The Virtual Orchestra

Advanced Mockup Production

Enroll Now


The Virtual Orchestra

Advanced Mockup Production


$ 100


July 20

Enroll Now

Elevate Your Orchestral Sound

Learn to create orchestral productions that reach their full potential and elevate your sound to a professional level

Breathtaking Orchestral Productions - Every Time!

Explore the art of crafting stunning orchestral music through meticulous programming, layering, and skillful soundstage construction.

Transform Your Sound with a Hands-On Experience

Engage in immersive, hands-on sessions where you follow along to reprogram and recreate detailed orchestral pieces

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The Virtual Orchestra: Advanced Mockup Production | Orchestral Programming Course

Craft professional-grade orchestral productions. Follow along, program your own mockups, and elevate your orchestral sound.

Dive into the art of orchestral programming with our long-awaited course, 'The Virtual Orchestra,' led by mockup virtuoso, Rico Derks. Developed over 18 months in collaboration with Benny Oschmann and Nikolaus Daim, this course aims to set new standards in teaching orchestral mockup production.

At the heart of this course lies a hands-on journey into the world of digital orchestras. Students will build a solid foundation, tackle programming for each orchestral section, and construct an impressive virtual soundstage. Through practical demonstrations and provided MIDI files, students are encouraged to engage in the process, reprogram the exercises and apply foundational principles directly to their projects.

Join us in this transformative learning experience and elevate your orchestral programming skills to the next level with "The Virtual Orchestra: Advanced Mockup Production".

Rico Derks

Rico Derks is a Dutch composer. He started out as a trainee at Cosmic Orchestra, from composer Mark Pütz. His music has been used for various TV shows, documentaries, and feature films. Besides being a professional film composer, Rico is a genius when it comes to mockup production. In 2023 he joined Master the Score and teaches you everything about orchestral programming in his course "The Virtual Orchestra".

Check out the Trailer


Discover the Virtual Orchestra

Explore the journey ahead:

This course is divided by the following steps:


Basic Approaches

For those striving for exceptional mockups, the initial decisions are key. This aspect, often overlooked, carries significant weight and can immediately elevate the quality of your mockups.

Welcome to the foundational chapter of our course, where Rico Derks will guide you through essential concepts and approaches in orchestral mockup production. Suboptimal decisions in selecting libraries, patches, and production workflows can lead to challenges down the line. To avoid such pitfalls, students will first gain the necessary knowledge to make informed choices before diving into programming.

In this chapter, Rico sets the stage for your learning journey and highlights the importance of defining your goals. What specific sound are you aiming for? Here, we establish the course by addressing key questions such as whether to use sample libraries from a single developer or multiple ones, how to define the desired sound for your project and explore the different methods for using templates versus starting from scratch.

We talk about:
  • What is a good mock up?
  • What sound are you looking for?
  • Templates
  • Using multiple developers


Programming Essentials

In the second chapter of our course, Rico introduces fundamental programming concepts aimed at enhancing your mockups significantly. Rico guides students through common errors to avoid, leading to immediate improvements in clarity within their productions.

Students delve into concepts related to live orchestrating, discovering how these techniques can add realism to their mockups. Following these crucial insights, students explore essential programming concepts, including CC (Continuous Controller) techniques and phrasing.

  • Phrasing
  • Programming Legato
  • Articulations
  • Layers of Orchestration
  • Common Mistakes


Advanced Programming Concepts

In this chapter, students join Rico as he constructs mockups for each orchestral section, providing a hands-on learning experience. Observing Rico's process, students are encouraged to utilize the provided MIDI files to program the mockups themselves, gaining insights and putting everything they've learned into practice. Rico demonstrates a structured approach, focusing on essential programming and the art of layering. Layering is a versatile technique essential for achieving focus, depth and richness in orchestral arrangements.

By following Rico's lead, students not only gain practical skills but also develop their own workflows. By the chapter's conclusion, they will have learned how to effectively program orchestral instruments within the context of a piece and enhance orchestral compositions through skillful layering

  • Programming Strings
  • Programming Brass
  • Programming Woodwinds
  • Programming Percussion
  • Programming Choir
  • Layering


Additional Programming

In this chapter, students will explore additional techniques to elevate their mockups to the next level. Rico will introduce various concepts aimed at refining your projects, including bass enhancement and the incorporation of pre-recorded elements to enhance the realism of orchestral productions.

Students will delve into advanced techniques such as faking divisis and utilizing tempo maps, along with mastering ritardandos and other nuanced approaches. With each new tip and trick explored, students will expand their toolkit and enhance the depth and authenticity of their orchestral mockups.

