Composing : Scoring software by Brian Hutzell

Brian Hutzell

Scoring software

What is your favorite scoring software, and why?

Alejandro Villanueva Medina

I love using Logic to do the recording of the music and Sibelius to write the escore. Those two are the ones I feel most comfortable with.

Gav Elias

I use Cubase 7.5. I load in a few instances of the Kontakt sampler by Native Instruments and run sample libraries within that, such as Spitfire Audio's Albion series and HZ percussion library, ProjectSAM's Symphobia, AudioBro's LASS, Cinesamples' 'Cine' range etc. With these you can achieve ultra realistic full, rich orchestras for your scores if you spend the time tweaking the midis, tempo lanes, velocities etc. I then layer synths such as Spectrasonics' Omnisphere and u-He's Zebra with the orchestral sections as required. Also, plenty of effect and loop libraries that are useful to give you a variety of sounds, such as Heavyocity's Damage and Evolve series.

Srinivasa Bharadwaj Kishore

I use "Notion" for iPad and Cubasis for iPad. Primary reason is that they are on iPad and are almost full function scoring softwares. Notion also provides additional facilities to generate sheet music for each part and for conductor.

Arhynn Descy

Like Alejandro above I score in Logic, but if I need sheet music I use Sibelius.

Sean Stuart

I use vegas, fl studio, and acid. Been using sony acid for 10+ years and vegas makes it easy to integrate. I'm currently learning Ableton

Gav Elias

Sean - if using Ablton look up YouTube videos for a guy called Daniel James. He is a UK based working composer and works on games and films and uses Ableton, which is out of sync with most of the composing world who use Cubase or Logic.

Daryl Wilson

I use Finale... Its what I'm used to using.

Shanika Freeman

I use FL studio or Ableton. Finale is wonderful for notation! Sibelius is another good one. For me, I am more comfortable playing by ear and scoring without writing it out, first. (Notating is a hassle for me) I also second looking at Daniel James. He is a reat guy and very knowledgeable when it comes to the program.

Jasmine Charleston

I love protools as well, it's all I use!

Yasuhiro Nakashima

I'm using Presonus Studio One.

Gav Elias

Looking at what "prol" and working composers use is a starting point. I know Hans Zimmer uses Cubase and I seem to have it in my head that Danny Elfman uses Pro Tools. They seems to be the most common two amongst working composers that I am aware of.

Jacob Cadmus

Yasuhiro - I use Studio One as well! High five! Gav - Actually, Elfman uses Digital Performer. He likely prints his audio to Pro Tools (because it's pretty much a standard), but he most definitely composes/sequences in DP.

Dewey Hocevar

I use Digital Performer 8 mainly because of the chunks feature and for work not using a lot of audio manipulation, also use Logic Pro X for quick bouncing and more sound designing.

Tony Flynn

I've always used Logic Pro despite being tempted by a different program like Cubase or DP, if you are experienced in in one particular music software and are very happy with it, I dare say you will stick to that, despite its weaknesses (and I could mention quite a few with Logic) .

Jacob Cadmus

^ I can vouch for that; been exploring other DAWs last year because of Studio One's major weakness (video). I even used DP for a while, but ultimately went back to S1, because it just feels like home. Plus, I found a workaround to accommodate its video functions.

Brian Hutzell

Thanks for all the input, everybody!

P.J. Corvus

Logic Pro X, used in many major movies too

Paulo Bethencourt

I have used Digital Performer since 1991 but recently migrated to Logic Pro.

Alessandro Ponti

I use Cubase 6, but I don't like the fact that I must create a project per each cue. An approach like chunks in Digital Performer would be better.

Aaryk Noctivagus

I use Digital Orchestrator Pro... which hasn't been available to purchase since around 1998... b ut I've never found anything I am so very comfortable with.

Tony Flynn

Hi Aaryk, I'd be interested to know a bit more about Digital Orch. pro, ill check out the site online. Do you use it in conjunction with orchestral players?

