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An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Should you make decisions as you record, or keep your options open until later?

A simple mixing tip that will improve (nearly) all of your mixes

What is production? Part 2: Arrangement

Q: "Why is the signal from my microphone low in level and noisy?"

Q: Why do I have to record acoustic guitar twice?

Recordings of speech by newly-starting Audio Masterclass students

The difference between minimum-phase and linear-phase EQ on transient signals such as snare drum

What is production? Part 1: A&R

This one simple mistake will lose you a third of your songwriting royalties - with video

New vs. old guitar strings: Part 3 - The case for conditioning your guitar strings

Have your music recorded by a real symphony orchestra

If you have a spare 665 euros among your loose change, you could have 60 seconds of your own music recorded by a 70-piece orchestra! For real.


665 euros? What's that? Well to those of us of a less than fully integrated European persuasion, it is around $875 USD or £565 Great British Pounds. Imagine how many virtual instruments you could buy for that!

Well the one thing that you can't buy in the virtual instrument supermarket is the actual sound of a real orchestra. Yes you can get an approximation. You can get extremely lifelike sounds in a range of textures and articulations. But you can't get the all-encompassing 360-degree sound of a real orchestra playing your music.

Listen to this...

OK, I can feel a bit of a Pirates of the Caribbean mood coming on - again - but there are plenty of other demos available to listen to on the Dynamedion website. I won't explain the details since you can read them for yourself on the site. But the essence is that you send in your score as a PDF file, send your money (the €665 price is with a 5% discount for 100% payment up front; the normal price for 60 seconds is €700), then sit back and wait for your recording to be made available to you. Easy.

Well, I say it's easy, but you would have to be able to write out the score and parts in a form that the conductor and players could read easily (that last bit is ultra important). Or you could pay €950 and send in your MIDI file and an MP3 example version.

Now you might say that 60 seconds isn't very much, but of course you can order as many minutes as you like, within the resources of Dynamedion to provide, and of course the price comes down with increasing quantity.

But you could be clever about it. You might have a song that would benefit from a full orchestral backing, but you don't need the orchestra to play all the way through.

You could save money by only using the orchestra at the points that really matter. Don't record the same music twice (i.e. repeated verses and choruses), and telescope the music together as much as possible so that you're not wasting your money recording rest bars.

Take care though, if you butt two sections together, that you don't lose what should have been the overhang of reverberation at the end of the first section (although you could fake it), and of course have that overhang present clouding the start of the second.

You might save more money by using your virtual orchestra where it doesn't matter so much, and the real orchestra where it does absolutely make a difference - i.e. where it is exposed, and where you can't get the textures or articulations you want from software.

I think this is a great idea. I'm looking forward for a bold reader to take the plunge, try it out, then tell us all how they got on!

By David Mellor Saturday June 8, 2013
Online courses from Audio Masterclass