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.

    02 Quest For Glory.mp3

    Many may Lead, Few will Follow (mp3).mp3

  • 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.




    I hope that is of some use.



  • 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.

  • 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.


    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


    Xtant Audio
    Xtant Audio started in 2010 with the initial aim of working with sample library developers to help them build awesome instruments for Kontakt. In 201…
  • 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!
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