The Guide to MIDI Orchestration 4e  book cover
1st Edition

The Guide to MIDI Orchestration 4e

ISBN 9780240814131
Published March 25, 2010 by Routledge
598 Pages 300 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Since its initial release in 1997, Paul Gilreath's The Guide to MIDI Orchestration has been the premiere text on creating realistic emulations of a symphony orchestra using samplers and computer recording techniques. Now in its fourth edition, The Guide to MIDI Orchestration explains how to merge this ever-expanding technology with the artistry of orchestration to produce the most lifelike recordings possible. The book is written for composers, arrangers, and MIDI musicians of all levels, and will be helpful to game composers, film and television composers, traditional orchestral composers, teachers, instructors, and the serious hobbyist. Highlights of the book include:

  • Introduction to and overview of the orchestra
  • In-depth discussions of each orchestral section
  • Detailed information on each instrument's timbre, range and uses
  • Discussions of orchestration techniques
  • Demonstrations on how to build an orchestration from the ground up
  • Presentations on techniques for achieving balance and musical interest
  • Setup and recommendations for software and equipment
  • Details on setting up a multi-computer network for use as slave computers
  • Overview of software sampler and Digital Audio Workstation software
  • Presentation of note entry methods
  • DAW and sampler template implementation
  • Detailed steps for achieving realistic reverberation and instrument placement
  • Start to finish steps to achieve a final mix
  • Insightful interviews with top mastering engineers


 for updates and enhanced content including PDFs of orchestral library reviews and additional written content, audio files of musical examples from the book, video demonstrations, and much more.

Table of Contents

The String Section
The Woodwind Section
The Brass Section
The Percussion Section
The Harp and Piano
Orchestration Basics
How to Begin
Introduction to Sequencing
Sequencing Techniques for Strings
Sequencing Techniques for Woodwinds
Sequencing Techniques for Brass
Sequencing Techniques for Percussion
Sequencing Techniques for Harp and Piano
Creating Tempo Changes
In Search of a Hall
Effects Plug-Ins
Software Samplers
Types of synthesis
Using Sampled Voices
The Mix Process
Sync techniques
Commercial Instrumentation
Broken Pony Studios
Achieving Specific Moods
Introduction to Orchestral Libraries
Piano Libraries
Appendix A: Instrument Ranges
Appendix B: EQ Graphic
Appendix C: Resources

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Paul Gilreath is an award-winning composer who creates original music in a variety of styles for video games, film, television, trailers, and broadcast advertising. Gilreath has written theme, underscore and broadcast advertising music for a wide range of clients that include NBC, CBS, Cartoon Network, ESPN, American Airlines and many others. His music has been used multiple times for the Olympic Games broadcasts on NBC and several PGA tournaments on NBC. He scored the feature film No Retreat No Surrender starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Knights of the City starring Curtis Mayfield, and Making Contact directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day).