How we made the stunning sounds of Orchestral Ensembles

The premium Equator2 soundpack was meticulously crafted from recordings of orchestral instruments

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Professional string, woodwind and brass ensembles were all recorded for the soundpack.

Playing with all the natural expression of an acoustic instrument — or even a whole ensemble of instruments — is one of the greatest joys of making music with MPE. We had that thrilling feeling in mind when we set out to create Orchestral Ensembles, our most jaw-droppingly detailed desktop soundpack yet.

Available for Equator2 and ROLI Studio Player, Orchestral Ensembles features over 50 MPE and standard MIDI string, woodwind, and brass sounds — plus presets that blend all three together to recreate the swell of an entire orchestra. But to make a soundpack that’s perfect for composing stunning scores, first the original instruments needed to be recorded in action!

At a large scoring stage in Eastern Europe, a team of expert sound engineers meticulously recorded a session orchestra who specialise in film, television, and video game music. The recordings included:

  • A String ensemble of 18 players: three basses, three celli, four violas, and eight violins.
  • A Brass ensemble of 12 players: a tuba, a cimbasso, a contrabass trombone, a bass trombone, two tenor trombones, three trumpets, and three horns.
  • A Woodwind ensemble of 11 players: two contra bassoons, a bassoon, two bass clarinets, two clarinets, three flutes and one oboe.

Instead of seating the musicians where they would usually perform on stage, the players were arranged in order of pitch in the stereo field. This unique arrangement suits sounds destined for a keyboard or Seaboard, as the pitch and position match a grand piano (with the low instruments on the left and higher instruments on the right hand side).

Of course, such highly-detailed recordings also required top-of-the-range equipment. The sessions were recorded with over 20 microphones, including a Neumann M150 decca tree setup, DPA 4006 and Sennheiser MKH20 room mics, as well as Neumann, Schoeps, Coles and Royer close mics. These microphones were then mixed to build a luscious ensemble sound.

Once the recordings were complete, our team of world-leading sound designers set about transforming them into layered, expressive presets for both standard MIDI and MPE controllers.

The resulting soundpack is a triumph which lets you command an entire orchestra with simple gestures. Add classical flourishes to any track, compose whole symphonic scores, or perform on stage as a one-instrument philharmonic ensemble. Watch the new soundpack played on the Seaboard RISE, LUMI Keys Studio Edition, and Novation SL MKIII below:

Orchestral Ensembles Preset Performance

Orchestral Ensembles and Equator2 are available to download today from

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Orchestral Ensembles by ROLI

Meticulously sampled from recordings of large, professional ensembles, this premium soundpack features highly-detailed string, woodwind and brass section presets — alongside intricate blends that form an entire orchestra. Perfect for sweeping cinematic scores or adding a classical touch to any track, Orchestral Ensembles is a world-class showcase of traditional acoustics finding new life within the expressive, electronic world of Equator2. Includes: 52 x MPE and 51 x Standard presets, and 497.4 MB of sample content.