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#143048 - 12/24/11 03:32 AM [User Showcase] O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
I got a "jazzy" arrangement of this traditional Advent song, and fiddled with it a bit. I had envisioned it more country and fiddle, but it took its own direction and I ended up going with Celtic feel with woodwinds. Not really a "serious" arrangement, but I was pleased with how it turned out:

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

RealTracks, with the woodwinds from Garritan Personal Orchestra. The harmony was generated with BIAB, and was simplified a bit. Edited in Reaper.

~535:Bass, Electric, Pop Sw 085
811:Piano, Acoustic, Solo-Acc PopVancouver Ev 100
380:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Syncopated Sugar Ev 102
~820:Mandolin Soloist Bluegrass Ev 100
BodhranCelticReel^3-Brsh,WoodSim
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Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#143049 - 12/24/11 08:19 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 503
Loc: Midwest
RobbMiller Offline
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Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 503
Loc: Midwest
David, I found the juxtaposition of the slow melody with the double time backing very interesting.

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#143050 - 12/24/11 08:41 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: RobbMiller]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
David, I always like your stuff! You have such an interesting way of putting a song together!

The Garritan woodwinds... did you spend a lot of time tweaking the MIDI oparameters, or did it sound that good applying the patch to the track?

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#143051 - 12/24/11 01:06 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
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Loc: Sacramento, California
"Interesting" is a good word. I've been looking for a place to put those Celtic guitars, and I really liked their sound there. The mandolins are great for sweetening the track, but I should have dropped them (and the percussion) on the second verse. Maybe I'll find some time to fool with it today.

The only tweaking that I did to the Garritan woodwinds was to adjust the MIDI volume. I generally only adjust the volume, going through each phrase and giving it a curve so it's not entirely static:



It's easy in Reaper - I just drag the mouse over the bars and create a new set of velocities. I'll do a quick sweep, and then fiddle with any that need adjusting. I've gotten much more detailed with the curves before, although this song didn't seem to call for it.

But really, the sound of the GPO woodwinds - especially the flute - are really "that good" out of the box.

The problem with using GPO in BIAB is that BIAB sends a Mod Wheel 0 at the beginning of the song, which GPO translates as a volume control (volume off). Hopefully that's been changed in BIAB 2012 - I'm downloading that right now.

The solo strings are also lovely, but they seem to require a bit more work. I think I'll spend some time on them with my next song...
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#143052 - 12/24/11 02:18 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

"Interesting" is a good word.




not always.. but in this case it was intended that way


Quote:

I've been looking for a place to put those Celtic guitars, and I really liked their sound there. The mandolins are great for sweetening the track, but I should have dropped them (and the percussion) on the second verse.




my only reservations about the song were for that very reason. My ears wanted to hear a bit more variation in the instrumental mix from verse to verse.

Your selection of instruments could have taken the song in a variety of directions, and is largely responsible for the song's unique sound (because it doesn't fit neatly into any genre)

The mandolin first made me think it would be newgrass, but the inclusion of the flute (rarely if ever used in bluegrass) leaned my thinking more toward celtic... but in that case, I would have expected a tin whistle.

In the final analysis you ended up with an arrangement that doesn't sound canned, pigeonholed or contrived

Very nice.

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#143053 - 12/24/11 04:22 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
Well, I had another go at it: O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Mix 2)

I cloned the melody line and created a new counterpoint line from it - mostly thirds above the melody, with the counter line sustaining notes when the melody is busy. There's a bit of imitation on the end, and a nice climb to the cadence, which leads into the next verse. I was too lazy to check what key it was in, so I just moved notes around until I thought they sounded OK.

I tried giving the parts to solo violins, but that didn't really work well. The Garritan violins tends to sound a bit better in the higher register. I finally went back to using woodwinds, with english horn and oboe. There wasn't enough contrast between the parts, so I finally gave the counterpoint to the flute.

For a bit more contrast, I also dropped out most of the backing tracks. I'd intended to work on the introduction a bit as well - perhaps starting with only percussion for a few bars, and then coming in with the mandolin. Maybe later...

The final mix was run through the EZ Mix plugin for the final "master" to give it a bit more punch.

Still not a great track, but I'm happy with it, considering that it started out as a lark. BiaB is a great toolkit for messing around with songs.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#143054 - 12/25/11 07:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 951
Loc: France, but I'm an ex-pat Brit
mglinert Offline
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Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 951
Loc: France, but I'm an ex-pat Brit
Comments relate to MIX 2

Thanks for sharing this David
I find that the melody instrument doesn’t really cut through enough, making it hard, for me in any case, to pick out the melody especially with all that busy background stuff going on at the beginning.
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#143055 - 12/25/11 09:43 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: mglinert]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
David,

I thought the second version added more variety from verse to verse. And I must say, the song has gotten me interested in the Garritan Personal Orchestra...

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#143056 - 12/26/11 12:23 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2904
Tommyc Online   content
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I liked the second one best ,very good job David ! Thanks for sharing !

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#143057 - 12/26/11 04:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Tommyc]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
Marc, I understand what you're saying about the busy background, but I'm not hearing it. That probably means I should leave it alone for a while.


Pat, I'm in a similar position. I've unexpectedly got enough money to spend, and I've been lusting over the JABB for a couple of years. The older Garritan libraries are temporarily marked down to $99 until the 28th. But getting good sounds from brass requires a lot of work (a breath controller helps). So I've been sitting on the fence, not quite sure what to do.

Looking through the documentation on the just-release Garritan "Instant Orchestra", I see that there's a string library in the works as well. But I've got no idea when that'll be coming out, or even if it'll be in my price range. I've got the 2012 version of BiaB, so that'll keep me busy enough for some time. But it's nice to be in a position where I actually have a decision to make.

