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Are MIRx and MIR the best options for VSL instruments?

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
I have a LARGE collection of VSL instruments, which I am trying to use effectively. I am gradually improving my MIDI skills, but I still have only very slight mixing and engineering skills.

I own MIRx and all four of the venues for it. I bought it thinking that since it was done by the VSL people, and was based on the VSL MIR technology, that it would be an ideal solution for a novice with mixing like myself.

So, did I make the right choice? Is MIRx the best choice?

I have doubts about how to proceed. Experienced VSL users please advise.
 

Symfoniq

Active Member
Reverb is really subjective. You'll get as many opinions as there are reverbs.

So here's mine. ;)

If you like the results you are getting with MIRx, you shouldn't second-guess your decision. Stop reading this now, and go make lots of music.

If you're still reading, I own most of VSL's libraries. I also owned MIR Pro for a couple of years. I eventually sold MIR Pro and now use a mix of algorithmic and convolution reverbs (Nimbus/Pro R/VerbSuite) for my VSL and other virtual instruments.

I liked MIR Pro more in theory than practice. The interface was nifty. It was an impressive piece of engineering. But I never really got along with the sound. It just wasn't pleasing to my ears. Again, this is all my opinion.

I'm really pleased with the ability of modern algorithmic reverbs like Nimbus and Pro R to place my dry samples into a space. I think they do this better than MIR Pro. But your ears might tell you differently.
 

Arbee

Senior Member
My reply is totally subjective, so please accept in that context. I use MIR for positioning instruments and adding the "first layer of space before reverb". But, partly due to my personal taste and partly due to what my ears tell me, I rarely use the largest halls and find myself drawn to the Studios & Sound Stages room pack 90% of the time (the smallest studios in fact, although Teldex is good). I then add reverb to taste (I really happen to like their Hybrid Reverb, the original version). I find this approach also works really well with SM instruments as an effective "multi layered" spatial approach.

Not sure if that helps whatsoever.....
 

SimonCharlesHanna

Senior Member
My reply is totally subjective, so please accept in that context. I use MIR for positioning instruments and adding the "first layer of space before reverb". But, partly due to my personal taste and partly due to what my ears tell me, I rarely use the largest halls and find myself drawn to the Studios & Sound Stages room pack 90% of the time (the smallest studios in fact, although Teldex is good). I then add reverb to taste (I really happen to like their Hybrid Reverb, the original version). I find this approach also works really well with SM instruments as an effective "multi layered" spatial approach.

Not sure if that helps whatsoever.....
My sentiment almost exactly.

I own almost all VSL products. Ive had much more luck using VSL in smaller studio like situations and it works great.

After buying spitfires orchestral libraries, i am quite convinced I could never achieve the same big hall sound with VSL. It felt like a losing battle which is why I picked up spitfire. Having both in the arsenal is ideal for me.
 

Arbee

Senior Member
My sentiment almost exactly.

I own almost all VSL products. Ive had much more luck using VSL in smaller studio like situations and it works great.

After buying spitfires orchestral libraries, i am quite convinced I could never achieve the same big hall sound with VSL. It felt like a losing battle which is why I picked up spitfire. Having both in the arsenal is ideal for me.
Interesting, I picked up 8dio's Adagietto for the same reason. I don't use "big hall sound" very often (at the moment anyway) and Adagietto filled that gap nicely.
 

Rodney Money

On V.I. avoiding work.
Paul, I only have and use MIRx Teldex Stage for my VSL instruments such as the flugelhorn. I do not use the Teldex Stage for reverb but for placement on stage then turn the reverb down until I almost don't even hear it anymore then use East West Spaces for my actual reverb and room stimulation. With this I can blend VSL with anything including Cinesamples and Spitfire.
 
OP
Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Very interesting replies. There is so much that I admire about the way VSL does things, but as I hear demos of the latest Berlin Brass (or strings) or most of the latest wet products I am jealous of their natural room ambience. Even with my non-existent mixing skills I have tried the two reverb approach (ER + tail) and find my ears seem to prefer even my ignorant attempts to just using MIRx. It sounds like others have had the same experience.

I wish someone had a truly brilliant solution to make my VSL isntruments sound like they are in a real space, because I love the instruments, the programming and the VI Pro software.
 

Rodney Money

On V.I. avoiding work.
And "hear" is the VSL Euphonium mixed with Cinesamples Tuba and Horn a2 to create an euphonium ensemble. It's in the 2nd half but uses the same technique.
 
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Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Paul, I only have and use MIRx Teldex Stage for my VSL instruments such as the flugelhorn. I do not use the Teldex Stage for reverb but for placement on stage then turn the reverb down until I almost don't even hear it anymore then use East West Spaces for my actual reverb and room stimulation. With this I can blend VSL with anything including Cinesamples and Spitfire.
The name really fits in this case, it is a Beautiful Flugelhorn clip. Which of the many QL Spaces settings are you using? I own QL Spaces and will give it a try/
 
OP
Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
And "hear" is the VSL Euphonium mixed with Cinesamples Tuba and Horn a2 to create an euphonium ensemble. It's in the 2nd half but uses the same technique.
Nice. I love the VSL euphonium, and this clip sounds wonderful. Which QL Spaces setting are you using? Any special wet/dry settings?
 

Rodney Money

On V.I. avoiding work.
Very interesting replies. There is so much that I admire about the way VSL does things, but as I hear demos of the latest Berlin Brass (or strings) or most of the latest wet products I am jealous of their natural room ambience. Even with my non-existent mixing skills I have tried the two reverb approach (ER + tail) and find my ears seem to prefer even my ignorant attempts to just using MIRx. It sounds like others have had the same experience.

I wish someone had a truly brilliant solution to make my VSL isntruments sound like they are in a real space, because I love the instruments, the programming and the VI Pro software.
Another thing I have done that is unfortunately not in my flugelhorn example is to add Cinesamples' room tone which is free to the mix. It certainly starts adding the illusion that the instruments are in a room. I added that recently in my Meditation piece in the members composition section of the forum. I will post it here also:
 

Rodney Money

On V.I. avoiding work.
The name really fits in this case, it is a Beautiful Flugelhorn clip. Which of the many QL Spaces settings are you using? I own QL Spaces and will give it a try/
I will check tommorow as well, my friend. Plus I want to try to add some room tone to it also.
 

Chandler

Active Member
I was asking a similar question in another thread. Recently I wanted to test new workflows, plugins, etc. so I wrote something really fast and mixed it. The first example is using MIRx Teledex. The 2nd is using a new reverb I'm beta testing. The 3rd is the same reverb, but with layered strings. All of them are using the VSL SE orchestral and chamber strings with a little Valhallaroom on top.


To me MIR has too much highend and I actually prefer the reverb I made myself. In general I think VSL needs some EQ to tame its sound in some cases(which I didn't do here). Getting a lush hollywood sound like some other libraries might not be possible, but I'm sure it can sound much better than what you get out of the box.
 

leon chevalier

Cinematic Studio Fanboy
Hello Paul,
I use to used a full VSL set up with mirX but I was very frustrated to not be able to place where I want the instrument and by the high CPU usage.

Now I'm not using vsl anymore but still using totally dry imstrumemt like wallander, sample modeling or Chris hein, and I have fantastic result with eareverb 2. It's very light on CPU and you can place the instrument where you like on the sound stage. Their is a demo version so it’s worth trying it!
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Are MIRx and MIR the best options for VSL instruments?

VSL decided to record their samples dry. This leads to a huge amount of possibilities for using them. In the meantime you are a bit lost when you are not able to mix what you want. So for beginners and first results "yes" is probably the right answer to the question above.
As already mentioned somewhere above here MIR is a complex piece of software with a huge amount of parameters which can be adjusted... Nevertheless and strangely enough the results always sound "MIR-like". So for me MIR is a bit like chips (=music) with classic ketchup (=MIR), chips with curry ketchup, chips with hot ketchup, mild ketchup, taco ketchup, peper ketchup,... but mixing without MIR is also chips with quark and fresh herbs, chips with Majonnaise, chips with sauce Hollandaise... :dancedance:


Best
Beat

 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 422019

Guest
Are MIRx and MIR the best options for VSL instruments?

