Visual Orchestration #2: Articulations and Templates Course

SKU VisOrch02


  • Product Delivery:Digital Download (download links expire 30 days after purchase).
  • Download Size:About 2.19 GB compressed / 2.87 GB decompressed (12x zip files containing your course videos, PDF documents / 1x PDF file).
  • Author/Instructor:Peter Lawrence Alexander
  • Required Products:You will need to have the Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart (available separately) to use with this course.
List Price $79.95
Your Price $39.95 (Save $40.00)

Product Options

Ordering more than one product? Use MULTI-PRODUCT CHECKOUT

Prices shown in USD may convert to your local currency in the Shopping Cart, where supported. Price excludes sales tax/VAT that may be calculated in Cart if required.
*This product is not available in EU-regulated countries.

Visual Orchestration #2: Articulations & Templates
(From Orchestration To Setting Up The Basic Orchestral Mix)

Visual Orchestration 2: Articulations & Templates contains ten video lectures, totaling about 6.7 hours, distilling the core principles of a college course on basic orchestration directly applied to sample libraries and MIDI mock-up applications. Whether you read or don't read music, you'll learn a ton from Visual Orchestration #2.

Visual Orchestration #2 goes through the "mechanics" (articulations) for strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, by defining what articulations and bowings are, performance insights, and how both apply to sample library purchasing, and evaluating your existing libraries.

The second focus is learning the concepts of setting up a virtual orchestral mix within your template, and starting insights on how to get everyone sounding like they're in the same room.

Designed For Those Who Read Music OR Who Learn By Ear

As with Visual Orchestration #1, the Visual Orchestration #2 course distills the core principles of orchestrating so that the ability to read music is not required. The focus is on the things you do by ear, and just like Visual Orchestration #1, you'll be referencing the Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart (available separately) as your visual guide.

End Results

By the end of Visual Orchestration #2, whether you read music or create by ear, you’ll know the orchestral instruments, the key articulations and bowings that go into a template, dynamic equivalents applied to the virtual orchestra, suggested maximum tempos at which selected articulations can be performed live, plus setting up a basic virtual orchestral mix.

Because technology is constantly changing and new libraries and software are being released all the time, the principles taught throughout this course have, as much as possible, been designed to apply to whatever orchestral libraries and software you have.

The 10 Video Lectures in Visual Orchestration #2: Articulations & Templates

Visual Orchestration #2 has ten video lectures totaling about 6.7 hours of instruction with selected audio demonstrations included in the course. Supplemental PDFs for many of the lectures provide links to YouTube with demonstrations of different bowings and articulations, plus links to performances of musical works as additional research aids for you. (Course PDFs are updated roughly once a year to keep their contents up to date)

LECTURE 1: The Orchestra - The Real vs The Sampled (about 39 mins)
Starts at the very beginning by defining what a real orchestra is by various sizes, and how that equates to sample libraries. For application, we look at the Rule of 4s and how that applies to building your own orchestral sound.

LECTURE 2: Real Orchestral Seating, Orchestral Sample Library Seating, and Spatial Placement (about 36 mins)
The standard orchestral seating position is first evaluated by the Spectrotone Chart. Learn the five different ways of seating the strings, plus a look at the Wall of Brass. Then, application to sample libraries to learn how to evaluate tone-color placement, and to create your own tone-color spatial placements.

LECTURE 3: Where's p?: Musical Steps to Setting Dynamic Levels In the Mix (about 42 mins)
Examines the Italian language for dynamics and what the terms mean, how dynamics are implemented in orchestral sample libraries, why all dynamics are relative, what the Italian terms really mean, dynamics and specific libraries, the performable p by instrument and linear register, dynamic equivalents and how they apply in MIDI mock-ups.

LECTURE 4: The String Section (about 59 mins)
Bowings NOT articulations, how strings on the String instruments are numbered, parts of the violin, violin tuning, easiest major and minor keys for the strings to perform in, the string bow, bowings by types, three bow positions, on the string bowings, two types of legato playing, multiple legato types in sample libraries, legatos and sustains, two pieces for legato study, detache: the missing bowing, detache types, staccato and staccato types, staccatos and repetitions, testing staccatos with Jupiter from The Planets, Off the string bowings, the need for testing legato bowings at various tempos, pizzicato, tremolos, measured tremolos, trills, spatial placement, two specialty bowings, briefly: divisi.

