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New Template - Help!

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by Mattia Chiappa, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. #1 Mattia Chiappa, Jul 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019

    I've been working on a new template for a while now and I can't quite tell if it sounds right anymore. I've had a bit of trouble placing sections in their own space and while I feel like it's getting closer to a believable approximation, I'm still not quite satisfied with the results. Do you have any wisdom to spare?

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/k7ga2ey3s2e9gkn/New TEMPLATE_v.05.mp3?dl=0



    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ofayhfg7uexvy7m/New TEMPLATE_v.06.4.mp3?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/g7y0506qd0ac6g7/New TEMPLATE_v.06.4 (End Titles).mp3?dl=0

    EDIT 2:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/7htuthkn1xx46b8/New TEMPLATE_v.06.5.mp3?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/v4e21wmnl2xdw6y/New TEMPLATE_v.06.5 (End Titles).mp3?dl=0
  2. #2 Claude Ruelle, Jul 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    What brass library are you using? Sample Modeling? It seems to have intonation issues...

    I think you're pretty close to a good balance - maybe a bit more strings would be good. Snare and Piatti are too close in my opinion

    Harp sounds great! Which library is it?
  3. Thanks for the heads up @Claude Ruelle, I made those changes you suggested. I was messing with the intonation parameters on the brass but I went a bit too crazy, it should be better now. The harp is skaila kanga from spitfire.
  4. That's better I think. Your Main Title test is pretty damn close, but I think the snare needs to be pushed back a bit more (it sounds as if it's right next to your harp).

    For the End Titles, I think your strings are too quiet - also the piano is in a weird place.

    Which recording are you using for reference?
  5. I have both the end and main titles on the same session to check that dynamic levels are consistent and whenever I pull the strings on one side they get slightly out of balance on the other :mad: I've added a touch of mastering on the output channel and I think it helped even things out a little. There are some new links above.

    I'm referencing to a few versions both live and recordings. I kinda I wish I sticked to one from the beginning.
  6. Well done Mattia, Sounding very nice.

    Do you find the overall mix to be a little on the bright side? I'm intrigued by your processing of the brass: how have you processed them? They sound a lot more distant than your autumnal equinox recording which sounded close and dull. The sound really sparkles here. Is it simply an EQ thing, if so I'd love to hear something in the brass at the MP - MF range. Do they still stand up softer? I find it a terribly tricky thing to get right. Is it simply a matter of adjusting things depending on the scenario?

    Love to hear your thoughts and workflow with the brass specifically, because you've made a big improvement here.
  7. Hi Felix, thanks. Yeah it might be a little too bright, I have an idea why that is.

    When dealing with reverb I had to cut a lot of high and low frequencies to put instruments in a believable space. All the audio references I used sounded a lot brighter than mine so I added an eq to the master channel and boosted the frequencies I lost in the mix. I also enhanced high harmonics by quite a bit with a tape saturator and made them wider with a stereo imager. All this was only applied to the sides only. Regarding the center channel: similar procedure but reversed, I cut high/lows, boosted mids and narrowed the stereo image a bit. My references, especially modern recordings seemed to share these aspects and I was trying to get as close as I could.

    Regarding depth. After recording my brass piece I was very very unsatisfied with the v.i. rendition and in the past 2 months I spent a stupid amount of time researching and trying lots of different stuff out. What made the biggest difference for me was using a 100% wet Altiverb and no dry signal from the brass. Just like everybody else I used to have a reverb tail on a bus, send a certain amount to the track and then create distance with eq and delay. Due to the nature of the lib, in my opinion this method doesn't quite work with SM. What I'm doing instead is simulate 3 mic positions (close, tree and ambient) with 3 instances of Altiverb per group. Using the positioner you can sit the mics in their right place and then blend them together depending on how far you want the instrument to be. I got the idea from @Aaron Venture in this post here (please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong).
    In terms of routing I'm using each reverb on a send bus but using pre-faders rather than default. This allows me to mute the dry signal and still be able to hearing what comes from the bus. You can then apply eq and delay to taste.

    Later today I'll try to mix my old brass piece with same method so you can hear the difference.
  8. 1) https://www.dropbox.com/s/73fipth5n7jdfqo/Autumnal Equinox_MixMaster.01.wav?dl=0

    2) https://www.dropbox.com/s/epg5yrdxrhvz95x/Autumnal Equinox_Mix.Master04.mp3?dl=0

    3) https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqfp23u33do308y/Autumnal Equinox_MixMaster.02.mp3?dl=0

    The first is the original version. It was done the canonic way. Reverb as a bus etc.
    The second link is the most recent. I just made this quickly with the method I described above.
    The third is something I made sometime ago with the reverb as an insert 100% wet. It gives you less control but it may be a simpler solution.

    Something to be said is performance and orchestration play quite a big role in this too and that's what causes this piece to sound a bit muddy despite my efforts to fix it in the mix. I believe that reworking some of that would have a much bigger impact than focusing on the production only. I'm saying this because it way considerably easier to improve those Williams' mockups above than it was for my own piece.
  9. It's very interesting. I really like the idea of the approach, but that sound is still very off to me in the chorale setting. It's more than the performance problems to my ears. It's oft talked about but never sufficiently dealt except by Headshot. I can't really describe it except that there is a kind of warm meat / shimmer to the real thing that is missing here. A glue and homogeny to the sound. Warm and round, not harsh even at higher dynamics. It's so tantalising conceptually that we could make this sound good but I have never really heard it bar Headshot and his cryptic examples.

