Cinematic Studio Brass Playing Mike Verta Live Brass

Discussion in 'Member's Compositions' started by Land of Missing Parts, May 18, 2019.

  1. Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    Hogwarts
    I used Cinematic Studio Brass and a bit of Majestic Horn to do mockups of the brass songs from Mike Verta's Live Brass Class.

    All songs were composed by Mike Verta. You can find more info on his Live Brass Master Class here.

    Here are my mockups:


    And here is the raw live brass that I used as reference (raw tree mic with reverb only. Please note that this is not mixed, it is just being used here for reference.):


    I used Majestic Horn for most of Amber Waves, and layered CSB for parts above MP. Everything else is entirely CSB. I added some reverb to the live recording to match the default mic mix in CSB.

    I'd welcome any comments and criticisms. I could probably use some tips on mixing, if I'm being honest.

    Thanks for listening. :cool:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  2. Robo Rivard

    Robo Rivard Senior Member

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    Wow, thank you for sharing this with us! It really shows up what CSB can do by itself.
     
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  3. MauroPantin

    MauroPantin New Member

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    Mockups sound great. I took MV's Brass Masterclass and it was incredibly valuable. I'm looking forward to the woodwinds one, when it happens.

    These mockups sound great, great programming! I would probably push them further back into the room a bit. I don't own it but, in general, CSB seems a tad "in your face" on most demos I hear. There's a great plugin called Proximity that can probably help with that (or MIR, VSS2, etc, but Proximity is free).
     
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  4. ProfoundSilence

    ProfoundSilence Active Member

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    I thought about mocking these up to with BB.

    did you use mostly solo instruments from CSB?

    pre-EQ and a reverb send should push them back a bit if needed - but it's decently close to the sound from his class, considering the context that it's recorded
     
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  5. Jack Weaver

    Jack Weaver Senior Member

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    Yes, great programming and original writing. I wholeheartedly disagree with the proposition that CSB is 'in your face'. True it is more upfront than the original recordings exhibit here. But I would probably first find fault in the recording of the real instruments in these particular examples. I don't know who was the recordist involved, but they aren't the best examples of solid brass recordings. The players seem good. They just are not aspected very favorably in this case.

    More than others, I find CSB to sound like what really good brass players sound like in a room - and you do have mic options to change the upfront to distant character. However like MauroPantin says, if you want them to sound a bit more distant there are plenty of technical ways to make this happen in your mix.

    With many libraries it is nigh impossible to get this dynamic sense that CSB has. Toning is back is an option. Many other libraries don't always allow you the option to be anything else but toned back.

    .
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Hogwarts
    Solo instruments for normal lines, 2x and 4x instruments when they were playing in unison that way.

    The crazy thing is, I had to push the live recording back to match CSB. But yeah, I just went with CSB main mic mixes, which is the default.

    In fairness, this is probably my fault. The live recordings I have up as reference are just the raw decca tree from their recording session with some processing from me to push it back in the room to match CSB. It's not a final product from the studio or from Mike. I edited the original post to clarify.

    That said, I'd be interested in what I could do to make it better, and maybe do some justice to their live recording.

    EDIT: Except The Master Sting, which is taken directly from the bump in used in the video of the class itself.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  7. Robo Rivard

    Robo Rivard Senior Member

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    Do you think a plugin like 2C Audio Precedence would make a difference in the placement?... I've always wondered if those plugins were changing the tonal characteristics of the instruments in the process.
     
  8. MauroPantin

    MauroPantin New Member

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    Fair enough, like I said, I don't own CSB (yet!). All my experience with it comes from user demos and the examples posted on the website. And I agree, it's always better to have to tone it back than to be missing that top dynamic layer.

    It sounds to me like the original is more in the back of the room. What is the processing other than the reverb? Is there any EQ or direct signal?

    I think they make a difference in the placement (they make it easy) and they do change the tone. Or at least they should if the plugin is to accomplish the goal.

    As you go further away from the source of a sound it is my understanding that the ends of the spectrum get rolled off, so the further away, the less of the low and high frequencies you percieve. Spacialization has to add high and low pass filters to your signal, calculated based on the placements you select. Otherwise, when you place a reverb on an instrument as is without any other processing the sound would be more akin to a PA amplifying the original signal in the middle of the room.

    And also of course, there is a loss of perceived volume that is proportional to the distance to the source of the signal.

    And also a panning effect which our brain pinpoints by "measuring" the amount of time it takes for sound to reach each of our ears. So, the first reflection on the walls of a source of sound that is located more to the left travels less distance on the left and arrives earlier at the left ear than at the right ear, and also informs the listener of the size of the room. The delay signal should be transparent or could be colored depending on the type of walls being simulated or if there is any kind of convolution involved.