LECTURE 5: The Woodwinds (about 30 mins)
The vent, number of core articulations for woodwinds, woodwinds and vibrato, the need to test faster rhythms, woodwind embouchures; single, double and triple tonguing per woodwind instrument, what tonguings are available from each library?, woodwind doublings, the flute and flute articulations plus tonguing speeds, the oboe, the English horn, the clarinet and tonguing tempos, the bassoon: the great woodwind blender, woodwinds and templates.

LECTURE 6: The Brass (about 30 mins)
Three core articulations for creating brass templates, brass and vibrato, embouchures and tonguing, how many brass instruments in your library (solo, in 2s, unison sections?), French horns: the great blender, types of brass family combinations French horns are found in; number of French horns, dynamics, and woodwind weighting within the mix, 15 works with 6 or more French horns, sonic weight of the trumpet and the trombone, number of woodwinds needed to equal one trumpet or trombone at f, number of strings needed to equal one trumpet at f, number of strings needed to equal two French horns at f, 3 schools of trombone writing, the tubas, brass section sizes, jazz brass section sizes.

LECTURE 7: Percussion, Harp, Celeste (about 28 mins)
9 conventional uses of percussion in a live score or MIDI mock-up, 2 categories of percussion, common snare drum stickings (articulations), timpani, timpani sizes in the orchestra, timpani range, nine orchestral uses of timpani, the concert bass drum, vibes and vibes effects, the xylophone, glockenspiel, celeste, the harp, key harp techniques, stage positioning in the live or virtual orchestra, questions to ask developers!

LECTURE 8: Setting Up The Virtual Orchestral Mix - Part 1 (about 34 mins)
The situation: recording with that which has been previously recorded, four components, differences between concert halls and recording studios, studios where film scores and sample libraries have been recorded, RT60s of key studios, the Hollywood sound vs. the concert sound, covering reverbs, two examples of dry film orchestras before processing was applied, studios and the well known film scores that were recorded there, more.

LECTURE 9: Setting Up The Virtual Orchestral Mix - Part 2 (about 46 mins)
Clearly defined music production goal, 5 mixing problems unique to orchestral sample libraries, review: the 3 strategies for getting everyone into the same room, spatial placement learning order, studio footprints, 4 key blocks of a reverb, how reverb tails can effect getting everyone into the same room, orchestral setup charts for applying early reflections and reverb tails, more.

BONUS! LECTURE 10: How Music People Learn Music and Music Technology (about 58 mins)
Every individual is born with 7 thinking processes that function in an order unique to the individual. Two of these processes include music and logic/math. By understanding these processes you learn how to build musical memory from which your intuition draws from to create music and to operate music technology programs through which you produce your music. In this unique "stop and smell the coffee" video lecture, Peter Alexander explains how to learn music and music technology without feeling like a "MIDI idiot", including where the start point is for learning music basics, counterpoint, harmony, and orchestration - based on how the great composers of the past learned their craft.

What You Need To Provide

You will need the Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart for this course.

Visual Orchestration #2: Articulations & Templates Contents

  1. You get 10 video lectures in .mov format for Mac and PC (about 6.7 hours of instruction);
  2. Supplemental PDFs with supporting material for the course.
What You Need To Provide

You will need the Spectrotone Instrumental Tone-Color Chart for this course.

About Peter Lawrence Alexander

Peter Lawrence Alexander was the first American to create in English the multi-volume Professional Orchestration. Series which has been endorsed by winners of the Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and BAFTA Awards. He’s also the author and teacher of Visual Orchestration, Scoring Stages, How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite, The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux, Writing For Strings, Applied Professional Harmony 101 and 102, How MIDI Works, Street Smart Guide to the Vienna Instruments Player and many more. Peter was also Film Music Magazine’s award winning Music Technology Journalist.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston with a BS In Music Composition, he studied counterpoint privately with Dr. Hugo Norden of Boston University, and orchestration with Pulitzer Prize nominated composer Albert Harris. Peter worked as the music tech for film composer/songwriter Henry Mancini and understudied with film composer Jerry Goldsmith. He also studied orchestration with Goldsmith's orchestrator, Arthur Morton.

