Synchron+MirPro, best practice

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Update 11/12/19: After the ensuing discussion on this thread, I have updated these instructions for anyone else that is looking for a quick answer to using Synchron with MirPro. See the rest of the thread for details.

I am exploring the SynchronPlayer more and particularly the best way to use together with MirPro. Any VSL gurus want to comment if the following is good approach or a different approach for using Synchron together with MirPro (disabling the built in Synchron ambience in the Synchron player)...

The word from VSL is that MirPro should be fed with material that is center panned, stereo. That includes even if the material was recorded perhaps with stereo mics and/or processed to be wider. Leave it wide, leave it stereo, but make sure its panned to the middle.

In the case of VSL libraries that is easy since they are all sampled that way. So All we have to do in Synchron player is remove any convolution and reverb.

So basically here is an example I did, I loaded up DimensionBrass All Horns preset. First thing, I chose the Close mics mixer preset. This preset makes sure not to use any algorithmic reverb in the mixer. Still this preset has a lot of room ambience because the convolution is still enabled on each channel. So I clicked the convolution button on each mixer channel and REMOVED convolution.

removed.jpg


Then I double clicked on the PAN icon for each channel and set the width to 0%, ie... mono

Do NOT reduce the stereo width of VSL source instruments. MirPro likes them as is. Presumably they are all centered already, and whatever width they contain will add some interest to reverb tails. Leave it.

panning.jpg


Then I changed the output assignments of each player to a different audio out, so that I can process each player independently in MirPro. The Synchron mixer ends up like this:


mixer.jpg


Then in LogicPro I put MirPro on each of those channels.... configure MirPro how I want...


LPX.jpg


Regarding Third party libraries, the word from VSL is that likewise, the content needs to be center-panned, but if it has any stereo width, its ok, leave it. That will result in a bit more movement in the reverb tails, not a bad thing. What is important is that its center-panned.

So when working with third party libraries, it would be best to use power-panning, such as possible with Waves S1 plugin, or some other alternatives; to center the signal in the stereo image before hitting MirPro. That might be required if a library doesn't have actual close mics, or if the stage positioning is in any way baked into the samples.

Removal of Early Reflections may also be needed in some third party libraries and I leave that as an exercise for another time.
 
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Dietz

Space Explorer
Hi @Dewdman42 ,

Judging from the screenshots your setup looks perfectly fine! :)

I'm not in front of my DAW at the moment, but I'll look into it ASAP if there are any hidden traps (esp. regarding Logic, which isn't my main tool).

Kind regards,
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Thank you Dietz!

I'm always looking for the easiest and simple solution too, so just want to make sure I'm not overlooking a more simple solution that doesn't require essentially setting up a user preset to mirror every Synchron preset that I use.

I think this solution more or less should be the same from any DAW, i was more interested in what I need to do inside Synchron Player to make sure its outputting the kind of signal, per instrument, that MirPro is expecting to see. Which would be totally dry, no ER's, and mono. Right? I'm pretty sure that's right...
 

Pixelpoet1985

Active Member
I'm not sure about the power panner ... I thought that MIR Pro automatically reduces the width. But maybe there is a difference between stereo libraries and mono libraries (i.e. the Dimension series)? This is also a question I'm interested in: If MIR Pro reduces the width, what happens when I use a Power Panner first? Isn't the width reduced twice then?

Concering the reverb ... did you also disable the algorithmic reverb? I'm not sure about Dimension Brass, but the SYNCHRON-ized Special Editions also have algorithmic reverb. Check this in the AUX view.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Dietz will need to confirm,

but my understanding is that VePro reduces VI and ViPro instruments to mono when it detects that you're using the built in MirPro that is built into VePro (not the AU/VST version). something like that.

I don't think MirPro itself turns anything into mono

But also, I think the source samples are already mono to begin with. The panning that comes with Synchron is only because the Convolution is applied to it. I think? So reducing the width to 0% in synchron may just be unneccssary for that reason, though not a bad idea to be safe...and I would expect the resulting signal to be identical, but again, I'd love to hear from Dietz more about that.

Regarding the algorithmic reverb, definitely yes. I started out with the mixer preset called something er other "close" which already has the algorithmic mixer channel entirely removed from the mixer, but not the convolution.
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
[..] my understanding is that VePro reduces VI and ViPro instruments to mono when it detects that you're using the built in MirPro that is built into VePro (not the AU/VST version). something like that.
That's a misunderstanding, I'm afraid. MIR _loves_ to receive stereo input, but it doesn't like pre-panned material. So sometimes it's indeed a good idea to reduce the stereo width of an input signal manually before it actually enters MIR, although the preferred method would be to counter-act the inherent panning while keeping the stereo width intact. ... this is something you don't need to do in case of Vienna Instruments, but it could be necessary with 3rd party instruments or recorded material.

The close mics presented in Synchron Instruments are mono to begin with (unless I'm completely mistaken), so there's no need to reduce the signal's stereo width. Using a MIR Icon with the width set to zero might be the "official" way to put these signals on a MIR Venue's stage, but there's nothing wrong with playing around that parameter for variations in its directivity and thus in its sound.

