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How can I improve my orchestral mix? Short Williams-esque Cue

bigtony420420

New Member
Hey EVERYONE!!!

FIRST TIME, LONG TIME COMING!

I've been getting into doing these mockups recently and am wondering if any of you guys, with much more expertise than little old me, can point me in the right direction to getting a more convincing sounding orchestra!


I think it sounds okay, but doesn't quite sound realistic to my ears. It doesn't have the presence and impact I hear in some of the good mockups I've heard.

Am I using too much reverb? I love the lushness but I think potentially this is the source of my problems. Any feedback is welcomed and encouraged!

All the best,

Your new friend Big
 
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bigtony420420

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Great work. I think the mix and midi performance are probably better than you seem to think. I wanted more.

Thanks a lot Paul, thats very nice of you to say. I have gathered that the reverb thing is pretty up for grabs in terms of how it is implemented. In terms of my current setup, I've got one aux channel with Altiverb (mechanics hall) and one with Lexicon Rhall. I like the sound of both of these by themselves and also together. Since I have two reverbs, should my send level be half as much to each as I would in the case of only having one reverb? Do they double up in any negative way despite their lengths being the same?

Are there any other opinions on whether the mix is too wet? What about the balance of the ensemble?

I've also read some things about creating different reverbs for the different sections to create more of a sense of depth. Can anyone point me towards some material on this topic? Is it worth the hassle? I'm worried I'm masking things with the reverb. Mike Verta's work for example sounds very convincing and also is relatively dry compared to my setup.

Thanks again for the kind words Paul!

Big.
 

calebfaith

Active Member
Sounds cool! I think maybe at the beginning the reverb is a bit much but from about 22 onward it seems to fit well. Maybe the brass could be a bit louder too?
 

ctsai89

Poem of Ecstasy
Real good. REminds me a bit of the old world of warcraft soundtracks.

0:12~0:13 don't drop the dynamics of violin so suddenly. Sounds like subito piano is the gesture you wanted but I think it's not exactly the right place to do it

:)
 

Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
For me the programming and sound of the samples is a much bigger culprit to the lack of realism than the mix. You could get a real orchestra recording to "sound" like that but you couldn't get them to "play" like that. I'd focus on the programming before you start thinking about the mix.
 
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bigtony420420

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For me the programming and sound of the samples is a much bigger culprit to the lack of realism than the mix. You could get a real orchestra recording to "sound" like that but you couldn't get them to "play" like that. I'd focus on the programming before you start thinking about the mix.

Thanks Gerhard for your advice! I'd love some tips on how I could improve my programming! What about it sounds off to you? Am I using the wrong samples? Does it sound too mechanical?

One thing that comes to mind when I listen again, as a brass player myself, is that the brass isn't brilliant like you would typically expect in a loud, strong passage such as this. Is this the kind of thing to which you are referring? Sorry to bombard you with questions! I'm just starting out with this and this is one of my first midi performances so really looking to improve! Any advice is welcome and appreciated!

Big
 

Leon Willett

Active Member
Hi Big, as a brass player you know how real players shape each note in terms of:

- the attack of the note
- the main body of the note and the way it swells or blooms
- the fade out of the note

So in midi mockups, the trick is to use the different articulations in your libraries, coupled with CC curves, in order to achieve just that!

- Layer stacatos in order to have control over how much attack there is
- pick the right marcatos or long notes that fit the phrase in terms of how much body the notes have
- shape the performance of every note by wiggling the mod wheel (CC1) around while you play, the way a guitarrist would use a wah-wah pedal

that's the trick!
 

Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
Thanks Gerhard for your advice! I'd love some tips on how I could improve my programming! What about it sounds off to you? Am I using the wrong samples? Does it sound too mechanical?

One thing that comes to mind when I listen again, as a brass player myself, is that the brass isn't brilliant like you would typically expect in a loud, strong passage such as this. Is this the kind of thing to which you are referring? Sorry to bombard you with questions! I'm just starting out with this and this is one of my first midi performances so really looking to improve! Any advice is welcome and appreciated!

Big

I think it's mostly to do with things sounding very static. It's like once a note begins, it doesn't evolve or have any relationship to the notes around it. Sort of like you cut together individually recorded notes (which technically is the case with samples...).

It may very well have to do with what samples you're using. Many libraries will have much more variation and follow what you want better.

I'd suggest trying to use different articulations working together in a phrase and doing more CC work. It might not be possible to improve depending on what libraries you're using.
 
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