I’ve worked on this tracking longer than any other song on this project so far – but the project’s not over, yet!
On the screenshot to the left, you can see the various tracks on this project. Everything there is either a MIDI track, or a MIDI track rendered to audio in Finale as previously described.
The top track is the hammered dulcimer, which plays almost all the way through the piece, starting and ending it solo. It is a sample from the Early Patches CD. The blue track directly below it is JABB Steinway piano (a piano will appear in almost every track on the project).
The next two tracks are the recorder and flute, playing the melody and harmony respectively. The recorder is a reworked Early Patches instrument, and the flute is again from JABB.
The next 5 tracks are the GPO string section, rendered from Finale: First and second violins, solo violin, violas and cellos – both arco and tremolo.
The next track is one of two percussion tracks – GPO (Garritan Pocket Orchestra) glockenspiel. It accents some of the solo violin lines.
Next are the string section again – this time MIDI pizzicato. I originally rendered the pizzicato string from Finale, but was having trouble getting them to line up with the tempo. So, I brought them in as MIDI and play them again with the Pocket Orchestra. While it’s not as expressive for sustaining instruments as the Full GPO, it does just fine for percussive sounds.
Lastly are three tracks that play the least. The french horns (GPO rendered from Finale) only play at the beginning of the final verse to underpin the strings. The drum accents the first beat of every other measure starting at the same location, and the padstring plays only the last notes, fading in and out under the final note of the hammered dulcimer.
I wanted to use the string section for this last chord, but couldn’t get it to work to my satisfaction – rendering it from Finale. So, it’s a soundfont played with the SFZ player.
So, do not lose heart, gentle reader. I am making slow progress. Next up: I need to finish building a satisfactory recorder from the Early Patches samples, tweak some of the timings, tweak the velocities of the hammered dulcimer to get more variation, and then I can render everything to audio and start mixing. Also, I’m not sure if I like the bass drum patch yet.