"Strings Speak" was one of my first "completed" (I never added dynamics) compositions that I'm revisiting now. Will have sheet music Wednesday. I'm looking for suggestions for dynamics and what I should make arco (bowed) if any of it. Please let me know what you think!
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Some interesting ideas here. Once again, some reverb would help. It would be unusual to hear a performance in a completely dead room. The only Conductor I know of who insisted on recording in a completely dry room was Howard Hanson. IMO, some variation in velocity would add interest evn more than variations in volume.
Hunter, I have a question for you. why did you choose to write for small ensembles where the instruments are solo string instruments? I avoid these instruments because there are very few sound libraries that include non-vibrato solos strings. Not having the ability to vary the quality of the vibrato is an important impediment to expressive writing.
Art, I try to compose for real musicians and they were the best sounding samples (that came with logic pro 9) for it's use. Also, I don't know how to add reverb in Logic 9-- I just use it for composing. I plan on switching to Sibelius or Finale soon.
Wow! You're using Logic Pro? Thats' what I use, and I think it's about the best DAW there is. (Save your money on Sebelius). Take the track for one instrument, say, 1st violin. Bring up the channel strip for that track. (click on the "inspector".) There will be 5 boxes under "inserts". click and hold on any one of them. There will be a "reverb" in the menu. Space Designer is Apple's premier reverb. I don't use it because it's too complicated. I use PlatinumVerb. Key "A" to bring up the track automation for that instrument. The default parameter will be "volume". click and hold on that and select your reverb>mix. I generally use about 30%. That may be more than you want. For an ensemble like you are using, I would put the reverb on the entire stereo output. Creating a track for that is a whole nother process.
Create a new audio track (the little + sign at the top of the headers). Control-Click and hold on the track title (probably "audio1") select reassign>mixer>output stereo. Voila! A new track, which will have its own channel strip where you can add a reverb.
Logic Pro is supposed to be able to create scores, much like Sebelius. I'm just now trying to learn how to use it. I think it's going to be a huge learning curve.
I should have mentioned that you got a pretty good sound library that came with your Logic pro. I use many of the ESX24 instruments. When you create a new track, make sure the "open library" box is checked. You will see them all. At other times, you can access the library by clicking on "media". Or, once you have a sample player assigned on a track, they will appear if you click on "setting" in a channel strip
So, first things first. Don't spend money on Sebelius. Get ready to get to know Logic Pro. It's a powerful program and does just about everything you could need. Suggest you join http://www.logicprohelp.com/. 90% of what I've learned has come from online help forums, and these guys know everything there is to know.
This is a useful article that I'm making my way through: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun08/articles/logictech_0608.htm . It's on neatening/professionalizing your scores in Logic Pro.
I agree with just about everything that Art Lowell says about Logic Pro. I would add, there are many ways you can alter the Master Track, to get reverb, and to produce performances as if you were in any kind of room.
As far as the Quartet goes, I enjoyed it. I didn't have any problem with your choice of instruments. I wondered, though, why the entire piece was played in pizzicato. If it is a sort of interlude between other larger portions of the Quartet, or a movement between different movements of a complete Quartet, then it makes sense to me, but not so much by itself. That's my impression, in any case.
There is only one spot that I recommend you work hard to change or fix. That would be a section about 2/3 the way through, where the momentum and drive just seem to collapse, without any organic reason inherent within the piece. I am not saying it cannot slow down or pause, even at that point. But it seems as if the confidence of the piece itself (the blithe joyous driving spirit of the work) just drops away. I don't know if you planned that, for a reason, or if that part wasn't quite worked on enough. It seems to mar that final portion of the piece, even though the momentum picks up again. Perhaps there is another way to get the variation in tempo that you do want at that juncture.
Some people want to see the score. I find that with Logic, the score is not nearly as valuable as the "piano roll." It gives you all the information that a score would, and more, including note velocity. The "event list" can also be useful. The regions in Logic, if you look carefully at them give all sorts of valuable information, which is stored there, and clearly visible, when you use EXS24 settings and instruments, and when you add pitch bending or random note instructions. You can alter these instant by instant for each instrument, as the piece proceeds, and all this information is stored on the region, and easily viewed if you magnify it, and look up close. The score that Logic produces seems to me problematic in many ways. Scores are not generated with precision by Logic, Logic Scores do not seem to be able to deal with subtle differences in note duration. Treble and bass clefs get mixed up in odd ways. Some of these issues are discussed here: http://www.logic-users-group.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7786
I may be very wrong about Logic's ability to produce scores, and just haven't learned the best way to use that. I have heard so many times that Sibelius produces better scores, that I am not going to insist that Logic can do it well. Maybe others who know more on that issue can speak to it. If scores production is extremely important to you, you may want to get Sibelius. I like the sound and feel of Logic Pro, so I am not about to switch.
Ondib. I am just beginning to delve into the mysteries of Logic's Score capabilities. I am finding a paucity of documentation from Apple, although there seems to be a series of tutorials that you have to pay for.( http://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/logic-pro-x-109-core-training-t... ).
My experience from learning the DAW tells me that there is probably a solution to every problem you confront. (Logic's producers really do seem to think of everything), but these solutions are hard to find. The Logic pro help guys seem to know everything there is to know, but there are techniques for asking questions there. They tend to answer ONLY the question asked, and seem somewhat put-out if questions are not absolutely clear and concise.
(BTW, The event list is one of the most important parts of Logic. It opens up all kinds of ways to manipulate MIDI notes).