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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jan-17 > On the trail of the Ark

On the trail of the Ark

Andy Jones visits Teldex Studio in Berlin to witness the recording of the follow-up to the incredible, 10/10 scoring Metropolis Ark 1 library from Orchestral Tools – and discovers enough to bring you his own guide to recording an orchestra…
…and here’s engineer Tom Russbueldt, doing just that at the incredible Teldex Studio in Berlin

When it comes to using orchestral music in your productions, there are so many options these days: from using terrible GM sounds on ancient digital keyboards, to hiring your own orchestra – at enormous expense. The former won’t get you anywhere and the latter will not only cost, but is fraught with its own problems. You have to know what to do with said orchestra, where to place them, how to mic them, record them, feed them…

Luckily, there are plenty of companies that sit somewhere between those two extremes who can take a lot of the effort out of the equation for you, while still producing exceptional-quality results. One of these has quickly become a MusicTech favourite since we discovered it scaring its neighbours at the NAMM show with demos of its (then new) Metropolis Ark 1 collection. This bombastic and dramatic set of sounds was described by the late, great Keith Gemmell as “a terrific orchestral library that contains just about everything required for composing and producing loud, powerful and epic music”, before bestowing that MusicTech 10/10 Excellence Award on it.

So when the makers of Metropolis invited us along to the sessions for the follow-up, we jumped at the chance: Berlin, the chance to brush up on our orchestral recording knowledge… what’s not to like?

Studio by studio

We hate to admit it – and kinda have already – but that NAMM meeting was the first we’d heard of Orchestral Tools. However, the company has been around for five years and is based in the beautiful city of Freiburg in southern Germany. As the company’s Jan Lepold tells us, Orchestral Tools started because one of its founders, a musician himself, needed help…

The original Metropolis Ark is a stunning collection of sounds and phrases for trailer music – so good, in fact, that Orchestral Tools decided to make a follow-up…
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