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Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain on synthesizers - my most challenging piece yet
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Quantum7's Avatar
Post classical music synth arrangements here (Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain)

Post your favorite synth arrangements of classical music here. Your own arrangements or others (Wendy Carlos, Tomita, etc.)

Rearranging classical music on synthesizer over the years has been absolutely the best learning experience in music thus far in my 35 year of writing electronic music. For those of you who, like myself, did not have the privilege of having a formal music education, thus had to learn everything yourself over the years, I highly recommend getting the sheet music, MIDI file, etc., and breakdown track by track your favorite classical piece. IMO you are bound to learn something...and be simply amazed just how gifted the "Greats" were in music composition. Recreating these pieces has been a very humbling and musically-spiritual experience.

Synthesizers used:

1. Baloran The River
2. Modal 002
3. Oberheim OB-8
4. Sequential OB-6
5. Moog Subsequent 37
6. Sequential Prophet 12

This was about 75 hours of work in the past several weeks and definitely the most challenging classical music synthesizer cover I've done to date. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I had creating it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2n5q1xrxaA
Attached Thumbnails
Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain on synthesizers - my most challenging piece yet-thumb2.jpg  

Last edited by Quantum7; 2 weeks ago at 07:37 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

(4 minutes in) So well made, gorgeous sounds!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Very tastefully done.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Great job, Sean - nice mix of emulation of acoustic sounds, but also letting the synths sound like synths (dig some of the sweeps and attack envelopes)!

Good mix, too.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
< moderator message - ok, cool topic. I'll keep this thread here for now, in the hope there's going to be more contributions to it. >
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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syntonica's Avatar
You are so Modést! I'm sure Rimsky-Korsakov is tearing up his opus on orchestration right now.

(That means, Well done!)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Forbidden Planet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
Yeah, I know this isn't the music section, but I would like to start a "Classical Music performed on synthesizer" sticky thread if the Mods are OK with it. Rearranging classical music on synthesizer over the years has been absolutely the best learning experience in music thus far in my 35 year of writing electronic music. For those of you who, like myself, did not have the privilege of having a formal music education, thus had to learn everything yourself over the years, I highly recommend getting the sheet music, MIDI file, etc., and breakdown track by track your favorite classical piece. IMO you are bound to learn something...and be simply amazed just how gifted the "Greats" were in music composition. Recreating these pieces has been a very humbling and musically-spiritual experience.

Synthesizers used:

1. Baloran The River
2. Modal 002
3. Oberheim OB-8
4. Sequential OB-6
5. Moog Subsequent 37
6. Sequential Prophet 12

This was about 75 hours of work in the past several weeks and definitely the most challenging classical music synthesizer cover I've done to date. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I had creating it. ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2n5q1xrxaA
Well done, which program did you feed the score into? ( assuming it is all midi).

Always liked Mussorgsky’s own orchestration better, it is rawer and closer to the subject matter in that respect, and find that your take on Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestation works best when it is the most obvious that it is a new instrumentation. Especially the lower register instruments sound great, fittingly dark and moody.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
vlz
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vlz's Avatar
Do you work from the orchestral score?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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lost_the_peace's Avatar
 

Epic - my favourite so far!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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flat's Avatar
Playing in my workshop whilst working. Spurred me on!!

Very impressive. Gargantuan effort.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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SkyWriter's Avatar
Good choice. I always wanted to do Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. Of the classical composers, I love the Romantic's the most.

I enjoyed your arrangement very much! I prefer the traditional voicing you've emulated. Unfortunately, between my the iPad, youtube, and the BT headphones I have to wear ATM, the dynamic range suffered. It's the same on the original piece. Stupid tech convenience. Good work! :-)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Quantum7's Avatar
Thank you all! Every classical music synth cover piece I do is approached differently depending on the difficulty, or on how familiar I am already with it. I use my ears, sheet music, midi, and even a conductor friend of mine has helped me...whatever I need to get as close as possible to how it is intended to be performed. MIDI tracks have helped when needed, but they are ALWAYS inaccurate....at least the ones I have found. I have found that my own ears and the actual score have been the best help.

The tempo is obviously very important. I always turn on the tempo track in Cubase and match my reference track via the particular time signature as close as humanly possible. That alone on this particular piece took over an hour and I used a 4/4 signature on the Cubase arrangement window grid. (see attached photo for the tempo track on this piece).

Most of the time I try to create synth patches that at least somewhat mimic the particular orchestral instruments I am replacing with the synth sounds, but will usually edit the patches to change the particular technique of the instruments, especially with string marcato, stacacato. spiccato, using legato, vibrato, intensities from pianisimo to forte, etc., etc., etc. I also keep trying out different sound textures, rerecording and replacing over and over until I'm happy on how they all blend. It's all trial and error until I get it all right.

Volume automation is SUPER important! Just as a real orchestra goes up and down in volume intensity, so do my synth tracks. EVER single track gets volume automation (and some panning automation for ear candy)

Anyway, it's a labor of love, as I only made $200 on my YT channel last year. Woo whoo!!! LOL At this stage in my life where I am blessed to not have to write music to eat anymore, just having people enjoy my work is all that matters.
Attached Thumbnails
Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain on synthesizers - my most challenging piece yet-arrangement-window.jpg   Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain on synthesizers - my most challenging piece yet-tempo-track.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: zip photos.zip (932.5 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by Quantum7; 3 weeks ago at 10:58 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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kpatz's Avatar
Very nice sounds, arrangement, and performance. Tomita would be proud.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Congratz on the piece, I enjoyed analyzing it. From my limited perspective, it definitely has that Wendy Carlos / Tomita aspect to it, with each synth patch presenting itself on stage in a very nicely choreographed stream. I whole heartedly agree that volume dynamics are super important. That does it. After this post, I'm going to finally order that TEC breath controller I've been meaning to get for awhile.

