Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
Forum Statistics

174,412 users have contributed to 41,834 threads and 252,997 posts.

In the past 24 hours, we have 1 new thread(s), 9 new post(s) and 69 new user(s).

  • Three short pieces by Henry Purcell

    Dear Forists,

    after Victor Young and Astor Piazzolla, here are three arrangements with works by Henry Purcell:

    #1: Song "If Love's A Sweet Passion" (from: "The Fairy Queen"):

    #2: March (from: "Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary"):

    #3: Canzona (from: "Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary"):

    The "SYzd Historic Winds" (Baroque Oboe, Oboe da caccia, Serpent, Ophicleïde and Natural Trumpets), which I value very much, were used as well as two bass trumpets, a string quartet and harpsichord.

    The pilgrimage church “Maria Strassengel” in Graz served as a virtual space:

    For #2 and #3 I experimented a bit with the positions of the instruments and microphones, which should be understandable when listening with headphones.

    I would be happy to hear your suggestions and criticism.

    Best regards




    Liebe Foristen,

    nach Victor Young und Astor Piazzolla hier nun drei Arrangements mit Werken von Henry Purcell:

    #1: Song „If Love's A Sweet Passion“ (aus: „The Fairy Queen“):

    #2: March (aus: „Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary“):

    #3: Canzona (aus: „Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary“):

    Zum Einsatz kamen die von mir sehr geschätzten „SYzd Historic Winds“ (Baroque Oboe, Oboe da caccia, Serpent, Ophicleïde und Natural Trumpets) sowie zwei Bass-Trompeten, ein Streichquartett und Cembalo.

    Als virtueller Raum diente die Wallfahrtskirche „Maria Strassengel“ in Graz:

    Bei #2 und #3 habe ich mit den Positionen der Instrumente und Mikrofone ein wenig experimentiert, was beim Hören mit Kopfhörer nachvollziehbar sein sollte.

    Über eure/Ihre Anregungen und Kritik würde ich mich freuen.

    Beste Grüße


  • The tracks could do with half a second of silence at the beginning as the Soundcloud uploads seem clipped - which is a shame as the mood you've captured is very 'real'.

    I was surprised there was no percussion in the March ..  ?


  • @Louis C said in [Three short pieces by Henry Purcell](/post/317387):

    The tracks could do with half a second of silence at the beginning as the Soundcloud uploads seem clipped - which is a shame as the mood you've captured is very 'real'.

    I was surprised there was no percussion in the March ..  ?



    Thank you for your interesting thoughts!

    For the two "Funeral" scores, I was inspired by this 1989 recording by Andrew Parrott, which also uses only brass:


    A comment on this YT page complains about the lack of percussion instruments - with the following answer:

    "It's not meant to have drums in it! Completely modern invention to use them in this piece."

    I can't say whether a musicologist would confirm that, but in order to hear both things compared, I revised the "March" twice today:

    (#2a is yesterday's version.)

    Version #2b begins with a brief pause for thought, which you understandably complained about not having. And I tried to acoustically represent the gradual approach of the musicians - as can be seen in the video you linked - with a continuous crescendo in the first half:

    In version #2c, a bass drum (by SY Percussion I) can be heard in the second half, which unfortunately doesn't sound as dry as the presumably historical one from the YT video. And to counteract this a bit, instead of a church, I used Gateshead's "The Sage, Hall One" as the virtual space:

    I would of course be interested in your opinion on both new versions.

    Best regards




    Vielen Dank für deine/Ihre interessanten Amerkungen!

    Bei den beiden „Funeral“-Musiken hat mich diese Aufnahme von Andrew Parrott aus dem Jahre 1989 inspiriert, die ebenfalls nur Bläser verwendet:


    Ein Kommentar auf dieser YT-Seite beklagt des Fehlens von Schlaginstrumenten – mit folgender Antwort:

    „It's not meant to have drums in it! Completely modern invention to use them in this piece.“

    Ob ein Musikwissenschaftler das bestätigen würde, kann ich zwar nicht sagen, aber um beides mal im Vergleich zu hören, habe ich heute den „March“ gleich zweimal überarbeitet:

    (#2a sei die Fassung von gestern.)

