Good Samples vs Bad Orchestras

On low budget movies, composers often try to squeeze the last penny out of their budget and try to get amateur or student orchestras involved to record their score. My general experience on such experiments is to rather go for a good sounding sampled score than a bad sounding real orchestra score.

The shortcomings of a score that sounds slightly “artificial and like plastic” will not be as obvious as a “real” sound compromised by bad intonation/timing and a lack of overall substance. For every composer, the opportunity to work with an orchestra often seems way more attractive than just having sample productions like everybody else but in the interest of having the best solution for your score, you should rather put your ego aside and do what will sound best.

A great way to go might also be producing the score mainly with samples but bringing in a few soloists to give it some “real” touch.

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