Hi all,

After a computer failure, I could finally complete the second part of my trio for flute, viola and cello. Like the first part, it has a color in the title, but it also refers to a (traditional) unusual scale. The title already reveals the scale here.

I hope you enjoy the listen,

Jos

Chasing Dorian Grey

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  • Dane now I've got to turn up the heater and just strum my guitar nondigitally :)  When you have time to update us on your notation adventures we're interested. And VSL says that Dorico can set articulations in Synchron automatically? Oh my.

    This is a great discussion for me though as I'm seeing two different approaches getting great results using more or less the same tools. I had thought that putting an IR reverb system on the DAW output channel would be pretty realistic but Jos has pointed out that rooms are three dimensional and we should be controlling the placement of the instruments in all three dimensions, which makes sense, especially for a larger ensemble I think?

  • @ Ingo: Actually, I don't work the way you suggest. Like an old school composer, I always start with a detailed written score (in my notation program Notion or in the future Dorico). From there I report all the input to my DAW (Studio One Pro), both programs from Presonus. Because they're related, you can export everything directly to the other program in both directions. That is quite easy. But I choose to only export the note data and some velocities. All the rest I tweak by hand and add the necessary automations (expression, velocity XF, release, attack,...). But before the tweaking I need to enter a whole bunch of key switches related to VI Pro and its setup (my setup). So your supposition that I have a separate track for every patch is not true. I know that some people work that way, but I don't. I like to have an overview of every musical phrase and movement per instrument. Not an endless split-up of a line in patches and tracks. Of course all the instruments have an instance of VSS, but that is in fact only one instance, repeating itself for each instrument. I use a particular room for all the instruments, but for larger scores, I divide them into groups (Strings, woodwinds...), so that I can correct wherever necessary, without having to tweak the entire room setup. After the mixer, I send everything to a tail reverb (sum)bus with the 'sends' feature. There the tail is set to maximum (100%). With the bus slider, I give the preferable amount of wet hall reverb to the tail. (No more IR here!). From there it goes to the master bus. Of course it may be needed to insert here and there some compression to bring extra cohesion or presence into the ensemble, but usually I try to avoid this. In the master bus I insert a master EQ and master compression, as well as a dither (used in the final master for CD compression). All that means, that I almost always work with notes in my DAW and hardly ever with audio tracks. Some specialists find this way disturbing and time consuming, because you are busy with notation, key switches, performance and mastering all the time. And that's true alas. But I don't compose at the piano, I do it from my head and my instrument to check it out is my sound machine (=computer)...

    @Dane: Thanks Dane for your comment. VE Pro can be useful on a single computer as well, to keep your CPU load away from the musical processing. I never use the internal reverb, because it doesn't provide any real room information. As to humanization, I work with 3 different things: the VI internal humanization with the amount regulated with the sliders (humanization/tuning) and with the humanization feature in Studio One (scaled velocities to be set between certain values and the same for the offset and release of the patches. This way, I can unsnap them from the grid in an irregular way, within certain definable borders).
     I don't have to make a notation anymore, since it was already there before I started the DAW job.

    Jos



  • Ingo Lee said:

    Dane now I've got to turn up the heater and just strum my guitar nondigitally :)  When you have time to update us on your notation adventures we're interested. And VSL says that Dorico can set articulations in Synchron automatically? Oh my.

    This is a great discussion for me though as I'm seeing two different approaches getting great results using more or less the same tools. I had thought that putting an IR reverb system on the DAW output channel would be pretty realistic but Jos has pointed out that rooms are three dimensional and we should be controlling the placement of the instruments in all three dimensions, which makes sense, especially for a larger ensemble I think?

    Ingo, I have recently started working with Dorico. What you say here isn't entirely true. Dorico now can have the possibility of expression maps with VSL instruments. That is not automatically adding articulations (which would be a stupid thing to do). It will only suggest which articulation can match  a certain expression. Of course the final decision about its sound and performance will be yours. AND... it's only for (and I hate to say it) the Synchron(ized) instruments. I have the intention to express my displeasure about this with Vienna!

