A rant on the hiss that's in so many orchestral libraries.

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Headlands, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    I must disagree. Yes, tape was exclusively used years ago before digital, and once digital was here it was highly desired by orchestras (including most movie scores due to its flexibility) because of what I'm talking about. Not all, of course, but I would say by the most for sure.

    Tape has a warmer sound mostly because of its limited bandwidth in the high end especially, and its imperfections...both which have their place if one wants that sound but for modern flexibility and cleanliness should be an option instead of a mandate. And with plugins you can get so close to that warmth that no one would know in a double blind test, which I had done to me a few years with a group of audio snobs like myself. Most good plugins emulation plugins have hiss/noise as an option that you can turn off or adjust the level on, which is brilliant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  2. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    And this! A very, very important point whether we're discussing room tone or hiss.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    Yes, it's a CPU problem mostly. Can I ask how you use RX's Spectral De-Noiser? I'm just curious to compare it to how I do, maybe I can improve my use of it.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    I agree on this -- I of course use them and enjoy them. But that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement -- there are some orchestral sample libraries that don't have nearly as much noise (hiss) as others. Room tone is definitely something I love, but the hiss? Not so much in the excessive amounts I hear in the majority of orchestral sample sets. When some clients start to ask me about it in quieter scores where I use libraries that I love creatively like Tundra or soft dynamics on CSS strings/brass, etc., etc., I know that many modern ears aren't used to that much hiss and don't want it. My opinion is that it doesn't need to be there in the excessive amounts that many libraries have it...and again, some have it at a much more manageable level.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  5. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    I hear you. The main place it becomes an issue for me (among some other places, of course) is in soft passages that might be mixed very loud in a part of a movie. For those here who might say "that's not how you properly mix a movie!", you can tell that to the clients I have that do mix their movies that way. :)
     
  6. barteredbride

    barteredbride New Member

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    Of course, I agree with your main point in your post. And I'd love to choose myself between a sample recorded to tape and without tape. But the price of the library would surely be more expensive.

    It's an interesting discussion and I'd love to hear a clean sample without any tape input.

    In any case, i remember seeing a video from alan meyerson, where he took the recordings of the real orchestra and smothered them in a Waves tape plugin !
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    I remember that video! :)
     
  8. Consona

    Consona Senior Member

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    I only have RX Elements, so I use its plugins as inserts on problematic tracks, so nothing that interesting, sorry to disappoint. :grin:
     
  9. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

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    The noise is turned off and he uses it as a multi-mono delay.

     
  10. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

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    One persons colossal mistake is another persons icing on the cake. I really like it. Probably because I love the productions of all the Icelandic composers like Olafur Arnalds who use copious amounts of analog gear on their music. I agree though, they should de noise them and have an option to turn it on or off. It definitely can build up too much depending on how many layers you have.
     
    Headlands likes this.
  11. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    Well said.
     
    Greg likes this.
  12. jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    I too have a hugely strong recording background. The string hiss/noise that bothers me the most is from Cinestrings Core. They said it's because of the vintage microphones used. No problem, I'll buy that excuse...in subsequent libraries from them, they've reduced the noise considerably...now as far as tape hiss? I have yet to encounter this being an issue at all. What library and patch are you specifically referring to? Because until recent, all recordings of classical and film scores were recorded to tape, and in fact they are all going through an analog console for sure, which in and of itself produces hiss...to me, digital is sterile...not to where it's bad, just that it does not impart any harmonic content at all...strings, brass, winds, whatever...acoustic instruments benefit from some type of natural harmonic content. Humans do not hear in digital...and I think a super clean string sound, would be too flat...no character. There are ways during the recording process to maybe get them cleaner...this I agree...but to record them straight digitally, I am not certain about. It is perhaps that some companies go a bit overboard and use the total analog recording as a selling point...but then I agree...clean it up! LOL
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    I agree completely on most of your points. It's the degree of hiss that's absurd in some of these libraries. CSS comes to mind, as does most of Spitfire's stuff. Classical has been recorded largely on digital for many years now (I remember from when my Dad was playing in the SF orchestra, he told me they had started using digital a long time ago) , due to its non-noisiness. One gets the harmonic content from pres and consoles and the like, as you mentioned. The amount of noise in the libraries I'm referring to indicates something other than just the pres/consoles though.
     
