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Topic: Phasing in Trombones

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  1. #1

    Phasing in Trombones

    Am I mistaken in my understanding that Tenor Trombone Players 1, 2, and 3 (and other "Player" voices for that matter) may be used together?

    I'm getting an astonishing amount of phasing when playing unisons with these instruments. Is anybody else experiencing this? It's fairly easy to reproduce by loading the 3 trombone players into GPO and assigning them all to the same midi channel. On most sustained notes there is a noticeable phasing/flanging thing...
    Bill

  2. #2

    Lightbulb Re: Phasing in Trombones

    I'm not sure I know what you mean, but heres my take on what you might be experiencing...

    Trombones in unison make 'phasing' sounds in real life. This is one advantage to using a separate unison sample set as it seems to make this phasing alot more random and therefore less objectionable. I have made experiments over the years and have found trombones to be troublesome in this regard. They tend to benefit from ambient mic'ing during the sampling process. This tends to reduce the natural phasing effect.

    I have rendered EACH trombone to it's own separate track so I can apply processing to reduce this phasing.

    Just listen to some close-mic'd studio jazz recordings of trombones versus ambient orchestral recordings.

    I don't know what the answer is to this exactly and just why trombones seem to suffer from this as opposed to other brass instruments.

    One thing I've done with GPO and which seems to overcome this to an acceptable degree, is to use a slight pitchbend on one or two of the 'bones in the unison notes and then bring them together into pitch as the note sustains.

    This works well for other brass but the trombones benefit the most. It IS more time-consuming but Im a perfectionist!

    I know the VSL library uses dry samples but I don't own it and I don't know how it fairs in this regard.

    IF you are having some weirdness in your setup or with the Kontakt player then that is of course another matter.

    You need to determine just exactly what you are hearing...

  3. #3

    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    Quote Originally Posted by nexus
    You need to determine just exactly what you are hearing...
    Thanks, nexus. I do have each trombone line as a separate midi track, although I'm routing the outputs of the GPO instance to a single audio track. I have a bit of experience with live horn sections and understand the natural phasing that can occur...it actually produces a fatter sound due to the natural differences in tone and and intonation among players and their horns.
    Normally, though, there is simply too much variation among players to get the kind of phasing that I'm experiencing with these samples. I don't find this to be a problem with the strings, which blend very nicely and sound (more or less) like a string section.

    Check it out here.

    There are 7 whole notes as follows:
    Player 1
    Player 2
    Player 3
    Player 1 & 2
    Player 1 & 3
    Player 2 & 3
    Player 1, 2, & 3
    Bill

  4. #4
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    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    The Trombone Player sounds should not have phasing as they do not share any of the same samples. There could be a chorusing type sound when playing unison though which the real thing does when playing unison.

  5. #5

    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    billp,

    I encountered a severe trombone phasing issue on a Moussorgsky brass demo I did recently. The bones can indeed be played together without phasing, as that's what they were made for. But unfortunately I found that if I used the same GPO Studio instrument slot on more than one midi track simultaneously, even though they were playing different parts, there was very noticeable phasing between midi tracks. I just made sure that no other midi track shared the same instrument and the problem when away.

    For example

    GPO slot 1 = midi track 1
    GPO slot 2 = midi track 2
    GPO slot 3 = midi track 3 is OK

    But

    GPO slot 1 = midi track 1
    GPO slot 2 = midi track 2
    GPO slot 1 = midi track 3 caused phasing

    I'm not sure if this is true of all instruments, just the bones, or just the bones on my setup at the release level I'm at, but I thought I would mention it in case this is the same problem you're having.

    Cheers,
    Darwin

  6. #6

    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    I did some testing and found that phasing or chorusing is worse when all three instruments are playing off the same midi channel in the Kontakt player. I also found it was somewhat less so in Kontakt 1.5.3 but still objectionable.

    I think Kontakt may be trying to 'phase-lock' samples played from the same midi channel. Because they are similar but not the exact samples this phase-locking attempt would produce much phasing and/or chorusing.

    The solution seems to be operating them from separate channels and perhaps applying the techniques I described in my previous post.

    One could also try playing them from separate instances of the player.

  7. #7

    Cool Re: Phasing in Trombones

    Quote Originally Posted by nexus
    Trombones in unison make 'phasing' sounds in real life.
    I can say with authority that nothing phases trombone players... except perhaps chromatic sixteenth runs that match the low strings in octaves. [buh-dump-chink] But seriously folks... Hello? [taps microphone] Is this thing on?

    Try different MIDI channels - duping the data and then setting the VAR 1 and 2 params to slightly different values. You can also shift the note-on and controller values by miniscule amounts and quickly find a sweet spot between music-box rigidity and timing that wrecks the pocket. Works a charm.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  8. #8

    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    Thanks everyone for comment/suggestions. I guess those horn players are a bit unruly...

    The horns are each on separate tracks (SONAR 4 PE) sending to separate midi channels, three slots in a single Kontakt player, etc...standard stuff. Easily demonstrated, as the file linked to in my second post above attests to.

    When I get some time, I'll dig into this further. BTW, this is definitely not a problem when playing unisons with the Tenor Tbone Solo and the Base Tbone Solo. My guess is that the "Plr" samples have shorter loop points (they're smaller samples) and that any phase/flange effect is therefore repeated more frequently.
    Bill

  9. #9

    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    Quote Originally Posted by billp
    My guess is that the "Plr" samples have shorter loop points (they're smaller samples) and that any phase/flange effect is therefore repeated more frequently.
    Just thought I'd clarify: Same samples, same size, same loops, just fewer samples per octave in the "Plr," formerly "Ens," instruments. Playback speed of the samples/loops varies with transposition, of course. Many good suggestions from others on dealing with your problem. I don't really have anything to add.

    Tom

  10. #10

    Re: Phasing in Trombones

    Quote Originally Posted by billp
    Thanks everyone for comment/suggestions. I guess those horn players are a bit unruly...

    The horns are each on separate tracks (SONAR 4 PE) sending to separate midi channels, three slots in a single Kontakt player, etc...standard stuff. Easily demonstrated, as the file linked to in my second post above attests to.

    When I get some time, I'll dig into this further. BTW, this is definitely not a problem when playing unisons with the Tenor Tbone Solo and the Base Tbone Solo. My guess is that the "Plr" samples have shorter loop points (they're smaller samples) and that any phase/flange effect is therefore repeated more frequently.
    I did some more checking and found that this problem doesnot exist when you layer the overlay and the solo tenor. I made a couple programs to use the overlay and solo this way, to repleace the plr 1 and 2. I used an old Emu trombone for the third one by importing it into Kontakt.

    Maybe Gary could just throw in another 'solo' tenor trombone to make three separate instruments then and that would solve the problem alltogether

    I guess it might be a dilemna if you use trombones alot in sustained exposed settings. I haven't made any pieces with GPO yet that use them that way. Maybe the loops need to be longer, I dunno. But I'm just going to wait for the "Big Band" thingmagig.

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