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Topic: Andante e Fughetta

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  1. #1

    Andante e Fughetta

    I was in the mood to try some
    compositional techniques. I started with a short melody then worked
    on a contrapuntal line to it. I played with the line and developed it
    a bit. I noted that the melody would work in a fugue and developed
    that idea. The end result is this piece.

    This is a piece for string orchestra.
    It has a slow melodic section followed by a fugue style section. It
    concludes with a return to the first melody. My brother was very
    helpful in giving me a shove in the direction that led to this
    composition. I would have to say the piece is definitely a
    collaboration of ideas.


    Here is Andante e Fughetta in G Minor

    Note: Piece has been remixed!


    Enjoy!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  2. #2

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    I admire the seriousness of both your purpose and the work, Rich. It sounds like you must have cleared your mind, and calmly set about working in a classical mode, perhaps like a university music student putting his focus on learning and mastering classical western music theory. I'm betting the exercise felt refreshing to you, going back to the classroom, as it were.

    I know I enjoyed the listen, and part of the enjoyment was in watching you work on the sort of thing I've never done. I love hearing music which is outside of my own particular set of boxes. All I can do is sit back and enjoy the inventiveness of others, and there was much to enjoy in this piece of yours.

    I hope you can forgive me a couple of tech notes - you know me, hard to restrain myself. Perhaps you just didn't want to spend more time on the rendering/recording, but this sounds devoid of reverb. Strings sound so unnatural when they're this dry. I imagine you also used the default pannings, but when a piece only uses strings, I find the spread far too wide, with the cellos stuck way over on the right, 1st strings way over on the left. Moving them closer together gets a more cohesive sound.

    On a recent thread of Bill's we were talking about strings, and you talked about liking to layer so many strings together for a more lush sound - I don't think you did that with this though? I think maybe these are all single section patches?

    --One more note - this comes up all the time for me. I feel the default Length settings are too short in Garritan Libraries now. The settings used to be different. But so many instruments have this abrupt, unnatural cut off to the sound - I think it was somehow the preference of the current programmers. But on a routine basis, I just have to move the Length control up a tiny bit to let the instruments sound more relaxed, more natural on their cut offs, making for more realistic recordings.

    End of tech notes, back to the music - Very nice. Thanks for letting us hear it, Rich.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    Rich -

    This is a beautiful composition. I enjoy its form as well as the "emotional feel" expressed through the dynamics, tempo changes subtle tonal changes (minor to major, etc.). It has the mark of a person with a more mature and practiced hand in music composition. I hope that someday you have the opportunity to have it performed live. Regarding the rendering, I share Randy's point: reverb! Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I long to hear reverb!

    I appreciate the work and experience placed into writing this piece. The last time that I composed a fugue was over 30 years ago in music college. I wouldn't know where to begin now. It's one thing to write a fugue and get all the rules right as if writing for a college course. It's another thing to write a fugue and have it sing. Compositionally, this sings!

    Thank you for sharing, Rich.

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  4. #4

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    Randy said,

    I hope you can forgive me a couple of tech notes - you know me, hard to restrain myself. Perhaps you just didn't want to spend more time on the rendering/recording, but this sounds devoid of reverb. Strings sound so unnatural when they're this dry. I imagine you also used the default pannings, but when a piece only uses strings, I find the spread far too wide, with the cellos stuck way over on the right, 1st strings way over on the left. Moving them closer together gets a more cohesive sound.
    Well, I was experimenting there as well. I used Perfect Space as a bus and sent each track to it with differing amounts of reverb. Obviously, it didn't work too well. As for the instruments and panning, well I have 38 midi tracks feeding 38 ARIA Player slots. I used every thing from soloists to plr parts as well as string sections. I panned each one individually and placed the soloists nearer to the front of the stage. Either I didn't get things placed where I thought I did or the ARIA and Sonar X2 are not working well together. I will have to go back and check things out.

    BTW if you (Randy that is) hadn't have made a tech comment, I would have really, really been dissappointed.

    Ted,

    Yep, this was like a collegiate exercise in learning. I had stacks of papers on how to write a fugue and what the construction of a fugue entailed. I have to admit that I worked fairly hard at getting the Exposition of the fugue as good as I could muster. After that, as I entered the development section, I (well) developed right back to my opening Andante and didn't really finish the fugue. That is why I gave it the title Fughetta instead of Fugue.

