Good software to orchestrate

Dear composers,

I've been struggling to find the right software to orchestrate my works. I have tried Reason on my Macbook Pro, but I find the sound way to unnatural (especially the violin parts). I wonder, since you have more experience, what are your favorite programs to compose/orchestrate with? Which program creates the most realistic sound and is not to hard to use?

Thanks in advance!

Charlotte

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Replies

  • Yes, I agree with you, Simon. Most of its sounds really need reverb involvement, but some, like soft strings (if I'm not mistaken), already sound okay in their default stand.

    Simon Godden said:

    I hear what you're saying  Sam. but HALion,s biggest downfall is it's resolute dryness.  With a good reverb programme, a good engineer can make HALion sing

    Sam Umar said:

    Hi Charlotte. When I got my Cubase 5 and started composing using HALionONe as the VSTi I was not very satisfied with the sound I heard, so I've tried several other VSTis, including Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra, Miroslav Philarmonik, and the most recent I am using now, Garritan Personal Orchestra.

    I am quite satisfied with the sounds of Miroslav and East West. So maybe, you could also try those or any other great VSTis, such as Vienna Symphonic Library, although I haven't tried that one, but I've been listening to the samples. :)

    Good software to orchestrate
    Dear composers, I've been struggling to find the right software to orchestrate my works. I have tried Reason on my Macbook Pro, but I find the sound…
  • Thank you for this info!  & Also thanks for asking the same questions I have!

    James Semple said:

    Hi Charlotte,

    It depends where you are having issues with virtual orchestration. If you are finding the interface/workflow awkward for actual composition or orchestration then I agree that either using pencil and paper or some kind of notation software (like Sibelius) would be the answer.

     

    If the problem is down to the quality of the virtual instruments then ... welcome to the never-ending world of trying to make mockups sound realistic. Basically you will need sequencer software and a professional level set of orchestral samples.

     

    At the moment East West are doing an exceptional deal on their Symphonic Orchestra but it tends to have a fairly cinematic sound by default. It depends what you are looking for overall.

     

    I use Cubase (and occasionally pencil and paper and advice from some amazing orchestrator friends) and I use a LOT of sample libraries. You can see more details at http://www.jamessemple.com/studio.html. If you check out my page here at Composers' Forum then you can hear some of my mockups.

     

    Realistic orchestral mockups require a fairly serious hardware setup so you might find my approach won't work for you. One of the best possible approaches for beautiful and realistic-sounding orchestral 'sketches' is Spitfire Albion. It's even designed to be run on a laptop.

     

    Solo strings are one of the hardest things to mock up however again I would recommend Spitfire for this. Their Spitfire Solo Strings library is reasonably priced and sounds amazing (because it's top-class British performers recorded by a world-class engineer with top-quality equipment in AIR Studios in London).

     

    If there's anything else you'd like to know then message me and I could set up a Skype session.

     

    cheers

     

    James

    Good software to orchestrate
    Dear composers, I've been struggling to find the right software to orchestrate my works. I have tried Reason on my Macbook Pro, but I find the sound…
  • Hi Charlotte. I would definitely recommend using the EastWest Symphonic Orchestra and then maybe adding to it with Hollywood Strings. It sounds real and it is what many composers use to write their music, such as: Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix who write theatrical trailer music. I can almost guarantee that you have heard something by them at some point in your life. For just writing music (not having a "recording" of it) I use Musescore (which is like Finale, but free) or a pencil and paper for the note input. Hope this helps! :)

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