The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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marra
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The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by marra » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:28 am

Hello!

I'm trying to achieve the most realistic orchestra sound possible:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipQIXbCByCU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExbckB15XeM

Where do I go from here?

I know of the VSL and Best Service libraries, as well as the Syntheway Strings VSTi. But is there anything better? Maybe a pure Ableton solution?

timothyallan
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by timothyallan » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:18 am

It takes a lot of skill to be able to program a 'real' sounding orchestra, people spend years perfecting programming articulations and nuances into their performances. You might want to hire an orchestral programmer to do the work for you as an option?

marra
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by marra » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:29 am

Are you up for hire?? :D

Nah, I wanna learn how to do this myself. I've spent years perfecting my mixing, now I'm searching for the right sound sources. Any recommendations?
Last edited by marra on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

timothyallan
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by timothyallan » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:35 am

lol I'm far from versed in orchestral programming. I do know a few people who are though :)

I think the new VSL is supposedly the creme of the crop. It's 64 bit which isn't going to do you much good until Live 9 unfortunately.

Saxer
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by Saxer » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:32 am

i do orchestral and big band stuff. to learn arranging and composing for orchestras my tips are:
- from time to time you should play in an orchestra. if you don't play an orchestra instrument, go to rehersals and listen.
- you can't arrange for orchestra without writing score. either you write on paper or with a notation program. i perfer logic because it can do both, scoring and recording.
- harmonic background is important. most orchestra instruments are monophonic, so you should think in melodic lines rather than vertical chords. static block chords are rare in good orchestra arrangements.
- meet musicians and let them show you their instrument techniques. see, how a staccato is done on a violin, on a trombone, a flute etc... most musicians are very helpful with that!
- articulation and dynamic are very important. no(!) sampeled string chord sounds realistic without using dynamic controllers. note lenght and velocity are very important too. and again: live is not a good daw for midi editing. adjusting velocity, note lenght, transposition etc of multiple tracks is not possible in live, you can't even see midi events of different tracks in one editor!
- the big good orchestra libraries are from: lass, eastwest, vsl, kirk hunter, miroslav vitous, peter siedlaczeck, garritan and a few i probably forgot to mention. all of them are different but all of them can do good music.

littlepig
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Location: UK, London

Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by littlepig » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:43 am

This site has Rimsky-Korsakov's Principles of Orchestration online with examples:

http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/for ... on-On-line

There are examples and exercises, there is loads of material there if you have the time...

3dot...
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by 3dot... » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:47 am

aside from orchestration ... (which you really should learn)
a sampler like 'Kontakt' has got a builtin scripting engine...
allows you to introduce human 'imperfections'...and various articulations
:wink:
it's the best tool for the job imo
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salatspinatra
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by salatspinatra » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:55 pm

1) Hire an orchestra. Start in the Eastern Block countries where the classics are taught well. There are certain outfits that will match you with a translator and conductor. For anything you're proud of, there could be no greater complement to your composition than having real people play it (and an audience to listen to it).
2) Already about as expensive as your first option: Go synthetic, not sampled (object modeling vs playback adjustments). Try Synful. Fill it in with some dedicated brass/drums/sax etc. synths if need be. Synthesis should be more responsive, and you won't need a new layer or library for every articulation you're going for. Compare this simple set-up to opening the can on Gigastudio.
3) Try playback and delays that imitate musical expression. Sibelius allows you to position the orchestra chair in the stereo spectrum. It also offers a playback that is more robato in its tempo interpretation.

Angstrom
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by Angstrom » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:29 pm

outside all the orchestration, there's still a practical problem with samplers

Real brass and string instruments can modulate their tonality inside a note in ways a sampler never seems to manage well. For example : A note rising from nothing, to a honking loudness, and then back to nothing - on a violin this can be done at any speed with a variety of intonations and other flourishes, perhaps a trill. On a sampler is most likely to be a fixed-rate swell (if it's a "Swell" sample) with a fixed rate trill. If it's a user-controlled swell it's often just a volume modulation of a single sample as selected by velocity at key-down, not a transition through the real tonalities of a swell.

On most sample banks even a legato is handled terribly, with the legato-ed notes starting their sample-start (complete with initial transients) , rather than the expected fluid transition from a sustaining note.

I think this is why most sampler string arrangements are immediately obvious, they lack the fluidity of expression and intonation available in the real thing.

Of course, there are very expensive orchestral sample banks which I don't have access to, so I'm sure there are better tools out there. But even then - I still seem to hear awful synthetic string and brass sections all over TV and even movies.
Note: I often make awful synthetic string and brass myself, I feel the pain

razorblade
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Re: The most realistic orchestra sound possible

Post by razorblade » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:37 pm

Of course, the examples you posted are samples chopped from records and not "orchestrated" by Flylo....You realize that, don't you?
No...I am 3phase!

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