Deciding on Instruments
This next album has given me an interesting problem to solve. I'm not currently in a situation to afford real players, nor do I have the time to create scores for them even if I could. But what I do have is a good selection of virtual instruments all installed on my computer.
The problem is that I want to make music that is performable in real life, and that not only makes a very nice record that you can listen to from an iPod etc. So the sounds I choose have to work nicely on the record, but also be translatable to real-life instruments.
For example, I'm a huge fan of strings, and I compose using string sounds all the time. But getting hold of a whole orchestra of strings players is out of the question in my position, which forces me to emulate them. But emulating a string orchestra is damn difficult to do well, even with very convincing virtual samples. So the solution I might end up using is to use a mix of electronic-sounding string sounds and real-world-sounding string sounds.
That goes for most of the sounds I use - they have to sound good on the record, but be playable in real life.
Electronics will have to do for now, but I'm confident that I can make some really nice sounds with them whatever happens. Eventually, I'd love to see the music played live with real instruments - it wouldn't sound identical to the record, but hopefully it'd add a huge amount of colour.