VSL decided to record their samples dry. This leads to a huge amount of possibilities for using them. In the meantime you are a bit lost when you are not able to mix what you want. So for beginners and first results "yes" is probably the right answer to the question above.
But as already mentioned somewhere above here MIR is a complex piece of software with a huge amount of parameters which can be adjusted... Nevertheless and strangely enough the results always sound MIR-like. So MIR is a bit like chips (=music) with classic ketchup (=MIR), chips with curry ketchup, chips with hot ketchup, mild ketchup, taco ketchup, peper ketchup,... Mixing without MIR is also chips with quark and fresh herbs, chips with Majonnaise, chips with sauce Hollandaise... :dancedance:


Best
Beat
I just got MIR for the VSL Cube and am wondering why I waited so long. It gives the samples a space that my other reverb, which has a great sound, couldn't give it. The word I would use to describe MIR's impact on the samples is "natural". It sounds far more natural than my Yamaha SPX2000, which is a fine reverb, yet doesn't create a "space around the sample" as MIR does.
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
I just got MIR for the VSL Cube and am wondering why I waited so long. It gives the samples a space that my other reverb, which has a great sound, couldn't give it. The word I would use to describe MIR's impact on the samples is "natural"...
I totally agree - as long as you only play some instruments. As sson as you play with a large orchestra it can end in a special sound.
Listen to this typical example.
I believe it is why the room IR is calculated a lot of times in each instrument so that the typical room-colour of the IR beginns to dominate the final sound more and more.
After using MIR for all your mixes over a longer time you will probably understand my "ketchup-story" above in a better way. Playing all the music through MIR lets all your music sound "MIR-like" - individual mixes would sound more interesting. Now, this does not mean not to use MIR anymore. I use for example MIRx in my mixes when I need instruments which shall sound far away. This works very fine with MIRx.

If you like here you can listen to some different VSL-examples mixed without MIR (on the right)


Best
Beat
 
D

Deleted member 422019

Guest
I totally agree - as long as you only play some instruments. As sson as you play with a large orchestra it can end in a special sound.
Listen to this typical example.
I believe it is why the room IR is calculated a lot of times in each instrument so that the typical room-colour of the IR beginns to dominate the final sound more and more.
After using MIR for all your mixes over a longer time you will probably understand my "ketchup-story" above in a better way. Playing all the music through MIR lets all your music sound "MIR-like" - individual mixes would sound more interesting. Now, this does not mean not to use MIR anymore. I use for example MIRx in my mixes when I need instruments which shall sound far away. This works very fine with MIRx.

If you like here you can listen to some different VSL-examples mixed without MIR (on the right)


Best
Beat

My experience is that this is true with all reverbs, they call color the sound in their own way. And, I love ketchup, particularly on potatoes!
Jerry
 
OP
Paul T McGraw

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Are MIRx and MIR the best options for VSL instruments?

VSL decided to record their samples dry. This leads to a huge amount of possibilities for using them. In the meantime you are a bit lost when you are not able to mix what you want. So for beginners and first results "yes" is probably the right answer to the question above.
As already mentioned somewhere above here MIR is a complex piece of software with a huge amount of parameters which can be adjusted... Nevertheless and strangely enough the results always sound "MIR-like". So for me MIR is a bit like chips (=music) with classic ketchup (=MIR), chips with curry ketchup, chips with hot ketchup, mild ketchup, taco ketchup, peper ketchup,... but mixing without MIR is also chips with quark and fresh herbs, chips with Majonnaise, chips with sauce Hollandaise... :dancedance:


Best
Beat
Thanks Beat. I really appreciate your tutorials, and have learned a lot from them. My best results (to my ears) so far are to use MIRx on each instrument, set to a mix of about 40 (which is about 30%) and then add QL Spaces. QL Spaces has seperate custom Southern California Hall settings for brass, strings and woodwinds, and that seems to work well. (Thanks @Rodney Money for suggesting this setup.) This approach seems to work best with the Teledex studio setting of MIRx, but it is also OK with the other rooms (I have all four.)

However, I am still not completely happy with my results. I do not hear the left/right imaging of the instruments I expect. For example I should clearly hear horns on the far left and trombones on the far right. Instead everything seems more in the center.

Also my complete sound image is still a bit disappointing to me. I have been listening to VSL demos like "Adventures on Earth" and "Adagio for Strings" and "Rite of Spring" and leaving aside the professional level of MIDI programming, I am trying to learn how to get a similar spatialization and failing. I have also been listening to demos for string libraries like CSS and Berlin Strings and brass libraries like Berlin Brass. The allure of the sound of these wet libraries is tempting.
 
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