MIDI Tutorial

MIDI Orchestration Explained®

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30 Videos | Length: 4hr 13min 49sec
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Chapter 1 : The Orchestral Palette

  • Welcome to MIDI Orchestration Explained 4:03

    Welcome to MIDI Orchestration Explained

    Get an overview of what will be covered in this comprehensive video series.

  • Working with Modern Software Instruments 11:07

    Working with Modern Software Instruments

    Learn all about Articulations, Key Switches, Expression Messages, Legato Transitions, Velocity Crossfades, and other performance aspects available on most modern orchestral software instruments.

  • The Violin 8:12

    The Violin

    Learn about the violin and its various playing styles commonly recreated in sampled instruments.

  • The Viola 8:54

    The Viola

    Hear the range, tuning, and timbral differences with this slightly larger four stringed version of the violin.

  • The Cello & Double Bass 5:34

    The Cello & Double Bass

    Discover the lower voices in the string section, and hear how these interact as part of an ensemble.

  • The Flute & Piccolo 9:30

    The Flute & Piccolo

    Explore the articulations and playing styles of these higher range woodwind instruments, and hear how they sound doubling violin, and double bass.

  • The Oboe & English Horn 6:27

    The Oboe & English Horn

    Discover the unique expressive and melodic personality of these two double reed instruments.

  • The Clarinets & Bassoon 6:54

    The Clarinets & Bassoon

    Hear how these woodwind instruments blend together in their various ranges.

  • The Trumpet, Trombone, & Euphonium 7:13

    The Trumpet, Trombone, & Euphonium

    Learn about these brass instruments and the role of legato transitions, embouchure, and tonguing, when playing valved or slide based instruments.

  • The French Horn & Tuba 4:00

    The French Horn & Tuba

    Explore the sonorous qualities of these two brass instruments.

  • Non-Pitched Percussion 4:49

    Non-Pitched Percussion

    Hear how the percussion section is used to add rhythmic emphasis, and bring out accents and dynamics in your orchestrations.

  • Tuned Percussion Instruments 6:35

    Tuned Percussion Instruments

    Explore the pitched percussion instruments and hear how they blend with selected string and brass instruments.

  • Ensemble Sections: Strings 9:26

    Ensemble Sections: Strings

    Her the textures available when working with larger string ensembles, and discover the sound of unisons, octaves, harmony, counter lines, and more.

  • Ensemble Sections: Woodwinds 8:34

    Ensemble Sections: Woodwinds

    Discover the textural qualities resulting from wide versus close woodwind voicings, and how they work when blended in various combinations with strings.

  • Ensemble Sections: Brass 12:19

    Ensemble Sections: Brass

    Explore the rich textures of open and closed voicings within the brass family, and hear how they fill out the orchestration when combined with strings and woodwinds.

Chapter 2 : Orchestration Techniques

  • Doubling Techniques 7:46

    Doubling Techniques

    Discover various ways of orchestrating and varying doubled parts for emphasis, dynamics, accents, and motivic development.

  • Accompaniment Strategies 10:45

    Accompaniment Strategies

    Explore different ways to approach accompanying a soloist in an orchestral context.

  • Sequencing Tips 8:25

    Sequencing Tips

    Learn how to capitalize on the subtleties available with your software instruments using parameter automation, momentary key switches, legato transitions, and round robin samples.

  • Introduction to Counterpoint 12:09

    Introduction to Counterpoint

    Explore various techniques and strategies used to develop thematic motifs using counter melodies.

  • Ostinatos & Layering 6:01

    Ostinatos & Layering

    Learn how to use ostinatos in your orchestrations, and hear the effect of layering parts in different registers using different timbres.

  • Reharmonization, Tempo, Modulation, & Meter 8:26

    Reharmonization, Tempo, Modulation, & Meter

    Explore the use of reharmonization, tempo, modulation, and meter changes as tools to further develop orchestrations.

