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Topic: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

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  1. #1

    Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    I originally wrote this for nylon string guitar, but I was curious to hear how it would sound on piano. This uses GPO steinway. (Can't afford the garritan authorized steinway at this time.) Please give it a listen and tell me what you think.
    Thanks Jay.
    3/20/12: I have added Randy Bowser's version of this song using the authorized steinway and some subtle performance touches. Much thanks to Randy for this.

    www.jesse.us.com/gondola_piano.mp3


    Jay's "Gondola" - Authorized Steinway - Tempo corrected

  2. #2

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Send me the MIDI and I will make it better sounding for the Pro Steinway. Sounds pretty nice, but needs a better piano.

    Raymond

  3. #3

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Hey Raymond! I have a couple of decent piano software but they are not garritan products. I would love to hear what this sounds like with the pro steinway.
    Here is the midi file: www.jesse.us.com/gondola.mid

    You will notice that I split this into two tracks, one track for generally the left hand and one track for generally the right hand. I think that it might improve the articulation a little.

    Anyway, thanks for the offer. I am looking forward to hear what it can sound like.
    Jay

  4. #4

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    What a sweet piece, Jay, with some really romantically poignant moods to it.

    Interesting that it was originally for guitar. How much adaptation did you do for this piano version?

    Nice offer Raymond made, it'll be interesting to hear it on the Authorized. The piano in GPO is fine for ensemble pieces, but has a boxy sound which gets exposed in solo. It's not as if it's instantly easy to get a huge improvement with the Authorized, but it can sound pretty nice, evidenced by the pieces Nikolas is posting. We'll await Raymond's file.

    Thanks, this is really a pretty piece.

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    I originally wrote this for nylon string guitar, but I was curious to hear how it would sound on piano. This uses GPO steinway. (Can't afford the garritan authorized steinway at this time.) Please give it a listen and tell me what you think.
    Thanks Jay.
    www.jesse.us.com/gondola_piano.mp3
    Hi Jay. I hope you don't mind but I downloaded the midi file and played around with different tempos and instruments for it for a few minutes. I tried two marimbas and two harpsichords (after two acoustic guitars) but then slowed the tempo to mm=108 and used two GPO celestas transposed up two octaves, I believe. Sounds really nice. I could hear this as something for celesta and chamber strings. Anyway - nice piece. I enjoyed it.

    EDIT: So I went ahead and recorded it. You can hear it here:
    http://www.box.com/s/1ee1b5be0565e0e4b658

    All I did was use your original file and cut and paste. Some of the string notes should be extended etc etc, but I thought the effect was kinda cool. I also applied a little reverb and then finished it (quickly) in Sound Forge but I probably should have EQd it better. Please let me know what you think. This was fun, thanks!

    EDIT EDIT: Hope I didn't step on any toes here.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Hey Raymond! I have a couple of decent piano software but they are not garritan products. I would love to hear what this sounds like with the pro steinway.
    Here is the midi file: www.jesse.us.com/gondola.mid

    You will notice that I split this into two tracks, one track for generally the left hand and one track for generally the right hand. I think that it might improve the articulation a little.

    Anyway, thanks for the offer. I am looking forward to hear what it can sound like.
    Jay
    Working on it with SONAR - with its cripple Staff representation - is a bit hard. If you have or can make a score print in pdf format I will copy it with my notation program for the better note representation. I am still trying to make a decent midi file from this. I also noticed that some notes in the right/left hand are played along shorter notes with the other fingers - this is quite normal in pianoscores - but these give me some trouble in SONAR. I am planning to have four voices - 1 held notes RH / 2- the flow of other RH-fingers / 3- flow of LH fingers / 4 - held notes of the LH.

    Why? Because sometimes setting the velocity for those combinations can be done more natural as practiced in real playing.

    Raymond

  7. #7

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Raymond! I emailed a PDF and an XML file for this. Most notation software these days except XML files. I am looking forward to hearing what you come up with.

    Randy, thanks for listening and responding. The pitch range of guitar generally lays in the SWEET spot on piano where there is deep resonance. Wide intervals, like 10ths, sound rich and full. This seemed to translate nicely to piano and I was able to incorporate more ringing out of arpeggios and such(piano sustain pedal effects). I was trying for a gentle moody piece with this (thinking of a couple enjoying a romantic time on a GONDOLA.)

    Reberclark! I don't mind at all that you explored sounds with my midi file. I think the lower notes of the celestas were a little overbearing but I found it to be an interesting interpretation. I liked the use of the strings. It makes a nice sound contrast. Thanks for listening and taking time to mess around with the midi file.

    Thank you all for your input. Jay

  8. #8

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Look how interested we are when a MIDI file is posted! That doesn't happen very often, but it's a great way to share work, help each other out - and I think most of us who work with MIDI just have a curiosity about what other people's files look like.

