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  • Tennessee River Portrait

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    My musical portrait of the mighty Tennessee River waters from sparkling mountain springs, through the second largest gorge in the United States (after the Grand Canyon) and on into the still waters of Kentucky Lake and the confluence with the Ohio River. I have included a link to the piece on Orfium and also the score for anyone interested. I am also posting this on VI-C and Redbanned. I will be very grateful for any comments or thoughts. We all need feedback.

    Winds - VSL
    Brass - VSL
    Percussion - VSL
    Solo Horn - VSL Triple Horn
    Solo Trumpet - VSL Bb Trumpet
    Solo Violin - VSL Solo Violin I
    Strings - VSL orchestral strigs doubled with Spitfire Symphonic strings mixed 50/50.

    Room - MIR Pro Synchron Stage with just a little VSL Miracle algorithmic reverb.

    Play Tennessee River Portrait

    The score in PDF format


  • Hi Paul.

    I'm listening to your work and I'm enjoying it very much.

    It sounds very well from the poor monitoring system of my white macbook, so I guess it shining from serious boxes!


    VI Special Edition 1-3, Reaper, MuseScore 3, Notion 3 (collecting dust), vst flotsam and jetsam
  • Sounds really fine and I admire the musical portrait of nature approach of the piece. It is making me want to work something similarly inspired.

  • Thank you, Fabio. I appreciate your taking the time to listen, and the kind words.

    William, I am very excited that you are thinking about some additional composing. I love your work. And if my poor offering inspired you, I am thrilled by that. I so look forward to hearing your next piece.


  • Excellent work Paul and a very professional score.

    It reminds me of Bruckner and Brahms in places and no worse off for it.


    www.mikehewer.com
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    @mh-7635 said:

    Excellent work Paul and a very professional score.

    It reminds me of Bruckner and Brahms in places and no worse off for it.

    Thank you, I appreciate the kind words. 


  • I'm stealing the particular vibraphone-strings textural idea. How did you come up with that...


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    @Errikos said:

    I'm stealing the particular vibraphone-strings textural idea. How did you come up with that...

    Glad you liked it. It was just an idea, I tried it and I liked it. I wanted a somewhat mystical effect for that section, I can't remember ever hearing that particular texture previously, but I was delighted with the result. 


  • Great job, Paul.  Your musical results very accurately depict the inspiration for the work.  Kudos for your efforts to produce and share the score as well!

    All the best,

    David


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    Hi Paul,

    What is it that people have with water and rivers...? This is another most wonderful composition about a undoubtedly very beautiful river (which I don't know), because the way you've depicted it leaves a very imaginative and rich impression. You performed it in a very artful way, just like the entire orchestration. You know I'm fond of all kinds of music with some non-musical content as source of inspiration. Music with a message, narrative or visual connotations. We are so lucky that we can share such beauty here on this forum with equal minds who know to appreciate real craftsmanship.

    Maybe you remember my 'Running Waters' ? And we're both looking forward to William's river composition. Perhaps a special topic here?

    Thanks for sharing and congrats!

    Jos


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    @Acclarion said:

    Great job, Paul.  Your musical results very accurately depict the inspiration for the work.  Kudos for your efforts to produce and share the score as well!

    All the best,

    David

    Thank you David. I always start with notation, so doing the score isn't much additional work. When I listen to music, I love to follow in a score, (I have a large collection of scores) so I provide the score in hopes it will give others pleasue if they want to follow along.

    Paul


  • Great piece and production Paul. So many wonderful ideas, you don't seem short on inspiration. Interesting your taste in large scale works.  The opening is charming, nice orchestration, remeniscent a bit of Beethoven's Pastoral. Nice choice of instruments overall. Congratulations, a lot of work must of went into this. Minor thing, the triangle sounds a bit in my face, I think it will be more effective if it's heard subtly, as well as another similar percusion I heard, maybe the chimes? Keep up the good work!


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    Thanks for the comments Guy. Yes I needed to tame that triangle! I think the new mix takes care of it.