    Fassung #2b enthält zunächst zu Beginn eine kurze Besinnungspause, deren Fehlen du/Sie verständlicherweise beklagt hast/haben. Und ich habe versucht das allmähliche Näherkommen der Musiker  – wie im von dir/Ihnen verlinkten Video zu sehen – durch ein durchgängiges Crescendo in der ersten Hälfte akustisch abzubilden:

    In Fassung #2c ist außerdem eine Bass Drum (aus SY Percussion I) in der zweiten Hälfte zu hören, die allerdins leider nicht so schön trocken klingt wie die vermutlich historische aus dem YT-Video. Und um dem ein bisschen entgegenzuwirken, habe ich anstelle einer Kirche nun „The Sage, Hall One“ aus Gateshead als virtuellen Raum verwendet:

    Deine/Ihre Meinung zu beiden Neufassung würde mich natürlich interessieren.

    Beste Grüße


  • ... my last attempt at "March" – for now ;-)

    – without a drum, but with more dynamics in the second half:

     PS: Unfortunately "SoundCloud" removed the silence at the beginning and at the end.


    ... mein letzter Versuch zum „March“ – vorläufig ;-)

    – ohne Trommel, aber mit mehr Dynamik in der zweiten Hälfte:

    PS: Leider hat „SoundCloud“ die Stille zu Beginn und am Ende entfernt.

  • Hello Jürgen,

    Well done! I'm very grateful to you for bringing some rarely heard middle baroque music into the realm of midistrated productions - a period that has been too much overlooked.

    If we're to limit ourselves here to talking about only electronic MIDI instrumental renditions, then I can say I certainly enjoyed your "Funeral of Queen Mary" march much more than Walter Carlos's rendition on a modular Moog synthesiser, as included in Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange".

    I do have a couple of small concerns about your renditions, however.

    1.    I can appreciate that perhaps you were aiming at the purest possible ideality in rendering Purcell's scores, whilst avoiding 21st century interpretation as far as possible. But for me, believing that baroque music was very much a vehicle for communicating a broad spectrum of human feelings and emotions, I would have preferred to hear much more human expression in your renditions. Nevertheless of course we can't know how baroque music was played or actually sounded in its day - so there's little if any real basis for claiming rightness or wrongness in any of our modern human or electronically-mediated renditions of Purcell.

    2.    In you productions I'm hearing the very characteristic sound of purely convolution reverb that has, to my ear, somewhat plagued too many VI instrumental renditions I've heard. Convolution reverb is only a 'snapshot' of the ambient acoustic response to a broad spectrum sound impulse, as measured in specific real places; it completely ignores the acoustic effects of relatively quick changes in complex air motion within in those spaces. Hence we get the all too familiar 'frozen', 'crystalline', 'lifeless' sound of convolution reverb, which personally I've grown to dislike a lot because it is so unrealistically 'lifeless'. By contrast, with algorithmic reverb devices we can dial in "modulation" to taste, adding pretty satisfying temporal variances - especially when using some of today's advanced and superb-sounding algoverb devices. I'd therefore suggest, if you choose to do anything about your recognisably 'crystalline' MIR sound, inserting some modulated algo reverb either before or after MIR, for individual or groups of instruments. Also, and this is very much a matter of personal taste, for Purcell I'd much prefer a somewhat smaller reverb ratio; that tail you've put in is too prominent and long, in my book.

    But please don't be discouraged by these personal concerns of mine. You've done well in bringing some of Purcell's fine works to the table, and I very much hope your adventures in midistration continue with dauntless energy, skill, art and love.

  • ... and an update on the "Canzona", in which the spatiality is more recognizable (with headphones).


    ... und ein Update zur „Canzona“, worin die Räumlichkeit besser erkennbar ist (mit Kopfhörer).

  • Hello Macker,

    thank you very much for your kind message and the critical comments!

    First a little anecdote in two parts:

    (1) My first encounter with the music of Henry Purcell was in the mid-1980s when I went to see a performance of Dido and Aeneas at the Frankfurt Opera. I didn't particularly like the music or the staging, so I decided afterwards to continue listening to Johann Sebastian Bach if I felt like baroque music.

