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Jim's Bach Bouree Project Blog
Creating a Violin & Piano Duet
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (53 votes) 
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ABitRusty
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March 5, 2022 - 10:17 am
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The anticipation builds Jim!   the photo reminds me of the pre-game feeds youll get before sporting events!

funny on the washer too.  that wouldve been something to setup and start and first take has that in the background..😐   although...a possible exploration for sampling in the future as mouse pointed out!  or better yet..recieve a phone call.  on that note..unplug your phone if you havent started!

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 5, 2022 - 12:59 pm
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The sound of the washer in the background wasn't really what I was going for lol.

So I finished all the recording before lunch and I've been editing most of the afternoon. The only hiccups were the violin track in my ear buffering at an awkward moment on the very first take (!!) and somehow on one take I didn't start the audio recorder - still not sure how I managed that, but I had plenty of cover because I took 2 takes from each camera position.

Anyway, I've edited the almost final version together for your delectation below. The only remaining task is to export the violin and piano audio separately out of the video editor and import it into my DAW for final audio mixing & mastering. The audio editor in DaVinci Resolve is OK, but a dedicated audio editor is better.

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ABitRusty
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March 5, 2022 - 2:30 pm
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pro video Jim !   very impressed!   I was wondering about the audio tabe on davinci.  I figure a couple more releases and that thing will be a goto.  right now it seems more oriented toward dialog and stuff..not so much music.

  Youve done a wonderful job here.  i know youre not finished with the final version but hope the next one already in the works.   I get a kick outta these type projects!

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stringy
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Excellent Jim really pro, in playing, tone sound and video, one great job indeed.

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JohnG
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Very impressive, both the playing and the professional looking video! Thanks for not only sharing, but also many of the steps you've take to get to this point.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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March 5, 2022 - 11:45 pm
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@Jim Dunleavy -   

I can't imagine how you can make this any better! 
IT'S AMAZING! 
Really grand playing for this last video! 

I remember the first few video's and I love seeing how much you have benefited from the whole process.  

Really appreciate you let us watch! 

 

...curious to find out how you'll top it! 

- Emily

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 6, 2022 - 2:26 am
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Thanks guys, I'm pretty happy with it. There's a chance there'll be no easily discernible difference after I tweak the audio, but I love tinkering and it's worth a go. I've already started doing the basic mix in Cakewalk, so we'll see how it goes from here.

I've been practicing the parts for my next opus (the Ethel Smyth folk song thing) and I'm fine on the fiddle and flute parts, but the piano part is rock hard, so that's taking a bit of time to get right (I have plenty of that though!), so I might do a fiddle solo next, possibly Morrisons Jig, which I've been working on.

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ABitRusty
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March 6, 2022 - 2:33 am
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Jim said..."so I might do a fiddle solo next, possibly Morrisons Jig, which I've been working on."

sounds like a good one for a party Jim!  just sayin'

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 6, 2022 - 8:29 am
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ABitRusty said
Jim said..."so I might do a fiddle solo next, possibly Morrisons Jig, which I've been working on."

sounds like a good one for a party Jim!  just sayin'

  

Sounds like a plan. Can you have a party for just one tune? 

 

Anyway, I've done all the mucking about it's humanly possible to do on this project, so here it is: The Final Video!!

Here's some of the tweaks I did in Cakewalk:

-Added Sonitus Reverb (this is a decent quality and flexible reverb plugin)

Equalisation:

- Violin track attenuated the range 4-5kHz by about 5 db. This compensates for the lift the microphone gives (I believe this is meant to add a 'sheen' to vocals and is very common in small diaphragm condenser mics); it's not good for violin though, as this is just the region where you get a lot of scraping noise from the bow on the string.

-Piano track attenuated around 100Hz by about 1.5dB - this made it sound less 'boxy' (which I'm sure was down to the room acoustics).

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ELCBK
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@Jim Dunleavy -

I'm probably over-stepping the line here, but the honest truth is I feel the previous version sounded better than this last one. 

If no one else hears the difference, then I apologize and just chalk it up to my inexperience. 

Either version, it's a HUGE accomplishment! 

EXCELLENT WORK, Jim! 

Thank you so much, for sharing your inspiring progress throughout this endeavor! 

 

...btw, you can start a Party specifically for Morrison's, or you can start a general "Jig" Party - totally up to you. 

You can count me in! 

- Emily

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 7, 2022 - 3:04 am
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@ELCKB thanks Emily. How something sounds is always going to be a matter of personal taste (also depends on the equipment you're listening on of course) but I felt after testing it on my headphones and monitors that the final sound matched the original sound in the room better after mastering.

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ELCBK
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@Jim Dunleavy - 

Thanks, again, for putting up with me while I try to learn what I'm hearing and how to interpret it. (lol) 

I think I finally figured out what was bugging me. 

The overall quality of the music IS overall better in your final presentation, but feels dislocated from your video.  It's like when I've seen professional musicians playing outdoors, but can tell it was really recorded in a studio. 

Not sure if I'm explaining it very well - it's more of a directional/location in space thing. 

In your video prior to the final, I could watch you and could tell you were actually playing in that room by what I heard.  So, it seemed more natural to me - like I'm right there watching/listening while you play. 😊 

Is there any way to edit what you wanted, without losing sound localization? 

Or, you didn't want it?

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 7, 2022 - 4:33 am
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@ELCBK you've got me curious! Would you mind having a listen to this version and tell me what you think?

