Hi everyone. Glad to have discovered this forum. You guys/gals are awesome!!!

This is my first serious attempt at orchestrating and I can use your help. I primarily produce radio oriented music (pop, rock, dance)  So this is actually a song, made for a vocal melody, but I only included the instrumental because we haven't done a vocal yet. (only a guide, which it too raw to include)

So I am trying for realism, with intensity, with a few extra elements. I have studied a lot about orchestration recently, read a lot of posts, and got a few new sample libraries (LA strings lite, and Cinebrass core)

I would really be grateful if you can take a few moments and tell me areas I can improve, either with the dynamics, voice leading, flaws, combinations of instruments, etc. and anything that just doesn't sound right. I'm a novice in this space and when I hear some of the examples you guys have posted, I know I can really benefit from your expertise. 

Thanks for your help, in advance :)


Shir inst1.mp3

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  • Good point Bob and thank you so much for taking the time to listen and comment!  I'll build it up more slowly.   Did you hear any problems with voice leading or anything sounding really artificial?

  • Hi Bob, yes, I always 'dissect' albeit for more pop oriented music. I find it harder with orchestras but I'm learning, as I'm trying to become more familiar with all the nuances of all the instruments .  When am I referring to voice leading, I am referring to the strings and the woodwind parts, which I played separately and tried my best to follow the 'rules'. So am I concerned that to a discerning ear that is very familiar with orchestration, (all you folks :)  that it doesn't sound like I just played block chords with a string patch,  but that it sounds legit. That it has the same dynamics that live players would give it.  But if you're only hearing chords, then that answers my question regarding voice leading. Would you suggest separating the sounds of the strings more, (different libraries) or possibly re-working the parts?

  • Hi Peter,

    Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment. I truly appreciate it. I composed this as a hebrew song, (one of my first-I've produced pop/dance and hip hop for years) with a cantor singing it. The last time I tried something like it, it ended up all over Jewish radio, so I got inspired and figured I'd try again. It's actually only half the composition, (which I should have pointed out) because where I stopped it, it actually goes into an entirely new part, but I haven't really done much to that section, outside of  the piano and a guide vocal.  So do you hear any glaring arrangement or orchestration mistakes?

    Peter Brown said:

    Hey Arty,

    Where did you want to take your audience? Did you have a favorite community of listeners in mind when you composed this? Was this piece originally composed for TV, movies or was it intended as a 'stand alone' orchestration? And finally, what are the images that come to mind when listening to it?

    And I agree with Bob that you could 'pace' the piece so it's not too dramatically anti-climactic. 

    Yes, it sounds like you've been paying attention to the samples MIDI authenticity. Good work there! 

    I hope this helps some.

  • Thanks again Peter. My responses below

    Peter Brown said:

    Arty asked; 

    "So do you hear any glaring arrangement or orchestration mistakes?"

    My response to your question Arty is as follows.,

    After listening to this a few times, I came away from it not knowing the melody line. I'm looking for an 'impression'. A focal point. A melodic focal point.

    ---------The real melody is in the vocal. So I guess it should be included, even in a rough draft, to see the whole picture. 

    Also, there could be more separation and distinction among the different instrumentation. It's all one shade.

    -----------Ah, I totally agree! Please, can you elaborate on this?  This is where I really need the help. I'm not sure if it's in ranges of the instruments, or the similarity of the textures I've chosen, or both, or something else?

    The piano and the strings don't know if they want to be supporting rolls or featured melodic statement.

    -------supporting. The vocal should be the focus, but I didn't want to start posting 'songs' here, especially since I'm new :)

    You might also do a little mix engineering research on the behaviors of stereo imaging, depth of field and options in ambiance coloration.

    -----thanks, couldn't hurt to do more. 

    The good news is, it's obvious that you paid attention to your instrument articulations. That's 1/2 the battle!

    ----That is good news, so at least I did it right!


  • These are really awesome! Wow!


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