Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Dilemma. Some years back I wrote a prelude for a local movie club. The midi files were scrapped with the Xp computer and the score is lost.

Recently I tried recreating it using Reaper and up-to-date VSL samples. The harmony isn’t difficult and it’s as close as need be.

But the new version sounds heavier and thicker than the original for more reasons than reverb. Obviously that’s down to me and I’d have to work on it if at all. It may mean getting at the samples themselves (which the player allows).

The piece was to accompany a clip of a teenager walking into town. It had to be light in keeping with the character – blond, wears white clothes and stuff, hence using a cello rather than a bass for the pizz accompaniment and the tune fairly high on the stave.

A small chamber orchestra: strings, flute, oboe, clarinet.

I’ve posted both original and new versions. Comments would be truly appreciated particularly if some listeners could spare the time to listen to both and say which they prefer. The duration is about 1’40”.

Many thanks.

Dane.

The first file is the new one. I confess preferring the old one. Turns out those old samples weren't so shabby after all.

Views: 172

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

He’s a pretty lively lad, Peggy’s Boy.

Another charming piece from an avowed atonalist.

Listened to both renditions. There are things I like better of the older version, the flute, middle strings. Clarinet not so much.

Hi Dane,

Lovely piece!

Around 1:40, I prefer the second attached version (“Peggy’s Boy 27111…..”) for 2 reasons.

1) In the first attached version (“Peggysboy….”) you have a E4, E flat 4 and D flat 4 against E 5 flat , D 5 flat, B and B flat 4. I don’t like the E4.
In the second attached version (“Peggy’s Boy 27111….”) you changed to E flat 4, F 4, E flat 4 and D flat 4, much better.

2) In the first attached version (“Peggysboy….” (at 1:40) there are 2 short notes (A flat and G flat) just before the 2 last finishing chords. It feels like Peggy’s boy is tripping there.
The second version (“Peggy’s Boy…”) (at 1:40) you took away the short A flat, now there is only the G flat which makes it cleaner.

Sound wise, I think I prefer the pizzicato of the “new one” (“Peggysboy29082…..”) version

Excellent piece! Would love to hear it by a real orchestra

Hello Dane,

I have no doubt: I prefer the second version (Peggy's Boy 271114-224) to the first.

Apart from the fact that there are some musical "refinements" (Joost Visser goes into analytical detail on them) the sound is better.

I don't think it sounds heavier but more complete and deep; the different instruments have a more important timbre.

It's a very good piece, very pleasant to listen to. Congratulations !

Many thanks for listening and comment. Yes, this avowed atonalist "atoning" for all those noisy things by writing something in a key, hoping I'm allowed a few augmented 6ths here and there!

Which makes this this atonal music, atoning for my discordant sins!

Thanks again.

Michael Lofting said:

He’s a pretty lively lad, Peggy’s Boy.

Another charming piece from an avowed atonalist.

Listened to both renditions. There are things I like better of the older version, the flute, middle strings. Clarinet not so much.


Hi Joost.

Well, sincere thanks for listening and your deeper analysis of the differences. It's possible that at least one of the issues you raise is an error. I'll have a look at it.

Fact is the older version used some very old WAV samples bought dead cheap when superseded. "Seidlaczek's Orchestra". The old daw I was using allowed them to be put into a primitive VSTi "program" and later into Reaper's Samplomatic9000.

It took a fair bit of work taming these samples but they were a start and whether it was spontaneity or not, sometimes sound better if I want a thinner sound. I still occasionally use them.

Many thanks,

Dane
Joost Visser said:

Hi Dane,

Lovely piece!

Around 1:40, I prefer the second attached version (“Peggy’s Boy 27111…..”) for 2 reasons.

1) In the first attached version (“Peggysboy….”) you have a E4, E flat 4 and D flat 4 against E 5 flat , D 5 flat, B and B flat 4. I don’t like the E4.
In the second attached version (“Peggy’s Boy 27111….”) you changed to E flat 4, F 4, E flat 4 and D flat 4, much better.

2) In the first attached version (“Peggysboy….” (at 1:40) there are 2 short notes (A flat and G flat) just before the 2 last finishing chords. It feels like Peggy’s boy is tripping there.
The second version (“Peggy’s Boy…”) (at 1:40) you took away the short A flat, now there is only the G flat which makes it cleaner.

Sound wise, I think I prefer the pizzicato of the “new one” (“Peggysboy29082…..”) version

Excellent piece! Would love to hear it by a real orchestra

Hi Ramon,

Thank you for your generous comment and listening to both. You're prompting me to go along with instinct -  should keep the second one (if at all - at best, now, it'll go into the portfolio). 

