In 1996 Terenzio Sacchi Lodispoto had the idea of playing some classical music at home. For this purpose he decided to use electronic equipments meant for light music.
This is how the Virtual Flaminio Orchestra was born. The adjective virtual means that the orchestra is not composed of musicians, but of electronic devices. These devices enable him to compose works of music and to arrange them in order to obtain a product that can be recorded on CDs and reproduced with normal electronic tools.
The whole system is based on the protocol MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), which was created in 1983. This protocol was created by some manufacturers of musical instruments who wanted to make devices from different brands interact.
Music is played on the keyboard of a digital piano that transmits to a computer (in MIDI format) all the information about the name of the note, its height, its duration, the force with which the key is pressed, etc. The computer is provided with a program that classifies all the pieces of information send by the keyboard and sends them – after the appropriate organization – to the final sound modules.
This program, called a “sequencer”, works as a multi-track recorder with which it is possible to record all the parts of a musical score in succession. A special page of the program makes it possible to see graphically all that is recorded in the computer and to intervene in the arrangement of the whole musical composition in order to attain a version satisfying to the performer.
The computer is connected with one or more “expanders”. An “expander” is a sound module that contains the sounds of various orchestral instruments and is able to reproduce them after receiving the information from the computer. At this stage we no longer have MIDI messages, but true music. The various “expanders” are then connected to a mixer and, through it, to loudspeakers. After that it is possible to listen to the final version of the musical composition.
The actual equipment of the Virtual Flaminio Orchestra is composed of a Yamaha Clavinova CVP85 key-board, of expanders of the type Roland JV-1080, M-OC 1, M-SE 1 and E-mu Systems Virtuoso 2000, and of a Mackie 1202-VLZ PRO mixer. The computer is provided with the program Voyetra Midi Orchestrator plus version 1.63.
For this ensemble Terenzio Sacchi chose tools especially conceived for the sounds of a classical orchestra and his machinery is able to manage up to 80 instruments simultaneously.
All the music of the Virtual Flaminio Orchestra is recorded on CDs that are distributed for free and this music is now available on the web site The Music.