    (2) A few years later I heard music on the radio that I really liked: to my astonishment it was a "Belinda" aria from "Dido and Aeneas", played by the "Taverner Choir And Players" and conducted by Andrew Parrott. - I was speechless. But I am sure that it was above all the transparent sound of the historical instruments and the slender voices with reduced vibrato that spontaneously inspired me and from then on made me interested in musical-historical performance practices.

    I feel far removed from ideal-typical productions; but as someone who has learned classical guitar - a non-orchestral instrument with little modulation capability and for which there is hardly any high-quality original literature - I really enjoy discovering the tonal diversity of numerous instruments that I cannot play myself – and to interpret works by composers who have never composed for guitar.

    One question: Do you perceive my three Purcell miniatures as "frozen", "crystalline" and "lifeless" because the reverberation is not authentic or just too much? Or is that for other reasons?

    Incidentally, I took your comments on the subject of reverb as an opportunity to look around for possible alternatives. I found Beat Kaufmann's videos instructive and helpful, for example this one:


    Is that what you mean by "modulated algo reverb"? And aren't "MIR Pro 3D" or "Hybrid Reverb Pro" from the "Vienna Suite" able to do this?

    Best regards,



    Hallo Macker,

    haben Sie vielen Dank für Ihre freundliche Nachricht und die kritischen Anmerkungen!

    Vorab eine kleine Anekdote in zwei Teilen:

    (1) Meine Erstbegegnung mit der Musik von Henry Purcell fand Mitte der 1980er-Jahren statt, als ich mir eine Aufführung von „Dido und Aeneas“ in der Frankfurter Oper ansah. Weder die Musik noch die Inszenierung haben mir sonderlich gefallen, so dass ich danach beschloss, weiterhin Johann Sebastian Bach zu hören, wenn mir nach Barockmusik zumute war.

    (2) Ein paar Jahre später hörte ich im Radio eine Musik, die mir außerordentlich gut gefiel: Es handelte sich zu meinem Erstaunen um eine „Belinda“-Arie aus „Dido und Aeneas“, gespielt vom „Taverner Choir And Players“ unter der Leitung von Andrew Parrott. – Ich war sprachlos. Aber ich bin mir sicher, dass es vor allem der transparente Klang der historischen Instrumente und der schlanken Stimmen mit reduziertem Vibrato war, die mich spontan begeistern konnten und mich fortan für musikalisch-historische Aufführungspraktiken interessieren ließen.

    Von idealtypischen Produktionen fühle ich mich weit entfernt; aber als jemand, der Klassische Gitarre gelernt hat – also ein wenig modulationsfähiges Nicht-Orchester-Instrument, für das obendrein kaum hochwertige Original-Literatur existiert - genieße ich es sehr, die klangliche Vielfalt zahlreicher Instrumente zu entdecken, die ich selbst nicht spielen kann – und Werke von Koomponisten zu interpretieren, die nie für Gitarre komponiert haben.

    Eine Frage: Nehmen Sie meine drei Purcell-Miniaturen als „eingefroren“, „kristallin“ und „leblos“ war, weil der Nachhall nicht authentisch bzw. einfach zu viel ist? Oder hat das andere Gründe?

    Ihre Anmerkungen zum Thema Hall habe ich übrigens gleich zum Anlass genommen, mich nach möglichen Alternativen umzusehen. Lehr- und hilfreich fand ich die Videos von Beat Kaufmann, beispielsweise dieses hier:


    Ist es das, was Sie mit „moduliertem Algo-Hall“ meinen? Und sind „MIR Pro 3D“ oder „Hybrid Reverb Pro“ aus der „Vienna Suite“ dazu nicht in der Lage?

    Beste Grüße


  • Jürgen, I do understand what you say about Purcell and baroque music generally; also about you being a classical guitarist. Let me try to help with some clarifications of my remarks.