Cheers for now,

Dane.

Ramon Capsada Blanch said:

Hello Dane,

I have no doubt: I prefer the second version (Peggy's Boy 271114-224) to the first.

Apart from the fact that there are some musical "refinements" (Joost Visser goes into analytical detail on them) the sound is better.

I don't think it sounds heavier but more complete and deep; the different instruments have a more important timbre.

It's a very good piece, very pleasant to listen to. Congratulations !

Hi Dane,

I did my best not to let what you said about these tracks influence me, nor did I read any of the other comments. I did prefer the second one to the fist one. It exuded more energy by a small margin. I can't say exactly why. Maybe faster attacks? I think it had a little more "bounce" to it honestly. They both sounded good to my ears though. 

Never ceases to amaze me how varied your potential in composition is.

Hey, Timothy,

Many thanks for listening to both and your comments. 

I think you may have nailed it about 'attack'. If I get a chance to experiment I'll cut back on the attack time of the VSL samples. The attack is set to zero as default in the player but I can use the "time stretch" box to cut it down by 50%. Could be the same with the pizzicato.

Thank you for that hint - and also to help persuade me to keep the second/older version. Much appreciated.

Cheers for now.

They both sound great really Dane, good melody, harmony and orchestration, you can't go wrong with either one.  I suppose if forced to choose I'd go with the older one but not for any important reasons.  There are many things which affect the quality and impact of a recording besides the actual overall quality of the samples so it's not surprising when a dark horse wins an occasional race.

Hi Dane,

I prefer the original version (the second file), not so much for musical reasons (though I thought the newer version's ending was somewhat awkward), but because in the revised version, the attacks on notes by the strings sounded artificial, not the way any human musicians would play it, with an electronic-sounding (maybe midi-ish?) swell on each note. I also thought the original version sounded more spirited and expressive. From what I've heard now, I think I generally prefer your tonal work to your more "atonal" compositions! You have a very fresh way with traditional harmony and often move in unexpected directions that in retrospect, make perfect sense musically. And your sense of form and structure is very good, something not always apparent in your more "atonal" pieces.  I would like to hear more of your "tonal" works!

Hi, Ingo,

Hey, thank you for listening to both and your kind comment. I gather the new version could be down to the samples (VSL) the attack of which I have to try changing in the player. If I get some time I may try to swap them for the original samples which I still have just to see what happens. I thought the piece was a bit cheesy but it seems it was acceptable. I kept one of two of these early pieces. Shame I didn't keep the midi files.... Ah well.... Lesson learned!

It's the first time I've had to call VSL samples into question - the detaché attack is too soft.

Thanks again, Ingo,

Dane.



Ingo Lee said:

They both sound great really Dane, good melody, harmony and orchestration, you can't go wrong with either one.  I suppose if forced to choose I'd go with the older one but not for any important reasons.  There are many things which affect the quality and impact of a recording besides the actual overall quality of the samples so it's not surprising when a dark horse wins an occasional race.

Liz, hi!

Thank you for listening to both files and your comments, particularly about there's some sense of form hidden away if I care to brush the cobwebs off it!

Interesting observations that had me wondering. I'm no way a morbid person but extreme chromaticism gives more scope to capture the moods of sometimes tense / uneasy situations and feelings (along with moments of light and tranquillity by contrast) than tonality. It also (hopefully) avoids something getting too programmatic, using the music to mimic the picture.

Could be I'm less inclined to bother expressing the happy optimism there in every day, but once I get into a major key it's likely to be light music. Fact is that in the right mood, tonal light works are easier to run up. 

Like, for example, here's some fake Mozart I did for a stately home nearby, same vintage as this piece, except it sounded a little better/clearer originally. I messed it about a but so I'd have to reconstruct it to get something like the original back.

I've got intoxicated by Beethoven's 4th recently, so have to watch myself carefully! A curious, most inventive work. 

So again, thanks, Liz, for raising the questions. 



Liz Atems said:

Hi Dane,

I prefer the original version (the second file), not so much for musical reasons (though I thought the newer version's ending was somewhat awkward), but because in the revised version, the attacks on notes by the strings sounded artificial, not the way any human musicians would play it, with an electronic-sounding (maybe midi-ish?) swell on each note. I also thought the original version sounded more spirited and expressive. From what I've heard now, I think I generally prefer your tonal work to your more "atonal" compositions! You have a very fresh way with traditional harmony and often move in unexpected directions that in retrospect, make perfect sense musically. And your sense of form and structure is very good, something not always apparent in your more "atonal" pieces.  I would like to hear more of your "tonal" works!

Attachments:

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2020   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service