MIDI allows us to recreate entire orchestras when it's combined with great virtual instrument libraries. You can achieve things that would once have been impossible without costing many thousands of dollars, but it can be a daunting world to get involved with if you're not already experienced. Luckily, Peter Schwartz is here with two video courses that really get to the heart of building orchestral parts using MIDI and virtual instruments.
The MIDI Orchestra - Designing Templates
In this video from the course Orchestration 302: The MIDI Orchestra - Designing Templates, Peter explains the fundamental terminology of the orchestration world as it relates to DAWs. You'll learn about how sound is generated and triggered, how everything fits together and how to use multiple MIDI channels to get different sounds playing out of an instrument and thus make best use of your computer's resources.
The other videos in this 29-video course cover everything from designing and building templates to save time, to understanding the best way to maximise the performance of your music setup when composing.
The MIDI Orchestra - Enhancing Realism
Whether you're using a premium orchestral library like EastWest or the basic one that came with your DAW, this course, on enhancing orchestral realism, will guide and inspire you to make your orchestral productions as authentic-sounding as possible. In this short video, Peter tackles the issue of dynamics and how to make your virtual orchestral instruments reflect the kinds of real variations in volume and emphasis that you would get with real musicians.
Using practical, real time examples, Peter demonstrates how real instruments vary their amplitude and frequency over time, and why recreating this in your DAW is crucial to convincing the listener that the sound they are hearing is authentic. He also breaks down some key musical terminology around the subject of dynamics.