Here is a list of the best orchestration resources I’ve found on the internet. I will try and group them by general orchestration help, and then specific instruments.
Start with My Podcast Episode on Orchestration
I have some additional related podcasts, articles, and video:
General Orchestration Instruction
Orchestration 101 from MacProVideo – This is a great place to start. MacProVideo also has a ton of other great resources for learning music software.
Orchestration Online – This is an excellent resource for anyone looking to improve or learn orchestration.
deBreved – This blog is a top notch resource by one of the best orchestrators working today.
Instrument Studies for Eyes and Ears – You can see and hear all of the main orchestral instruments being played characteristically through their ranges with notation. This is an awesome resource.
The Idiomatic Orchestra – This is a cool website that covers a lot of models and orchestration techniques.
ODESSA Project Recordings – Numerous examples from Tchaikovsky of what goes into certain orchestrations and timbres in his 6th Symphony.
Videos on Each Instrument and their Playing Characteristics
In this next section, you can see some of the best recording players in the world talking about their own instruments, what they can do, the ranges, what they like and don’t like.
The Philharmonia Instrument Guides
These are really great short guides to the instruments.
U.S. Army Bands Educational Clinic Series
These are educational videos, really designed for students of each instrument, however, as a composer this is extremely valuable information.
Interviews of top studio musicians located in Los Angeles. These are gold.