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How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

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How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby Gone To Lunch » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:53 pm

I am making an orchestral piece with VSL sounds in Digital Peformer 9.52 under OS 10.13.6

I have my VIs set up traditionally as winds, brass, percussion, strings sections etc using a VSL virtual ensemble (VE) for each, and send all sounds to one stereo reverb on an aux send.
My production intention is to try and fake a ‘real’ orchestral soundscape.

Thus far, I have mixed band tracks, guitar/keys, bass, drums, vox etc as mono sources into the stereo reverb and stereo mix bus, panned according to taste.

Now I am new to orchestral mixing so am seeking guidance from Wizards.

I would like to do the final mix+master in DP, and am now spoilt for choices of how to route my signals.

Specifically, what would be the best choices of my now numerous options ?

what are pros and cons of :

Making all instrument sections mono ?

Using the default stereo output configuration of the VEs ?

Doing all the panning in DP, with individual woodwind, horns, harp, piano etc as mono into the DP mix?

But then what about the strings - should I make keep them stereo as in the VE or use them as mono sources in the final stereo mix ?

I am keen to preserve all the mixing being done in my DP mixer; but if I keep strings stereo within VE, how should I best set their width and pan ?

There is only pan but no width in DP (except for in Trim) so I want to keep all the mix decision points on the same board.

So I guess I am asking what is the relationship between the stereo output from VE and the stereo aux in DP I would send it to ?
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Re: How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:56 pm

If you have stereo width in the sections I would preserve that, but just 'shepherd' the sections to their natural place in the overall stereo field with some careful pan narrowing and biasing.

Don't forget that you're going to need to create front-to-back depth to help the illusion of an orchestra, so having a few pre-delay options (delays sending to the main reverb) is helpful.
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Re: How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:12 pm

Not so much mixing, but a related thought is that to convincingly fake a real orchestra it's important to respect the note range limits of each instrument. Playing french horns in the top 5th of the trumpet range won't sound right for example.

There are a number of useful charts out there for reference if unsure.

I'm sure you know this, but I mention it as in the past I've heard otherwise quite good facsimiles of orchestras somewhat tainted by obvious fictions in the arrangement.
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Re: How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby Still Vibrations » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:27 am

Don't follow my advice because I'm out on my own with this, but I dislike stereo, as did Brian Wilson and Phil Spector. For me the greatest classical recordings were mono. I doubt if a sampled orchestra is going to sound more convincing because of correct stereo placement.
Your post suggests you are not doing a pure classical track. Orchestras on records - pop/rock/disco/funk/R&B etc. - are usually not accurate anyway. Think of records with a soft flute solo over full brass sections.
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Re: How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby The Elf » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:43 am

Still Vibrations wrote:I doubt if a sampled orchestra is going to sound more convincing because of correct stereo placement.
No. not because of placement, but certainly of stereo width. We have two ears and serving both of them makes for a presentation more representative of how we receive sound in real life.
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Re: How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:24 pm

Still Vibrations wrote:For me the greatest classical recordings were mono.

Ah... but were they great recordings purely because they are reproduced in mono, are are they great recordings because they were made at a time when mono was the only option?

Personally, I think the former: in the early days of (mono) recording the labels tended to record only the very, very best performers and performances. Artists with something really worthwhile to express.

Today, -- and probably since the 70s, actually -- entirely average orchestras release entirely average stereo albums of Vivaldi's Four Seasons* just because it's Tuesday! :lol:

H

*Other tediously over-familiar musical repertoire is widely available...
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Re: How to route/pan/submix orchestral pieces.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:10 pm

:D :D :D
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