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Topic: Midi orchestration question

  1. #1

    Midi orchestration question

    Regarding midi orchestration, before the audio is created, I have a question, but first, an opinion.

    If I want to create, for example, a string quartet, I'd want four separate samples/sets on separate midi channels, which I could manipulate separately.

    My thinking is that this quartet would be much more cohesive if it's recorded simultaneously, as a multi channel record, on separate channels in Cubase for instance, which is what I use. This, it seems to me, would be much more like an orchestral section, or quartet etc, responding to a conductor, as opposed to recording individual tracks for each part, getting all the attacks, release times, and nuances right. I invite opinions here, I'm not very experienced at this.

    My question has to do with how I can acheive the objective of multi channel recording this 'quartet', and get optimum final results in the most economical way. Note ranges overlap, so I'd be getting two instruments playing on one note frequently. How do I deal with this? Audition them in an editor, and delete double notes, on a note per note basis? OR with multi channel recording are there better choices, or A better choice.

    OR is my idea of recording sections together at once flawed?

    I'd appreciate any comments or practical advice you can give me,


  2. #2

    Re: Midi orchestration question

    I've never tried what you suggest, but I believe your concept is incorrect. The members of a string quartet are individuals and play individually. No matter how good the performers, how good the conductor, each part will be played differently. In many places in a quartet piece, the parts are intentionally played very differently - volume, attack, rhythm, timbre - everything is variable.

    The goal is to make a pleasing whole - not play each part identically.

  3. #3

    Re: Midi orchestration question

    Hi Juan,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I see what you're saying, perhaps the idea is flawed and I should think about it a bit more.

    However, I'm afraid I didn't I express myself very clearly, and mentioning a string quartet was a particularly poor analogy. I'm considering the possibility of multitrack one-shot recording of orchestral sections primarily.

    When I mentioned attack and release times, and referenced my remark to a section responding to a conductor, I was thinking of timing issues, the way a section will start and stop by direction of the conductor. It just seems that this timing tightness would be easiest to acheive if a section's parts are recorded all at once.

    I wouldn't necessarily be attempting to make everything sound alike in terms of timbre, volume etc. A competent pianist/keyboardist can and does vary these things from note to note within a musical phrase, and I would be doing this when appropriate.

    I'm interested in finding out if anyone thinks this is a musically viable approach, or if anyone has tried recording this way and what the results were.

  4. #4

    Re: Midi orchestration question

    Mike you should do the parts seperately and here's why.

    Remember the shots in Star Wars Episode IV of Darth Vader and his two wingmen?How all three ships seemed to fly together in impossible unison?That's what your quartet would sound like and it would be unnatural.

  5. #5

    Re: Midi orchestration question

    Hi Michael,

    Don't you think you would lose control over each element in the mixdown stage if you multi recorded sections?

    Personally I would put the sections in separate group channels after recording the audio. This would enable control over the sub-sections without sacrificing the control over the individual parts.

    Any thoughts?

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