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Do look up the Studio Two work of John Keating and give him a listen. I think there are only two "Space Experience" albums. He doesn't so much do classical, more popular and own compositions. "Prelude to Earthrise" is a superb track.
Other than that Isao Tomita is simply a favourite for all time. Even my Mum enjoyed hearing his "Pictures at an Exhibition". (Eventually! Although she loved "Bydlo" from the first time, rushing into my room asking, "Who these chanting monks?")
I am un-acquainted with any chosen ear furniture for Keating or Tomita, sorry, I can't help you there.
When it comes to playing orchestral music on 1 or more keyboards, we're still limited to the # keys we can reach with 2 hands. Some of the time we'd need to move a note to the next higher/ lower octave to be within reach of a hand.
And a piece may even be re-arranged for 4-hand piano. Person A can play the higher parts (flute, violin & viola) while Person B can do the lower parts (cello & bass) so all the notes are not lost.
About 8 years ago, I had an old Roland keyboard with 76 keys. The piano sound was in between "piano" & "sine wave". The 1 thing I like about the keyboard is that it has 3 of the same sockets at the back for the soft, sostenuto & sustain so I could plug in 3 cheap generic pedals instead of having to order a pedal unit that is specific to that model.
Today I have a much better Yamaha keyboard. I'd use the piano sound for the same pieces. I wasn't able to get a genuine piano sound off the Roland although the harpsichord & organ wasn't too bad. I decided to play 2 pieces with an e-piano sound like a synthesizer.
The top line of Invention #8 was played in a higher octave to give a more distinctive sound.
Last edited by thepianoplayer416; 12/17/2010:14 AM.
Here's just another recording I made of Bach's Organ Fantasy (without the fugue for now) in Cm, BWV 537.
I've used only a single synth, the Novation Peak and played through a XKey Air 37 keyboard. The Novation Peak is a hybrid synth: it uses digital oscillators through a high sample-rate FPGA source (this solves the aliasing problem which many wavetable and digital synths have) and everything else is analog: the filters, the amplifier, the distortion effect. (Well, there's wonderful chorus, delay and reverb that are digital) With only a few tiny exceptions the entire fantasy is 4-voice, so each voice has been recorded separately by using a separate synth timbre programmed by me on the Peak. No external effects used, except for a slight bass-boost EQ on the bass voice in Logic Pro X.
As previously discussed here, I've always been fascinated by the cult classic "Switched On Bach" by Wendy Carlos where she performs Bach on various Moog synths, so this recording is another tribute by me to the wonderful SOB that served as inspiration
CyberGene: what you did is well beyond simply playing the same notes in a random voice on a casiotone. That was purposeful and musical; and most importantly I believe would make the composer extremely happy (particularly since he was fond of playing the same thing over multiple instruments...)
I already commented on YouTube, but I really liked it! If I have any critical feedback it's that I enjoyed the previous video showing you playing the synths more than just showing the sheet music.
And I'm still serious, I'd buy an album/throw money at you on patreon if you were to make an album of this
And indeed, my own biggest regret is that I wanted it to be a video of me performing it, however it's an overdub of 4 separate voices because the Novation Peak isn't multitimbral and even if it was it would be difficult to play all the 4 voices simultaneously so that the notes are routed to their corresponding timbre... Besides, it turned out it's very difficult to play separately the 4 voices, so that they are in sync 😳 And I ultimately had to quantize MIDI notes that were off... And finally, I still have all four video takes but it turns with the free iMovie software one can overlap only two videos. I'll have to search for a video software for Mac (besides Final Cut Pro which is too expensive).
Anyway, I think maybe the best way to do this with video would have been to just play the keyboard part with a single timbre polyphonically in a single video take, but record through MIDI and then to split the voices in Logic Pro and re-render with the corresponding synth voices.
I'm not sure I will make so many of those to have for an album. On the other hand I think there are many great Bach organ pieces that are so beautiful, yet are very underrepresented since organ pieces are difficult to arrange for a piano because of the pedal parts and a few people listen to a lot of organ music and so this is a great opportunity for creative synth arrangements
A bit OT, but I use Mac video software as one of my primary job functions right now (making technical demo videos.) The two options I'd suggest you look at are Camtasia and Screenflow. I'm personally partial to Camtasia, I prefer the interface. My coworker loves Screenflow (which is Mac only). It does have some nice transitions and animations, but I find it a bit harder to use, so I do most of my work in Camtasia though since my coworker uses Screenflow I have both so I can work on his stuff too.
Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545, R. Schumann Fantasy Dance, Joplin The Chrysanthemum Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO, Piano de Voyage
Thanks, Chrispy, I’ll check them. In the meantime I found a workaround on how to create a split-screen video in iMovie with more than 2 videos although it’s rather PITA: say you want to split the screen in 4 equal rectangles with 4 separate takes running simultaneously, then you first render the first two videos that you split in the top half to the left and right and export the video, you repeat that with the other two videos in the bottom half and finally you import these two videos, crop them and split them so that you end up with the 4-video split... Yeah...
Many of the interpretations here leave a lot to desire; concentrating on the sound and not the expression, lack of adequate technique . . .
In the past, I was a keen follower of all things synthesizer related, but I lost interest and now I am a piano guy. I do not even enjoy organ playings even if the player is a master on it (of course, with a few exceptions).
I agree the interpretations were not that exciting; I make a parallel with a beginner playing the piano (me included), he/she plays the right notes right but the expression part still needs to be honed. I suppose CG and others are at this stage (no offence intended). OR.... Maybe synths are just not good fits for classical music.
TBH, I have some Vangelis, Kitaro and Tomita CDs. I like the music but, from auditive memory (it has been quite a while since I last listened to them), I did find them somewhat dull because of the synthesizers. (EDIT: yeeah, I know, synths have improved a lot - or not - since, but still...)