The desire to "make music" has increased in recent years. It is now possible to produce music without going to a music school or having a private music teacher. Thanks to the Internet, video tutorials and often free software, a sector has developed alongside the professional music industry that should not be underestimated. 

Competition stimulates business.

A growing number of self-made musicians are having fun experimenting with musical material and achieving amazing results. This fresh breeze is good for the entire music market. The abundance of uploads on YouTube, Soundcloud and other portals gives an idea of what is being composed, arranged and produced on home computers or in private studios.

The advantage of experimenting is that it is not so important 'how' the sound result is achieved - 'the main thing is that it sounds good'.

What counts is quick success.

Software and library manufacturers offer factory presets to get you started as quickly as possible. You can worry about the details later.

The situation is different when it comes to acoustic instruments: Composers and arrangers who write music for instrumentalists, ensembles or orchestras need to deliver material that is ready to play and can be used for rehearsal or production - otherwise the project can quickly become very expensive.

Hybrid productions (virtual plus acoustic instruments) or the absence of acoustic instruments can reduce personnel costs in the budget. However, this does not mean that the sonic result will be better. It is not uncommon for experienced (studio) musicians to have to "rescue" the sound of "badly" orchestrated music as part of a production.

How do sound deficits arise and how do you avoid "uniformity"? 

Is it due to a lack of experience in working with acoustic instruments or an overestimation of the possibilities offered by notation programs and sound libraries?

Sound optimization

Why do many arrangements and compositions have sound deficits?


"More professional know-how"

The aim of the project is to provide music makers with concepts for optimising their sonic results. As many musicians have no "classical" training in composition or instrumentation, the project aims to answer the following key questions:

  1. What sources of information are generally used for the work process?
  2. What details for the optimization of the sound results would be desirable?
  3. How can the workflow be optimized?
  4. How do composers and arrangers use the features of notation software and sound libraries for their creative work?
  5. To what extent do producers of software and libraries provide the necessary musical know-how in their documentations?


"​Contact to musicians and developers"

Working with musicians, composers, arrangers and software and sound library developers, the aim is to explore and evaluate ways in which composition and instrumentation techniques can be linked to their respective products.

Questions to the creatives

How do musicians work with virtual instruments? How important are traditional methods? What is the role of the user interface: workspace or notation?

Questions to the developers

Should developers of virtual instruments also offer musical support for work in practice? How are the libraries designed? What is the role of the development of soundsets?

Results and summary

The evaluation of the first results was completed in March 2018.
New contributions will follow gradually.

​[work in progress]

The results of this study will be used to reflect on the working methods of composers and arrangers and to make the differences in the workflow of music creators more transparent.

The conclusions will have an impact on the practical work of music makers. The discussion should provide software and software instrument manufacturers with ideas for new concepts.