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Ooh…a sexy box of….software?

The onward march of technology continues with the new release of the Vienna Symphonic Library virtual instrument. One of the best sample libraries for orchestra, they’ve now made it easier to manage all the thousands of different articulations of each instrument by creating a software plug-in instrument. And it’s only $11,000. Who needs an orchestra anymore? Well, not so fast.

For Independent Film, where budgets make an orchestra out of the question, this is wonderful.
Having this wonderful technology does enable a composer to work up excellent, final quality soundtracks.

However this does shift the time spent instead of composing to actually recording and producing these scores.

It’s why a lot of the older generation of composers (before sequencers and computers and MIDI) have retained armies of orchestrators AND computer savvy tech guys who actually do the mock-ups before the final recording session with a real orchestra.

My process requires an upfront “creative, go in the cave time” where I spend time researching, wrestling with characters and concepts and strategies and then a demo period of writing quickly. The recording/production/mixing time gets very elongated the more complicated and bigger the sound palette as I have to play each part separately into the machine. However, having these excellent samples make it so much easier to convey to the director/producer what the intent is and whether it will work to picture.

And then we can either polish it for final or take it to the orchestra recording session.

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