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Enough Feeling?

Postby RichardT » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:51 pm

Hi all,

I'm working on a piano piece that will go on a mostly electronic album.

I'm not sure whether or not I need to add more expression to it. I don't want it to sound soupy.

I'd really value people's feedback on whether it needs more 'feel' or whether it's ok as it is. By feel I mean rubato, phrasing and wider dynamics - particularly more quiet dynamics.

Here's a link - there's no master bus processing on it at the moment.

https://soundcloud.com/richard-townsend ... bji0XdlQrf

For context, if it helps, here's the previous track from the album

https://soundcloud.com/richard-townsend ... MNeGcPEHJ3

thanks!
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:23 pm

Ooh! The warm glow of a Christmas fireside...

Some of the chords are a bit 'challenging' for me, but I was never a jazz fan.

Beautifully played. :clap:

All I would say is lose the delay on the flute part - it doesn't need it and it sounds awkward, especially hard panned.
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:32 pm

RichardT wrote:I'd really value people's feedback on whether it needs more 'feel' or whether it's ok as it is. By feel I mean rubato, phrasing and wider dynamics - particularly more quiet dynamics.
Not for my money, sounds nicely 'felt' to me. ;)
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:36 pm

As a fellow pianist I think there is definitely enough feeling and the dynamics (quiet ones included) sound lovely to me :thumbup:
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby RichardT » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:45 pm

Thanks for the feedback! After working with a track for a long time, I find it’s easy to lose a sense of whether it works as a performance or not.
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:53 pm

RichardT wrote:After working with a track for a long time, I find it’s easy to lose a sense of whether it works as a performance or not.
I hear ya! ;)
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:57 pm

Oh dear - I'm going to go against the thoughts of the masses.

I totally love this piece Richard. It's beautifully played, and I wish I'd written it. Congratulations on a fine job!

However, I listened with your suggestions of changes in my mind, and while to me the rubato seemed OK, I was left wondering if your dynamics were a little subdued, and when I subsequently listened to the preceding track in the album for context this feeling strengthened.

At the moment, to me the performance is lacking in truly quiet, tentative notes, and also missing a few short sections where you 'dig in' more. I love it as is (I've now listened through it six times), but to my ears it's missing some elements of tense excitement, and some of intimate tenderness, that could lift this from a beautiful piece to a superlative one.

I also agree with The Elf about losing the echos on the flute sound.


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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby RichardT » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:13 am

Martin Walker wrote:Oh dear - I'm going to go against the thoughts of the masses.

I totally love this piece Richard. It's beautifully played, and I wish I'd written it. Congratulations on a fine job!

However, I listened with your suggestions of changes in my mind, and while to me the rubato seemed OK, I was left wondering if your dynamics were a little subdued, and when I subsequently listened to the preceding track in the album for context this feeling strengthened.

At the moment, to me the performance is lacking in truly quiet, tentative notes, and also missing a few short sections where you 'dig in' more. I love it as is (I've now listened through it six times), but to my ears it's missing some elements of tense excitement, and some of intimate tenderness, that could lift this from a beautiful piece to a superlative one.

I also agree with The Elf about losing the echos on the flute sound.


Martin

Ah - those were my thoughts too! Thanks Martin.
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:05 am

I'm relieved that I bit my tongue and spoke out then :thumbup:


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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:29 pm

MMMmmm.....Nice 8-)
But that’s great, I can imagine it on a nice Fender Rhodes though, be really cool.

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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby RichardT » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:40 am

Thanks for all your comments on the previous version of my track 'Depend On It' - here's a new version.

I've increased the dynamic range - particularly, the quiet sections are gentler now. I've also adjusted the piano sound so that it has less in the lower mids and a little bit of a boost at HF. This lets the lower dynamics still sound reasonably clear - previously they were a bit muffled.

I've also cut out most of the delay on the synth sound.

