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Topic: Is this typical orchestra seating?

  1. #1

    Is this typical orchestra seating?

    Just wondering if this is standard.. I thought the violas were dead center, and the horns were more up front? maybe not..


    Here\'s a slightly different setup..


  2. #2

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    Hi Sam,

    I found this, based on THE GUIDE TO MIDI ORCHESTRATION from Paul Gilbreath




    I manage to get the next version of this book which seems to be a must


  3. #3

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    It can vary widely. The topic itself is a bit fascinating if you read up on how the seating has evolved from ions ago. You might see the violas stuck in the middle, sometimes closer to the basses on the right. In film music it can vary even more, depending on the sound the composer, orchestrator, and conductor (of which all could the same person) wants to achieve.

    Years ago I found myself lucky enough to sit at a Goldsmith recording session and I was distracted with so many other things that I didn\'t realize the basses were on the complete opposite end, the horns the same way, and about another half dozen or so interesting seating arrangements. The sound was just incredible though.. probably because it\'s Goldsmith where talking about here.. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    The Guide to MIDI Orchestration chart is how the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is setup. This is how I usually do my mockups.

  5. #5

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    There is a good seating chart done here in Flash;


    It brings up the different seating arrangements from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern.

    I did a print screen of the modern arrangment and saved it to the desktop. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    what an absolutely nifty little animation that is!
    Nice job finding and sharing


  7. #7

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    Scott: Thanks for that!

  8. #8

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    When I set up my sequences I prefer to pan the horns mostly left and the bones mostly right with tmpts in the middle (like the second example.) I just prefer the sound of it that way.

    But, ultimately, as it\'s been suggested, you can really do whatever you want...or, more appropriately, whatever sounds the best.

    Mixing makes a real difference too. In an orchestra, the percussion is typically set up with louder instruments in the back and softer instruments curing around more toward the front. (Which is partly why the brass is in the back. With brass up front that\'s ALL you\'d hear.) With a live setting that makes sense so you can actually hear the softer instruments. But when you\'re mixing a sequence, one can simply adjust the levels to get the sound right. And, with many recordings they alter the mix anyway...bringing out sounds (like marimbas) that you\'d never hear with a full orchestra blasting around them.

  9. #9

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

  10. #10

    Re: Is this typical orchestra seating?

    Craig: Very cool..kinda hard to see though. It looks like the cellos are almost dead center!

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