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Topic: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

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  1. #1

    The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    (Before I go off on this little rant, feel free to stop me at any point and tell me where exactly I can find, in the book, the relevant parts i am talking about. I would love to find out! And I would love to be able to apologise for this post and being a stupid panicking tit for missing it)



    I just received this book, and just to be clear, I have not delved that deep yet. However, I was ( and still am) very excited about what it would (will) teach me. I am still sure I will gain a lot out of this book, as there is still a excellent amount of information in there, and cant want until audio examples are available on the site.

    But I am still disappointed, ( BUT I hope Ive missed something)

    I dont want to knock the Paul Gilreath (or the other writers?) for what IS there which is, I stress, fantastic. The problem lies, at least for me and I presume other newbies, is what ISNT there.

    The thing is, in a book of this magnitude I thought they would at least teach you how to use CC7 and CC11. I have skimmed through the book, trying to find some reference to it and I only found brief mentions. How can this be? --- This book is supposed to be for not only those that dont know much about orchestration, but are good with midi BUT also those that are apt at orchestration and want to know how to use their skills in the midi realm. As Mr Gilreath points out in the Introduction, MIDI Orchestration is hard because it means you also have to have competent knowledge of computers, samples and MIDI.

    I assumed there would be a whole chapter on this, or at least a sub chapter or something. Its like they just missed it out or something. Isnt learning the CC7 and CC11, (well, especially Expression), one of the very basics and even part of basis of writing convincing orchestral lines? You dont need complicated orchestration to need to make use of MIDI Expression, which having listened to many a MIDI mockup, including TJ's and Maartens old stuff it also makes a big difference to what samples you are using. For example I listened to one of Maartens old pieces a long time ago and thought it was Miroslav strings, yet found out it was simply AO's string ensemble patch! And I thought it sounded good not just because of the orchestration either, thats the point.

    If I am wrong, which I would love to be. If I have jumped before looking properly, which I would love to say I have, then please tell me where I can find this part in the book.

    Part of me thinks I MUST be wrong, why wouldn't they include something as important as this? No no, I must have missed something. But I just cant find anything on it.

    If I am right about this, and they really didnt include it, why the heck not? For someone who knows how to use these controls (like Maarten or TJ, say) I for one would pay a LOT of money for a properly written tutorial, audio examples would be a preferable addition.

    And Im sure a lot of newbies would agree with me, right?

    Ed
    Me - Out of Context:
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/_ed_/

  2. #2

    The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    I would assume that Paul only touched on controller functions because various libraries use them in different ways. Not all sample libraries use the same controllers for the same functions. The strongest section on the book I feel is the instrument sections as well as the chapter on mixing for orchestra. All around I feel that this book belongs in everyones collection. Ed, I would say that it is the fault of the developers for not explaining the proper use of the midi controllers for their particular libraries. I've always noticed that documentation is scarce where samples are concerned, or is beefed up in areas where it doesn't need it and lean where it is needed. Anyways, if you have particular libraries you question the controls of, I'd ask some of the guys on the forum to help out.

  3. #3

    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    I felt a little disappointed when I received it as well. I'm new to midi orchestrations or any kind of computer recording. I read how the book was used in Colleges across the US so I thought it was sort of a text book on how to do such things, but as I look through the pages, I see some stuff in there that gives you a basic understanding of the orchestra set up, but it has other stuff in there that (don't get me wrong It's awesome to read interviews from people like Gary Garriton, Jeremy Soule, Doug Rogers, etc and a listing of all the most popular library's out there) but I'd rather be reading how to give expression to a piece or something along those lines, like you mentioned. It is very pretty and seems pretty easy to read, but I do not see how it's a reference book, I think folks that frequent the forums or have a subscription to keyboard magazine would get the same info for much cheaper. I just think it's a little misleading tittle for what I'm looking for. I'm not bashing the book at all I'll have to actually go through it, but the several parts I read through did not give me anything new from reading my basic orchestration books (cost me much less than this monster did too) covered all this already. To be fair I would like to actually read it before saying anything negative. This was just my first impresison.
    I do not regret the things I've done, but those I was unable to do.

  4. #4

    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    Joseph,

    I too feel it should belong in everyones collection, and like I said whats there is really great. I dont want to comment on the rest of it, becuase as I said, I am very happy with that. It just seems to me that they left out a very critical issue.

    I dont think its just the fault of the developers, this book is *supposed* to be teaching you this stuff! It even explains its aims in the introduction, and that is to teach you the stuff Im talking about. Expression control is something that really is so very important. Yes you are right, the devopers should perhaps tell you how to use the mod wheel cross-fades better, but really, its something you'd understand how to use if you really understood how to use expression control anyway. - I say its really a MIDI issue, not a sample library issue, as you could use expression on general midi instruments and make them sound 10 times better than using them straight, which is why I dont agree its all up to developers - though it would be nice.

