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  #1  
Old 08-02-2001, 11:38 PM
tzujan tzujan is offline
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Default Tips on Mixing with Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples?

Are there any mixers out there that frequently work with orchestral music (real, hybrid or samples only) that have any template settings of eq/compressor/reverb for the Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples and the Roland Orchestral Percussion? My mixer is in Europe for a while, and we always work on an analog desk (Neve). When I brought up the idea of a template to him he scoffed, even though I believe it is common practice with more established film composers. When I pressed him he said to add just a little high/low shelf and compression to everything and pull some 2k to 3k on any offending instrument. He also wished me good luck on getting the brass sounds to sound good, which is what he spends most of the time on during the mixing. He is not a big plug-in reverb fan and said I should run everything through a real reverb rental like a 480 or 960 (I would not know how to turn one on, and the remote might save me on the 960). Any alternatives in plug-in reverb choices/settings, I'd rather spend the money on a plug-in than a rental? How do I implement his other suggestion: put an early reflection on all the solo samples, which I layer with the ensemble samples and do different MIDI rides/performances to create a live feel. Anyhow, I am working on a zero budget independent film that I would like to sound as good as it can with me (a composer) mixing the music.

Thanks
Tzu Jan [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2001, 04:37 AM
Joris de Man Joris de Man is offline
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Default Re: Tips on Mixing with Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples?

Hi!

First of all, for a good, big sound (if that's what you're going for), layer your samples. For instance, layering string ensembles from different libraries should give you a nice sound, and on the brass (especially the horns) layering them will make them sound much fuller. Miroslav has some good imaging on the samples, but the attacks are often a bit 'lazy'. Augmenting them with other samples might overcome this. I lately use Rennaissance Reverb from Waves a lot, which is very good but processor hungry. I try to avoid compressing anything at all, as it tends to sound unnatural. I do however, apply some multiband compression on the final mix.
As far as EQ goes, make sure you don't eq everything the same way; violins work nice with a lot of top end, as do the flutes, but other instruments don't.
One trick I like to use to beef up the low end is not eq the contrabassi but add a low volume filtered square or unfiltered sinewave on the same pitch. This gives you a solid base.
And a last technique I sometimes use to get more seperation, is to pan the reverb to where the instrument is; for instance, on violins, which are usually to the left, I keep my stereoverb panned like something this: 100< 30>
If you give each section their own space so to speak, you'll find that there is less clutter.
Anyway, that's when doing it with samples; with the real thing it's a whole different ballpark! :P

Just my two cents,

Joe
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2001, 03:05 PM
dcornutt dcornutt is offline
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Default Re: Tips on Mixing with Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples?

The full Miroslav libraries are recorded "panned" in stereo to where that particular instrument sits in the orchestra. Loading a full orchestra from this library should give you a fairly natural sound as far as "placement". However, ..if you want to tweak with it..what you need to do is load the mono versions of the samples..and pan it yourself.

The way to get realistic natural sounding sections..is to use several different dynamic samples. The process goes something like this...sketchout your 1rst violin. Now..dupe it 3 times (or more [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]. Load up the forte violin on the first track..the mp violin on the 2nd..and the p or pp on the 3rd. If you have places where certain.."effects" occure..such as tremelo..etc..then make additional tracks. Now..go thru each track..and delete the notes that do not contain that dynamic. If the first note of your piece is loud..and the 2nd soft..you would leave the first note in track one..and delete the first note in all other tracks..etc..etc..then..the 2nd note would be in the 2nd track..where the sample loaded fits the bill.

After your done..you tweak each track..to smooth things out.

This time consuming process is what gives the most natural response..and sound..and..in the end..requires much less.."mixing" work. Just lowering the level on a track..doesn't change the timbre of the instrument. You need to use different samples for that.

To aid in this process...some have turned to gigsampler..which allows you to load a whole section..or even orchestra! at a time. Use the mod wheel to crossfade between dynamics.

Most of the miroslav samples have quite a bit of natural large hall reverb recorded into them. In the end..I dont' use that much with these samples..as..it has quite a bit already..esp..the sections.

Like I said..somepeople find it easier ..if they have or want to use alternative placement..to use the mono sample versions included on the cd. This allows for more panning..and they have less reverb on them..which allows you to play with that a little more.

If you need more "bite" load up drier samples from another maker. For instance..Kirk Hunter violins..which are much drier..and have more bite..will blend nicely with the miroslavs. Duping your track..and loading up the Kirk samples..then..use the mixer to bring one or more up a little more at a given point. Adds all that much more to the overall dynamics.

I usually use miroslav's as my base..again..without altering the placement or reverb to much. Then..use other libraries to add anything thats missing.

Anyway..thats my take on it. Hope that helps some.

dcornutt
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2001, 01:44 PM
tzujan tzujan is offline
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Default Re: Tips on Mixing with Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples?

Thanks for the info on how you all work with the samples. A trick I use, that you might be interested in is: I use velocity switching to choose between samples as opposed to the ‘dupe it 3 times’ technique. This took a week of reprogramming the sounds (which needed to be done any way to re-tune all the samples – I don’t know why but every orchestral sample library I use needs this done). I also create a second MIDI track where I will copy just the notes that I want to do cross fades with. I will set the copied note to the different velocity to trigger the sound I want to cross fade into then I will use MIDI volumes to do the cross fades. When it is the Miroslav Horns I don’t completely fade out the p sample when fading into the ff. I also use the second midi channel for the short note samples so that I don’t have tons of patch changes in one MIDI track. To address the lazy attacks and to enable me to perform runs on the fly I reprogrammed all the modulation wheel settings to shift the sample start and slow the attack just a little to prevent clicking.

Another trick, which I only do when I have tons of time (this is never): I will copy the last note of every phrase extend the midi note releases to the next attack, load in the non looped samples, track the audio and replace the phrase endings in the audio realm by back timing the unlooped audio. This has such a incredibly realistic effect on the whole performance.

I’m still interested in hearing anyone’s thoughts on their eq/compression/reverb settings.

Tzu Jan
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2001, 08:43 PM
dcornutt dcornutt is offline
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Default Re: Tips on Mixing with Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples?

Thanks for the tip Tzu. Cool idea.
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2001, 07:03 PM
batman batman is offline
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Default Re: Tips on Mixing with Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra Samples?

"When I brought up the idea of a template to him he scoffed, even though I believe it is common practice with more established film composers."

I used to scoff at templates, but now, after 20 years, I've realised their untold musical advantages..
If you need to educate your very own scoffer, e-mail me direct, and we'll arrange a banquet.
Regards
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