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Orchestration Recipes Discussion Thread

Aside from the new format, I think the most significant change in Vol.3 is its compositional approach. The previous two volumes were more focused on how to achieve a particular mood/sound through instrumentation and orchestration, while Vol.3 delves deeper into actual harmonic construction and composing techniques.

This is something a lot of folks have been asking for from the beginning, and goes beyond basic orchestration.
So far I also have the feeling that Vol. 3 is more on composition and not on orchestration. Don't get me wrong: It's great, I am glad it exists and I really like the content and its presentation. And I can't believe I paid so little for it.
But I think the name "Orchestration Recipes" might not be fitting anymore ...
 
But I think the name "Orchestration Recipes" might not be fitting anymore ...
Agree, I have all three and really love them. The first two volumes are great recipes that take you by the hand to get a certain orchestral sound or mood real quick. The third one is a fantastic and detailed narration of compositioning tips and tricks. Still recipes, but less on creating a sound through orchestration but a lot more on creating a mood through harmonic construction. Who knows, I'm quite sure @PhilipJohnston will provide us with more courses in the future and maybe there will be two categories: Orchestration Recipes and Whatevernamewillfithere Recipes
 
Still recipes, but less on creating a sound through orchestration but a lot more on creating a mood through harmonic construction.
This move to harmonic construction is something I have been looking for. I love orchestration, but you can also do a lot with harmony, but like with orchestration it can be hard to know mix elements to get the right emotion or feel.
 
I'm enjoying the content of vol 3, but I'm slightly struggling to feel like I have achieved anything after each lesson. I recently worked through vol 1, where there's a very specific "do this, this, this and this" for each recipe, and after an hour you have an "original" short piece of music to save in the ideas folder. Times 21. I'm sure you could take each of Philip's examples in vol 3 and write something similar (which I'm doing), but there's a lot more thinking required, and maybe that's missing the point.
 
I'm enjoying the content of vol 3, but I'm slightly struggling to feel like I have achieved anything after each lesson. I recently worked through vol 1, where there's a very specific "do this, this, this and this" for each recipe, and after an hour you have an "original" short piece of music to save in the ideas folder. Times 21. I'm sure you could take each of Philip's examples in vol 3 and write something similar (which I'm doing), but there's a lot more thinking required, and maybe that's missing the point.
Well, I looked at Sunken Minors and immediately found a place where I used it. And actually I also used the orchestration of one of the examples (probably even with the same library).
 
Well, I looked at Sunken Minors and immediately found a place where I used it. And actually I also used the orchestration of one of the examples (probably even with the same library).
It's definitely helped me quantify certain composition techniques that I occasionally used without really knowing what I was doing. Examining some of my older compositions, the ones that have always sounded the best to me are in fact the ones where I accidentally used some of the techniques Philip describes.

Now that they've been formalized for us, I can be more intentional in applying them, and hopefully get more consistent results from my compositions.

Philip's methodology for dissecting and identifying composition/orchestration techniques, and then presenting them in such a clear way, is invaluable and can instantly elevate anyone's music.
 
I really like these lessons. But i would have prefered if things where explained a bit more trad. E.g sunken minors? What is that.. Its a bunch of major #5 chords.
 
I really like these lessons. But i would have prefered if things where explained a bit more trad. E.g sunken minors? What is that.. Its a bunch of major #5 chords.
Yeah I thought that too. But for some reason sunken minors seemed immediately useful to me.

When I see major #5 it just doesn’t seem as useful or something I’d use. Sounds a bit too fancy for me where sunken minors has an immediate descriptive element to it.

For example, on the current project I’m working on the director asked for a cue to switch from fairly upbeat to a sinister sound. I slapped in some sunken minors and it worked great. When hearing sinister I don’t think my brain would ever think major #5.

I do know what you mean though. When I’m communicating with musicians and I mention sunken minors, that might raise some eyebrows. But at the end of the day it’s allowing me to stretch my harmony skills so I really like it.
 
Yeah I thought that too. But for some reason sunken minors seemed immediately useful to me.

