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Hey there. Recently I've been working on a somewhat easily accessible video game-ish / film music suite for orchestra, to be performed by a local youth orchestra at a concert in late September. If we manage to pull it off there will be a live recording for sure, but meanwhile I decided I may as well share what I already have.

The score is basically finished. Thanks to fellow CF member Tim Marko for his extremely detailed proofreading.

The mockup... well, it's mostly for the kids to get an idea of the piece before the first rehearsal, the quality isn't particularly good. But it should help. Please don't laugh at the solo violin that actually sounds like a broken oboe - I recorded it with a headset microphone; you can't possibly go cheaper than that, I think.

Since the piece is longer than ning tolerates (the mp3 is about 10 MB), I will attempt to post a SoundCloud embed here: (Edit: it actually worked on first try! whoah. The score PDF is below, of course)

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This is very good, Greg. I liked the beginning on low strings, reminded me of Sibelius' Pohjola's Daughter. Orchestration was excellent, esp. use of percussion, which of course is easily abused, but you have just the right amount, and in just the right places. Sounds like you have a future in film music (although much of this could stand on its own). Can't think of any specific criticism. The sound was very good, much better than I am able to obtain with my 60+ ears. What sound set did you use? How long did you work on this?

Greg, this was highly impressive.  Outstanding work! Congratulatiuons !

Regards, Johan

Great job Greg! Believe it or not I have always believed that writing good pieces for young people is some of the hardest composition tasks ever and you were very successful. I did wondered about the "violin solo" and I am guessing that those are East West Sounds including Symphonic Choir? And btw, I'm glad the hero died and this type of visual and video "gameable" is sure to win the hearts if its players and listeners. I did wanted to hear more rubato in the woman section? Have you ever been in love? They tug ya and pull ya, my friend emotionally, physically, and well... in other ways also.

The case is slightly different, actually. I do NOT have the technology - EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Gold samples sound nice when you're having some harmless fun, but when you try to make them play something real (especially something written for live musicians, not for samples), they're a real pain. Especially the brass. Trumpets are just laughable, as you can surely tell.

What I could do is do a monumental amount of micromanagement and tinkering to help the samples along against all odds. Sometimes enough cheating will yield decent results even if the samples are very bad to start with. The problem with that is rather than spend 3 days dumping the score into a somewhat presentable sound file (which is still a lot of time), I would need another two weeks to achieve a result I'm actually happy with. Since the piece needs to be ready a month ago, and I have two more projects to finish due next week... excuses, excuses :)

The story with the violin is simple, and stems from the above. I have no decent microphone. I have no room / studio. There's definitely no time to look for some friend who could help, and I definitely don't want to hire someone to record 8 bars. So I grab my violin and play it through the only device I have, which is a headset with a microphone mostly used for Skype. Of course, an attempt to make the result sound less like an otter being butchered follows, but there is only so much you can do with hilariously awful starting material.



Bob Porter said:

I find it interesting that someone who has the technology to do better, would post something that they believe to be inferior, then apologize for it. It's not a big deal, just something I notice now and then. Just post it and be done with it. Or work with until you are more happy with it. Thanks for the warning on the solo violin sound. What's the story behind that?
@Michael
The sounds are all EWQL SO Gold. Time? On and off, maybe two weeks total for composition, in no particular hurry; then a few days to turn the dots on white page into a presentable music score; then 3 days to create the audio. All in all, not a very efficient workflow. But I try :(
Thanks for the comments, guys. Of course I will be posting the live recording as soon as I get it done :)

Snap, I respond to 2 posts and before I'm done there's two more. Rodney - yes Symphonic Choirs it is, only I set it up to finally work (only every second Reaper launch, but still!) yesterday! So any extra fanciness was out of question, what with me being busy learning the orc language required for managing their singing. But you're right. And the hero's dead, remember. I don't think other kinds of tugging would be appropiate. That's some bad taste, isn't it ;/

So you used East West. That explains my reaction. I was expecting notation sound sets, so I was pleasantly surprised. EWSO Gold is one of my main sets also (along with GPO, Cinematic Strings and a few Sonar sounds).

I quite enjoyed this piece of work, and I can easily see this being something from a video game. The variation was awesome, and the intensity kept my attention easily. Great work.

Great job Greg!  I love the hero's theme.

The piece should be a real hit for the young people.  Every section has a chance to shine, and they'll get to be a part of a new piece written just for them.

I second what Rodney said regarding writing for younger players.  It's difficult to keep them all involved with "cool parts" while keeping that part attainable to their skill level.  You've done that quite well.  I know that time is tight for the performance but I think the "cool" factor will be a big motivating factor.

Goo luck on the performance.

PS Your welcome and glad I could help!

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