    My friend Aaron Venture, who is a regular at VI-C and Redbanned, did a pro quality mix for me. I am thrilled with the improvements he made. His mix is transparent and clear, while he achieved greater depth and sense of realism. I particularly like the power, or should I say POWER, of the final tutti. Wow, he does great work.

    I sent Aaron stems using MIR Pro Synchron Stage but with no other processing at all. No EQ, compression, added reverb, etc. Aaron used a variety of techniques to get these results.


    Here is a link to the final mix by Aaron Venture
    https://www.orfium.com/track/693354/tennessee-river-portrait-paul-t-mcgraw/

    Here is a link to Aaron's website.
    https://www.aaronventure.com/

    Here is a link to my original mix for comparison.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hak2754604b04gt/Tennessee River Portrait.wav?dl=0

    And finally, here is a link to the score.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/z294tcvy4va822y/Tennessee River Portrait - Full Score.pdf?dl=0


  • That new mix sounds extremely good - I was listening closely to how the other instruments fit in with the Synchron strings - they sound very natural.  You used the MIR synchron for them?  At the end I thought the violins - maybe - got too loud - they almost totally drop out of orchestral tuttis in live performance when the brass and percussion come up sufficiently FF and when cranked up for audibility and musical balance in a sample performance it sounds unnatural.  Though I must add that is the result of my obsession with MIDI strings volume levels in various frequencies so maybe not true.  Also a small mixing point that may not be accurate.  This is such a fine composition and I love the musical depiction of a great subject like this.  Your pieces have become a "must-listen" destination on this Forum.   


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    @William said:

    That new mix sounds extremely good - I was listening closely to how the other instruments fit in with the Synchron strings - they sound very natural.  You used the MIR synchron for them?  At the end I thought the violins got too loud - they almost totally drop out of orchestral tuttis in live performance when the brass and percussion come up sufficiently FF and when cranked up for audibility and musical balance in a sample performance it sounds unnatural.  Though that is the result of my obsession with MIDI strings so maybe not true.  Also a small mixing point that may not be accurate.  This is such a fine composition and I love the musical depiction of a great subject like this.  Your pieces have become a "must-listen" destination on this Forum.   

    Thanks William! Those are very kind words. Probably more than I deserve, but I do try. 

    Interesting comments on the strings. I will keep it in mind to be careful not to let strings get too loud in future. 

    This was all VSL for woodwinds, brass, percussion, and VSL orchestral strings. I doubled the VSL orchestral strings with Spitfire Symphonic Strings mixed about 50/50. The Spitfire Strings sat very nicely in the mix. I sort of prefer Teldex, but the Spitfire Strings are too dark for Teldex, but seem to blend in perfectly with Synchron. 


  • Hi Paul,

    First of all again, many congrats with this fantastic composition. Full of grandeur and fine harmonies, orchestral wealth and thematic variation. In short a very thrilling depiction!

    I compared the two versions and you shouldn't be so modest about your achievement (in midi performance). The last mix is indeed clearer and more transparent, but the difference isn't that big at all. So your rendition was an excellent job too. The way you deal with the 'natural' flow of the instruments (also the strings) is simply great. It has definitely contributed to the overal brilliant orchestral sound and mix. Starting finetuning such an elaborate piece in the hands of a professional not such a demanding job. He delivered of course an improvement, but without your intensive and balanced preparation, that would be impossible. So most of the credits are for you.

    I hope that you've learnt from your friend's efforts. Making a good mix even better, is the hand of a true craftsman and it makes the difference between a skilled amateur and an experienced professional. (Isn't that the case with live orchestras and their conductors as well?)

    Thanks for sharing this nice comparison,

    Jos


  • Great composition, really nice details and love the depth when everything is working togeather. If anything I would continue to work a little bit on few of the drum parts. I know how hard it can be to really nail that orchestral drum sound but it does make a huge diffrence once you achive it.

    Good job!


  • Thank you Jos and thank you Johnny!

    So Johnny, do you have anything specific to suggest? I am always open to ideas and new ways to do things.


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on