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Trying to be more "orchestral"

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I've made a song that I'm trying to have more "orchestral" although it wouldn't fit in the orchestra category considering it does use some synths, distorted guitars, and non-orchestral drum patterns but I really consider it more on an orchestral side because how the song was structered as a whole. Please check it out, you can download it here: http://www.mattmcfarland.com/cmsys/u...dio/witbex.mp3 I'm very new to film-score style music, which is what I'm trying to go for here. Instead of the minimalistic music that I'm pretty good at, I'd like to design more complex music that has different sections and progresses. Much like something you'd here during a film, watching credits, or at a title screen. [EDIT: LINK FIXED.. durh :P]

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Hmmm, the only thing this song at all shares with the word 'orchestra' is that you seem to have used some string instruments, including maybe played pizzicato. Other than that, I don't see how this would be classified as orchestra. It shares practically nothing with the orchestra style.

Anyways, the song itself is "ok". It just doesn't have that hollywood feel, you'll need to get better at mixing to add that epic stereo image and reverb. The plucked sounds too Fruity-loops-defaulty, and I've really heard that so many times that it's sad. The other synths (mostly the slayer-type synth) sound so empty and feels very lifeless. You should add effects to them. The song seems to repeat this one theme without too much variation either.

Nice try :)

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this music is nothing like orchestral stuff o.o... u should read up on music theory at least if u wanna do orchestration, orchestration is not so simple as adding effects or u liek what ure hearing, its all formulated haha.. ur music is closer to ambient type of music.. sry ;)..

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heh yeah.. well I tried atleast. I seem to have trouble doing orchestra type music, and I know I didn't modify FL Plucked at all either :) Still sounded good (to me atleast)

Thanks for your feedback guys! I'll try to do the orchestra thing again, hopefully it'll be better next time!

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Matt, if you want to study orchestration, there are a few steps to take. First you need to learn four-part harmonic writing that you can use to buttress your existing melodies. You need to know why parallel fifths are bad, the difference between a plagal and authentic cadence, how to use non-chord tones like suspsensions or passing tones, the effect inversions have upon the overall sound, among other things. The next step is to pick up a book on orchestration. You need to know the ranges of the instruments, all their articulations, and when you should or shouldn't use them depending on what effect you're going for. When you have solid harmonic sense, and the ability to distribute those tones among the orchestra judiciously, you'll have a good grasp on orchestral composition.

Hope this helps,
Brian

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Wow brian you just made it sound overwhelming!! :) Maybe there are tutorials on the net.. I'll see what I can find.. thanks :)

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He is correct to make it sound overwhelming because orchestration is the hardest style of all genres. It can take years to learn, and then ages to gain the necessary experience, such as seen in past classical composers.

The orchestra deals with such a wide range of instruments and requires very deep understanding in a lot of aspects. And then even after understanding the orchestra, it requires years of experience to tap into its potential. This is a very daunting task, but is becoming increasingly popular. Libraries such as GPO and EWQLSO have created a boom in orchestral composers, although many are inexperienced.

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The way I learn is by hearing it. Check out movie soundtracks and play them over and over again till you get it in your head. (works for me since I play by ear)
At least write down what they do and don't do.

for one they don't have a drum like what you're using unless you're trying to do a matrix style (rob dugin is it? sp) style music. keep it simple. in a lot of cases less is better.

IMO most of the really good sounding songs use very few instruments.

I fully agree with Brian Timmons and I myself need read up on everything he listed.

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Quote:
Original post by MattMcFarland
Wow brian you just made it sound overwhelming!! :) Maybe there are tutorials on the net.. I'll see what I can find.. thanks :)


Music is nothing to take lightly! Especially when considering orchestrating a piece of music for 120 to 160 instruments. (hehe) Needless to say, preparation is the most important step before writing an orchestral piece.

Here is a really good free guide that has the potential to help you out immensely.

http://www.musique.umontreal.ca/personnel/Belkin/bk/index.html

good luck.

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Quote:
Original post by LongeBane
I'm not very sure if you're really thinking into going to orchestral, but if you are, there's this free tutorial of the orchesta's instruments that is very helpful if you cannot buy a whole book. I certainly used it to some extent.

http://www.garritan.com/Orchestration_Tutorial.html


Another nice reference on the net is the Vienna Symphonic Library's "Instruments Online" database. Navigation is a little clukny for my taste, but the info is good:
http://www.vsl.co.at/en-us/70/149/46.vsl

I'm going to assume you have a basic background in music theory (notation, harmony, etc), and you have knowledge of the instruments of the orchestra (winds, brass, strings, perc) and how they function. If you are serious about learning to write for orchestra, probably the best thing you can do is listen to orchestras. Choose some orchestral pieces that you really like and purchase both the recordings and the printed scores. This is easiest with older classical works since the scores are readily available and inexpensive.

Study how the composer used the orchestra to get the particular sounds you like. Pay special attention to what combinations of instruments are used at those moments and in what range they are playing. Then try to determine how you can adapt those techniques to your own composition. This is not a quick process, but it will definitely yield excellent long-term results. Studying scores of more experienced composers is the way many great orchestral composers have learned.

Another website that may be helpful with this strategy can be found here:
http://www.mti.dmu.ac.uk/%7Eahugill/manual/

If anybody is particularly interested, some some rather experienced fellow film musicians put together a list of what they considered their most influential or essential orchestra scores. I could dig it up and post it here if people would like to see it.

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