Hi friends,
I have this curiosity between Chamber & Full Ensemble,
Most of the time we hear either just chamber section or full huge ensemble.
Is there any kind of possibilities if we can combine both of the two in a song?
Like for an example, intro, we can hear just chamber sections ~ slowly migrate to a different room/hall, build up with full ensemble, then comeback with a smaller section again and so on...(involves room sound changes).. will it sound natural?
Sorry for asking if this is a common thing these days, I'm still new and want to learn more~

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  • @Bob: accompanied by a tuba of unusual size. :-D

  • Thank you so much, just saw the video from The Tallis Fantasia, almost similar to what I was asking earlier.

    I was asking because I saw there's Virtual Instrument Library from spitfire, they offered Chamber/Smaller section library & full ensemble libraries + Solo instrument library~

    So I thought that, smaller section offers more defined & focused melody/lines/different mood due to not many players in it, so we can hear the instruments clearer.

    As for the full ensemble, ofcourse, it'll sound huge, due to the number of players & the room size.

    So I was thinking if we can do something like~ small sections play in a small room, containing only close mic and ambience mic, and then slowly fill in the full ensemble sections. What I'm trying to achieve is the mood change between rooms~

    Let me give an example~ let's say I'm scoring for a 1 minute trailer, on the very beginning of the intro, just one solo violin player accompanied by 3 violin players countering melody/playing chords [In a small dry room], as the trailer goes intense, the size of the room goes bigger, gradually, and more section start coming in, end up from a small room turning into a huge orchestral hall.

    Is this method common these days? I couldn't find one yet, most of the time it's always hybrid orchestral/synth/Insane overly processed risers/Impact Cinematic trailer... hmmm.

    By the way thanks for all the replies ^^


    Dave Dexter said:
    The Tallis Fantasia did something similar - orchestra, ensemble and quartet. All in one space though.
  • Amirul,

    I have the Spitfire chamber, solo and symphonic strings.

    They are excellent and beautifully recorded at Air Studios in London. 

    If you are looking at quirky, unusual production values, then I guess there is no reason why you can't put groups in different spaces as it might well aid a film scene psychologically  speaking.

    It is not common nor desirable though for traditional orchestral score to be treated as such. The mood changes you seek can be achieved just by good scoring and most importantly good music, without resorting to production sleight of hand. You've probably read somewhere that smaller forces need less reverb, but common sense has to apply here. All orchestral music will vary in strength as a piece develops, from the solo to the full sound, but do you see them moving to other rooms for solo/ smaller bits of the music? If your group is small only, then yes, best not to swamp the sound in a massive room.

  • Hi Amirul! Yes sure, composing is up to our own individual creativity, so it's possible to combine both Chamber and Full ensemble. Like what you said, start small, then when it builds up to the climax we can add in more and more instruments, and towards the end of the piece, we can "die off" by reducing the instrumentation bit by bit. This is just a very simple example. Of course, it's up to you, but anything is possible, so long as the music sounds good. If you do decide to combine both, then it's best to use a big enough studio with great acoustics so that you do not need to shift about. Hope this helps. :-)

  • In his Symphony No. 2, Henry Dutilleux set a sort of chamber orchestra in the middle of the stage, surrounded by a large symphonic orchestra. This work is like a concerto between the little orchestra and the large one. I  heard this work during a concert some 20 or 30 years ago, but I can still remember the surprise and interest caused to me by this configuration.

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