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Topic: Beginner's First IO Composition: Here It Comes

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  1. #1

    Beginner's First IO Composition: Here It Comes

    Hey, all! My very first attempt at a piece with IO, just over 40 seconds. I've had problems using it in Reaper, because of the routing, so I did a quicker set-up in Acid Pro. This is not entirely IO -- the snare drums are BFD Eco, and the Tubular Bells are part of the excerpt of General MIDI that comes with ARIA for Acid. And, I apologize about the cut-off at the very end -- I know what I did, and I know how to fix it, but I was trying to get this out to a client very quickly. (Fortunately, a very forgiving one.)

    http://www.tomsmithonline.com/auditi...e_it_comes.mp3

    Be gentle.
    Best,
    Tom Smith
    www.tomsmithonline.com

  2. #2

    Re: Beginner's First IO Composition: Here It Comes

    Quote Originally Posted by filkertom View Post
    Hey, all! My very first attempt at a piece with IO, just over 40 seconds. I've had problems using it in Reaper, because of the routing, so I did a quicker set-up in Acid Pro. This is not entirely IO -- the snare drums are BFD Eco, and the Tubular Bells are part of the excerpt of General MIDI that comes with ARIA for Acid. And, I apologize about the cut-off at the very end -- I know what I did, and I know how to fix it, but I was trying to get this out to a client very quickly. (Fortunately, a very forgiving one.)

    http://www.tomsmithonline.com/auditi...e_it_comes.mp3

    Be gentle.
    Well finally! I've been waiting to hear something from you with IO, Tom. I know you got the Library early on, there were quite a few General Discussion posts from you about it - And now here we are- You've demoed some music done with IO for us. Great news - Congrats!

    Nice work - driving, dramatic, I like it. Side note -- How do you guys get "clients" while you're still working out the kinks with your tools?!-- Don't know how you do it. Clients? - Where do I get me some?

    "Be gentle"--well, that sounds like asking for less than honest feedback. Personally, I'd leave that off next time. In any case, I have a couple of notes that may be helpful at least as food for thought:

    --I understand you want percussion to be Way Up Front. That's fine - But the snare sounds totally dry, and so doesn't fit in with the mix. You can have it up front, louder than everything else, but it needs to have some degree of reverb that's in proportion with the rest of the mix.

    --The brass phrases are all detached notes, but from listening to what they're playing, I think it would be at least a worthy experiment to try them legato, only breaking for logical breath points. It's a big, Wagnerian line they're playing, and I'm thinking it could be more powerful to be continuous, legato. Easy to try it out just by extending the length of notes so they overlap a smidge.

    Those are the first things that struck me as I listened. It's a great start, Tom!

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Beginner's First IO Composition: Here It Comes

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Well finally! I've been waiting to hear something from you with IO, Tom. I know you got the Library early on, there were quite a few General Discussion posts from you about it - And now here we are- You've demoed some music done with IO for us. Great news - Congrats!
    Thanks. I know it's not a very long piece, but I'm having so much trouble dealing with the routing in Reaper that I'm looking at other DAWs... including Sonar. I'll be starting with that Sonar X1 demo next week, just to see what it's like.

    I'll tell you one thing: Working with this in Acid Pro, from start to finish it was about an hour and a half. That amazes me. I literally don't think I could've done anything close to it without IO, and certainly not in less than a few days.

    Nice work - driving, dramatic, I like it. Side note -- How do you guys get "clients" while you're still working out the kinks with your tools?!-- Don't know how you do it. Clients? - Where do I get me some?
    Well, I kinda cheated -- I'm something of a Big Name Fan in the science fiction/fantasy convention circuit , pretty well known for my mostly-comedy songs, and I Got Friends In High Places . The "client" is a friend of mine in the tabletop gaming industry. His company is doing a demo video for an upcoming game, and he sent me an incomplete clip from it, and I scored it. It's basically an audition piece. I believe the video he wants me to actually score fully will be just over two minutes.

    "Be gentle"--well, that sounds like asking for less than honest feedback. Personally, I'd leave that off next time.
    Yeah, well, insecurities. First time I've thrown anything out there to the Garritan community.

    In any case, I have a couple of notes that may be helpful at least as food for thought:

    --I understand you want percussion to be Way Up Front. That's fine - But the snare sounds totally dry, and so doesn't fit in with the mix. You can have it up front, louder than everything else, but it needs to have some degree of reverb that's in proportion with the rest of the mix.
    Hmmm. There actually is some reverb on the drums, or at least it sure sounds like it to me. On the other hand, I was going with one of BFD Eco's preset kits (Pork Pie Extreme), and... lemme see... hmmm. No reverb (BFD has Breverb built in, but this preset doesn't seem to use it), just filters and some compression. And the Ambience in ARIA is set to "Concert Hall 1". (The Ensemble Mood preset I used, which we'll get to in a minute, was "Approaching Warrior".) I'll try to be more conscious of it in the final version.

