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Dear Forumites,

Ray and myself regret to inform you that this competition is as it says in the header, cancelled.

We still think it was a worthy adventure because the winner could well have benefitted from this, but lack of interest has dictated otherwise.

Our thanks go to HS and Socrates for their willing participation and to all who supported the idea in this and other threads.

I'd like to add a special thanks and show of gratitude to Ray for agreeing to be a part of this.

 

Time to get back to what now seems like the breezy job of composing.

Dear Forumites

I am writing to see if anybody would be interested in entering a competition to select a piece of concert music written by one of you to be programmed by myself and mastered by Ray. 

I have at my disposal high end orchestral samples that can be used to show the winner how their score would sound in a more realistic way. The samples are not perfect nor a replacement for real players of course, but the difference between what I can offer and whatever notation software is used for rendering is very marked, so much so that when the winning composer hears his/her piece, they may well get a nice shock! The fact that Ray has kindly offered his considerable skills in mastering for whatever comes out of my studio, means that the winner will have a full quality professional recording of their piece. 

I know some here will have the same pro samples as me and I respectfully ask them not to apply as I would like to limit this to those who can only use notation software for playback. 

I was thinking of setting this up pretty much the way Gav has set up competitions in the past
( and I thank Gav for his advice in this matter) with me choosing one out of the best 3 pieces voted for by the forum members to work on.
All this would be anonymous of course, but once the winning piece was announced online, I will have detailed discussions with that composer regarding performance details and interpretation. 

RULES

The music should be a concert work of between 2- 6 minutes for small, up to large orchestra. For clarification, a full orchestra can comprise up to (but not essential!) triple wind (auxiliaries are allowed) full brass up to 6 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 tenor trombones, 1 bass trombone and 1 tuba, percussion a4 if required (all mallets and non pitched perc available) 2 harps and full strings. Chamber orchestra is a paired down orchestra and personnel numbers can be left to the composer but there must be a minimum of around 20 players although if strings are used, then the composer must specify how many in each section. Please note that divisi in strings is also possible, with a limit of a3 for each section. 

No choir or avant-garde techniques should be used because they are not very convincing at present with samples. Any style/period of music is permitted and pieces will NOT be judged on this. The piece can be anything from an overture to a symphonic poem in any mood and on any subject if you need one to write with, but it must be a concert orchestral piece.

What I will be looking for whilst judging, apart from a good piece of music, is clarity of intent in the score because I will have to in effect perform it, this means as detailed a score as possible regarding articulations and dynamics. If I feel there is a problem with the scoring in terms of balance or performance on an instrument, I will gladly liaise with the composer in order to find a solution they are happy with. 

You can submit more than one work if you wish, but not with the same alias and you can submit a work previously posted on this forum. If you are interested please let me know in this thread. 
  Entrants should then submit mp3 and full score for each piece they enter and forum members will then be asked to vote for their three favourite pieces, the winner will be chosen from the top three. If the interest is there, I will sort out the next anonymous posting phase using Gavs’ advice and set-up procedures.

Deadline for entrants to register - 15th September

Deadline for entrants submission - 30th January

Here is a well known piece programmed by me in order to give you an idea of the quality of the samples I will use on the winning piece. There are 2 files, one is live, the other isn't. I didn't try too hard to create an exact replica of the live recording and it is possible to tell the difference, but they are pretty close. Also this file has no mastering applied to it, which will be done by Ray on the winning piece. Hopefully this will entice a few more entrants.

Any questions, please ask here and I shall endeavour to answer, as an added bonus, it will also bump the thread. 

Mike.

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You can export a midi file, and an XML file from Sibelius. I dont know which DAW's can read XML though.

Also you can try and see if soundsets are available for your Library that you'll be using in your DAW,  to use them in Sib, to save the DAW step if desired. http://www.soundsetproject.com/soundsets/

Again the best place to ask these kinds of questions is http://www.sibelius.com/cgi-bin/helpcenter/chat/chat.pl?com=show&am...

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

PS Pls see http://johnhinchey.com/2011/09/13/sibelius-playing-an-mp3-or-wav-or... for information about how to use an mp3 in Sibelius, exported from your DAW. Ive never tried this, so please let us know if it works. Thanks



Socrates Arvanitakis said:

Although I'm trying to grasp things as quick as I can, still questions are coming up…

Ray, Mike, anyone in the know can you give a little clarification. Thanks.

Can I export from Sibelius the music as written, all the staves and import into a DAW, or is it better or only possible to extract midi or XML files?

After all necessary work has been done on a DAW what do I do then? How to I re-import it again into Sibelius? In what file format? And how do I synchronize it with the score?

Sorry for my confusion and ignorance and thanks for your patience.