    Developers should explain how to use their tools better, sure. But why a book, such as this, that says it will explain this kind of stuff to you and then doesnt explain such simple, yet so very important, techniques such as MIDI Expression control I fail to understand. Sure on page 125 and 126 we get a small section on the use of expression, but while its all very nice, I think it deserves something a lot more indepth. There isnt even any pictures of how the curves might look, or even what the best hardware controller for this might be. Sure maybe I missed it, but unfortunatly it seems I dont think I have.

    As for asking here, there is only so much information you can get. There are some very nice people who have given tips and techniques, and some have even given midi files but NO ONE has ever - it seems - written a proper tutorial - which I think deserves a mini book - on this. ([1]See END ) This would include how to approach it, which controllers to use (hardware or whatever), different techniques for different instruments such as strings, ETC. Some dont even want to give away their secrets so its hard asking those like TJ and Maarten how they do stuff, which is fair enough. (but this book I thought would teach you this stuff, because you see, it sort of implies it will. )

    ([1] I believe the writing for strings" course which I think is run by Peter at TruSpec might cover this, but I dont know. I would hope, as I have tried to explain, that it really should if it doesnt already.

    Ed
    Me - Out of Context:
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/_ed_/

  5. #5
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    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    See page 125-126. You guys should take a little more time to delve into and evaluate this book. One might be able to get the same info through magazines, etc., but he has done it for you in a very cohesive and thorough manner. Man if I had only had this years ago when I was making the switch to the virtual world. Read the book carefully, and I am confident that you will feel it is some of the best money you have ever spent. By the way, I do not know Paul but am truly very impressed with his work.

    Allan

  6. #6

    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    thanks, like I said I did not want to say anything negative I mentioned I had not read it yet, but what I had read was what I was stating. One page in a 700 page book was hard to find.
    I do not regret the things I've done, but those I was unable to do.

  7. #7

    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    I don't have this book and to be honest I have my doubts about bying it...even if I did have the money which I don't at this point.

    Anyways...as someone else already pointed out, expression is one of THE most important factors when creating realistic mock-ups. It is not library specific...it is a general principle that one can apply to any library and one that IMHO could (or should even) easily deserve a chapter of it's own (in depth details on typical attacks and releases of various instruments and playing techniques etc).

    Regarding people not wanting to give away their "secrets"...why should they? It is a result of many hours of research and trial and error...and the fact is that anyone can discover these "secrets" if they just put their mind to it...because it's pretty much just a question of carefully analyzing the real thing and using your common sense.

    AFAIK that's how the greatest mock-up creators (like those mentioned in previous posts) did it and I personally think you're in for a big dissapointment if you think you can sound like them just by reading a book (this one or any other).

    There are a number of crucial factors that are critical for a good sounding mock-up (expression being one of them)...but all of them are self-evident and should already be pretty obvious.

    Like I said, I haven't read this book, for all I know it might be a great book (it probably is)...but I doubt it contains any "tricks" not already commonly known.

    In other words, I don't think it's so much about the "tricks" themselves, but rather how you use them.

    Just my 2 cent's.

    Cheers

    Rodney

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    Quote Originally Posted by žeth
    thanks, like I said I did not want to say anything negative I mentioned I had not read it yet, but what I had read was what I was stating. One page in a 700 page book was hard to find.
    Hopefully, I did not sound heavy handed -- certainly not my intention. In any event, discussion of CC11 is not really limited to a few pages. Paul addresses tons of useful ways to manipulate various technical parameters such as CC11 to achieve realistic results but in the context of each instrument group (strings, brass woodwinds and percussion), not as a separate topic. The index is not as detailed as it could have been, but set aside some time to dig in -- it is pretty much all there.

  9. #9

    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    Quote Originally Posted by aplanchard
    Paul addresses tons of useful ways to manipulate various technical parameters such as CC11 to achieve realistic results but in the context of each instrument group (strings, brass woodwinds and percussion), not as a separate topic.
    Makes sense. Whether you distribute the info in a separate chapter or categorize it according to instrument is of no consequence...as long as it's there.

    Question is how extensive the info is and if it contains anything most didn't already know? Then again...I haven't read the book...so.

    Cheers

    Rodney

  10. #10

    Re: The Guide to MIDI Orchestration book - BEWILDERED and CONFUSED

    Quote Originally Posted by aplanchard
    See page 125-126. You guys should take a little more time to delve into and evaluate this book.
    <snip>

    This wasnt a negative comment on the entire book, just this one issue I have been talking about. And see my other reply above yours I did mention page 125-126, I didnt miss it. I just think something like should be an introduction, not an entire thing in itself.

    Ed
    Me - Out of Context:
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/_ed_/

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