  • Aleatoric Orchestration 10:14

    Aleatoric Orchestration

    Take a break and have some fun by introducing the element of chance to your MIDI orchestrations using your DAW?s step sequencer (or arpeggiator, or nested looping), to introduce random interactions between various accompanying parts.

  • Exploring Minimalism 10:22

    Exploring Minimalism

    Principles of minimalism, using repetition, static harmonies, evolving and patterns, are explored as orchestration strategies.

  • Harmonic Substitutions 9:12

    Harmonic Substitutions

    Review the basics of diatonic chord substitutions, and get a taste of what some jazz style reharmonization can sound like.

  • Motivic Development Pt. 1 8:41

    Motivic Development Pt. 1

    Explore techniques orchestrators and composers use to develop themes, including exact repetition of phrases, sequential repetition, and retrograde inversion.

  • Motivic Development Pt. 2 7:11

    Motivic Development Pt. 2

    Learn about intervallic contraction, expansion, and ornamentation as vehicles to develop and orchestrate melodic material.

  • Motivic Development Pt. 3 9:53

    Motivic Development Pt. 3

    Explore more theme and variation techniques, including rhythmic augmentation, diminution, fragmentation, simplification, and modal change.

  • DAW Workflow Tips 13:04

    DAW Workflow Tips

    Discover ways to use your DAW and software instruments to add nuance and realism to your MIDI orchestration including subtle tempo accelerandos and ritardandos, region delay to move instruments farther away in the mix, splitting divisi parts between alternate versions of the software instruments, and more.

  • Dynamics 6:22


    Learn how to combine Note Velocity, MIDI Expression, Volume, Layering, Tuttis, and Space, to create coherent dynamic orchestrations.

  • Consideration & Approaches to Orchestration 11:41

    Consideration & Approaches to Orchestration

    Eli gives you some helpful final thoughts and a review of key points to consider and use when creating your own orchestrations.

Product Overview

Eli Krantzberg presents comprehensive MIDI Orchestration video tutorials! If you've ever wanted to start creating orchestral arrangements and motifs, this is the series that will get you on your way. Learn all about the important basics of orchestrating today's virtual instruments with MIDI and create truly authentic sounding orchestral parts. This series is meant to replace Eli's original MIDI Orchestration Explained, adding more info and utilizing current virtual instruments for a more up to date learning experience. You also get the MIDI files that Eli creates throughout the videos so you can import them into your DAW and follow along. These videos are for those new to MIDI orchestration.

Eli welcomes you and starts with an overview of what will be covered in this detailed video series, followed by the important info you need to know when working with modern software instruments. Topics include Articulations, Key Switches, Expression Messages, Legato Transitions, Velocity Crossfades, and other performance aspects that are available on most modern orchestral software instruments.

As a note, Eli uses the following software instruments and libraries in these videos:

Chris Hein Winds Complete which contains Chris Hein Orchestral Winds Vols 1, 2, 3, 4

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass EXtended

Chris Hein Ensemble Strings

Chris Hein Solo Strings Complete

Logic Pro Sampler


FYI: If you don't have these specific software instruments and libraries don't worry, the concepts and techniques shown in these videos applies to most modern software instruments.

Next you'll learn all about the individual instruments that make up an orchestra including info on what makes them special individually and in an ensemble. Eli talks in-depth about their individual and combined sonic textures and how to blend them convincingly, as well as the different ways to voice them such as closed or open for different sounds and emotions.

Throughout the rest of the videos you'll learn tons of orchestration techniques like Doubling Techniques, Accompaniment Strategies, Sequencing Tips, Counterpoint, Ostinatos and Layering, Reharmonization, Aleatoric Orchestration, Exploring Minimalism, Harmonic Substitutions, Motivic Development, DAW Workflow Tips, and much, much more.

To see what these truly in-depth MIDI Orchestration tutorials show you, and how they'll start you on your journey into orchestrating emotive, moving pieces, see the individual MIDI orchestration video descriptions on this page. Pick up your conductor's baton now and get ready to make some magic... Watch "MIDI Orchestration Explained®" today!

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