    Thanks for listening and commenting. I will tinker with it some more and get a better reverb going.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  5. #5

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    Quote Originally Posted by RichR View Post
    ...I used Perfect Space as a bus and sent each track to it with differing amounts of reverb. Obviously, it didn't work too well. As for the instruments and panning, well I have 38 midi tracks feeding 38 ARIA Player slots. I used every thing from soloists to plr parts as well as string sections. I panned each one individually and placed the soloists nearer to the front of the stage. Either I didn't get things placed where I thought I did or the ARIA and Sonar X2 are not working well together. I will have to go back and check things out...if you...hadn't have made a tech comment, I would have really, really been dissappointed.
    Well I'm glad I didn't disappoint. You're a good sport, Rich.

    You know, recently somebody was running a project by me which sounded just about bone dry, and he too had set the whole thing up in the standard way, with a reverb bus and varying amounts of Send. It turned out that he was just being far too timid in two places:

    --He didn't have the Reverb plug-in turned to 100% wet, which it should be when strapped to a bus that tracks are pointing to.

    --He was only bringing his Sends up teeeeeeny little bits, when around the 9:00 position is a good starting point, when using a totally wet bus. Percussion can be up to 12:00 and beyond, depending on the plug-in and settings of the reverb.

    Do you think it's possible that you didn't have all your tracks activated when you did your final export? Because this sure doesn't sound like 38 tracks - It really sounds more like 4. - Are the tracks that are doubled at least slightly different from each other so they're not all sounding off at precisely the same time?--

    Hmmm. interesting stuff - but wanted to pass on those new points and questions.

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    Randy, you have great ears!!!!

    All tracks were mixed down to sections i.e. 1st violins, 2nd violins, viola, cello and bass. There were 5 tracks. You missed on the reverb setting though. I had it at 100% wet and each section got the reverb set at between -6.0db and - 4.0db.

    I will definitely go back and redo. I think I cut a huge corner and did not bounce all the tracks individually to audio (after a week of tweaking) I didn't want to wait to bounce each individual track and mix from there. I have not been luck with doing a batch bounce where I sucessfully get all the tracks bounced to separate tracks. I have been doing them one at a time. Looks like I better read the manual and learn the bounce all to individual tracks at once sequence. Since this piece was about learning and experimenting, I might as well go all out on it.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  7. #7

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    H'lo again, Rich--currently can't use the quote feature - text formatting comes and goes on this Forum:

    "...All tracks were mixed down to sections i.e. 1st violins, 2nd violins, viola, cello and bass. There were 5 tracks..."


    Well, that can work if the individual instruments were panned differently like you described. Those panning relationships should be maintained in these group bounces, as long as you didn't then pan the bounces--

    "...You missed on the reverb setting though. I had it at 100% wet and each section got the reverb set at between -6.0db and - 4.0db.."


    What method are you using to measure the reverb level in DBs? Do you mean the Send levels in Sonar's tracks, so you mean knobs turned to -6 and -4? If so, that sure sounds reasonable. There would then have to have been something extremely dry in the plug-in's settings, or it was even accidentally turned off. With a fully wet bus and Sends that high, this should be extremely reverberant. Something's very wrong there - It's impossible to get what sounds like a totally dry recording with settings as you've described, without there being a malfunction somewhere along the line!

    "...I have not been luck with doing a batch bounce where I sucessfully get all the tracks bounced to separate tracks. I have been doing them one at a time.."


    oh my! But no need to go to the manual - I'll tell you, because my heart goes out to anyone doing individual track bounces!

    --Select all the tracks in whatever method you prefer. Double clicking on one track header will select all tracks.

    --Edit>Bounce to Tracks> and in Source Category, click and select Tracks. They will all be listed in that pop-up's window. The rest of the defaults should be fine, except that I turn Dithering off, saving that for later. One click, and when the bounce is finished, all tracks will have been done in one fell swoop.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    Randy said,

    "...You missed on the reverb setting though. I had it at 100% wet and each section got the reverb set at between -6.0db and - 4.0db.."

    What method are you using to measure the reverb level in DBs? Do you mean the Send levels in Sonar's tracks, so you mean knobs turned to -6 and -4? If so, that sure sounds reasonable. There would then have to have been something extremely dry in the plug-in's settings, or it was even accidentally turned off.
    I found that if I set the sends to "Pre" fader as opposed to the default "Post" fader, then I get the control over the reverb that I need.

    I also to all the tracks and bounced them to their own audio files (per your instruction-though I did find it earlier tonight before I read your message). Now I have 38 audio tracks playing with reverb sends set at "Pre" fader. I hope this sounds better to everyone's ears. I am so used to hearing an orchestra and any performing group from within the group that I don't really like the reverb the audience hears when they listen. I wouldn't be able to get in tune with the musician next to me if I was hearing that much reverb. So, it is hard for me to realize when it is not right for the normal listener.

