Arranging and the Science of Recording

Based on Part IV of the Scholastic Studio series, which was published in November 2014, we examine arranging, orchestration, and software instruments.

NAfME National Standards: 1, 4, 5, 6

Begin: Assign Arranging and the Science of Recording (page 44 of the student edition). The story describes ways that music software can be used to explore arranging and orchestrations.

Key techniques discussed include:

  • MIDI (or “instrument”) tracks and how they trigger sounds using note messages
  • Replacing the sound on a MIDI track by choosing a different software instrument
  • Doubling one part with another by copying tracks and assigning the copy to different instruments
  • Modifying copied material by transposing, creating harmonies, etc.
  • Strategies for layering instruments.

The examples shown in the magazine here done with Ableton Live software.  A Free 30-day trial version is available here (click).

Other software options include PreSonus products:
StudioOne Free



Use the online resources from the student-section’s November Scholastic Studio page (click here) to show additional examples of computer orchestration.


The following lesson plan PDFs have been made available on PreSonus’s music education site.  Find direct links below

1. Orchestration Station:

2. Playing instruments with Notion:

Lesson Video:

For an overview with additional lesson plans, visit: