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So I'm not a professional and I never won any competitions, so I've never gotten to play with an orchestra. Some of you might remember that 5 years ago, I tried to create my own orchestra for Rach 1, and did the first two movements:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLq2Iv7NGtT0XO_YJ4fCoEIssa1HQfyMe0

I've had a lot of free time lately, and I was taking a look at doing the 3rd movement. Looking at the score again, I remember why I didn't want to do what I did with the first 2 mvts...too many notes. I want to put together some "Music Minus One"s for my own favorite obscure concerti so future pianists don't need to struggle like I did, but it has to be more efficient than hiring an entire orchestra.

I first tried Melodyne hoping it could identify piano sounds, but it doesn't really work well with many instruments in overlapping ranges. Then I thought about using a score recognition program to transcribe the orchestral score to MIDI, but taking a bunch of basically level notes and adding expression is a fairly big undertaking.

After some thinking, I realized actual professional musicians can easily sight read the score, and (sadly) they should be cheap to hire. Does anyone who went to music school have any advice for how I might go about hiring music students who know how to hook up a proper microphone and record themselves? How much money would people want to do such a thing (e.g. dollars per hour)?

Last edited by trigalg693; 05/08/21 01:57 AM.
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Why not consider hiring one person good with VIs (virtual instruments) to do this?

Not sure where you would look, but vi-control might be a place to ask. This thread is at least a decent read. . .

https://vi-control.net/community/threads/which-orchestra-to-record.79238/

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Maybe take a look at Fiverr.


I play piano, bansuri flute, guitars and compose meditative relaxing music! :-)
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Well done on the 1st two movements. Most of the orchestra part is convincing (in a few places you get what I call the "Accordion" effect).

If you can transcribe the orchestral score into the Sibelius notation program, the best output without having to add expression yourself to each MIDI instrument is to use a program called "NotePerformer 3" (https://www.noteperformer.com/).

I hand entered the score of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2 into Sibelius (approximately 100 hours of work for the whole concerto) and used NotePerformer (the only thing I had to do was tweak the dynamics of the cellos and basses):


Last edited by vmishka; 05/09/21 04:15 PM.
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If you really want to hire an orchestra, the musicians' union is probably your best bet. It will not be cheap, but hiring people who are familiar with the ins and outs will probably save you enough time and trouble to be worth it.


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Originally Posted by vmishka
Well done on the 1st two movements. Most of the orchestra part is convincing (in a few places you get what I call the "Accordion" effect).

If you can transcribe the orchestral score into the Sibelius notation program, the best output without having to add expression yourself to each MIDI instrument is to use a program called "NotePerformer 3" (https://www.noteperformer.com/).

I hand entered the score of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2 into Sibelius (approximately 100 hours of work for the whole concerto) and used NotePerformer (the only thing I had to do was tweak the dynamics of the cellos and basses):


Oh wow, this looks like a good option. I can get through about half the movement with trimming piano out of recordings with Melodyne and a lot of splicing and effects, this would be a little easier than learning some of the parts and trying to play them on keyboard as I have horrendous sight reading. One big reason I wasn't happy with just using the keyboard on this piece is the middle section with strings just doesn't sound good with "accordion effect", NotePerformer would probably fix that.

Originally Posted by BDB
If you really want to hire an orchestra, the musicians' union is probably your best bet. It will not be cheap, but hiring people who are familiar with the ins and outs will probably save you enough time and trouble to be worth it.

How much money does this cost? I would consider spending a few k but I always imagined it would be more than that. A single person with all the good software tools can probably get through all the work I need in around 50 hours.

Last edited by trigalg693; 05/09/21 06:14 PM.
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Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music

Thanks, so about 2000 per hour. Hmmm...yea probably cheaper to hire someone to make some MIDI files for me, or individual tracks that I stitch together.

Last edited by trigalg693; 05/10/21 04:23 AM.
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You'll probably find interested people on VI-control doing a mockup for you.


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You can purchase recorded orchestral accompaniments for various concertos:

https://www.smartsoloist.com/

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@Sweelinck uh, look at the list of concerti on there. It's missing a lot of popular ones.

Just FYI for other people wondering, I ended up hiring someone for about 500 bucks to do the ending of the 3rd movement (he's entering the notes into MIDI and I'm syncing the audio, it would be more money if he did the syncing). Seems like the market rate is around $200/minute of music to do a VST orchestral mockup.

The simpler sections where I think it's okay to wing it I'm doing myself, because it's quite easy to sit at the keyboard and just play the notes when the texture is light.

Next time around when I do another concerto, I would probably look into hiring people to enter notes into Sibelius or Finale and then rendering the orchestra myself.

Last edited by trigalg693; 07/02/21 02:53 AM.
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@Sweelinck uh, look at the list of concerti on there. It's missing a lot of popular ones.
Sure. I did not claim they offered every possible one, but it is a worthwhile collection.

Last edited by Sweelinck; 07/17/21 05:57 PM.
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I am currently kind of in this backup/accompaniment track hype. I have researched this smartsoloist company, using other people backing tracks (some is synthetic) that can sync with their typesetted score. But they used kind of a old Windows only software, which cannot be accessed by smartphone or tablet (It's hard to practise with a PC/laptop for piano). Then they are like offering another kind of package, which is mp3 + 'pre-recorded' youtube videos at the same price.

I am currently on a project of blending backing track mp3 with digital xml sheets. One can also subscribe to Tomplay for similar experience, I am getting this idea from them. But they are lacking behind for classical concertos which they say can only make a few each year.


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