About the Course
Visual Orchestration 2: Articulations & Templates
(From Orchestration to Setting Up the Virtual Orchestral Mix)
About Visual Orchestration 2
Visual Orchestration 2: Articulations & Templates - From Orchestration to Setting Up the Virtual Orchestral Mix (Foundation For MIDI Mock-Ups) contains ten new video lectures, totaling 7.46 hours, distilling the core principles of a college course on basic orchestration directly applied to sample libraries and MIDI mock-up applications complete with audio demos. Whether you read or don't read music, you'll get gangbusters out of Visual Orchestration 2.
Your Intro to Effectively Mixing Your MIDI Mock-Ups
Visual Orchestration 2: Articulations & Templates™ goes through the “mechanics” (articulations) for strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, by defining what articulations and bowings are, performance insights, and how both apply to sample library purchasing, and evaluating existing libraries.
The second focus is learning the concepts of setting up a virtual orchestral mix within your template, e.g., getting everyone into the same room.
As with Visual Orchestration 1, Visual Orchestration 2 distills the core principles of orchestrating so that the ability to read music is not required. The focus is on the things you do by ear referencing the Spectrotone Chart. as your visual guide.
All you need to take this course is our 70th Anniversary Edition Spectrotone Chart. No other text is required.
By the end of Visual Orchestration 2, whether you read music or create by ear, you’ll know the orchestral instruments, the key articulations and bowings that go into a template, dynamic equivalents applied to the virtual orchestra, plus setting up the virtual orchestral mix.
The 10 Video Lectures in Visual Orchestration 2: Articulations & Templates
Visual Orchestration 2 has ten video lectures totaling well over seven hours of instruction with selected audio demonstrations included in the course.
Lecture 1 - The Orchestra: The Real vs The Sampled (Posted Now! 39 mins!)
Starting at the very beginning by defining what a real orchestra is by various sizes, and how big that equates to sample libraries. For application, we look at the Rule of 4s and how that applies to building your own orchestral sound.
Lecture 2 - Real Orchestral Seating, Orchestral Sample Library Seating, and Spatial Placement (Posted Now! 36 mins!)
The standard orchestral seating position is first evaluated by the Spectrotone Chart. Learn the five different ways of seating the strings plus a look at the Wall of Brass. Applied to sample libraries to learn how to evaluate tone color placement, then to create your own tone color spatial placements.
Lecture 3 - Where's p: Musical Steps to Setting Dynamic Levels In the Mix (Posted Now! 42 mins!)
Examines the Italian language for dynamics and what the terms mean, how dynamics are implemented in orchestral sample libraries, why all dynamics are relative, what the Italian terms really mean, dynamics and specific libraries, the performable p by instrument and linear register, dynamic equivalents and how they apply in MIDI mock-ups. Audio demonstrations.
Lecture 4 - The String Section (Posted Now! 59 mins!)
Bowings NOT articulations, how strings on the Strings are numbered, parts of the violin, violin tuning, easiest major and minor keys for the strings to perform in, the string bow, bowings by types, three bow positions, on the string bowings, two types of legato playing, multiple legato types in sample libraries, legatos and sustains, two pieces for legato study, detache: the missing bowing, detache types, staccato and staccato types, staccatos and repetitions, testing staccatos with Jupiter from the Planets, Off the string bowings, the need for testing legato bowings at various tempos, pizzicato, tremolos, measured tremolos, trills, spatial placement, two specialty bowings, briefly: divisi. Audio demos.
Lecture 5 - The Woodwinds (Posted Now! 30 mins!)
The vent, number of core articulations for woodwinds, woodwinds and vibrato, the need to test faster rhythms, woodwind embouchures; single, double and triple tonguing per woodwind instrument, what tonguings are available from each library?, woodwind doublings, the flute and flute articulations plus tonguing speeds, the oboe, the English horn, the clarinet and tonguing tempos, the bassoon: the great woodwind blender, woodwinds and templates.
Lecture 6 - The Brass (Posted Now! 30 mins!)