  14. Jimmy Hellfire

    Jimmy Hellfire Senior Member

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    I learned to live with noisy samples, because what else can you do - but the whole idea of purposely impairing the fidelity of recordings for "character" is odd to me, for all the reasons already stated in this thread. Especially since there are so many ways to add all the spunk you'd ever want to hear, in several stages of the production, with the processing tools we have at our disposal today. In a deliberate, controlled, senseful manner, depending on the piece. It's not hard to do, and can get you where you actually want to be much better than stacking noise upon noise. Recordings should be clean. No matter if it's actual performance recordings or samples. Vibe and "character" are a matter of mixing.
     
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  15. OP
    OP
    Headlands

    Headlands Active Member

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    THIS!!!!
     
  16. jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    Can't comment on CSS, as I don't have that...but I do have Spitfire Chamber and Albion One as well as their new solo library...I really don't hear much of any hiss in those. Cinesamples core does have noise...and the noise from these libraries I am now thinking is just because they're old...7 years ago maybe...techniques have improved since then.
     
  17. Saxer

    Saxer Senior Member

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    I don't care about noise/hiss in recordings. Orchestras are loud because 60 even very disciplined people in a room are never quiet.
    But in samples it's a different thing. Like little mistakes that are normal in live playing repeating mistakes on one sample note can make you mad. And I find the end of hiss in an ending of a sample is much more obvious than a steady noise floor. A single car driving by gets more attention than a busy highway.
    Sometimes it helps to get a musical noise floor out of texture pads or those Tundras/Evolutions/TimeMacros to cover the dynamics of sample noise. It glues things together.
     
  18. novaburst

    novaburst Senior Member

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    I do believe The reason why this type of hissing noise or for that matter any type of noise does not bother composers or mixers of today is because of the noise removal tools that are available to use

    Even if you have a very noisy sample in your mind its as if its not there because of these tools, izotope RX.

    To day yes we can do anything so bring as much noisy samples as you like and I will just slap a noise removing tool and remove it 100%

    a lot of noise is left alone as it does remind us that humans are playing the instruments and gives an organic effect that is very appealing most of the time.

    Bottom line is noise should not bother any mixer or composer in any way, we just simply have a million tools at our hands to put things right or the way we want to hear our music we are drowning in make it good tools.
     
  19. Daryl

    Daryl Senior Member

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    We record in stems for our orchestral recordings, and if we didn't do noise/hiss removal, the build-up would make the recordings sound far less glossy than they do. For a sample library this is even more important, as there are usually way more notes being played than the number of stems we record.
     
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  20. gsilbers

    gsilbers Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com

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    if im not mistaken, some of these orchestral recordings not only use vintage gear like tape, old tube mics, preamps and ribbon mics, but also use a LOT of them. seeing from the spitfire info videos , there is a ton of mics i dont normally see in normal orchestral recordings. plus these low velocity articulations are in a vacuum and not in context with a wide dynamic range. in movies and orchestral recordings can be masked. and im guessing each pass contains all or several of the mics just so they can add the different mic perspectives or have a thicker sound. and the gains remains the same as to not add or reduce noise from one articulation to another and one instrument to another. they do noise reduction but too much yields that hollowish sound.
    but as usualy, its not as easy. we just see it as users and each library is different. different halls, different equipment, engineers etc. and im pretty sure everyone in that chain of events understands signal flow and has heard the noise and yet had to compromise. they bring in famous recording engineers so its not like they dont know what they are doing.
     
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