Any comments welcome!

https://soundcloud.com/richard-townsend ... hwRDatfrLs
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby BJG145 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:58 pm

I haven't heard the previous version or read previous comments yet. Initial thoughts are that the piano part sounds great; a really nice composition and performance. I wasn't so keen initially on the instrumental on what sounds like a slightly shrill organ sound. In general, I'm wary of instrumental note changes that pre-empt chord changes, like the final one; they can sound slightly rushed. I'd have thought the whole instrumental part could be held back a tiny amount, though TBH I'd rather hear it played on a sax or flute, or a theremin, at least something with a little more feeling in ptchbend and vibrato. But this might be partly down to 'expectations', and it might grow on me with another listen.

*edit*

After reading the comments and listening again, I take back the remarks on the instrumental sound, which is fine in the context of an electronic album. I was thinking in terms of it being an impression of an acoustic instrument rather than an electronic tone in its own right, and I quite like the purity of it. Although, it is mostly fractionally ahead of the chord changes, which I'm still not quite sure about. I'm not saying it wants to be dead on, though I'm not yet sure about it being mostly a touch ahead either. My instinct would be to lay it back microscopically.
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby RichardT » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:05 pm

BJG145 wrote:I haven't heard the previous version or read previous comments yet. Initial thoughts are that the piano part sounds great; a really nice composition and performance. I wasn't so keen initially on the instrumental on what sounds like a slightly shrill organ sound. In general, I'm wary of instrumental note changes that pre-empt chord changes, like the final one; they can sound slightly rushed. I'd have thought the whole instrumental part could be held back a tiny amount, though TBH I'd rather hear it played on a sax or flute, or a theremin, at least something with a little more feeling in ptchbend and vibrato. But this might be partly down to 'expectations', and it might grow on me with another listen.

*edit*

After reading the comments and listening again, I take back the remarks on the instrumental sound, which is fine in the context of an electronic album. I was thinking in terms of it being an impression of an acoustic instrument rather than an electronic tone in its own right, and I quite like the purity of it. Although, it is mostly fractionally ahead of the chord changes, which I'm still not quite sure about. I'm not saying it wants to be dead on, though I'm not yet sure about it being mostly a touch ahead either. My instinct would be to lay it back microscopically.

Thanks BJG145, I’ll listen out for that.
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby CS70 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:30 pm

RichardT wrote:Any comments welcome!

https://soundcloud.com/richard-townsend ... hwRDatfrLs

Much more interesting! The original had lost me after two bars but this one actually kept me listening (and more, turning the volume up to actually hear everything)... until the flute/whatever it is came in...

Couple notes on that sound: it has a harshness to my ears that it's a bit grating and wants to make me turn the whole down or stop it; and imho it's too loud with respect to the rest, it doesn't blend in. Also arrangement wise, it's kinda sudden and unexpected, in a way that mismatches with the mood set by the previous part.. it makes (to me) no musical sense introduced the way it is. Perhaps a longer, more progressive introduction of the element could do, don't know and some less odd harmonics!

Listened on the Audeze LCD-X btw.

This is only my subjective (and totally incompetent!) opinion as a casual listener however... I don't know anything about this kind of music and probably I am totally wrong! :D

And I do like this much better than the first mix you showed.
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Re: Enough Feeling?

Postby RichardT » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:28 pm

CS70 wrote:
RichardT wrote:Any comments welcome!

https://soundcloud.com/richard-townsend ... hwRDatfrLs

Much more interesting! The original had lost me after two bars but this one actually kept me listening (and more, turning the volume up to actually hear everything)... until the flute/whatever it is came in...

Couple notes on that sound: it has a harshness to my ears that it's a bit grating and wants to make me turn the whole down or stop it; and imho it's too loud with respect to the rest, it doesn't blend in. Also arrangement wise, it's kinda sudden and unexpected, in a way that mismatches with the mood set by the previous part.. it makes (to me) no musical sense introduced the way it is. Perhaps a longer, more progressive introduction of the element could do, don't know and some less odd harmonics!

Listened on the Audeze LCD-X btw.

This is only my subjective (and totally incompetent!) opinion as a casual listener however... I don't know anything about this kind of music and probably I am totally wrong! :D

And I do like this much better than the first mix you showed.

Thanks CS70. Those are good points you make about the synth sound. I’ll see what I can do.
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