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Orchestral Track - Final Justice


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Hey, My soundcloud is acting up but I can offer some preliminary and hopefully helpful suggestions for the time being.

I'm not sure what your musical background is so I'm not going to assume anything.   In other words, this is the advice that I would give to anyone who asked me how to write for orchestra while having little to no musical experience.

Start studying scores and listening to orchestral music.  The Idea is to learn how the ensemble sounds and how to achieve various types of colours.  When studying a score you can see what exactly the composer has done to achieve the desired effect.   Now, there are two schools of thought here but my friend, who can create a fantastic sounding midi orchestra, says that if you write for midi instruments the way you would write for a real orchestra, it will sound much more realistic.    So, I'm going to try and separate these concepts out a bit:

To write effectively for orchestra, here are the basic skills you will need.

1) Theory.  Understanding harmony and being able to read notes is exceptionally helpful, especially when dealing with large forces where it will be difficult to fully 'hear' everything that his happening.  Counterpoint is also an exceptionally helpful skill to have.

2) Orchestration.  i.  You need to understand the capabilities and limitations of all the various instruments that are commonly found in an orchestra.  What they can play, what they can't play, and what they play easily.
ii.  You need to understand how the instruments fit in with the larger ensemble.  e.g.  flute is exceptionally quiet in the low register and the oboe is exceptionally loud in that same register.  You also need to understand the ways in which the various choirs  (Instrument groupings) interact with one another to create common orchestrational tropes.

3) Composition.  Orchestration and composition are very much related but they are also skills that are independent of one another.  Learning how to be a better composer will allow you to create more interesting musical works.  

Uggh, Soundcloud is still not playing =-(  

 

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Ok, it's finally working.  This track definitely builds really well.  As a general observation for your orchestration, you approach the craft like a midi orchestrator would.  What I mean is that you build the track up around a repetitive note pattern (ostinato) and you create the momentum by adding layers of activity on top of that.  Your instrumentation doesn't really behave the way a live orchestra would so this raises the question:  Do you wish to get better at midi orchestration to create epic tracks, or are you more interested in emulating the sound of a live orchestra in your writing?  

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Ok, it's finally working.  This track definitely builds really well.  As a general observation for your orchestration, you approach the craft like a midi orchestrator would.  What I mean is that you build the track up around a repetitive note pattern (ostinato) and you create the momentum by adding layers of activity on top of that.  Your instrumentation doesn't really behave the way a live orchestra would so this raises the question:  Do you wish to get better at midi orchestration to create epic tracks, or are you more interested in emulating the sound of a live orchestra in your writing?  

First off, thank you for the comments. For this piece I was intending to make more of a MIDI orchestration piece rather than a live orchestra. The reason for this would be due to having overdub string parts that I included, which are typically used for recordings most of the time (although I'm sure having separation within parts is a little more common now a days). But, I do want to get better at live orchestration over time, but for this piece specifically I wasn't looking to make it sound like a live orchestration. A live orchestra would not constantly have ostinatos, unless if it was written for a trailer of some kind (which is what I was going for), however maybe it IS a little too repetitive? I'm just not sure how other people think about the build and if it layers on to itself too much. Hopefully I'm making sense xD

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this type of track feels weird with no reverb to me.

 

ad someone in the comments said to eq? i think the track is too high at like 62 hz frequency? i have an eq thing on my computer and it sound better when i turn it down at 62.

 

Oh my gosh... lol I need to remix this sucker... uuuuggghhh. So fail. Welp, time to remix and remaster from square 1 huehue... 

Sorry, not the most professional :(

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:(:

 

it's k, lowering a frequency and adding reverb isn't always something you have to start all over just to do...and even if you don't use any EQ effects you can just lower the volume of those bassy tracks a little bit.

 

um....i also think the violins are maybe toooo far left...

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:(:

 

it's k, lowering a frequency and adding reverb isn't always something you have to start all over just to do...and even if you don't use any EQ effects you can just lower the volume of those bassy tracks a little bit.

 

um....i also think the violins are maybe toooo far left...

 

Oh ok, thanks haha... gotta fix the panning too for those violins! Thanks for the input and responses back guys it's super helpful. It's nice to have multiple ears catch things.

Random question though, when trying to emulate a realistic string orchestra is it good to pan them in a certain way like how an orchestra is set up in a concert hall, where as Midi orchestration is a lot more flexible? Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions for you guys xD;

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Random question though, when trying to emulate a realistic string orchestra is it good to pan them in a certain way like how an orchestra is set up in a concert hall, where as Midi orchestration is a lot more flexible? Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions for you guys xD;

um i can't pretend i have a right answer but when i do orchestra (like in my one song i have here xD) i took a seating chart i liked and panned it just like i saw it there. i like having it that way, but outside of like a live orchestra performance at a hall or something i hear people change it to what they want all the time. like mario galaxy puts trumpets left and bass in the middle and cloudtop cruise in mk8 has low brass in the middle and violins right?

 

i think i mean you can use it as a suggestion but anything is okay if you balance it and it sounds good for the song. maybe you want to put trumpets in the middle for a trumpety song

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