Channel Trailer

Hello alltogether,

today I published a littel youtube channel-trailer (nothing special - music is my hobby).

I had to keep it short - the long version can be found on my website under “Music” - it’s called “Fairy Tale”.

Some details for interested guys:

DAW: Cubase 7.0.3
VSTi: Vienna Ensemble, Vienna Instruments Pro, Groove Agent ONE
Number of MIDI Tracks: 94


  • Piano
  • Violin 1 (16 single instruments)
  • Violin 2 (14 player ensemble)
  • Viola 1 (single player)
  • Viola 2 (14 player ensemble)
  • Cello 1 (single player)
  • Cello 2 (8 player ensemble)
  • Cello 3 (12 player ensemble)
  • Double Bass (10 player ensemble)
  • Flute
  • Transverse Flute
  • Oboe (3 player ensemble)
  • English Horn
  • Clarinet
  • Basson
  • Piccolo Trumpet
  • Trompet (4 player ensemble)
  • Horn (8 player ensemble)
  • Tuba
  • Harp
  • Soprano Choir
  • Orchestral Drums
  • Ambient Drumkit
  • Rock Drumkit

Opinions are always desired :slight_smile:

Best regards

Very heroic and dramatic song, nice job on the arrangement and composition. I really want to get my hands on some orchestral vst’s, looks really fun to play around with those.

Very nice - I enjoyed the overall atmosphere. The drums seemed to be lacking… I am no expert but it seemed like there needed to be some higher timpani or large bells. Also - Maybe it was the mix - but the higher brass sounded somewhat cheesy to me… other than that I liked it a lot and it was good enough for a subscribe ;D

Thanks for your oppinions :slight_smile:

Yes, it is fun to play around with orchestral vst’s… on the other side - every bit of realism is so much work.
Trumpets are still something I have to work on - perhaps next time better (or I won’t use piccolo trumpets again :wink:)


It’s definitely not easy to use orchestral instruments and make it sound real! But this was a good attempt and you used 94 tracks, that’s big and a lot of work! I think your brass instruments need to swell and fade to make it sound more realistic, there are many videos on Youtube to demonstrate this. Your sound balance needs some adjustment, I think the drums are a bit overpowering in comparison to the big orchestra. Your violins sound good though it feels like they might be panned to far on the left, esp at 0:30 where they play arpeggios, it sounds so good but it sounds like the violin players are sitting on the far left side of the room/stage.

0:41 - 0:51 the trumpets sounds too thin and his is where I would like to hear them swell and fade on every note. Sorry if it sounds like I’m giving so much critique, you are really talented and capable of doing big epic pieces with so many instruments, not something I can do yet. Jonathan would probably be able to give you much better pointers on orchestration. I didn’t hear the piano in your piece, not that it bothers me but I just wonder where it is. Congratulations on doing such a big piece with that requires so much work! Michael

I don’t know what kind of patches/expression your orchestral library has. But it sounds like everything is quantized for a start. When I’m producing MIDI mockups I quantize after performing parts in and then I’ll randomize by 20 ticks for every part (and for some faster passages I randomize by 10.) Also, for the staccato cellos at the beginning they sound lifeless because every note has the same attack, the velocities don’t sound randomized enough.

In terms of writing I don’t think that particular pattern works well when it’s bare like that. It just sounds too repetitive. The violin arpeggios sound like they’ve just had the volume turned up (making them sound unrealistic) as the actual timbre/characteristic of the note just isn’t changing. Additionally, those arpeggios shouldn’t really be your main focus. The melody lines aren’t really strong enough melodically. Not all melodies have to be remembered, but for me the melody notes just aren’t aligning with the chords in any way that speaks to me.

Those toms are a very bad choice as they are so boomy they just swamp the orchestra in a cloud of mud whenever they are hit.

