How are these mixes?

fixxer49

Bouncing Consultant
[Edit] Revisions below:

Revision 1

Revision 2


How are the mixes for these two short pieces? Comments & criticism welcome. Be brutal*. Thanks in advance!

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Original mixes here:





*but not too brutal.
 
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doctoremmet

Senior Member
These sound very good to my ears. In the second piece, the low brass on the right side of the stereo field felt slightly panned too much to the right for me and also slightly too far in the back of the soundstage. But that’s nitpicking.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
These sound very good to my ears. In the second piece, the low brass on the right side of the stereo field felt slightly panned too much to the right for me and also slightly too far in the back of the soundstage. But that’s nitpicking.
Yep. Second time listening and I now like everything about this mix. Ignore earlier remark ;)
 
OP
fixxer49

fixxer49

Bouncing Consultant
Yep. Second time listening and I now like everything about this mix. Ignore earlier remark ;)
Thank you, Doctor! But first impressions are valid and important (and many times it's the only impression one has a chance to make), and the things you commented on I have been struggling with in particular. Appreciate the feedback!
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Hi fixxer49
So far a great sound!

But you want us to notice something:
Especially when I listen to the mixes in my headphones...

In the second example, I have the feeling that the instruments in the left channel have nothing to do with those in the right channel. In other words, there is no overall acoustic signal that brings left and right together. Maybe the main microphone is set too low or the spot microphones in the orchestra are too loud. Maybe it was the "too far left/right" of doctoremmet

In the first example this problem is less noticeable. However, on closer listening, the instruments further away have this "isolation" on the right or left as well. Even if the instruments are extremely left or right, the more distant instruments are, they should sound across channels more and more.

This "isolation" is not a real problem, it just sounds not as naturalas possible.
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Listen to this example (with headphones as well) and especially to distant instruments. They sound in the entire space and not just isolated left or right. This sounds more natural and ultimately a bit more pleasant.

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That was criticism on a high level.

All the best
Beat
 
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OP
fixxer49

fixxer49

Bouncing Consultant
Listen to this example (with headphones as well) and especially to distant instruments. They sound in the entire space and not just isolated left or right. This sounds more natural and ultimately a bit more pleasant.
@Beat Kaufmann thanks so much for listening and for your detailed response! I might have gone a little extreme on some of the panning, especially the instruments that are further back. I will make some adjustments.

If I want to achieve the sound of the excellent example you shared, but still want to maintain the basic positioning of most of the instruments, do you have any suggestions for how to achieve a more natural sound?

Thanks again!
 

Cathbad

Active Member
I agree with @Beat Kaufmann that it sounds a bit left and right, with a hole in the middle.

I also think @doctoremmet's original post about the low brass being too far right was correct. Those seats were my workplace for many years. Behind the violas is the place, not on the righthand end of the row of basses.

Other than that, superb. Well done.
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
@Beat Kaufmann
If I want to achieve the sound of the excellent example you shared, but still want to maintain the basic positioning of most of the instruments, do you have any suggestions for how to achieve a more natural sound?
Thanks again!
I don't know the possibilities you have.
Maybe there is a main microphone that you could consider more? Or maybe you dip the whole mix in some reverb (mainly tail) to make all the instruments a bit more unified?
Maybe you can widen the sound of the distant instruments a bit (stereo)?

Also remember: The farther away instruments are, the more they sound centered. You can make instruments sound acoustically far away, but if they are too far to the left or right, our brain is irritated. Something is then "not as usual". The same applies to instruments that are far away and the sound they make. Far away and at the same time a brilliant sound goes not hand in hand in reality.

Back to your case: Maybe you have to move the rear instruments a bit more towards the middle.

Beat

sld_bk_tu09_10_orchestralyaoutstr.jpg sld_bk_tu09_10_orchestralyaoutbrs.jpg
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
I don't know the possibilities you have.
Maybe there is a main microphone that you could consider more. Or maybe you dip the whole mix in some reverb (mainly tail) to make all the instruments a bit more unified.
Maybe you can widen the remote instruments a bit (stereo).

Also remember: the farther away instruments are, the more they sound centered. You can make instruments sound acoustically far away, but if they are too far to the left or right, our brain is irritated. Something is then "not as usual". The same applies to instruments that are far away and the sound they make. Far away and at the same time a brilliant sound is not possible in reality. So maybe you have to move the rear instruments a bit more towards the middle.

Beat

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Beat, every time you post stuff like this I am so grateful for you spending time here and sharing your knowledge and expertise! For a mere hobbyist like myself this is invaluable. So: thank you!
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Beat, every time you post stuff like this I am so grateful for you spending time here and sharing your knowledge and expertise! For a mere hobbyist like myself this is invaluable. So: thank you!
Dear doctoremmet
You are welcome and thank you for the compliment.
Because of Corona I have more time than usual at the moment. No events = no/less work...

I wish you a lot of success
Beat
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Trumpets and bones are the wrong way round in the right hand picture...
Hello Cathbad
Nice that you study my graphics so carefully.
According to your opinion and maybe, as they are often set in reality, the instruments are drawn in the wrong way, yes...

But: These graphics are from a tutorial that shows possibilities to create a more transparent mix with samples.

Imagine the following situation:
If the 1st violins, 2nd violins, flutes and trumpets are placed one behind the other on the left, there will be many frequency masking in the accompanying mix.
Let's continue on the right side, in reality there are all deep instruments: bass, cello, tuba, trombones etc. If you do all this in a mix, you are copying the reality, but mix technically this is a complete nonsense.

