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Hi,

Here is the third movement of my work 'Piece for Brass and Strings'.

An experimental Mp3 output of Cakewalk and a MuseSCORE Mp3

and the score are attached.  There is astill a lot to learn about Cakewalk.

I could not figure out how to put silence to the end of the tracks for 

example.  Also, how to increase clarity...  I have to find out how to use

clips also...  Any advise is welcome.

The last movement is related to the first and second movement.

Some material is taken and developed with new techniques.

This movement begins as if at the half but recapitulates to it

and brings a sense of completeness or closure...

Critics are strongly welcome.  WE learn from each other here.

Ali R+

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Very interesting music, Ali. Well thought-out and well put-together. Some of the samples made it sound like an organ piece at times, but that actually made it more interesting for me. 

I think you have made a very good start with Cakewalk. you are obviously very bright, and probably before long you will passing me. I've only been using it for 20 years, and I'm still learning!

Really interesting work.

Not a Cakewalk user, but you can try adding empty midi/audio items at the end of your tracks for extra silence.
Check rendering options, maybe you are allowed to add some amount of it from there (at least, this is the way Reaper works —better, you can tell it to work).

Your mix doesn't sound muddy at all; I notice some hard panning, instead. Panning is a good starting block to avoid muddiness, yet don't exceed with it: "stage image" turns unnatural at that point and annoying to the listener.

Add a touch of reverb either. It also helps gluing things together. Beware not to drown them in huge, 100% wet cathedral settings!

I guess your intention is more to show how your composition sounds than produce a mock up, still some artificial tempo uncertainty and dynamic movement shall add interest to your work (which, again, is a remarkable one).

Best

Hi, Ali,

Unfortnuately I know nothing about Cakewalk, but it looks like things are coming on fine. The Cakewalk rendering is better than the musiscore one which is quite insensitive by comparison. The strings at bar 51 were lost in both however.

I referred to the score after listening a couple of times. Interesting harmonies and the interplay between brass and strings. If I remember, this is stylistically quite close to movement 1 (and some of your earlier pieces). It flows well. There shouldn't be performance problems. Just those strings in the middle section need a higher dynamic for the sake of the rendering. Maybe worth copying it to see how that would affect the sound?

Well done, Ali. 

Until later,

Dane.

Great work Ali! Good sound and writing, to my ear you have your own style which is important I think.  The Cakewalk version is better with more dynamics which is also very important for expression.

I suspect that the sharp cut-off at the end of the Cakewalk version is a midi controller issue although these problems can be addressed through the use of automation which I'm sure Cakewalk has also. I would suggest that, if you haven't already, you should study midi cc events, specifically midi velocity and cc1 mod wheel control, cc7 volume and cc11 expression control. These allow you to draw curves (envelopes) to continuously vary many aspects of your instruments.  Sibelius and high end libraries do some of this for us but you can access it all through Cakewalk I'm sure (I don't use it). Also you might like to learn the use of automation control which should give you programming control over all of the other functions of Cakewalk.

Thank you Michael, for your encouraging words.  I did not intend to make it sound like an organ piece but

I did choose to write a variation - basso ostinato type thing.  Apparently that led me to put it at the bases

which sounds like organ.  You reflected me to notice it.  Thank you very much.

I appreciate the generous word 'bright' specially.  I would like to be as bright as a lighthouse.

Ali

michael diemer said:

Very interesting music, Ali. Well thought-out and well put-together. Some of the samples made it sound like an organ piece at times, but that actually made it more interesting for me. 

I think you have made a very good start with Cakewalk. you are obviously very bright, and probably before long you will passing me. I've only been using it for 20 years, and I'm still learning!

Thank you Fabio, for your kind advises about MIDI usage.  I also had a sense that the listener hears things as if sitting in the ensemble rather than in front of it because of hard panning (by the way I learned this term from you).  I will heed your advice and reduce the panning a little bit.  I reduced the wetness quiet a lot.  May be some more would sound even better.  I have to try.  To confess the truth I am not very aware of the difference of reverb and wetness.  I tried to reduce reverb and it began to click at the end of each note.

