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Hi everyone,

I am having some trouble creating a finished project that sounds full and rich and not muffled. I compose orchestral music using East West's Silver orchestral library, and I work in Logic Express 8. I have tried using global EQ as well as EQ on individual instruments and global reverb, and, while I have actually come up with a higher quality sound, I must say it is hard for someone who doesn't have a lot of experience using these functions! So, can anyone give me any advice for creating a richer and higher quality audio file once all is said and done? Thanks!

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Well, I have been listening to other tracks of the kind of sound I'm trying to go for, and AB-ing them against my own. Just head over to my page and you can hear the stuff I'm doing. It's just that it's hard to distinguish what makes them sound better, if it's EQ or compression or some kind of high end roll off or what! I'll upload an example of what I want it to sound like, and I'll also upload an example of what I'm doing.
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Yeah I have the Play engine version. Now that you mention it, I haven't check those parameters to see if I can adjust them, I'll take a look! Thanks for the inbox message too, yeah I don't think it sounds AWFUL or anything, I just want to see if I can get it to be better:)
John I listened to the example of what you wanted to sound like and I listened to your work. Honestly I think you're getting very close. I think you do need a litte bit of mixing experience as your mixes sound a little cluttered at times and this could probably be fixed simply with levels. I only had a chance to listen through headphones but overall I thought your big orchestral music sounded good.

I'm tempted to say that the 'sound' your missing is possibly simply due to using EW Silver. It has a certain sound about it.

Hi John,

 

I use EW Silver also, along with Cubase 5. The way that i work it is; I group each instrument type such as string or brass together, and then eq and compress the group tracks. (So that you dont mess too much with the sound of each individual instrument, but brighten the differnet sections according to taste).  After mixing down i add a good amount of reverb (usually a large hall or theatre impulse respone), to give it a more live performance sound. I would also use a multiband compressor to really control the different frequencies.  I'm by no means an expert on these things but have had to make do with what resources i have available.

 

The link below is to a short example of one of my tracks using EW silver and this method.  I would also appreciate anyone elses thoughts on the general outcome of this method.

 

http://soundcloud.com/glenn-robertson/scared-of-what

 

I hope that is of some use.

 

Glenn.

Menu Theme sounds full and rich and not muffled.....?    Be careful about adding a lot of reverb. That can muddy some frequencies. Also, it almost always helps to roll off the lower frequencies of instruments that are not bass instruments, like trumpets and strings. Lower frequencies tend to build up in recordings with a lot of tracks. Always limit the frequencies of echo and reverb. I usually duplicate a track, apply reverb to the degree where you do not have much of the dry signal, then severely EQ. Then you'll have the original track and the 'reverb track'. Adjust the volume and panning of the reverb track to taste. I agree with Ray about developing your ears. I can hear all kinds of crap now. Ha. Like the clicking noise of pressing a Fender Rhodes key, or a little bit of elec guitar string squeal...   Once you hear this stuff, you begin the task of correcting problems. It takes time to learn.  ...and like people have stated- adding reverb to samples that already have reverb is often a mistake.

John,
I had a very similar problem with my orchestral pieces and unfortunately, the only solution that truly worked for me was upgrading to EastWest Gold. I plugged in my composition from silver to gold and without even touching the mixer, there was a huge improvement in sound.

-Steve

Thanks guys! I've actually developed a much better sound for my pieces since this discussion with careful use of EQ and reverb. I am looking to upgrade to Gold though, still, lol:P

John

Be careful with the concept of mastering. Eastwest products are already extremely well balanced and has a unit. They present themselves very well.

I use myself Eastwest platinum (24 bit). What I like best is placing the microphones on "close"and place all in a space with Altiverb 6. No EQ, no compression.

Side mix is something else. Even classical music recordings today, wear (and abuse) of the mix. Everything is in the balance of instruments. Beyond the music itself (no one can replace you at that level), you have to balance the instruments, distributed in space in the pan. If your sound is bland, it's probably because the instruments vanish by occupying the same part of space. Must distribute to avoid they affect each other. Do not create, unless it is wanted, pockets of density, "nœufs. The instruments need oxygen. It looks like the good old instrumentation. The choice of instruments, and even records of each instrument is important. We know for example that pierces the orchestra the oboe in high, as the clarinet creates bubbles in the medium, the shiver in the bass horns if attacked too much, etc.. All that, plus pan, affects the sound of the ensemble, with Eastwest like a real orchestra. We are not obliged to know everything to be a composer, but as you know, the better it works. Otherwise, it gets help. It is the work of instrumentation, orchestration or arangements. Good luck and forgive my bad English. cmb

Consider subscribing to my channel and following my current series of videos on mixing sampled music. I have also done a basic mastering tutorial too.

http://www.youtube.com/user/TotalComposure?feature=mhum

You can also follow me on facebook for updates www.facebook.com/totalcomposure

I also offer 121 tuition via skype or email at www.TotalComposure.com

David.

Thanks guys, I now have East West Gold library though so I no longer suffer from the problems of a year ago:) but thanks still!

I have a fair amount of experience mixing orchestral mockups, so I'll chime in.  With the ambient EW mics (Silver library), I would suggest working only with EQ.  In general, I don't like to boost the treble of anything sampled, especially orchestral things.  However, you can achieve a brighter illusion fairly easily.

 

In a hall, the strings are the closest and brightest sounding section of the orchestra.  Things get progressively darker and more 'reverby' as you go further back.  So the woodwinds can be EQed to be a tiny bit darker than the strings, brass darker still, and the percussion will be the darkest.  This will help to sell the front-to-back illusion a bit, and the strings sound brighter, even if it's only a relative thing.  The submix approach mention by someone earlier will make the EQ work go quickly.

 

In addition to the sectional EQ, you may want to use a master EQ that dips the midrange a bit.  It takes the edge off the samples and places them further back in the virtual hall.

 

If you want to hear the "gold standard" of MIDI orchestral mockups, you should check out Thomas J. Bergersen.  HERE is a link to some of my favorite demos that he's done in the past.

 

 

Chris, I tried keeping EW pure, but found that, in order to blend it with my other libraries, I had to adjust volume, pan, etc. The purists on Sounsonline will tell you not to do this, but they will also tell you to only use EW products! Not going to happen!
 
Chris Alpiar said:

The way I understand how EastWest orchestra works, is you NEVER change any volume levels of sections in your orchestra, or pan, or use individual reverb. It is all recorded in already. So you should never adjust volume if you have performed your parts and have the velocities correct. Any type of messing about with positioning or volume will make the EastWest orchestra sound very wrong, which is why even tho I own EWQL Orchestra Gold xp+ PLAY, I use VSL and other libs instead along with altiverb

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