    Also Randy, you had mentioned in your first post about note lengths. I used CC#21 (Length) quite a bit throughout each part making sure that short notes had short lengths and longer notes had increasingly longer lengths for the very reasons you mention. Yet, you can still hear notes being chopped off? Hmmm another mystery. Too bad my ears can't hear it even when I try it all too long or short to hear the problem.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  9. #9

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    The mix sounds much better, Rich - Much more natural, like it's music being played at a venue, which of course is the aim of using reverb. Everything about it sounds better, certainly the panning, and the choppiness that my sensitive little ears were complaining about isn't heard nearly as much now, since the reverb is smoothing that out.

    --This has turned into a General Discussion type thread, another chapter on one of the recent Mixing threads, for instance. Oh well! We're making good use of the space.

    I have to tell you - You Do Not want to use the Pre setting. You lose total control over your mix that way, and it's not what the Pre setting is for. Test it yourself - With your Sends set to Pre, you'll have no volume control over the wet/dry mix when you use the volume faders on your tracks. Test it - Take a fader all the way out, and you'll still hear your track loud and wet. In fact, it can almost be like completely losing all volume control. On Pre, the reverb is constantly at the same full tilt level. When you lower the volume of tracks, the reverb won't be adjusted, it'll be just as thick.

    Here's from the site "Social SoundDesign" which explains it well:

    "A PRE Fader aux is sent out BEFORE the volume fader (and usually the mute)... so any volume changes made on the fader are not reflected in the send...

    POST fader sends are sent out AFTER the volume fader, so volume changes are reflected in this send. Normally Reverb sends, for example, are set up this way so that as the volume of the sound goes down, so does the Reverb. If you used a Pre Fader send, then as you turned down the track, the reverb level would remain constant, essentially changing your wet/dry mix - this is sometime useful as an effect, but not normally what you would want."


    So you're getting a more constant reverb level, and that's what you want in your mix, but you're getting exactly the opposite of what you said - you are Losing control, not getting control over the reverb.

    There has to be something wrong in the plug-in's settings. You should be able to turn those Sends up all the way and here a Huge wave of reverb - If you don't, then the room you're using is too small, the tail's too short--Something. It's not working the way it should that you had to resort to this measure which is totally wrong. I'm being adamant because really you simply Do Not Want to mix that way.

    Sorry - The mix Does sound better, but you can't continue with using Pre this way. Try a different reverb plug-in, try different rooms, different settings. You should be able to get a very wet mix with the Sends at half their potential. If you can't, then something's wrong!

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: Andante e Fughetta

    Quote Originally Posted by RichR View Post
    . . . I am so used to hearing an orchestra and any performing group from within the group that I don't really like the reverb the audience hears when they listen. I wouldn't be able to get in tune with the musician next to me if I was hearing that much reverb. So, it is hard for me to realize when it is not right for the normal listener. . .
    Rich -

    Actually, I appreciate where you're coming from, Rich. As you know, what one hears from the player's perspective is significantly different than what one hears while sitting out in the audience. What's cool about sound engineering (which is a skill-component that I believe to be involved with the rendering process) is the ability to have choices while mixing. A SKILLED sound engineer is mindful of those choices and can create a variety of sounds and "listening situations" using the tools at hand. I struggle to acquire that skill. Specifically, I struggle to create the sound of a performing orchestra so that it sounds "realistic" to the listener who is sitting out with the rest of the audience within an orchestra hall. Rare are the times when I've been amongst the players. In orchestral settings, I've always been "the audience". And as an audience member, I "expect" to hear that ambient sound surrounding the orchestra; I "expect" to hear that reverb. Things would not sound "natural" otherwise. When I mix, I mix for the audience member and not necessarily the player.

    I just listened to your remix of your work. It's nice to hear that reverb. From an audience point of view, it begins to showcase your composition in a more realistic "light" (sound). Ain't sound engineering fun?!?! (Ain't it a LOT of work!!! UGH!)

    As you probably know, I always differentiate the composition from the "rendering" when visiting this forum and commenting on our fellow members' creations. I could probably differentiate things even more for further comments: 1) The Composition, 2) The Sequencing, 3) The mixing/sound-engineer, etc. For me, at least, all of these components to music-creation using sound libraries are important. It's probably why I only write one or two compositions a year, if that many!

    Nice work, Rich!

    Ted
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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