EastWest Hollywood Orchestrator

I’m all around the 'Web looking for a good “how-to” article on Hollywood Orchestrator. You’re supposed to enter chords in real time on your MIDI keyboard. I’ve never been good on the keyboard (god knows I’ve tried). I wondered whether I could use the chords in my chord track to trigger the chords that Orchestrator needs but I had no luck with various tricks. Has anyone out there found anything on line, maybe a pdf, on how to use the Orchestrator? The walk-throughs on YouTube are very low on specifics.

I don’t have a description but you just have to send the chord midi from a midi channel into opus and the orchestrator works with this input.

I’m guessing that when you say to send the chord from a midi channel (1-16) into Opus that you maybe mean to say to send the chord from a MIDI Track (the chord track) into another MIDI track (not channel). Not sure how I would send chords “into Opus.” I did try it that way from track to MIDI track (actually I used a n Instrument track) that but got no results. I assume that that was because I neglected to specify a preset, and I can’t seem to make the presets show up now. One time I did get presets to show up but when I clicked on one of the presets there was no sound, no chance to preview what the different presets would sound like. I think maybe the Orchestrator still needs some work by the developers, or at least maybe a good user manual.

I would not be going about doing this in the way you describe. I confess I never use Chord Track.
Just use a normal Instrument Track and and load an instance of Opus.

If you want chords, then write them in using the key editor (good practice for you!) .

Check out the Key Editor - it’s the heart of Cubase on the MIDI side. The more you learn about this the better. Especially check out the Key Editor’s Chord Editor Function (LHS menu). This will be more useful than chord tracks.

Orchestration is all about laying out chords in wide open voicings across sections. Below ois a llink to a shord video on the basics

If you want a proper course on Opus then check out Eli Kransbergs course on Groove3

Eli is an excellent educator and is very thorough - spend a week on the course - first week with Groove 3 is free.

Opus is in two parts:
1] The OrchestrA which is used just like many other conventional orchestration packages.

2] The OrchestraTOR, which is extremely powerful and a wonderful way to learn how to orchestrate. Learning this deeply would be very valuable to you after you cover the basics.
The orchestrator basically arranges an advanced orchestration style so it can easily be played on a keyboard even using one finger. It’s highly modifiable too and a great starting block. It gives up to 2 bars of orchestration per MIDI keyboard note.
Although the Orchestrator does not itself show you the score within OPUS, there is a hand icon in the bottom right and this can be used to drag MIDI parts out as MIDI scores. This is semi advanced, so do the course first.
When you try to do this in Cubase, it will need tweaking. Cubase will default to playing these parts in Halion, which is not what you want, you will need to change all the seperate MIDI parts to OPUS to get it working.
The key point about hte Orchstrator is, not just the great sounds, but once the MIDI notes are in Cubase, you can analyse the orchestration directly whilst hearing it either in Cubase’s Score, or in the Key Editor. Much better than reading a paper based score. You can also, loop, revoice the parts using any sound you like, or alter the tunes and chords. You can tehn use any of Cubase’s powerful tools on a note by note basis. Maybe this is second base for you though and you need to get to grip with basics using the course first. It’s really not that hard though.

On the whole its probably best to avoid MIDI tracks, which are old skool, Instrument tracks have really replaced these. This is nbot always true though. There are various ways of working, I don’t want to get too deep here, but there is the one instrument per cubase track method, or the use of multiple “Slots” in Opus. Slots are explained in the course and there is that free trial.

I am in Hertfordshire UK, If your near you can visit my studio - get in touch. I am currently doing a deep dive into Opus.

Let me know if you have questions, I post too in VI Control which is a composers forum the best place for advice on composing