    How accurate is it to use an EQ vs the timbral shaping? I have been toying with the idea of using three synchronous patches for the different distances and trying to heavily timbrally shape each to line up with close, tree, ambient mic recordings that each produce drastically different sounds. I'm interested in the idea @Aaron Venture discussed in that thread, but some pictures and recordings have gone missing so it's a matter of piecing it together. It sounds boomy and harsh when I try what I think is described. Where do the EQ's sit in relation to the Altiverbs? Before or after? Why doesn't the IR sufficiently EQ the sound on its own? Isn't that the whole point and why Altiverb is popular for ADR and other things like that?

    Sorry if this is too deep, I'm happy to take the discussion elsewhere. Seems like you've been in a similar nightmare and obsession to me and I must say, you think you've gotten over it and then the temptation returns - maybe this time I'll figure it out... I think it actually sounds pretty good in your bombastic example. Wonder what the brass sounds like solo'ed?
  10. Mmm this is not quite my area of expertise but I'll try to answer. Anybody more competent than me on the subject is more than welcome to join the discussion.

    Regarding EQ vs timbral shaping. Well, I use both. Tweaking the reverb parameters changes the sound of the room without affecting the source and vice versa with EQ before the verb, which you'll need in any case to take off some of the boominess you mentioned. Reverb then amplifies the signal before it, so you'll need a post EQ to re-balance highs and lows again.

    The real problem is that knowing how this actually works, doesn't answer how much you should apply for a specific space you're trying to create. That is based on experience and real life examples. Most of us didn't spend much time with an orchestra (myself included) and trying to do this by guessing, well it's an impossible task.
    Referencing to recordings can give you an idea of the sound you're trying to achieve but it'll only ever be an approximation, because it is! Realistically, the acoustic properties and physics involved in a real live recording are entirely different from what is actually happening in your DAW.
  11. Any updates regarding the template?

    I think it's better to just stick to one recording - otherwise, you'll keep chasing your tail.
  12. Yeah I'm still working on this. I'm not 100% satisfied but I've got to a point where everything tweak makes it worse. The versions I like the most are still the ones linked above. I'll update them if it gets any better.
  13. Hi Mattia, I had a go at your chorale piece using a slightly different method of placement. I can no longer tell if it sounds good or if it sounds like it was recorded in the bath. For reference I used the live symphonic brass recording posted by mike. I have also done a quick pass of the first phrase of that piece. I'm trying to emulate the encompassing sound, like I was saying that is missing in SM.

    Could be a bathtub. I mean no offence.
  14. Good effort! I see what you're going for but it sounds a bit too distant and muddy for my personal taste. That's why I tend to stay away from such huge spaces. I find it a lot harder to carve out the right amount of bottom. Thanks a lot for trying to help anyway.
  15. Yes I agree, it is how to get the ringing of the brass without the mud or the honk. Quite an impossible task for most it seems.
  16. Hey Mattia, a decent try and congrats so far what you have achieved.
    I think what is another point is the "unity of sound" and precise programming and balance which is not yet there, you are doing good and I think a few pointers still:

    By that I mean that you should concentrate also on creating the right blend between the sections as this is the hardest but very important to nail. Your mockup sounds pretty descent and still it has not that glue. It sounds like 3 different sections often put together but they are not 100 percent there. Partly with that has to do with the balance. For instance the beginning, these trumpets are a bit too loud. You have to understand or always look very closely whats the focus is. The focus there are the horns and the trumpets goose them or add like a little topend and edge to them. But in your mockup they are way louder than the horns and that balance immedetially sounds simply off and makes it sounding not authentic in the end.

    And there are a couple of other spots where this happens. Now..this is simply not easy to nail of course and I guess you are not after nailing that theme but using it as a guideline for your new template which is always great. But here you create a trumpets horn stack which lacks of unity in sound. Also the lowbrass (tuba etc.) is a bit louder and also more accented and shorter in decay and sustain. All this little details add up on that whole tutti stack.

    Or this short repetition trumpet stabs (the fanfare with the horns) which are like triplets and very accented, in your version they are not really there. Also tempowise this deaccelerando is earlier starting, actually a whole bar earlier slowing down and so on and so on. Also this F-Bb (Bah babab Bahhhb) on the trombones and tuba needs much more attack and is more precise, sharp and accented. In your version it is just like "Wahh Waha Wahhhh".

    You also should experiment more with the trumpets, they sound still not like an ensemble rather than 2 or 3 single trumpets. Probably an idea could be to layer some regular library with that, or you try using more pitch fluctuation and detuning for each of the single trumpets. They are also a bit too off in pitch for my taste. The original has that too but in a different fashion, it simply is there too but more microscopic in appearance.

    I hope some of points help you a bit.

    Mattia Chiappa likes this.
  17. Hi Alex, thanks for the very detailed answer and wonderful advice. This is very helpful. I guess I should have spent as much time on the mockup as I did mixing the template. It was not my original intent but even if that was the case I can honestly predict that results would not have been stellar. Thanks for the pointers, I can see the benefits of practising that sort of analytical listening. The mockups are a little beyond repair right now but I'm still working on this.

    Now a couple of people pointed out to me that this template is sounding too bright. I kinda like it this way but do you think this is the case?

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