Help With Mic Mixing Orchestral Tools

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by JohnBMears, Jan 11, 2019 at 9:36 PM.

  1. JohnBMears

    JohnBMears Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    So I have never established a good workflow for this and I am looking for guidance.

    So, you just finished a mockup using Berlin Brass. All 11 instruments used (3 tpt, 3 bone, 4 horns & 1 tuba). Used tree only during programming to both save RAM and have a single perspective.

    Then you finish the woodwinds parts using BWW Revive, all single instruments, all tree mics.

    You don't have Berlin Strings, so you use CSS and HWS Diamond.

    CSS's mix mic gets most of the job done to my ear and while HWS doesn't offer a mix option, it is so dry that using the mains and close pretty fit the bill for me.

    Then there's Orchestral Tools, Berlin WWs and Brass.

    So here is where I go wrong and start completely screwing up my balance, turning on more mics and fiddling with the faders.

    What do you all do at this exact point? Who uses the Auto-Gain switch in Capsule? Does anyone print out each microphone to its own track and automate as if it were recorded live? I find the F Horns to be the most in need. They are lost and blurry in that room to my ears. They sound lovely but lack so much clarity.

    In the perfect world of unlimited RAM would you recommend turning on all the mics? There would just seem to be an endless task of tweaking each mic fader by 1 or 2 dB.

    In short, I'm looking for the best way to get a mic mix for Berlin Brass that more closely resembles what I hear in the mic mix of CineBrass or or CSB.

    NOTE: I realize that compared to those other 2 libraries, Berlin Brass will always sound more roomy due to where/how it was recorded, but where have you found good starting point for levels on a building a mic mix?
  2. Hi @JohnBMears

    I use mostly OT libraries and here is a method I've been using since last year and that I think works great.

    I don't like using the Auto-Gain in CAPSULE, and mixing different microphones inside Kontakt always seemed like an incredibly tedious task to me ! Way more comfortable to have actual faders in your DAW.

    So in my template, every instrument track containing a multi-miced orchestral instrument gets 3 outputs : Close, Tree, Room. For instance, for Berlin Brass I'll route Close 1, Close 2 and ORTF to a main "Close" output, Tree to "Tree", AB & Surround to "Room". I don't mess with individual volumes, like Close 2 related to ORTF or anything like that. That's my rule for not getting crazy :) If I don't like the sound of a microphone position, I just deactivate it.

    I'll do that for every instrument, and build 3 "sub-mixes" : All the "Close" from all my libraries, all the "Tree" and so on. I find it easier this way to get a proper balance of everyone.

    If you're looking for something specific to Berlin Brass, I would say the ORTF mics are usually a great starting point as a balance between close and ambiance. They definitely can "replace" the Tree mics if you find them too wet, and could be your main ones.
  3. OP

    JohnBMears Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    Thank you SO much for sharing- this would surely be an amazing method. Do you use single articulation OT patches per track or do you use the multi that has the slots to customize? I'm guessing you're in Cubase (deactivate track)? I don't think Logic has that as a RAM saving feature so now I guess I need to come up with a way to save RAM if I am loading multiple mics from the get-go.

    I truly appreciate you taking the time to reply. Your mockups are incredible and I am lucky to glean some knowledge from you!

  4. Thank you @JohnBMears !

    You're right, I'm using Cubase. I don't know Logic at all, but if it doesn't have a similar function, surely you have some way to Freeze the track ? Even with the Disable track feature of Cubase, I always freeze everything once I'm done with the programming, as I'm working on a laptop with "only" 24GB RAM. So use only one mic, do your programming, load the other mics and freeze, maybe ? That's another benefit of this "multi out" approach, you can bounce everything and focus on the balance later.

    I'm using single articulation patches only when they don't have a Multi counterpart, so that would mean all the Legato patches with different types of attacks, vibrato etc, the Playable Runs patch, etc. For everything else, Multis :) And I always keep an empty Multi for each instrument, that I would use for all custom articulations needed for the piece.
    jbuhler likes this.
  5. OleJoergensen

    OleJoergensen Senior Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    You do these mockups with Orchestral tools and only 24 GB ram, vow! That means you bounce a lot of tracks and ends up with many audio files to mix...?
  6. @OleJoergensen : Just use the Freeze function in Cubase, actually :)
    But yeah, it's a bit of a juggling act.
    OleJoergensen likes this.

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