Propellerhead Software
Old 2004-11-17, 20:26
Posts: n/a
New Music (Classical, piano piece)

Hey everyone.. Check out my new song, "Practice in Ab". Motivation came after listening to Prokofiev's Piano Concertos. All sounds were made w/ Reason. Any constructive feedback and criticisms will be greatly appreciated.
Old 2004-11-17, 21:55
tormod tormod is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12
Re: New Music (Classical, piano piece)

Hey, Roark,
That's pretty impressive stuff. It's playing for the second time as I write, so I havent exactly studied it, but here's a few opinions anyway.
The piece is fun and complex and although the Prokofiev inspiration is obvious (especially since you told us...), I don't hear you blatantly quoting him either. The piece makes sense, too. It starts out pretty and light, and quickly the 'statistical density' gets really interesting. I was a bit startled by the orchestra the first time, but when it's expected, it kind of makes sense where it comes in. And then when it ends I feel relatively satisfied.
So I'm impressed on many levels.

However, I have some criticisms.
From a technical point of view, your piano zonks out a couple of times and stops sounding like a piano. At a couple of points (about 1:05 and 1:30) it sounds more like a drunken harp than a piano, and a couple of times (the quickest runs at about 2 mins) it just can't handle the low register stuff. I don't know what does it, maybe it's just your piano patch.

And then there's a big philosophical question. Me, I'm a purist when it comes to classical. I want these things played by people on real instruments. I don't know if you're able to play this piece (it certainly sounds like a challenge), but I know someone could, and I'd rather hear that. Prokofiev is one of my favourite composers, and I love hearing different versions of his piano stuff. My favourite right now is the 1960 recording Richter did in New York. If someone said they had made a great sounding recording of the 7th Sonata by point-and-clicking the notes into a computer, I would have boykotted it.

Let's just say I listen to the Yellow Shark a lot more than I listen to Civilization Phase III. This kind of music may only be performed accurately by machines, but I'd rather have someone play a few mistakes while giving it personality. And a real life pianist with a good ear (at least Andsnes and Kissin) would be able to make those fast left hand runs sound good on a well-tuned Steinway...

I hope you understood what I meant. Unlike you, I'm just a hack.

Old 2004-11-17, 23:04
Posts: n/a
Re: New Music (Classical, piano piece)

Wow, I appreciate your in-depth review. I went back to listen to the piece at the 1:05 and 1:30 minute marks and .. point taken. I'll probably rectify these parts tonight.

You bring up a very interesting point w/ regards to "synthesized" classical music. This is an issue that I struggle w/ incessantly upon composing piano pieces with a computer software. On one hand, one can really push various boundaries that had been previously limited by "human capabitlities" by using a computer software. On the other hand, it's really difficult to make certain "transitions" sound "natural". The former point can be improved upon as I master the necessary techniques, I suppose. Since my piano skills are somewhat adequate, perhaps I'll record some of my own playing some time down the line.

Again, I really appreciate your constructive feedback.
Old 2004-11-20, 00:39
Muhnochwa Muhnochwa is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1
Re: New Music (Classical, piano piece)

Hey everyone.. Check out my new song, "Practice in Ab". Motivation came after listening to Prokofiev's Piano Concertos. All sounds were made w/ Reason. Any constructive feedback and criticisms will be greatly appreciated.

Hey roark!

Thanks for sharing "Practise in Ab"!
If you use some more dynamics, slow down the tempo a bit and deploy more "human touch" to the keys, -it will sound a lot more "real". Also think about the layers of velocity that you can use.

Good luck with Reason!


Old 2004-11-20, 06:04
Posts: n/a
Re: New Music (Classical, piano piece)


I appreciate your feedback. With respect to deploying more "human touches" to the keys, how would I go about doing that? Thanks!

Old 2004-11-20, 17:20
robbneu's Avatar
robbneu robbneu is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 139
Re: New Music (Classical, piano piece)

Roark929, this is interesting stuff. I'm not famaliar with Prokoflev, so my main criticism will probably leave you scratching your head and thinking, "But, moron, that's the way it's SUPPOSED to sound!"

Mainly, as Bonamici said, it feels too fast. A lot of the classical music that I like (and keep in mind, I don't listen to many piano concertos) has some nice build and lull moments that give the pieces an overall sense of rising and falling tensions. There are breaks where you can pause to catch your breath. This piece was flat-out going from the second your started. Again, I'm not famaliar with Prokoflev, so maybe that's the style you were trying to emulate. I don't know. All I can say is it didn't quite work for me.

The playing was nice. I think you could use a little more atmospheric touches to give it a more natural sound. Maybe layer some very subtle reverbs and delays to give it more of a "large hall" sound.

At the very least, this was an interesting piece. Most of what gets posted here is "electronic" so it's good to hear someone doing something a little different with Reason. Thanks for sharing.

Take care,

Grumpus at Soundclick

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