• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Topic: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Hello folks,
    i am looking for a good source for educating myself in orchestration.
    I know there are a lot of books out there dealing with this topic, but actually i don't want to spent 10 years studying profoundly the comprehensive amount of classical orchestration disciplin. I can imagine that this is an art of it's own and needs a lot of know how and experience and of course talent to be capable arranging those huge scores. But that's not my claim.

    Basicly i am not an orchestra musician but a pop/rock musician and i would like to include this warm and organic sound of strings and brass here and there in my compositions. Just like in this common modern pop/rock music like from The Verve, Maroon5, Travis, etc, etc...Sometimes a gentle and intimate Cello here, and than, e.g. in the refrain, an opening and bright shining orchestra there...So my intention is more a kind of pop-orchestration than a traditional classic-orchestration.

    I'm not shure if this limitation really prevents me from studying profoundly this whole orchestration thing anyway, but i hope to abbreviate a little the learning process. My idea is, that maybe there is a more standardized and narrower defined scope of arranging those pop-backing-orchestra as compared to the full range of classic orchestra arrangements. I'm searching for some basic rules, maybe some introducing tutorials, an expediant book, something like that...

    Can you recommend something particular to me?

    Thank you!
    Solari

  2. #2

    Smile Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Orchestration is a life-long learning process. The easiest would be the Principles of Orchestraion ONLINE ( exactly where you are at). For whatever you want to write you need to know the instrumentation first. For pop probably you need the strings which are the easiest ( non-transposing). Assuming that you know the voice leading principles, I would study lesson 1,3,5, 12. Try to do examples at then end of the lessons, ask questions. People will help you out!! I don't think, anyone can introduce you such a tutorial. If I want to write for strings in pop style, i would write for a group of violins ( I and II) in divisi as a background music ( playing very soft), sustain/long notes, or passages to fill the gaps in my music. I might also use celli to play a sweet/slow melody. There are a lot of possiblities. Just try them.
    Chekad Sarami
    Math Professor

  3. #3

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Hi chikitin,
    thanks for your reply!

    Of course it is a "life-long learning process", like everything else regarding music composition and mixing...Nevertheless i hope to become quickly capable of arranging some usual strings backings for my tracks.

    I put some samples here just to give examples for the application described above:
    Strings 1
    Strings 2
    Pop Orchestra 1
    Pop Orchestra 2

    How would you describe the main characteristics of this Pop Orchestra backings? Is this a rather sophisticated arrangement or a quite simple one? Well, to me it doesn't sound that simple...

    Greets,
    Solari

  4. #4

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    If you follow the following rules, I would say it would be very hard to write bad for strings! But generally, overusing (vertically, using chords in close position) the strings especially in low register will make the arrangement sound too think and muddy. I wouldn’t write chords for low strings. Either use violins as a group or solo violin/viola/cello! If you want to write a chord us only violins make sure that individual instruments move stepwise with the smallest possible leaps (a principle of voice leading) and write the chords in open position ( especially the 6th intervals are probably the most effective). As I said writing single string line that entering and exiting throughout the song is much more effective. Of course it should not be overused. It usually doesn’t play the melody unless you are writing the solo for it. As you see in your second example, the cello is playing the countermelody (melody is the singer) resembling the beloved one. You don’t want your string distract the listener from the melody. So maybe it is a good idea to have it play lower register and also not to play notes faster than the main melody. Here I am assuming that the rhythm section is playing along with strings! Remember, you can use string effect such as tremolos or pizzicato as well following aforementioned notes! Here is how I analyse your posted excerpts:
    1. Contrast-between a solo Acoustic instrument( string) with electronic instruments. The viola/cello plays three notes G#-F#-E pointing out V-i ( authentic cadence) in C#-minor scale, the relative minor of the key of the song which is E-Major.The music is slow! As you see the solo string plays step wise motion the harmonic/chord tones. Starting E ( Emaj chord), D ( B-min chord), the C# ( Amaj chord) and so on! Then continues like a sequence.
    2. The second example is solo cello with acoustic guitar and the singer. The combination of these three always sounds great. Guitar and singer are playing something called differentiated polyphony. They play to independent motives and repeat over and over again as a sequence both together. Quick moving eight notes and the leaps in the voice contrast with also slow and step wise motion of the cello’s counter-melody.
    3. Strings (violins) play in union with Piano. You can use this especially at the beginning or the ending, or when you are approaching the climax/crest of your song.
    4. This is the climax of the song. Strings play high notes, stepwise and after the crest of the song play a quick passage to keep the music flow (right after the singer stopped singing).
    Again, these are my opinions and the result of playing violin in symphony and pop and rock bands for several years. Of course we need to break the rules after a while. But as Wanger's teacher said, before breaking the rules we must learn the rules.
    Chekad Sarami
    Math Professor

  5. #5

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Hello chikitin,
    thanks a lot for your comprehensive reply!

    I read all your tips, and they seem quite plausible to me. They are covering with my general music composing experience.

    What causes more problems to me is the use of decent articulations to achieve an authentic melody line. I use VSL here, mainly from my Kontakt3 library and the Horizon Solo Strings. And after some training i'm still not very shure about the best articulation to apply here and there...so what articulation is commonly used for what part in a melody line? That's what i try to find out right now...

    Thank you again!
    Solari

  6. #6

    Smile Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solari
    Hello chikitin,
    so what articulation is commonly used for what part in a melody line?
    Solari
    There are many factors including the register, pitch, timing, and tension of melody, agogic accents, arches and maybe the style of the music is the most important one.

