Another chance to compare a real orchestra with a VST version

This piece started several years ago as a short (1:30) piano ‘mood’, created while thinking about Lyle May’s piano playing.

Listening back to it, I felt it had a ‘Slavonic’ colour to some of the harmony, and with all the awful news from Ukraine decided to write a larger format piece dedicated to the people of Ukraine (where 3 of my 4 grandparents came from).

As is the way of these things, I’m not sure the extended compositions maintains or weakness that Slavonic feel - and if not is that a reflection of my lack of skill and discipline as a composer? - or was I right just to go where the composition process took me?

Anyway, here is the final, ‘real orchestra’ version:


And here’s the vst version, for those interested in the comparison:

Hauntingly beautiful. Love 1:58 and 3:58. I noticed on SoundCloud how a lot of it sounds canned and sterile. With the brass part in 3:05 I heard no break for breathing which makes it less authentic. I do like the real slide trombone’s imperfections.
A beautiful piece of music and the main theme is an instant earworm.

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Thank you so much Dan. Really appreciate the feedback.

Yes, there are a whole host of imperfections with the real orchestra, due to to not enough time to rehears properly etc. And yet, real is real! :wink: It still makes all the difference to have real musicians playing real instruments. Was a real privilege to be able to have this done.

Beautiful music portraying longing and also strength.

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Thank you so much, Dori.

You are so welcome, Mark.

Congratulations Mark! Beautiful music. I particularly like the dissonant string moments.

I’ve been contemplating doing a similar recording session. Can I ask how long your session was for this piece?


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Thank you so much, Brandon. Really appreciate the comments.

The session was 1hr. The mix of course is separate and an additional hour on top. (The mix engineer had spent quite some time with it, but then I got 1hr online review with him).

The 1 hr recording was just about enough to scrape through, but not enough to really get the performance I was hoping for. I mean, it’s ‘ok’…but there’s a wrong note in the clarinet that bugs the heck out of me :wink: (it’s not a ‘bad’ note, probably know one else would know - it’s just not the one I wrote! Lesson there about curtesy accidentals - use them! :wink:

I don’t have much experience working with an orchestra. I’ve done it twice, and both times I was surprised how poor the initial sight read was. And these are good players! But…with each take they got SO much better. But then we’d have to move on to the next section. So of course, if we’d had more time, we could have had more takes and got better each time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty happy with it! It is an amazing experience to hear your music played by a real orchestra. And even with flaws and mistakes it’s better than my vst versions! :wink:

But, the conclusion was next time I will try and budget for more time.

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Thank you for sharing these details. This is helpful!

Congratulations again on your beautiful music.


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