I don't think MirPro itself turns anything into mono
This is a question of how you look at it. :) As soon as the distance between source (i.e. the instrument's Icon) and the Main Microphone of a MIR Pro Venue is big enough, the dry signal component will be perceived more or less as a (readily panned) mono signal, unless you deliberately increase the Icon's width to "unreal" values, like half a dozen of meters for a solo instrument.

Kind regards,
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I think my understanding is correct, but I may not have stated it very well, which means I still don't have confirmation from Dietz about what exactly MirPro needs as input,.. Let me try again...

When I used the word "mono" I was not meaning a mono mixer channel with only one audio signal. I meant "totally unpanned and width reduced to zero". As I understand it, MirPro expects to sit on a stereo mixer channel and receives 2 signals of audio(L/R)...but ideally those two channels (LR), should be containing exactly the same, unpanned signal (ideally). Which is what I meant by "mono", but I get your point, its not a single channel of audio. Its Left and Right...ie stereo...but with stereo width entirely removed and center panned... which would effectively mean both Left and Right have the same signal.

Do I have that right? When I say "mono", what I mean is L/R contain exactly the same signal.

Or alternatively, is MirPro better with receiving a little bit of stereo width after all, even if center panned? I'm more confused now then I was yesterday.



The question for validation is whether the following step from my original post is even needed, or should in fact be avoided?:



panning.jpg

The reason I ask is because while Mir is expecting "unpanned" material to do the best job, the underlying samples (which are technically in stereo), supposedly are unpanned. But when I monitor them without the above width reduction, I note the Left and Right meters do not move in unison. Its still very much a true stereo image of some kind that is not absolutely "unpanned", so to speak. Its in the center, but its still a little bit wide.....and definitely stereo with stereo image qualities, L and R are not identical.

So question #1: Is the above Synchron player width reduction to zero even needed at all? Is that the most ideal signal to send to MirPro, or is it more ideal to leave the width set to 100% and use the raw VSL samples exactly as they were created into some kind of stereo sample from close mic(s)?

Question #2: (not related to Synchron), but how to handle other libraries that have stereo samples and MirPro needs them to be "unpanned". But again, should that be reduced to 0% width such that L and R are identical, or something else? Up until now I've been using a mid/side encoder and just soloing the mid across both L and R to get what I mistakenly called "mono". But its not clear to me now whether that is the right or wrong thing to do. What is MirPro's ideal input signal? With other libraries, what would be the best approach to ensure they are unpanned and representing the ideal thing that MirPro would receive to process?

I have a bit of the same question about using ViPro outside of VePro...what we should do, if anything, to the stereo signal coming out of ViPro before it hits MirPro.


although the preferred method would be to counter-act the inherent panning while keeping the stereo width intact. ... this is something you don't need to do in case of Vienna Instruments, but it could be necessary with 3rd party instruments or recorded material.
Maybe you already answered my question with that ^^^^ If that is true, then my original post should NOT have the width reduction step. Yes or No?

The close mics presented in Synchron Instruments are mono to begin with (unless I'm completely mistaken),

Well its a stereo sample and L/R are not identical. It may have originated from one mic but somewhere between there and then becoming a stereo sample, stereo imaging was added to the sound, though still panned in the center. I believe ViPro is the same way.

Is that actually preferable for MirPro to receive a stereo signal with stereo imaging, but hopefully panned to center? Or is it better to get width reduced to zero so that L and R are essentially identical? What will be the best kind of input for MirPro?

This is a question of how you look at it. :) As soon as the distance between source (i.e. the instrument's Icon) and the Main Microphone of a MIR Pro Venue is big enough, the dry signal component will be perceived more or less as a (readily panned) mono signal, unless you deliberately increase the Icon's width to "unreal" values, like half a dozen of meters for a solo instrument.

yes of course, that is the whole point of MirPro! My question is only about what kind of input signal MirPro is expecting to best do its job. Someone else stated that MirPro will automatically convert stereo to mono and I was just trying to show that MirPro does not do that. We may or may not have to massage the input signal between our sample player and MirPro, but as of this moment, its not 100% clear to me exactly how and when we should massage that stereo signal to be ideal for MirPro processing.

Should width be left alone or reduced to zero (rendering L/R identical)?

With Synchron and ViPro its pretty easy and safe to just leave the width alone and I'm pretty confident MirPro will do the right thing, but its not so clear with the stereo samples from other samples libraries. But I'd also like to know whether my width reduction step shown above is the right thing to do for using Synchron libraries with MirPro.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
If you or anyone know the answers, please chime in. I will update the first post at the end with simple instructions clarifying the matter.
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Sorry for the slightly delayed reply, I'm in the midst of a production ATM.

Do I have that right? When I say "mono", what I mean is L/R contain exactly the same signal.