I will search how I can do "artificial tempo uncertainty and dynamic movement".  Very good ideas...

I appreciate your interest and the time you have put in.

Ali



Fabio Biolcati said:

Really interesting work.

Not a Cakewalk user, but you can try adding empty midi/audio items at the end of your tracks for extra silence.
Check rendering options, maybe you are allowed to add some amount of it from there (at least, this is the way Reaper works —better, you can tell it to work).

Your mix doesn't sound muddy at all; I notice some hard panning, instead. Panning is a good starting block to avoid muddiness, yet don't exceed with it: "stage image" turns unnatural at that point and annoying to the listener.

Add a touch of reverb either. It also helps gluing things together. Beware not to drown them in huge, 100% wet cathedral settings!

I guess your intention is more to show how your composition sounds than produce a mock up, still some artificial tempo uncertainty and dynamic movement shall add interest to your work (which, again, is a remarkable one).

Best

Hi Dane,

I agree Cakewalk rendering is better.  Of course an experienced/skilled person would make MuseSCORE sound much better as it has reverb, chorus, pan, volume controls on the mixer and using different .sfz synthesizers.  I am only a learner here.

The strings at bar 51 disappear in both Cakewalk and MuseSCORE.  This brings in a discussion 'Do they have to be distinctively heard?'.  (if it is not my mere discrepancy).  I began to think about this subject during this work.  Shall I write every item in order to be heard or only for a feeling of it?  Actually what is that feeling? Thickness???

I will increase the strings a little bit in the next version of rendering.  This one was only experimental, a difficult experiment.

You always make me think new things.  Thank you very much.

Ali



Dane Aubrun said:

Hi, Ali,

Unfortnuately I know nothing about Cakewalk, but it looks like things are coming on fine. The Cakewalk rendering is better than the musiscore one which is quite insensitive by comparison. The strings at bar 51 were lost in both however.

I referred to the score after listening a couple of times. Interesting harmonies and the interplay between brass and strings. If I remember, this is stylistically quite close to movement 1 (and some of your earlier pieces). It flows well. There shouldn't be performance problems. Just those strings in the middle section need a higher dynamic for the sake of the rendering. Maybe worth copying it to see how that would affect the sound?

Well done, Ali. 

Until later,

Dane.

Thanks Ingo, you made me think twice what my own style is.  I used to think what distinguishes my works is the importance of expression.  But now I have to rethink again.

I will  study the CC event  usage and automation control in MIDI.  MuseSCORE includes RPN values but I had to remove all controls that MuseSCORE has generated in order to use its output at Cakewalk.  It needs some time to ponder/test though.

Thank you again for your valuable suggestions.

Ali

Ingo Lee said:

Great work Ali! Good sound and writing, to my ear you have your own style which is important I think.  The Cakewalk version is better with more dynamics which is also very important for expression.

I suspect that the sharp cut-off at the end of the Cakewalk version is a midi controller issue although these problems can be addressed through the use of automation which I'm sure Cakewalk has also. I would suggest that, if you haven't already, you should study midi cc events, specifically midi velocity and cc1 mod wheel control, cc7 volume and cc11 expression control. These allow you to draw curves (envelopes) to continuously vary many aspects of your instruments.  Sibelius and high end libraries do some of this for us but you can access it all through Cakewalk I'm sure (I don't use it). Also you might like to learn the use of automation control which should give you programming control over all of the other functions of Cakewalk.

Ali Riza SARAL said:

Thank you Fabio, for your kind advises about MIDI usage.  I also had a sense that the listener hears things as if sitting in the ensemble rather than in front of it because of hard panning (by the way I learned this term from you).  I will heed your advice and reduce the panning a little bit.  I reduced the wetness quiet a lot.  May be some more would sound even better.  I have to try.  To confess the truth I am not very aware of the difference of reverb and wetness.  I tried to reduce reverb and it began to click at the end of each note.

