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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

You know a book is going to be good when it starts...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author You know a book is going to be good when it starts...
wiggy81
Quote:

This is the point for the practical musician. The old persists in the new and,
without an understanding of the weapon itself, we cannot wield it.


My orchestration is really pathetic, I never studied it and its one of those things that unless you actively persue it rarely presents itself as a thing you can just pick up.

Still with my current descent into madness with csound there is a point you reach where you say to yourself 'csound is fabulous, but if only i could do orchestration properly, what I am doing could be really impressive.'

Luckily a number of giants from the past published works that are still very useful. One of these is

https://archive.org/details/cu31924022381440

Forsyth's book is an excellent resource if you want to arrange a score in the style of a German romantic composer. I found the book to be remarkably readable for something so old. I figured it was going to be a dry and boring slog like many other books of its type. But that is just flat out wrong. It's packed full of useful advice and its writing style is engaging.

Even if you don't want to make music in this way, the skills it teaches are applicable to more modern styles - you just have that German romantic bomb to drop when you figure a piece needs it. See it as another string to your bow I guess.

Plus there is the question - what would the man have made of a synth?I figure you would have seen awesome arrangements. For sure they would have used these machines to there fullest to express the emotion of what they were trying to convey.

Anyway. If you have not had a chance give the book a go. Its well worth a read.
umma gumma
hey that is really useful, thanks for posting the link!!
mckenic
I adored my CSound classes and loved the timbres one could coax out but I abhorred the orchestration side of it! To my mind I had the sound making tools to get the noises in my head but not the ability to place them where I thought they should be.

I feel the same way about Renoise, I LOVE the idea of trackers but find I work best (only!) when I can move things about graphically. I have read SO many good things about it that Ive accepted its my own hang-up. I guess I don't sit down to begin a composition with a pattern laid out in my head - I prefer to move about and experiment. "After 8 bars, do this" doesn't work in my head...

Funny enough I love visualizing the signal flow in Max/MSP - go figure?
Im just taking off my shoes to dip my toes into CDP with a view to generate audio to place and move about in Abletons Arrange page.

Anyway, as to the thread title I came to post the best opening line of any book ever - "It was the day my grandmother exploded."
wiggy81
umma gumma wrote:
hey that is really useful, thanks for posting the link!!


You are welcome, he wrote some other interesting books about music - one was about choir orchestration and a few books on music history. I have not read them yet but they are on my 'to do pile'.

Orchestration books are a bit of a Marmite choice. The really good ones unintentionally have the DNA of the authors style embedded in them. So it pays to have more than one.

Adler is the go to book for most modern orchestration classes - It is the most modern serious book you can buy on the subject (written in the early 1980s). Luckily because it features so heavily in many courses you can pick up a second hand copy quite cheap.

This was the book that replaced Piston's as the text book for most courses. Again if you have the chance having all three books is great as all three provide a nice check/balance against the other.

Walter Piston book was the standard one used in most courses on orchestration up until the publication of Adler's book - If you want to learn how to orchestrate 1950s style this is the book for you. It is a heavy read but its a good counterpart to the Forsyth book.

What is interesting about the Piston book is when you compare it to the Forsyth book is in the predictions that Forsyth made about the direction of music, composition and arrangement. Piston is the realisation/refutation of pretty much every point he makes.

I will be honest I found both the Adler and the Piston books dry compared to Forsyth. But they are all useful.

There are a few others out there - but if you have Piston, Adler and Forsyth that's already close to 2000+ pages on orchestration in just that lol.

There are a few others out there no doubt, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I know there are many books written in French/German/Russian but probably never got translated. That is a shame.
wiggy81
mckenic wrote:
I adored my CSound classes and loved the timbres one could coax out but I abhorred the orchestration side of it! To my mind I had the sound making tools to get the noises in my head but not the ability to place them where I thought they should be.

I feel the same way about Renoise, I LOVE the idea of trackers but find I work best (only!) when I can move things about graphically. I have read SO many good things about it that Ive accepted its my own hang-up. I guess I don't sit down to begin a composition with a pattern laid out in my head - I prefer to move about and experiment. "After 8 bars, do this" doesn't work in my head...

Funny enough I love visualizing the signal flow in Max/MSP - go figure?
Im just taking off my shoes to dip my toes into CDP with a view to generate audio to place and move about in Abletons Arrange page.

Anyway, as to the thread title I came to post the best opening line of any book ever - "It was the day my grandmother exploded."


Lol Max is the gateway drug to csound. Well Pd was for me. I like the way you can quickly prototype ideas in Pd. But eventually I wanted more control so I went to csound. But I like both - When I am messing around with ideas I like to use Pd. When I have a sound idea I will use csound to make the patch, then either bake a Wav sample to use in renoise or pd.

The score files for csound are hard on the eyes, the first time I looked at one I thought "ok its like a tracker, but in a source file.... oh wait no..." Still there are a few front end editors available but I never used them. I just directly edit my score file and hope for the best. Lol sometimes I will make a mistake then not realise until I am reviewing the Wav. Lol then its a painful slog through the score file to see where I went wrong.

What is fast through is prototyping new ideas - this is why I started using csound more than pd actually. Once I figured out you just had to drop the instrument code into the CSD from diffrent sources I just used a standard score to test the instruments then went through making changes to the instrument till I found what I liked.

I wish there were more examples of peoples full scores in csound, like not just demos of sounds they made but performances. That is what is lacking at the moment. There are a few examples out there of full tracks people composed but i think it was less than 15-20 in total.

The best example I found was Kim Cascone - Blue Cube. That also has a journal article where he explains what he did. That is super useful.

This was the webpage I found the score files.

http://freaknet.org/martin/audio/csound/

I have been thinking about getting the 'csound catalog' but I am unsure if its worth it as I already have the textbook. The reviews I read seem to state the main advantage is having pre-rendered wav/mp3 to listen to of the instruments. But that is no big deal now. I wanted to know if the instruments were good.

The other advantage with csound is I can use it on my potato laptop and still get work done, I couldn't use a modern Daw for that. (But to be fair Renoise runs ok on a 9 year old laptop...)

I used to use trackers before so Renoise was nice, its an interesting idea to see if a commercial tracker (that was based off a free program...) could prosper in the modern day. But I think they destroyed the growth potential the product had by making it cripple-ware. (Not being able to export samples or wav file of the completed score). I am not paying for something I can't even use before I buy. What's the point in me learning the ins and outs of Renoise when I can't even create a track? I think the investment they expect people to put into learning the app then asking for money before you can even complete a project holds the acceptance of the tool back significantly.

The newest application I found to be very useful was musescore - that is a great tool for writing notation. I can bounce out my ideas to midi and get it running in csound.

If I were less lazy I would make a soundfont file of my instruments from csound to use in musescore lol but there are only so many hours in the day. I think when I have a catalog I am happy with of useful instruments then that will be the next step and I can just use musescore for most of the work with the custom soundfont but that is some way in the future yet.
umma gumma
ah, I had Walter Piston's book but lent it to some hippy about 20 years ago...never saw it again! grin
wiggy81
umma gumma wrote:
ah, I had Walter Piston's book but lent it to some hippy about 20 years ago...never saw it again! grin


Ah you gave a fellow like this...



An orchestration book? Lol. hmmm..... lol
umma gumma
hahaha!
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