    --The brass phrases are all detached notes, but from listening to what they're playing, I think it would be at least a worthy experiment to try them legato, only breaking for logical breath points. It's a big, Wagnerian line they're playing, and I'm thinking it could be more powerful to be continuous, legato. Easy to try it out just by extending the length of notes so they overlap a smidge.
    Excellent suggestion, and thanks. Yeah, the harmony brass is Full Brass Soft Attack, which was quite interesting, but I'm definitely going to try different patches, and that legato trick. I did swap out Wagner Brass Soft Attack for Wagner Brass on the soloist line. The Tremelo strings and Earth Drums in "Approaching Warrior" are just great.

    Those are the first things that struck me as I listened. It's a great start, Tom!

    Randy
    Thanks so much for the feedback, and please don't be afraid to tell me if something doesn't work.
    Best,
    Tom Smith
    www.tomsmithonline.com

  4. #4

    Re: Beginner's First IO Composition: Here It Comes

    Quote Originally Posted by filkertom View Post
    Thanks. I know it's not a very long piece, but I'm having so much trouble dealing with the routing in Reaper that I'm looking at other DAWs... including Sonar. I'll be starting with that Sonar X1 demo next week, just to see what it's like.

    I'll tell you one thing: Working with this in Acid Pro, from start to finish it was about an hour and a half. That amazes me. I literally don't think I could've done anything close to it without IO, and certainly not in less than a few days.
    I've seen quite a few people struggle with Reaper's set up. For some reason, it doesn't seem as logically laid out and intuitive to many users, compared with other software. Acid Pro is OK, but has more limitations than something like Sonar. Every program has its learning curve, but really, I feel Sonar is very easy to use for recording pieces using multiple soft synths.
    Quote Originally Posted by filkertom View Post

    Well, I kinda cheated -- I'm something of a Big Name Fan in the science fiction/fantasy convention circuit , pretty well known for my mostly-comedy songs, and I Got Friends In High Places . The "client" is a friend of mine in the tabletop gaming industry. His company is doing a demo video for an upcoming game, and he sent me an incomplete clip from it, and I scored it. It's basically an audition piece. I believe the video he wants me to actually score fully will be just over two minutes.
    Yes! I remember how you're very involved with that interesting sub-culture. Hope the guy hires you for the full job!


    Quote Originally Posted by filkertom View Post
    ... lemme see... hmmm. No reverb (BFD has Breverb built in, but this preset doesn't seem to use it), just filters and some compression...
    Right, that lead snare sounds dry, and as I said, it's not sitting in the mix well. There's a peculiarity about drums, though - they have a tendency to sound dry even with a lot of reverb added to them. They can be tricky.

    This is all probably more than you want to do right now, since you haven't settled for what recording program to use, and you're new to IO etc--But - Something to work towards is bouncing your MIDI tracks to audio, and then doing your mixes in the audio realm. It's impossible to briefly explain why that can be better, but it can work great, it's the only way I work. I don't use the reverbs in ARIA or any other synth. I pump the dry signals out into Sonar, then when I'm through working with the arrangement, the whole MIDI performance, then I bounce individual instruments to audio. At that point, I have the whole aresenal of Sonar FX plus 3rd party plugins to use. It gives you a lot more options to work that way.

    I bring that up because you're going directly from MIDI to mix down, and missing a lot of control you could have. For instance, it would be impossible to end up with a dry snare if you worked more thoroughly as sketched in above.

    That's something to works toward anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by filkertom View Post
    ... the harmony brass is Full Brass Soft Attack, which was quite interesting, but I'm definitely going to try different patches, and that legato trick. I did swap out Wagner Brass Soft Attack for Wagner Brass on the soloist line. The Tremelo strings and Earth Drums in "Approaching Warrior" are just great...
    Good idea to experiment with various patches. The soft attack patches of course mean just that - the notes all swell up, making them not useful for fast patches. Notice that you can control the attack - the starting envelope for IO instruments. In the Controls window of ARIA use the ADSR controls to make things slower, sustain differently etc. You're not stuck with just one sound on any of these sounds.

    And one more note - Do try the legato, because it sounds to me that's what you actually intended with what you wrote. The times when you need a lot of detached notes like you have is less frequent than when you need sweeping legato lines which sound more musical in a lot of circumstances.

    Randy

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