Three core articulations for creating brass templates, brass and vibrato, embouchures and tonguing, how many brass instruments in your library (solo, in 2s, unison sections?), French horns: the great blender, types of brass family combinations French horns are found in; number of French horns, dynamics, and woodwind weighting within the mix, 15 works with 6 or more French horns, sonic weight of the trumpet and the trombone, number of woodwinds needed to equal one trumpet or trombone at f, number of strings needed to equal one trumpet at f, number of strings needed to equal two French horns at f, 3 schools of trombone writing, the tubas, brass section sizes, jazz brass section sizes.
Lecture 7 - Percussion, Harp, Celeste (Posted Now! 28 mins!)
9 conventional uses of percussion in a life score or MIDI mock-up, 2 categories of percussion, common snare drum stickings (articulations), timpani, timpani sizes in the orchestra, timpani range, nine orchestral uses of timpani, the concert bass drum, vibes and vibes effects, the xylophone, glockenspiel, celeste, the harp, key harp techniques, stage positioning in the live or virtual orchestra, questions to ask developers!
Lecture 8 - Setting Up The Virtual Orchestral Mix - Part 1 (Posted Now! 34 mins!)
The situation: recording with that which has been previously recorded, four components, differences between concert halls and recording studios, studios where film scores and sample libraries have been recorded, RT60s of key studios, the Hollywood sound vs. the concert sound, covering reverbs, two examples of dry film orchestras before processing was applied, studios and what well known films were recorded there, more.
Lecture 9 - Setting Up the Virtual Orchestral Mix - Part 2 (Posted Now! 46 mins!)
Clearly defined music production goal, 5 mixing problems unique to orchestral sample libraries, review: the 3 strategies for getting everyone into the same room, spatial placement learning order, studio footprints, 4 key blocks of a reverb, how reverb tails can effect getting everyone into the same room, orchestral setup charts for applying early reflections and reverb tails, audio demos demonstrating key concepts, more.
BONUS LECTURE! Lecture 10 - How Music People Learn Music and Music Technology (Posted Now! 58 mins!)
Every individual is born with 7 thinking processes that function in an order unique to the individual. Two of these processes include music and logic/math. By understanding these processes you learn how to build musical memory from which your intuition draws from to create music and to operate music technology programs through which you produce your music. In this unique stop and smell the coffee video lecture, Peter Alexander explains how to learn music and music technology without feeling like a “MIDI idiot”,
Peter Lawrence Alexander is the first American to create in English the multi-volume Professional Orchestration™ Series which has been endorsed by winners of the Academy®, Grammy®, Emmy®, and BAFTA® Awards. He’s also the author of How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite, The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux. Writing For Strings, Applied Professional Harmony 101 and 102 and the popular How MIDI Works. He’s also Film Music Magazine’s award winning Music Technology Journalist.
A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston with a BS In Music Composition, he has studied counterpoint privately with Dr. Hugo Norden of Boston University, and orchestration with Pulitzer Prize nominated composer Albert Harris.
He’s coordinated beta test teams for the Vienna Symphonic Library and co-produced the Modern Symphonic Orchestra orchestral sample library for Creative Labs. As a media researcher he’s done studies showing geodemographical radio station listening patterns by day part, and in working with renown radio programmer Jack McCoy’s RAM Research he laid the research foundation for what later became Arbitron Information on Demand. He’s currently under contract to produce library music for film and TV.
About Arthur Lange
The Spectrotone Chart™
was created by four-time Academy Award® nominee for Best Film Score, Arthur Lange, the former head of the MGM Music Department. In 2010, Alexander Publishing took over its publication and future development. The 70th Anniversary Edition of the Spectrotone Chart
has been redesigned to include Hz frequencies, MIDI Note Numbers, and Span of Orchestration so that the Spectrotone Chart
now has direct applications for composers learning how to EQ their mixes.
Arthur Lange was a songwriter, composer, orchestrator and conductor who came out of Tin Pan Alley. He learned his craft through private studies and on the job.
He composed music for over 120 films, and orchestrated 105 more. He was nominated four times for an Oscar. But he never won one. In 1929, he became head of the music department at MGM. Throughout his career, he was music director at several studios and in 1947 organized the Santa Monica Civic Symphony which he conducted. He also helped create ASMAC, the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers.
Arthur was an educator and he wrote numerous books, including, for 1926, the definitive guide to dance band arranging called Arranging For the Modern Dance Orchestra
. He taught at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music which later became Cal Arts.
But Arthur also created a unique colorized chart called the Spectrotone Chart
. Don’t be put off by the quaint name, because what Arthur created, which has daily practical use for both live and electronic scoring, and mixing, is nothing less than the Rosetta Stone of orchestration.
In his own words, the Spectrotone Chart is, “a colorgraphic exposition of tone-color combinations and balance as practiced in modern orchestration.”
Visual Orchestration 2 Course Reviews
(from genuine course owners)
"I'm so enjoying Visual Orchestration. You explain the lessons so clearly and precisely. They're wonderful to learn from. ...Thanks so much. You nutrition for the music soul."
- Nik S.
"Thanks for your efforts in the creation of the Visual Orchestration course. Never have I seen this material presented in such a clear and succinct way."
- Tim B.
"I would like to thank you for what Visual Orchestration 1 & 2 and even more Scoring for Stage 01 and 02 taught me. I think my way of writing improved a lot after following your courses."
- Claudio R.
"I love all of the courses that I have purchased. One of the best purchases that I have made in the world of Orchestration and Samples. Thank you very much for your incredible products!"
- Paul K.
"Going through the courses "Visual Orchstration I-III" and "Scoring Stages 1 & 2" I would like to give you a warm and hearty "Thank you" for this all. I learned so much additionally to my work as a musician and orchestral MIDI-MockUp-er. It was a pleasure and a lots of peace for me to listen to your agreeably sounding voice and your instructions and explanations which helped pointing the way out of this acoustical labyrinth ... that was a good teaching."
- Thomas H.
"Thank you. Thank you so much for your valuable courses in orchestration, time, and effort. They are treasures in the field."
- Yuan-Mei C.
"Hi Peter, I’ve really enjoyed your courses over the years, Pro Orchestration series, Scoring Stages series, Visual Orchestration series etc. Thank you for sharing your expertise."
- Wayne B.
"Thank you so much for offering these fantastic and comprehensive courses! I have spent dozens and dozens of hours searching the internet (fruitlessly) for reliable resources regarding the specific material you offer, namely, orchestral arrangement, adapting piano to strings, composing for strings, and midi mock-up mixing, placement, etc. Discovering Alexander Publishing has cemented my desire to compose and to apply to graduate school after only completing Visual Orchestration 1 and 2. During college I took 4 semesters of music theory/counterpoint but no orchestral arrangement was offered. I now look at your courses/lectures as a true supplement for not having the luxury of taken those courses in college and I am confident that the knowledge I will gain from your courses will help expand and polish my work as well as greatly improve my chances for being accepted into graduate school. Thank you for taking the time to produce these lessons in such a thoughtful, efficient, and effective way."
- Matt D.
"Thank you for the all publications you did. I love your Orchestration' books."
- Galina M.
"Been loving the series so far especially the video series. I'd love to see where Video Orchestra volume 3 will go!"
- Dan B.
"Thanks. I’m enjoying your products and will certainly be purchasing more."
- Steve B.
"I am a happy customer of many of your products including many of your awesome classes! Your classes are 10x more helpful that the BERKLEE classes I took right before! ...I took 2 BERKLEE online classes and they were so general, unhelpful and boring. Mr. Alexander's are priceless! I learn so much from them!!! THANK YOU!!!!"
- Christopher D.
"I am a composition student, currently on my last year of studying, and a highly satisfied customer of yours, having purchased quite a lot of your material on orchestration."
- Raoul M.
"Hello Mr. Alexander, I am your student for some years and I would say thank you for all your amazing work."
- Giuseppe F.
"Just wanted to say hi and express my gratitude for all the learning works you make. I bought many materials, including Pro Orch bundle, How Ravel Orchestrated, Writing for Strings, Counterpoint by Fux, Visual Orch, Scoring Stages, etc. There is so much great stuff there to learn. It's also great because it's so easy to understand (though there are some more complex things). I wish I could have more time to study everything, but even scratching the surface of the materials you provide opens ears and mind to some exciting musical ideas. I especially like the Scoring Stages, which is a wonderful learning journey. Can't wait for the next parts. Thanks so much for all you are doing!"
- Michael C.
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- Marc B.