This is the sixth part in a small series of blog posts I’ll make about the real-world differences between orchestral mockups (or synth orchestras) versus real orchestras. As a composer who is fortunate to work regularly with live orchestras, I’ll try to help show the difference from a decent demo recording, to a mixed and mastered finished recording. For this example, I’ve chosen an exciting track from my album “Resonance Theory” called “Forever Lost”. The synth version was my demo – with live cello (my instrument) and lots of synth work.
For this, I don’t think the samples sound too bad. Sure, they aren’t in isolation, but the slower writing lends itself well to samples. However, the differences, for me, are in the emotion. Sometimes, even if the tone of the sound is the same – you can be fooled into thinking it’s a real orchestra. But with the same notes, and the same instruction, a real orchestra will breathe emotion into your piece where you didn’t expect it.
If you listen to the full piece (link below), it starts with a quartet – the first players on each desk – then as the piece grows – the full orchestra softly comes in for effect. I wanted to go from this black and white painting, to a widescreen colour picture. All you need is contrast & colour.
That’s it for now – but if you’re interested I will keep on putting up posts about the differences, my learnings, and any tips I may have on working with orchestras. I’m still learning and never expect to stop, and these collaborations and their learnings, I’m convinced will make you a better composer. Try to get out there and help your musician friends breathe some life into your music.
Live Orchestra 6 – Synth Orchestra 0. Live orchestra WINS!