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What is MIDI Orchestration?

It's more than just using MIDI instruments to write music. It's understanding how to use those instruments and the best way to "program" your project to sound the best it can.


An orchestrator's job is to prepare a composition for a live ensemble to play. They must take all the material from the composer and convert it into something that can be read and played by human players. The goal is to help everyone do the best job they can at playing the piece.


Likewise, MIDI orchestration is taking the ideas of the composition and formatting them in the best way for your virtual ensemble to receive them. That means choosing the right sample libraries for the job, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each library, and choosing the right articulations for each part.


In this video, I demonstrate what it can sound like if any of the steps of MIDI orchestration are not done. I take a finished piece and present it in 3 different ways: first, the final mix; second, I switch each instrument track back to defaults; and third, I remove the sample libraries and replace them with stock instruments that come with Logic Pro. A silly experiment, I know, but it does show the importance of picking the right sounds and knowing how to use them.



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