Feedback for Christmas music arrangement

Genre/Style: Jazz

Creative Vision for the Track: I wanted to take a beloved christmas song and turn it into a fun arrangement for 3 clarinets. With only 3 clarinets it was a challenge trying to make it sound full, especially with a song where you can experiment a lot with harmony. In order to make it sound fuller I chose to make it more interesting rhythmically so the focus is more on counterpoint rather than vertical harmony.
I currently play clarinet with the Navy Band Southwest in San Diego, CA. Because of COVID, our Christmas concert will be recorded. I will be recording this song with 2 other clarinetists in the band so if you have any feedback to give that would be greatly appreciated!

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc): Title: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen arranged for 2 clarinets and Bass Clarinet. Quarter note= 200. Swing style. In the key of Cmin.

Main Instruments used: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet

You can tell from listening that this took a lot of skill and sophistication to arrange but aesthetically I think it falls short of the mark. I really would not worry about sounding full, the point is to make something that is interesting, pleasing and tells a story. I can hear the influence of swing but it really does not swing to me to me all the way through and the beginning sounds real choppy. Compared to your Sea Shanty work this is just not in the same class. My thought would be to focus on one part at a time, make sure it works completely by itself and add the other two. Probably just concentrate on the melodic line and then the supporting parts. Frankly I know that you are capable of notching this up a level or two. Hope that helps.

Ok thanks for listening. It is kind of out there, not the most straight forward. Most of our audience is gonna be general public so maybe I should go with something a little more straight forward (not saying it should be traditional or anything). Im bringing in a bunch more stuff for us to read. If you have time to listen to any of these let me know if you think they work better.

Hey man, I think the biggest and most straightforward issue to solve is the sample pool… they are just very low quality and it lets the entire piece down… as I agree that you can hear musically, this is quite good. This however will cost a bit to rectify… though I’d suggest looking at spitfire Labs to start with as some instruments could be used from there. :slight_smile:

Secondly, this is very much stuck to the grid… meaning there’s no swing to it, and it becomes a distraction because you expect it to swing… early notes are on time and what you perceive to be late notes are still on time too… so the push and pull of this style just isn’t there.

Putting money aside, some sound design with a few synths would still get a great result if you followed the advice already given… it would just be more of a hybrid sound. These are just very low quality sounds which is really offputting.

If you would like some help picking a decent library inbox me but I’m sure project sam do a great swing library :slight_smile:

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Ok thanks. I would like to input my finale files into a different library so if you have suggestions for which libraries are good for that let me know. I’ll have to record the trio playing the other 3 tunes so you can get a sense of what its supposed to sound like.

The other two are much better! I think they will be a real treat for the listener. Nice job!!