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Computer Orchestration Tips and Tricks

Stephen Bennett

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Special low internet price 7.95

244 x 172 mm * 120 pages  ISBN 9781906005 054

* Create realistic sounding orchestras on your computer
* Little or no musical notation knowledge needed
* Create scores for real players to read
* Tips and tricks to get the best out of your software
* All you need to orchestrate on computer

Using modern technology, composers no longer need to wait until an orchestra plays their score to hear what their music will actually sound like. Using a computer and suitable software, it's possible for anyone to produce high-quality results that can be used for music CDs, film and TV scores - or even as a basis of a recording session using orchestral players.

Many musicians would like to add synthetic orchestral colour to their work but are often left feeling frustrated that their first attempts don't sound very realistic or that the techniques needed will be too difficult to learn.

This book is aimed at those with little or no understanding of music notation. It gives the reader a basic understanding of the principles of orchestration and offers tips and techniques to help get the best simulated orchestral performance out of their equipment.


1 Introduction

2 What equipment and software do you need?
Computer. Hard drives. Hardware. Software. The sounds. Sample rate, bit depth and quality. Articulations. Controllers and using the articulations. MIDI controllers. Using different notes on the keyboard. Other considerations. Conclusions

3 What is MIDI?
MIDI and the synthetic orchestra. Working with MIDI data.

4 The orchestra and its synthetic equivalent.
Articulations. Instruments of the orchestra. Strings. Woodwinds. Brass. Keyboard instruments. Instrument note ranges. Instrument range diagrams. Timbre. Position and number of players

5 The basics of orchestration
What is orchestration? Where to begin. Avoiding problems. Improving your orchestrating skills. Fit the score around the song. Listen, listen and listen!. Slurring. Think real. Adding extra colours. Know your instruments. The instruments - some extra useful tips. Other string instrument limitations. Brass instruments

6 Scoring in the sequencer
Getting started. The arrangement. A bit about the frequency spectrum. Adding some orchestral colours to a pop or rock track. Creating a more conventional 'orchestral-only' track. Using the features of your orchestral library. Finding the right sounds. Use the correct instrument. Articulations. String articulations. Brass and woodwind articulations. Creating the score. Variety - the spice of the orchestra. Adding the real thing.

7 MIDI and the score
Entering MIDI note data - creating the score. Editing note data - editing the score. Editing the MIDI data. Controlling articulations. Controlling dynamics. Controlling the timbre. The importance of legato. Humanising the performance. Enhancing the score. Adding extra instruments. More on quantization. Tempo and time signature

8 Mixing
Getting started. Levels. Effects and the mix buss. Mastering. Mastering tools

9 Producing a score for real musicians
The score. Transposition. Common transposing instruments. The musicians' skill levels. Working with the players. Bringing a recording.

Appendix 1 Glossary

Appendix 2 The internet

Stephen Bennett is a musician, writer and filmmaker based in Sweden. He is the author of other PC Publishing titles: Logic Pro 8 Tips and Tricks, Making Music with Logic Pro and Making Music with Your Computer.

He runs Chaos Studios in Sweden and is currently recording with bands The Fire Thieves, NoMan, Tim Bowness and Henry Fool, alongside other multimedia and editing work.



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