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Basics in Mixing & Mastering

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by Michael Lückgen, Sep 25, 2023.

  1. So I have absolutely no idea about Mixing and Mastering and am wondering how to get a better sound out of my samples.

    I am using Spitfires BBCSO pro with just the tree mics, which sounds fine already, but probably there is room for improvements. I use BBCSO in Note Performer with it's new Playback engine and have no idea which settings to choose. Has anyone played around with it already and knows how to get more polished sounds out of it?
    Or is this not a good idea and I should do mixing in reaper with some plugins, which I do not have right now? If so, how to use them?
    I heard of iZotopes Ozone already, is this the way to go for mastering?

    Any help appreciated!
  2. The best advice I can give is to get Mike's Template Balancing masterclass. And yes I think that you should use a DAW, I don't know nothing about Note Performer except of hearing of it a bunch of times on the internet.
    Regarding the class I would just add that it is ok to try to do it first only with the mic positions, to get the difference in depth mainly which is most important. Because pushing something very close sounding far away can be very hard sometimes. But in order to utilize the mic positions effectively you will have to balance the volumes of all of them, like with everything else. I personally have even some samples (the Aaron Venture Brass and WW) that are not even mixed at all with the rest of the stuff, I just selected the right mic positions and it blends with the rest of my template. I think I used just a bit of eq on the trombones because those were pretty bright. it's ok to try to do the least work possible since otherwise you can go crazy with it.
    Michael Lückgen likes this.
  3. You know what... I think I will stay with my setup and not do additional mixing or mastering for now.

    I was asking because I got a comment by a potential client on the quality of my music, which apparently was lacking in some places.
    Turns out that he was referring to very specific instruments, which note performer probably didn't articulate good enough, and maybe some reverb was missing for him so it didn't FEEL right to him.

    I have songs in my portfolio, which are done with BBCSO, but also just plain note performer sounds and he didn't address that at all. In fact a plain note performer song was one of his favourites! Apparently he didn't notice a difference between both libraries. Which is funny to me, but then I remembered that Mike already said that it's not about the sounds and no one except musicians really care in the virtuosity class.

    I will stick with the tree mics for the balance, add a bit of reverb to it and try to notate it so it gets better performed by note performer.
    It is still the quickest and most fun way to work for me.

    Maybe on some higher class projects the sound gets more important.

    But thank you for your advice anyways!
    Marko Dvojkovic likes this.
  4. I found that the more time you spend in the midi programming (with modulation, expression, velocity, etc.) and choosing the articulation that better fits the intention the better results you have, and less you need to mix. You can try this doing an orchestral mockup of any piece of music you have the score.
    Maybe after you do the notation in note performer you can export the midi file to a DAW and do some refinement in the programming for better results.

    But yeah, most people don't care about the sounds.
    Michael Lückgen likes this.
  5. Michael, sometimes I use a DAW and a lot of libraries, while at other times I use NotePerformer 4 along with HOOPUS in the playback engine. To my ears, NotePerformer with HOOPUS sounds fine for large ensembles. However, when a solo instrument is soloing a melody, I like to play the solo instrument through the DAW. I can make it sound more realistic using various CC parameters.

    When using NotePerformer, I don't pay attention to the mixing, as supposedly it is programmed to be properly mixed; all instruments have the appropriate relative volume levels and panning. When using a DAW, I pay a lot of attention to all aspects of mixing.
    Michael Lückgen likes this.

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