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New Progressive Pop-Rock Instrumental (Using DP, of course!)

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New Progressive Pop-Rock Instrumental (Using DP, of course!)

Postby zuul-studios » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:18 am

Hi -

I know. . . I don't post here often. I usually lurk . . . read and learn from you all. This would be true in using Digital Performer and with composing music. You guys are great; lots of experience and information to be found on this particular web-site. I hesitate to post this piece here because I'm not as active as I probably should be. To be honest, I don't have much to share. Again, I come here more to learn and grow as a composer and as a Digital Performer user.

I decided to share this here because I'm seeking honest input. My life is a bit too busy to write and sequence music often. For example, this is the first piece that I completed in about five months! (THIS has to change!!) So, composing and sequencing is like exercising atrophied muscles for me. I have this piece sounding as best as my ears and experience allows it to sound. What can be done to make it sound better?!?

The title of the piece is "An Afternoon Walk". Of course I'm using Digital Performer (9.13). "Housing" the virtual instruments is VSL's VEPro 6. My set-up between the two if fairly solid. It ain't perfect, but I was able to sequence this piece without any crashes. The virtual instruments (VIs) used were from various libraries including VSL's, Chris Hein's, Garrison's, OrangeTree's, Music Lab's and Kirk Hunter's libraries. (VSL's VEPro really does a nice job with housing these libraries and spreading the CPU work load!) I used reverbs from Digital Performer and from Audio Ease. Each instrument has it's own "track" (of course). I mix using both the MIDI tracks & Audio tracks within DP9. For most of the instruments, I have three "sends" to three different reverbs to help make a "depth of sound" (front to back). EQ is used sparingly. When I do use it, it's to help keep control that "muddy" sound. Without a doubt, there are lots of potential weakness to my set-up. But there seems to be strengths as well, especially with the amount of control I seem to have using DP 9. (I really do enjoy using this program!!) Any feedback will be graciously received.

Here's the Sound Cloud link to the piece. Again, thank you for the listen!

https://soundcloud.com/edward-fiebke/an-afternoon-hike

Ted

P.S. What do you think of Sound Cloud for housing music?!? Just curious.
Computers:
1) Mac Pro 3.33 12-Core (Early 2009/2010), OS X 10.11.6, 32 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro K5000, 8 Internal SSDs, 2 external RAID 0 set-ups, 2 MOTU 2408 MK3 devices.
2) MacMini (Late 2012, 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7), OS X 10.11.6, 16 GB RAM, MOTU's 828x audio device.

Software: DP8.07 & DP9.1.3, Logic Pro X, FCPX, Adobe Suite CC; VSL's Special Edition Complete Bundle, VSL's VI Pro, VEPro 6 & MIR Pro; Altiverb 7.2.6; East West Hollywood Orchestral Diamond (bundle); and many more VIs.
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Location: New Lebanon, NY
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Re: New Progressive Pop-Rock Instrumental (Using DP, of cour

Postby stubbsonic » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:13 am

It's gorgeous, Ted! I really love the chords and melodies. The orchestration is (mostly ) beautiful.

At the beginning, I like the kind of drum-cadence style snare drum but there are a couple places where the snare rolls are a little heavy handed, most of them are fine.

The sax melody with a short note on one, long-note on 3 pattern that follows the rhythm of the piano, it feels a little stiff to me. When the low sax joins the high sax, it feels even stiffer. I don't think you really need to change the arrangement, or even the composition, but with the samples it just doesn't sound like how a person would interpret that phrase. Maybe the notes would have a little more gentle decay? I think bring that lower-octave sax down and make them both sound more gentle somehow.

The more full section at 2:00 minutes comes in too abruptly, in part because you've chosen to give everyone a "breath" before that new louder section. Consider adding a cymbal roll in that little space to help swell up to that moment (instead of a single crash on one).

At 2:20, I don't like all those similar crashes with ALL the chords. Perhaps that could be done differently. I think just a fairly hard ride, or changing the cymbals with each crash would help.

I really enjoyed listening to it, Ted. I had to force myself to put on my "production" hat, and the above comments are all fairly minor. It sounds really, really nice. You have a nice ear for harmony and melody.

The choice to keep the 3/4 rhythms simple, does help give it that "walking" quality. But it requires the parts to sound nicely phrased, or the risk is that things will sound a little stiff.
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, OS 10.10.5, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, (also an old sawtooth G4 with a UAD-1 for legacy apps).

http://www.jonstubbsmusic.com
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Re: New Progressive Pop-Rock Instrumental (Using DP, of cour

Postby zuul-studios » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:53 am

stubbsonic - Thank you for the listen and for your very thoughtful and helpful comments!! I know what you mean about the drum-cadence & snare rolls. I'm using relatively new "virtual" drum sets by ToonTrack and I'm still getting used to them (especially with regards to controlling the levels, etc.). I don't want them so "up front" in the mix as they seem to be, at present. Regarding the saxes, they're from two different libraries. (The alto sax is from a the VSL library, and the tenor sax is from the a Chris Hein library.) It's a struggle for me to make them sound realistic. I do know that there is much more that I can do to control the sound. . . and the phrasing. It'll take more practice, of course.

I am going to take all of your suggestions and apply them over the next week or so. I do appreciate that you placed that "Producer's Hat" on your head while listening to this piece. Again, thank you!!

By the way, I'd LOVE to go back to college and take more composition and audio-mixing courses. I've actually looked into doing this. It ain't cheap going to college now-a-days!! (I graduated from music college 35 years ago, this year! Heck, I graduated from my first nursing college for the Associates Degree 25 years ago, and from the Bachelors in Nursing 20 years ago! College was MUCH cheaper back then!!) My wife is, presently, going for her Bachelors in Nursing (finally!!) and her college bill, though affordable, ain't cheap!! So. . . another option to learn and grow as a composer-musician are web-sites like this one which are often supported by experienced members. They're gold!!

Cheers!
Computers:
1) Mac Pro 3.33 12-Core (Early 2009/2010), OS X 10.11.6, 32 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro K5000, 8 Internal SSDs, 2 external RAID 0 set-ups, 2 MOTU 2408 MK3 devices.
2) MacMini (Late 2012, 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7), OS X 10.11.6, 16 GB RAM, MOTU's 828x audio device.

Software: DP8.07 & DP9.1.3, Logic Pro X, FCPX, Adobe Suite CC; VSL's Special Edition Complete Bundle, VSL's VI Pro, VEPro 6 & MIR Pro; Altiverb 7.2.6; East West Hollywood Orchestral Diamond (bundle); and many more VIs.
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zuul-studios
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:13 am
Location: New Lebanon, NY
Primary DAW OS: MacOS

Re: New Progressive Pop-Rock Instrumental (Using DP, of cour

Postby stubbsonic » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:27 pm

Doesn't sound like you need college. It sounds like you just need to keep exploring and keep your ears open. What you do is special.
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, OS 10.10.5, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, (also an old sawtooth G4 with a UAD-1 for legacy apps).

http://www.jonstubbsmusic.com
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