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Hi! This is my first post on the forum.

First I would like to say that I am very glad to find a forum, where people post compositions, that I really like.

I am posting an Interstellar String Quartet (in 7 parts), that was written for the local contest of chamber music in Moscow (Lavrov music school). In the quartet I am bringing romantic, minimal and minimal rock styles together.

I would be very glad to hear your opinions and most of all - some criticism about the music.

You can start autoplay in player on my site for you not to click on each track separately, If it is more convenient: http://alch.us.to/project.php?p=Virtal You can also listen in my profile.

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 1. Dark crusade.mp3

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 2. Winter assaul...

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 3. Survivors.mp3

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 4. Interstellar.mp3

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 5. Sands.mp3

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 6. Flight.mp3

http://alch.us.to/m/Virtal/Virtal - Interstellar - 7. Soulstorm.mp3

PDF:

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 1. Dark crusade.pdf

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 2. Winter assault.pdf

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 3. Survivors.pdf

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 4. Interstellar.pdf

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 5. Sands.pdf

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 6. Flight.pdf

http://alch.us.to/.../Virtal - Interstellar - 7. Soulstorm.pdf

Unfortunately I was able to attach to the post only 3 parts of 7. Other parts are available as links, in my profile and on my site (above)

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Oh my. Though I don't find it interstellar, I would LOVE to hear this played by a real string quartet

Thank you :)

I hope to post a recording of real performance of some parts in october.

As for the title, it relates to some of the parts.

                                            

At 12:06am on July 29, 2013, michael diemer said…   

Just listened to Dark Crusade. There is much to like here, Alch. It sounds like it would work very well on real instruments. and you did a nice job with the midi realization. I'll check out more of it later. Don't be discouraged, there is a lot to listen to on this forum, and it sometimes takes awhile for people to catch up with you. Hell, people hardly ever comment on my music, but that doesn't bother me. I like it, and you have every reason to like yours.

Michael, thank you for you comments.

I am mostly waiting for critics, who would point out the problems in the compositions.

I listened to your Symphonata and liked its relaxed minimalistic feeling.

I like this music very much, and it will sound really good in a live performance. Will depend on the performers though.

Trying to provide some constructive critics about the virtual instruments applied:

1) All instruments (to my ear) sound too wet and sharp. This music asks for milder and more contemplative sounds.

2) Not enough timbre contrasts between different instruments to make a good polyphony of 1st Violin with 2nd violin, 1st Violin with viola, viola with cello etc.

You can achieve better results if you have enough instrument samples, but this may require a lot of work. You need to chose 4 sampled string solo instruments, not necessarily exactly as they are named in the score, and compare all 6 possible pairs of chosen instruments so that you hear well the difference in timbres in every pair. (4 instruments form 6 possible pairs). Also you may need to check how these pairs sound in different audio devices (headphones, external monitors). I spent all last week in such trials and still look for better instrument pairs and sound parameters (pan, reverberation etc) for the planned setting. 

There exist a lot of string instrument samples, e.g. for "singing" viola and "spacious" cello, whose c1 and c2 are very different from those of violins. 

Andrew, what do you mean by "too wet" ? Do you mean "too much space, too much reverberation" or "too much vibrato"?

By saying "too sharp" do you mean "too loud accents and too fast dynamic growth" or "too close-to-the-instrument sound and too much high frequencies" ?

I began to realize one of the "solo sample killers". It is vibrato. Being not able to control vibrato in solo samples can be a problem - either selecting no vibrato or a lot of vibrato. I think, I overused vibrato in Interstellar, especially in long notes, and I would try to cope with it later. Vibrato sounds too fast and too intensive.

What you say about timbre is very interesting to me. I do these comparison checks every time I use sampling, but not so thoroughly. Can you please share some examples of "good" and "bad" timbre pairs (I mean, so that forum readers can listen to the examples)? Or can you please write the seconds of the tracks, where you hear bad timbre pairs?

