Influence of Sample Limitations on Composition

A lot of what defines today’s style in commercial orchestral music is actually defined by the limitations of samples. Certain things clearly can be pulled off more realistically with samples than others. This was even more true a few years ago when it was even more tricky to for example get a decent sound out of high soaring violin melodies. Instead, it was easier to just play low string chords or staccatos in the low/mid register and add some percussive grooves to that.

While it is perfectly fine to write in a way that you work your way around sample limitations when you write for projects that will not be recorded live, you should never forget to improve your craft beyond the sample world. Music can become very boring to listen to and play if these limitations are being translated to a real orchestra.

Also, with the advancement of sample libraries these days it is possible to get practically everything done somehow. Don’t fall into the attitude where you constantly just write in a specific way just because it is most convenient like that.

1 Comment

  1. Benjamin

    This is where Audiomodeling and other physical modelling synthesizers come in handy.

    Samples are static and don’t do much but they are great for ambient music.

    But physmod is the future of music creation going into the 21st Century. That said, samples are still often the choice of material for ambient artists.


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