Explore topics such as:
  • Pre-Recorded Elements
  • Measured Tremolo
  • Enhancing The Bass
  • Tempomaps
  • Ritartandos


Building The Soundstage

After refining the programming of great sounding orchestral pieces, it's time to transition to placing them within a captivating soundstage. Crafting a convincing environment for your orchestral arrangements is vital for achieving professional-grade productions. This chapter seamlessly continues from where programming left off: Students accompany Rico as he explores essential topics such as section balancing, precise panning, reverb application, and mixer setup.

After presenting the theory, Rico leads students through building a complete soundstage for the full orchestral piece used in Chapter 3. Once again, students are encouraged to apply what they have learned to their own pieces, refining their skills in orchestral programming. Students will also build an efficient workflow by constructing an effective mixer setup, ensuring an intuitive and organized approach within their digital audio workstation (DAW).

Learn about:
  • Balancing
  • Mic Positions
  • Mixer Setup
  • Reverb
  • Panning
  • Soundstage Creation


Comprehensive Walkthroughs

Teaching mockup production is indeed a challenging topic. Composers encounter diverse situations, each demanding a unique solution. That's why we've included five complete walkthroughs of standout tracks, like Benny Oschmann's "Milky Way Express."

This section serves as a treasure trove for orchestral composers, seamlessly following from earlier chapters. These detailed examples provide essential techniques, allowing students to explore various approaches in orchestral programming. With each detail and skill acquired, students expand their repertoire, gaining valuable insights to tackle different challenges and scenarios effectively.

Improve your:
  • CC Programming
  • Layering
  • Mixer Setup
  • Workflow
  • Soundstage creation

Course Curriculum

Basic Approaches
Programming Essentials
Advanced Programming Concepts
Additional Programming
Creating The Soundstage



MTS Theme


Rico Derks

This track serves as an excellent example for orchestral programming and mockup creation, showcasing techniques to create a broad soundstage with impactful sound design and enhanced instrumentation, ideal for visual media like logo reveals.


The Virtual Orchestra


Rico Derks

"The Virtual Orchestra" is a valuable resource for learning advanced orchestral programming techniques. It explores the use of different virtual instrument libraries and workflow optimizations like Vienna Ensemble Pro, showcasing how to achieve a cohesive orchestral sound in mockup compositions.


The Milky Way Express


Benny Oschmann

"The Milky Way Express" is an exhilarating musical journey featuring expansive orchestration with sweeping strings, majestic brass, and ethereal synthesizers. What sets this composition apart is its seamless blend of orchestral grandeur with modern electronic elements, creating a captivating and immersive sound experience. Perfect for illustrating themes of adventure, Benny Oschmann's skill in crafting dynamic and evocative cinematic music shines through in "The Milky Way Express."


Space Action


Rico Derks

This track serves as an instructive example for students of orchestral programming and mockup creation. It showcases a variety of short-note programming and delves into important topics such as dynamic control for crafting impactful crescendos.


End Credits


Rico Derks

"End Credits" is particularly useful for studying orchestral programming in the context of cinematic scoring. It demonstrates effective use of orchestral libraries like and pre-recorded elements to achieve a polished, cinematic sound suitable for film endings.

What you will get

35+ hours of high quality content

6 main sections with over 100 lessons

5 complete walkthroughs

30-day satisfaction period

Access to the private facebook and discord groups

Exclusive discounts for students

An instructor who shares all his knowledge

What students have to say

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Exclusive discounts for our students

All our students are eligible for discounts on libraries and plugins by renowned developers. This exclusive benefit alone can result in substantial savings, amounting to hundreds of dollars on composing software and libraries!

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Strezon Sampling Logo
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Further information

Best suited for

This orchestral programming course is best suited for beginners, intermediate and advanced composers who want to elevate their orchestral productions to the next level. Students will learn how to make their orchestral productions sound as good as it gets and find valuable resources like midi files.


  • We recommend a workstation (PC or MAC), an audio interface, speakers or headphones as well as a DAW of your choice.
  • basic understanding of your DAW of choice

Pricing options

Intro Sale


35+ hours of high quality content


6 main sections with over 100 lessons


5 complete walkthroughs


30-day satisfaction period


Access to the private facebook and discord groups


One time payment

incl. VAT
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Cover of "DNA of music"  by Ryan Leach and "Orchestral Clarity" by Mattia Chiappa and Joël Dollié

Frequently Asked Questions

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