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Everything posted by edharris99

  1. After completing my latest composition - Scherzo in C Minor for violin/piano (which I will be uploading shortly), I sent the score and a Sibelius/GPO4 generated MP3 to several reviewers. My favorite response (paraphrasing slightly) was : "This is a great work for kazoo and piano!" I responded by saying that this was an insult to kazoo players everywhere. :) But I got the message. I had been using Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 and had never been happy with the sound except for the piano. As bad as the violin was, another composition for bassoon and clarinet was even worse - I would describe it as a duet for bass and soprano kazoos. After doing a lot of research I finally decided to get EastWest Quantum Leap Solo Violin. I didn't get the piano library since the Garritan piano (and the native Sibelius piano) are both reasonably good and I figured I could mix and match. I also got the Sibelius Sound Set to match from SoundSetProject.com. I was a bit concerned about getting anything from EW given reviews trashing their customer service but I thought it was worth the risk at about $100 plus the sound set. Even though I am a computer expert, I know almost nothing about MIDI. Installation was challenging and I needed help from Sound Set Project (their tech support was outstanding...). Eventually I got it working and mapped the violin to the EW library and the piano to GPO4. The resulting sound was amazingly good generated raw out of Sibelius (I don't have the skills to use a DAW to do sound editing). The violinist that will be premiering the work was also very impressed with the sound, although it is nowhere near at the level she will play it. I would describe it as at an advanced high school violinist level, which is all I was looking for coming directly out of Sibelius. If anyone is curious to hear the difference, I can post links to both versions. I then plunged ahead and purchased the EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Platinum Standard library (24 bit only) and the matching sound set. This is not cheap - total cost was about $700. I installed the sound libraries (all 117GB worth) last week, which took many hours. Today I installed the sound set and got it working with Sibelius 7. It only took an hour this time since I roughly knew what I was doing. Again, well worth it. The bassoon/clarinet duet actually sounds like a bassoon/clarinet duet - a major step forward! Bottom line - I highly recommend these two sound libraries and by extrapolation, I suspect most of the rest would be a similar quality level. But you may find installation challenging. I had to use a combination of a lot of Internet research to get the EW libraries installed and help with the sound set integration, but the final results made it all worthwhile.
  2. The Google alert seems to have been lifted. I have been checking for a couple of days and finally got onto the website without any warning.
  3. I have attached a section from a piece I am working on showing two different ways that I can notate the section. Originally I was using the Version 2 notation but recently switched it to the Version 1 notation. I have seen both notations used in piano scores. Which way is preferable? Notation Examples.pdf
  4. I am a new composer, beginning last year. I have two piano works posted on the board here. I am ready to start learning orchestration and have run into a topic that I know nothing about and need some suggestions. I live in Madison, WI. While I was able to enroll in a formal Music Theory course at the Univerity of Wisconsin last year, I am not able to take the orchestration classes as they are only open to music majors. As a result I have been looking into online orchestration training. For example, Berklee College of Music offers two courses in orchestration. When I looked at the course outline for Orchestration I, it is a mixture of the basics of orchestration that I was expecting and using MIDI sequencing software for doing orchestration. I am at a complete loss here. I use Sibelius for composition with an attached keyboard for note input. I don't even understand what MIDI orchestration even means or whether I should try to learn it. If so, how do I get started and what software should I be looking at? In doing a bit of online searching for software that does MIDI sequencing, the programs seem very complex with a steep learning curve. Believe me, I am not a computer novice - writing computer software was my career area before I retired (I starting writing software in 1964, just to date myself a bit...). Can someone help educate me on this? If diving into the world of MIDI sequencing software is the best way to learn how to compose for real orchestras, chamber groups, concert bands, (i.e., not writing film scores), then I am willing to do this. I just don't know what my next steps should be. I do know that I learn best by going through actual courses rather than trying to learn on my own, which is why I am looking at options like Berklee, but there are probably many other online courses that I should be considering as well. Thanks in advance for helping the old guy deal with the modern composition world...
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