Monthly Archives: January 2013

I suppose it’s positive reinforcement when other composers start asking what sample libraries you’re using in mockups. So, if you are a composer and you happen to like the orchestral sounds of tracks like Enter the Arena or The Journey, here is a list of the sample libraries that are getting used there.


    • Strings: Cinematic Strings, LA Scoring Strings. LASS is my favorite for short strings, and Cinematic Strings I prefer for legatos and sustains. I tend to layer them together – which one is most prominent depends on the articulation and the goals of the cue.
    • Brass: CineBrass Pro – my favorite right now is the 12-french horn patch, which is just monstrously good. I also like Dimension Brass by Vienna for more intimate arrangements.
    • Percussion: Spitfire and Heaviocity’s Damage. I also use big hits from Omnisphere from time to time.
    • Piano: I’m a big fan of Piano in Blue. Most piano libraries I find are a bit heavy to mix with orchestras. Piano in Blue has a very nice delicate sound and I find it drops in nicely with little to no EQ and very light compression.
  • Synths: The main workhorse is Omnisphere. ┬áSynth doublings of the orchestral parts are very, very useful in many a mockup.

Layering can give you an opportunity to sound a little more original, by modifying sounds which would be otherwise recognizable to savvy music supervisors. Some ideas are doubling snare drums with acoustic guitar pick swipes, adding synth bass to cello parts, or sneaking in a pad under a violin melody. The idea is to add muscle, or sparkle, or space, or depth whenever it’s needed.

Posted 6 years ago by John Piscitello

A reader asked about some of the tech used to produce this blog and my homepage.

The scrolling list I am using is made from custom Javascript. I’ll just go ahead and give a shoutout to Sequence Mediaworks whom I would recommend.

I’m able to maintain the site quite easily, but it does require editing the HTML code directly. But the code and Javascript is straightforward and well-commented. I use Dreamweaver to go in and deal with it. It takes only a few minutes to update the site with new demos.

As for the players – I am using Soundcloud for the embedded player. I am generally happy with Soundcloud, but I have serious reservations about the redesign they are launching soon. They seem to be struggling with the right balance between simplicity and control. It’s still the best solution I’m aware of for audio portfolios, but I would like it to be easier to create sets and to manage what shows up on my homepage. This is getting beyond the scope of the original question, but here are some Soundcloud feature suggestions:

    • Password-protected pages which I can invite specific people to view sets to allow composers to pitch for projects.
  • Sort the homepage by upload date, title, and set.
  • More visibility for how to create a Set – this feature is quite buried today.
  • Not a fan of the way to organize the default homepage sorting order. Being able to control only the top 5 items isn’t adequate. Also, only being able to move things to the top or not at all isn’t so good at all. I would suggest the Netflix queue management UI as being a good model for what Soundcloud is trying to do here.
  • I know they’ll hate me for suggesting this – but it would sure be handy to be able to embed YouTube videos into SoundCloud pages. There, I said it.
Now on my page if you scroll through to the Contactor’s Routine and Dixie Dynamite demos, you will find a different player there. That is based on Wimpy player. When I get around to it I will replace that with Soundcloud. Nothing wrong with Wimpy, it’s very popular, and if you need a lot of customization it’s a good solution. But maintenance of it is obviously a lot more difficult than Soundcloud.
Posted 6 years ago by John Piscitello