Instrument Families

Exploring the Fascinating World of Instrumental Sounds

The idea behind our Vienna Academy was to provide composers and arrangers not only with the most comprehensive store of virtual orchestral instruments but also with detailed information on what these instruments can do. Whether you are composing or orchestrating for real or virtual instruments, the possibilities and limitations are roughly the same. In both cases, it is essential to understand their specific sound characteristics and playing techniques across the instrument’s pitch and dynamic range. A good orchestrator/composer also knows how to combine instruments within a section and in larger ensembles to get the best sonic results.

As opposed to real musicians, sampled instruments are patient and will play (almost) everything. But if you’re planning to perform or record your works live with real musicians, a strong knowledge of each instrument’s strengths and limitations is essential – regardless of the level of musicianship on the stage!

What makes the Vienna Academy so different from other instrument studies in "literal" media is the fact that explanations, descriptions, range, timbre and playing techniques are demonstrated with audio examples. This results in a more interactive and practical learning experience.

The Vienna Academy is not only aimed at professional musicians, composers, arrangers, orchestrators or sound engineers but also at anyone interested in the history and sonic capabilities of symphonic instruments. The Vienna Academy was designed for beginners, advanced students and dedicated music enthusiasts. Our goal was to open your ears to the fascinating world of instrumental sounds and we hope we have whetted your appetite!

Sabine Tucmandl + Stephan Reisigl

Our thanks go to all those who have helped us to realize this ambitious project with their expert advice or assistance.
Special thanks to Neil Perkins for the English translation, Prof. Heinz Preiss for allowing us to make photos of the historical instruments of the "Streitwieser Sammlung", and Dr. Matthias Bertsch (Institut fĂ¼r Wiener Klangstil) for providing extensive information on the Viennese style instruments.