As an example we want to place a solo flute.
Think of a mix where you set up the whole orchestra in the way you are used to. On which side in the mix a solo flute would be better: Right on the bass side or on the left side where the violins, trumpets etc. are?
Now look again at the wind section on my image above: The violins cannot cover the horns. The trombones in the middle have power from both speakers and bang well through the 2nd violins and the violas. The trumpets can be heard well behind the cellos and the tubas could also be placed well in the middle together with the double basses. This is because then both loudspeakers can reproduce the low bass, which is the most energy-rich.

That was the idea of these pictures.

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Personally, I am not of the opinion that you have to reproduce reality exactly in the mix. Then you would have to place the microphones in row 7 in the audience. Nobody wants to hear such a mix. Besides, one would never bring the dynamics of a symphony orchestra into the living room - possibly even via PC speakers.
My approach is: A mix should be the illusion of a concert event as well as possible. In favor of a "good illusion" I take the liberty of placing instruments a little differently. If you don't want to do that, that's up to you.

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In favour of a good mix, instruments are often swapped in film music.
Nobody is interested there in the classical formation of an orchestra. The sound (Illusion) has to be good, from the music to the noises to the spoken word.

Listen to the main theme of Jurassic Park.
The high strings are more to the left and the trumpets more to the right. In the middle you can hear the flute and other woodwinds, anyway you will find my setup a bit (horns behind the violins). This mix is designed so that everything can be heard very well, even more extreme as I tried to get it out above. By the way, try to find out how many positions the first violin has - in the whole mix.
Welcome to the professional mixing world.

Have fun with the new possibility to place instruments for getting the most transperent mix, so that you still reach the illusion of a real concert.

All the best
Beat
 
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Cathbad

Active Member
But: These graphics are from a tutorial that shows possibilities to create a more transparent mix with samples.
Ah I see what you mean. Now I'm curious...

Would you - generally speaking - alternate high and low instruments between left and right? Or is it more to do with sharing dominant instrument groups between both speaker?

How do you deal with instruments that have a large range of pitch (clarinet, cello, harp) or dynamics (brass, percussion)?

Do you move instruments left and right according to their function in the orchestration? For example, do you put the flute on the right when doubling horn at the 8ve, but move it back to the left for a passage with bassoon?
 
OP
fixxer49

fixxer49

Bouncing Consultant
I don't know the possibilities you have.
Maybe there is a main microphone that you could consider more? Or maybe you dip the whole mix in some reverb (mainly tail) to make all the instruments a bit more unified?
Maybe you can widen the sound of the distant instruments a bit (stereo)?

Also remember: The farther away instruments are, the more they sound centered. You can make instruments sound acoustically far away, but if they are too far to the left or right, our brain is irritated. Something is then "not as usual". The same applies to instruments that are far away and the sound they make. Far away and at the same time a brilliant sound goes not hand in hand in reality.

Back to your case: Maybe you have to move the rear instruments a bit more towards the middle.

Beat

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you've given me a lot to chew on & digest. thank you again. I will revise and re-post. hopefully minimizing brain irritations. :)
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Do you move instruments left and right according to their function in the orchestration? For example, do you put the flute on the right when doubling horn at the 8ve, but move it back to the left for a passage with bassoon?
First of all: Take it easy. Whoever mixes must actually make compromises from A to Z. If you have detached yourself from the "it must be like in reality", then there is actually no right or wrong. What counts most is the result.

If there are strings in the game, I have actually been letting the second violin play on the right. This gives the mix a nice stereo image in any case. The rest you have to position according to the compromise procedure, depending on how many different sections you have. As I said, there is not THE solution. If important instruments are not heard in the mix, you can try another position. A "thin" arrangement is of course the beginning of a transparent mix. When Composers do not compose for the mix ;) it could be a problem... for the mixer ;)

See/Listen to two approaches:


and


Also here: Violin2 on the right...
As you can also see in my mixes. A little exaggeration with "far and near" is always a good recipe as well. Others do that too.
-----------------------------

All the best
Beat
 
OP
fixxer49

fixxer49

Bouncing Consultant
I don't know the possibilities you have.
Maybe there is a main microphone that you could consider more? Or maybe you dip the whole mix in some reverb (mainly tail) to make all the instruments a bit more unified?
Maybe you can widen the sound of the distant instruments a bit (stereo)?

Also remember: The farther away instruments are, the more they sound centered.
You can make instruments sound acoustically far away, but if they are too far to the left or right, our brain is irritated. Something is then "not as usual". The same applies to instruments that are far away and the sound they make. Far away and at the same time a brilliant sound goes not hand in hand in reality.

Back to your case: Maybe you have to move the rear instruments a bit more towards the middle.

Beat

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Thanks again to everyone who listened and provided perspective and comments. I've posted my revisions below and also to the top of the thread.

Per Beat's suggestions in the above post, I sent the audio tracks (especially sections that typically sit farther back) to an additional room reverb, simulating a room mic or perhaps faux mic bleed. I used Altiverb's MCO 3 impulse response.

I also moved the brass and percussion panning back to their natural starting positions, as opposed to trying to pan them out too unnaturally wide, especially the low brass. On some instruments I tweaked the balance between the spot mics and tree mics for a more natural soundstage. The revisions are quite subtle, but important in some spots. Thank you again!

Revision 1

Revision 2
 
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Cathbad

Active Member
Sounds superb.

I particularly like the second composition. Sounds like a Mahler scherzo arranged by Carl Stalling...
 
OP
fixxer49

fixxer49

Bouncing Consultant
Sounds superb.

I particularly like the second composition. Sounds like a Mahler scherzo arranged by Carl Stalling...
:faint: i have been going through a cartoon-y phase. thanks again for listening, and for the constructive criticism and kind words. much appreciated.