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Thread: Easy electronica... eeeaaasy =)

  1. #1
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Easy electronica... eeeaaasy =)

    Ok, here's one of my latest pieces - it's fairly different from what I usually make. I would like hear what you people think of it.

    Download/stream: Thomas Strunch - Forsaken

    And heck, here's a little remake piece you might find to be quite familiar. I have tampered a little bit with what instruments are used, but that's it.

    Download/stream: Tchaikovsky - Dance of the sugarplum fairy (prepared by me of course)

    Enjoy! Feedback will be much appreciated. I live for feedback =)
    Last edited by Strunch; Feb-19-2007 at 11:18.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Hi Thomas,

    Enjoyed the remake of Sugarplum alot. Another variant in instruments used for this classic work is, imo, always refreshing to hear. Full of surprises at every turn - nicely done and in good taste, too.

    Forsaken is another wonderful creation ... as I've said before, this kind of music is a new experience for me, one that I am beginning to like after so many years of being 'died in the wool classical' ... I like your composing style ... it is certainly making be more aware and lots more interested in 'electronica' music today.

    Keep up the great work

    Lars
    Kh ~~.
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  3. #3
    Ensign, Principal Jeffrey Hall's Avatar
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    Hi Thomas,

    Forsaken: Sounds great. I really like the groove. The mix is dead center and beautifully balanced across the whole spectrum. It seemed like the snare stuck out a tiny bit, but everything else sits perfectly in the mix. on the engineering with this one, and I enjoyed listening to it!

    Sugarplum: I also like hearing familiar works realized in alternative ways, such as hearing the lower strings arco rather than pizzicato. You've done a great job preserving the dynamic throughout and in placing the instruments around the stereo field.

    Nice celesta patch, and I like the interpretation in the strings at the end. The sfs at the midpoint are well done -- not too subdued, but not jumping out of the mix either.

    A few small nitpicks: At 1:01 the bassoon wants a C#-D# -- I believe you have C-D; and at 1:27 I think there's a D that should be a D# in the "violin."

    I enjoyed both of these!

  4. #4
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Lars,

    Your reviews are always delightful and uplifting. I don't have much to say but thank you alot. It is much appreciated, and I'm of course as happy as can be with regards to your increased interest in electronica =)

    Jeffrey,

    You're not the first one to mention the snare, but that is also the only..ehm.. negative critique I have recieved concerning this piece. You are number two to mention it. Heck, I might even EQ it down some, although the majority of good folks who have heard this hasn't mentioned it, so on the other hand I might keep it as it is - also most people don't realize that I actually change that snare three times during the piece. Anyway, I'm most pleased that you liked the rest to such extent =)

    I haven't noticed any abnomalities concerning the score I used for Sugarplum myself, thanks for pointing this out. I'm just a bedroom composer, and I sometimes do remakes of classical music solely to study the composition - this is basically why I did Sugarplum. I think it's a brilliant composition and I'm most pleased that you liked it so much - I consider it one of my best remakes to this date.

    Thanks to both of you again =)

  5. #5
    Captain of Water Music Frederik.Sjölund's Avatar
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    I listened to the new version and like i said before it sounds awesome.
    However, i liked the old version better for some reason.
    But still, keep up the good work. I can't wait until i have all your tunes in my playlist
    Frederik Sjölund - Swedish 3D Artist AND Soundtrack addict

  6. #6
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Thanks Sjölund =)

    The prevoius version was more.. ehm.. hardcore, and less melodic, imo.. I'm not all satisfied with the current thematic melody, it just came to me. And you shall surely recieve all the pieces I dare to spew out =)

  7. #7
    Captain of Water Music Frederik.Sjölund's Avatar
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    Well.. im thinking that in the new version the old sound is gone. However, one idea would be to have both versions in the same tune. Just let it develop throughout the song.. or something. I may be wrong or just too drunk but its a thought
    Cheers man. Have a nice weekend! Woo! Party!
    Frederik Sjölund - Swedish 3D Artist AND Soundtrack addict

  8. #8
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Hehehe.. you too dude.. sadly there will be no party for me this weekend, there will be work, work and work, as I'm on a deadline for tuesday. Right now I'm talking some time off to deal with my newfound headache spawned from too much coding =)

  9. #9
    Vice Admiral of Notes, Dots & at times also Slurs corno's Avatar
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    Hi Thomas,

    Interesting music... I've got a long standing "date" with a friend to start on making some electronica... what precisely the scope will be I don't know yet...

    Are all the "acoustical" instruments in these two piece from the EWQL library?

