Free (beginner) masterclass: How To Write Orchestral Music For Film

I’ve made a short orchestral music track called Show Opener. In this FREE masterclass I will share with you the midi-mockup, projectfiles and the orchestral template so you can rebuild it in your own DAW while following me along during the weekly videos.

Important Note about the Masterclass:

I think it is important to share with you my thoughts about the masterclass and its components. Cause I want to give you max value.

So I’m going to break it up in multiple videos … hopefully not to long … and zoom in on certain elements, details and things the pros won’t tell and show you. Starting with the basics and the fundamentals and slowly go to the more advanced topics and eventually discuss the mixing and mastering.

I will upload a video each Thursday. So you will get a fresh video each week. With this weekly pace I want to give you enough time to work with the project files and apply the things that I show you in my videos. Or challenge you to experiment with it.

It also gives you time to comment and ask me questions if needed. Maybe you want me to spend some more time on a certain topic after watching the video, for example.

Now I have to say, this masterclass shows you how I write orchestral music for film and video. How I create realistic orchestral mockups. But that doesn’t mean that this is the only way to do it. Let’s be honest. There are so many ways that lead to Rome. Right?

So don’t see this Masterclass as the absolute truth or the way you should do your orchestral composing thing. No! Just use it as an inspiration, a thought about how you could write orchestral music for film. A sort of guidance.


Very nice inderdaad David! I dont do this genre right now, but i am sure plenty here will want to learn about orchestral music.

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Thanks Robert! You’re welcome too … altijd :slight_smile:

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The responses were overwhelming last week. A lot of people contacted me through social media and direct messages that they would be interested. So I decided to start this masterclass. Today the first video of many.

Fee free to join. In this first video you can pick up the project files and prepare yourself for the upcoming videos.


After a great start of the FREE masterclass ‘How to create a realistic orchestral mockup’, the responses last week were massive! Lots of people joined, downloaded the project files and follow me along during the upcoming weeks while we rebuild my original composition Show Opener.

Today I released a new weekly video of this masterclass (always on Thursday) and made a new project file available to download. We’re building up an orchestral template first.

If you haven’t joined yet, feel free to do. You’re welcome to participate!

Cya next week!

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The third video of the masterclass is live! In this one I talk about balancing your orchestral instruments. And you can download the updated project files.

If you have any questions or feedback, I would love to hear from you!
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Week 4 is live! This time I talk about EQ-ing (clean up orchestral instruments). And of course I share with you all my updated project file in which you can see my EQ settings. Next week I’ll cover delay to get a tight sounding orchestra.


Amazing. Thank you so much for such videos. :+1:
You can not imagine how much helpful it is for beginners. Keep up the good work. Really appreciate your time and effort. :pray: :+1: :blush:
May God bless you with lots of success and happiness :blush:

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We’re already at week number 5! This video is about ‘How to get a tight sounding orchestra’. A topic that many of you were waiting for. Cause when you do this right, you will be able to get that PRO orchestral sound that we all want. Just by simply using the delay functionality in your DAW to get that spot on timing of all your orchestral instruments.

Next week I’ll cover the microphone settings and how to get a good sounding microphone balance.

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In this video we get a little bit personal. The microphone balance (settings) is a matter of taste. Some people like the big stage sound with lush strings and ambience. While others love the intimate much more dryer sound of a small room. In my opinion there’s no wrong or right, it’s a matter of what fits your composition the best.

You can download the project file of this week here:

Earlier I shared my project files (midi mockup etc.) with you all. If you haven’t downloaded them yet, here is the direct link:

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Hell yeh I want the project please (:

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The project files are still available @Leonardmastering for downloading. Link is above. In the package the original midi-mockup (which you can import into your own DAW), list of used libraries and some other stuff. In the weekly updated projectfile (link also above) you’ll find my template settings.

If you’re watching the videos you can follow me along and rebuild the orchestral music track yourself. Next week I’ll be talking about orchestration and then start with the videos about mixing :slight_smile:

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A good orchestral composition with bad orchestration choices will never give you the great result you had in mind. So you need to learn some basic skills of orchestration. That means you have to read some stuff (I highly recommend The principles of Orchestration by Rimsky Korsakov), analyse film scores and learn to transcribe. In this video I’ll address my orchestration choices while writing the orchestral music track Show Opener (which we rebuild in this Masterclass). I hopefully they are worthy to you.


Hi gh0stwrit3r, I downloaded your midifile to pick up some tricks as orchestrating a successful midi mockup can be complicated. I noticed that the composition does not have any flourishes or ornaments that would bring the woodwinds to life. Are you going to cover this in another episode as I would like to gain a few tricks and tips.

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Not specifically in this series of videos. We’re rebuilding the music track Show Opener and indeed it does not have that kind of passages for the woodwinds (or the strings). But I could cover that in another separate video :thinking:


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With todays video we start a new chapter of the FREE masterclass Realistic Orchestral Mockups: Mixing!

I will discuss my philosophy on the concept of mixing, exporting midi and importing audio and three plugins that I almost always use on my master bus: Voxengo Span, iZotope Insight and iZotope Ozone Imager.

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How to mix strings in a realistic orchestral mockup? That is the question that I’ll answer in this video. I’ll show you my workflow, the plugins that I use and why and how I use them. Hopefully this will give you some guidance when mixing your own orchestral mockups.

This is already video number 9 of the FREE masterclass How to create realistic orchestral mockups for film!

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How to mix woodwinds, brass, percussion and the piano and harp in a realistic orchestral mockup? That is the question that I’ll answer in this video. I’ll show you my workflow, the plugins that I use and why and how I use them. Hopefully this will give you some guidance when mixing your own orchestral mockups.

And if you haven’t done already, the projectiles (midi mockup, libraries list etc) are still available for download. So you can rebuild the music track ‘Show Opener’ yourself!

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How do you actually know that all the adjustments that you did during mixing, made the track sound better? We need some objectivity on this matter, cause we can’t always trust our ears. The brain is a complex psychological thing which can trick us. We need to protect ourselves :slight_smile:

In this video I show you two simple tricks to get that little bit more objectivity in our mixes. We’re gonna use two kinds of reference tracks for that.

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After watching this video you’ll be able to finalise your version of the orchestral music track Show Opener. And I’m really curious about your version! Share it with me before the 1st of December through Google Drive or Dropbox and I’ll add it to the showcase I will create. So we can all listen to the different versions! How cool is that :slight_smile: