Now this is something that happens to me quite often. Have you ever been in the situation where someone asked “What are you using to create your music?”. Probably since most people aren't familiar with the technology nowadays, at least where I live. I cannot recall how many scornful looks I've received for stating that I take my Horns and Violins from an orchestra library. Most people don't even want to take a look at it because it seems totally ridicolous to them. I don't know if it's pure ignorance or the technology that most people aren't aware of. I guess it's a mix of both since people are trying to avoid it. I highly respect the real orchestra and I would always prefer it if I had the choice, but samples became really important because they give people with lower budgets the chance to listen to their compositions. Yeah I know, that's nothing new to everyone who reads this. However, I wish more people would acknowledge that. So how's it where you live? Well I can imagine that sample libraries are much better known and understood in states like LA, the situation in my country (Germany by the way) is stated above. Any similar situations so far?

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  • true but how many ways can you play a middle Bb on your trumpet? I think of the textures of Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Clifford Brown, Satchmo, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Nance, Dizzy, Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Mangione, Maynard Ferguson, just a handful of the first trumpeters that come to mind, some more advanced than others but each one with a unique and distinct sound and the ability to play that Bb about 10,000 different ways and have it mean something differnt. Dont get me wrong Richard, I work with my sample libraries all day long, its what we do... Just I cant ever think that my VSL trumpet section or my other libraries could ever replace the inflection and intensity of say having the Chicago Philharmonic trumpet section playing it live.

    Of course you can sequence 32nd note runs at 300bpm that jump 5 octaves but is it really musical unless its something that actually can be played by the real instrument? Maybe to some degree and it is a grey area, but that area is more like a line and crossing from questionable to ridiculous is one easily done, and the domain of that grey area, that grey line, is one of avant garde potentially atonal computer/sample music

    I guess its all in your goal of why you are writing and for what platform you write to. Keep talking man, please. I am really interested to continue and uncover maybe something I am missing :)
    • Of course! But, Miles Davis was one of the purveyors of introducing other genres into his music. He was grabbing it all and much before the mainstream was. To me, that made him a groundbreaker and it made me think...how did he get there?! All of the players you listed were breaking the norm, pushing the limits of possibilities farther and farther.

      Have you ever watched some of these German or any great electronica artist or dj use custom trigger units to operate samples, tweaking them on the fly, all customized to their like. They have hands on control to all elements of the sample and many processors and effects units...all at their fingertips. Its amazing to watch them do it and to me, Im like, wow...so where does that cable go?? duhhh...ha! They are in a category all their own and i am just trying to take what I can from it.

      Im with you...theres is nothing quite relaxing or as moving as a truly great master at their instrument, but to me that instrument could be old or new. And as time has passed, the new is really becoming ultra expressive! and I love it ...ALL!!! =P
  • Ray that is, of course, the most sensible simple and honest answer to the whole thing. If it is art to *you* and you feel that it speaks of truth from your soul, then it is art and it is music
    • agreed!!
  • (in response to Chris's 1st comment) Yeah, I do consider and understand that. But I can still be creative at where I am at, and with what I have to work with. I do create from heart and from the soul. I might not have written the original piece that I sampled off of, but I still think hard and dig deep to come up with some crazy re-arrangements. I think sampling though has more restrictions than live musicians have.
  • Hey everyone,

    Have not been on here in a while but plan to keep up more often...

    I am a big proponent of creating by means of digital...Ableton, Pro Tools etc...simply due to its ease and self containment...I would rather be into expressing the idea and doing it efficiently for the idea's sake. Software, sampling, samplers etc allow this.

    I have been looking at it from a composition standpoint and if that composition is to be used, then more than likely, considering the situation; that composition would be re-recorded or expanded upon before final use. Of course, if the situation did not lend itself to a re-recording budget, then I would use and enhance what I had the means to.

    But all in all, I try to keep my eye on the ball and to me, the ball is the composition...so I use what I have and make the best of it.
  • Yeah I know this situation, but basically there is a little remedy :)

    If someone asks me what I use, I don't say samples but recorded real instruments :)
    I mean if we talk to Pro's we know about libs and stuff. We basically know what we are talking about, but when it comes to listeners or customers I don't use the terms samples. There are so many people out there who connect samples with MIDI, FM and other artificial waveforms ... and of course, a few years everything was synthesis.

    Basically there is no lie, when you say you use a real orchestra, but due to financial and space issues the instruments are already recorded, collected in a lib and I use it on my computer :)
    • yea except you are limited to a nominal number of instruments, attacks, inflections, articulations.. I have the VSL Full Pro edition along with tons of other great libraries and at the end of the day it is very limiting
      • Yeah, but noone needs to know :)
        I mean we all know that sample libs are limited and will never reach the real thing.
        But if you sound convincing and tweak a bit in the end and know your gear ... you can make it happen to fool people.

        Without sounding like a bragger ... but I already did with my work for "HCA - the ugly prince duckling" :))
  • Ray/All:

    (this is a day late and a dollar short but) I'm in the middle of a DEEP orchestration class in LA, taught by a top film session bassist with a PhD. One thing he stresses is, if you're looking for "real" sounds (especially orchestral) one must compose with much consideration for each actual instruments' limits and strengths. That's if you (like me) think about what would happen if the Director suddenly "found" enough budget to hire an orchestra to play your MIDI score. (I've heard that viola sections are extremely hard on poorly-written charts and their composers.)

    Of course, every score needs different things. A composer has to break many "rules" but if one wants to do great-sounding (i.e. very close to real) MIDI orchestra, think like those players do. By just envisioning how a live violin section would bow a MIDI passage has helped me greatly.
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