[LAU] [Music] Piano piece

Q lists at quirq.ukfsn.org
Thu Apr 12 19:27:41 UTC 2012


Thanks for listening and commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Melancholic beauty was what I was aiming for, so it's pleasing to know 
that it is perceived in that way. I don't really listen to classical 
music, but when I do I mostly steer towards the Romantic era though and 
I do like Chopin.

Whilst Romantic in intent and inspiration (as in Romanticism, not 
romantic love), in terms of execution I deliberately veered away from 
what I see as excess that Romantic-style music sometimes displayes; the 
last thing I wanted was for it to end up sounding schmaltzy.

I reigned in any temptation for the tempo to begin too high or for 
excessive rubato, aiming for a slightly stiff or stilted feel. I don't 
think I achieved this effect as well as I did during part of the writing 
phase -- probably partly with lack of familiarity plus I wasn't terribly 
well at the time and I think that helped the performance, but I wasn't 
about to make myself ill again for the sake of art!

As for the sound, I generally am not fond of Steinways, much preferring 
Bechsteins, Bosendorfers or Bluthners, but the Sampletekk Black Grand is 
a very nice sounding instrument. I would love to have used my 1903 
Bechstein but it's in need of tuning and I doubt I could do anything 
approaching a decent job of recording it.

If anything, the Black Grand had a tendency toward a little too much 
brightness for my liking for this piece, but was bearable. I took some 
low end out (6 dB/octave from about 160 Hz IIRC) to tone down the 
effects of my left hand and also for a bit of distance and also shelved 
the mids (and bass by default), plus a slight dip in the low-mids, as 
they were unruly and muddy. I suspect I'd have had to do some serious 
EQing had I used my Bech as it's very warm and rich, probably far too 
much so as this piece needs cold and iciness. I suspect I might have 
been able to remove more of the mids, but was wary of overprocessing and 
making the sound unnatural.

Also, bear in mind that this is not the sound of the BG out of the box, 
I added small amounts of body, soundboard and other resonances from IRs.

I auditioned a lot of room and hall IRs before I settled on this one. 
It's not too obvious (after highpassing it) and fairly nondescript and 
unassuming -- it's there but doesn't draw attention to itself, away from 
the piano, which is what I was after.

A few times lately whilst writing, I fired up the Native Instruments 
Akoustik Piano as it loads far faster than the BG in Linuxsampler -- now 
those are some seriously horrible sounding pianos, the Bechstein sounds 
nothing like mine and the Steinway sounds nothing like the BG, they're 
shrill, plasticky sounding bright... ugh. The BG feels, sorry no, sounds 
like playing a real piano -- someone needs to invent an affordable 
midi-controller that gives vibrational feedback through the keys, I miss 
that and I'm not even much of a pianist.

Sorry for rambling. Anyway, thanks again for listening even if the 
timbral choices weren't to your liking :-)



On 11/04/12 22:11, S. Massy wrote:
> Hello, Q,
> I join those who preceded me in congratulating you for a lovely and well
> executed piece. Romantic? Definitely, and in more than period! I find
> the piece very melancholic, but beautiful; much the same way I feel
> about some Chopin.
> But... well... I just don't dig this piano sound... Maybe it's the
> sample, or the way you EQ'ed it, but it sounds stuffed with cotton to me
> and just doesn't come alive, neither in my monitors nor in my
> headphones. Also, I think a nice room reverb would have complimented
> this piece beautifully.
> Keep posting!
> Cheers,
> S.M.

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