Monthly Archives: September 2014

Orchestration- on your computer

After studying an overview of the technologies available to today’s musician with Berklee Online, I decided that I wanted to be able to make my orchestral compositions sound somewhat real without having to record a live orchestra. Also- I wanted to be able to plug the notes of an aria accompaniment into Logic, sing on top of it, and have a viable YouTube video. So, I enrolled in Orchestration with Berklee Online.

Yes, I’ve studied instruments and classical orchestration before- several times. But I never learned how to apply it to MIDI projects. I purchased the EastWest Gold Library of orchestral samples, and learned how to apply them to musical notation, until an almost realistic recreation of a live orchestra is heard. This is so amazing! I hadn’t fully realized the power of technology, and the implications that it will have in classical music, until I took this course.

Here’s what I mocked-up for my final project: (note- this isn’t perfect, yet. There’s still ORCH2, and a life ahead for learning)

Alpha Game Jam

Last weekend I participated in my very first Game Jam/Hackathon, with Indie Game Developers of Silicon Valley. I almost didn’t go- I was scared that I wasn’t ready to contribute full audio yet- but messaging with the organizers convinced me to take the leap. So, I showed up Saturday morning at 10:00 AM, and promptly got swept up by an Oculus Rift team.

I was asked to compose music for 4 rooms, record and tweak the A.I. voice, and contribute sound effects. I dove into the music right away, creating samples to show to the team until I had the right mood, then wrote loops for each space. The A.I. voice was the most fun- I was able to use all of the voice and dialogue training from opera, and my Logic X skills to create an awesome, passive aggressive-yet-slightly-sexy voice. SFX was simpler that I’d anticipated, because I was mostly tracking down sounds within libraries. I don’t yet know how to create SFX (but I’m planning to learn that soon).

It was such an invigorating experience. I thrive on this kind of intense work. I can’t show the full demo yet, but here’s are some samples: