The desire to "make music" has increased in recent years. You can produce music today without music school or private music teacher. Thanks to the Internet, video tutorials and often free software, an area has been developed parallel to the professional music industry - and should not be underestimated.

Competition stimulates business.

A steadily growing number of self-made musicians has fun experimenting with musical material, achieving amazing results. On the music market this fresh wind is doing quite well. The abundance of uploads on YouTube, soundcloud and other portals let you guess what is composed, arranged and produced on computers at home or in private studios.

The advantage of experimentation lies in the fact that it is not very important “how” the sound has been produced - "main thing is: it sounds good".

The quick success counts.

Manufacturers of software and sound libraries offer presets, so you can get started with the work as smoothly as possible. With details you can deal at a later time.

The situation is slightly when acoustic instruments come into play: composers and arrangers who write music for instrumentalists, ensembles or orchestras have to provide ready-to-play and realizable material for rehearsals or the production - otherwise the project is very expensive.

It is possible to reduce the personnel costs in the budget with hybrid productions (virtual plus acoustic instruments) or by not using acoustic instruments. This does not mean, however, that the sound result is better. Sometimes it happens that experienced (studio) musicians have to salvage "badly instrumented music" in the context of a production.  

How do sound deficits arise and how to avoid "mishmash"?  

Is there a lack of experience with the use of acoustic instruments, or the overestimation of possibility using notation programs and sound libraries?  

Optimization of sound

Why is it that many arrangements and compositions have a aural deficit?


"More professional know-how"

The aim of the project is to offer concepts for the optimization of sound results. As many musicians do not have "classical" training in composition or instrumentation, the following key questions must be answered during the course of the project:

  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 I optimize my workflow?
  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"

Through the collaboration of composers and arrangers as well as companies developing software or sound libraries, the possibilities of combining composition and instrumentation techniques with the respective products are to be examined and evaluated. 

Questions to the creatives

How do musicians work with virtual instruments? What is the significance of traditional methods? What is the role of the 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 results is expected to start from February 2018

[work in progress]

The results of this study are intended to reflect the way in which composers and arrangers work, and to make the differences in the workflow more transparent for music-makers. 

Conclusions will impact on the practical work of music-makers. The discussion is intended to give manufacturers of software or software tools a stimulus for new concepts.