Every. Note. Matters.

When it comes to music, the quality one expects to hear as he listens to a recording will only ever be equal to the quality of the work that was put into creating the music. As an orchestrator, it’s my job to be sure that every instrument chosen, every note to be played, every dynamic and expressive marking that is to be interpreted are all exactly as they should be.

When put like that, it makes orchestrating sound like incredibly detailed, delicate and tedious work. In a lot of ways it is. But when your brain is equally balanced between the right and the left, it only makes sense to be as creative as possible while simultaneously being as intricately involved in the minute details of the music.

Why go to this extreme? Why be this concerned about every aspect of the music itself?

What happens as a result of this intentional focus is instantly recognizable – orchestral balance, ensemble unity in regards to expressiveness and articulation, wonderfully unique subtleties, and a performance that is unmatched.

Why do you use an orchestrator? Why do you partner with someone who knows the instruments – their capabilities, their expressive qualities, their individual contributions to the ensemble?

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“David Shipps always makes me look good. He is a consummate professional who cares about every note, every detail. He is as fine a gentleman as he is a fine conductor and orchestrator. I always look forward to working with him as he is always one step ahead of me.”

John Debney
Blog . . .
From time to time, I'll post news about recent projects or maybe feel the need to share with the world an idea I have in regards to arranging, orchestrating, or just music in general. Also, for those who enjoy reading my FinaleGuru blog posts, you'll now be able to find them here.

Christmastime is here! (Almost?)

Here’s a quick promo video for the upcoming Christmas release from #1 Billboard Pianist Paul Cardall. Produced by Jim Daneker.

Spotlight on Orchestrator and Conductor, David Shipps

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with the folks at MakeMusic and discuss a few things about my workflow, philosophy and tips to using Finale. Check out the link to the blog post below. Thanks to MakeMusic for the shoutout! Spotlight on Orchestrator and Conductor David Shipps

Just Because You’re Resting, Doesn’t Mean You’re Lazy…

Placing Rests for Use in Slash Notation They say “rest is good for the soul.” Well, The Finale Guru says that “rests are good for the rhythm chart.” Let’s face it, most rhythm charts have a lot of measures with slashes in them (slash notation). Sometimes there’s only one chord, or maybe two, in any… View Article

Attack of the Clones!

Cloning Lyrics Okay, hopefully this will be more helpful to you than George Lucas’ episode 2, in all its glory.  Personally, I’m not really a fan of cloning. I think there are some inherent risks involved, like accidentally cloning Jack the Ripper, Hitler or maybe Carrot Top, for example. However, when it comes to lyrics,… View Article

Top Tip #6 – EVPU’s

#6 – Set EVPU’s as the Measurement Unit Quick! What’s the value of the top system on page 3? – 0.23611. What about the distance between systems 7 and 8? – 0.3125. What’s the definition of pi? – 3.14159265358979323846… I know, these are easy questions for all those math geniuses out there. But what about… View Article