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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Ableton Live 10 > Symphonic Virtual Orchestration

Symphonic Virtual Orchestration


FROM $775

Symphonic Virtual Orchestration is an in-depth, online course from Cinematic Composing which aims to teach the fundamental concepts and techniques required to create an orchestral mockup using MIDI and sampled instruments. Written and presented by LA-based composer Marc Jovani, the course contains over 100 videos across nine modules and is taught over several months, with a deep focus on synthestration, arrangement and writing techniques, plus building templates, mixing and mastering – the idea being that you complete a module and assignment each week and then submit your work to get bespoke video feedback from Jovani, although you can also work at your own pace if you desire. You also get lifetime access to a private Facebook group where the feedback is posted, students can ask technical questions and where there is a live-chat video each week on orchestration topics and the recently completed module. There are three course tiers, with extra bonuses; the Basic version includes a live-chat masterclass with composer Chris Young.

The Pro version adds four musical Case Studies, a chapter on studio ergonomics, and a mixing masterclass with Bobby Fernandez. The Expert version gives you access to Jovani’s sample-libraries list, and one-on-one sessions with Jovani and an active LA composer. Most of the course uses Cubase to demonstrate the various techniques, along with an array of Kontakt libraries and third-party mixing plug-ins. However, Jovani explains more about the why of each writing and mixing decision, helping to make the techniques transferable. There’s also good use of a multi-camera setup to move between the tutor, control surfaces and screen capture. This doesn’t come cheap, but you do get lifetime updates – if you’re serious about getting into orchestral film and tv composition, then this is an incredibly focused course.


A professional, industryfocused course with a high level of interactivity and personal feedback.

Key features

MIDI-sample-instrument orchestral mockup course

100+ videos, 15+ hours

Assignments with video feedback

Weekly live video chat and private Facebook group

Bonus content and expert masterclasses

Written and presented by Marc Jovani


The Secrets Of Dance Music Production £26.90


We’ve seen our fair share of production books over the years. This new 312-page book from Attack magazine includes plenty of overall production tips, but mainly looks at various forms of dance music and their relevant techniques. The colourful pages are packed with info on synthesis, sampling, beat-making, studio setup and monitor placement, EQ, compression, layering, frequency bracketing, lo-fi processing, bass-splitting, vocal production, mastering and more. There are easy to follow walkthroughs using a range of DAWs and software instruments to build arps, basslines, keys, leads and FX sounds from scratch and also a section on music theory covering voicing, syncopation, melody and chord progressions. Throw in plenty of tips from world-class producers such as Justice, Redlight and Todd Edwards, plus analysis of track structures and round-ups of gear and you have a great package.

To accompany the book, you can download 640MBworth of extensive audio examples, plus the odd MIDI file and DAW project. Although specific software is used for the walkthroughs, most of the information and techniques given are more general.

Overall, the book is driven by stacks of short tips and suggestions rather than longer passages. This can be a little overwhelming at times, so it’s recommended to work through in sections, or revisit certain chapters when you’re working on a specific aspect of a track. Various genres are touched upon at different times, such as drum’n’bass, chillwave and dubstep, but there are more references to 4/4-based genres such as techno and house, as these cover a broad spectrum.

If you have hours of internet research under your belt, you’ll still find this book useful, but notably less so than beginneror intermediate-level producers. However, if you fall into the latter category, then we firmly urge you to get this book and read it from cover to cover, as you could save yourself hours of time reading online blogs and watching YouTube videos, and fast-track your production knowledge in a very focused way.

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About MusicTech

70 Pro Tips - A huge array of tips and tricks for all stages of music production. Interview: Emre Ramazanoglu - The musician, engineer and songwriter who has worked with the stars. Workshops: Live 10: Beginner's Guide to Live - Create a song from scratch Live 10: Workflow Additions - Martin Delaney explores the improved Arrangement View in Live 10 and other workflow updates MIDI Routing And Recording - A look at some fundamental and sophisticated routing techniques