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Topic: Film Orchestration/Midi

  1. #1

    Film Orchestration/Midi

    Dis wrote:
    And what are these \"non-linear expression envelopes\" and how did you use them? And which layers did you overlap?

    In this case what I meant by non-linear is a sine or a cosine wave (i have these cakewalk .cal scripts that do this) but you could think of it as any type of envelope aside from the usual linear up/down ramp, which is not very natural. You could really get involved with this whole envelope business and create elaborate sets for all different instrument sections. You could study the way a violin section bows and how that effects the relative volume and intensity of the passage being played. I also deliberately use envelopes sometimes to control the nature of the samples themselves, as in the case of a choir sample that peaks too quickly, etc..


  2. #2

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi

    Mixing envelopes is another \"tweaker\" effect. I\'ld love to see an NFX effect that allows for more LFO controls, and \"special effects\" all controlled with MIDI controllers. For orchestrations it could help expressiveness. Even bettter would be a special NFX version of this with multiple inputs into the effect from a single midi channel/instrument. Doing something like this could aallow for really expressive vibrato on strings doing more than one line. And keeping it fairly realistic.

    Another good trick with envelopes, is to have slightly different ones for things like choirs. Something like different ones on male and female, and different ones on higher registers and lower registers.

  3. #3

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi


    I mentioned in another thread I would post a topic concerning Orchestration (or as in this case specifically for Film) to hopefully initiate discussion on the subject. There are a number of experienced and professional hands that lurk on this forum so I would like very much to get them to participate.

    To start it off, I uploaded a number of short mp3 tracks to my Yahoo briefcase. I will list them off:

    Mask of Zorro - Love Theme (James Horner)
    I put this together because it is typical of the type of \'lush\' orchestration used in modern Hollywood productions. It\'s not particularly innovative or musically interesting but it works all the time.
    Big string section, Horns and Trombones providing a warm backdrop, on higher-registers the Flutes and Woodwinds kick-in to double the violins, the Harp (ala John Barry) sometimes plays a part. Other common doublings are Horns and Violas, Cellos (arco) on higher-register in unison with the violins & violas.

    Giga instrumentation for the \'Zorro\' piece:
    Strings - Miroslav + Ultimate Strings
    Brass - Miroslav Horns & Trombones
    Woodwinds - AO Flutes
    Misc percussion - AO



    Ok, I gotta admit that I am fond of this score, since the mid-80\'s it has defined what passes off today as film scoring for Action & Sci-fi films. It\'s also great for referencing orchestration if you\'re looking to create that type of hard-edge, muscular sound. The piano is used almost strictly as a percussive tool (elbow crashes, marcato hits, etc) Harsh Trombone staccato blasts, blaring Trumpets (tonguing), Timpani galore (hits, rolls, rapid cresc/descrendos) and the ever present military snare drum.

    Giga instrumentation for the \'Predator\' piece:

    Strings - Ultimate Strings
    Brass - Miroslav + AO
    Piano - Steinway
    Woowinds - Miroslav + AO
    Percussion - AO + soundfonts

    to be continued.....

  4. #4

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi


    Englishman - from \'The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down a Mountain\' *phew*

    I included this piece as an example of small ensemble work. Stephen Endelman\'s score has all the (cliche) elements of a comedy score (Pizzicatos,etc) but nevertheless it\'s tongue-in-cheek charming.

    Giga instrumentation for \'Englishman\'
    Strings - Miroslav (Solo) + Ultimate Strings (pizzicato)
    Woodwind - AO
    Percussion - AO


    The Omen

    An exercise in pure fun. I originally transcribed two different cues (The Altar, The Demise of Mrs. Baylock (sp?)) The original score obviously had elaborate choir but the two cues included here are mainly instrumental. Jerry Goldsmith originally used a mid-size orchestra and I tried to reflect that with my sample choices.

    Giga instrumentation for \'The Omen\'
    Strings - Miroslav
    Brass - AO
    Woodwinds - Miroslav + AO
    Percussion - AO


  5. #5

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi

    Let me be the first to say: excellent work.

    Particularly the \"Englishman\" piece - replace that one flute part with a live overdub and I\'d have been completely fooled.

    Nice job

    - Chris

  6. #6

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi

    Superb work, Gulliver. I bet if these were shown to some of my sample library non-believer friends they would likely become instant converts to the sample world. Forgive me if this has been covered before, but what is your choice of reverb, mixing/recording hardware for these snippets?


  7. #7

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi

    Hi all,
    I\'ve been following the discussion with great interest and I\'m stunned by the quality of
    the mp3 tracks posted in this thread and the previous one! Being a total beginner I\'d like
    to ask the following question (although it may be a bit off topic). How - other than by
    experimentation - can one learn to get realistic results out of string libraries?
    Solo strings seem to be less of a problem than ensembles. Please forgive me for asking
    such a banal question, but is there a general rule to play only single notes (rather than
    thirds or full chords) when using, say, a violin ensemble sample? I have no idea whether there are any conventions in
    composing for real orchestras saying that all the violins always play the same note.

    Since this is obviously not a true \"Sample
    Libraray\" question, can anybody please point
    me to a more appropriate forum on this subject, if one exists?


  8. #8

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi

    But what is your choice of reverb, mixing/recording hardware for these snippets?

    Should\'ve mentioned this but all the tracks were done on a PII (Celeron) 450mhz with 128Mb of RAM, 9Gb HD, SBLive. Cakewalk was used for sequencing, SF Vegas for mixing, Soundforge for editing and encoding. On average I had 20 to 40 giga files loaded at any time (Ports 1-3 in Gigastudio) Reverb was done with Cakewalk\'s Audio FX3 SoundStage. EQ, Dynamics and everything else was done with TC Native.


  9. #9

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi


    Are you saying that you were running Cakewalk and Gigastudio on your PII simultaneously, and using Cakewalk for midi sequencing as well as audio stuff?

    I ask this because the guys I bought my PC from told me to trun off the audio side of Logic because the machine kept giving me ASIO errors when I ran the Gigastudio.

    Making Logic midi only helped, but of course I have no audio tracks or VST plugins.

    I\'m very interested in Cakewalk if it puts so much less load on the CPU than Logic that you can run it with audio and plugins.

  10. #10

    Re: Film Orchestration/Midi

    I too use Cakewalk\'s Audio FX3 SoundStage.
    It\'s my favorite reverb..

    I find it most useful on percussion, it make the samples sound like they \"are played\" from the rear of the hall, even if you use \"close miked\" samples...

    It\'s also good for brass and woodwinds.

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