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A couple of recordings

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by robert, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Robert, I am very glad that you act not angry on me, and treats it as constructive critique. With this prelude we sit in the same boat, so to say - that means I know that I have myself too lots to do to make my thing better...

    Sorry with that same chord played twice comment - I should call my ear doctor. After listening again, with score, I heard it not more. So excuse my critique regarding this, I was wrong.
    Concerning wrong notes (not slips) I meant the A-part after the B-part, 3rd bar 2nd half (probably only right hand notes), and the simliar place near the end, I think the 10th last bar, second half.

    I like your strong volume in the second A-part, but maybe it could be speed-up too (even if it is labeled as primo tempo in my score, but Rach itself plays the second A-part faster than the first one). That sound even more "angry".

    You played it from memory after a long time again? I cannot do that! After memorizing a half year ago, I tried to play it lately again, and I not only needed the score again, I had also trouble to find the right notes with score (crazy those coding with 2 systems per hand, 4 systems together, isn't it?).
     
  2. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Rachmaninov himself plays it increidble fast and I have one of his recordings too. Many others do not as for example Ashkenazy who's version is the slowest I have heard.

    I did not play it entirely from memory but used the score for the B-part as support. I have refreshed this piece a couple of weeks and am not in any way a magic memorizer ;). My brain needs to be refreshed from time to time.
     
  3. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Just replaced Invention no.8. Kind of happy with it :D.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, definitely better, much more supple, relaxed and coordinated.

    The sound is very clear and transparent, compared to my recordings which always sound rather muffled. Do you have the lid open or closed ? Where do you place the Edirol ? I wonder if the R-9 has has better mics than the R1.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That one really sounds perfect. Good job!
     
  6. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks.

    Lid closed. I place mr. Edirol about 5-6 meters behind my back and sample directly to mp in 224 kbps (pretty damped living room). Make sure it does not clip. No idea about the mics. Some tricks with Audacity as below:
    - Apply the FFT filter to take away the bass about -6 db, cut at about 12 kHz.
    - Gain to have everything - 3db from clip
    - Apply GVerb with room size of about 150 meters, reverb time of 3 seconds, damping at about 0.75, Input bandwidth 0.75, Dry signal at 0 db, Early reflection at about -15 db and Tail level at about -19 db.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Rats, can't do that. I'm with my back against the music book case. Actually haven't got that much space on any side :(

    Hm, taking out bass. Worth a try though in my case I fear it might diminish the character.

    Whoa, 224 kbps sampling ! I wonder if that makes it sound clearer too, need to try that out. But did we not lay down a rule that it should be between 128 and 190 ?

    But to get back on topic, yes that Invention 8 is well-nigh perfect now.
     
  8. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Have the same opinion on Invention 8 - much better now, relaxed and good tone.

    The Inventions can be seen as 2voice fugues, and Bach gives both voices the same importance. So one can do alot if one tries to let the melody flow sound the same way (regarding dynamics AND articulation), regardless in which hand the melody is. I think this is a life long task to get better in that, for everyone, not only for the multivoiced fugues, but too for those 2-voice Inventions.
     
  9. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes and it is a very good exercise to vary the articulation between hands. Rather difficult even in these rather easy Inventions.

    I just put up a new version of the Ravel prelude. So now Chris, I think I got everything right. Did I?
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yessir. After close listening, I think I was mistaken about bar 6.

    It sounds far more poised now and this time reminded me much of Ma Mere l'Oye.
    You start beautifully with the Ralenti but again the last two chords are too assertive and literal. I think they should sort of dissolve in the air.

    Apart from that minor detail, it would be quite perfect.
     
  11. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks. It was in my plan to hit them as light as possible but it came out a bit to harsh anyway. Unless I get another idea of interpretation, I leave it like this.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Edirol Piano Sound

    Hello Robert,

    You do a fine job of piano playing. Bravo to you!

    Let's see if we can do something to help with the sound your Edirol is producing, shall we?


    Regardless of how realistic sounding any piano module is, there is a characteristic (un)quality that is an obvious "tip off" to its electronic origin. Do you know what that is? It is the manner in which the lowest notes are panned towards the left channel and the high notes are panned towards the right channel.

    Of course, that is the characteristic quality the pianist hears when he/she sits down at the keyboard and begins to play. However, when grand pianos are recorded in a concert venue, their keyboards are turned perpendicular to the audience!

    The audience members NEVER hear the high notes of a concert grand piano originating from stage right! (That is to say, not unless they are unfortunately seated in the very first row at the far LEFT of the auditorium!) In fact, the characteristic grand piano's shape of its case forces the shorter strings to speak from the left of center, as perceived by the audience.

    In addition, electronic pianos' sounds are panned to the extremes -- hard left to hard right, with the image of the sound varying according to key position. This extreme amount of panning simply does not exist in the concert venue. If you have mixing capabilities, it is better to reverse the panning, and keep the overall level of panning closer to the middle, with the high notes going somewhat to the left, and the lowest notes going somewhat to the right.


