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Topic: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    I´m wondering. How many of you actually have no reverb while composing and sequencing midi? And what do you benefit from it?

    I feel I want to have it totally dry or use full convolution right when I begin. Otherwise I´ll get fooled by the reverb, I think. So no temporary reverb solution for me, while sequencing!

    Do you consider this to be true: If it sounds good dry, it can sound really good wet.

    What do other people think?

    /Johnny

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    I know from a few "behind-the-scenes" documentations that most of the composers use loads of reverb while composing.
    I think you can compose without reverb. I often add reverb in the mastering stage, which gives the piece a lot more realism.

    Regards,
    Justus

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    If you know how to compose, you don't need reverb to write. No amount of ambience is going to make you a better composer/orchestrator; what it will do is help you mix better, but that comes later anyway.

    Cheers.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    I use the same reverbs when composing at the sequencer as I want for the final product. I don't have the time in my schedule to make what I'm "composing" any less quality than what the final product should be. Often what started out as "just noodling" became the final cue. Of course some reverb tweaking may happen by the end, but essentially it is what I started with. I also have a template setup with this for my orchestral sequencing. Before I had a template I still used a hall reverb on the master bus - at minimum - while composing.

    IMO the MIDI orchestra is acting as a synergistic group, not as individual entities. Without interaction with the room the sum will not be the same. I find that I will perform a line differently with reverb than without. While using reverb I feel I get better note transistions. I could see where soloing an instrument without reverb to edit may help in some cases, but there is also a point of diminishing returns concerning editing. I can become too focused on editing minutiae (3rd oboe in a tutti) that will just be masked anyway. I could also see having to potentially remix more after adding reverb. Adding reverb is going to change how an instrument sits in the mix.

    For me, I like to perform the line, fix any "fat finger" mistakes, and move on. A good reverb is the MIDI orchestra's friend. It should work with the instruments, not just cover up weak spots.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    While composing: I composer with a pencil and paper. If the lights go out I'm fine. Except when working with drums/loops/bass etc...

    While squencing: Right now I'm using EW products, which come with reverb out of the box. It would be a waste of time and rather foolish of me to take out the natural tails (reverb) from EW (btw Gold), in order to work dry! But I don't care much, as I have the score next to me, and know pretty much what I'm expecting to hear...

    A while back I was using different samples on a studio, and then I was working completly dry, exactly for the reason not to be fooled by the reverb. Later I added 2-3 different "places" of reverb in differnet sections of the orchestra (violins, a bit less, woods a bit more, and a bit more for the perc and brass... anything solo would take even less to bring it in the front). That kind of thing...

    Of course all the above apply since I don't even have keyboard in my studio, and thus I'm importing midi files from the scores I work in Finale, into Cubase...

    Otherwise while playing I would expect one to have reverb on, in order to take the final feeling... :-/

  6. #6
    Senior Member mahlon's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    I tend to always sequence with a temporary reverb, something close to what I will use at the end, but less power hungry. I do this because with samples, (since in your mockup you're not writing for actual instruments but many combinations of samples -- perhaps many combined which will create the illusion of a a single instrument line) the way the samples react with reverb has everything to do with which samples you use to create that illusion.

    That said, I tend to compose just at the piano.

    Mahlon

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    I find sequencing with dry samples fatiguing. I imagine composing with dry samples would not be very inspiring.

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    Hmmmm..........I wonder if Mozart was using reverb? I guess it will remain one of the great mysteries of music history.

    John,

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    Better to sequence in a manner closest to what the final product will sound like, I think. Turning a reverb on after composing dry might be a fun breath of fresh air, and the music should sound good on its own without it, but you still run the risk of overorchestrating and clouding out the main parts if you compose dry. It's harder for a lead instrument to push its way through to the front of a mix when reverb's on, so it's best to make sure of that beforehand.

    Sometimes it's helpful to turn the reverb off to solve various problems though, kind of like zooming in on a difficult area. But overall, it's best to know more or less how things'll sound in the end - it's like musical WYSIWYG (WYHIWYG? ).
    Wilbert Roget, II
    Composer
    Rogetmusic.com

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Advantages composing orch. midi: Dry / Wet?

    Quote Originally Posted by talisman
    Hmmmm..........I wonder if Mozart was using reverb? I guess it will remain one of the great mysteries of music history.
    John,
    The answer is 'yes'. Think about it... when you're writing for instruments, it's only natural to imagine them as they sound. Highly unlikely that anyone would compose for "anechoic chorus", for example.

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