Groove 3 MIDI Orchestration Explained

How to create realistic symphony orchestrations with virtual instruments

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Music theory master Eli Krantzberg has heard your requests for an in-depth series all about MIDI orchestration and has delivered big time. This series is designed for those of you who want to create realistic symphony orchestrations using todays awesome symphonic virtual instruments. If you want to compose for film, TV or just to get what's in your head outside for all to hear, this collection is for you.

Eli goes really deep in this offering, starting with MIDI, custom and traditional setups and articulations, solo instrument descriptions and usages, how to create production templates, how to group instruments correctly, working with MIDI layers and splits, all the way to macro and micro sequencing, motivic development, modern harmony, deconstruction and reconstruction and so much more.

If you've ever wanted to get into symphonic writing, this series will prove indispensable. Get ready to write your masterpiece, get MIDI orchestration Explained today.

Product Highlights

  • 30 Tutorials / Over 4 Hours Total Runtime
  • For intermediate to advanced musicians, producers and writers.
  • NOTE: You should have a solid foundation in the skills taught in Music Theory Explained
  • Tutorials written by master musical instructor Eli Krantzberg
  • Simple to use video control interface for Mac & PC
  • Viewing Options: Online, Download, iDevice Streaming
  • Once downloaded, no internet connection is required
  • Total Runtime: 04h: 06m:50s


  • MIDI Orchestration Introduction - Overview of what orchestration is and what will be covered in this video series. 
  • Custom MIDI Setup - Discover how to use Logic's Environment to set up MIDI channel based key switching in order to alter the MIDI channel of incoming notes and trigger different MIDI channels in a multi-timbral software instrument all in real-time from the same track.
  • Traditional MIDI Setups - See how articulation switching is achieved with traditional note based key switching in Kontakt, mod wheel based switching in the EXS24, or with the use of individual instruments.

The Solo Instruments

  • The Violin - Discover the world of the violin, including how the instrument is tuned, and some of its various playing articulations and characteristics.
  • The Viola - Explore the colors and characteristics of the viola, a slightly larger throatier darker sounding big brother to the violin. Hear how it sounds alone and in combination with piano and violin together.
  • Cello & Double Bass - Learn about the cello and double bass, and how to get started writing in two and three part counterpoint style.
  • Flute, Piccolo, Oboe & English Horn - Discover the ranges, articulations, and characteristics of the higher ranged instruments in the woodwind family.
  • Clarinets & Bassoon - Learn about the clarinet, bass clarinet, and bassoon and get a feel for the evocative expressive nature some the combined solo woodwinds can create.
  • Trumpet & Trombones - The regal wonders of the brass family are reveled here, first with the trumpet, and then with the trombone and bass trombone.
  • Horn & Tuba - Discover the rich warm versatility of the French Horn and Tuba, and listen to an example of some four part brass choir writing.
  • Untuned Percussion - Explore the world of non-pitched percussion instruments and discover how they can be used to enhance the overall dynamics and accents within your orchestrations.
  • Tuned Percussion - See how some of the tuned instruments in the percussion family, including the timpani drums, glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba, and tubular bells can further expand your orchestrations.

Production Techniques

  • Using MIDI Expression - Using MIDI Expression (CC 11) is useful as a means of generating dynamics while leaving the volume (CC 07) unaltered.
  • Attack! - Automating the attack parameter is an effective way to generate swells and crescendos. Expression can be used creatively to construct sforzando style dynamics.
  • Space - Learn to balance and position how close or far various instrument sections are in relation to each other using the channel strip faders and pre-fader sends for reverb.

Instrumental Sections

  • The String Section - Explore the setup, placement and writing conventions for the string section as a whole.
  • The Woodwind Section - Learn how the woodwind family works as a section, how to best voice harmonies and blend them with other instruments.
  • The Brass Section - Discover the wide range of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities the brass section brings to the orchestra.
  • Doubling - Straight unison or octave doubling can become heavy and grey sounding. Learn how some of the alternatives to straight doubling add variety and maintain the listeners interest.
  • Orchestral Accompaniment - Discover some tried and true principles to use when orchestrating to accompany a soloist.

Managing MIDI

  • Macro to Micro Sequencing - Explore ways of combining patches, and ways of splitting divisi parts over multiple individual instruments.
  • Micro Sequencing Continued - Discover how note overlaps, release time, bender range, sustain time and region delays all influence the playback of programmed MIDI parts.

Motivic Development

  • The Glass Mirror Understand how to conceptualize a post modern approach to orchestration using principals of minimalism and repetition.
  • Broken Glass - Minimalist concepts of sonic manipulation can be applied at a ´meta´ level to the modern DAW by means of plug-ins and automation.
  • Deconstruction to Reconstruction - Explore ways of expanding and elaborating on thematic material using re-harmonization, modulation, and meter change.
  • Modern Harmony - Learn how to re-harmonize melodies using upper extensions, jazz style cadences, bass movement, pedal tones and modal style quartal movement.
  • Repetition & Retrograde Variations - See how to use exact and sequential repetition, retrograde and inversion techniques as tools for motivic development when building orchestrations.
  • Motive-ation! - Explore more techniques of motivic development used to elaborate and vary thematic material.
  • More Thematic Development - Learn how to use rhythmic augmentation and diminution, fragmentation, simplification and modal change as thematic development techniques.
  • Reprise & Coda - Summary of some of the principal concepts discussed throughout the series and concluding thoughts on how to approach orchestration.

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