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Compared to MIRPro

Discussion in 'Template Balancing' started by Steve Schow, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. I just watched this video, my first Verta class. Very very interesting and valuable discussion. I am wondering how people feel about this Z plane approach compared to say, MirPro? I have purchased MirPro and still learning it and I guess its attempting to automatically do a lot of the stuff that Mike was advocating in this video, just automatically using the ambisonic information captured in the spaces...but I am wondering. Mike's discussion about using EQ both pre and post Reverb to get a "no bullshit" representation of the Z plane was very useful, but I can also see that a lot of work can go into developing this aspect of a template. It started getting considerably more complex when he started throwing in some pre-delay manipulation in some cases...stereo widening of the tail, and things like that. I did really like the sound he was getting in this video...in terms of all the balancing he did..and also including the Z plane aspect. It has very open sound. I think his ability to manipulate the low and hi shelving to taste, among other things, for each instrument..is part of how he is getting a very open sound...where MirPro is a bit more of a black magic box.. But then on the other hand, there is not much effort involved in dialing in MirPro, as opposed to "hours and hours" of tweaking that mike described in this video.

    What are ya'll's thoughts about MirPro compared to the manual approach explain so well by Mike?
    Paul T McGraw likes this.
  2. As a secondary question, wondering if anyone had used panagement or virtual sound stage software to pursue these approaches. Seems like panagement does exactly what Mike is endorsing in terms or rolling off highs and lows for distance. Just in an easy interface with a distance fader.

    Virtual sound stage seems interesting also, but I guess I am impressed with mike’s approach, which doesn’t really capture a real actual acoustic space per say but does result in a pleasing mix of orchestra while essentially immitating the primary elements that make a recorded orchestra sound real. You dial it in until it sounds great, rather then immitating any particular actual acoustic space. I intend to play around more with this, but just wondering about software that may make this process a little easier
  3. I'm using panagement quite frequently, but only for stereo width tweaking and sometimes distance, but I try to avoid panning left/right. I've read binaural panning and haas effect panning can cause phasing issues, and since I don't have super advanced mixing and mastering knowledge, I try to stay away from stuff that looks like it might backfire in the wrong hands.

    I also haven't watched the template balancing class, so I can't comment on that part of your question, and I don't have any of the other software that you mentioned.
  4. #4 Steve Schow, Mar 7, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    In case anyone is interested I have been digging into this a little bit. What I can say about MIRPro is that it does a lot of automatic stuff by moving an icon around on a stage. However, its a bit of a closed box, so you have less flexibility then if you setup your spatialization manually using the tricks laid out by Mike (and others). Quite a bit easier though for some of us. One area that MirPro is specifically deficient is related to the proximity effect LF rolloff that Mike talks about a lot in this video, in order to make close mic'd samples sound authentic at the back of the stage in a room with a lot of reflections. MirPro doesn't do anything. It has one setting you can choose to turn on called distance, which will apply a generic Low shelf, but that's it. I would presume that most VSL instruments already have a lot of proximity warmth already removed from the samples in the instruments, so perhaps this LF rolloff is not needed with VSL instruments on typical stage arrangements. Just guessing. Using other close mic'd sample libraries with MirPro would probably be more problematic, per Mike's explanation of the "PA" effect.

    MirPro does handle some HF rolloff called air absorption, and it does a lot of other really cool things in terms of moving stuff around the room and having the reflections all happen as you would expect, panning and all the rest...but the Z-Plane Low Shelf..not there. It can be added in a pre and/or post eq though..not to worry.

    At some point I will look more into VSS, that looks to give more control then MirPro, but I hear the Room IR's are not that great and clearly the engineering that went into MirPro is way way beyond VSS, both in terms of the ambisonics technology and all of the various encoded files and IR's they created to support it. The MirPro rooms are excellent.

    I also have to say that another advantage of the manual approach to spatialization is that you can create any kind of virtual room you want. You just widen things, spread things, make some room in the middle, use mid-side processing, EQ, haas panning or whatever...and create a virtual space that sounds the way you want it to sound...convincing like an orchestra..but not necessarily based on a particular room other then the reflections to a certain extent. What I don't like about the manual approach is all the fiddling and until I spend more time with an actual orchestra, I don't trust myself to set it up properly either. Also, many of the manual tricks can lead to all manner of interesting unintended consequences in the mix.
  5. #5 Tim van de Laar, Dec 18, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
    I have only one tail verb and 12 direct/early reflection verbs for the different sections which are all routed to the tail. Can i put the low/high shelf EQ`s like this? EQ > Direct/Early reflection verb > EQ > Tail reverb?
    Or must the second EQ go behind the tail? I hear some difference, but i don`t really know if this is realistic enough.
    If it must go behind the tail, i have only one EQ setting i can use, like my setup is now. (less cpu demanding).
  6. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules on what you have to do with your EQs and reverbs. Without sound examples no one will be able to tell you where you need to EQ. And even with an example of how it sounds, there still is the question of how you want it to sound. Picking a reference track and aiming to copy that sound seems like a solid strategy. In general I would only EQ after the reverb if there is an actual need for it. Filtering out some highs and lows before they go to the reverb is generally a good idea though as far as I've read.
    Tim van de Laar likes this.
  7. I own MirPro, Altiverb, VSS3, and several inexpensive reverb products. About 6 months ago I spent a lot of time experimenting with this very subject in mind. Once I finished using EQ, multiple delays scattered around the room, etc. and getting it sounding really great, I then compared with the same material running it through MirPro. Guess what, MirPro does all of this for you in one step. I wish I had all of those hours back to spend them on composing or studying some of my favorite masterworks.

    Here are my conclusions, but it is just my opinion:
    1. MirPro functions best with completely dry samples, such as the old VI series of VSL samples, Chris Hein, etc.
    2. If you are using Spitfire, OT, or any samples recorded in a room, use the samples with the room and the only thing you should consider adding might be a light overall reverb as glue. Do not use MirPro with these samples. @Alexander Schiborr created some amazing stuff this way. He is constantly experimenting, so not sure what his setup is now.
    3. If you are going to use MirPro, play with the right wet/dry setting for that particular piece. The default of .50 will only work for chamber music or a very small number of instruments. For a full orchestra, it is just too much and you will be awash in MiRPro reverb.
    4. When using MirPro be sure to use Low Cut filters on everything to prevent a buildup of low stuff you do not want.
    For me, I would rather not do all of the spatialization myself, as @Mike Verta does. Mike gets fabulous results. He has an awesome ear and can hear all the details and make adjustments. My ear is not that good,

    On my Soundcloud page listen to a bit of Dances for Brass Quintet. This is MirPro, all VSL instruments, with wet/dry of .45. (Because it is just 5 instruments).

    To Boldly Go uses a mix of samples. Woodwinds are all VSL. Eight instruments using a wet/dry of .32. The brass is Berlin Brass with Room Mics + 25% close mics + 50% ab mics. The strings Spitfire Symphonic Strings using a mic setup of Tree + 75% ambient. And also VSL Synchron Strings blended 50-50. Percussion is also Spitfire and I do not remember the mic settings.

    Because of the beautiful room sound of Air Lyndhurst studio, you can get very good results just using the mics that came with the samples and adding absolutely nothing else. I did a mock-up of the first several minutes of the Dvorak Symphony #9 movement II using only the Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra with nothing else added to it. Some people think of this as the "Going Home" spiritual.

    Which is best? You tell me. A lot depends on your personal preference. Good luck!
    Daniel Casson likes this.

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