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Topic: orchestral special effects

  1. #1

    orchestral special effects

    hi. i\'m new here and this is the first of a bunch of questions that I have because I\'m looking to build/purchase a dedicated gigasampler pc for composition. my question is this:

    are orchestral special effects covered in standard libraries?

    i\'m primarily a composer of acoustic (for lack of a better term) \"20th century\" chamber and orchestral music and i\'ve developed some degree of using special effects (like sul ponticello, harmonic glisses, alternate intonation, wind multiphonics, bowed cymbals and such) without being too cliche (i know... how much more cliche can you get with the list i just gave.) anyway, i would like to use these techniques in gigasample, whether is be supplementing existing libraries with patches i record on my own, or purchasing libraries that include at least some effects.

    on a similar topic, has anyone tried/used the prepared piano sample library that\'s available from (i think) quantum leap? i\'m a little wary of it because i\'ve performed a couple of the prepared piano pieces and i know how difficult it is to get a prepared piano to sound nice and resonant.

    i guess i have one more question. i think i\'ve read all the posts on this board and i\'m still confused about a few abbreviations. GOS is Garritan Orchestral Strings, but that\'s about where it ends. i\'ve seen vsl, vo, ao, and a bunch of others. is there a faq i could read that has all the abbreviations?

    thanks for your help

    devin maxwell

  2. #2

    Re: orchestral special effects

    FWIW: Michiel Post\'s Prepared Piano may have what you\'re looking for-I don\'t score for orchestra, but I\'ve found several of the Gigs useful, and pretty resonant and full-bodied.

    Check the demos here.
    Look for the Prepared Piano under \'Post Orchestral instruments\', but there is (was?) also a disk that has more extensive treatments. (I got mine form them via eBay, but I found their page with the prep Piano-it\'s now part of a combo with one of Michiel\'s organs.

    It\'s an Akai lib, but translates with no problem.


  3. #3

    Re: orchestral special effects


    Both the Garritan and the Sonic Implants libraries offer string section special effects including sul ponticello, ponticello tremolos, glissandi, wide vibratos, scrapes, slides and many other things.

    As far as other orchestral effects go, there are some on the Advanced Orchestra and the Prosonus Orchestral Collection. I personally prefer the new Prosonus Prepared Piano over the Post Preapred Piano disc, however they are both very good.

    Hope this helps...

  4. #4

    Re: orchestral special effects

    OT (and not directed towards you, Devin, at all):
    Imo a person whose primary compositional palette of sounds consists of effects and techniques is not a composer of music, but a composer of sounds and textures. I don\'t condone it, but i\'d be interested in hearing other peoples opinions on this.

    (as far as effects go I think you\'d be better off sticking to real musicians as effects should be organic. With samples you would quickly grow tired of the selection you have at your disposal, even if you own all the sample libraries in the world)


  5. #5

    Re: orchestral special effects

    In my opinion music could be defined as \"organized sound\", in the broadest sense.

    This means I look at something as \"creating music\" way earlier than Thomas does.

    Composing literally means \"putting together pieces\".

    Example. If you construct something from bits and pieces of dialogue you took from tv, and make it into an evolving sound piece on itself, you are creating music. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Thinking of this, even laying out dialogue under a movie in a natural way I could consider making music. Then again, this is getting a bit too abstract.

    To me, writing music (or \'composing\' for that matter) with actual notes and existing instruments is just one of a hundred ways of making music.

    Next opinion [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  6. #6

    Re: orchestral special effects


    my background is that i\'m an orchestral and solo percussionist. if i start making distinctions about what is and what is not music, i would not be able to play all the music that i\'ve played.

    i\'ve performed tonal marimba pieces written for me as well as multiple percussion solos that involve a lot of theatrics. for sanity\'s sake, whatever someone calls music i look at as music. whatever someone just calls sound, i look at as sound. if i start making distinctions as to what is \"sound arrangement\" and what is music, i can\'t do my job very well. i\'d have an identity crisis.

    i do agree that having orchestral effects as one\'s primary pallette is limiting. it\'s just as limiting as not using them at all, but as far as \"sound arrangement\" vs. music, i make no distinction on my own. if someone presented something to me as \"sound design\" for a movie, i would look at it a little differently, but even there, the lines blur for me. i\'m used to making effective music out of noise, or effective noise out of music.

    i agree, i would like to use live players; however, i\'m broke and i live in the middle of nowhere right now. i\'m extremely lucky that i\'m married to a clarinetist, so i at least have one person to play with. as far as getting some demo tapes together to send out to composition contests and writing music for commercial purposes goes, i\'ve got to resort to using a computer for now.

    if i had my own way, i would never touch a computer again.

    devin maxwell

  7. #7

    Re: orchestral special effects

    Hi Devin

    I\'ve used the Xsample prepared piano on a number of scores and it really is great. I\'ve re-sampled and mangled a lot of notes just to broaden the range but even on its own its a great disk. You might want to try Total Piano, which has some cracking percussive sounds on it. It totally inspired me to shove my Rhode NT4 and one of my ageing cheapy AKG mics into my upright and build up a load of my own sounds.

    For special effects, I still think the best approach is to record a lot of your own. For instance, grab any old violin and multitrack some col legno and some quirly rhythmical patterns can be built up. I think just using the ones from the more conventional libraries like Prosonous will be too restricting unless you mangle them for your own purposes.

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