Music Composers Unite!
Following some discussion of this on another thread I thought it would be good to start this one afresh.
Trying to keep it as simple as possible so as any novice may gain something from any member wishing to contribute any tips and tricks I don't want to talk about preferences in this or that DAW or NS or this or that expensive VST plugin be it eq or compression etc etc.
The basic operation and use of the effect doesn't change.
Here is a graphic example of the C3 on a viola section library. In this case Cinematic Studio Strings but its easy to give examples from other libraries showing approximately the same low frequency noise. If this viola section was the only sample set playing that noise would probably be irrelevant to the listener but when we add the other instruments and sections of the orchestra all having this noise I'm sure you understand it will have an effect on the clarity of the whole sound.
no high and low pass filtering
removal of the low level noise
So then since a lot of people have sub woofers, if we intend our recordings for a wide audience we should have sub woofers also and set our system balance by comparing it to a commonly accepted recording of the same genre, as Ray says? Otherwise there can be stuff happening that we don't know about since the human ear can hear down to 20hz., no?
Yes Dave, trying to keep this thread as addressing the basic issues involved, the most important thing about whatever we use, or for the lucky people choose to monitor our musical productions on, we need to know what they do. I won't ever tire in saying reference is king. Listen and listen again to the sound from your monitors of whatever quality Pro recordings of the orchestral sound you are trying to match. Obviously once you get away from standard orchestral section positioning relative to each other, the goal posts have moved but by then you have an idea of how to go with them.
and just one more annoying point. Always check how it sounds in mono.
In live music you "hear" the noise of a single room. In sampled music you get noise from every single track, and it piles up to incredible levels. Rest assured, letting the noise stay untouched in low range instruments while removing it from everything else won't make it sound completely synthetic. And it cleans up the sound, a lot.
Ingo Lee said:
At the same time though HS, if real flutes and violins are making some of those noises, and there's always going to be room noise, then that's what we hear when we hear live music isn't it?
Concerning the low frequency noise build up when creating virtual instrument orchestrations here are three screenshots showing the noise of one sampled instrument section (sticking with C3 on viola).
The first is Close mic position which should be the cleanest and apparently is.
Second, the Stage mic positions where they are further from the section.....more noise.
Third the surround mic positions where the noise floor is higher.
Just think of the build up of noise when playing back all the instrument samples together when there is this much when mixing differing mics to place one section.
I remembered I wanted to reply here and this thread, as an actual useful resource, deserves more oxygen than some of the recent nonsense.
Perhaps the very precise panning (not panning, but tbc) I use is a bit redundant - such small increments could become placebo in nature rather than being noticeable - but simply left, right and centre isn't subtle enough for me and I feel I get results out of a wide range of directions that I couldn't otherwise. As for panning, I stopped using that ages ago as it aggressively cuts the source from the side you're panning away from. Logic's direction mixer is very good and far more natural-sounding.
I listened to some ongoing work with earbuds recently - the absolute death test for music imo - right after some Star Wars, and the recording of my own orchestral music. Surprisingly, my mix and direction usage didn't suffer too much in comparison. It had the wide sound I want which I couldn't achieve in L, R and C increments. As you said, reference recordings you enjoy, and right from the start I've stuck to a pretty particular seating arrangement common to soundtracks.
Personally, I think placing by specific panning positions in the stereo image is overrated other than left, centre and right.
Depth however is slightly more important.
Do we want to hear what it sounds like as the conductor or from a few rows back in the stalls?
Again, reference pro recordings you enjoy and learn from them.