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Oh my, she's gonna fly! Family adventure thingamajig

Vartio

Active Member
Heres a little family adventure piece I wrote last night. Hope you guys dig it.

Here's the lineup since someones gonna ask.
Brass:
Mostly custom, with features from:
Heavily modified Symphobia 2&3 (soloist horn and soloist trumpet) and spitifre (2 horns sustains for split section and solo trumpet sustain for split section)

Strings:
Mostly custom, with features from:
Performance samples Fluid Shorts II on motoring duty.
OT Osr for the va+vi playable runs.
OT Sphere for some trills stuff
Symphobia 1 trems for lazy programming goodness.
Spitfire albion tundra high harmonic.

Woods:
Symphobia 2&3 for the feature soloist parts here and there.
Berlin revive for the bulk of woods doing any kind of orcehstral lifting.

Perc and plinky:
Spitfire HZ perc low boom for LBD.
World series perc for main drum stuff (snares, timpani, cymbals, triangle, gongs and such)
Truestrike tambourine and tonal perc (bells, glock, xylophone)
OT Sphere for the harp.

Everything was set up on a paraller multimic matching setup that autobalances intruments based off dynamics. It's pretty clever. Basically you mix it like you'd mix a recording session.

Feel free to ask any questions on the production/programming/composition.



Cheers, H
 
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Sounds great, first 1:04 is especially nice. When you say your strings are custom, is this unique samples you've created or just heavily tweaked samples from OT or another library? If heavily tweaked, do you mind elaborating?
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Your tracks are always great. This is such a contrast from the last piece I remember from you, that scifi/horror cue!

The woodwind interjections in the section at 0:41 are very fun! :)

I'm not sure if it's an orchestration or performance issue, but at 1:35 and towards the end I was kind of expecting/wanting to hear the trumpet doubled with strings unison or winds 8va. It's not necessary for volume, just the unmixed trumpet color seemed to get used a lot and that would add variety.

Everything was set up on a paraller multimic matching setup that autobalances intruments based off dynamics.
Could you explain a bit more what you mean by this? Does this mean some kind of sidechained dynamic EQ/compression?
 
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Vartio

Vartio

Active Member
Sounds great, first 1:04 is especially nice. When you say your strings are custom, is this unique samples you've created or just heavily tweaked samples from OT or another library? If heavily tweaked, do you mind elaborating?
The stuff thats "Custom" is built from ground up. So it's all unique samples, yes. legatos and all. Was quite a undertaking back when we (there was few friends involved as well on the project) did the whole thing.

great as usual, Henri

really curious to know more about that
Your tracks are always great. This is such a contrast from the last piece I remember from you, that scifi/horror cue!

The woodwind interjections in the section at 0:41 are very fun! :)

I'm not sure if it's an orchestration or performance issue, but at 1:35 and towards the end I was kind of expecting/wanting to hear the trumpet doubled with strings unison or winds 8va. It's not necessary for volume, just the unmixed trumpet color seemed to get used a lot and that would add variety.

Could you explain a bit more what you mean by this? Does this mean some kind of sidechained dynamic EQ/compression?
Ok here comes the technical thesis, so bear with me xD

What this means is that I have individual mic position treatments on each individual instrument run trough a bussing system that allows me to match in detail between libraries. This lets me for example match the berlin woods room mics to the room mics of my reference samples (In this case the custom base library that I use) and then treat the spots to the reference as well (keeping in mind that you have to repect the individual recording style for each instrument at hand, but still the ambience and overall tone, recording aesthetic style and color on close mics can be very different from library to library, so I'm matching those all individually.) After that I run everything trough a bussing system that lets me heat up the close mics on quieter passages if i wish, so that I get a little bit more presence and good attack definition on the parts that need it (this helps also on getting stuff like the very beginning of a marcato attack strike trough a dense orchestration), but still controlling the dynamics so that when things get loud I'm not getting any of that harsh constant spot sound that usually sounds like crap on loud dynamics, but instead the balance shifts to more ambient sound. After that each group (brass, str, woods, perc) is multiband processed to make sure that the tonal balances behave as they should in the real world. As in doubling celli and bass doesnt build up in this crazy low mid buildup as tends to happen on samples, but really doesnt in real recordings. After that the same summing and multibanding process is done to the combined stems to combat any kind of buildups on that level. This will make sure that when the instruments are playing in more sparse setting the cellos for example have all the nice warmth and low end that they should have, but when the bassoons join in to double those guys blend as they should and not just stack up. this gets increasingly important as the orcehstration gets thicker. you want the low end to stay controlled and transparent regardless of what kind of material you throw at it, and i like it to happen interactively, so that i dont have to go change things while im writing, or after. It's kinda set and forget for the most part. It's still work in progress but the blending you get is quite something. Also forces you to think more in orcehestration and balance since no individual track/articulation has a individual volume control. You have to actually balance as you would for real performance, adjust articulation to get definition and so on. Things like the articulation matter in real world. Cellos doing legato counter point aint gonna cut trough in a tutti fortissimo passage and you need to think what kind of articulation you use on those guys if you want it to sound in the big shceme of things. All of this is happening behind the scenes, busses and multiband processing nested inside busses and processing, and doesn't need much attention once I've set it up. Sort of a hardcore top down situation where you're pushing programming into a polished and finished mix, using every trick imaginable to make things transparent and punchy, and keeping fingers crossed everything keeps working as it should.. Infact now that NoamL mentioned sidechaining... I think doing what I'm doing with multiband on the busses might work with a sum sidechain that feeds back to multiband on individual instuments. That way you'd still get all the control in the individual tracks but the buildup issues would be dealt with as usual. but yeah that would be a heavy modification (also would need like a slave just to do all the mix processing lol as bussing things down to small number of buckets saves so much cpu cycles if you do it right) so I guess would need to build it from scratch. but yeah that would definitely allow for better stemming if thats something one wants to do. But yeah very cool idea! Thanks I'll steal it xD

