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Instrument Masterclass - The Violin

An introduction to writing for the violin (both IRL and VST)

Course Instructor: Helen Noir

Course level

Music Hackspace

Starts on: 22/09/2022 16:00 BST

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Thursday 22nd September 4pm UK, 5pm Berlin, 8am LA, 11am NYC

Aimed at electronic musicians wanting to begin to work with orchestral instruments and musicians, this workshop will begin a tour of the standard orchestral instruments by teaching the standard articulations for the violin, along with some of the best practices for writing for this instrument, the instrument in context with other string instruments and the rest of the orchestra, and how to programme violin VSTs for realism, using Spitfire’s BBC Symphony Orchestra and SWAM’s Violin

Includes a $15/£15/€15 discount on SWAM Violin.

Jordan Hunt is a composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist.

In March 2018 he released his debut EP Long Lost on 12” vinyl. His debut single ‘Mother’ premiered on BBC Radio 6 Music and the music video was premiered by Another Man, admiring his “mesmerising… spellbinding melodic pop sound”. In summer 2020 he released full-length classical EP To the Ocean Floor, commissioned by Sadler’s Wells. He recently release ‘Two, Alone’ for solo violin, commissioned to mark the bicentennial of the Royal Academy of Music.

Classically trained at RNCM, RAM and RCM, and drawing on his experiences as violinist in art-pop orchestra The Irrepressibles, Canadian band The Hidden Cameras and as long-standing musical companion to Grammy-nominated Olivia Chaney, he creates vivid, emotive music, weaving melodic ‘sad pop’ and symphonic-inspired textures.

He is a co-founder of Principle Six, and is Musical Director of the Theo Adams Company, an ever-growing and diverse London-based collective of artists, designers, dancers, musicians, and performers.

What you'll learn

  • Understand the range and standard articulations for the violin
  • Begin to write playable and idiomatic music for the violin, whether for an IRL musician or a VST
  • Create realistic violin lines using VSTS, with understanding of range, articulations, dynamics, expression, and modulation
  • Communicate as a composer with a violin player (by understanding what can be asked of the instrument and what experimental techniques might be possible)
  • Begin to understand violin writing (and programming for midi violin) in context of string writing and writing for the orchestra generally


  • A DAW (ProTools, Cubase, Logic, Live or other)
  • Spitfire BBC Symphony Orchestra (free version suffice) and/or SWAM Violin
  • Latest version of Chrome is recommended to join the live workshop

Course content

  • ---- Please join the workshop on the link below!

Who is this course for

  • Composers, arrangers, TV and film music producers
  • DAW and music notation software users looking to learn to write for the violin
  • Anyone looking to produce music with realistic-sounding software instruments

Useful links

About the workshop leader

Helen Noir (she/her) is a London-based soprano, composer, orchestrator & producer. She writes soundtracks for film, fashion and theatre, most recently for Joseph Wilson's Isn't it a Beautiful World, which premiered at BFI London Film Festival in October 2021. She works specifically with directors and designers to take music from initial composition through recording, orchestration, production and mixing. She also performs regularly with cult performance art group Theo Adams Company, and is an operatic session vocalist.

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