Sunday, July 29, 2012

Neverending Journey

Going back to regular chord progressions, this baby is in the key of Em, and putting in some secondary dominants. This is the "first pass", will look into this guy again and tweaking it before submitting to my teacher.

Memories atop Point 56

Memories atop Point 56 by Gallen Wolf

Sat down and sequenced this piece for string quartet - before I go further I have to say I have no idea what a string quartet is - apart from what I read off Wikipedia :P

For this piece, I used two violins, with a viola and cello. For most of the song, it is 3 part harmony. The 2nd violin was used mainly to add texture by playing different articulations.

This is also my first outing with VSL Solo Strings I, as well as the new sampler player. The new player is really nice, it loads samples faster, provides visual feedback for alot of options like playing range, keyswitches. There is also a zebra2-ish kind of modular section where you can set controllers to modulate a specific control. Oh, there is now an algo style reverb built in as well.

EDIT: After much listening and comparing, I think my strings are much to up-close, a bit more reverb and eq to move them further back would sound preferable, I think.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Melodic Dubstep : Hikaru No Ookami by Gallen Wolf

Totally forgot to post this track! As a monthly challenge, me and another friend are choosing genres we've never worked on and composing for them.

I laid down the challenge of Dubstep, mainly because I really dislike dubstep.

And what better way to learn more about something you don't like than to research about it? Turns out that what I didn't like, is the modern, US Style dubstep, aka "Brostep".

However, the roots of dubstep are pretty awesome, and I actually enjoyed alot of the music I listened too, older stuff is pretty darned amazing (check out this blog post)

After much research, one particular sub genre of dubstep I really liked is Melodic Dubstep. One artist in particular, Blackmill, stood out from the crowd. I felt that apart from maintaining the roots of dubstep, the melody layered gives it alot of character and stands it out.

And here above is my attempt at Melodic Dubstep. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another compo: Memories at Point 56

Totally random name. Spent a fair bit of time on this piece, tweaking after the fact (something I was told to do) - will probably tweak more tomorrow night before I submit it for my class.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nothing like a grand

A real grand piano that is. Another piano class today. Just love the feel and response of the real thing *squeee*

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kontakt 5 in the house

Another sampler to learn, yay >.> But on the bright side, I now have access to alot more libraries. The existing libraries I do actually own also seem to work better on Kontakt. For examples, two of my SampleTekk pianos, PMI Old Lady and Rain Piano. The former, with the EXS24's patch had the occasionally release samples play incorrectly, and rain piano just didn't feel right on when being played.

With Kontakt now, both play great!

The downside I see is CPU cost. Kontakt appears to be *really* Cpu heavy - perhaps I need to tweak some settings. Old Lady was getting crackles when I was putting down my usual test tune, and I'd checked to ensure there were enough voices to support playing with the pedal down. Logic's CPU meter was deep in the read, even with higher buffers.

Also checked out a few of the kontakt factory libs - went straight for the flute, sadly, there does not seem to be an option for legato transitions. The world instrument flutes though, appear to have legato. I wonder if they are sampled legato or similar to what GPO uses for legato transitions. Checking the samples revealed little apart from the world flutes having 4 velocity layers per key.

Guess I'll be on a free Kontakt lib hunt this weekend, lots of free stuff from Embertone, Spitfire Audio etc. to check out.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Orchestral Template Musings (AGAIN?!)

I've got sample libraries on the brain, what can I say. Some people are hooked on crack. Me, sample libraries. I'm like a pokemon trainer, I want to collect 'em all.

Well Berlin Woodwinds have been released recently, and whilst it is one amazing library in terms of sound and features, the price is simply out of the question for my needs.

Let's re-look at the template. As I've got Kontakt 5 on the way, and there is whole orchestral section that could be used instead of all my yammering here. As before, slash-thru text means I own that library.

Strings: LASS, VSL Solo Strings, EWQL Symphonic Orchestra
Winds: VSL or Wallander
Brass:  Wallander
Drums: Drums Of War, Addictive Drums
Choir: SoundIron Mars/Venus Choirs

There are a few other bits and pieces that I should consider, stuff like percussion - celestas, cowbells, marimbas, as well as harps (omg harps, I love harps :3), typewriters and more.

One More Hill: Piano Compo

Another new piece! I'm on a roll today :3

Music Log : June 2012 : Don't Look Back

Finally got around to recording this piece :) Was supposed to be recorded earlier this month on a real steinway grand during a recital, but I had to fall ill >.>

I'm also using some outboard piano samples, specifically, the SampleTekk PMI Old Lady samples. The CP33 only has 3 samples per key, and the Old Lady's got supposedly 10 samples per key. So factor in the sustain samples (another 10) and release samples, waaay more dynamic range!

Next week, my copy of Kontakt 5 should arrive, and I think the Kontakt version should have additional functionality like resonance (saw some convolution impulse responses in the samples)

In other news, I'm still chugging along with lots of things. I'm transcribing a piece of VG music to do a cover - could download the midi straight from the usual midi websites but it's a ear training thing for my saxophone.

Still doing score reductions on Adagio for Strings

I have homework (more piano compositions) to finish up before my next composition class (Tuesday! Aieee!)

And also completing the dubstep comp I'm having with a friend :)

That's apart from the rest of the non-musical stuff I'm doing :P Ah, lack of a life :P

Street Pianos!

Was walking on my way home after purchasing some groceries and hear some plonking noises in Soho Square. And to my glee, there was a Street Piano there! I'd seen these before around St Pauls and the Millenium Bridge but back in the day I had no idea how to play a piano.
Gave this beautiful upright a whirl. Unlike a grand piano, this little beauty had a tone that has a very unique character. I really enjoyed playing on it. My right leg was also shaking like mad, must be performance anxiety XD

Due to the rainy weather we've been having I actually didn't bother seeking out the pianos this year as I thought they'd not put pianos out. The raincover is an excellent way to keep things dry. Well, dry-er anyways.

Hope this piano gets a good lease of life as a street piano. I played one of my compositions on it, I'll record it at home on my DP and put it up soon.

Why not linux?

I think this thread on vicontrol sums it up why musicians that use samples can't and don't use linux for their music. There are not enough tools, and developers mainly develop for osx and windows.

And even for developers that do develop a sample format that can be used on linuxSampler e.g. Ziron's Shreddage - to use this format means you give up some functionality.

From OcRemix:

Differences between SFZ and Kontakt:
If you don't own Shreddage yet and are deciding which version to buy, the comparison is fairly simple. Shreddage SFZ has most content from the Kontakt versions but does not have a scripted UI or true recorded legato (due to limitations of the SFZ format). Also, since there is not wide support for the modwheel in SFZ, we use keyswitches instead, which some may find less convenient. So, if you DO have Kontakt, you may consider that version to be the better option. However, the SFZ version has all other articulations, double-tracking, and the full range of round robins, so if you DON'T have Kontakt you are still getting the vast majority of both libraries! Shreddage Bass is the same deal, though it DOES actually have all content and legato scripting... just not the fancy UI of the Kontakt version.

Choose the best tool for the job at hand, I say.