Wednesday, December 26, 2012

3 Part Inventions | Major No. 2

Went a bit long on this piece, so I stopped just after the 3rd page :-/ Because it was so long, I used some double counterpoint so I won't have to write all those lines. Lazy eh?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ode to a whistle

Whew, this piece (my homework from last week) took awhile to sequence and mix due to my schedule at work heating up. Only managed to do bits and pieces over the week and finally got a big chunk of evening free today so decided to finish it.

Learnts lots from this little sequencing piece, for example:

VSL Flute, Solo Violin and Solo Cello
Learnt how to use the performance intervals. Like man, they are soooo awesome. For the flute, I was beginning notes with the portato patch for a stronger attack, then switching over to the performance legato patch for smooth transitions.

On the violin and cello, I attempted to apply the same idea but it felt really static. Experimenting with using the performance portamento patch helped somewhat, but it tended to jump out at me. What I think made it work was to use the portamento patch only for note changes up to a tone in distance; it gave an improved sense of life and yet still be smooth and not too earcatching.

Used my Zoom H1 to record various sounds; breath noises, chair creakings and coughs.
Audacity was then used to clean up any noise (very little, the Zoom H1 is amazing!) and chop up the bits and pieces into usable .wave chunks. Thank you audacity team!
Finally, all these were brought into Kontakt and laid out. If you got a good set of headphones, you may hear these artificial artifacts.

Custom IR
I captured a custom IR for use with this piece. It's not a 4 channel impulse like what's in the vienna suite, but I made it and I like it :P

Mixing was as usual. I had major trouble setting up my spatial acoustics. Today, I decided to check my "final mix" with my Shure SE215 IEMs (and Grado SR80s). Not expecting much, but holy dang, everything jumped out at me. Levels, spatial placement; everything was WRONG.

I then re-mixed with the Shures, and was delighted to be able to find out how much I needed to put the levels for my ER and tails so that the instruments sat in a space I wanted, and I could eq off the highs off the strings and their 'verbs waaay easier.

After the remix I felt that everything didn't sound as boomy and cluttered as before. Maybe because I pushed the two stringed instruments waaay back in the mix, but there are still there to provide a textural bed for the flute to float on.

One other thing I've noticed is that the music is originally composed on piano staves (though the melody was composed first on an irish whistle) with no thought for instrumentation. I think I would actually prefer the flute to be playing higher up in its range where it becomes more sweet, and not so warm and mid-rangey. Something to think about, since the violin and cellos are pretty close as well. On the master bus's EQ, it was all mid range frequencies, no super highs and the lows were remarkably clear.

It's time for bed, I'm so tired.

Friday, December 14, 2012

FX with convo reverbs.

Hunting for a low cost way to generate my own impulses, and found this great tutorial that not only shows a means of creating your own impulses, but also how convolution reverbs can be used for as effects. Very cool :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sequencing and double counterpoint

3 part counterpoint, with 12 bars in the middle demonstrating double counterpoint. Very last bar should be a G and Bb (Gm), not G and D (G5 open).

Double counterpoint exercise

16 bars of regular counterpoint, then 16 bars exploring invertible the parts are. Hmmm.....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Smaller sample producers

Found a few new (to me) smaller sample library producers today, these are

Sound Dust and AudioThing.

With SoundDust, what can I say. I had to have that piano :P Ship's piano sounds really unique.

AudioThing OTOH has some soundscapes in Temple of Mercury that I can't wait to try.

Another one from japan!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Keys and Colors

Something to think about?

Modulating Chorales

A start on 3 part counterpoint with modulating chorales. They are actually quite fun to figure out how to keep all 3 parts following the contrapunctual rules and yet fit together. 3rd bar of each chorale starts on a new random key, and modulates to the dominant key.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Distant Shores

I was working on my new 3 part counterpoint exercises when I noticed VSL released a new instrument collection, Recorders! I've been lusting for recorders from various companies, and have managed to keep that lust controlled but not yesterday :P

One thing I didn't keep in mind when "composing" is instrument ranges. With the piano it's not an issue as it simply covers the whole spectrum. Not so with recorders, and I'd had my bass recorder play notes too low. Thankfully, it was only a few notes that had to be corrected for it.

Another thing I had at the back of my head was vibrato. I remember reading discussions when vibrato is used, or not. Given I'm not writing for period music, I just used what sounded good to me :3