Here is a rendition of Richard Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” sunrise that I sequenced as a learning exercise:

The libraries used were:

• Westgate woodwinds
• SAM Brass
• London Orchestral Percussion
• Garritan Orchestral Strings
• Notre Dame de Budapest Organ

I added separate reverb layers for each of the orchestral groups to simulate greater distance from the listener with the exception of the organ. I wanted to retain the impressive cathedral ambience of the Notre Dame organ so I didn’t add reverb nor adjust EQ since I thought this would detract from the library.

One thing that quickly made an impression on me was just how great Strauss was at orchestrating and voicing. It is a very strong piece and yet so simple. I also found it interesting where Strauss would double or restrain the notes. The tuba doesn’t play much in this but is very important where it does play. The same also goes for some of the thicker string texture towards the climax that happens at very specific, though important moments.

I would appreciate any feedback on the mixing/mastering/realism/etc.