II can only speak to Logic. You can export the entire array of midi regions (clips) from a Logic project. These regions retain their SMPTE positions. as well as tempo and automation data bestowed by Logic. Since midi data exists in a universal format, these regions should be importable into any platform that supports midi. Bob tells us that this is true if you export and import in the other direction. Information like staves are probably left to the platform that the midi ends up in, I would think.

(I once tried exporting an XLM file to my desktop, just to see what you ended up with. It appeared similar to an export of a midi array. It's possible that XML files include or exclude different information. I don't know).

(I once tried exporting an XLM file to my desktop, just to see what you ended up with. It appeared similar to an export of a midi array. It's possible that XML files include or exclude different information. I don't know).

Hi Art-

Please see the following ( the second article has an example of an XML file):

http://www.musicxml.com/tutorial/faq/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MusicXML

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

The first paragraph of the first article raised my eyebrow. 

MIDI does not know the difference between an F-sharp and a G-flat; it does not represent stem direction, beams, repeats, slurs, measures, and many other aspects of notation.

Maybe not, but Logic's Score function gives the user an opportunity to prescribe these things, and more. (measures - time signatures, can be copied and pasted into a simple text file, thin attached to na email). If XLM creates and keeps that information automatically, then that, alone is a wonder. still, I doubt that it's all that automatic. In Logic, the user still has to assign these details. Or is this article telling us that, once created in the notation program, that information is also exported in the XLM file?

Here's a screen shot of some of the things the user inserts into his scores.

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I tend to cut everything in a mix below about 70hz-100hz depending on the context, below that the ear can't really decipher detail and you get that rumble mud clogging up the band. (As if you don't obviously know this)



Ray said:
Art,
Do you use high and low pass filtering? Especially high pass where you remove as much noise as is sensible from below the lowest notes used in a section or individual instrument. So much mud builds up from low frequency noise.

Second great piece of advice I've gotten from this thread. Thanks, Dave.

My pleasure. Be judicious, of course. Don't do it like a template. But if you listen to something with a low range and switch a 100~hz cut (you can do it in EQ as well) on and off you should hear a difference. Instruments have their own general space in the frequency range of human hearing, and if that space gets overly crowded (or has large gaps) the mix will suffer or sound empty. Instrument families tend to operate like this of course - bass, cello, viola and violin all overlap but all have their "sweet spot" at different points from 20-20000 hz.

A consequence of this is that if you mix with a fan on, your treble frequencies will be hard to hear and judge. I made music for a racing game once - the guy had recordings of monster truck engines as sfx. They were unmixed, rumbling, and entirely filling the eq up to 300hz; this meant my music's low end was obliterated and the client thought I was messing up. I had to take his samples, cut the rumbling, send them back and explain about frequencies. My services stopped being required.



Art Lowell said:

Second great piece of advice I've gotten from this thread. Thanks, Dave.

OK, Dave. Maybe you can help me with something. The only EQ plugin in my Logic plugin set that appears to have cut functions is the plugin called "Channel EQ" Here's a screenshot of the automation options.

I've tried "low cut frequency" and "low shelf frequency". Neither creates a clean frequency stopping at a precise frequency point, but rather tapered curves with the tails bleeding into into higher frequency ranges. Like this:

Am I using the right option? 

You might try and side chain a compressor if you encounter that situation again.  Side chaining allows one track to briefly carve a space for itself in a certain frequency range when it needs to cut through.

Dave Dexter said:

 They were unmixed, rumbling, and entirely filling the eq up to 300hz; this meant my music's low end was obliterated and the client thought I was messing up. I had to take his samples, cut the rumbling, send them back and explain about frequencies. My services stopped being required.
Short answer, no. I'm away from studio this week so I can't demonstrate but I can see you have what's needed and it's not hard to achieve.

Ingo: in this case those tracks still needed permanent processing. I've done foley and SFX work for a few things and cutting the extreme low end is practically a given. Side chain tends to be more associated with things like EDM, dubstep, electronic etc in my experience... It produces a particular sound that I would never try on orchestral music.



Art Lowell said:

OK, Dave. Maybe you can help me with something. The only EQ plugin in my Logic plugin set that appears to have cut functions is the plugin called "Channel EQ" Here's a screenshot of the automation options.

I've tried "low cut frequency" and "low shelf frequency". Neither creates a clean frequency stopping at a precise frequency point, but rather tapered curves with the tails bleeding into into higher frequency ranges. Like this:

Am I using the right option? 

The difficulty discussing these processors uses on a thread like this is, there are no hard and fast rules that apply to every situation.
The most important thing is understanding the concept of what you are trying to achieve. The starting point should always be, if it ain't broke don't attempt to fix it. Every sample library developer starts with a different vision of how it sits in a space or not in the case of Vienna Instruments. This means there are no presets provided with an effect which will work in every situation.
Listen to the sound the sample/s make and then decide what processing may be necessary from a starting point of 'maybe none'.

Just thinking out loud................may be this particular discussion should have a thread of it's own.

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