View Full Version : Of which 2 of 3 books would you prefer?

05-26-2005, 12:07 AM
Ok all, which 2 of three would be the best choice for getting started?.

1) The complete guide to film scoring by Richard Davis
2) The Reel World by Jeff Rona.
3) The complete guide to Game audio.

05-26-2005, 12:17 AM
The complete guide to MIDI scoring from Paul Gilreath. ;)

I own 1) and 2) as well, they're more about the world of production in general, but not orchestrating with sample libs in particular..

05-26-2005, 12:28 AM
Hey there, That book your talking about is the midi orchestration right?. I have read some reviews on amazon and was led to beleive that it doesn't get into how to approach and what to do and not. Of course these are perhaps people that bought the book realizing that maybe it wasn't what they wanted. Do you have it?, and could you point out what it's stengths are?. Thanks again. The majority of all my music is midi based, I would really like to educate my self in the orchestral area of music. Using Gold for 1 just blows my mind, and yet I feel that I could do so much more using the right articulations, I am catching on quickly but not fast enough.

05-26-2005, 01:08 AM
The Gilreath book is good, but I found the second half not very useful - it explores the virtues of several different sample libraries. That's ok, but can go out of date VERY quickly and I feel that once you have decided on EWQLSO then that's what you will use, and you need more general orchestration/arrangement details. I would have liked more detail on how to make the midi seem more realistic. The first part of the book start in a good way, but doesn't delve deep enough (for me anyway).

I also have the Reel World, but haven't read it much as it seems like a collection of interviews.

Alfred Blatter and Cecil Forsyth both produced great books on orchestration, but they have nothing to do with midi...

05-26-2005, 02:44 AM
I hate to say this on the SOL board but....

If you want to learn how-to-MIDI orchestrate you'll learn a great deal perusing the Garritan web site (www.garritan.com). Gary has gathered together a great deal of educational materials and tutorials that you won't find in any books. I wish there were similar resources here relating specifically to EWQLSO products as there are some significant differences between these and Garritan's in the way they can be used. (Doug, what about putting some of the DVD tutorials online?)

The archives at NSS "used to be" a great resource as well until they were shut down. I'm sure much of that material will reappear here over time.

Asking questions here will usually lead to an answer (and often many).

05-26-2005, 07:18 AM
As for Orchestration in general terms, I have Cecil Forsyth's one which delves quite deep but is more of a profound instrument overview than an orchestration guide (combinations of instruments, etc)

I agree that the second half of Gilreath's Book is more a product overview, pointing out each product's strenghts, weaks and Paul's experiences with it. But the first half at first explains in a short way every common instrument (but by far not as deep as Cecil Forsyth, but it should be enough for the beginning). After that, he talks about orchestration in general, making melody lines, using three categories of voices (primary, secondary, accompaniment), chord arrangement, positions, etc..
Further on, he explains for all four orchestral sections how to create utterly realistic results. Especially in this part, I've learned a lot - the EWQLSO guide of John Philpit (or so) is also pretty well there, but much less deep.

Hope this helps. As for Gilreath, take care: as far as I know, amazon.com offers only the second edition from 1998 or so, while the current one is from September 2004 (third edition). You may google for it and find an updated product overview as well as a TOC.

I've heard a lot about the book and CDs from Samuel Adler about orchestration in general, but due to the high price, I don't have them (yet)..

05-27-2005, 03:46 AM
Thanks for all your input. I gonna check out the Gilreaths book, and I have checked out the garritan site, good info there. It would be great is EW put something out to this nature but maybe lack of time for them as I am sure they are extremely busy. Unless of course they hired some one in that department specifically to do all they tutorials for all new and upcoming libraries. Again thanks to all.

05-27-2005, 07:10 AM
I am currently in the process of digesting Gilreath's book -- make sure you get the 3rd edition. I got my copy online from Barnes & Nobles in NYC, amazon was on 1-2 month waiting period.

I've learned quite a bit so far in my readings. I got semi-distracted by the idea of writing my own DXi/VST instruments & effects, so I now have a bunch of signal processing books to learn from, too. Turns out my dad has some of the same books from his pre-retirement days of being an analytical chemist, so it' sinteresting to compare notes. He wrote his code in basic, mine is in C++ with hand-coded assembly for the critical path.

05-27-2005, 07:38 AM
I have Paul Gilreaths book and I'd say that at half the price it would be a good buy - because only half the book is any use! The second half is just padding - I don't want to know about how he built his new studio or lots of interviews with composers/producers or info about sample libraries I'm never going to use. The first half is OK - but as someone else said it doesn't go deep enough. A useful read - but on it's own it won't teach a lot about midi orchestration - which is what I was looking for.

Sean R. Beeson
05-27-2005, 07:44 AM
The fat man's book to game audio is interesting. It simply gives a look into his experiences in the game industry.


Steve Karl
05-27-2005, 08:38 AM
I hate to say this on the SOL board but....

If you want to learn how-to-MIDI orchestrate you'll learn a great deal perusing the Garritan web site (www.garritan.com).

Great find. Thank you!


05-27-2005, 02:10 PM
I'll echo RokGeetar and sing the praises of Blatter's book. (I think it's called "Orchestration and Instrumentation.") I've done a few commercials with small ensembles and I ALWAYS open the book for a refresher beforehand. Especially interesting (and probably of much use to you) is a section for each instrument group that goes over the different articulations. It covers the myriad ways a musician physically produces sound on his/her instrument, the limitations (i.e. triple- and quadruple-stops on strings), the construction of some instruments (i.e. how a harp's design affects its playability).

It's all very inspiring -- and an easy read -- and I think it helps MIDI scoring inasmuch as it helps you understand these sounds as real instruments instead of just keyboard patches.

05-27-2005, 10:49 PM
The fat man's book to game audio is interesting. It simply gives a look into his experiences in the game industry.


Thanks Sean, I'll lok into it. Does it offer any info to put into practice or use?.

05-27-2005, 10:51 PM
:) Bloombaber, thanks for the tip on that book. Seems that I may have to get a couple books to suit my needs. Thanks to all for your advise.