    First do a tension analysis of your piece. I would increase the vibrato and velocity of the channel playing the strings as I am reaching the crest of the melody ( channel pressure control) and reduce it back after passing the crest. A good string soloist most the times increases the vibrato when he/she wants to play louder and does the opposite for decrescendos. Ending of every phrase should do a diminuendo. For low/high pitches you have to be careful when you change the vibrato. If your strings are accompanying the voice or solo, using legato ( slur) would be probably the best choice. Try to listen to some solo violin/cello and string music and closely listen to the atriculations.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK_Gdog-BbU

    Another way would be using Finale by Makemusic. It has a feature called "Human Playback". You give your style of music, it playbacks it close to the style that you want. Of course if you mark the articulations it would sounds much realistic. I guess you cannot load K3 in Finale. But you may use Garritan sounds ( GPO or Stradivari). These sample instruments sound really realistic!
    Stradivari Solo Violin 2.0
    Check them out: http://www.garritan.com/stradivari.html

    http://www.finalemusic.com/Finale/fe...nplayback.aspx

    One can use Garritan sample instruments to produce a wav file inside finale with Finale Human playback, then load the wave file into my mixer for further effects.
    Chekad Sarami
    Math Professor

  7. #7

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    With a "pop" orchestration, you're often dealing with an already fairly full harmonic voicing, so the main concern is not to overdo it.

    For example, if you have an electric bass pounding away, try not to score a bass and cello line that will muddy it up. True, you can cut some lows with EQ to make room, but the upper cello/bass harmonics will remain and create a less clear effect than simply omitting the conflicting parts. Of course, there are exceptions to this depending on the overall voice leading and how much counterpoint exists betwen the "orchestra" and the "band".

    But overall it really depends on the piece in question. It could range from just voice plus orchestra, to a wall of guitars with a violin line on top. Or it could be a wall of orchestra with a guitar solo... or anything...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Cologne, Germany
    Posts
    676

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Here's a simple summary of the principles of voice leading, in case anyone would like to know:

    http://www.smu.edu/totw/partwrit.htm

    HTH

    Nigel

  9. #9

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solari View Post
    Hello folks,
    i am looking for a good source for educating myself in orchestration.
    I know there are a lot of books out there dealing with this topic, but actually i don't want to spent 10 years studying profoundly the comprehensive amount of classical orchestration disciplin. I can imagine that this is an art of it's own and needs a lot of know how and experience and of course talent to be capable arranging those huge scores. But that's not my claim.

    Basicly i am not an orchestra musician but a pop/rock musician and i would like to include this warm and organic sound of strings and brass here and there in my compositions. Just like in this common modern pop/rock music like from The Verve, Maroon5, Travis, etc, etc...Sometimes a gentle and intimate Cello here, and than, e.g. in the refrain, an opening and bright shining orchestra there...So my intention is more a kind of pop-orchestration than a traditional classic-orchestration.

    I'm not shure if this limitation really prevents me from studying profoundly this whole orchestration thing anyway, but i hope to abbreviate a little the learning process. My idea is, that maybe there is a more standardized and narrower defined scope of arranging those pop-backing-orchestra as compared to the full range of classic orchestra arrangements. I'm searching for some basic rules, maybe some introducing tutorials, an expediant book, something like that...

    Can you recommend something particular to me?

    Thank you!
    Solari
    The best "trick" to avoid a lot of wrong string arranging/writing when creating pads, is to keep the overtone system in mind. From low to high, start with large open intervals and make them smaller the higher you go. A little bit simplified but that is what basically is going on in a good written string chord and generally, every kind of chord. This avoids muddiness and gives a good sound. From here you can think about using close, open or mixed chords, depending on how the voicing goes and other factors.
    You can listen to my music on: www.andrevanharen.com

  10. #10

    Re: how to arrange pop-orchestration?

    TRY THIS : You need Know some about composition and few of orquestration YOU TAKE A MIDI POP ROCK AND ANOTHER MIDI CLASSICAL ROCK than you see the TRACKS and ask yourself : I CANT PUT CHANEL 6 INSTRUMENT TRACK LIKE VIOLIN AND CHANGE THE INSTRUMENT FOR GUITAR ROCK ITS GOOD OR NOT TRY TO LISTEN NO GOOD ... TRY THIS STUPID THING PUT TAKE A POP BASS AND CHANGE MAKE IT PLAY FOR TRUMPET : NO GOOD SE WHY NO GOOD YOU NEED TO DISCOVER .... this for all YOU CAN CHAGE ALL MIDI : THE POP ROCK PLAYED FOR MIDI CLASSIC AND CLASSIC PLAYED FOR MIDI POP ROCK ... if you want new parts tou need know some more abou COMPOSITION not orquestration because you have million of models of orquestration in midi format ... wait if you have good software like NOTATION COMPOSER and a good KEYBOARG ARRANGER LIKE MICRO ARRANGER ( HAVE 32 MIDI TRACKS ) and another softwere called ( all very sheep ) SWEET MIDI you have all you need for all work you wanto to do .... send mail and say me ... ok tvpoejo123@sapo.pt I am go to show some videos on my page sayng for all world like i do ... my orquestrations and the rules of composer very easy and free ....i am not a good teacher but know i know some ... i have reached de secret .... i am working in this videos than soon you can visit http//www.tvpoejo.com ... i

    TKS

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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