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By Alan Belkin

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Make sure that the dynamics and articulations chosen fit the instrument. * Brass: This is the hardest group to simulate, since brass change more over their (large) dynamic range than other sounds do. It is essential to have different samples at various dynamic levels, and also some way of creating natural crescendi and diminuendi. To some extent this can be approximated by taking a loud brass sound and programming a filter to open, following a midi controller as needed. Also the resonance created between brass instruments in a real ensemble (the metal of each instrument vibrates slightly in sympathy with the others playing around it) is very prominent and creates strong beating effects that enrich the sound considerably.

My colleague Sylvain Caron generously gave his time to read the text and made constructive comments.

Vocal simulation is not currently satisfactory. My own experience is that while a good orchestra is always more exciting than a good simulation, a good simulation often sounds better than a poor orchestra. While there is no point in recommending specific machines for simulation here (they still are changing too rapidly), some advice on getting realistic results with each orchestral family may be of use. * Strings: Use different sounds for each section, and not just a generic string patch. For each section, at a minimum there is a need for one patchwith a fast attack, and another with a slower attack.

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