Peter coordinated beta test teams for the Vienna Symphonic Library and co-produced the Modern Symphonic Orchestra orchestral sample library for Creative Labs. As a media researcher he produced studies showing geodemographical radio station listening patterns by day segments, and in working with renowned radio programmer Jack McCoy’s RAM Research he laid the research foundation for what later became Arbitron Information on Demand.

With over 30 years in music education and publishing, Peter’s training approach came out of his research into how the great composers taught themselves. His music books and courses are research-oriented and focus on how people learn best. The result of this approach is titles that train for results, and get results when you follow their step-by-step learning approach. As Peter would say, "it’s not about music theory, it’s about practical learning and doing."

Maintaining Peter's Teaching Legacy: Since the sudden and unexpected passing of Peter Lawrence Alexander in 2015, his music books and courses, along with this website, are now maintained and updated by his wife and long-time business helpmate, Caroline Alexander, who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Music Design for Film and Television.

From Visual Orchestration #2 Course Owners

I'm so enjoying Visual Orchestration. You explain the lessons so clearly and precisely. They're wonderful to learn from. ...Thanks so much. You nutrition for the music soul.
- Nik S.

Thanks for your efforts in the creation of the Visual Orchestration course. Never have I seen this material presented in such a clear and succinct way.
- Tim B.

Thank you so much for offering these fantastic and comprehensive courses! I have spent dozens and dozens of hours searching the internet (fruitlessly) for reliable resources regarding the specific material you offer, namely, orchestral arrangement, adapting piano to strings, composing for strings, and midi mock-up mixing, placement, etc. Discovering Alexander Publishing has cemented my desire to compose and to apply to graduate school after only completing Visual Orchestration 1 and 2. During college I took 4 semesters of music theory/counterpoint but no orchestral arrangement was offered. I now look at your courses/lectures as a true supplement for not having the luxury of taken those courses in college and I am confident that the knowledge I will gain from your courses will help expand and polish my work as well as greatly improve my chances for being accepted into graduate school. Thank you for taking the time to produce these lessons in such a thoughtful, efficient, and effective way.
- Matt D.

I would like to thank you for what Visual Orchestration 1 & 2 and even more Scoring for Stage 01 and 02 taught me. I think my way of writing improved a lot after following your courses.
- Claudio R.

I love all of the courses that I have purchased. One of the best purchases that I have made in the world of Orchestration and Samples. Thank you very much for your incredible products!
- Paul K.

Going through the courses "Visual Orchestration I-III" and "Scoring Stages 1 & 2" I would like to give you a warm and hearty "Thank you" for this all. I learned so much additionally to my work as a musician and orchestral MIDI-MockUp-er. It was a pleasure and a lots of peace for me to listen to your agreeably sounding voice and your instructions and explanations which helped pointing the way out of this acoustical labyrinth ... that was a good teaching.
- Thomas H.

I’ve really enjoyed your courses over the years, Pro Orchestration series, Scoring Stages series, Visual Orchestration series etc. Thank you for sharing your expertise.
- Wayne B.

Just wanted to say hi and express my gratitude for all the learning works you make. I bought many materials, including Pro Orch bundle, How Ravel Orchestrated, Writing for Strings, Counterpoint by Fux, Visual Orch, Scoring Stages, etc. There is so much great stuff there to learn. It's also great because it's so easy to understand (though there are some more complex things). I wish I could have more time to study everything, but even scratching the surface of the materials you provide opens ears and mind to some exciting musical ideas. I especially like the Scoring Stages, which is a wonderful learning journey. Can't wait for the next parts. Thanks so much for all you are doing!
- Michael C.

I am a happy customer of many of your products including many of your awesome classes! Your classes are 10x more helpful that the BERKLEE classes I took right before! ...I took 2 BERKLEE online classes and they were so general, unhelpful and boring. Mr. Alexander's are priceless! I learn so much from them!!! THANK YOU!!!!
- Christopher D.

Been loving the series so far especially the video series. I'd love to see where Video Orchestra volume 3 will go!
- Dan B.

Thank you. Thank you so much for your valuable courses in orchestration, time, and effort. They are treasures in the field.
- Yuan-Mei C.

I am a composition student, currently on my last year of studying, and a highly satisfied customer of yours, having purchased quite a lot of your material on orchestration.
- Raoul M.

Thanks. I’m enjoying your products and will certainly be purchasing more
- Steve B.

I am very happy of what I downloaded, it helps a lot.
- Marc B.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating
Please Wait... processing