This article introduces the Orchidea Orchestral Qualities framework (OOQ), an extension of the Orchidea environment for computer-aided orchestration. Traditional target-based orchestration generally reconstructs a target sound “as faithfully as possible” with a collection of samples. But more often than not, composers do not have specific targets in mind while performing orchestration tasks. A large class of orchestration practices deal with the transformation of musical material to enhance or reduce certain of its qualities (such as making a score more “brilliant,” “blurry,” “dense,” and so on). The OOQ framework implements this idea by making use of an analogy with digital signal processing. Scores and sounds are no longer used as targets, but rather as “sources” to be processed, not unlike what happens within a channel strip of a modern digital audio workstation. This article presents the rationale behind the OOQ framework, describes the behavior of its modules, and traces a path for future research on the subject.

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