I will search how I can do "artificial tempo uncertainty and dynamic movement".  Very good ideas...

I appreciate your interest and the time you have put in.

Ali

Hi Ali.

Glad my reply was useful to you.

Wetness refers to the amount of reverb you put in. Every decent reverb plugin has a dial or even a slider to tweak it.
0% is totally dry, no reverb at all, just the sound of the instruments. As you increase this value reverberated signal comes in, turning things wet. Be aware that reverb move sounds far away as you increase its wetness.
Use chamber or hall presets with medium reverberation time. Tweak the wet control instead of turning down the reverb time (that's why you had clicks on note ends).

As for tempo uncertainty, I'm sure Cakewalk lets you draw a Tempo Map somewhere in the project window.It will appear as a straight line, as far as tempo is the same from the beginning to the end.
Vary it introducing small changes along the timeline like a human player would do in live performance (you should be able to add points on the Tempo line and move it up and down to mimic accelerando and ritardando).Achieving this in notation software is possible as well, even in a more tricky way, putting random metronome markings with different values in the score.
It will look messy in the end, but the result is effective (I'm sure MuseScore lets you hide them to preserve some degree of visual decency).

There are many ways to achieve dynamic movement.
Let say you mark a sustained note as mf. You can add hints of variation in volume and expression via MIDI Control Changes (CC) according to your sample library mapping.
Again, Cakewalk should have CC automation lanes running alongside tracks, one per CC — usually not shown by default.
CC7 is for Volume: add points to it and move them up and down for slight (or even broad) variation in note volume.
If your library allows for control over Expression (CC11) it usually introduces timbral variation too (eg, Garritan Personal Orchestra relies a lot on Expression, driving seamlessly both volume and timbral content; in the more sophisticated Vienna Instruments libraries you can combine controllers to change the color of a played note).

Hope it helps

Best

The dry/wet dial it's usually labelled as "Mix".

When needing to increase/decrease the volume dynamically I adjust the velocity CC. It's about timbre. A quiet violin has a different timbre from one playing loud with the volume turned down. This of course, after the volume faders have initially been set.  The samples I use now have velocity layers and a crossfade between them. My very old samples suffered a lack of velocity layers so it was always a problem getting dynamic variation.

Probably worth trying it out. Only you can decide ultimately whether they should be kept in and whether they should sound. Part of the decision might be whether you should have some quiet background sound at that point prior to the horn entering in bar 53, the trumpet in bar 54 and on.otherwise you have a couple of silent bars. Whether they can be removed, or reliance placed just on the double bass for continuity is something to think about. 

To a professional player the string parts aren't especially difficult but they're intricate and probably do add something to the section, an 'airiness' if that makes sense.

I would happily listen to any revisions you make and post.

Ali Riza SARAL said:

Hi Dane,

...........The strings at bar 51 disappear in both Cakewalk and MuseSCORE.  This brings in a discussion 'Do they have to be distinctively heard?'.  (if it is not my mere discrepancy).  I began to think about this subject during this work.  Shall I write every item in order to be heard or only for a feeling of it?  Actually what is that feeling? Thickness???

I will increase the strings a little bit in the next version of rendering.  This one was only experimental, a difficult experiment.........

Ali



Dane Aubrun said:

Hi, Ali,

Unfortnuately I know nothing about Cakewalk, but it looks like things are coming on fine. The Cakewalk rendering is better than the musiscore one which is quite insensitive by comparison. The strings at bar 51 were lost in both however.

I referred to the score after listening a couple of times. Interesting harmonies and the interplay between brass and strings. If I remember, this is stylistically quite close to movement 1 (and some of your earlier pieces). It flows well. There shouldn't be performance problems. Just those strings in the middle section need a higher dynamic for the sake of the rendering. Maybe worth copying it to see how that would affect the sound?

Well done, Ali. 

Until later,

Dane.

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