Here’s how you can get the Chinese orchestral sounds from Disney’s Mulan soundtrack in your DAW

Disney’s long-awaited live-action Mulan remake was finally released at the weekend, and with it came a score from British composer Harry Gregson-Williams.

Now it transpires that many of the Chinese orchestral sounds used by Gregson-Williams in the soundtrack can be yours via Orchestral Tools’ new Phoenix Orchestra.

The library was created in collaboration with both Gregson-Williams and Richard Harvey, an expert on traditional instruments from around the world. Harvey had been working with Orchestral Tools on a Chinese orchestra library, and this project was accelerated once Gregson-Williams became involved and required such a library for the Mulan project.

Phoenix Orchestra is based on recordings of internationally recognised Chinese chamber orchestra Ding Yi Music Company and includes four orchestral sections, seven instrument ensembles and 21 solo instruments (including gaohu, erhu, zhonghu, guzheng, yangqin, and ruan).

Each sampled instrument also comes with its own specific articulations, swells, and ornaments, aiding realism. There’s also true legato for all melodic instruments - this should help you to craft expressive sustaining lines.

Phoenix Orchestra promises to come together as a truly authentic Chinese instrument library, and is available for pre-order now priced at €299. If you order on the release date of 21 September you’ll pay €399, with this price rising further to €499 after 5 October. It runs exclusively in Orchestral Tools’ Sine player software.

Find out more on the Orchestral Tools website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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