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I'm talking about Cinematic and Trailer Music.

Synthetic Basses work well in combination with Basses and Cello in Octaves.
Low Brass Patches always mud up my mix.

Do you have any tipps on how to orchestrate the low end of a track ?

And how do you handle the following chords. I'm talking about the area between the bass and the first (Counter) melody line ?
Tubas, (Bass) Trombones or Cellos ?

I gues it would help to use smaller section for the chords and the bigger ones for the bass and melodies.


I put dots and lines on paper.
You probably need to look at how you are voicing your chords. Close intervals don't work well down low, that's why Cb & Vc in octaves works. Trombones usually work in a nice triad the octave below middle C, with the bottom note doubled an octave down in the tuba (and perhaps a bass tbn) for a big sound.

However this is all dependent on what the actual writing is, what the strings are doing, the range of the melody, and other things like dynamics and texture. There is no single answer that will apply to all situations.

That said, understanding good principles of chord voicing and voice-leading will help regardless of the orchestration used. Learn how to properly voice chords and melody, and the orchestration will often sort itself out.

Dave Connor

Senior Member
You might consider referencing musical materials (scores/books) that would give you a sense of what can be done in that register: i.e. what works. Orchestration books with examples, or Classical scores from IMSLP can be very helpful. If you’re experimenting that’s one thing but if you want a rock solid result you should reference solid musical examples. You want to have reference material such as that at your fingertips. As JJP said, context is everything so it’s helpful to have a variety to find a similar musical context to yours.


Low Interval Limits

A good rule of thumb is that the top note of any interval (besides 5ths and octaves) shouldn't be lower than around E below middle C. Also, don't pack in every available chord tone lower in a voicing. Looser spacing low / tighter spacing high will give a more balanced sound.

As far as orchestration goes, try to get each instrument in it's strong register. Avoid the areas near the bottom and top of the range (unless you know you want that sound).

That's all assuming the desired effect is a clear/"nice" sound. There are tons of examples of effective violations of those guidelines For dramatic effect.
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