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Topic: What's the process of making an orchestral piece sound like a real orchestra?

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  1. #1

    What's the process of making an orchestral piece sound like a real orchestra?

    Is it just a matter of lots of tedious mixing work? Do people have a second person with them when they record, working the wheel?

    I've recorded multiple instrument orchestral pieces with the KP2 library, and I have to say, it doesn't sound quite like a real orchestra. What's the trick?

  2. #2

    Re: What's the process of making an orchestral piece sound like a real orchestra?

    That's short question with a long answer.

    There's a whole bunch of tutorials on this subject:

    http://www.garritan.com/tips_tutorials.html
    Vista / Sonar Home Studio 6 / GPO 2d edition / Melodyne Uno 1.8

  3. #3

    Re: What's the process of making an orchestral piece sound like a real orchestra?

    Hi, macgeek2005

    Diligamus has already pointed you in the direction of a good starting point.

    One thing is clearly misunderstood because of your question:

    "...Do people have a second person with them when they record, working the wheel?..."

    You're not realizing that with MIDI tracks, you record data in multiple passes over the same material. The little cartoon character in the GPO manual of a man being a one-man-band, playing a keyboard with one hand while using the foot pedal and keeping his left on the mod wheel---That's not really the way people usually work.

    Having read many people's explanations of how they work, and knowing how I work, I can say that a fairly typical approach is like this:

    --Record the notes of a section of a piece you're working on, of whatever length you want.

    --Go back over that work, listening to the playback, and record mod wheel (volume) data into that track.

    --Go back over that section again, this time using the sustain pedal.

    --Go back yet again to hand insert (or record live, if practical) all the other kinds of data you want to use - the special variablity controllers, legato, pitch bend, portamento, vibrato.

    Some are all of that work can be done with a mouse, working in what's usually called the Piano Roll view of a DAW, or some of it can be recorded live, as I described it.

    So, to the first part of your question, "...Is it just a matter of lots of tedious mixing work?..." - I guess the answer would have to be Yes. Except this isn't mixing that I've described--it's recording a MIDI performance. After all that's done on each of your instrumental tracks, Then comes the actual mixing which can take equally as long, or longer--Blending and balancing the tracks, adding reverb, EQ and whatever other effects you want to use.

    But - I would never use the word "tedious" for any of it. It's a fascinating thing to focus on - bringing your musical ideas to the best life you can manage.

    Hope you read up and start digging in.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

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