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback!
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#143058 - 12/26/11 05:07 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
tributeman Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
Hi DC,Havent been on here for awhile and have to tell you your a talented producer/arranger etc.Love this version of one of my favourite carols.When you slowed the piece down part way through it was beautiful and the mix of instruments worked for my ears anyway.Thanks for the listen Frankie
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#143059 - 12/30/11 02:28 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: tributeman]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
Thanks for the comments, Frankie.

I couldn't resist, so I had one more go at tweaking the song: O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Mix 3)

To be honest, there's nothing terribly different this time around - I took the piano out of most of the first verse, make the flute lead a bit more prominent, added a (hopefully subtle) choir to the second verse, fiddled with the FX on various instruments... Just little things which may (or may not) be improvements.

I'm not really happy with the transition into the second verse. It's easy to make things louder, but to subtly make things quieter means you've got to slowly drop things away so that no one notices, and I don't think I did a good job of it here.

Now I understand why albums are never really "done", they just run out of money.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

Top
#143060 - 12/30/11 10:56 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
David,

I liked this version a LOT! The changeup between verses made a big difference!

regarding the transition to the second verse, to my ears the only thing that sounds wrong is that the mandolin fades out too abruptly... if you allow the mandolin to fade out over a longer period as the second verse phases in, the transition will be more natural.

When you transitioned to the third verse, you did exactly that... you gradually brought in the instruments that would be predominant in that verse so that when the verse started they were already playing... that worked very well for my sensibilities!

I don't know if you used the chords that usually go with this song, or if you tweaked them, but what you used sure did sound good with the melody

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#143061 - 12/30/11 11:18 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7690
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
David,

My wife walked into the room as I was playing your song... she's a real collector of Christmas songs, and she's heard just about every version of every song that's been recorded. She immediately wanted to know who the artist was... she liked it a lot and said that your version is so unique and interesting because of the instrument choices.

Just wanted to pass on the unsolicited kudos from a lover of Christmas music

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#143062 - 12/30/11 07:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
Thanks, Pat!

I agree - the mandolin fade on the second verse doesn't work. I can often hide changes of instruments with a cross-fade, but with so much dropping out, the only options are to drop the mandolin out earlier (and lose some lovely riffs) or put some sort of "real" ending at the end of the phrase. I suspect that I can find something from a shot or hold.

The credit for the chord progression goes to Alan Nissla, a local pastoral musician. There are some nice Maj7 and min9 chords, which make everything sound better.

But what really drives this is the excellent guitar and mandolin parts. It's a bit scary how BiaB give us access to such professional players.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#143063 - 01/02/12 03:54 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
Final mix: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

It must be the last, because I've labeled it "final." I'll remove the other copies eventually, and replace the link at the top of this thread to this link.

Thanks again for all the feedback!

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#143064 - 01/02/12 11:18 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1704
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Steve Young Offline
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Posts: 1704
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Hi David,

I'm a little late getting to this one, but boy am I glad I did get to it! I like the final mix the best. I've always liked this song, and you did a good job with it. I'm going to have to get Garritan!

Thanks for sharing this one!

Steve
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#143065 - 01/03/12 02:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
Thanks, Steve. I hope your throat's recovered!

I really like the sound of the GPO woodwinds, especially the flute. The 2012 version of BiaB has better support for VSTis, so I'm looking forward to that.

I've not tried it yet, but the 2012 version of RealBand apparently has the ability to preview RealTracks options when regenerating a track, which might get me to finally add RealBand into my toolchain.

And after waffling forever (and missing the Garritan deadline), I found out that PG Music still had JABB on sale until the New Year's Eve, so I bit the bullet and purchased it. Now I'm waiting for a serial number so I can download it. I'd like to see if I can emulate something along the lines of the "Mancini" sound. I'm curious how some of the BiaB harmonies sound through JABB. Again, the new VSTi integration is pretty exciting.

But mostly, I'm going to see if I can finally get around to writing and singing some of my own stuff this year, so I can join you folk who do their own music.
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#143066 - 01/07/12 11:50 AM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 03/22/07
Posts: 177
Loc: Greater Boston
DrDUBose Offline
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Loc: Greater Boston
I love this kind of instrumental, where you can showcase your creativity in arranging and harmonization. As an instrumentalist myself, with these known melodies, I am looking for interesting improvisation somewhere in the changing verse cycles, perhaps based on my genre preference for more jazz oriented song structures. Nonetheless, this is an innovative rhythmic adaptation in and of itself, which I enjoyed. One fly... throughout all versions I hear what sounds like a very brief major/minor harmonic clash on the first melodic cycle around 16 seconds, on the third syllable of the Ma vowel in "E - Ma-ah-ahn -u-el". I think it is with the counter point to the melody, and the clash is not present in any other cycle. May just be my church music ears needing all sweet stuff...

Keep us posted on the Garritan integration, as I too am very interested in high quality midi augmentation, and the mechanics, and choices offered, ostensibly with expanded capabilities in BIAB 2012.

Thanks for your work, and the chance to comment on it.
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#143067 - 01/07/12 03:23 PM [User Showcase] Re: O Come, O Come Emmanuel [Re: DrDUBose]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2626
Loc: Sacramento, California
You're right - there are a couple of clashes there. I heard them and figured I'd fix them later, and when I went back later I'd become acclimated to the sound.

I'll fix them eventually.

I'm waiting for the JABB authorization number from PG Music - Garritan is apparently a bit backlogged at the moment. They offered me a refund, but I can wait.

Thanks for listening!
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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