Tips & Tricks

How to create Realistic Sound directly from a Score

'Playful Passion' demonstrates how a realistic sound can be achieved directly from a score without any DAW post-processing in real-time:

  1. The score has be composed and written directly in Dorico. I changed the playback options to increase random humanization of notes as well as slightly stronger accents on beats.

  2. The orchestra is played by NotePerformer. The default Dorico expression map disables several humanize options. I turned them on which passes through the notes humanized by Dorico to NotePerformer. This made the playback a lot more lively.

  3. NotePerformer: I increased the built-in reverb to 80%. I changed the pan of several instruments to widen the stereo panorama.

  4. The Piano is played by PianoTeq Stage: The NY Steinway D preset was customized with a cleaner, longer reverb and mild EQ. All other effects were turned off. The built-in limiter was turned on.

  5. In Dorico, I added compressors on a) NotePerformer, b) PianoTeq, and c) Output. In the Output channel also a brickwall limiter was added.

  6. The final step in the Dorico Output chain is Ozone 9, a mastering plugin. I am using the customized "Contemporary Jazz" template: added high-pass filter and changed in Maximizer to IRC IV, Transient.

These steps may sound complicated but once they are set up they run fully automatic. Also, all post processing steps taken together add about 0.5 seconds delay on a pretty old laptop. Most of it is caused by Ozone which can be disabled while editing which leaves practically no overhead.

Unfortunately, the sound in the video itself is imperfect because the video editor software ('Power Director') compressed it which introduced artifacts and YouTube re-compressed it again.