Friday, August 01, 2008

Orchestral String Theory

Friday August 1, 2008

Greetings! It's another warm Friday night and I'm back with more stuff to share. The topic for tonight is music and the focus will be on squeezing the best string sounds you can out of your sequencer or studio software. My choice of instruments and samples has customarily been limited by budget constraints, though a lack of bucks shouldn't be too much of an impediment to the resourceful computer musician. I generally start by using a good GM string patch. These won't convince anyone that they're real strings, but they're good enough to add a bit of character to a piece. More lifelike results can be obtained from a sampler and a few choice orchestral string samples. You can find some good quality samples in soundfont format at Samples can be very convincing when applied with a bit of subtlety and a touch of effects. The remaining option for producing string sounds in your music tracks is to use either a specialized or generalized synthesizer. Big Tick software makes Cheese Machine, A good free VST string synthesizer. These strings will definitely sound artificial, but they hav
e a certain charm of their own and are sometimes just what your composition needs to fill in the empty spaces. Try all three methods either singly or in combination and see what some string sounds can add to your music.

The picture of the week was created using Project Dogwaffle.

Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are some airy string parts.

The PC game of the week was Roller Coaster Tycoon 3.
Speakling of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, some twisted types have used the game to orchestrate the most diabolical crashes imaginable and have posted the results on YouTube. (There's more here)
Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.

Bye for now!