• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Topic: From Samples to Symphony: Film Music Magazine Features GPO Orchestration Competition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    From Samples to Symphony: Film Music Magazine Features GPO Orchestration Competition

    'From Samples to Symphony: A Sample Developer Goes Live' - Film Music Magazine Features GPO Orchestration Competition

    The latest issue of Film Music Magazine has a feature article by Andy Brick called "From Samples to Symphony: A Sample Developer Goes Live".

    In this 3 page article, Andy describes the processes of going from a rendered MIDI score to a live performance by a symphony orchestra. Andy sets forth the experiences we had with the GPO Orchestration Competition last year, the lessons learned, and details what it took to go from samples to symphony. Heree are some quotes from the article:
    "Last year the creators of Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO) took the extraordinary step of leading their users back to the live orchestra by hosting a composition competition in which the winning entries received a live performance by the 65 member Moravian Philharmonic. This is the story of the process we went through in bringing these compositions from samples to symphony.
    The first step in the process of going from samples to symphony is to decide upon your orchestration...With the abundance of available orchestral samples, a composer is virtually unlimited in their palette and size of orchestral instruments. This is not the case in a live situation... After the orchestration had been determined, the composers were directed to create their written score mindful of the available orchestration.

    The next step in our process was to ensure that all the proper markings were in the score...it is critical that all elements that do translate onto the score page from the computer file do so in a proper manner.

    After insuring our composers had well marked scores...we had to make sure that humans can play these pieces. It's easy to write endless legato to melody for a wind instrument...but at some point a live player will have to breathe. ...Very difficult string passages may be viable for a virtuoso player, but unlike a sequencer it becomes a dangerous proposition to ask an entire section to perform such a passage....In addition to the various markings and the human viability of the score, each composition will present very unique situations that must be accounted for within the score.

    Only after the scores were perfectly marked and humanly viable could we create the parts for the individual players...In addition, a performance for a live orchestra generates tons of paper.

    ...MIDI-itis. Since all of the compositions originate as audio MP3's there was an inherent expectation of what these pieces would sound like. No matter how good or bad these MP3's may have been, the live performance was and always will be different from what you would expect. To avoid the dreaded MIDI-itis and to realize the full beauty of the live performance, it is critical that one listens to the live performance for what it is... By the time the samples make it to the symphony, all of the little imperfections of our humanity are infused into the music. It is exactly these little imperfections that make the music so live and wonderful."
    Andy's well-written article was a great recap of the lessons learned and the experiences we had last year. If you are interested in having your sequenced work performed by live orchestra, it may be worthwhile picking up the lates issue of Film Music Magazine (http://www.filmmusicmag.com).

    Gary Garritan

    About Film Music Magazine:
    The world's leading trade magazine for the film, television and video game music industry, featuring in-depth articles about the art, craft and business of writing music for film, television and interactive projects. The mission of Film Music Magazine is to promote the free flow of information about the world of film and television music for the benefit of those who work in the businessand those desiring to learn more about the business.

  2. #2

    Re: From Samples to Symphony: Film Music Magazine Features GPO Orchestration Competit

    I was pleasantly surprised to see Andy's article in the magazine. Always nice to recognize a name.

    I'm going through this very process now (having an orchestra prepare to play what was originally a MIDI composition). The piece in question is my Unlikely Visions suite, and I can tell you that the score markup is quite the task, even though I have prepared many scores before. Having originally written this entirely in GPO, I found myself having to listen to individual parts to remind myself of the articulations I used so that I could mark them all.

    One thing that was difficult for me was actually deciding on dynamics! I kept asking myself "isn't there something between mp and mf?" Or how do I mark a long diminuendo for the whole orchestra when instruments keep dropping out and coming back in?

    But the hardest part of all might have been deciding on some of the weird meter changes I hadn't bothered to implement in my Sonar files. Sometimes I just didn't bother to change from a simple 4/4, because I didn't have to look at it on paper.

    The score and parts are all complete, bound, and delivered now, and I'll get to hear a rehearsal soon. I'll be sure to bring a couple of nice sharp pencils.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: From Samples to Symphony: Film Music Magazine Features GPO Orchestration Competit


    Congratulations on getting your work performed by an orchestra. Your Visions Suite is going to sound fantastic. Although it is hard work, it is a very exciting amd worthwhile process.

    Wait until you hear it all coming together and hearing your music being performed by al those musicians. You are going to be pleasantly surprised.

    Let us know how the reheasals go.

    Wishing you all the best with the rehearsals and the performance.

    Gary Garritan

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts