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Topic: Delay and Pre-delay revisited

  1. #1

    Delay and Pre-delay revisited

    Since my last exercise to get it all better, I first took a couple of days off to recuperate my ears (as Bob Katz also says: Is you masterpiece the next morning still a masterpiece).

    I got back to the source of the music and found out that the violins (as always the backbone of an orchestra) weren't accented enough, together with the french horn, bassoon and the violas (at certain spots in this piece). So I amended in Sonar some of the volumes (CC#1) and tried to make a better balance of the various instrument groups (and within a group the individual instruments). That is a hell of a job with a limited processor power (2.4 Ghz), but it can be done.

    I also divided the woodwinds-tracks into woodwinds at the right and woodwinds at the left (also for brass instruments) - first I had all woodwinds in one group.

    Since my computer isn't powerful enough to have it all in Sonar I exported the groups as audio to wave files for further editing with Adobe Audition.

    The groups are:
    1. woodwinds left
    2. woodwinds right
    3. brass left
    4. brass right
    5. percussion
    6. piano
    7. 1st violins
    8. 2nd violins
    9. violas
    10. cellos
    11. contrabasses
    Then I took Garritan's drawing of the orchestra and added the appropriate panning (In Sonar all is set to Center). This time I used the table Max.Pan=80 from Glenn Rudolph's tutorial. Now the reverbs. Using buses in Audition I combined the following: [send effects]
    1. all woodwinds with RealSpaces OMNI far centre (any transparancy done by the panning);
    2. all brass, percussion with RealSpaces OMNI rear centre (also transparancy set by the panning);
    3. violas and piano with RealSpaces OMNI close center
    4. all violins with RealSpaces OMNI left front
    5. cellos and contrabasses with RealSpaces OMNI right front
    For every instance of RealSpaces I set the level of Wet-mix 1.5 dB higher than the default value. For every individual instance I set the delay a bit different. Instruments further away has to travel a bit longer so I added some milliseconds to those values.

    Most of the "virtual instruments" lack a bit body around 700 - 1100 Hz, so in the final master-bus I added some sort of "loudness" equalization, also to get rid of the harshness due to the reverb for the higher sounding instruments. It is well-known that one has to lower the volume around 4750 Hz to be freed of overdone high frequencies [ and raise them after 12000 Hz to get some air into the thing - between 1500 - 5000 there is the danger of "nasal" sound].

    None of the individual wave files of the groups of instruments had been equalized, they are pure samples. The final result wasn't compressed either [I always try to avoid this, it lowers the dynamic range and ruins the character of the instrument].

    So, now for a trip to the listening room to hear if I was on the right track or go to and surf down the page to find it:


    Greetings and all of you thank you very much, all your thoughts, considerations and advices really improved this piece of music.


  2. #2

    Re: Delay and Pre-delay revisited


    I feel a little guilty since I was the one that brought up the delay and predelay topic and maybe have run you into lots of work with that ...

    Actually I use the basic idea, but:

    1. If you trust the physical assumptions for building up a stage design with several instances of convolution reverbs then you also have to take equalizing into account. It simply is the second step of creating distance and without that it will not work since all instruments will still sound relatively near. See http://www.beat-kaufmann.com/tipspcm...udio/index.php Step 7 for this.

    2. I keep things relatively simple as I use 3 settings for 3 distances but keep the panning as it is. With other words when I am done with my arrangement I make three renderings by soloing
    1. Violins 1 and Violoncelli
    2. Violins 2, Violas and Contrabasses
    3. Winds, Brass, Percussion

    I insert these three (dry) audio files into a sequencer program where a once defined combination of delay, EQ and reverb is waiting to each of them. Maybe a little adjustment, rendering, ready. It takes me just a few minutes.

    Also I prefer the software ConvoBoy from Elevatya since it is a true stereo reverb in contrast to SIR. This makes a huge difference. Basically it is freeware but the licensed version (25 EUR) has a EQ in the reverb channel that helps for creating the right distance.

    So - I think that getting the hands on delay and predelay is a useful detail but only one among many. A technical definement but not the ultimate key to a perfect orchestra sound. There other things have far more influence - the most important is modwheeling the strings.

    Besides that congratulations to your work, I hear many interesting ideas in these!

    All your strings belong to me!

  3. #3

    Re: Delay and Pre-delay revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    I feel a little guilty since I was the one that brought up the delay and predelay topic and maybe have run you into lots of work with that ...
    Don't. Keeps me off the street. Besides that I always want the most effective results from my efforts and bringing up new ideas, something I've missed reading (there are tons and tons of educational tutorials), is another milestone. I am always keen on learning new things. I've read what you suggested and will try it later ths afternoon, in spite of the sunny day.

    Thank you,


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