TL:DR: I use the separate mic positions for individually matching libraries to a reference library (you could do this inside the kontakt patch (you need to rebuild the instruments to support the internal bussing, as most dont support it off the box), use kontakt internal mixer to buss things, or just shoot everything to your daw mixer and work there, Í'm using a combination of all here), and run everything trough a nested bussing system of multiband dynamic processing to control any unnatural frequency buildup on the different stages of summing towards the master channel. Leading to a nice balanced mix on any (or maybe just most) orcehstrations I throw at it.

Regarding the exposed trp passages, yeah you're probably right, would have been a welcome change in the color maybe. The trumpets are perfectly capable of carrying the melody on their own tho so I was like what the hell, they really dont need any support to do it and it sounds good enough here (usually doesnt lol... damn trumpet samples). They are actually doubled/harmonized with winds at times but as the balance goes on this specific mix you really can't hear most of the winds whe the brass and strings are going full steam. You'd notice if I took them out tho! Tons of drive, air, warmth and texture there. You hear a bit of what they contribute when the winds do trills at the end of a unisono phrase or such as your ear picks up the movement a bit better.
 
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Kery Michael

New Member
It's nice to hear what's possible when both the writing and mixing are top notch. The piece really keeps moving and never gets boring. Awesome job!
 

tivermusic

New Member
Heres a little family adventure piece I wrote last night. Hope you guys dig it.

Here's the lineup since someones gonna ask.
Brass:
Mostly custom, with features from:
Heavily modified Symphobia 2&3 (soloist horn and soloist trumpet) and spitifre (2 horns sustains for split section and solo trumpet sustain for split section)

Strings:
Mostly custom, with features from:
Performance samples Fluid Shorts II on motoring duty.
OT Osr for the va+vi playable runs.
OT Sphere for some trills stuff
Symphobia 1 trems for lazy programming goodness.
Spitfire albion tundra high harmonic.

Woods:
Symphobia 2&3 for the feature soloist parts here and there.
Berlin revive for the bulk of woods doing any kind of orcehstral lifting.

Perc and plinky:
Spitfire HZ perc low boom for LBD.
World series perc for main drum stuff (snares, timpani, cymbals, triangle, gongs and such)
Truestrike tambourine and tonal perc (bells, glock, xylophone)
OT Sphere for the harp.

Everything was set up on a paraller multimic matching setup that autobalances intruments based off dynamics. It's pretty clever. Basically you mix it like you'd mix a recording session.

Feel free to ask any questions on the production/programming/composition.



Cheers, H
Great sounding piece, Henri!
Is that paraller multimic matching setup a plugin that is commercially available or did you set it up yourself? I didn‘t know something like that existed and would like to get the hang of it.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
I guess would need to build it from scratch. but yeah that would definitely allow for better stemming if thats something one wants to do. But yeah very cool idea! Thanks I'll steal it xD
You're welcome to the idea! I haven't implemented it myself yet in any template... I figure the way it would work is that you have two parallel sets of busses. The sound would go out to one set of busses that have no output - they're just like "monitoring the signal" busses that collect the unaltered sound. And then on a second, actual submix bus for strings, brass etc you could put a dynamic EQ or a dynamic multiband compressor that would be sidechained to somewhere in the monitor bussing. For example you could put a dynamic EQ the string submix that was actually listening to not the strings but the perc monitor or the fullmix monitor so that when things get loud the strings duck down a bit in key frequencies. It would just be really subtle stuff though because audible pumping probably wouldn't sound musical & natural.

You mentioned "a bussing system that lets me heat up the close mics on quieter passages if i wish." Is that manual, like you have a VCA style fader somewhere that controls all the string close mics as a group, all the wind close mics, etc? Or is it automatic where the close mics are somehow automated to rise in volume when they detect the overall music levels are low? I imagine you could do that by... hmm.... I'm not sure. Some kind of sidechained compressor or expander? You want some kind of plugin where it monitors the full music mix and adds gain in inverse to how loud the full mix is.
 
