Muted strings vs. sul tastoorchestration
Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:29 PM
I wanted to ask a question if there are any composers /orchestrators here.
I can't find an orchestration forum where I could ask..
I have a cue for strings where the first half is pp muted (con sordino) and then they turn to f normal (senza sord.).
This cannot be performed live since there is no time at all for the strings to remove their mutes.
i wanted to ask this: if I use "sul tasto" instead of con sordino, would it be almost the same sound?
I know what each technique does (I have orchestration books), but i wonder if they resemble in the sound somehow.
I have listened to passages for both techniques but i can't really decide.
the other alternative of course is for the cue to be recorded in 2 takes..
Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:06 AM
"Sul tasto" gives you a round, somewhat more hollow sound (even more so if you ask them to play "flautando", which is often the sound we composers really want when we write "sul tasto"!"), regular mutes give a slightly more brittle softness. Optionally, you could ask for wooden mutes (aka. "Shostakovich mutes"). What these do, is give you a muted sound that is less edgy, less metallic.
If your 'f' later on MUST be brilliant and truly loud, and it isn't feasable to have your players switch stand by stand, I'd opt for the following instruction to be given: "Sul tasto, quasi con sordino". They'll know what you want.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:22 AM
In addition, there is not enought time to remove mutes stand by stand.
the cue is 1 minute. 0.00-0.40 approx. is muted and the rest is non muted.
it shouldn't sound briliant in the non muted part (after all it's for a death scene), but I really liked the change from muted to non muted..
I thought of sul tasto because I saw James Newton Howards' prince of tides score, and in some soft passages (eg. in the beginning of the titles ) he uses sul tasto, and I believe he used it as a substitute for con sordino. (he couldn't use con sordino as he wanted the strings unmuted right away)
hmmm.. maybe the solution you say (sul tasto, quasi con sordino) is the best ..
by the way, I don't know if you or anyone else use symphobia .
Actually the whole concept came from there. because for my piece i used the patch "str ens sus soft DYN". (when the modwheel is in 0, strings are muted and when is in 127, they are unmuted)
I used this and i really liked the result. (in the beginning sounding constrained and then not)
Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:20 PM
Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:02 PM
symphobia is a sample library.
When you've got to do midi mock-ups of your music you use sample libraries..
Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:22 PM
Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:47 PM
i write with pencil and paper too in the piano. I can't elsewhere. I only use samples in the end for the mockup.
I think that computers and writing in software and midis etc are responsible for the low quality of music today.
How can you have counterpoint, development, etc, if you don't see the notes on paper?
but it's a neccessary evil in the end if you want the director to understand what you're composing. you can't just present him your pieces in the recording stage. hehe..
by the way, here's how a chord sounds with the sample i just said (going from mute to unmute)
Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:55 PM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:10 AM
in my piece the change takes place during a quarter in time 30 (Grave)
and yes, i also had non vibrato for the top line only (which is an ostinato falling pattern and wanted to sound pale) which turns to vibrato in the change..
Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:55 PM
taking of the mutes can be done pretty quickly btw: (at least on violin)
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