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Orchestra Software

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simon@home.co.uk
(@simonhome-co-uk)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 677
Topic starter  

Hey. Anyone know if theres any good programs out there for composing full orchestral stuff? Something that has good replications of the real instruments? At the moment I'm writting something in Guitar Pro, which has some decent sounds, but most are awful. I'm just using it for the sake of having the peice written out and being able to hear it played back to me in full. But I'd really like to move it into another program which will make it sound more real.

Its pretty much a classicalorchestral thing with electric guitar (but nothing like Malmsteens attempts at such a fusion. Its inspired by Beckers peice.)


   
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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

i can't remember if the sound quality in finale was any good. i don't think remember of the patches being awful, except the sitar, which sounded nothing like a sitar.

i'm thinking that if you have a midi keyboard, you could probably download fairly decent patches and play each individual part with that. i've also seen an actual qwerty keyboard used as a midi keyboard.


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

In my experience, the quest for ‘good' sounds is more or less endless. The basic sounds in Guitar Pro are pretty awful, but if you have what they call their ‘Realistic Sound Engine' ones they are a lot better. Still not that great though. But getting a reasonable sound sample is only a part of the problem, it's probably even more important to have the potential (and the skill) to be able to manipulate it until it sounds the way you want.

The problem is not just getting a reasonable single pitch sound, it's the difficulty of trying to reproduce all the many sound blends and techniques that you get on a real instrument. For instance, on a guitar ‘voice' you might find a half way decent single pitch sound but, on its own, that won't give you the effects that are part and parcel of playing a guitar. If you're looking for something that can reproduce a simple note by note melody line using a nylon string guitar sound then you can get something that sounds somewhat close (the steel string and electric sounds often don't seem to be as good, to my ears anyway). But real guitar playing uses many styles and techniques that don't appear just by entering a note value. Think of things like all the different ways there are of strumming chords, full or partial muting, hammer-ons, slides, bends, pull-offs, etc, etc. If you play one, then it's fairly easy to think of aspects that are tricky to reproduce from a guitar, but many other instruments are also hard to fully and accurately duplicate. If you just enter notes on a score it can sometimes sound mechanical and incomplete.

I've got several options, including Finale Print Music which allows you to write the score using standard notation and then play it back using its own sounds or, or generate a midi file which can be dropped into other programs. It's much less expensive than the full version of Finale. If you're not too fussy, the results can sound good enough to get a reasonable general idea. Or I can then drop the midi into something like Garage Band, Cubase or Logic Studio and use a wide range of possible instrument voices and editing options. Plus you can also add real audio tracks, by playing the instrument yourself, and mix them in with the midi ones.

If you use a midi keyboard you can add more dynamics to the playing, and get pretty good results for some instruments. Drums seem to work fairly well, and obviously pianos, organs etc. Others, such as violins or trumpets can sound pretty good, unless you happen to play the instrument yourself, in which case you'll have little trouble picking all the missing elements in the ‘fake' version.

Which is ‘The Best' way to go though? Well, it's an open ended question and depends on how much money you're prepared to spend on the software and how much on additional sound samples. You can spend pretty big money on both, although there are usually some shareware or donation requested samples around (Sorry, I don't have any names or links). But one of the biggest factors is how much time you're prepared to put into gaining the skill and knowledge needed to get the most out of the hardware and software. It also helps a lot if you know a bit about the playing characteristics of the instrument(s) you're trying to fake, and have some basic ability at arranging. It's not a quick or simple task to get the best results, but the good news is that it's very interesting and absorbing. How satisfied you'll be with any of the available options rather depends on what you're after, and how 'good' and how fussy your ear is. :wink:

Good luck with it all. :)

Cheers,

Chris


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

there are quite a few VST plug ins that are orchestral. MOTU has a symphonic Instrument plug in at 279$.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2241
 

For VST, Garritan Personal Orchestra is beyond awesome for the price.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

For VST, Garritan Personal Orchestra is beyond awesome for the price.

oh yeah! I forgot about that one.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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simon@home.co.uk
(@simonhome-co-uk)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 677
Topic starter  

wow forgot i made this post! Thanks for the replies. Some good stuff I'll check out very soon.

To clarify though, I'll be recording the guitar parts properly, as I am a guitarist. I couldnt possible the piano intro on a midi keyboard. I can't play pianokeyboard and would need to be fairly advanced lol...not worth it. So yeah, its everything other than guitar which I want the computer to create for me. And hence I really need something where I don't need to use a midi input, but can just 'score it in' so to speak


   
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