Or alternatively, is MirPro better with receiving a little bit of stereo width after all, even if center panned? I'm more confused now then I was yesterday.
MIR will process happily whatever you throw at it. As it was primarily invented for the use with Vienna Instruments back in the days, it was meant to be used with centred*) stereo input sources. The slight differences between the left and the right channel will make the resulting reverb tail more "interesting". OTOH there's nothing wrong with mono sources either (see Dimension Series' instruments).

*) "centred" is the keyword. :)
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Should width be left alone or reduced to zero (rendering L/R identical)?
As long as the signal isn't pre-panned, send it to MIR as wide es possible, in full stereo width. Counteract pre-panning either by power-panning (preferred method). Mono is always less "interesting" than stereo, but properly handled a mono-source is perfectly fine within MIR, too.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Thanks for the clarifications Dietz! I am going to update the first post to remove or X out the part about reducing width to 0% when working with Synchron libraries. And likewise, for ViPro libraries, I will not mono-ize them when using MirPro directly in my DAW. Just pass straight out of ViPro to MirPro is fine.

The general impression I get then, is that a well-centered, stereo image will be ideal in such that the sound needs to be "centered", and allow the width through, when its there, because the subtle stereo imaging will provided more movement in the reverb tails. I like this!

With VSL libraries that is easy, they are already ideal stereo samples for MirPro, as is in full width stereo. Check.

With other libraries it could be different. Presuming we're dealing with close mic'd samples to begin with, they are all stereo samples with some kind of imaging. A section sample, for example, may be centered, but it might also be kind of wide sounding. Actually that could be true of VSL libraries too now that I think about it.

Do you still think it makes sense to pass a wider section sample like that into MirPro with full width as the input audio?
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Moving on to 3rd party sources....

Counteract pre-panning either by "power-panning" (preferred method).
Please excuse me for not knowing already, but what is power-panning exactly?

I presume that should not ever be an issue with VSL libraries, but when using 3rd party libraries it definitely could be if the instruments were not close mic'd. Their stage position is then at the very least pre-panned and also probably has some early reflections.

So I presume the pre-panning aspect, we can try to correct using this power-panning technique, which I confess I've never heard that term so I hope to learn something new now. In any case, in your view, we should center it, but not make it less wide, that will provide the most interesting input for MirPro... Not sure about wider sampled sections, will appreciate your view on that.

The part about getting early reflections out, if they are there, is not as easy...and begins to ask the question "Should that library really even be used with MirPro". But if so, I guess that's a more complicated topic that would be interesting to to discuss, but myself frankly I will probably just avoid that scenario.

I'm mainly working with VSL libraries, EWHO Diamond, and Kirk Hunter. Might add more later, but ultimately I want them all to gel inside MirPro...so these clarifications will help me use MirPro in the most ideal why to create a cohesive sound using a mix of libraries at times.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
OTOH there's nothing wrong with mono sources either (see Dimension Series' instruments).
Oh do tell. I also do have the Dimension series, both VIPro and Synchron. Are those less-wide to begin with as stereo source samples?

Its interesting to me that MirPro could take a perhaps wide sounding section source and then when we run it through MirPro...even if its centered, its still got some width to it, so what happens in MirPro when I try to make that player icon wide...does that attempt to make it even wider?

Do you think it would ever make sense to reduce the width of say a wider section source from VSL libraries, even if not all the way to zero, perhaps a little bit just to focus it a bit in the center so that MirPro can then be used to position it accurately...(and perhaps widen it again)...or do you think it would nearly always be more preferable to pass the wider source into MirPro as wide...and then perhaps in MirPro we might not need to widen it again, but MirPro should still be able to position that wider input source around the stage left to right, front to back, etc.. and perhaps that sample width, will have more movement in it, which would be good to not lose. ??

At a certain point, we just have to use our ears I guess, I can see the point of hey, run anything you want into Mir and move stuff around until it sounds good, that's all that really matters. I can also see the point that if you REALLY want to absolutely control the stage positioning of the sounds, may need to narrow the width of the input signal so that MirPro can do what it does to a more focused audio source. Maybe not all the way to 0% width, but perhaps a little bit.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

Senior Member
so bottom line, leave the width alone. Try to make sure its balanced in the center by boosting the weak side a little bit if needed.
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Do you think it would ever make sense to reduce the width of say a wider section source from VSL libraries, even if not all the way to zero, perhaps a little bit just to focus it a bit in the center so that MirPro can then be used to position it accurately...(and perhaps widen it again)...or do you think it would nearly always be more preferable to pass the wider source into MirPro as wide...and then perhaps in MirPro we might not need to widen it again, but MirPro should still be able to position that wider input source around the stage left to right, front to back, etc.. and perhaps that sample width, will have more movement in it, which would be good to not lose. ??
:-D ... I'm confused now even more than you are. Could it be that you're overcomplicating things a bit?
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Try to make sure its balanced in the center by boosting the weak side a little bit if needed.
Yes, that's the brute force approach. You could also use a device like Waves' S1 to rotate the recording according to your needs, but that's not necessary, most of the time.