    The Sugar Plum sounds nice... in the passage from 0.40-1.00 the repeated low notes are a bit muffled not really providing any effect to the piece... maybe it's just the patch? - is the celeste "ending" at 1:26 really in a minor key? - I can't remember the original, but this place stuck a bit out to me.
    Overall I think the piece is nice, but I could use some more "imagination" in the "performance" - to me it's a little "stale/rigid"... the last fp has a little to long a "reverb" on it compared to the rest of the, and it doesn't disappear completely before it's cut away... like seeing some lights flashing and the last one just "hanging" in the "picture" while fading out... not a bad effect as such, but it seems to require to continuation to have it's "rightfull" places here...

    "Forsaken"... a little repetitive... but hey that's electronica...
    It's got a nice catchy theme...
    I really like the panning synth sounds at the end and think you could really use it a lot more throughout the piece... the "instruments", to me, seems very centered in the "sound"... some kind of "Knight Rider" car-light-flashing effect from one side to the other could be used as a good effect here I think.
    I could also use a little more variation (even though I know that this type of music is rather monotomous) - maybe a longer contrasting midsection and/or some *counterpoint themes to the "main theme" (not that the layering of parts, one at a time, isn't good, it works nicely) at the end.
    The string section - from 1:05-1:19 seems to be "dragging" a bit behind (offbeat) the rest, like the timing isn't quite right.
    With regards to the snare drum - hmm... perhaps the reverb is too much... or maybe it's just a matter of adding (or rather subtracting in this case) some EQ to get it out of the frequency of the hihat.
    Here the fadeout could also go further... it seems too abrupt (hearing it on headphones)... the piece should (in my mind) seem to "go on and on and on" and it's only because we can't hear it it's ended. If you get my point?

    All in all some very nice renditions, but since you asked for feedback I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.
    What patches/libraries did you use for these pieces?

    *with counterpoint I mean something like the attached file (especially the accomp. to the 3rd verse) - not that this is in way meant as a comparison to your pieces here - not at all... this is a 7 year old rendition I did in Musicator with some patches from my old Roland SoundCanvas module.
    It's also in no way ment to hi-jack your thread here... just to illustrate a point... while not finding this particular piece that ingenious, the "counterpoint" did actually did come out fairly well (maybe a bit contrieved)... or at least I think so...
    It's very monotomous, and dynamics are nowhere to be found... the patches are... well... 7 years old and at that time I was really more interested in the music engraving aspects of music rather than the sound of the computer... the piece did fulfill it's purpose though (as an "upbeat" version of "Sancta Lucia" for a performance/an event at a x-mas concert)... but as you can hear for yourself, it really isn't that polished nor that elegantly made... but still... I did have a little fun with it...

  10. #10
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corno View Post
    Hi Thomas,

    Interesting music... I've got a long standing "date" with a friend to start on making some electronica... what precisely the scope will be I don't know yet...

    Are all the "acoustical" instruments in these two piece from the EWQL library?
    Hi Corno, and thanks for your comprehensive review =)

    To answer the question..

    No, some of them are soundfonts. In Forsaken, the oboe, the piccolo flute, the marimba et al are soundfonts, and in sugarplum the celesta is a soundfont, the rest is EWQL SO Silver.

    The Sugar Plum sounds nice... in the passage from 0.40-1.00 the repeated low notes are a bit muffled not really providing any effect to the piece... maybe it's just the patch? - is the celeste "ending" at 1:26 really in a minor key? - I can't remember the original, but this place stuck a bit out to me.
    Thanks =)

    I don't have an original here right now, so I can't tell, I just used a score I picked up on the net.

    Overall I think the piece is nice, but I could use some more "imagination" in the "performance" - to me it's a little "stale/rigid"... the last fp has a little to long a "reverb" on it compared to the rest of the, and it doesn't disappear completely before it's cut away... like seeing some lights flashing and the last one just "hanging" in the "picture" while fading out... not a bad effect as such, but it seems to require to continuation to have it's "rightfull" places here...
    Well, I think it lacks imagination because it's a MIDI score, the only way to change that is to adjust every note by hand, I did that to a few of them to add my own fingerprint surely, but it doesn't cut the loop completely. I agree that it lacks imagination on that behalf. Hard and very time consuming to solve. However, the last fp does in fact stop as supposed to, and it has the same reverb as the rest of the way, only now it is easier to hear it because a lot of the "noise" is gone. The way to sovle this would be to give it a seperate FX track and turn the Send reverb down some, but since no one else has mentioned it, and I don't really notice it myself, then I don't think I will do anything 'bout it =)

    Thanks for pointing this out though =)

    "Forsaken"... a little repetitive... but hey that's electronica...
    It's got a nice catchy theme...
    I really like the panning synth sounds at the end and think you could really use it a lot more throughout the piece... the "instruments", to me, seems very centered in the "sound"... some kind of "Knight Rider" car-light-flashing effect from one side to the other could be used as a good effect here I think.
    I could also use a little more variation (even though I know that this type of music is rather monotomous) - maybe a longer contrasting midsection and/or some *counterpoint themes to the "main theme" (not that the layering of parts, one at a time, isn't good, it works nicely) at the end.
    The version that Sjölund mentioned earlier, the previous one, was full of counterpoints, but I thought it to sound downright out of tune, although the counterpoints were just right. I shall try again in the future, because you're not the first one to mention this.

