Are the use of virtual instruments in film music composition having a positive negative or both on the overall quality of film music?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's soliciting an answer which will only ever be vague and opinionated. – Mark Jan 7 '17 at 0:14

Pros: Have access to instrumentation you otherwise wouldn't, or couldn't play if you did.

Cons: Reduces the human feel by reducing human error. Some composers feel like using the same sounds as someone else is a bad thing.

I think you're asking something as general as "Is using a screwdriver to build this a bad thing?"... VSTis are a tool, nothing else -- you either do well with them or you don't. There are techniques to correct common "problems," and there is almost always something to use.

In any case, this is a sound design forum, not a composition forum, so we're all a bit biased when it comes to using something canned or recording our own stuff.

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  • @Dave "Some composers feel like using the same sounds as someone else is a bad thing" - In terms of Hollywood, don't you think that most composers are churning out factory-like soundtracks anyway? I think that Hollywood film scores are way too cliche and always follow the rules for each genre. What do u think? – Colin Hunter Jan 11 '11 at 16:24
  • @Colin -- I think it's a fear of directors to have something that's not already tried and true. They want Elfman, Zimmer, Williams, or Horner, and they can't afford it, so they ask their composers to get that for them. I know I've been asked that, and I'm sure anyone else who's composed has been asked that as well. During 48-hour film festival, I was talking with one of the other composers and he seemed really upset that he used the same Project Sam trumpets that another composer did, and I've come to notice that feelings like that are rampant in composer forums. – Dave Matney Jan 11 '11 at 19:03

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