Moonlighting

No, I haven’t gotten all efficient on you. This track didn’t take nearly as long as the last. For starters, it only has two instruments. If you remember for my last entry, the concept for the new CD and the various tracks therein are beginning to take shape. As mentioned, the second track I’m working on (not necessarily the second track in order on the CD) is an arrangement of the hymn My Jesus I Love Thee.

I started with the triplet arpeggios from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (which is in C#m), and modulate to E major after the introduction (which matches Beethoven’s original). All along I knew that this song needed a little more than just solo piano. At first I thought is was a soft pad. So, I spent quite a bit of time rummaging through my various samples and soundfonts (I’m a sample junkie – I admit it), and found what I thought was the perfect pad. It was a very thick and mellow string pad with a nice long fade-in and release.

Unfortunately, after spending an evening recording a tweaking the pad, I didn’t like it. It was too thick and pervasive, and I didn’t think that another patch would fix it. It was just wrong for the piece.

Then, a few nights ago while lying bed trying to fall asleep (ever notice that the harder you try to fall asleep, the harder it is to actually do so?) it hit me. My recent recording to function as a backing track for my daughter used solo piano and cello. The results are beautiful, and I thought that might do the trick here, as well.

Last night I laid down the track, and I think I’m in love. Seriously, it’s the perfect combination. I spent some time playing with reverb and EQ before bed, but didn’t come up with a combination that I was really happy with. I’m also an IR junkie, so I have quite a few to audition before I give up.

Another complication is that I was unhappy with the Equinox piano soundfont for this application – the notes were somewhat unclear, like double hammer strikes on the G#, which appears quite a bit in the first half of this piece.

I auditioned the rest of my piano samples and decided that the NS Piano produced the best results. However, the NS Piano is by no means a dry sample, so I don’t really need to add much more reverb. The Florestan Cello, on the other hand, is completely dry, and sounds great just dripping with reverb.

I think what I will do is apply a separate reverb to the cello channel, and then a second reverb to the output to tie everything together. The other option is to put the reverb on a sub and send varying levels from the two tracks until they balance nicely.

Hopefully I’ll have the results posted by the end of the weekend. Of course, I don’t want to miss the game of the season this Sunday, either… (and I have a wedding on Saturday to play for).

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