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A fun one... - Printable Version

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A fun one... - jmcmillan - 12-29-2017

I made this song back in the sixth grade (1986!) on piano as a piano student. Entered it into a composition contest for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. My entry won and the conductor at the time, Thomas Conlin, orchestrated it for a performance at a field trip concert for the local elementary schools.

I have an old tape recording from then, that I listened to and re-orchestrate the piece. A fun journey down memory lane for me ! Smile 

Anyway, here is the piano piece audio, rendered in MP3 from Musescore: The Bears in Spring-for piano 

And here is my version of the orchestrated piece, rendered from default Musescore soundfont: The Bears in Spring

I plan on importing the Musescore MIDI file into my DAW and using SSO, VPO, VCSO2 CE and tweak/mix/re-perform parts to render a better recording.
Enjoy!



Stuff I learned from this project:
1. My work flow was wrong for me. I worked better writing music seeing the notation in front of me laid out. I was having trouble seeing the music in my DAW piano roll only
2. Working with the notation first allowed me to separate the writing process from the performing process. I was struggling with the workflow of DAW first or DAW only. I needed to separate the writing of the piece from the performance.
3. Even with the poor quality sound font in Musescore, as I changed and tweaked the orchestration, articulations texture and balance, the sound became significantly better. Before, for me with just the DAW, I would try to write the piece and tweak the orchestration and performance (and the mixing!!) all at the same time, causing it to be unclear how to fix.


Much clearer for me to notate first, get things written, balanced first. Then improve later in the DAW with sample libraries.


RE: A fun one... - Mattias Westlund - 12-30-2017

Cool stuff, it has kind of a Sousa vibe to it. Very mature sounding considering you made it in sixth grade!

Would have been cool if you had included the tape recording from way back as well Wink


RE: A fun one... - jmcmillan - 12-30-2017

Thank you! And as requested: The Bears In Spring (audio)   Smile


RE: A fun one... - Mattias Westlund - 12-30-2017

Very cool! That sound quality makes it sound like it's from 1936 rather than 1986 -- which is actually quite fitting I think, the piece has an old-time quality about it Smile


RE: A fun one... - Viktor - 12-30-2017

Gotta agree with Mattias! The sound quality is pretty fitting, I don't think that my compositions of sixth grade would be worth any listen Big Grin It's hard for me to judge your new orchestration with the muse score soundfont though, but I'm looking forward to hearing it with proper samples.


RE: A fun one... - Mattias Westlund - 12-30-2017

...and I might add that I've been humming that melody all day, so good job there!


RE: A fun one... - jmcmillan - 12-31-2017

Wow, thank you Viktor and Mattias! Make me smile to know the melody is catchy!
I am working on using samples to re-render it. It’ll be my first kinda of “real “ mix so we’ll see how it goes! My hearing is still wonky in my right ear so...


RE: A fun one... - jmcmillan - 01-01-2018

Stuff made with stuff made from people here Smile 
Using VPO, SSO and VSCO2 CE + Hibiki.
Enjoy!

https://instaud.io/1Bji

Better on YouTube The Bears in Spring


RE: A fun one... - Viktor - 01-02-2018

Good work Smile I really like the horn part, when the melody switches to minor. And the idea with the Piccollo and the Tuba together. Some parts of the orchestra seem a bit drenched in reverb though, i can't really tell you which, but there seems to be a long tail on the verb. Also some instruments sound a bit too near, like some brass and the woodwinds, but still not bad mix at all. But cool ideas on the orchestration!


RE: A fun one... - jmcmillan - 01-02-2018

Thanks Viktor! 
I had some of the same thoughts about it. I started with “Medium Hall” and switched to “Large Hall”. Tail length is about 1.6s vs. 2.6s. Maybe Medium hall was better. 

Was having trouble getting the different sample libraries to sit backward and forward but tried my best. I kinda stopped when I got the evil eye from my wife who I had ignored for a few hours Smile.

I’ll come back later and tweak more but was getting to a point where I couldn’t hear the differences so thought I’d get some distance from it and come back later.