    Trio for Flute, Viola and Cello, part II: Chasing Dorian Grey
    Hi all, After a computer failure, I could finally complete the second part of my trio for flute, viola and cello. Like the first part, it has a color…
  • Hi jos,

    Yes, I work the other way round from you - I put the music together in the daw, leave it for a few weeks, review it and if satisfied pass it over to notation software which I regard as codes for other musicians to do whatever they choose to do. I start a new work in a number of ways, have developed a shorthand that makes pencil or pastels far quicker than notation software. If I'm working closer to tonality and CPP I'll bung it straight in the daw.

    I had believed Ingo worked roughly the same way as me with Reaper - one instrument per track so the articulations/patches are changed by keyswitching or other controls. Its midi editor can open all tracks at once so one selects the track to edit or input, while seeing shadows of what's already there. 

    Still, as long as we get it done!   I dare say working from either direction takes as much work.

    .

  • A very fine piece, full of life and happiness. I feel the novelty created within the unusual scale. I think I have tried it myself once. It was a pleasure to listen, Jos.

    /Kjell

  • Yes I use keyswitches in Reaper as you say Dane. I start with Sibelius and NotePerformer which helps me get orchestration ideas which I am now trying to refine with VSL. So pastels eh, you're giving away your secrets here, is there an app for that?

    Jos your approach gives me ideas to work with, thank you. I suppose at some point notation software will be able to realize a score to our satisfaction without all the busy work, but it's still great to have these tools available.



    Dane Aubrun said:

    Hi jos,

    Yes, I work the other way round from you - I put the music together in the daw, leave it for a few weeks, review it and if satisfied pass it over to notation software which I regard as codes for other musicians to do whatever they choose to do. I start a new work in a number of ways, have developed a shorthand that makes pencil or pastels far quicker than notation software. If I'm working closer to tonality and CPP I'll bung it straight in the daw.

    I had believed Ingo worked roughly the same way as me with Reaper - one instrument per track so the articulations/patches are changed by keyswitching or other controls. Its midi editor can open all tracks at once so one selects the track to edit or input, while seeing shadows of what's already there. 

    Still, as long as we get it done!   I dare say working from either direction takes as much work.

    .

  • To complete the discussion here, I now can add a formerly announced brilliant feature in Studio One: the Sound Variations. Roughly these are predefined keyswitches ofr a number of sample libraries, among which the one I use: VSL (only Synchron). But the Sound Variations offer an opportunity to build your own 'variations' with more than just key switches. So I decided to build a series for the VI Pro instruments as well, since that doesn't exist and they will not build them.
    You can add controllers, Program Changes, Bank Changes as well in an Activation Sequence. I have built so far an instance for the strings and one for the woodwinds. Since they all use the same patches (more or less), they can be easily transferred to another instrument. The only issue is the position of the key switches (outside of the play range for every instrument). It cost me some time, but now these Variations are real time savers: I don't have to enter all these small switches anymore (sometimes 3 for one patch), a drop down menu opens when right-clicking on a sound (or selected series of sounds) and you just need to click one of the predefined variations and they are in position, always correctly. Of course to use these, the VI (Pro) instances must be prepared the same way, with the same structure. The good thing is that you only have to do this once and save it. The Variations can be saved as well, outside the DAW so that you can reuse them for every score.

    Alas, this is only for Studio One... But Dorico has a similar feature for the VSL SE Synchron instruments. Maybe I will share my presets on the Presonus website and the VSL forum.

    Jos

    • This shall make me steer to StudioOne (and/or Dorico) when I'll upgrade to a more contemporary OS.
      And be back to classical composition and rendering in a easier way. Cheers!

      • There is a considerable reduction for Dorico if you own a valid license for Sibelius or Finale.

        Jos

  • Jos - I enjoyed this lively piece, full of life. The flute blends very nicely with the strings. It would be nice if the timbre of the viola was a bit more distinct than the cello to distinguish the lines. Perhaps you wanted them to blend, but this was just my initial reaction.

    Congrats!

    Brandon

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