A Christmas thing

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Raph
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A Christmas thing

Post by Raph » Sat 24 Nov 2018 09:01

Hello everybody,

After a 2 months hiatus not writing music and feeling depressed, I'm now producing music again. Just for myself, and not in an attempt to make things sellable over music libraries websites. The main consequence being: my work is now under copyleft (Creative Commons BY-SA and LAL licensing). So, definitely, it's not professional at all: I've never been good at mimicking things, and most of all, at mimicking modern stuff. It's the work of a hobbyist trying to get better.

That being said, here is something I wrote last month:


Constructive comments are most welcome, thanks!
Last edited by Raph on Tue 30 Apr 2019 13:21, edited 1 time in total.

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sherlock
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by sherlock » Sat 24 Nov 2018 09:08

Just wanted to say good to hear that you are creating again.

I had a quick listen and it definitely has a whimsical vibe to it and I like this musically. I'll leave any comments about production to others who have better expertise in this area on this forum.

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Headshot
The Impartial
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Headshot » Sat 24 Nov 2018 18:53

The theme is nice.
For a more precise feedback send me the midi file If you want.

Raph
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Raph » Sat 24 Nov 2018 19:49

Thanks a lot for the feedbacks!

Here is the MIDI file -> https://www.mediafire.com/file/p90r6in7 ... 8.mid/file

I didn't use a2 patches for the winds, so I kind of faked the difference between a2 and solo parts with CC11 (on some other tracks I use the transposition trick to deal with this). Divisi strings were also faked with CC11. Here and there, I used some pre-recorded ostinato strings, which are on separate MIDI tracks. There are some harp parts which are meant to be alternated between two harps because of pedal setting-time issues, but I spared some RAM using only one patch. I definitely underused CC2, my MIDI programming being very very simple. Articulation switching was done with Reaticulate (a Reaper articulation management system) in the Bank/Program lane, I don't know if it appears correctly in the MIDI data...

There has to be thousands of arrangement problems, which are no longer hidden by the "sound" in this MIDI file... It's not very efficient orchestration. So, I'm preparing myself for the consequences :-)

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Strickland
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Strickland » Sat 24 Nov 2018 20:09

Some good musical ideas here ! Lot of energy and colors.

I let Headshot talk specifically about the programming, but there are some harmonization problems from 0'45 to 0'50. The two chords before the modulation at 1'29 are not the better ones to introduce the new tonality. From 1'30 to 2'10 it feels a little bit empty because it was very full until there.

Raph
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Raph » Sat 24 Nov 2018 21:03

Yes, definitely. At 0:45 you feel I was actually stuck harmonically and came up with something a bit random, at 1:30 you feel some lazyness. It may also have been wise not to begin the piece by a 3 layers run texture among other things because I was soon left with no amnunition to thicken things. Keep some devices for later, spend more times on my chord progressions. These are helpful comments! Thanks :)

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FriFlo
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by FriFlo » Sun 25 Nov 2018 17:07

Hey Raphael. Good, that you are back on it! There are certainly a lot of problems to find, but I guess, that is how we learn best. Right now, only one observation about orchestration: You have to make melody clearer in many spots. E.g. the recorder melody starting at 0:55 - the lower notes are almost entirely covered by the accompaniment. Putting aside that recorders can generally only be used for melody with a sparse orchestration and they are louder than natural in your mockup, the low notes of your sequence are a very weak register. This part would work better with light pizzicato. If you listen closely, you will find more places where you cover your melody with chords.

Raph
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Raph » Sun 25 Nov 2018 17:29

Agreed: the alto recorder is barely unhearable, and even compensating with the volume fader was not enough to put it completely back in the foreground. There is an overwriting problem: I tend to make resonance chords and accompaniment figures and bass in my background, while often making multiple layers of each (because of accents), instead of just choose. It messes up the colors and makes it difficult to have my foreground in front. It was (a lot) worse just one year ago, but still, I have to make a lot of progress here, and be more careful with musical fatigue. What Strickland was saying about having a very dense orchestration right at the beginning is a particular case of that general problem I believe. Very helpful comments here, thanks guys!

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HyperFist
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by HyperFist » Mon 26 Nov 2018 15:14

I enjoyed it, I think this would be great performed live.

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FriFlo
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by FriFlo » Mon 26 Nov 2018 16:18

HyperFist wrote: Mon 26 Nov 2018 15:14 I enjoyed it, I think this would be great performed live.
Does your profile name elude to "Major Fist"? ;-)
Last edited by FriFlo on Mon 26 Nov 2018 16:19, edited 1 time in total.

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HyperFist
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by HyperFist » Mon 26 Nov 2018 17:38

FriFlo wrote: Mon 26 Nov 2018 16:18 Does your profile name elude to "Major Fist"? ;-)
Any allusions are purely coincidental or “happy accidents“ as John Williams would say.

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Headshot
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Headshot » Mon 26 Nov 2018 17:49

Image

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Headshot
The Impartial
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Headshot » Tue 4 Dec 2018 23:13

I programmed the very beginning as you wrote it :



Here is an additional arrangement with some changes : I strengthened the harmony and added some groove (string section) + minor corrections :





Another additional arrangement layer :




Your music has a lot of potential, I suggest you to focus your energy on short sequences in order to optimize them (I'm not talking about over-orchestration, but simply to seek the most appropriate and efficient arrangement).

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sherlock
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by sherlock » Wed 5 Dec 2018 02:07

lmao @ Vader Claus!

Raph
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Re: A Christmas thing

Post by Raph » Wed 5 Dec 2018 09:12

Waw, best feedback ever! Really love the sus chords you put near of the cadenza as well as the background accenting figure, both putting more movement and excitement in this first sentence. The additional brass introduction and perc elements added in your second arrangement suggestion are really nice (really idiomatic brass thing, I admire that, really something I have to work on). I worked a lot on short sequences at the beginning of the year: I concur it gives some device vocabulary, I guess it's time to go back at it ;-) Thanks a lot for putting some time and energy on it, Headshot!

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