    The second characteristic that wrecks the sound of a recorded electronic piano/module is the nature of the reverberation pattern. Cheap pianos have cheap reverb add-ons! Now, what do I mean by this? Cheap reverb units allow for zero time to accrue before the reverberation pattern begins to commence. Restated, the recorded sound would have to travel FASTER than the speed of sound to achieve what you are hearing from these units.

    A certain amount of time must transpire for the original sound to travel to the walls, ceiling, floor, etc, -- BEFORE their reflections can bounce into the listeners' ears. Rather, cheap reverb units have instantaneous echo -- and plenty of it!! Many cheap reverbs make no corrections for sound absorption versus distance, versus wood/cloth/concrete reflecting surfaces.

    If you wish to provide palpable hall or room sound to your recordings, try to see if there is an adjustable time delay from the onset of the sound until the reverb kicks in. The better units have a certain amount of "bloom" to their reverberation tails. Best yet, are the new convolution reverbs that are available as plug-ins to computer programs. They are very CPU intensive, however, but can generate a far more palpable sound to your finished product.

    Enough of my rambling on this subject. I hope you found it somewhat enlightening.

    Cheers,

    Joe <jcfeli>
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    My Mistake: Wrongly though Edirol was a piano module

    Hello Robert,

    I mistakenly assumed the Edirol unit you used was an electronic piano module rather than a recording device. My apologies to you; pleas pardon my faux pas. The comments I made in my 28th August thread are still valid for electronic/sampled pianos regarding panning and reverberation.

    Sincerely,

    Joe <jcfeli>
     
  14. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    No problems. I never saw the other post as the stupid double login behvaiour in this forum prevents me from see new posts. I really must look into this problem.
     
  15. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    So, now I have finally re-recorded all recordings. I actually put up a new with Peterson-Berger teh 22:th but forgot to post anything about it :?. Last (couple of minutes ago), I put up a new version of the Rach prelude.
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Wow! I just listened to the Rach. Great job. Much better on the top notes.
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes both are definitely better now.

    The P-B sounds more relaxed than the previous. Only thing is the two rirtardandi before the main theme resumes, these seem a bit peculiar the way you distribute the note values. But perhaps it's written like that, I do not know the piece.

    The Rach is also more convincing than before. But you know I am a nitpicker. I spotted some reading mistakes and set out to note them all down:

    bar 6 LH chord on 2nd beat: d should be d# (same miostake
    bar 6 RH chord on 2nd half of 3rd beat d# should be c#
    bar 12 last LH chord is wrong

    But stopped doing that in the Agitato and afterwards, too many dodgy notes of which I am unsure whether they are slips or reading mistakes. The big climax in bars 37-44 is better than the previous, but still sounds a but underpowered. The chords that connect to the reprise (bars 44-45) are played too fast, I think these should have a rit. leading to the Tempo I. There seem to be many wrong notes in the chords in the final page, it still sounds a bit sloppy.

    My overall impression is you need to be more patient with the music - use more flexible tempi, and take your time over important transitions and climaxes. Even from the start, it sounds a bit hurried (more like Andante than Lento).
     
  18. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I tried to accent them better this time. Thanks.
     
  19. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I re-read the score and yes, it is.
    I know you are and that is why you run the Music Board and doing it great as well ;).

    And I pretty much was sure this was coming as the bar 6 differes between editions. Just look at the sheetmusicarchive.net and you will probably notice differences between editions. Not only these bars but look at the bass chords at the repeating A-part. In one of the editions, it is played with 4-finger chords on both hands (like I believe it should) while in the other edition, it is straigt octaves with both hands.

    But back to bar 6. I tried to listen to what Rachmaninov himself does on this bar and it is not easy to hear. Listen to his version at an mp3 from http://classic.chubrik.ru/Rachmaninov/ (blackest site on the net). I am not sure whether he is flatening the d:s (four of them, two in each hand) or playing them sharp. One of the versions at SMA flatens the d:s and I also consulted my piano teacher who said he always played them flat.

    About bar 12 LH. It is a slip, I know it should be D#-F#-B#.

    I slip a lot there.
    I noticed when I got the time that my version is fast. Only 3:30 (3:13 from first to last chord). Ashkenazy's is 4:30 (too slow in my opinion) but Rachmaninov's himself is 3:38 (3:30 from first to last chord) so we play them a bit alike at least while his Agitato is very fast. The repeating A-part is also a LOT faster than the beginning. Also, he plays the last chord very fast after the second last. Didn't notice that until now.

    The last part is rather sloppy but this version was still the best of my takes. Cannot make too many as I get rather tired playing it. I will try to improve as time goes. Could be a nice piece to throw off sometime and I know it more or less by heart already.
    Thanks for taking the time!
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ah right. I have an old Augener edition which is probably not very authoritative, it says "Revised, phrased and fingered by O. Thümer". But, I compared with the sheetmusicarchive.net version, and they seem exactly the same, certainly so in bar 6. So if that is what you are using, you still may want to look into that.

    Interesting about the bass chords in the reprise. Surely only the first in each bar should be a 4-finger chords and the other two straight octaves ? Or do you refer specifically to bar 52 ?
     

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