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Old 01-23-2001, 05:19 AM
ninemensmorris ninemensmorris is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 24
Default Orchestral simulation with PT

Hi guys -

I am in the midst of recording a ballet score in PT using orchestral samples. The composer prepared the scores in Sibelius, which were then exported to standard MIDI files. These MIDI files were imported into PT, and edited for phrasing and performance. Each instrument was then recorded as audio using various samplers and orchestral modules.

I have done rough mixes which sound great, BUT... they don't sound like "traditional" orchestral recordings, primarily because of too much "presence" from the samples. Most orchestral recordings I reference have a certain sound quality which I feel is the result of the air space between the instruments and mics.

I have tried applying various reverbs to the individual tracks, as well as trying reverbs on the master, but it's not quite the sound I'm looking for.

My next approach was going to be applying a smaller reverb to the individual instruments (to reduce the presence) and add a bigger reverb to the master.

Are there any other techniques you use to simulate this "airiness" with orchestral samples?

PT MixPlus
Verbs: DVerb, TC MegaReverb
Plenty of other plugs

Sorry for the long-winded post, and thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 01-23-2001, 11:57 AM
Marc Cooreman Marc Cooreman is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: BELGIUM
Posts: 152
Default Re: Orchestral simulation with PT

Go to http://www.sospubs.co.uk/
& do a search on "Orchestral"
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Old 01-23-2001, 02:33 PM
dw dw is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 154
Default Re: Orchestral simulation with PT

i write a fair amount of orchestral scores for films and jingles and these are my suggestions :

1- Well , this is quite obvious but i'll mention it anyways, NOTHING beats the real **** !! Real players performing a WELL written/arranged piece. But, i reralize that this is not realistic for most small budget production.

2-To emulate a real orchestra...the magic is in the sound you choose but even more important, how it is programed. Sorry to say this but Sibelius ( or ANY Scoring app for that matter ) is THE worse thing you can use to write a score...it will sound VERY square, besides these app are made for priting scores not for writing/editing music.
No matter how much editing you do in PT, if the material transfered in PT is not happening then, at best, you'll be able to mask it a bit with clever editing and mixing BUT i suggest you go to the source of the problem...get a knowledgeable person who have experience in programming score and ask him to translate ( reprogram ) your Sibelius. Trust me, programming a good sounding score requires a lot of work. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2001, 03:34 PM
dcornutt dcornutt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,308
Default Re: Orchestral simulation with PT

Aside from the aforementioned tweaking of midi data...try the Miroslav Orchestral Samples. They are just what you are looking for.

There are 2 schools of thought on orchestral sample libraries..one is the "studio" approach..such as the Advanced Orchestra series. What you are describing is similar to this approach. Close miked, dry, studio recordings..which work well for certain things.

The other is the "hall" ambient approach..where the instruments are miked further away to pick up the natural room sound. The miroslav library is what you need.

The drawback of the more grandious libraries are that they tend to get lost in a mix.

You can mix your "dry" sounds with those of the miroslav and come up with some good results.

To get best results from these libaries..you need to cross fade different dynamic level samples. You also need to spend some time editing the velocity info.

Most notation programs will use the same note velocity thru out. This of course is very unrealistic. You need good samples..but..pay attention to things like..how the notes overlap..use volume, velocity, expression..etc. (you can draw these in..using the controller info and the pencil tool in PT)

The Mirolsav libary is expensive. The solo instrument sets..are "closer" miked.than the ensemble disks. The string ensemble disk is what you are looking for...its about 1500 bucks.

Romantic strings is a good way to describe them. They are very expressive..and have a very wide selection of dynamics and playing styles. Ultimately, the best way to use them..is to take several articulation samples..and "crossfade" between them using the mod wheel..so..as you get louder..you can dial in that ringing brass edge on a french horn..etc..or..more string noise..etc.

The Miroslav libary is mixed in stereo..with placement..where the players actually sit in an orchestra..basses right..violins left.etc.
The disk also includes the same sample in mono format if you would rather do your own placement.

You can load up a whole orchestra of these samples (warning..takes serious ram/polyphony) and it will be placed..with natural "air" recorded into the sample. Exquisite would be one word to describe it.

There are some drawbacks however..some of the samples..are so expressive..that they swell so much..it can cause a "sucking" sound if they aren't carefully..overlapped in your seqencer.

You can read a full review of all the libraries at pro recordings web site.

Also..check out sonic control.com. I think they still have a detailed article on ..making those orchestra patchs sound "real".

I've had best results..as far as reverb plugs..with the "real verb" from KOL. You can change room shapes..material..etc..and its a lot more "transparent" reverb. This would allow you to use heavier reverb settings (which youll need for those dry samples)..in a way that sounds a little cleaner.

Good luck.

Oh..also..a good book..The Guide to Midi Orchestrations. You can pick it up at amazon.com


[This message has been edited by dcornutt (edited January 23, 2001).]
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