Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saxophone Log: September 2012

Opps, it's been awhile since I did one of these. I have been keeping up the sax on and off - lately I've been having a bout of illness, of which I had major fits of coughing so I've laid of alot of saxy times, and only tooted the horn on and off.

In any case, I really wanted to do this this month, so whilst I was recovering most of this month, I think this bout of sick is more or less over and I hope to return.

I've been thinking about the recording for a fair bit, and previously I was sort of playing into a corner - the Heil PR31BW has a hypercardioid pattern, so it accepts a slight bit of sound from the corner. Today instead, I had my back to a corner of the room, and the rear of the mic pointed towards the tiny hallway connecting my room to the bathroom. I think the signal is clearer and does not sound as boxy as before.

On the flip side, it appears I just had my first encounter with a resonant room mode. I didn't pick up on this until after I put on my VRM box for the final checks, and hear very clearly, a whistling, like flutes, on two of the loud notes. I had to use some serious high-Q on my notch filters to remove it. But by doing so, it caused the body of the instrument to be removed as well.

Annoying, but what I did was split of the section (it was two quarter notes long) and EQ'ed it separately to the rest.

Erm, apart from that I thought my arrangement could really use more umph, some parts just feel dead. Ah well, always next month :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Counterpoint: Major

After a very enlightening lesson this week, I decided to firm up my understanding before moving on to counterpoint in minor. I still need to work on a few short phrases for two part counterpoint, but I have to finish up my backing track for my jazz improv track tomorrow.

In other news, I currently have a major lust for a Bosendorfer 290 sample set. First choice is VSL of course, but it's like EU149 for the Bosendorfer Imperial, and the newer Vienna Imperial costs more than triple that.

My favourite other sample company is SampleTekk and they've got a beautiful PMI Bosendorfer 290 :3 And the price is good. Don't need it now, but if I do, will most likely go for the sampletekk.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Counterpoint: Major

Having no life and feeling somewhat better today, I did 3 exercises, counterpoint in major, followed by two line counterpoint, and finally some 4 part harmony with the lead line from the first counterpoint exercise. Eh,  hope I'm doing the right thing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sequencing: Flute Quartet in A major

Sequenced a very abridged version of Flute Quartet in A major, K298 by Mozart. I think the mixing isn't too bad, but the flute is quite lifeless when compared against a live flute. Need to work harder!

I think this is mainly because I am following the score too rigidly, and used the performance legato patches all the way as it was mainly slurs and single notes. Listening to a live version on youtube I can probably replace certain portions with portato patches, maybe even trills in places. ALWAYS REMEMBER REFERENCE!

Counterpoint: Major

After clearing up some questions from the last lesson, this is a few short phrases using major harmony.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chaconne - Two in One upon a Ground

Home sick today, some stomach issues. Spent what time I was awake sequencing this. Found the score off imslp.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trumpet Concerto

A short sequencing test for the solo trumpet part of Hadyn's Trumpet Concerto, 3rd movement. I really should have checked it against youtube vids, I think I overdid the attacks in this test, and whilst it sounded quite appealing, it is far from musical compared to the mellower performances on youtube. Live and learn.

And here is an updated piece featuring less aggressive samples:

Counterpoint: Minor

Exercise 2 on my list is counterpoint with minor keys. The 3 different kind of minors together with the rules of counterpoint are seriously messing with my head.... >.>

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sweetness, combining articulations

Sweetness! Read some tips about improving weak attacks in vsl and figured out how to setup a patch so that only certain notes have a stronger attack, but still keeping the legato performance.

If I were to combine just the legato patch with sfz or staccato, the additional layer will always play with new triggered notes, but, if I used a Y axis keyswitch to switch the patch from legato + additional layer to just legato, it works!!!! Woo! I also tried it along the horizontal axis, evidently it does not work that way. Dun dun dun! I love my vsl :3

Some other patches I've tried combining that worked very well (this is on the Oboe) e.g. sfz + pfp swell, adds a nice bit to the attack, then swells. GAAAAAAH I WANT THE FULL LIBRARY OF ARTICULATIONS! Imagine the combinations and possibilities!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Counterpoint Practice

Oooookay, I officially started doing counterpoint this week. Got a few rules to follow for monotonic melodies.... will have one or two more exercises complete by Monday.


I swear upon the spaghetti strainer in my kitchenette, Bach's chorales are a work of art.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shout out to VSL sales support

Just wanted to say how awesome it is to receive a reply to one's help request over the weekend. Two thumbs up.

Rocky Road Ahead

Trying out a few things with this piece; 4 parts but more are held, more extended harmony and pedal point on the 3rd verse.

EDIT: Sooo many harmonic mistakes discovered during class, I think I was too confident and didn't check enough. I know better now, as well as being more flexible with altering the melody.