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ELCBK
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@Jim Dunleavy - 

https://media.tenor.com/images/17b0a39a3747546ca8aacc9d6cadeb8b/tenor.gif

...first of all, other than playing my instruments, appreciating a good home stereo system or live performance... I barely have a little experience adjusting an equalizer.  I don't use headphones and try to focus on general 1st impressions, which I know can be hard to do once I listen to something multiple times. 

I liked hearing less reverb in the last video, but felt you might have pushed your violin too far back into the room - with a veil/dullness over primarily the violin, but also the piano.  I understand wanting to lessen scratches or squeaks, but I hear a loss of your violin's beautiful "tonal color" (sorry for the catch-all phrase) in this last video - compared to what I hear in your "almost finished" video. 

I try to keep in mind things like: how do I expect a type of instrument to sound, e.g., student violin vs. hardanger fiddle or Stradivarius (or type of upright piano vs. a baby grand) - how would I expect it to sound in the video setting (outdoors, a small room, auditorium or Cathedral), and then where am I supposed to be viewing/listening from? 

So then, my next question is... if the video is meant to be believable - should volume change, along with change of instrument location, if the visual change in the video is sustained more than a couple seconds?  

 

Got curious about all this, myself - and I probably shouldn't be searching 'sound mixing' videos, because I have enough problems just dealing with bowing and intonation!  But, I did take a peek - saw just enough to understand why people pay sound engineers. 🤣 

How to ACTUALLY Set Instrument Levels in a Mix

Determining the Location of Instruments in the Mix

https://s.hdnux.com/photos/71/55/25/15127882/3/920x920.jpg

Anyway, think it's absolutely amazing to hear the differences in your last 3 videos! 

Makes me appreciate everything you've done - EVEN MORE! 

...and like you said, mostly boils down to personal taste.

Thanx, again! 

- Emily

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 8, 2022 - 3:39 am
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@ELCBK thanks for that detailed reply - it's very helpful.

You've hit the nail on the head when you talk about listening to the same thing multiple times. It's so easy to lose objectivity on the 50th hearing lol! 

The only difference in the very last 'test' video I posted is I swapped the reverb plugin back to the one in the 'almost finished' video. I was curious whether that was the main difference you were hearing (but now I'm guessing not).

Maybe I did overdo the equalisation, though it still sounds pretty bright on my monitors (though less so in my headphones), and I'll bear it in mind for my next video.

As far as changing the sound balance (eg increasing the level when an instrument gets a close-up shot), I think that's more appropriate to the movies where believing the scene is more important. In my video I just wanted a well balanced music track illustrated with video shots. 

Just one more thing: in the final final mix I raised the level of the piano; not sure if that's why you felt the violin was pushed back. It sounded right to me though (but see point one!).

Anyway, I appreciate the time and trouble you've taken to listen and comment on my mixes, so thanks.

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ELCBK
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March 10, 2022 - 12:32 am
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@Jim Dunleavy -

Thank YOU, I have learned so much from your blog! 

Adding volume to your piano was a great choice. 

Maybe I did overdo the equalisation, though it still sounds pretty bright on my monitors (though less so in my headphones), and I'll bear it in mind for my next video.

This (above) led me to more questions - I'll have to start a new thread, since everyone wants to remove some nasty noises a violin can make and they always appear at the worse moment. (lol) 

Isn't messing with equalization too general when you only have a few trouble spots? 

...you certainly only had a couple that stood out - NOTHING like an acoustic guitarist, they have a noise every time they run their fingers along a string! 

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 10, 2022 - 2:11 am
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@ELCBK  - I think it all depends what you're going for; you can go for a 'raw' close up type of sound or a refined 'concert hall' sound (where the noises are lost in the distance and acoustics of the hall), or anything in between. I was shooting for something in between.

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Gordon Shumway
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Good work, Jim!

Suzuki is a curious thing - it's a nice piece, but was a cello piece the only one Suzuki could find? He couldn't find a violin piece? And then look at the leap from that at the end of book 3 to [added: the Vivaldi and] the double concerto at the end of book 4. It's insane.

Like you, I found a dubious download (the alternative was to transpose the cello version, which was more trouble than it was worth): then I abandoned it when side-tracked by ABRSM material.

But you inspire me to find my download and edit and learn it.

Andrew

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Jim Dunleavy
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@Gordon Shumway  Thanks Andrew. Yes, I think the piece is so good it was well worth including as a violin piece; I like it better than any of the others in that book.

I actually looked up an original manuscript to try to get a definitive answer on the sharpened 6ths in the Gm section, but it was hopeless; the actual manuscript didn't have every flat and natural marked, so I just went with Suzuki's interpretation (which is the same as Yoyo Ma plays it, and that's good enough for me! lol).

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Gordon Shumway
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Tricky to find a good edition of it. It is possibly worth getting a full Baerenreiter edition of the cello suites and editing the Suzuki, although fingerings aren't guaranteed to be in the Baerenreiter (unless they have taken Manze's lead and got every editor to follow suit), but phrasings might be guaranteed (actually, they are not at all bad value for money - I'm tempted myself). I have a cheap (and nasty) edition which has the first two notes (and others) slurred to rationalise the up and down bowings.

I mention fingerings because I notice Suzuki wants us to play C on the A string with our 2nd finger, then jump to F# on the D string with our 2nd finger, and I distinctly remember professsor Fitzwilliam in a recent ELCBK video saying NEVER do that!

Andrew

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