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  • Peppercorn Concerto for Bassoon

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    RE: Concerto for Bassoon in Bb Major: 1st movement

    I have completely re-worked this file from two years ago:

    1. Allegro con brio

    Thanks for giving it a listen.


    Second movement added (Sat. 11/28/2015)

    2. Larghetto grazioso

  • This was recently posted on YouTube concerning this work:

    "This is a very high quality classical composition but I think in the rendering the strings are not realistic at all. The special editions are not high quality samples. If this were played by a real orchestra it would be great."

    I don't really disagree with the writer about the rendering (in fact, I sincerely appreciate their input and candid comments). However, my frustration is quite overwhelming. I spent so many hours on this rendering. that I feel like giving up on the whole rendering process and just work on composition only. So I must ask, is the Special Edition strings the problem or is it still my lack of performance knowledge and skill to make the strings sound real? I felt good about the performance of the winds (and I actually thought the strings were not too bad either). I use cross-fade for every instrument and expression. So if I purchase the full set of strings and replace the special edition strings, will the work improve or will I still have problems?

    I won't be offended by any comment... I am sincerely looking for answers to improve my work. Thank you kindly!

  • Hi Wayne

    Very nice work indeed. I couldnt distinguish this from an established composer from the classical era. Congratuations!

    I thought the rendering was fine...and actually the Bassoon came out quite nicely. But maybe the strings could be improved. The attack and relase sound unnatural at times. I am sure that for a composition with this much detail you notatate it first. But do you Sibelius to render or do you key the piece in using a MIDI keyboard?



    P.S. Just as I finished listening to your piece YT sugggested this clip of Villa lobos piece for oboe and bassoon. Interesting how beautiful this piece sounds although the room has practically no reverb . Just thought Id share. 

  • Thanks Anand. I use Finale. I have watched a training video for's awesome what you can do to reder a composition so quickly (and it's quite good). I actually load each instrument MIDI file into Sonar X1 then work each file by hand. I'll have to look more closely at Sibelius. Thanks.

  • Actually, for the SEd, I thought your work was amazing  I did not find a problem with the rendering and it was obvious that you spent many hours on it.


  • I agree with that and think about that youtube critic - who is this?  What does he do?  What does he know?  Why does he consider himself competent to criticize?  That is something to always think about.   Especially with internet people.  Who are these people? They are always anonymous. 

    It is not easy to do midi renderings, especially strings.  Anyway Wayne's job sounded very good to me also, and though anyone can always use more details ( something I know from my own attempts) I don't see any huge problems.  Also, mixes can always be changed based upon personal preference.  It is an extremely good composition at any rate!   

  • I think is amazing that not only did the Youtube  critic listen to it for free, he/she feels entitled to critize it!  You do great work, Wayne!

  • Thanks for your comments Mark!

  • Really appreciate your comments William....thanks!

    I have asked Mrs. Santa for Dimension Strings and V.I. Pro for Christmas! Would love to try them out on my pieces.

  • last edited
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    Second movement added (Sat. 11/28/2015):

    2. Larghetto grazioso

    I used a lot more "expression" this time along with velocity cross-fade.

  • Hi Wayne,

    I've just listened to the two parts and I really enjoyed them both. Very originally classical writing of high quality! You really have the feel of that beautiful (and too short) era. The bassoon sounds wonderful and is prominent in the ensemble. The expression is OK. I do agree with William: criticism is always easy. Presenting something of the same high value is a lot more difficult...

    You did an absolute great job (as usual) and of course some preferences could be implied, but you're the one to decide on your work and how it will be performed.

    Many congratulations!


  • Thanks so much Max,

    Question for you (and William and Anand): Do you think Dimension Strings and the Vienna Pro interface would make a noticable "reality" difference in my music over the Special Editions I use? It's such a big investment for the non-professional. (I also wonder if I have the skill to make it work the way it's supposed to if I did buy it...that question is such a big unknown for me).

  • I agree with Max on that, and it is a beautiful composition, Wayne.  It is a perfect interplay between the orchestra and the solo.   The only critique I can come up with is to make the trills and fast notes more humanized and varied in the bassoon solo, and simply lengthen the release time for the strings.  But those are tiny things, and I have to say I really like hearing this pure classical sound done today.  Especially when it has such good themes and motifs.  I think a lot of bassoon players would really like this piece. 

    On the Vienna Pro interface and Dimension Strings, I think you must get them because your music demands the sensitivity and complexity that they allow.  Also, being a creative composer you will go berserk with the possibilities!

  • Hi Wayne,

    It has been said many times: good music deserves goor equipment (you wouldn't play the bassoon concerto on a second hand worn out bassoon...? I won't say anything about the SE instruments, they are excellent steps towards the real thing. Excellent study material with the real qualities of the full instruments. If you want to go into more detailed performances and more flexible patches, you would need (in due course) the full libraries (with of course VI Pro). You will be surprised how much more you can do with them. The Dimensions are for smaller chamber music such a blessing (also the Chamber Strings) and they are great to add realism to other libraries.

    Anyway, to be informed on all the benefits of either VE Pro, VI Pro and the full string libraries (Dimensions included), you should ask Beat Kaufmann or someone of the Vienna team. They can give you all the necessary information. Personally, I'm glad I could realise beautiful music with the VSL libraries, but I received great help from a lot of persons on this forum for which I'm very grateful.

    I know the feeling, because I'm not a professional either. The libraries and interfaces are expensive, but with sensible choices, they are so rewarding and helpful in ones musical development.

    I wish you a lot of joy with VSL!


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    Hello Wayne

    Great job, I think you have achieved very fine results already. However I do think that your strings could sound better, more expressive, more musically played. Without knowing your workflow it's hard to say whether upgrading your strings would help. I can only relate from my experience. I started out with VSL SE and SE+. I still use these woodwinds and find them to be incredible. With the SE strings, however, I was never completely happy. Maybe my workflow doesn't agree well with them, maybe I was too inexperienced.

    I am now using the Dimension Strings, and they rarely leave anything to be desired for my purposes. I connected much better with them than with the SE strings. So, in my case the upgrade was worth it. It could be different in your case, though.

    Maybe this could help too: I recently finished a mockup of a bit of Schubert's 5. symphony using the Dimension Strings. If your interested give it a listen and decide for yourself whether you like how they sound in a classical setting:


    Another thing to consider is that the Dimension Strings (btw they are on a 25% sale during december) are an extensive library and require time to set up and learn properly . I could point you to a template tutorial I wrote about DS should you be interested, but still learning a new library takes always an effort.

  • Thanks so much for the input William, Max and Dominique! I really appreciate it.

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on