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Here’s another piece I wrote on piano. Yes, it needs a vocal, but you’ll have to settle for the flute-y thing.

There’s a lot going on in places and I’m not good at measuring dB levels, clashing frequencies, and all that sort of mind numbing stuff. I just like focusing on musical elements like melodies, harmonies, dynamics and stuff. I hope you at least get the flavor of the piece.

It’s in F# minor, one of my favorite melancholic keys.

I would appreciate feedback on everything from overall composition, arrangement, instrumentation, dynamics, and... *gulp*, the technical stuff like “boost the mid-range at around 20dB” (I actually just made that up and haven’t got a clue what it even means). I NEED AN ENGINEER DAMN IT! hehehe. But really, I do.

Enjoy.

-Rick

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The base and the rythm is quite nice, but in my opinion it's too loud, that I can`t hear the high register instruments. I'm not sure what instrument is sound from second 15 after the intro. Is it a clarinet in its low register? I think there's too much reverb in there, that makes the line unclear. Is that what you pretend? I actually had to hear a second time to hear it 🙂. I you want to underline that melodic line, which I thing is quiet interesting, you could go one octave higher to the brighter register, or chosing another instrument (trombone, or tenor saxo). A trumpet one octave higher would sound very brillant and clear. That are just some ideas...

I think a score would help better understand what's going on. Anyway Good job. 

Edited by Guillem82

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Guillem82,

Thanks for your helpful comments. Yes, you are right about the lower register in the melody getting lost in the mix. I’ve been working on this trying to increase it’s volume without muddying up everything. And as for the bass, I appreciate your pointing out it being too loud. I always have trouble getting bass levels at just the right balance. I mix in my flat response studio headphones, I know it’s not good to do that, but I have no monitors other than the built-in speakers on my TV.

After posting this piece initially, I’ve been making changes to it trying to address these very issues you’ve mentioned, but I’m glad that you’ve confirmed them nonetheless.

As far as a score, unfortunately I don’t read music so I’m kind of at a loss there.

I really appreciate your feedback! Thanks again.

-Rick

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Nice, now the balance is much better, just be aware the lowest note of the flute is the middle C, being the good register one or two octaves higher :) and you start playing a D, right?. At that extreme flute can not sound neither loud, not brilliant, unless you use an alto flute, which can play a fifth or a minor sixth below the normal flute (E).

Edited by Guillem82

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Guillem82,

The flute-y thing I use is actually the “classic flute” patch of the FM8 virtual synth. And being that it’s a synth flute as opposed to a sampled flute, the range of the notes have no bounds. I don’t have a working knowledge of flutes to know when I’ve dipped down into alto flute range, so thanks for pointing that out. I’ve been working on this piece since you posted your last comments and I think I’ve isolated that reverb you mentioned. This mix in Sonar is a real mess. I forgot that I used another FM8 synth patch called “tronflute” modeled after the mellotron. It’s that patch that is real heavy on the reverb.

As the arrangement was developing the classic flute patch was getting covered up by the other instruments and the plugins volume was maxed out as was Sonars volume for that midi channel. So I started more instances of those patches and layered them on in unison to get more volume. In addition to getting more volume, I also got some unison phasing and more hiss and more reverb. I’m in the process of cleaning up the mix and dumping the hissy reverb heavy tronflute entirely. It’s tedious work but I think it’s sounding much better. I found an effects plugin that boosts volume so I can now get the volume I need from the FM8 classic flute patch.

I’m sure that’s way too much information, but I’m just typing to lull myself to sleep in the wee hours of the morning after a long day in Sonar land. Sonar long ago burned a ghost image into my TV screen. Good, because maybe I’ll talk myself into getting a 4K TV, hehehe.

I think I’m getting sleepy now.

-Rick

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