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Topic: sound more realistic...

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  1. #1

    sound more realistic...

    I'm having problems in adjusting volumes. Computer can lie a lot...for example, In a melody I'm using violins and Flute in Unisson. But how do I know if it would sound good in a Real Orchestra? I mean...I can just put flute volume very loud and violin low...in order to make flute most prominent. Is there a way to achieve most realistic sound? Like putting the volumes at the same point...for example Violin Volume = 2, Flute volume = 2...then If the violin is most prominent I know that I must change something...

    This problem is inducing me to do serious orchestration mistakes.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2

    Re: sound more realistic...

    I hope that I am interpreting your question correctly. If I am...

    Depend on your ears! If one instrument sounds too prominent, lower its volume. I would think that what you hear (generally) on your computer will pretty much translate accordingly to a real orchestra.

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3

    Re: sound more realistic...

    Part of what the conductor does during rehearsals is to balance the loudness of the instruments against each other. If the flute is supposed to sound louder than the violins then he will instruct the musicians to play accordingly.

    Obviously, you can't have a flute loud enough to drown out a blaring trumpet, but aside from such extremes, adjust it to sound right to your ears and the conductor can probably handle it.

    --gary shannon
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  4. #4

    Re: sound more realistic...

    Larry, I think he means how to write stuff with GPO so that it would sound about the same with a real orchestra. Because you can change instrument volumes in GPO but don't have a mixer in real life.

    So. Usually things go quite well when you write corresponding dynamic markings for the notation. Then there are exceptions.

    For example oboe sounds very loud when you play it in it's low register. This is due the difficulty of the instrument and only very good players can control oboe in a very discrete manner (which is probably the case with GPO's oboe, it's probably not sampled from an amateur) And flute sounds very quiet in it's lower register so it'll be covered very easily by ie. a string orchestra. Always think if ie. a flute part will be played solo or by two or more players. Same with brasses and all the woodwinds. The score has to be very exact.

    You just have to try to think about it when writing the score and then just learn. In general, try to learn from the instruments a bit and try to think how the sound is created and what could come out loud depending the skills of your orchestra.

    I think with GPO you shouldn't touch the instruments volumes, I'm assuming they have been mixed in the most realistic way possible. I don't have any knowledge about this one, but that's what I think. So: don't mix them. Then when using a notation program, use the dynamic markings and see how it sounds. Of course it isn't the same as a real orchestra, but at least you get some idea.

    It's probable, that things won't go the right way on the first try, but if you get the piece played by a real orchestra, attend all the rehearsals possible and this way you can hear what works and what doesn't. Then just keep on fixing things and talk with the conductor. Your best friend in the rehearsal will be a professional conductor who knows what's going on.

  5. #5

    Re: sound more realistic...

    Karvasika,

    You just got the point!! Thank you for your advices...When you said don't mix the volumes, you mean that I'm supposed to set them equally? like VIolin Volume at 2, and Flute volume at 2 too?? This will make that the Volume doesnt be the cause of bad balance...Once they will be at the same volume, the only differences in balance will be caused properly by the samples...

    Thank you so much!!

    Renan Fersy

  6. #6
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    Re: sound more realistic...

    The instruments already have preset volumes that are pretty close in balance from instrument to instrument. You should be controlling the expression of the instruments using CC1 (modulation), or CC11 (Expression) if using Kontakt 2 Player.

    The volume level of instruments in a real orchestra are never static but are constantly changing. One section or instrument may play the melody and so it needs be louder. So the volume levels will change depending on this. I always start recording the string sections first usually starting with the basses and working up to the 1st violins. The string section is usually the foundation for quite a few pieces. I use the string section volumes to balance the other instruments and sections.

    Make sure that you are constantly riding CC1 to shape the dynamics of each instrument. A real musician is constantly changing volume and rarely ever plays everything at the same level.

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: sound more realistic...

    Yea, like Haydn says: I think you should leave them untouched and let them be the way they are in presets. So if for example some instrument has -6 and some has -10, just let them be that way. I think they are mixed a bit in the way they will sound in a real orchestra.

    So do the volume controlling using the mod wheel / dynamic markings in your notation program and let the dB-values be as they are in the presets.

  8. #8

    Re: sound more realistic...

    I tried not to mix the volume but just to give an example:

    I loaded a Bass Lush on Slot 1, and a Bassoon on Slot 2

    Bassoon was: Pan: 45 R Volume: -18.7
    Bass was: Pan: 70 R Volume: -6.0

    What I'm I supposed to do? Let this parameters untouch, and deal only with the Mod Wheel?

    Thank you all guys, I'm so happy that there's always someone trying to help you here...and there's someone that you can help too...so we learn together

    Best regards...

    Renan Fersy

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: sound more realistic...

    What Larry said .... "Trust your ears."

  10. #10
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    Re: sound more realistic...

    I loaded a Bass Lush on Slot 1, and a Bassoon on Slot 2

    Bassoon was: Pan: 45 R Volume: -18.7
    Bass was: Pan: 70 R Volume: -6.0

    What I'm I supposed to do? Let this parameters untouch, and deal only with the Mod Wheel?
    Yes, that's what I do. The woodwinds recordings are much louder than the string section recordings, so you will find major differences in the volumes. There are a few woodwinds that I adjusted by a few db when I thought they weren't quite blending with the other woodwinds. I make the changes in the player and let Sonar remember them. The next time I start an orchestral piece, I usually use one of my latest pieces as a template for the next one and just wipe the midi data from the tracks.

    Jim

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