What library does contain "spacious" and "singing" samples?

Andrew Gleibman said:

I like this music very much, and it will sound really good in a live performance. Will depend on the performers though.

Trying to provide some constructive critics about the virtual instruments applied:

1) All instruments (to my ear) sound too wet and sharp. This music asks for milder and more contemplative sounds.

2) Not enough timbre contrasts between different instruments to make a good polyphony of 1st Violin with 2nd violin, 1st Violin with viola, viola with cello etc.

You can achieve better results if you have enough instrument samples, but this may require a lot of work. You need to chose 4 sampled string solo instruments, not necessarily exactly as they are named in the score, and compare all 6 possible pairs of chosen instruments so that you hear well the difference in timbres in every pair. (4 instruments form 6 possible pairs). Also you may need to check how these pairs sound in different audio devices (headphones, external monitors). I spent all last week in such trials and still look for better instrument pairs and sound parameters (pan, reverberation etc) for the planned setting. 

There exist a lot of string instrument samples, e.g. for "singing" viola and "spacious" cello, whose c1 and c2 are very different from those of violins. 

Maybe "wet" is not a correct term. I mean too "metallic" sound, like "metal slides against metal". Too much high frequencies is a correct term for this. This is not related to reverberation -- this is a feature of specific instrument & bow motion.

Then, for all 4 instruments, which you use, I do not hear much timbre difference. With some exaggeration, string instruments may contrast to each other by timbres almost as much as strings with woodwind instruments. Example where 4 really different string timbres may give a richer sound: bars 20-21 in your "Dark Crusade" where you use imitation. Then, in bar 22, a Violin 2 player would probably try to contrast this response using another timbre, not only using change in the dynamics.   

I do not think it is possible to create a realistic vibrato or portamento from general string samples. Besides, every human performer will perform them in a different way. This is the reason why automatic score in principle cannot compete with live performance. So many parameters cannot be controlled beforehand, in the score. They can be controlled only in real time, by live human feelings.

My library today is rather limited: it is Yamaha S90 ES (almost 1000 virtual instruments overall, some are very good). I will try to give string contrast examples later. Some example (not too good) can be heard in 2nd movement of Mystical Suite (time positions 2'10" and 2'27") in my CF page player (please hear through good headphones, not through loudspeakers). 

I tried to listen to 2'10 and 2'27. It is rather difficult to analyse without a rewind feature. Do you have an mp3 link or external player with rewind? Was the whole suite recorded with Yamaha S90 ES? Did you play every part or send output to Yamaha from sequencer?

I hear my vibrato problems in the long notes of your suite too. Short notes with changing pitch tend to sound more natural. Also to me there is lack of dynamic changes: most of notes sound has constant volume and finishes abruptly.

Thank you, I will try to work with 20-22 bars and post results.

The contrast of two different violin samples can be best heard around 2'20" -- 2'45" time position here: 

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=9630514&a...

For rewinding simply move the cursor. 

Thanks for the feedback. The suite was improvised and post-edited using S90 ES (including real-time controlled arpeggiator).

Sorry, seems I could not make it - more than two instruments sound simultaneously and I am distracted :)

Andrew Gleibman said:

The contrast of two different violin samples can be best heard around 2'20" -- 2'45" time position here: 

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=9630514&a...

For rewinding simply move the cursor. 

Thanks for the feedback. The suite was improvised and post-edited using S90 ES (including real-time controlled arpeggiator).

Never mind, I'll try to post something else.

I'm sure some members of this forum can showcase a violin + viola or violin + cello polyphony with distinct individual features of every instrument.

Thank you, Chris!

Can you write, what problems did you hear with sampling and where was it in the tracks?

Chris Burridge said:

Fantastic work - if you do get this recorded by live musicians i really would love to hear it!

The samples don't sound too terrible to me - they're not the best but i've heard much worse to be honest.

Keep up the good work!

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