    I downloaded the file too and have some observations. Part of this requires replying to some posts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    Working on it with SONAR - with its cripple Staff representation - is a bit hard. If you have or can make a score print in pdf format I will copy it with my notation program for the better note representation. I am still trying to make a decent midi file from this...
    You really can't do the editing this needs in the Staff View, Raymond. You need to do a lot of velocity work in the Piano Roll View, and that's where you can also work with the various note lengths if you want.

    Different soft synths respond to velocity in different ways - First thing I noticed is that the velocity range that worked for the GPO piano doesn't work for the Authorized. Some notes suddenly pop out and are way too loud, then others have extremely low velocities and can barely be heard. Even when changing the velocity response in the Authorized, the range is too broad and almost random sounding. All the velocities have to be tamed into a smaller range.

    The 1st track is the right hand, and has an average velocity level way below the 2nd track which is the left hand. On the Authorized, this makes it out of balance, with the bass notes really loud and drowning out the right hand. So the percentages have to be tweaked on a global basis in each track.

    This is non-stop and quantized, giving it a mechanical quality which for some reason sounds more obvious to me in the Authorized. I feel for it to be more musical, some humanization needs to be introduced along with some tempo changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Raymond! I emailed a PDF and an XML file for this. Most notation software these days except XML files. I am looking forward to hearing what you come up with...
    Raymond said he's working on this in Sonar, not a notation program. But the same problems will exist.

    Raymond - I PMd you last night. Let me know if you'd like a new MIDI file that has the velocities tamed as per what I explained above.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Randy! I think that it is fun to get this kind of activity on my midi file. The first midi file I posted did not seem to have the tempo variations that I had put in so I replaced it with one that does. I find it interesting how different software responds to velocity. I usually find myself going thru a track in piano roll and adjusting velocity of notes as needed for accent. I have noticed that pitch can affect the velocity quite a bit so I listen for that when I adjust notes.

    I have taken this file back to render it for nylon guitar just to see how the piano velocity changes translated back. It sounded like an exercise in "DYNAMIC HORROR". Instrument acoustics is an amazing thing.

    Thanks for partaking in this excursion into my midi file. Jay

  10. #10

    Re: Gondola on the river (classical piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Randy! I think that it is fun to get this kind of activity on my midi file. The first midi file I posted did not seem to have the tempo variations that I had put in so I replaced it with one that does. I find it interesting how different software responds to velocity. I usually find myself going thru a track in piano roll and adjusting velocity of notes as needed for accent. I have noticed that pitch can affect the velocity quite a bit so I listen for that when I adjust notes.

    I have taken this file back to render it for nylon guitar just to see how the piano velocity changes translated back. It sounded like an exercise in "DYNAMIC HORROR". Instrument acoustics is an amazing thing.

    Thanks for partaking in this excursion into my midi file. Jay
    EDIT: A new version was recorded, posted below on message #18. It has Jay's original tempo.

    Hi, Jay - Yes, this is a great concept, posting MIDI files like this. Like I said earlier, it just doesn't happen very often.

    I've done some quick editing, about an hour on it, so I wasn't especially thorough, but adjusted the file quite a bit so it worked better with the Authorized. Like I said, instruments from different sources will respond very differently to velocity - it's a matter of how they were programmed. That's why it really never quite works to simply run a MIDI file through a different sampler/synth and expect it to work well without some editing.

    So most of what I did was work with the velocities. I also shuffled the notes some to relax the performance a bit

    I was going to wait for Raymond to post what he's doing, since it was his idea - I hope he doesn't mind that I have mine ready, and needing to get on with other things this morning, I decided to go ahead and post it.

    IMPORTANT NOTE - I worked with the MIDI file you posted yesterday, Jay - Your new message says that you posted a new version of the file since the first one didn't save the tempo settings for some reason. Well, too late - I can't re-do this again. One of the edits I did was to add tempo variation.

    Sorry - I couldn't think of your last name, so the file just says "Jay"--

    Jay's "Gondola on the River" on the Authorized Steinway Pro - as per Randy

    That was interesting and fun! - And do understand that I don't staunchly stand by what I've done here - I would work many more hours on it if it was my own piece and I was serious about presenting it as a finished recording.

    Note to Raymond: I'm sure you noticed that the velocities don't work for the Authorized. That's why the main editing needed on the file has to be done in the Piano Roll View where you can see and edit the velocities. There's nothing much you can do with this just in the Staff View.

    EDIT: Well! I listened again to your MP3, Jay - Is that a new version? It is much slower than the MIDI file - I see what you mean now, the tempo wasn't saved at all. I worked with the 120 BPM that was in the file, fluctuating it, but keeping that as the center tempo, because I thought that's what you wanted. Well - mine's much too fast. Oh well. -- There's something wrong in the way you're saving MIDI files - All of that data should be included.

    Randy

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