I have no idea how you have 94 tracks there though, I just can’t pick out that many different instruments or varying articulations being used. I mean, I can’t any hear tremolo strings, pizzicato, col legno, or even variations of short notes (spiccato, staccatissimo, staccato, staccato-on-the-bow, marcato.) I can only hear the same technique throughout for the violin arpeggios (personally I’d prefer them to be either spiccato or staccatissimo.) I’m limited to 32 tracks with C6 Artist myself, which is enough for sustain/stacc for most instruments plus several percussion tracks.

If you’re just beginning with orchestration I’d suggest that you drop extra instruments like piccolo trumpet and work on the core instruments that are common. It’s hard to give tips on the orchestration because there is so much reverb present, which is fine (if it’s a reverb that gives more clarity.) I use large sized halls myself. But it’s easier to see what is wrong with orchestration by checking the score.

Part of the reason why it’s hard to pick out parts/instruments is because of the orchestration but the other is the reverb used that makes things sound muddy. And also, remember how much mud and boominess those toms are producing. If you use toms with orchestra you want snappy ones that aren’t boomy. Sometimes when I use taiko drums I have to cut away the low frequency so that they don’t overpower the orchestra.

There is a lot of editing involved in getting more realistic results ( also different sample libraries are required too.) It takes time to learn and refine, but you can do it faster with practice and it’s well worth it if you enjoy writing for orchestra and have decent samples.

The opera gong on the end just sounds…wrong for the style of music. If you do want a gong there I’d suggest using a different and bigger one. :stuck_out_tongue:

There isn’t much dynamic shaping either, in general. But I’m more referring to the melody horizontally. Choosing where the melody/piece will peak and rise and fall.

Probably missed out some stuff out above. Good attempt anyway, keep going.

Hi alltogether,

wow… so much to read and translate :wink:
First of all - thanks for the comments, suggestions and tips.
Its great for me to read this because this could really help me to become better.

Yes - with this peace I startet to try out orchestration - and ok… perhaps not perfect but that’s why I posted it here - to get suggestions on how to make it sound more realistic.

The Toms are very powerful - you are right… wanted to let 'em bang but perhaps this was too much :mrgreen:
You didn’t notice the piano… it starts at 1:20 together with the harp (to make it sound thicker).
The “gong” at the end are just 2 big cymbals together with piano and harp.

I have 94 MIDI Tracks - not instruments - so you understood it wrong… VSTi instruments in the Rack and in the VE are less than 30.
I split for example drums in several tracks or divide Automation from MIDI Tracks.

So on the next song I will try to take care of all those things you mentioned and hopefully make it better then (perhaps even on this one… but I’m unsure - it’s a lot of work to make everything nearly new, cause the original Song that was cut for the trailer has a length of 6:19) :slight_smile:


Yeah, it’s all practice. You’re off to a good start.

I forgot about this video in my previous message;

I’ve linked it on the forum before and it has some really great information on editing orchestral samples and how you should be thinking more like the player that you’re trying to replicate. In the brass example he gives he shows you what the curve of the horns should look like and plays the example. I’m not quite good enough to be able to record it in with the MOD wheel whilst also playing the notes so I just record it in the best that I can, and then make the curves more accurately as to how they should be for realism. I can do it in half the time that it used to take, so just keep practicing is my point and you’ll easily get the hang of it.

You can have big drums, you just need to choose which ones to avoid the resonance/boom cluttering and overpowering the orchestra.

Great music, very emotional

Thanks for your oppinion ThePresent and thanks to Jonathan for the link - I bookmarked it :slight_smile:

The instruments I use have cross velocity - I also used the mod-wheel on midi-2 (breath) to change the velocity - but I guess it was not enough and I should use it for nearly every note.

It will take some time to overwork all that stuff but I think I will do it in the next month.

It’ll come with practice and time. Even if I’m not specifically trying to learn something new, I always find I learn something new and improve and refine things with every piece that I write so just keep writing. :wink:

Same to me :slight_smile:
Of course I’ll keep on writing - what else should I do in my free time at night :laughing:

Keep going. This stuff isn’t easy. I’m still learning.