beautifully played! Scott if I may ask, what tools do you use to do your audio recording? Thank you!
Thank you @Kristeta. Really appreciate the positive feedback!
You asked “[W]hat tools do you use to do your audio recording?”
I use a MacBook Pro and Apple’s Logic Pro to record.
I play a Roland RD-2000, a wonderful instrument on its own–with great keyboard action. Of late it’s become a rather pricey MIDI controller. I have several virtual pianos. The one you hear on “Nightfall” is the VSL [Vienna Symphonic Library] Synchron Concert D-274 (Full Library). It’s beautifully sampled from a Steinway D-274. It’s expensive (around $625.00), but, wow, what sounds are available. With the ability to position its 11 microphones however you wish, the ability to shape sounds is virtually endless.
Here are a couple of examples. The insets show the microphone placements. The second is classical, but it gives you an idea of the range of the VST (or Apple AU) with a MIDI controller. Enjoy!
Hi Scott and sorry for the late reply. I like this version better; it’s a really haunting mood that I think you captured well.
I went back to listen again to the Charlie Haden/John Taylor version; you may want to consider using some of Taylor’s diminished, augmented, and sus chords which I think add to the mood. I spent about a half hour trying to figure out what they were doing for the first 8 bars and I think I got somewhat close (attached). I didn’t bother with a careful notation of the rhythm but I did try and include key tension notes and inner voices that resonated with me!
Nightfall.pdf (18.3 KB)
Thanks for your comments and especially for the PDF file. I’ve added it to my study/practice folder, along with your other suggestions.
This sort of interchange adds another dimension to how PianoGroove can work to improve our skill sets.
There are parts of Taylor’s version that I don’t like as well as Rubalcaba’s, but there are others that just soar harmonically. You’ve got me listening more closely to get ideas. Thanks!
Last October, I posted a version of Charlie Hayden’s “Nightfall.” I revisited it and added an ending. This take is recorded using Garritan’s Yamaha CFX Concert Grand virtual piano, sampled from the piano in Abbey Road’s Studio One. Enjoy!!
Adjust the volume.
Hey Scott, that was great! It’s really fun to follow how you’ve put it together.
Technical comment: perhaps like you, I have more VSTs than I know what to do with, including the Garritan. But I didn’t like the default settings–there’s just too much reverb for my taste. (Apparently the studio they recorded it in is a fairly large room and they used ambient mikes). I searched around for advice and came across a long thread on pianoworld, where everyone seems to love the Garritan, but haven’t had the energy yet to try custom settings.
Happy new year!
Thanks @gregb! And Happy New Year to you.
With regard to Garritan, I don’t like the reverb either. It’s nearly impossible to dial it down. I can say that if it’s used in a group environment–like play-alongs or your own created tracks–it’s not so noticeable. You might play around with all the presets in Classic, Contemporary, and Player as well to see if something grabs you.
You also might find this comparison video of use. It’s a comparison of the Garritan with the VSL CFX. I have the VSL D-274 (Steinway) Full-library plugin. and I can tell you that it’s amazing. As he says, the VSL product is like one wants to create the sense that you’re listening to a real acoustic instrument.
Hope this gives you something of interest.
I’ve been working on Jobim’s “Insensatez.” Here’s a rough draft. (Maybe first take would be more appropriate, but I come from an English professor’s background.) Enjoy!
Hey Scott that was great! You’ve got the latin groove down really well, and the bass line and comping pattern sounds perfect. Two minor suggestions:
- Try the melody an octave down. The different sound you have for the melody track will help it stand out from the comping even if they’re in the same register.
- You might try some more sparse voicings with fourths and alterations. Right now the harmony sounds correct but a little straight. I think alterations, fewer notes, and the use of fourths instead of thirds will make the comping more delicate and graceful.
Thanks @gregb for listening and for your suggestions. Much appreciated. Like I said, this is a rough take. I was trying to get comfortable with a two-handed rhythmic feel of the tune, as well as the chord changes. More to come.
I loved Hayden’s arrangement so much I had to skip ahead and learn it!
Here’s Autumn Leaves ballad.
Very nice John! Great touch and I loved your fill around the 1:15 mark!
That was great, John! So much so that I went looking for Hayden’s arrangement, and discovered he put it up 5 years ago–he still loves the #11 sound!
And, what Celia said–I thought you did nice job of adding fills here and there.
A couple comments about the arrangement itself and something to consider…
- In addition to the #11 sound, Hayden often uses movement around the 5th over a minor tonic chord. When it goes up (as in bar 15), I’ve heard it described as the “James Bond” movement, which makes it impossible for me to not think about Sean Connery (or Daniel Craig) now every time I hear it!
- At bar 25, there’s an Am7(b5); Hayden (and you) added a raised 9th (B natural) which sounds great.
- The previous chord could also be described as CmMaj7/A; in my opinion that minor-major sound adds to the mood of a minor ballad. You might consider using it in other places, e.g. an F# occasionally when resolving to the tonic Gm.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks. Yeah I must admit I love that #11 sound too!
I’ll definitely try out some of those suggestions you mentioned on my next play through.
Very nicely done! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing more. If I might ask, what piano are you using?
Thanks for sharing @John_A and great job learning the arrangement
It could be a nice exercise to pick another version that you like on Spotify or YouTube and spend a good amount of time transcribing little parts or perhaps even emulating the entire performance.
We can then play multiple choruses of the same tune, the first chorus in the PianoGroove tutorial style, then moving into another style that you like.
Then it’s a fun challenge to try to incorporate both styles into the same chorus, mixing and matching the different elements so that we are playing more spontaneously and ‘in the moment’.
This does take time but remember we are learning these tunes for all of our lives. I find I am constantly tweaking and enhancing my arrangements as I learn new theory and discover new recordings for inspiration etc… it’s a fun and rewarding process!
It’s actually a Kontakt vst called “Piano In Blue”
"Cinesamples Piano In Blue captures the historic sound of the very same Steinway D Concert Grand Piano recorded at Columbia Records for Miles Davis’ “Kind Of Blue,” and Glenn Gould’s “Goldberg Variations.”
They had me at Kind Of Blue!!
(My keyboard is a Korg Kross 88)
Thanks for the suggestion @Hayden . There are an abundance of great recordings to choose from too. Learning different styles should help me “discover” my own sound.
I’m about to start my third year with pianogroove. It’s been a great site and my playing has improved tremendously with the help of Tuomo’s courses and the instructional videos from all the teachers here. Recently I’ve really appreciated Hayden’s videos on the music of Beegie Adair, because that is the music I’d most like to emulate. I must have watched his video on “When I fall in love” a dozen times before being able to follow and reproduce the song. I’m now listening to her music on youtube, trying to reproduce the II V Is that she uses in so many different forms to fill in the spaces in the music and apply it to other tunes I play.
Absolutely love this George! I have been working on this as well…do not have it down like you do though! Thanks for sharing.
Would love you to share some of your thoughts for the II V s that she uses for fills. Perhaps you could share those thoughts in the Beegie Adair thread?