    The string section - from 1:05-1:19 seems to be "dragging" a bit behind (offbeat) the rest, like the timing isn't quite right.
    Well, it's hand-adjusted, I think it follows the arps rather well, but perhaps not the rythm as such =)

    With regards to the snare drum - hmm... perhaps the reverb is too much... or maybe it's just a matter of adding (or rather subtracting in this case) some EQ to get it out of the frequency of the hihat.
    Here the fadeout could also go further... it seems too abrupt (hearing it on headphones)... the piece should (in my mind) seem to "go on and on and on" and it's only because we can't hear it it's ended. If you get my point?
    A critique I recieved for another electronica piece was that I just faded it out, that was the former piece to this one, so I try to vary how I end it =)

    All in all some very nice renditions, but since you asked for feedback I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.
    What patches/libraries did you use for these pieces?
    EWQL SO Silver as you know, the Vanguard (my fav), the Sytrus, the FM7, several soundfonts and just regular wave files.

    *with counterpoint I mean something like the attached file (especially the accomp. to the 3rd verse) - not that this is in way meant as a comparison to your pieces here - not at all... this is a 7 year old rendition I did in Musicator with some patches from my old Roland SoundCanvas module.
    It's also in no way ment to hi-jack your thread here... just to illustrate a point... while not finding this particular piece that ingenious, the "counterpoint" did actually did come out fairly well (maybe a bit contrieved)... or at least I think so...
    It's very monotomous, and dynamics are nowhere to be found... the patches are... well... 7 years old and at that time I was really more interested in the music engraving aspects of music rather than the sound of the computer... the piece did fulfill it's purpose though (as an "upbeat" version of "Sancta Lucia" for a performance/an event at a x-mas concert)... but as you can hear for yourself, it really isn't that polished nor that elegantly made... but still... I did have a little fun with it...
    I heard your Sankta Lucia, and I have actually made one myself once =)

    Anyway, I know what you mean by counterpoints, it's just easy to make it sound sort of out of tune when you mix several vst'ers and libs - for some reason =)

    Thanks again for the review Corno, that was quite a review =)

  11. #11
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Just one more thing, as I don't really "speak music" on the level you and others on this board do.. Then I have to be sure what you meant by those counterpoints, because now I'm in doubt. If I read you correctly, then I use a lot of counterpoints in this piece (or sort of anyway).. please advice..

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral of Notes, Dots & at times also Slurs corno's Avatar
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    well... yes and no... maybe counterpoint isn't the best word for this - what you have more resembles the "complementary rhythms" widely used during the baroque periode. The passage from 1:13-1:42 where you bring back the "main theme" with a "counterpoint" the "counterpoint" acts more as a "gap filler"/"call and answer" than a theme of "equal value" "opposing" the main theme.

    I remember an old debat about this - I found it here http://www.magle.dk/music-forums/33-...ositioner.html - (in Danish).

    The theories about counterpoint, in classicl music, appears graduadly in the Rennaissance periode where Palestrina, among others, uses it heavily in his polyphonic choir pieces and is more or less "perfected" during the baroque, where it becomes a sort of standard practise.
    Counterpoints are, in general, melodic phrases between a theme of some sort and a "countertheme" which isn't bound, as such, by the harmonical or rhythmical aspects of the "main theme".

    Instead of me writing a lenght about this, there's an article about it at wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint - which you can read.
    I'll be happy to discuss this further if you've got questions with regards to this article.

    Complementary rhythms is, in a general, a rhythm "orchestrated" between different voices/parts - with one part taking over after another... a nice example of this is the "Air" from J.S. Bach's 3rd orchestral suite i G-major - the one with the popular title: "Air on a G string".

  13. #13
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Strunch's Avatar
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    Yay for wiki!

    Now that I know what counterpoints is, then I can tell you that I was correct in my first assessment. I did use a lot of counterpoints in the first versions, and I have used counterpoints a lot in my earlier music. It just sounded out of tune on this particular occasion. I know it makes the piece more.. ehm.. boring, but when I have to choose between boring and out of tune, then I know which path I'm going down.

    You have actually once given me a critique of a piece that was full of counterpoints, ISO22k, but it's a long time ago so you might not remember.

    Thanks for the links! It's much appreciated =)

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