New Track, "Loss and Renewal"

Here is a new piece I completed. It is a straight orchestral piece with a slight “underscore” feel to it.

For this piece, the instrumentation is as follows:
1 Flute
1 Oboe
1 Bb Clarinet
1 Bassoon
2 Horns
1 Tenor Trombone

My creative vision for this piece was inspired by the anime, “Violet Evergarden.” I wanted to compose music that was similar to the underscore of the series by composer Evan Call and sort of told the story line through music that had an emotional fell to what I experienced watching the show.

This piece is in the key of F minor with an andante tempo for the beginning and moves to the relative Ab major for the more ‘playful’ part in the middle with a change to a moderate tempo, all 4/4 time. For the outro/ending, I did a rallentando to a largo tempo with a final key change to Eb major and 6/8 and 3/8 time. I also snuck in a bit of a variation on Evan Call’s original “Violet Evergarden” theme just to bring it home a bit.

Music was made using Dorico Pro notation software with NotePerformer, with audio bounced to StudioOne 4 where I added Valhalla Room reverb, a bit of compression and mastered with Ozone 9 (which I still haven’t mastered using :sweat_smile:)


Nice orchestration, definitely an “animated” feel to it :smile:
I love the horn entry!

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Hey man, took a listen, here some feedback for you.

Really like the themes throughout, they have a nice playful and slightly classical feeling at times which is a testament to how you approached the orchestration and counterpoint. I would say you’d part writing is much better in woods and horns but falls short a little in your string writing, though this is the hardest section to write for so that’s understandable. I think this is because you’ve wrote the string parts together instead of individually. If you have them as separate parts this will help the piece infinitely.

In terms of dynamics, there aren’t any. This sounds like your mod wheel is at max nearly all of the time. Think of how a player would phrase the parts and incorporate that into your work flow. Also think about volume changes between sections, they don’t all have to be the same volume.

Tempo. This feels like one solid tempo throughout, which would be awesome for library music bug for this style you could be really expressive your tempo automation.

Piano part. This was awesome but it got lost throughout the piece which was a shame. I think this is down to a lot of your instruments masking it. Also I think it’s also down to not panning you’re instruments effectively, which would give you a more realistic and wider piece.

I hope this is helpful I enjoyed your work!

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Thanks for the feedback Geoffrey! Since this was written using Dorico Pro and NotePerformer, the playback is done via AI, so I don’t control the mod wheel or anything. I write an actual notated score with expression/dynamic/tempo makings written into the score which the AI follows, so there are at least three tempo changes throughout, but to be fair they weren’t HUGE changes (from about 55bpm to 80.)

Also, since I was going for a more intimate piece, I don’y think I wrote any dynamics louder than mezzo-forte, which probably in hind-sight made the strings especially suffer. That being said, I love NotePerfomer’s sounds mostly, at least when played as an ensemble, but the oboe and the piano are kinda crap, the piano especially I had a hard time mixing because it gets real “tinny” and harsh sounding in the upper octaves.

Really appreciate the comments!

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Thanks so much Randy! I think that horn part really gave it the emotional pull I wanted.

Appreciate the background info, sounds like you might actually benefit from a second DAaW you can export to after creating your notated score so you can fine tune your expression and use a few other libraries. Something to consider for the future at least :slight_smile: really cool your doing it via notation though. I sometimes do this for complex pieces, but I never use notation software for playback.


Nice work, Matt! I love visual music and this fit the bill nicely!

I was hoping to hear more variation in dynamics and density. Both struck me as a bit static. Perhaps by using solo instruments during the more gossamer sections and using tuttis and crescendos into your arrival points would give it a bit more direction. The changes can be subtle because the ear will follow them and register the variation.

An example would be to score different sections with instruments of similar materials. For example, a light, spritely section may use metallic instruments (e.g. flutes, vibes, bells, celeste, triangle) then repeat the section with wood based instruments (e.g. clarinet, bassoon, strings, marimba) for a warmer and different emotional effect. Again, a very subtle difference but one that might give you the contrast you desire.

The key changes were very effective so you are definitely on the right path!

Keep up the good work!


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Thank you so much Stan, some good suggestions! I did originally plan on using a string quartet in this but I decided that the horns would likely overpower that setup, but I did use solo woodwinds. I now hear the problem with the dynamics; I did write them into the score, but the AI isn’t giving them accurate playback as I did have the strings going down to ppp where trailing off and from pp<mf into transitions, but there doesn’t seem to be an audible difference. I may re-orchestrate with solo strings and see what I get.


I do have the option of bouncing the score as MIDI and then replacing the instruments with my choice of sample library, which I’d like to do, but I don’t have any with solo woodwinds, or enough RAM on my Mac to handle all those instruments. I wouldn’t use notation software for playback if it weren’t for NotePerformer, which has pretty good sample sounds for just about every instrument.

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Yes that would make it difficult. I understand your problem now. I would recommend spitfire studio woodwinds, they are great!

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Yes, I’ll check that out. Was waiting for Cinematic Studios Woodwind release, but who knows when that will be. Thanks for all the advice–already tweaking this track! :grinning: :grinning:

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The studio woods will be great. I’m a big advocate for spitfire studio orchestra, so I usually suggest this a lot. It does me proud. There’s loads of options but if I had the pennies and I wanted a good woodwinds to go song my studio series I’d have got orchestral samples woods. They sound awesome. @ComposerEverett put me onto them so now I’m saving up! Aha.

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Hey Matt. Excuse me, to be frank, it brings me more “Maths” than “Emotions”. It is like played by a robot.
For me this song is a huge work with a tiny impact. Definitely, it needs better sounds and, tempo and volume variations that would make it work better.


Thanks for the comment Vicente.

Actually, it is being played by a robot, so to speak :wink: as NotePerformer uses AI within your notation software to ‘perform’ the score. Normally, it’s really good software and samples, but with everyone’s comments here, I did notice it isn’t really following my dynamic markings properly. I may need to update to the newer version. The reason i chose Dorico Pro to write this, if you look at the instrumentation, I don’t have any other sample libraries with solo winds/brass. But I’m working hard to make some better changes to this track! Thanks!

Thank you all who checked out my track and gave me some good feedback. Just an FYI, I just updated to Dorico 3.5 version and the dynamic playback was much better :smiley:

It is true that even when using a DAW in midi channels, there is a robot playing for you :stuck_out_tongue:
If you convert your score to midi tracks you could manipulate them widely. Furthermore, if you even include some audio channel (if you don’t have an apropiated sample instrument), it can be also processed in many ways to inprove your expression, surgery in the audio file or automating faders for instance. Experiments. It could be a funny time.

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I’d like to be able to bounce it to MIDI and use some better sounding sample libraries, but I’m waiting on Cinematic Studios woodwinds, and I have to get a new Mac to handle the work load :smile:


I just put up a topic featuring my first exposure to materials based orchestration. You may want to bend an ear. It, too, was generated through a notation software (Finale). I was and continue to be primarily a score and acoustically based life form!

As far as the dynamics I mentioned I recall a quote from either Sammy Nestico or Don Sebesky (I forget which) in one of their arranging books (both of their books are fantastic) saying the greatest, most effective crescendos and diminuendos they ever wrote were the result of adding or removing instruments not from writing ppp or waving their hands while conducting.

Take care!


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Thanks Stan. I did take a listen to your Beethoven arrangement and it was quite striking! Orchestrating by instrument materials is a very interesting concept I might try in the future. I usually orchestrate by section or by which instruments blend well with each other.