Aaryk Noctivagus

No Tony... it is an old Midi sequencer software. I use it with Sound fonts... very low tech, but I feel very much at home with the software and it does everything I need. It was discontinued at the end of the 1990s. The problem facing me soon is that Windows 7 does not support the software used to install the software... even though the software itself would be supported... the installing software is 8 bit which Windows 7 will not run. Here's a brief rundown for you, Tony - including a screenshot. It is very simple software, but it fits the bill with me and I dread the day I can no longer use it. http://www.sonicspot.com/digitalorchestratorpro/digitalorchestratorpro.html

Tony Flynn

Thanks for the link Aaryk, I like the graphics on this software but as you say it hasn't been updated and isnt supported by Windows 7 which means you will have to eventually switch to another program. There are programs like Sibelius, Finale that a lot of film composers use in conjunction with sequencer programs like Cubase, pro tools and Logic....its funny some of them claim they can do both music notation and sequencing but if you're using orchestras small or large, I think you need the best of both say..Sibelius with Logic Pro, Finale with Cubase..not sure with that one but I think it's possible. I scored a 1 hour cop program just using Logic pro for some of the string arrangements, the conductor looked at the resulting sheet music and giggled a bit but at least he didn't throw it in the bin...I guess he kind of "let me off"!

P.J. Corvus

Aaryk and Tony, I can tell you both that I own Digital Orchestrator Pro, and Logic Pro X, (and Pro Tools 11, and Cubase, and Ableton) and have used both extensively. Aaryk, You should try Logic. Not only does it do EVERYTHING that Digital orchetrator does, but it does like 100 times more user friendly things, comes with a gazillion synth presets, including symphonic/orchestral sounds, but its also current and can be used to do so much more than Digital Orchestrator, which is a dinosaur. Aaryk and Tony, theres a reason why they dont make Orchestrator anymore, its called Logic.

P.J. Corvus

Oh and BTW, I found some great FREE DOWNLOADS of Roland TR-808, Roland TR-909, Korg Electribe, and Alesis SR-16 at http://LogicalSoundz.com. They also have some great soundfont downloads for use with Soundfont players, WAV sample packs, and EXS for Logic. Cheers

Aaryk Noctivagus

Thank you PJ regarding the info about Logic :)

Aaryk Noctivagus

Only available for MAC.

Tony Flynn

The only thing is Aaryk, you'll need to buy a Mac to use logic...!! There are these so called "cross over" softwares and "Hackintosh" to run it on a PC but I dont personally think Logic Pro will run smoothly unless its on a Apple computer!

P.J. Corvus

RE: buying a Mac is well worth it to be able to run Logic Pro X, but also Pro Tools is WAY more stable on Mac than windows. In fact, I have visited everywhere from Skywalker Sound to every major studio in LA, and they all use Mac for Pro Tools, not 1 Pro studio in Hollywood uses Windows for Pro Tools. There is a reason for this.

Gav Elias

I don't get the hype about Logic Pro X. I use Cubase 7.5 with multiple instances of Kontakt 5 running carousel sample libraries from developers such as Spitfire Audio, ProjectSAM, Cinematic Strings etc. Cubase is the only DAW you need. You can input everything as midi, and I think it is the best for editing midi. It will then automatically translate the midi into an accurate score should you want to print it for a real orchestra. you can input everything in as a score instead of midi if you prefer too. It also has good video features to allow you to score to picture. Personally I use Logic Pro X and Ableton for making midi/synth reliant electro based music and Cubase for everything else including scoring and recording real musicians.

P.J. Corvus

Gav, different strokes for different folks, its just like cars, they all get you places, some people want to roll in a VW, some a Miata, some people like a Honda, they all get you where youre going, sometimes just in slightly different ways. Cubase is your preference, I prefer Logic and Studio One Pro, and I dont care for Cubase because they over-complicate things

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