•  imho, if you expect us to listen to stuff, you should make the whole recording available. I was quite enjoying this generally nicely written, versatile and amiable piece until it suddenly got cut off. The rendering is not the richest-- sounds a bit like NotePerformer but apart from fizzy strings generally does the job.

  • I had a listen to this 1st movement and found it quite enjoyable. The writing transitioned seamlessly between the various styles you mentioned. The opening theme reminds me personally of a Gregorian Chant for some reason, particularly Perotin - Viderunt Omnes - not that your piece sounds anything like it really, but maybe some of the rhythmic ideas.

    A skillfully written work, but most admirable to me was the orchestration; it's evident that a lot of care and craft went into establishing a well-orchestrated sound. Despite the poor rendering quality, this still manages to sound "good" to me, and I feel that is in the writing itself, especially the orchestration.

    The mix has issues such as peaking, EQ problems, gain issues, etc. To me, this sounds like a demo straight out of notation software rather than a finished recording, even if choosing to utilize virtual instruments. Therefore, I feel many would be hesitant to purchase an MP3 of the entire piece. Those not so well-versed in, for lack of a better word, well-written music, may be quick to dismiss the piece because of taking the recording at face value.

    On a subjective matter, I also sense some listeners (though certainly not myself personally) may desire more virtuosic writing in the piano part. Perhaps the piece develops into more technical writing, perhaps not- but there is often debate on whether this needs to be a criteria for Concerto works- it is not, in my opinion, but I've seen the debate around many forums. In this case I feel the writing compliments the musical nature at hand very well. 

    Regardless, I have nothing but praise for the writing itself, which is very enjoyable to my ears. Really a pleasant listen.

    • your point about the lack of overtly virtuosic writing in the piano part was one I was also thinking of commenting on and I found its lack rather refreshing -- there's nothing I hate more than vacuous virtuosity (probably a reason why I tend to avoid writing concertos myself). often the writing had a gentle lyrical quality which was appealing.

      The point about buying an mp3 of the whole piece is also valid - it's simply not acceptable in my view to expect people to pay money for something which hasn't been proficiently rendered. If the rendering only had the aim of giving an idea of the work then it's certainly adequate for that -- not everyone puts a high priority on the mock-up, especially those who have some hope of a live performance but trying to sell work for me requires higher standards.


  • Many thanks guys. Can I ask how does one go about a more polished rendering? Can you recommend any software? It's something I feel I can learn more about. Thanks again.

    • No problem, Michael.

      Before deciding how to approach creating a more polished recording, there are several crucial questions you need to consider. They all play a significant role in enhancing the quality of your recording.

      Firstly, ask yourself if you want to refine your recording within your current notation software. If the answer is yes, explore whether your notation software offers any "mixing" functions. These functions allow you to balance the volume (gain) for each individual part, equalize the instruments, and add effects such as reverb. Familiarizing yourself with these functions can quickly improve your recording quality, although it may not necessarily achieve a more realistic sound. If realism is your goal, consider the following:

      Ask yourself how much time and financial resources you can or want to invest in this. If you have limited resources, check if your notation software supports third-party instrument libraries. This involves replacing the default sound libraries with high-quality ones compatible with your notation software. Another option that can be used in tandem with this is exploring software like NotePerformer, an AI-based plugin that analyzes your sheet music and annotations to determine the most realistic way to express the playback.It is compatible with these 3rd party libraries and 'makes them sing' well without much tedious labor, to summarize.

      However, the effectiveness of these options may depend on your hardware. To provide a more detailed answer, we would need information about the specific software you are using and comfortable with.

      If your response to the question, "Do I have a lot of time and money to invest in this?" is "Yes", then the best solution that almost always yields the most realistic results is using sample libraries within a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Here's how it works in very summarized way:

      1. You export all your notation as MIDI files (Each instrument part as a seperate MIDI track)
      2. You import these MIDI files into a DAW, each on their own track
      3. You assign sample libraries of your choice (and purchase) to each part, selecting those that best fit the musical style or provide the desired sound.

      Understand that this approach requires a significant time and financial commitment (if you don't know DAWs or MIDI, a major learning curve- but there's lots of resources out there), as well as a learning curve. However, it often yields the most realistic results and is commonly adopted in the professional field when hiring live players is not feasible. (Sometimes it is a combination of live and sample libraries)

      This approach demands a strong computer with a boatload of RAM and memory, a capable DAW, and a collection of high-quality sample libraries... and might result in an addiction, as one often finds themself desiring the latest and greatest libraries. . . 

      • Many thanks, David.

        • you haven't said anything yet about how you create your scores. As I said, my guess is NotePerfomer 4 which means notation software which means probably Sibelius as you're in the UK. If my guess is correct, all you need to do is invest in a suitable supported NotePerformer Performance Engine. The cheapest which I think might work quite nicely with this sort of work is the BBC Core which can be found on sale from around £250. You don't then really need to do any more work than at present (other than perhaps getting a better reverb but that's a relatively minor matter). David's approach may be the ideal but is complete overkill for just improving the overall tonal quality and musicality of your rendering. You don't need a DAW at all, especially if you use Dorico which is much more powerful in playback features.


          • just in case of interest, I happened to spot that Spitfire do in fact have a current sale and the BBC Core library is around £230 (€269)


          • Yes it's NotePerformer and Sibelius. That BBC Core sounds interesting, I'll look into it. Many thanks again.

            • unfortunately you seem to have just missed the sale by hours -- but they come back a couple of times a year. In the meantime you might be interested in listening to a compendium of NPPE demos using all the supported libraries here (near the bottom of the page). It may be that one or other takes your fancy.


              NotePerformer 4
              NotePerformer 4 is the Artificial Intelligence-based orchestral playback engine for Sibelius, Finale & Dorico.
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