When I see major #5 it just doesn’t seem as useful or something I’d use. Sounds a bit too fancy for me where sunken minors has an immediate descriptive element to it.
Exactly this ^^.

Language itself is arbitrary. Shakespeare said it well, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” However, language — chosen carefully — can powerfully change perception.

Orchestration Recipes Discussion Thread

:rofl:
 
So for Orchestration Recipes 3, I noticed on the main lessons page, it says "Spices: Volume 1"

Orchestration Recipes Discussion Thread

Did I miss something? Is there a volume 2 that's supposed to be part of Orch Recipes 3?
 
No. It just means that he intends to make more volumes in the future, which will eventually be available for purchase.
Okay thanks. It's a little confusing, since we're already on the third volume of Orchestration Recipes, and the previous two entries didn't include such"volume" designations. Also, OR1 & 2 contained 21 recipes each, while OR3 contains just 8, so it's not a stretch to think there's more content to be included.

Anyway, I realize the format changed for OR3, but the "volume" nomenclature is something new and not explained anywhere 🤷‍♂️
 
Is there a list of libraries used in OR3? The solo violin and classical guitar in Bisected Tenths sounded yummy.
 
Icecoolpool, I've just realised that the libraries-used disclosure list isn't up at OR3 yet, will add that, as I have for the first two volumes. In the meantime:

Solo violin in the Bisected 10ths video was was Joshua Bell from Embertone. Still haven't found a solo violin to equal the sound, or playability—it is a miracle of a sample library. I visit the Embertone website every day in the hope that they'll announce a similarly sampled and programmed library with Yo-Yo Ma, or Steven Isserlis.

The only downside is that the living sound it produces is so organic and subtly evolving that it's actually slightly different every time you hit play. So normally I'll bounce a track half a dozen times, and then choose between them, as if I were choosing between takes from an acoustic session.

(For those curious to hear what I'm talking about, look for the first "Bisected 10ths" free preview at the Orchestration Recipes website, then compare with the 2nd "Harmonic Splats" preview - they're both Joshua Bell)

Another solo violin I often go to - but harder to control - is Virharmonic's Bohemian, video posted below.



Guitar - believe it or not - was Omnisphere. It's an add-on called Nylon Sky, I've had people telling me they didn't realise I played guitar...I don't...but my kids would think I was way cooler if I did.

As to recent comments about the numbering of the OR Volumes being confusing - it really is :( Will sort it before OR4 hits later this year.
 
OR3_BoxCrop.png




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Get your recipes at orchestrationrecipes.com

2 hours of fully narrated videos
Walkthroughs, illustrations and loads of fresh musical examples to explore, in a new, brisk, fully narrated format.

Packed with orchestrated examples & ideas to try
Start with the videos. Practice building versions of your own, until you don’t need the videos. Then the sound is yours, to summon, whenever you need it.

Your sample libraries are fine
VSL, Spitfire, EastWest, OrchestralTools, Cinesamples, Samplemodelling, Cinematic Studio Series...it doesn't matter. The whole point of recipes is that they work with whatever you've got.

Questions?
Email Philip Johnston


Just purchased 2 and 3 but when I dragged the MIDI files into Cubase, nothing happens except it creates a Halion Sonic track. What am I doing wrong?
 
Just purchased 2 and 3 but when I dragged the MIDI files into Cubase, nothing happens except it creates a Halion Sonic track. What am I doing wrong?
You can set how Cubase imports midi files in Preferences - Midi File. You should check the box "Auto Dissolve Format 0", which separates the tracks, and then there's a drop down menu with options. If you want un-assigned midi tracks choose "Midi Tracks". Choosing "Halion multi-timbral" will assign each track to a channel in Halion SE.
 
You can set how Cubase imports midi files in Preferences - Midi File. You should check the box "Auto Dissolve Format 0", which separates the tracks, and then there's a drop down menu with options. If you want un-assigned midi tracks choose "Midi Tracks". Choosing "Halion multi-timbral" will assign each track to a channel in Halion SE.
That worked, thank you so much!
 
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