Thursday, December 26, 2013

The First Noel

This arrangement took far longer than I wanted. I actually started started and finished writing the arrangement in Finale on Christmas eve. On the 25th, I took a hour or so to record the parts.

The tin whistle recording went generally quite smoothly. The D whistle a more difficult whistle to play compared to the larger whistles; I find it more difficult to maintain a proper stream of air without it doing doing unwanted broken chirps. On the flip side, playing the high notes on the D takes far less air and is so much easier.

My saxophone embouchure has weakened horribly. No surprise, it's been a half year since I touched my alto properly. While I can still hit the overtones and _somewhat_ play in tune, my embouchure got very tired very rapidly. I think I only recorded the sax parts 3 times, and that's with maybe 2-3 practice runs prior. I stopped as I knew I would not be able to maintain it. Which is sad, as I know the sax part is not as good as it could be.

The supporting harmony is also questionable. It kind of works, but I was experimenting with using minors instead of majors, and I think I got lost part of the way, trying to be too smart with the harmony. I think this is mainly being split between the strict classical harmony and ignoring the counterpoint rules all-together. I must make a decision :P Some modern scores I read have open harmony, no thirds, so I need to get my act together.

Not much to say about the virtual instruments, I used vsl flute, piccolo, chamber strings, lithophone and triangle. The sleigh bells was from Nine Volt Audio.

Mix wise, I think the start of the piece felt really empty. I did want to go for a feel of it slowly cresending into the full string orchestra, and on a part I think I succeeded, but it could be done better for sure. Perhaps the strings should come in from the very first bar, but at a super super low level.

Well, on to the next piece!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The South Wind

Woo! Wrote this arrangement a few weeks back. I actually recorded it several weeks ago, but I recorded the whistle first, in the hopes of playing the piano part to the whistle, but it was nigh impossible. Today, I played the piano part, then played the whistle on top. Seemed to work fine.