Richard Wagner's Funeral March (Dorico 5.1 with Iconica Sketch)

we explore options to arrange sheet music for game background music. This is our first attempt at notation software. Usually we work directly in a DAW to compose.
We are quite happy with the quality of the audio output, and would love to hear your feedback.


Well done. However, tt’s a bit slow, IMO. You can’t hear the percussion at all. And there’s something wrong in the horns at bar 19 (wrong octave?).

I made a score of this a while ago, and there have been a number of audio renderings based on it, which you might like to compare.

Master volume is really low. It’s hard to hear (if at all) the piano/pianissimo. What I did hear, though, sounded good with the exception of the climax towards the end (the C major section) which sounded a bit thin. I would love to compare it with NP, NPPE – I love library comparisons.

King Arthur lives!

EDIT: I see @benwiggy has already linked to a comparison thread, thanks

That was also my first thought: rather slow. With the extremely differentiated orchestration of Wagner, especially in “Götterdämmerung”, every sound library reaches its limits. It can’t be a question of whether it sounds “real”, but whether the result serves a specific purpose, e.g. error correction or as film music, where “synthetic” sound might be desired. Sorry @clemens42, that’s not what you wanted to hear. There are certainly less tricky scores. These highly romantic pieces (Wagner, R. Strauss etc.) cry out for a real orchestra.

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Sorry @clemens42, that’s not what you wanted to hear.

No no, that is exactly what I wanted to hear :slight_smile: You are absolutely right, it all depends on the intended outcome, what purpose the piece is for.
For us this was to get familiar with notation software and decide if audio quality is good enough for using in a game without fine tuning though a DAW.
And, to my ears, it sounds really good for being completely done in software. Obviously, nothing compared to real orchestra. I had the pleasure of listening to the real piece in Bayreuth just some months ago. But, for me, it still sounds better than anticipated.

Obviously, the sound is much more condensed through YouTube than in an exported wave file. There are no difficulties hearing pp parts there.

With regards to speed: Yes, I guess the real thing should be even slower in the beginning but pick up a little bit later. Differences in playback times are vast in the different orchestral versions. The one I used as reference was just as slow.

Thanks for all the feedback!

I’ve got money right now for a game with a Wagner soundtrack.

Hey, that is awful nice of you to say :slight_smile:
But, we have barely begun. Timeframe is certainly upwards of 4 years. And background music may be one of the easier topics :wink:

“You control Siegfried, and must obtain the ring of power from Fafner’s hoard, and rescue Brünnhilda from the fiery mountain.”

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Thank you, @clemens42, I’m glad that you didn’t take my critical comments the wrong way. I myself am amazed at the high level to which the sound libraries have risen in a relatively short time. I use them myself all the time, mostly for proof reading.

Maybe we’ve even met, unbeknownst to each other. I saw the Bayreuth Götterdämmerung July 31, 2023. There were two empty seats next to me. It was probably the first time since the Bayreuth Festival opened in 1876 that a performance of the Ring was not sold out. So that the gaps were not too big, student tickets were sold at the end for EUR 25. This year there are only two Ring cycles, but even for these there are still some tickets available. Staging the Ring as a kind of Netflix series went down badly with both the audience and the press.

Yep, I was in that performance. World is small :slight_smile:
I was one of the few to bravo the staging. I don’t want to see Knights in armor.

Certainly worse than the staging was the audience. Boos before the music hadn’t stopped is probably also a first in Bayreuth.

To return to the topic: What the differences in perceived quality nicely reveals is how different the same Opera can be played and staged. Also here with Dorico. I listened to the other examples of this piece in the other thread and found them much too condensed. To me, there has to be a big difference between pp and ff parts, especially with Wagner. My first version in Dorico (I came over from another notation software) was also like this. I found the dynamic differences underwhelming. But the fact than you can boost this easily in the preferences certainly speaks for Dorico. Maybe I overdid it a little :wink:

The singers and the conductor were never booed, as far as I remember. The boos only came after Götterdämmerung, when the directing team presented themselves for the first time. But that was nothing compared to the boos and whistles after the premiere of the “Ring of the Century” in 1976 with Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau. The Festspielhaus just went wild. The old Wagnerians even distributed the whistles to the audience during the intervals. This Ring is now considered “classic”. That will probably not happen with Valentin Schwarz’s Ring. The only highlight for me was the first act of Walküre with Vogt/Teige/Zeppenfeld. I am already looking forward to Elisabeth Teige as Brünnhilde.

For the music of a computer game, it can certainly take a lot more effects, and may even be desirable. Unfortunately, in that respect I’m stuck at the level of “Leisure Suit Larry” :wink:

On the contrary. For background music I would actually use much less dynamics. One of the most important aspects of mastering music in the ‘internet age’ is compressing it and increase the perceived loudness all over the place.

For this piece I wanted to mimic a real orchestra as best as I could. I used this reference recording: Wagner Götterdämmerung - Siegfried’s death and Funeral march Klaus Tennstedt London Philharmonic - YouTube Speed is a match to almost the exact second. Dynamics are ok for the most part, considering I didn’t use any mastering, just the notation and Dorico’s play engine. The instruments lack to a greater degree, I think. But I had to replace several instruments not existing in Iconica Sketch and transpose them because the playable range didn’t match the original.

Still, I didn’t expect to end with this result quality when I started, so I am fine. That obviously doesn’t mean everybody else has to like it, too :wink: I am ok with that.