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  • A different quartet: accordion, clarinet, guitar, marimba

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    Part of our upcoming album, Acclarion (accordion and clarinet duo) performs alongside various virtual instrument combinations, including this piece, with guitar and marimba. The piece is named Geranos (ritual crane dance associated with the mythical king, Theseus).

    The guitar and marimba take advantage of the limitless technical possibilities of midi, and would be quite near impossible to perform with real musicians. This against a backdrop of two real musicians playing only marginally less impossible technical parts 😊 lol

    Live audio and midi tracks all mixed in Mir (Schubert Hall). We're really excited by the possibilities of marrying live performance with midi and will continue exploring this as we record the rest of the album.

    It's definitely different...hope you'll give it a chance and we'd love your comments!

    Geranos by David Carovillano

    Dave and Becky


  • Hi Dave and Becky,

    That special quartet is apart and unexpected. I'm so glad that a classical accordion is part of it and plays an important role. But the splendid clarinet with the superb pitch-bends is very attractive too. The whole piece is frolicking and playful, optimistic and vivacious. Simply wonderful. The unusual piece is well composed and so fresh  that it would fit in almost every concert. It will certainly be a last piece hit (to close up a concert by you) to carry the audience along.

    Can I suggest a little thing? The ambience of the recorded live instruments is a bit dryer than the midi companions and therefore a bit too much in the front. That's how I experience it after a couple of listens. And aonther suggestion would be to replace the guitar by a real one. The midi version sounds rather poor, especially in the chords. But you mentioned that real instruments couldn't play that way...

    As a whole, I enjoyed it and the sound of your (Gola) accordion is so lovely. Compared to my 'Ilya Efimov' samples, it is heaven and hell... Please Dave, would you record your instrument in samples, turning it into a virtual accordion? Maybe a strong request to Vienna: invite Dave to Vienna and record his beautifully sounding instrument!

    I'm looking forward to the entire album!

    Thanks for sharing this marvel,

    Jos


  • Hi Jos,

    I'm really beginning to think your facility with language, and describing music so eloquently, warrants a second career as a music critic/journalist!  Thank you so much for your continued support.  I believe that composers all wish to impact people with their music, and getting this kind of validation makes the effort worthwhile to continue persevering.

    We're in full agreement re. the guitar.  It took a long time shaping chords (adjusting each note's starting/release point, as well as the velocity to mimic the natural "up and down" strumming.  But it is just a Kontakt library guitar, and as such, we attempted to push its sound slightly back in the mix.  After all, in reality, we're really just trying to feature the Acclarion Duo alongside some virtual instruments...so the mix was quite intentional.  We may modify it if we get our hands on a better sounding guitar (such as VSL's, I would assume, though I've yet to audition it).  Other works on the album, including a piece with us and string quartet, as well as the double concerto, will of course attempt to create a mix that blends all the instruments more naturally.

    As for sampling my accordion, I'd be more than interested, but of course, I suspect I'll be waiting a long time to hear from VSL with an invitation :) lol

    Dave


  • Hi Dave,

    I wouldn't want to dream of a career as a critic. It would be a real nightmare... Listening to other people's music is somehow easier than listening to your own notes: it always happens with a fresh and unprejudiced ear. One's own music is the result of hard labour, of trial and error, of listening a million times and restarting... so that the ear is rapidly spoiled and can't be objective anymore. Best would be not to work too long on a piece. In between work sessions, listening to great masters in great performances would be very benificial to the ear.

    And the accordion, let's dream on. One day it will be realised, I'm sure. Paul, Dietz, are you reading along?

    Jos


  • The composition has a very interesting and unique texture, very original sound. It seems like this would be really great to hear played live.   In this recording the clarinet though very well played in general sounded very harsh and grating in the high range, almost painful. It may just be my headphone audio as I do not listen to internet recordings on my main system monitors. However I did not notice that effect in a similar range with the accordion.  It may be an EQ or volume setting for the instrument.  

     

    I have to add though that the clarinet performance is excellent - it is only the mix audio  that seemed harsh to me though as I mentioned it may be my listening setup.  


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    @William said:

    The composition has a very interesting and unique texture, very original sound. It seems like this would be really great to hear played live. In this recording the clarinet though very well played in general sounded very harsh and grating in the high range, almost painful. It may just be my headphone audio as I do not listen to internet recordings on my main system monitors. However I did not notice that effect in a similar range with the accordion. It may be an EQ or volume setting for the instrument. I have to add though that the clarinet performance is excellent - it is only the mix audio that seemed harsh to me though as I mentioned it may be my listening setup.
    Hi William, Glad you enjoyed the piece and I appreciate your unfiltered opinion on the sound of Becky's clarinet. To be honest, we listened on everything from our Bose L1, to studio monitors, our home theatre, and even a few little Bluetooth speakers and were satisfied with the mix. We actually didn't listen through headphones, but I can imagine some of the higher pitches would be harsh. In general, the clarinet is a little more piercing in that upper register, and this piece counts on that to help the clarinet and accordion sit slightly in front of the midi instruments. One thing we're definitely always seeking answers to, is how to ensure that a piece sounds good on any system. for example, I have a second generation iPad with a single mono speaker. Much of my chamber music will get buzzy/distorted, especially the flute/oboe, low brass etc. I would just assume the speaker can't handle those frequencies, but I've heard some music, including VSL demos that doesn't distort with similar instrumentation. Is there a cheat sheet of Eq'ing that helps with this kind of stuff? Dave

  • Dave and Becky - I listened on some monitors and didn't hear that effect so sorry for the criticism of the high clarinet timbre as it was my own audio.  I don't use those headphones for mixing.  I also am concerned aboout how a mix sounds on different sound systems so obsess over this myself...

    Anyway congratulations to both of you on a fine piece and performance. 


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    @William said:

    Dave and Becky - I listened on some monitors and didn't hear that effect so sorry for the criticism of the high clarinet timbre as it was my own audio.  I don't use those headphones for mixing.  I also am concerned aboout how a mix sounds on different sound systems so obsess over this myself...

    Anyway congratulations to both of you on a fine piece and performance. 

     

    William,

    No need to apologize!  In fact, thank you for both taking the time to listen and providing your informed feedback.  We actually did go ahead and do some minor eq'ing after your comments and removed a little of the upper frequency harshness, which you were right in pointing out.  It's minor/subtle, but there is a difference now.  The new version is below.

    In any case, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one concerened about mixes sounding different on different systems.  I really wish we had more experience in the production side of things, but it comes with trial and error (lots of it!)

    Geranos by David Carovillano

    Thanks again,

    Dave

    p.s.  It sounds like you have your studio up and running again.  Hope things are working well!


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on