This may not be the right discussion group for my question, but it is the group that I tend to read most often. I have heard a number of wonderful Giga-based orchestral recordings of works posted by members of this forum. As a rule, do these tend to be recordings of midi-driven sequences, recordings of the various orchestral parts played in \"live\" via Giga, a combination of the two or something else?
I own a SoundChaser TK1 loaded with Garritan Strings, Dan Dean Brasss and Woodwinds, Malmsjo Piano and London Orchesral Percussion. My system is driven by Digital Performer, and I generally am using DP as a midi-sequencer. I use my system primarily to test ideas that I eventually plan to take to live orchestra, so my purpose is not to use Giga and DP to produce a final product. Nevertheless, I cannot seem to come close to producing the kind of sound quality from Giga that I have heard from works posted on this forum. Therefore, I am curious about what others are doing to produce such fine sounds that I am not doing.
You may remember me from the Group, now CMM. There are a number of folks here Bruce Richardson, King Idiot, and many more who can offer excellent advice. Unfortunately, your request was somewhat nonspecific. What about your realizations is unrealistic sounding? Another approach would be to post a link to one or two pieces available for download from the web and request comments. From what I remember of your work I know most folks here will admire the compositions and they\'ll be happy to offer suggestions for improvement.
I have most of the libraries you mention and a few more. GOS tends to respond well to EQing the high end down a bit. I also found bumping about 950 Hz in Dan Dean\'s trumpet gives a fatter sound that I like. There has been much discussion about reverbs and most recently mastering. Stick around and look through the archives for the last 6 months. There\'s a wealth of information here and I\'d like to welcome you aboard.
PS. EDIT, It seems someone with admin capability took offense to me referring to Mr. Rendleman by the common abbreviation of the name Richard. Having known him on other forums let me assure everyone it was not my intent to call him names. The situation\'s actually kinda funny.
It will take me a day or so to put together a few things for posting. With Giga, I actually started small, since I didn\'t want to get overwhelmed with it, so the pieces I will post are fairly simple and quite sparse as far as orchestral music goes. I am also about 3 minutes into a new full orchestra piece, but I will probably wait until I am further along before I post that.
Orchestration, balancing and expression is the key to a realistic orchestral sound as I see it - in that order, btw! While doing some MIDI mockups of John Williams scores a couple of months ago, where I wasn\'t allowed to use any expression or volume changes at all - only velocity switched instruments - I found that even with such a simple sequencing going on, it could sound fairly realistic and good since the music was so well written and orchestrated in the first place.
Some general orchestration \'rules\' that I try to follow:
- Be realistic. Don\'t have four 1st violin lines playing.
- Double instruments. If you have a cello line and want it to be \'fatter\', try doubling with the bassoons. Basses with tubas, violins with violas etc etc. - instead of creating different melodies for all instruments, which can very easily lead into a messy sound.
- Balance and pan your instruments. No matter how well written your piece is - if your solo oboe is twice the volume of your 1st violins, your horns barely audiable, your piatti cymbals the loudest sounding instrument in your piece, your snare drums up front on the conductors place etc - it just won\'t sound realistic. Listen to real recordings and try to follow the balancing and placement of instruments there.
- \'Ride the expression pedal\' (or slider) - no matter which instrument, save percussion, you want your performance to have life in the form of dynamics. Therefore, use x-fading where available, especially for strings, and volume changes to make your orchestra more dynamic.
I am sure there are people with more advice than this, probably also better and more accurate advice, so let them come forward - or try searching the forum, I know this issue has been brought up before.