This question is a follow-up of: How to distinguish between different instruments in a classical orchestra?

If I transcript some of my compositions (which are now written for piano) and make orchestral pieces out of them (using Sibelius 7 Sounds and possibly Noteperformer, which I haven't acquired yet) can I learn (by doing) how different instrument sounds can be blended in a beautiful manner and how they sound in general at least to some reasonable point? Or are those "artificial" sounds really far away from real instruments and this will be more of a confusion for me.

P.S. I currently have a paid version of Sibelius. I am also considering to use Noteperformer on top of it

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    You surely will be able to distinguish and identify the sounds of the different orchestra instruments also among these wave samples. But don’t forget that in a live orchestra are so many individual parameters performed by the different musicians that we are getting crazy when we try to realize them all ... Oct 24, 2019 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, in practice your objective works the other way round.

The following applies only to NotePerformer, because I don't have any experience with Sibelius Sounds. The individual instruments are certainly realistic enough to be easily identifiable by ear, but the software doesn't simulate the full range of timbre and dynamics that a professional player could achieve - especially for a more "expressive" instrument like a violin, as compared with say an oboe.

But the biggest problem with what you are asking is that without "real world" experience, you have no idea about the relative balance between different instruments or groups of instruments. Of course in a close-miked recording environment you can change that almost any way you like, but not if you want to write music intended to be played "live".

For example you could make a very effective piece using NotePerformer with a bass flute solo accompanied by three trombones and a tuba. Try that for real and you won't hear the flute at all - the brass instruments just can't play quietly enough to make it work.

In other words, if you already know how the music will sound in real life, you can get software like NotePerformer to make a fairly good reproduction of how it sounds - but not the other way round.

  • Well, for now I don't think that anyone might be interested in playing my music "live". I just wanted to compose in order to listen to it myself. I enjoy the sound of orchestra very much, and I was interested if I might be able to get the same (to some point) sound for my pieces
    – NickQuant
    Oct 24, 2019 at 14:31

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