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Full Version: Trogool - Beyond the River Skai
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Very nice use of orchestration- a great blend of instruments and timbres which does not grow tiring at any point.

My main advice would be to seek opportunities to record more of these parts live. A lot of what is lost by virtual instrument performance is the detailed phrasing that is simple in real life, but extremely difficult to replicate with samples even with great experience. Your musical style, centered around a few exposed solo voices, lends itself to being recorded very well and I think that's probably the best first step forwards.

Second to that, consider exploring more deeply how to phrase each line. Players don't just slur every note together or play everything constantly the same length or dynamic of staccato (well, if they are given the choice). The shape of each line also can be expressed much more, both in dynamics and expressive qualities like vibrato and where slurs are made. If you aren't sure what I mean by all of this, go listen to some live players, regardless of genre/style and imagine what they are playing is something on a piano roll. Consider which notes they make shorter and which they slur together. Consider that a phrase is always 'going' somewhere- and should (almost) never just be standing still. How is this achieved in reality? How can you achieve this in virtual writing? It doesn't matter if you're writing like a 90's video game composer or a modern orchestral mockup artist, phrasing is one of the most important differences between a good track and a fantastic one.

Edit: here's a very simple example of a four-note ostinato being phrased several different ways I put together a bit ago for someone else. Notice how each method gives a different sound to the ostinato, yet with only the same notes, just playing with where the slurs are and the dynamic shape-
https://instaud.io/2TY8
Thanks for the input Sam! I hope to be able to share some more recent stuff soon for everyone's thoughts. This album was finished prior to my involvement in the forum, and there exists another one that I finished over a year ago; just waiting on the artist to finish the cover (should probably email him again...). And I've been steadily working toward bettering my skills since then on some new tracks and sketches, etc. I'm hoping to workshop more of the recent stuff to help get at these sorts of things that might not be so immediately apparent to me at first.

Live recordings of certain solo instruments would definitely be a fun thing to try, but unfortunately it's not really in the realm of possibility quite yet.
Listening, and I'm really enjoying it. But I must ask:

What's dungeon synth?
Why do you think recording live parts isn't possible? All you need is a mic and a musician and a piece of paper with some notes on it, and if any part of that is tricky, don't forget there's a whole community of people here who do that sort of thing regularly or could even play parts or find players for parts for you. Wink
(01-12-2019, 09:42 PM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]Why do you think recording live parts isn't possible? All you need is a mic and a musician and a piece of paper with some notes on it, and if any part of that is tricky, don't forget there's a whole community of people here who do that sort of thing regularly or could even play parts or find players for parts for you. Wink

Duly noted! Big Grin

Perhaps in the future... It would be a fun challenge to write parts that would be best facilitated by live players. Also it would be a fun challenge to learn how to write music at all...
(01-12-2019, 11:58 PM)Nayrb Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-12-2019, 09:42 PM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]Why do you think recording live parts isn't possible? All you need is a mic and a musician and a piece of paper with some notes on it, and if any part of that is tricky, don't forget there's a whole community of people here who do that sort of thing regularly or could even play parts or find players for parts for you. Wink

Duly noted! Big Grin

Perhaps in the future... It would be a fun challenge to write parts that would be best facilitated by live players. Also it would be a fun challenge to learn how to write music at all...

Your DAW may already have notation capabilities. Obviously there's a big difference between turning MIDI into notation and turning MIDI into readable, well-set notation, but that would at least get you started.

Also don't forget many folks here can read/write music and would be happy to help you make it happen. Even many professional composers out there rely on others for their notation.  Cool
(01-12-2019, 04:04 PM)Terry93D Wrote: [ -> ]Listening, and I'm really enjoying it. But I must ask:

What's dungeon synth?

Thank you!

To be honest, I have no idea anymore. Dungeon Synth is a term coined recently to describe what was basically a keyboard- or "non-rock-instrument"-based offshoot of metal. Some metal people in the 90s and on were into other kinds of music and they wanted to experiment. The "godfather" was Mortiis with his "era 1" records (before changing to industrial rock). Themes are usually fantasy, or mythology, or other "Romantic" concepts often found in metal.

