Samples vs. Real Musicians

Real musicians don’t work like samples which brings advantages and disadvantages.

Musicians are people with a musical understanding and a sense of context, you don’t need to explain to them the obvious things, neither in written form nor verbally. This includes translating your CC11 controller movements to hairpins on an expressive solo. Just because you are moving that controller heavily doesn’t mean that your solo oboe player needs to have that information written in. Telling him/her that it is “espressivo” will give enough information to play it like that.

There are a few more things that you might consciously program into your samples which happen naturally with real musicians, for instance a slight decrescendo on the long note at the end of a phrase. These information written in or told them will either be redundant or simply feel to them as if you think they were stupid.

On the other hand, real musicians don’t have endless stamina. If you’re planning on filling a 3 or 4 hour session with your brass playing through at ff, you need to rethink. Plan sessions in a way that especially the brass players get enough rest in between.

Also, super complex off beat rhythms that are easily to program on a computer might become really problematic with real players. So whenever you’re making the leap from going from sample composing to real orchestra, be aware that there are quite a few differences.


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