Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Software > Virtual Instruments

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-04-2017, 02:26 PM
aeide aeide is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3
Default suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

hey everyone, I have been searching for weeks now and have not found the exact answers I am looking for.
My question is, what is a good rule of thumb for setting levels at the bigining of a mixing session for a MIDI orchestral mock up?
There are a few question that I have that will answer the larger question.

1: what should i set my volume at for for headphones when mixing? Should i set the volume i am listening to 100% or 80%?

2: at the start of the mixing process, I pull all faders of individual tracks down to -10 at the recommendation of an engineer friend. Is there any other recomendations on how to "balance" monitor volume and track volumes?

3: there are a few other ways to control volume in an instrument track, such as MIDI vol, CC11 expression, and CC1 Mod wheel.
I know that different virtual instruments utilize different CC to control the instrument, for instance Spit Fire libraries rely on expression and dynamics fairly heavily (CC11 and CC1 respectively i believe) so what is the best "starting position" for each of these other controllers in conjunction with the channel strip fader to give me room to work with dynamics, and pop an individual instrument's line out over the rest of the orchestra?

I keep running into situations where an instrument, say the basses, are too quiet i can barely hear them, and other situations where I am maxed out and cant bring a violin line up out of the orchestra.

So i am just looking for a "best practices" starting point; where should my faders be, where should CC1, CC11 ect be for a piece starting mezzo forte and such.
Any thoughts and suggestions would be supper appreciated!

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-04-2017, 05:45 PM
DonaldM's Avatar
DonaldM DonaldM is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,991
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

I would highly recommend that you convert all your VI's to audio tracks once you've got the individual parts the way you want them. This makes mixing much easier. Use the MIDI volumes and controls on your VI to get a good audio level, and than commit to audio.

I use East-West orchestral instruments a lot. I use the MIDI to compose the part. But once I have what I want, I convert that part to audio, then hide and make inactive the VI and the MIDI track, and just work with the audio. This will save a lot on your CPU enabling you to have more CPU power available for any plugins you want to use in the mix processing.

If you only have a few VIs, you can get away with mixing off the MIDI instruments, but you're still mixing audio levels, not MIDI levels.

By hiding and inactivating, I can always bring a VI and MIDI track back if I decide later I want to make some change in the part. Meanwhile, I've freed up all that CPU.

I think you'll find that's what most pros do.

Good luck!
__________________
"Never believe anything you hear in a song." Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones
Owner: Dragon Rock Productions LLC
Dell XPS 435T/9000 Win-10 Pro 24gig RAM
IntelCore i7 CPU 920@2.67GHz
Pro Tools 2018.12
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6


Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-05-2017, 04:32 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 16,164
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

Keep in mind that it's not only MIDI cc7 and cc11 messages that have an effect on volume but also velocity. Changing velocity levels (low velocity will give a lower audio level) will have a two-fold effect - the first being the level of the instrument and if it's a sampler like the aforementioned East/West instruments the timbre of the sound will be affected by way of playing different samples.
__________________
Jack
See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-05-2017, 04:55 PM
aeide aeide is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

Many (but not all) of the samples i use are not midi dependent, and the spitfire that I use, utilizes velocity to trigger different things such as legato or portamento. After importing MIDI from Finale, i always have to go and set velocity levels so the sounds I want are triggered. But you are right, its important to keep velocity in mind so the inner voicing do not overtake the melody, on a piano track for example.

DonaldM, thank you for your suggestion. I tried what you recommended today and had a much better time mixing my orchestra. Instead of mixing the virrual instrument tracks and stressing over the many ways of controlling volume, i committed them and needed only to play with audio track automation. And i especially like that the VI tracks are still there in case i need to make any changes at any time.

Thanks for the help guys! Really appreciate it!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-07-2017, 08:02 PM
DonaldM's Avatar
DonaldM DonaldM is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,991
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

Glad it helped. It really makes mixing easier to commit to audio first.
__________________
"Never believe anything you hear in a song." Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones
Owner: Dragon Rock Productions LLC
Dell XPS 435T/9000 Win-10 Pro 24gig RAM
IntelCore i7 CPU 920@2.67GHz
Pro Tools 2018.12
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6


Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-09-2017, 05:19 PM
LightWing's Avatar
LightWing LightWing is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Titusville, FL
Posts: 499
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

Donald is the man. :)
__________________
Patrick

www.LightWingStudios.com

Musical Instrument Protection Accessories...Made In America.

AxeShield HD, AmpShield HD, KeyShield HD, AxeSak, AxeGlove & AxeCap

Win 10 Pro, PT 2019.5 Native, Dell Precision T5500, Dual Processors (12 Cores), 72GB RAM, 4@500GB SSD, 2@4TB HD, Nvidia 2GB HDMI Card, Vizio 39" TV as Monitor, Presonus AudioBox USB Interface, Mackie HR-828 Monitors, Katana Head, Fishman Triple Play, AIR Music & East West Plugins, 9 Guitars...& an AMAZING wife. :)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-10-2017, 04:17 AM
chrisdee's Avatar
chrisdee chrisdee is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 3,028
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeide View Post
1: what should i set my volume at for for headphones when mixing? Should i set the volume i am listening to 100% or 80%?
I personally try to aim for around 85db or lower whether mixing or listening to music for longer periods of time. Anything above that probably will give you ear fatigue or worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeide View Post
2: at the start of the mixing process, I pull all faders of individual tracks down to -10 at the recommendation of an engineer friend.
Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeide View Post
Is there any other recomendations on how to "balance" monitor volume and track volumes?
I keep all faders at the default position 0dB and try to keep all meters on each channel (whether audio or midi) at around -18dB . Peaks can be above. This gives me a pretty balanced starting point and 5-6 dB headroom on my mixbus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aeide View Post
I keep running into situations where an instrument, say the basses, are too quiet i can barely hear them, and other situations where I am maxed out and cant bring a violin line up out of the orchestra.
As mentioned above to to aim for -18dB on each channel.
__________________
Christian D Hagen | I7 Builds | PT/OS Compability Chart
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-10-2017, 04:33 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 16,164
Default Re: suggested levels for all MIDI volumes in a Virtual Instrument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee View Post
Originally Posted by aeide
I keep running into situations where an instrument, say the basses, are too quiet i can barely hear them, and other situations where I am maxed out and cant bring a violin line up out of the orchestra.

As mentioned above to to aim for -18dB on each channel.
I wonder if this might be frequency masking at work?
__________________
Jack
See profile for system details
iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

QAPLA!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Midi and Virtual Instrument question Thenewexhibit Pro Tools 11 5 08-05-2015 03:36 PM
Midi Instrument volumes zbar Windows 4 02-11-2012 08:23 AM
PT M-Powered 8 and MIDI to Virtual Instrument Von_Dingle Pro Tools M-Powered (Win) 4 01-13-2009 03:13 PM
Odd Midi/Virtual Instrument Problems with PT7+ GlennR01 Pro Tools TDM Systems (Mac) 3 01-17-2006 06:43 PM
MIDI instrument volumes steve61 MIDI 5 05-20-2003 12:46 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:53 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com