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Vartio

Vartio

Active Member
You mentioned "a bussing system that lets me heat up the close mics on quieter passages if i wish." Is that manual, like you have a VCA style fader somewhere that controls all the string close mics as a group, all the wind close mics, etc? Or is it automatic where the close mics are somehow automated to rise in volume when they detect the overall music levels are low? I imagine you could do that by... hmm.... I'm not sure. Some kind of sidechained compressor or expander? You want some kind of plugin where it monitors the full music mix and adds gain in inverse to how loud the full mix is.
You know compressors and saturators and such do that in standard configurations. It pulls down the volume when the input gets louder (or clips it in case of a saturation) and brings it up when the volume is low if you set it so (or adds harmonics)... no fancy sidechaining needed or any other tricks. But yes due to the fact that every channel has multiple mics available in the mixer I can automate anything by hand. Need some more definition on a violin top line thats getting buried by the brass? do it like you would on a recording session and pull up the close mics. The end result is something that is much closer to a "real recording session" sound than that typical vst mixed situation where you also gain up the room when you bring the instrument volume up. A really simple way to do this without any trickery would be to automate the close mic fader on your library of choice and just ride that. You'd get a bunch of control from just doing that...

and yes for the bussing system (of muoltibands) you would do it like that as you explain with the full mix sidechain. I'm just being lazy and set it up in serial after the first paraller stage. so no crazy sidechain stuff needed. you loose some added control but again that is intentional as i wanted to experiment with modelling the "recording session setup" in this template. Limit my self to the tools that are available in a real world recording situation. I still can change the volume of the room mics independently/section, but that would ruin the real balance of the stage so I dont do that once they're all set. any kind of mixing trickery happens in the close mics.

The key here is to experiment with this stuff and not just copy the setups that I've come up with I think, as the theory behind is is really simple (set things up in a way to get a mixer that gives you similar control to what a recording session would and mix using that as a baseline (and im lower explaing where these baselines come from), but alot of the treatment and what I'm explaining here are very specific to what I needed to do to make the custom stuff sound good and then following what to do to make the stuff that I matched to the custom stuff sound like it's really blending in. Something like spitfire and orchestral tools have totally different style of close micing, room balance and so on and those guys will need a totally different approach to make work, the room buildups might be completely different or even non existent... or adding saturation to a trumpet close mic might sound really bad on this library and good on another. they might need different bussing strategies to clear out. but the main thing here is to look at regular old orchestral mixing technigues and adapt those to the virtual setup. Thats really where the magic happens. Like what I think Audio Ollie did right with the LAMP percussion stuff recently was that he adapted Alans percussion mixing approach that he uses on real recording sessions and not just samples, they adapted that to the sample world and that on it's own is such a huge deal in terms of how everything sounds.... So take a look at some of Alans masterclasses or any kind of pensados place videos, or anything really where theres these veteran guys, true pros talking about mixing orchestras who do film mixes. Theyre usually very candid when they talk about which eq they like on decca to bring out some extra air, or what kind of whatever they like on their spots etc etc. When do they bring in the spots and when they don't. Look at what those guys are doing and adapt that to the sample world. It's not rocket science. To me it's common sense that once you start to approach the sample world with similar techniques as the people you admire do in real world you start to get closer to their results in the real world with your samples. So yeah if this kinda stuff interests you guys, go watch some pensados place videos, or whatever stuff where these guys talk about their tools and tricks and mix with the masters masterclasses from Alan. He goes trough alot of multiband techniques, room placement tricks, balance and explains the why in addition to just the what... Stuff that I'm adapting here to the material I have at hand honestly. And he knows how to explain this stuff sooo much better than I ever could.
 

ironbut

Active Member
Holy crap!
This sounds awesome.
It's the first of yours I've heard so I'll look for more.
And thanks for the deep dives into the details!
 

tivermusic

New Member
The key here is to experiment with this stuff and not just copy the setups that I've come up with I think, as the theory behind is is really simple (set things up in a way to get a mixer that gives you similar control to what a recording session would and mix using that as a baseline (and im lower explaing where these baselines come from), [...] So take a look at some of Alans masterclasses or any kind of pensados place videos, or anything really where theres these veteran guys, true pros talking about mixing orchestras who do film mixes. Theyre usually very candid when they talk about which eq they like on decca to bring out some extra air, or what kind of whatever they like on their spots etc etc. When do they bring in the spots and when they don't. Look at what those guys are doing and adapt that to the sample world. It's not rocket science. To me it's common sense that once you start to approach the sample world with similar techniques as the people you admire do in real world you start to get closer to their results in the real world with your samples. So yeah if this kinda stuff interests you guys, go watch some pensados place videos, or whatever stuff where these guys talk about their tools and tricks and mix with the masters masterclasses from Alan. He goes trough alot of multiband techniques, room placement tricks, balance and explains the why in addition to just the what... Stuff that I'm adapting here to the material I have at hand honestly. And he knows how to explain this stuff sooo much better than I ever could.
Thank you very much for that detailed info. It's not explained badly, but it makes sense: In order to make the samples sound like a real orchestra, one has to treat them like a real one.
 
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