    So, unless I'm not mistaken or missing something these plugins add:

    1- An EQ before the reverb send for the distance in the room that definitely alters the tone
    2- A Delay for the panning which could color the tone
    3- A Trim to match the volume loss on account of the distance to the source which should be transparent
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    Hogwarts
    I must have overdone it. The original raw tree mic is pretty dry:


    I used EAReverb for the ER and Seventh Heaven for tails.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. MauroPantin

    MauroPantin New Member

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    With a listen to the dry original, major congrats to you, man. The tonal characteristics of the original brass battle and your mockup are really close, and the articulation management you did is spot on.

    I have the stems, too, but not CSB. Let me try to get the stems to the same ambience as your brass battle mockup and get back to you on what I find, I think it will be interesting. I don't have any information on where CSB was recorded but I'll look that up, there's got to be RT60 info for it somewhere (I hope).
     
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  11. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    Hej man,

    Cool and thats quite some work you did there.
    a few things though or question:

    Why did you alter the original recording with reverb and alter the sampled version to match what exactly then? I am not quite sure about that whole process here as I believe you would like to match that recording how it sounds unprocessed or not, or yes? I don´t know.

    A few other pointers and thoughts:

    1. Performance is essentiel key. Using CSB brass is nice here, but shows also why articulation based systems (also great ones like csb) pretty much won´t do the job for such exposed brass in every situation, just my opinion of course. There are some balance inaccurate places which is in your example quite different sounding, for instance Brass Battle at 0:07 seconds. Horns are in the center focus not the trumpets, they actually do a short rep. stacc crescendo, but compare it to your version which is having neither replicated of those details. And that is exemplary for some other spots as well. Nothing to feel bad about of course.

    2. Another big point is that your examples are often too perfect in pitch and pitch fluctuation of each instrument, also its a kind of the sameness of attacks which is another aspect which makes your version not quite sounding like that original. That original has all kinds of different attacks and noth lenghts, they are sometimes microcopic for the not so trained ear, yet the human ear recognize and hears that sameness and identifies it quite easily.

    3. The original is also more precise, punchier, just more controlled in every aspect and that is indeed very hard to get right. The slower more mellow examples work definitely a lot better with samples here, but all that stabby action stuff..is like in direct comparison too mushy and has no precision at all. Not to blame you, its just csb is simply limited in that regards and it is nice to see what it does good but what it probably doesn´t that quite good like live brass. But man..for samples..that is totally fine what you did here. If you want that control, normal sample libraries simply are too inaccurate to do that sort of thing in that fashion of the live thing here.

    So it is a nice attempt here and if you want more realism, don´t get distracted too much with plugins and too much post production (though there are also a few things), but first concentrate on the performance aspect. If it is possible to improve that.
    The original room is another difficult thing to match for several reasons. Miced in a very small venue, so that means: Brass sounds in your face but yet with a good sense of 3d projection with very short tails and a reverberation bloom which excites the room quite a lot.

    One little last thing, in case you are anyways using the first live reference which you put reverb over it (even without the reverb): you should be aware of that that the live recording has a lot less high frequency spectrum which also makes a different impression on how distant and roomy the brass sounds and also has less of that artificial digital oversaturated aggression like in your example.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Land of Missing Parts

    Land of Missing Parts No Time for Honky-Tonk

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Hogwarts
    Hey Alex, great points, thanks for taking the time.
    Partly to make the task easier, as it is less exposed so it's a little easier to fuzz the line between real and samples. Dry would be very tough and I don't think CSB was designed to be able to do it, really. But I also think the live sounds more natural with the reverb added, and it's something you'd typically do in a production. I think it's fair if you want to say I cheated, by moving the goalposts. :)

    1. Excellent notes, thanks. I will revisit these and try to fix in the performance. One of CSB's strengths is its ability to really dial in the dynamics.

    2. Yes, CSB is a little too perfect when compared to the live here. It's one of the big takeaways while mocking this up, certainly. I can live with that, but it's good to have this knowledge in the back of my head.

    3. Live is punchier and more controlled--This is such a crucial point. To some extent, I think it might be possible with clever programming to finesse CSB and get it closer than I was able to do here. In a couple of cases I actually tried shorter notes and I couldn't make it sound right, so I actually chose longer notes.

    For sure. In a couple tracks I think I eq'd out some of the CSB highs, and this is something I'm sure I could dial in better. But it's also kind of one of those differences I can live with, as CSB was engineered to have a certain more polished sound and I happen to like it, so I don't want to fight against it too much.

    Thanks Mauro.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019

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