Dvorak 9th Movement IV Midi-Performance

Discussion in 'Member's Compositions' started by Paul T McGraw, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Paul T McGraw

    Paul T McGraw Senior Member

    Feb 14, 2012
    I have spent a lot of time lately trying to improve my midi-performance and mixing skills, Also I was trying to decide which libraries I wanted to use for my own compositions. I own lots and lots of sample libraries. It has been fun to try them all out, but I realize it has taken away from compositing time. I am NOT a keyboard player, and never have been. So keyboard playability is of zero importance to me. So my choices may not work for you.

    This midi-performance uses a separate instrument for each part. I tried to match the sound quality of the recording by the London Symphony Orchestra. All VSL libraries are full libraries.

    Woodwinds - All VSL
    Flute I, Flute II, Oboe I, Oboe II, Clarinet I, Clarinet II, Bassoon I, Bassoon II

    Brass - All VSL
    Dimension Brass 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, VSL Bass Trombone.

    Timpani - VSL

    Strings - VSL plus Spitfire
    VSL Orchestral Strings, VSL Chamber Strings, VSL Synchron Strings and Spitfire Symphonic Strings

    MIR Pro - Teldex + Miracle
    Additional reverb for brass and timpani Altiverb 20th Century Fox Soundstage.

    I would have thought that using four different rooms; Teldex, Synchron, Air Lyndhurst and 20th Century would end up a mess. But I am really very happy with the result. I think the complexity added to the sound by the different rooms actually helps it sound more realistic.

    I look forward to your comments.

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    Erik, gpwilliams, Iskra and 6 others like this.
  2. synergy543

    synergy543 Senior Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    The Internets
    Paul, I think you've succeeded tremendously in improving your performance and mixing skills! What a terrific job and an immense amount of work that must've been. I'm very impressed with how well it all blends together as you say. Its quite cohesive. Congratulations!
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  3. damcry

    damcry Member

    Mar 10, 2018
  4. NoamL

    NoamL Winter <3

    Jul 6, 2015
    Los Angeles
    Strings sound fantastic, low brass as well. There's something a bit odd about the trumpets and horns, they sound a little "over in the next room." I think you could reduce the overall reverb on the master and specifically on the brass. Also the entire woodwind section seems a little quiet, despite playing the right dynamics. For example at 8:05, the woodwinds are supposed to be in the foreground not the violins. Perhaps 2 to 4 dB added volume for all the woodwinds could be beneficial.

    But that's nit picking... What makes this mockup really work is that you clearly captured the musicality and drama of Dvorak's writing. You understand the music and recreate it with verve! Are your tempos based on the Dudamel recording on YouTube? (with the Pope). In any case, really well done!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    chillbot and Paul T McGraw like this.
  5. OP
    Paul T McGraw

    Paul T McGraw Senior Member

    Feb 14, 2012
    Thanks for the excellent feedback. I will look at the section mentioned and see if I can improve it. Ditto for the reverb. Trying to decide on the exact amount and nature of the reverb is one of the things that I experimented with, probably too much. Sometimes I tend to just get overwhelmed and can't decide if more is better or less is better.

    I probably spent the most time on the strings. As I mentioned, I used four string libraries. I also own CSS and I find it very easy to work with, but I did not include it this time. I tried it, but I was trying to match the sound on the London Symphony Orchestra recording and it seemed to take me farther away from my goal, not closer.

    I love the Dudamel performance on YouTube. It is marvelous. But I wanted to use the recording of the LSO, as I find it very slightly more aligned with my aesthetic, so I actually imported it into Cubase. That way I could play a section on the CD, then play the section in my performance and see how well I was doing. I also tried to match tempos with the LSO CD most of the time. I did exaggerate a few of the tempo changes ala Dudamel, but mostly followed the LSO version.
    NoamL likes this.
  6. Iskra

    Iskra Active Member

    Apr 27, 2016
    I agree with NoamL above. The piece shows a tremendous effort (as is almost always the case with classical mockups), and it is very expressive - which is the key thing. I would reduce a little the reverb in general, specially in the trumpets and horns to give a bit more spatial connection. Also I agree on the ww being a bit too quiet in general, with some spots where this is clearly the case - anytime the ww's take the melodic role on the piece (e.g. the beautiful melody carried out by a solo clarinet).
    Also nitpicking, but I would probably put the brass a bit louder in the mix as well. I had the opportunity to listen to this piece several times performed live, and in the concert hall, the trumpets and bones really overpower the orchestra when they're at full blast. This gives some spots of the piece a really deep quality and low end power.
    Anyways, wonderful piece and wonderful rendition! Bravo!
    Paul T McGraw likes this.

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