A sort of international community briefly arose around it a few years ago and it was a pretty fun time. A lot of variety, not much emphasis on musical boundaries (as we know "scenes" can often suffer from), and a penchant for actually trying to make good music and good sounding records.

Not long after that a rift occurred between those who wanted to promote quality and those who wanted to flood the market with hastily thrown together stuff, and it seems that today "dungeon synth" primarily refers to music that follows the "it's bad on purpose" aesthetic. Not that I really care much (I tend not to get involved in these kinds of things), but dungeon synth seems to be flourishing these days as a genre that is based primarily on slapdash music released on cassette tape for optimum "necro" experience.

I've linked a couple notable tracks below, but I would advise not to worry too much about the genre tag. It's really only a good way to attract the attention of potentially interested listeners. Hence why I keep it around on my bandcamp.

Murgrind

Barak Tor
(01-12-2019, 11:58 PM)Nayrb Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps in the future... It would be a fun challenge to write parts that would be best facilitated by live players. Also it would be a fun challenge to learn how to write music at all...

Send me a midi track and I'll see what I can do about recording the clarinet part for you. Also, I know a few people who play some other instruments... I also might be able to help convert midi into readable music notation; I played in school band for seven years.
(01-13-2019, 12:59 AM)Michael Willis Wrote: [ -> ]Send me a midi track and I'll see what I can do about recording the clarinet part for you. Also, I know a few people who play some other instruments... I also might be able to help convert midi into readable music notation; I played in school band for seven years.

Thanks! I'll definitely keep that in mind. I will probably have some general questions about the clarinet for you, too (always learning). I'm really surprised and intrigued by how complicated its role in the orchestra seems to be. The fact that a player has to switch between two instruments, sometimes very quickly, is really interesting. It almost seems like a situation where the mechanics of the instrument vs compositional needs require some complex level of thought not so apparent in the world of sampled clarinets. For me the B flat just sort of represents the clarinet in general practice.

While we're on the topic of live musicians, I know a very good violinist. I don't know about his availability, level of interest, (or cost), but I could always try to establish contact if anyone's interested.

(01-13-2019, 12:22 AM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]Even many professional composers out there rely on others for their notation.  Cool

This is actually news to me. Just as learning that many film composers rely on others for orchestration. It makes perfect sense, really, but still a surprise for the uninitiated. It kind of changes how one listens to a film score if they know the person whose name is on the front isn't exactly solely responsible for the sounds coming out of the speakers.

I just recently came to terms with what the circle of fifths is all about. When I was (briefly) a music major in 2005 it was one of those things you just had to understand, and fast. But that is only because it was helpful for sight reading (got a C in that class, and I don't understand how. I should have failed!). As it is now, it's a handy reference tool, the usefulness of which time will tell.

FL Studio does have a notation feature which I think may be very educational. I'm not sure how important notation really is to me at the moment given my methods. In learning about "transposing instruments" or harp pedals needing to be written "enharmonically" for example, it seems it's really only important for those writing for actual musicians who need to read the music. In practice, the pitch and range aren't affected in any significant way and one just needs to understand the mechanical limits of the instrument. Still not bad info to have around, though.
(01-13-2019, 02:06 AM)Nayrb Wrote: [ -> ]I'm really surprised and intrigued by how complicated its role in the orchestra seems to be. The fact that a player has to switch between two instruments, sometimes very quickly, is really interesting. It almost seems like a situation where the mechanics of the instrument vs compositional needs require some complex level of thought not so apparent in the world of sampled clarinets. For me the B flat just sort of represents the clarinet in general practice.
I only have a B flat clarinet. I can kind of fake an A clarinet it by pulling the barrel out quite a bit to tune it down, but that doesn't really work when approaching either extreme of the instrument's range. Sometimes I dream of getting an A clarinet, but Bb works for now. It may seem silly at first, there is only a half-step difference in the tuning, but there are scales that are hard to play on Bb clarinet that would be remarkably easy on the A clarinet, due to that circle-of-fifths thing that you mentioned elsewhere.

I think the discussion about collaborating to record real instruments warrants another thread, I'll start it.
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