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Topic: Orchestral panning

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  1. #1

    Orchestral panning

    I am learning how to arrange my orchestral arranging and I am now trying to create different panning for the different instrument sections. (Eg, solo flute on extreme right, cello section mid to mid- left, etc) Anyone have any ideas or presets? Should we pay particular attention to an actual orchestral setup or do you think we can get away with our own creative stereo panning?

  2. #2

    Re: Orchestral panning

    Hey Oogah,
    This is fairly frequent topic. Someone recently put up a great link for the history of orchestral seating. See if you can\'t do a search and turn it up. If you can\'t find it maybe they will poke their head in here and post it again. As far as deviating from the norm... it\'s done on occasion, but as a rule we all get used to hearing things where they are in a seating arrangement.

    cb

  3. #3

    Re: Orchestral panning

    The manual has seating positions for all the instruments - check pp 11 - 18 [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Re: Orchestral panning

    Is there a logic behind the traditional seating arrangement? i.w., Basses -cellos - violas - vio1 - viol2....other than that fact that the strings are clearly arranged in increasing in pitch range from right to left. But sometimes I feel that the cello sounds are submerged with the bass this way an it may be a good idea to put the cellos far left and the 1st violins in their place.

    I think there are numerous possible combinations and the virtual orchestra is a great way to experiment and find out which is best for a givenn situation. I dont belive we need to restrict the locations for all compositions anymore.

  5. #5

    Re: Orchestral panning

    Orchestral seating is not standardized. The \"modern\" arrangement of everything treble on the (audience) left and everything bass right is starting to fade out a bit, you\'ll see more variance now. Many works were scored with 2nd violins right in mind. The practice of performing these with violins all left ruins many nice effects and makes for strange balances in my opinion. It\'s really a subjective matter, depending on work at hand, hall etc.

    With regards to MIDI orchestration I can offer one bit of advice. When dealing with mono samples avoid extreme panning. A real orchestra in a hall has the effect of blending the sound. The violins for example certainly dont all come out of the left or right speaker on recordings. If you do hard-pan, you\'ll have to do some serious early-reflection simulation to avoid an artificial sound. With certain reverbs you can pull this off, otherwise you\'ll have to drench everything in verb losing clarity.

  6. #6
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    Re: Orchestral panning

    Orchestral placement is an interesting subject, one which musicians and conductors have been debating for a very long time. If one were to attend orchestral performances in concert halls around the world, one would see a wide variety of seating arrangments. The way musicians are seated in an orchestra varies according to intent of the composer, the wishes of the conductor, the physical contraints of the hall in which they are playing, and other factors. Sometimes composers give specific details of how the players should be seated to optimize how they want their music to sound.

    The idea of a \"natural\" or \"right\" position is a myth. Prior to the early to mid twentienth century, 1st Violins used to be seated to left of the stage and second violins to the right. Stowkowski is attributed with seating the 1st and 2nd violins together on the left. Now some modern conductors are restoring the traditional seating position with 1st and 2nd violins divided left and right. Although you often see the basses behind the cellos, some orchestras have the basses behind the violins. Many put the cellos on the right, but some place them in the middle.

    Times have changed and contemporary composers are using all kinds of different orchestral placements. The film community has had some of the most diverse seating arrangements. Locking players to their chairs in a predetermined configuration limits the options and may prove difficult if a different seating arrangement is required.

    This whole idea of orchestral placement is one of the design cornerstones of GPO. With Personal Orchestra, you build your instrumentation one player at a time, making it possible to re-arrange the orchestra to suit your needs. You can make quartets, small ensembles, sections, small orchestras, or a very large symphony orchestra simply by arranging the musicians. You can place the cellos to the left of the conductor and second violins to the right, or create your own unique seating arrangements.

    Originally posted by kstevege:
    Should we pay particular attention to an actual orchestral setup or do you think we can get away with our own creative stereo panning?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">You are the artist so you can go with a traditional arrangement or go with your creative instincts.

    Gary Garritan

  7. #7
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    Re: Orchestral panning

    Take a look at the GPO Audition to get an idea of a common orchestral layout:

    You can view the GPO Audition here:
    http://www.garritan.com/audition/

    Gary Garritan

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