I also went on your YT channel to check out some of your other compositions. Venus still remains my favorite of all. Holst did something magical with The Planets.

Sean, I really hope we get a lot of user contributions to this thread. Classical music and synth orchestration go great together, the best! Well, second best.

Soundtrack synth orchestration is the bestest.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Head
 
STRATOSFEAR's Avatar
 

A masterpiece..
Great YouTube channel also
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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becks bolero's Avatar
holy hell, that must have been a lot of work!!

fantastic sounds, lots of dynamics, sounds amazing
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
Thank you all! Every classical music synth cover piece I do is approached differently depending on the difficulty, or on how familiar I am already with it. I use my ears, sheet music, midi, and even a conductor friend of mine has helped me...whatever I need to get as close as possible to how it is intended to be performed. MIDI tracks have helped when needed, but they are ALWAYS inaccurate....at least the ones I have found. I have found that my own ears and the actual score have been the best help.

The tempo is obviously very important. I always turn on the tempo track in Cubase and match my reference track via the particular time signature as close as humanly possible. That alone on this particular piece took over an hour and I used a 4/4 signature on the Cubase arrangement window grid. (see attached photo for the tempo track on this piece).

Most of the time I try to create synth patches that at least somewhat mimic the particular orchestral instruments I am replacing with the synth sounds, but will usually edit the patches to change the particular technique of the instruments, especially with string marcato, stacacato. spiccato, using legato, vibrato, intensities from pianisimo to forte, etc., etc., etc. I also keep trying out different sound textures, rerecording and replacing over and over until I'm happy on how they all blend. It's all trial and error until I get it all right.

Volume automation is SUPER important! Just as a real orchestra goes up and down in volume intensity, so do my synth tracks. EVER single track gets volume automation (and some panning automation for ear candy)

Anyway, it's a labor of love, as I only made $200 on my YT channel last year. Woo whoo!!! LOL At this stage in my life where I am blessed to not have to write music to eat anymore, just having people enjoy my work is all that matters.
Thanks for this great arrangement.

I'm very curious of your workflow.

How do you create the tempo map?
Are you using automatic tempo detection (Project -> Tempo Detection)?
Or do you tap the tempo manually?

I always struggle with this topic, hence the questions.

Is the whole piece in 4/4?

best regards
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
W o n d e r f u l
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

That is nothing if not extreme dedication - great stuff, man!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Behrmoog View Post
Thanks for this great arrangement.

I'm very curious of your workflow.

How do you create the tempo map?
Are you using automatic tempo detection (Project -> Tempo Detection)?
Or do you tap the tempo manually?

I always struggle with this topic, hence the questions.

Is the whole piece in 4/4?

best regards
You are welcome. No tempo tapping, it is all manually done with my ears. What I did with this piece was use a 4/4 time signature and just start slowly going through the entire piece to match the reference recording of the track, manually adjusting the tempo (listening with the click) until it was entirely matched from around 40 bpm to over 150 bpm depending on the sections. It took me over an hour to do that on this particular track, but by doing this it gives me an accurate 4/4 grid to use as my guide to arrange the piece with near spot-on accuracy with my reference recording.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
That is nothing if not extreme dedication - great stuff, man!
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogue86 View Post
W o n d e r f u l
Quote:
Originally Posted by STRATOSFEAR View Post
A masterpiece..
Great YouTube channel also
Quote:
Originally Posted by becks bolero View Post
holy hell, that must have been a lot of work!!
fantastic sounds, lots of dynamics, sounds amazing
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
Very nice sounds, arrangement, and performance. Tomita would be proud.
Thanks!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psionic11 View Post
Congratz on the piece, I enjoyed analyzing it. From my limited perspective, it definitely has that Wendy Carlos / Tomita aspect to it, with each synth patch presenting itself on stage in a very nicely choreographed stream. I whole heartedly agree that volume dynamics are super important. That does it. After this post, I'm going to finally order that TEC breath controller I've been meaning to get for awhile.

I also went on your YT channel to check out some of your other compositions. Venus still remains my favorite of all. Holst did something magical with The Planets.

Sean, I really hope we get a lot of user contributions to this thread. Classical music and synth orchestration go great together, the best! Well, second best.

Soundtrack synth orchestration is the bestest.
Thanks! Yeah, the Holst stuff is also fun to do. Mars and Jupiter were especially challenging. I'm hoping to eventually do the entire "Planets" suite and sell it as an album.

Since I am going to try and keep this thread going with any and all classical music synthesizer rearrangements, here are my 2 Holst Planets tracks:



Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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Quantum7's Avatar
I've always loved Tomita's classical music synth work.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
vlz
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vlz's Avatar
Not exactly an arrangement, but a performance of Bach's first Prelude of the Well-Tempered Clavier.
I've done other preludes and fugues on five-octave synths, but thought it'd be fun to try to do it on a three octave keyboard. The transpose button allowed to shift range seamlessly.

I programmed the synth carefully so I could use legato playing to shape the timbre. The Poly D is a gorgeous little paraphonic machine.

Old 2 days ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
denstrow's Avatar
Impressive!
Old 2 days ago
  #27
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
Impressive!
Thanks!
Old 2 days ago
  #28
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lovekrafty's Avatar
Outstanding, totally impressed
Feels like I should have a bowler hat and one eyelash.
Wendy would be proud.

Great work
Old 2 days ago
  #29
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekrafty View Post
Outstanding, totally impressed
Feels like I should have a bowler hat and one eyelash.
Wendy would be proud.

Great work
Thanks!
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