Online Master's Degree Course

Orchestral Mockup in Film Scoring

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Course Code: OCOMP-507

Now Enrolling for Sept 30 Term Start

Level 5 - Degree Only

Level 5

This course emphasizes the creation of realistic-sounding orchestral sequences, using current, professional-level orchestral sample libraries and DAWs. You will learn how to emulate live orchestral performances, using industry-standard tools and techniques utilized by composers across the film, TV, and video game scoring industries.

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Create orchestral MIDI mockups that sound exceedingly realistic, by maximizing the potential of current orchestral sample libraries, professional MIDI editing techniques, and tools found in modern DAWs, and mixing tools like reverb and EQ

  • Evaluate the qualities of, and appropriate areas of use for, current orchestral sample libraries, based on sound quality, playability, and stylistic versatility and application 

  • Configure and modify existing sample libraries to enhance their performance and maximize their potential effectiveness across a wide variety of uses 

  • Solve common MIDI mockup problems that often detract from a realistic orchestral sound, such as repeated notes, woodwind and string runs, the “organ effect,” and unnatural instrument balances 

  • Configure a complex orchestral sequencing template, based on professional standards for performance, workflow, and delivery requirements

  • Manipulate sample library articulations using a variety of touchscreen solutions, and/or real-time MIDI input methods, that interface with current DAW articulation management systems

  • Utilize mixing concepts and techniques specific to orchestral mockups, such as blending different sample libraries, spatial placement, managing multiple microphone layers, and managing room- or noise build-up

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Lesson 1: Orchestral Mockup and Sample Library Fundamentals

  • Orchestral Mockup Objectives and Philosophy
  • MIDI Basics/Review
  • Orchestral Sampling Overview

Lesson 2: Basic Template and Reverb Setup

  • Basic track/template creation
  • Setting up Reverb as a Send Effect
  • Basic Reverb Techniques for Orchestral Mockups

Lesson 3: Woodwinds

  • Woodwind Overview and Challenges
  • Woodwind Sequencing Techniques
  • Woodwinds Reverb and EQ Considerations

Lesson 4: Brass

  • Brass Overview and Challenges
  • Brass Sequencing Techniques
  • Brass Reverb and EQ Considerations
  • Brass/woodwind Chords and the “Organ Effect”

Lesson 5: Percussion, Harp, and Piano

  • Percussion, Harp, and Piano Overview
  • Percussion Techniques
  • Harp and Piano Techniques
  • Perc, Harp, and Piano Reverb and EQ Considerations

Lesson 6: Strings (Part 1)

  • String Overview and Challenges
  • String Sequencing Techniques - Short Notes
  • String Short Note Reverb and EQ Considerations
  • Sample Latency and Negative Track Delay/Offset

Lesson 7: Strings (Part 2)

  • String Long Note Overview and Challenges
  • Long Note String Sequencing Techniques
  • Divisi String Sequencing
  • String Runs
  • Legato Sample Pre-delay

Lesson 8: Reverb and Room Placement

  • Reverb Concepts
  • Scoring Stage/Studio vs. Hall/Tail Reverb
  • Creating a Hall-like Reverb Tail
  • Multi-mic Sample Libraries and Blending Different Libraries

Lesson 9: Template Building and Articulation Management

  • Template Philosophy
  • Track/Instrument Management
  • Articulation Management

Lesson 10: Stereo Panning and Audio Routing/Stem Concepts

  • Stereo Panning vs. Stereo Balance
  • Routing and Reverb send Implications of Panning
  • Routing/bussing Concepts

Lesson 11: Final Mixing and Mastering

  • Mixbus processing
  • Stem Mastering
  • Gain staging and Healthy Audio Levels
  • Limiting and Dither

Lesson 12: Touchscreen Controllers and Networked Server/Host Setups

  • Touchscreen Controllers 
  • Useful Third-party Utilities and Workflow Enhancers
  • Vienna Ensemble Pro


Requirements coming soon.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal Microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection



Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.


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This course has reached capacity for this term. Many of our other courses remain open. Please call our academic advisors at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.) or +1-617-747-2146 (Int'l) to learn more.