How to Write for Percussion Part II: Note Values, Tempo, Quantization

For this next post in my “Writing for Percussion” series, we’re going way back to music basics to get a foundation for how to read — and how to count  — rhythms. We’ll do this by understanding beats, bars, note values and tempo. And, because we are generally focused on modern digital production concepts, we’ll relate these musical foundations to things like controlling tempo and MIDI quantization within our Digital Audio

How to Write for Percussion Part I: Frequency Ranges

In this post, I’ll be discussing how to write for percussion by first understanding the instrument frequency ranges. This will be part one of a multi-part set of posts on using Rhythm and Percussion in Orchestral-based sample library compositions and productions. Today, I start with PART ONE: to understand the family of orchestral percussion instruments and their respective frequency ranges — from low to high — and how best to

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part VIII: How to Use Reverb pt2

In our first post about reverb, we covered the basics: what is reverb, the different kinds of digital reverbs and their various features, and how to use reverb in a musical production. In this new post, we will pick things up from there, and take a deeper look into the use of reverb for more complex mixing concepts such as depth and placement within a three dimensional (3D) space. Our

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part VII: How to Use Reverb

In this post I’ll talk about how to use reverb with orchestral sample libraries. Many years ago, when I first began my music production journey, I initially thought of reverb as just another “effect”and so I lumped it in with my other sound tools: delay, flanger, chorus, phaser, distortion, etc. In those early days, I was primarily recording small bands where I would use reverb mostly on the vocal overdubs

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part VI: Layering Samples

Now it’s time to discuss another approach for creating more realistic-sounding orchestral productions using sample libraries: Layering Samples. By “layering” I am referring to using multiple samples at the same time to achieve a certain sound. What’s important to first understand is the WHY? Why would would you want to do this? With so many high quality, full-featured orchestral sample libraries to choose from, certainly there is one that cover

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part IV: Note length and Velocity

How to create realistic orchestral programming using Note Length & Velocity For part IV of my Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries series, we’ll be talking about how to create realistic orchestral programming using note length and velocity. These two parameters in particular, “velocity and note lengths,” don’t appear to be discussed as much in other orchestral programming lessons (at least I never hear it coming up much.) I’m not sure why

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part III: String Articulations

It’s time for Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries, Part III: String Articulations. When I first started learning about Orchestral Sample Libraries, I kept hearing about these things called “articulations” and, while I had a general idea of what they were, I found myself always stumbling over the meaning of each; this often made it difficult for me to know the best way to use them. While I did study classical music theory

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part II: Ensemble vs Sections

Now it’s time for Part 2 of my Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries for Beginners series. In part 1, I talked about the difference between a sample library that is recorded Wet (including the sound of the room) vs a sample library recorded dry (no room sound.) In this post, I’ll be discussing the difference ensembles and sections. As a reminder, these Intro series post are intended for beginners: those

Intro to Orchestral Sample Libraries | Part I: Wet vs Dry

Orchestral sample libraries for the beginner | Part I: Wet vs Dry. This will be my first in a series of posts where I share some of the key concepts that I use when composing and producing orchestral-based music using orchestral sample libraries. Please note: This series is orchestral sample libraries for the beginner. If you are just getting started, and you’re interested in learning more about how to compose orchestral