     On interpretation and expression, I'll happily concede that two of your pieces are from a suite of funereal music, and so I'll simply accept that those two pieces may quite properly be interpreted for rendition as having sombre, dignified and restrained expression throughout. All fine and good. But the other piece is a secular song about love; so would it not be natural and reasonable for a listener to expect somewhat more emotional expression? However, as I said before, we simply don't know how these pieces would have been played in their day; and so since I have no real basis for making an issue of it, I'll say no more about it.

     The matter of reverb can get technically very complicated, and since this particular forum is not the right one for going into such technical detail, I must try to be brief.

    1.  Yes all three of your pieces have the unnatural 'crystalline' convolution reverb sound; and yes, my first instinct would be to see what effect reducing MIR's wet/dry ratio would have. However I can't predict what that might do to your mixes. If it leaves the instruments sounding too dry, then I'd say other solutions are called for.

    2.  MIR (old and new) is totally based on convolution reverb and cannot modulate that reverb. If your Sy-zed instruments are completely dry going into MIR, and no algorithmic reverb is added pre- or post-MIR, that pretty much guarantees the 'lifeless' reverberation sound I've mentioned. (Also, I can't say for sure, but I do wonder if, as a result, the average non-technical listener might get an overall impression that the rendition itself is somewhat 'lifeless', which would be unfair to you.)

    3.  I've long admired Beat Kaufmann's music and mixing. In his video you've linked, he's using a large and expensive collection of both convolution and algorithmic reverbs in one plugin developed by Hofa. He combines both types in his mix in order to achieve realistic spatial positioning of instruments, especially depth. At one point in that video he says simply that an algorithmic reverb tail sounds nicer than a convolution reverb tail. Using this Hofa plugin, Beat can do much if not most of what MIR 3D does (though I'd say with quite a lot more work involved), and no doubt Beat would claim his results sound nicer!

    4.  I have MIR 3D. I've experimented using it with Synchron instruments, sending their Mid microphone channels to MIR; and - surprisingly - I didn't hear any of the typical 'crystalline' convolution reverb sound of MIR. (Perhaps the naturally modulated Stage A reverb picked up by the Mid microphones is just enough to animate MIR's convolution reverb - but I have yet to test the validity of that idea.) However, I'm also using Decca Tree channels separately from MIR in order to spatialise the 'dry' instrument locations binaurally (which MIR cannot do), while MIR spatialises only its own reverb for each instrument channel; I don't need to add very much MIR to the mix. (Recently I've developed a better way of doing my binaurally spatialised stereo headphone mixes without involving MIR 3D at all – I don't have or need or want a studio festooned with loudspeakers all over the place. But that's another story.)

    5.  You can of course insert VSL's sweet-sounding MIRacle algorithmic reverb plugin (included with MIR) post-MIR in your DAW - though I must say I'm surprised to see MIRacle has no modulation controls. VSL's Hybrid Reverb Pro cleverly combines convolution Early Reverb with algorithmic reverb tail, the latter having the usual modulation controls; but I don't have this device so can't give you an evaluation.

    If you want to get into depth about reverb it's probably best to start a new thread in a more appropriate VSL forum. I'm sure many members here would be able to help with a host of useful ideas and details.

  • You Still Be Using VI Libraries In The Future/311146

  • No need to worry about the deeper technicalities; the difficulties of understanding those things certainly have not prevented countless musicians from producing excellent and wonderfully well mixed digitally-mediated music.

    Totally agree about the ongoing virtues of VSL's VI and Sy-zed libraries; I have most of them and Synchron also.

    Well it appears you're about to embark on some splendid new adventures in mixing, so I'll wish you Bon Voyage!


    Hello Macker,


    in any case, I am determined to expand my expertise.


    Thank you for the good wishes!


    Best regards,






    Hallo Macker,


    ich bin jedenfalls entschlossen, mein Fachwissen zu erweitern.


    Danke für die guten Wünsche!


    Beste Grüße



  • BenB Ben moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on
  • Here is a revised version of Purcell's „If Love's A Sweet Passion“.

    And for comparison: This was the previous version.

  • last edited
    last edited

    Here's another update.


    Hier ist ein weiteres Update.