I\'m scoring an independent film with a lot of emotional orchestral cues but no full orchestra budget. So, I\'m going to hire a few soloists to help add some realism - probably violin, cello, and flute/clarinet. Anybody out there have any suggestions tricks on how to get the most out of a few live players - i.e. double the melody, play the highest line or lowest, etc. The goal (as everyone else\'s is I\'m sure) is a big melodic orchestra sound.
There are others hear far more qualified but let me tell you what I have done that has WORKED.
Besides using real people on all your solos cues, try having your violin double (as many parts that you have tracks/time/Money) for. Tucking these live parts in the mix will be fun for you. You can really change the whole feel at this stage (mixing).
I\'m probably gonna get flamed on this one - but, I\'ll have a violin double some of the viola parts (that can be physically played that is) for a sometimes good effect.
Bottom line is - when you have these musicians in your studio - record as many parts as resources allow. Mix to taste later.
Hope this helps. I would really be interested in others experience here.
I\'ll add this: Go to a QUIET studio with an extremely well-diffused room. You don\'t want a bunch of ambient content in tracks you\'ll be trying to blend into samples. Trust me, the $100-200 you\'ll spend for a block of time will be repaid over and over and over and OVER again when you mix.
Plus, you can pick the studio with the best mic closet and preamps!! A big plus.
Be sure to have your sampled mixes there with you. One thing that is pretty important is to DIGITALLY transfer any mix you use as a tracking aid in the sessions. If, for instance, you just take a CD of stereo mixes and put them into a CD player, then take home a disc of the tracks, you will find that your sync is gone...as a result of clocking to different systems. A digital transfer of your mix into whatever system does the tracking at the studio will ensure that you\'re clocking sample to sample to the original file, and when you take the tracks home and pop them into your multitrack, they\'ll be locked.
Been there, done that, have scars. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
I guess I should mention that the crucial reason to have your sample mixes with you is not only to have the timing and pre-production happening, but to aid you in setting mics such that you\'ll get the right presence and blend out of your live tracks. A bit of time at the top moving mics around will save you a TON of time when you mix down.
I just want to agree with what\'s been said, especially with Lee\'s comments about asking players to bring a second instrument for doubling. Double tracking can sound VERY phasey on certain instruments (like cello, trumpet, and to a lesser extent violin). If you ask the guy to pick up his alternate axe on a double track, it\'s like having a second musician in the room (plus he doesn\'t have to spend time getting used to the other player\'s phrasing!).
The other thing you can do to minimise (but not remove) phasing is move the player or mic around in the room. Just don\'t forget your initial positions...