Great way to learn orchestration using EW Hollywood Opus - and a Cubase question

If you have been using Hollywood Orchestra Opus, you will know that it has a feature called “Hollywood Orchestrator” which is described as an “orchestration engine”.
What this is, is a set of presets which load common orchestration passages, along with relevent instrument patches that can easily be played by the noble art of pressing a single piano key, or simple chord sequence.
Before you turn your nose up and call “cheating!” remember that composers always study other peoples scores. All they had were dusty bits of paper. I hold Hollywood’s Orchestration tool to be the best 21st century version of this kind of learning tool. Far more suited to modern composition and giving instant aural feedback too.

With the earlier versions of this software all worked well but one could not see the real notation. Cubase or other sequencers would only show the notes you input on your keyboard - which might only be a single finger shot. You could not actually see the score - so no learning mode.

That’s all now changed for the better. East West have added a new feature. After playing your music and recording it into DAW, by going to a “hand” icon in the bottom right of Opus, you can drag across to Cubase and after a minute or so individual MIDI tracks are created and are appropriately labelled with the correct instrument names. You could now even go to Cubase score and check the notes of each part - (select all parts to see a master score).
This is a GREAT learning tool, you can see and hear some accomplished orchestration (often AKA the masters) and you can edit it in Cubase and have Opus play any changes. Much better than dry old books like Piston or Adler (IMO - I read them, but they never stuck) .
A further benefit is that advanced, sonically importnat non MIDI nuances that Opus is capable (e.g. slurs), are preserved. Nothing is lost.

HOWEVER, There is one glitch in Cubase, it’s trivial, overcomeable, but I would like to remedy it permanantly.
When the files are dragged into Cubase, using Opus’s hand icon and the individual tracks are formed, though they are labelled correctly, they have their output assigned to Halion. This is probably a default behaviour.
One can adjust this, by going to the output assignment in the Inspector in Cubase, clicking on the drop down list, where you will see Opus. If you select all tracks and then hold down alt and shift when changing, all the tracks will change in one click.

However it would be good if we could set the default output to Opus instead of Halion. Then it will all work like magic!

Question: Is this possible?



A shot in the dark, and a long one at that, but I wonder if this option has anything to do with it?

Thank you for the guess, but unfortunately Opus does not show up in this list.

And what about trying the two other option in that list ?
They are called MIDI Tracks and Instrument Tracks… I think the MIDI one is the way to go ?
But I’m not sure MIDI files could save the track output data, you’ll then have to set the output manually. You can do that easily by selecting all the MIDI tracks then keep pressing Alt+Shift while selecting the output on one of the track to set the same output on all the tracks.

Anyway, thanks for the information. This is a feature that was sorely missing in cubase. It’s so cool, we’ll compose like in Hollywood.
To switch between hallion and opus, well unfortunately I have no idea.
But if someone finds it, I’ll take it.
Good music to all.

This CAN be done in Cubase, I am doing this myself, it’s just a matter of going through each track seperately - which is fiddly.
There is a BUG (yes I mean this) in Cubase 12, where if you select multiple tracks and go to re-route the output from Halion to say Opus (if loaded) then it appears to do this for all, but actually only does this for the first track.
BTW Hollywood Opus has frequent sales of up to 60% off. Sometimes it comes up on single shopping sites only, othertimes on EW’s site. Pays to stalk.


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I am having a few anomolies with this new feature - it’s still excellent though but in first incarnation. I have emailed EW about how to use it as I don’t think the feature has yet reached the online manual.

Louis, I tried but it did not work. The tracks are being exported as MIDI by Opus and arrive as MIDI in Cubase, even with Halion selected


In fact you have to select all your tracks with Halion1 in your mixconsole. Then in the routing section of the mixconsole you have to: hold Shift+Alt while selecting “opus” on one of the selected tracks. (Shift+alt in the mixconsole is the quick link shortcut).
And that’s it!

Yes this works here, thank you. I think there is still a bug because this should also work in the project window.

I’m sorry to tell that again but there is no bug at all with doing the Shift+Alt thing in the inspector. All is working properly ! So either your Cubase isn’t up to date or it is a Preferences problem.

What I’ve done is :

  • Creating multiple MIDI Tracks (that was 6 but it doesn’t matter),
  • Writing a few notes on each track,
  • Creating an Instrument Track,
  • Selecting all the MIDI Tracks,
  • In the track inspector, choosing my instrument as the output while holding Shift+Alt.

Result : I play the project and solo the midi tracks one by one to verify that they are all routed properly, and yes they do.

Hi Louis, Strange. I am on the latest version. I still have the problem.
All the MIDI tracks are set to MIDI output via Halion.
I want them to be set to Opus

I select all the MIDI tracks using shift
Whilst in project window, I go to the Inspector and change the MIDI output of the first track, whilst holding down alt and shift.
Only the first track changes.
If I do the same in the mixer, then all tracks change

Are you sure you are still holding Alt+Shift at the time you select the actual output, and not just to open the drop-down menu ? Really I don’t understand why it is not working on your side. Maybe the key combination for Quick Link isn’t the same for you, can you make sure than when you are doing the key combination the Quick Link button is highlighted ? Seriously, if this still doesn’t work then I’m out of suggestions. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: You say it works in the MixConsole, so wtf is going on.

And first of all you should remove that HALion in Preferences and choose MIDI Tracks instead.
Apparently you have done it already because of your answer, but I quite don’t understand the syntax, do you mean that the tracks are still getting automatically routed to HALion when you import them ?

Well, I must eat humble pie on this one Louis, it’s working today after restart. I tried many times yesterday having it working in the mixer but failing in the project window. I really do not understand.

Thank you.

All’s well that ends well


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Here is a useful walk through of the Orchestrator. EastWest Hollywood Orchestrator Walkthrough - YouTube