounds fairly close to the centre, so long as they are still distinguishable.

    The instruments sound a little as though they are all sat in a straight line, rather than an open circle, you can use a "wetter" reverb setting on the two central instruments to make them appear nearer the back of the stage, leaving room to bring the two outer instruments more centre stage.

    Likewise, a higher predelay on the reverb (the time before hearing the delayed reverb signal) for the outer instruments will bring them nearer the front.

    EQ arose out of the need to restore ('correct') the original quality of a sound lost through either the recording or transmission processes. You should shouldn't any need to use it for this purposes with quality sample libraries like GPO, other than perhaps a low cut and high cut at the extremes of human hearing - there can still be sounds outside this range which are an unecessary drain on speakers/headphones and allow you to dedicated more volume producing capacity to the audible sounds.

    It was then used to 'creatively' enhance the sound to something more or different than it originally was. Again, the strings all sound very realistic so, it is seems unecessary here for your purpose.

    A third use (though it is arguably an example of the second one above) is to balance the frequencies used on each instrument ... two or more instruments using the same range of frequencies can fight to be heard through a stereo signal, so EQ allows us to emphasise each sound more in one or two key frequencies, giving them each a deciated space in which to be heard. As the instruments in a string quartet naturally play in different ranges, this should also not be necessary, unless you want to make them sound very tightly packed.

    You could google "3D mixing" for more on these general points, if they're the sort of thing your were looking to understand.

    Good work though ... I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

  9. #9

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Thanks sd. I was timid on the Var. I and 2 settings, and the Stereo Stage setting as well. Also, I didn't crank up the Send on the Aria Player mixer all the way. I'll go back and experiment. I appreciate everyone taking the time to listen and comment.

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by sd cisco View Post
    Hi John;
    I concur with most of the comments above, except to add go into the Controls in the Aria player and set both Var 1 and Var 2 to a value of "10", and when using these instruments especially, crank the Stereo Stage setting to 100%. You may have already done these things but if not, doing so will add realism and individuality to each of the 4 voices.

    Keep at it!!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  10. #10

    Re: String Quartet using GPO4 - I'd welcome your feedback

    Hi everyone, I used many of your suggestions to create a better acoustic space for the piece. A bit more present sound now, using Send on the instruments set at 3 o'clock, instead of very little, Concert Hall 2. I tweaked the CC 21 and 22, and took off all compression in Digital Performer. You might take another listen. John
    John Newell
    www.johnnewellmusic.com
    GPO4, Garritan World Instruments, Digital Performer 7.24, Finale 2012, Miroslav Philharmonik

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