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Topic: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

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  1. #1
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    Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    It's a bit more work, but...within Cubase, render each individual instrument, and then import all of the .wav files into a new project. Line up everything by ear. This way, it's not 'perfect', and adds a little human element. Anyone else ever try anything like this?

    Cheers.

  2. #2

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    I do that all the time!

    In fact, I originally started doing this just for layered strings since when 2 parts of unison strings played a bit out of sync, the transitions between notes won't suck (pun intended) too obviously. Of course that was old school before any kind of legato tool or anything. But I found it could sound very musical indeed, if not overdone.

    Cheers,
    Frankie
    Dell Precision T3500 (Xeon W3520, 12GB RAM) / Windows 7 x64 / Sonar 8 / VE Pro / WIVI 2.3 / Kontakt 4 / G-Player 1.2

  3. #3

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    I use Cubase SX3 MIDI Track FX to humanize individual tracks. Works wonders when set to change location and velocity within -10 to +10 range. Sometimes less is needed, sometimes more.

  4. #4

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    Quote Originally Posted by janila
    I use Cubase SX3 MIDI Track FX to humanize individual tracks. Works wonders when set to change location and velocity within -10 to +10 range. Sometimes less is needed, sometimes more.
    Yes, this works great and a lot less work then rendering each track. Also, offers you a bit more control instead of just offsetting an entire audio track.

  5. #5
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    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    Quote Originally Posted by janila
    I use Cubase SX3 MIDI Track FX to humanize individual tracks. Works wonders when set to change location and velocity within -10 to +10 range. Sometimes less is needed, sometimes more.
    Hmmm - I must try that!

  6. #6

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    Riff, sound idea, and i confess to doing this in Logic too.

    As a follow on, in reference to saving to audio, do you save 'long' sections, or short sections? i ask this because i tend to save in short sections, and get more opportunities to 'manipulate' the humanization to a finer degree.
    (Remembering i'm on a laptop with a small collection whilst travelling, and not having to manipulate large multiarticulate recordings to the same extent as you guys.)

    Good info Riff, and a worthwhile suggestion.

    Regards,

    Alex.

  7. #7

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    I usually just play every line in with a MIDI keyboard and smooth out weird timings / pianistic tendencies manually. Sometimes for stuff that really needs to flow (like emotional film cues), I turn the clicks and the timesigs off entirely and play it in completely by ear, with no timing source except the other tracks that are already in.

    I guess clicking notes in is the standard way of doing things, but I feel like playing everything in puts you in a lot closer to the music, turning it into an actual performance even though it might not make the most audible difference to most people. Maybe we can file this under "things you do for yourself, not for the listeners"?
    Wilbert Roget, II
    Composer
    Rogetmusic.com

  8. #8

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Roget
    I usually just play every line in with a MIDI keyboard and smooth out weird timings / pianistic tendencies manually. Sometimes for stuff that really needs to flow (like emotional film cues), I turn the clicks and the timesigs off entirely and play it in completely by ear, with no timing source except the other tracks that are already in.

    I guess clicking notes in is the standard way of doing things, but I feel like playing everything in puts you in a lot closer to the music, turning it into an actual performance even though it might not make the most audible difference to most people. Maybe we can file this under "things you do for yourself, not for the listeners"?
    Aah Will, a kindred spirit. There are many phrases, and lines, i don't use a click for, and simply ignore the bar count, playing as the piece unfolds naturally, and so agreeing entirely with your comment that playing in live without a click turns the performance closer to reality. And it makes any render to audio less work trying to reduce the 'mechanical' tendency of working to a metronomic guide.

    Regards,

    Alex.

  9. #9
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    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    Hey Alex -

    It doesn't matter if the peice is long or short; I chop the event (instrument) to have better manipulation if it is more than a decent length, say a couple of bars. So, for horns, and woodwinds, I go to a break (where there would be a breath), snip (easily done with select and then alt+click), and line up. Then repeat for the next phrase or melody, and on from there. If I have a long percussion part with no breaks, I find a point to break it several times (inbetween tympani hits, for example), and then move the event slightly. This is more difficult with strings, but if I wanted to get really technical about it, I could create multiple string (say violins here) tracks, copy and paste the event so that it appears multiple times, slightly offset the second event, do a fade in/fade out from one track to the next, repeat for each track, and if done carefully (with other instruments playing as well), and if the right areas were chosen, the transition would be seemless and unnoticeable. Dunno if I am going to go that far, but I am going to janila's suggetsion. Tho, with all due respect, I wonder if that is going to be a good bet. I am wondering if a machine offsetting sync would be the eqivalent of a human trying to put things in sync by ear. Could be a good little test....

    Cheers.

  10. #10

    Re: Found an interesting way of getting orchestral peices to sound more 'human'

    Quote Originally Posted by Hermitage59
    Aah Will, a kindred spirit. There are many phrases, and lines, i don't use a click for, and simply ignore the bar count, playing as the piece unfolds naturally, and so agreeing entirely with your comment that playing in live without a click turns the performance closer to reality. And it makes any render to audio less work trying to reduce the 'mechanical' tendency of working to a metronomic guide.

    Regards,

    Alex.
    I second you guys. I only use click in places where some rhythmic element is crucial, like "Zimmerish" chasing scenes with all the percussion. I think free interpretation remarkably adds to the realism.

    Actually, it is quite a job to make a rhythmic part aligned to click to really "live".

    - Mikko

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