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Topic: CBMB sound tweaking

  1. #1

    CBMB sound tweaking

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to get the group sounds (especially for brass) to have the same volume as the solo sounds. The group sounds are nice but seem a bit muffled in the mix. I am using Finale and with the mixer volumes for each instrument set quite high it does not seem to help much.

    Thanks in advance for the help.


  2. #2

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    I also notice that the flutes in a concert band setup are barely audible. The previous post had to do with marching brass.


  3. #3

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    You can also bump up the volume on the instrument itself.
    Open your K2 player with whatever instrument you want in it.

    To the right of the M you will see two sliders. The left slider is for pan, and the right slider is for base volume. Slide right and get louder!

    This is project-specific unless you save the configuration as a multi.

    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  4. #4

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    Thanks Jim. I tried what you said and when I save it as a Finale aiff file I get all the cracks and pops associated with the levels being to high. I went down to -3.3 and still got it (I think originally the instruments were set for -6.2); it doesn't look like I can get an mp3 to be much louder. It sounds fine under regular playback, but it's just saving as an mp3 that seems to be the hassle with Finale.


  5. #5

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    Hi, CWillCalho

    Getting instruments to balance in a piece can be quite a difficult chore.

    I don't use Finale, but Sonar - So I don't know, but isn't there a way to actually hear what your recording is going to sound like before you bother to render a piece? Otherwise, it would be constant trial and error to hear if you have things too high or not.

    What you said about the volume of the group sounds versus the solo sounds perplexed me a bit though - The way they're programmed, the solos are Much lower in volume than the group sounds. I'm talking about the KS instruments where you switch back and forth between solo and group. When you go to solo, the volume is much lower - as would be natural, considering it's a single instrument as compared to a group. You wouldn't want your groups to come out at the same volume as a soloist - that would be extremely unnatural.

    You said the group sounds seem "muffled" to you---I think you're reacting to the natural chorusing sound. It's a blurred sound, as groups of the same instrument sound in reality. When you have a lot of the group sounds in a project, there's a blurred sound which can end up being too much - but I still wouldn't be able to describe that effect as "muffled." I think the natural chorusing is what you're referring to though.

    Maybe you'd be happier sticking with the solo instruments and multiplying them in KP2, instead of relying on the group sounds. One artifact I've noticed in projects relying heavily on the group sounds - they can start sounding rather organ like, which isn't what one wants.

    "...it's just saving as an mp3 that seems to be the hassle with Finale..."

    Ah - But you DON'T want to save your work as an MP3. That's a highly compressed, reduced sonic quality file meant for easy sharing online, IPods etc--but that should not be what your archive master recording is. That has to be the highest quality .wav file you can muster. Then if you want to share the music, you make an MP3 from that .wav.

    Never save your work only as an MP3. That would be like saving a low rez digital photo of an original document - instead of the document itself.

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    With Finale you save as aiff. files, which are more than comparable to wav. files. Also, it sounds fine when playing back at a higher volume, so there is not the test method you speak of. Something with Finale makes it ultra sensitive on playback in the "save to aiff" process and creates all the pops and cracks. The "default" solo instrument that comes up is definitely set at a lower volume than the group. I haven't compared the exact number with Kontakt player in terms of volume, but my ears definitely hear the difference.


  7. #7

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    Hello again, Bill

    I didn't know you were on a Mac. Yes indeed, AIFF files and .wav files are the high rez audio formats and share an equally high sound quality.

    What I was referring to was that you said you save your projects as MP3s. In case you weren't aware, I wanted to make sure you realized that you need to save to high rez audio (AIFF or .wav--depending on one's OS) to create your master file. Then the low rez MP3 copies are made from that. That's all I was trying to explain there.

    When music is rendered to an audio file, there's no way to avoid digital distortion (pops and clicks) if the volumes are too high. Aren't there meters or some sort of monitoring system for that to be checked on before rendering?

    And yes, I'm agreeing that the solo instruments playback at a lower volume than the groups. I misunderstood your post - when you asked if there was a way for the groups to be at the same level as the solos, and that they sound "muffled" I thought you meant they were sounding softer to you.

    But, as I said earlier, naturally a solo instrument is going to have less volume than a whole section of the same instrument. If the contrast is too great, then you have to do what you can in Finale to compensate. I'm still not clear if the faders in Finale can be automated to make those kind of volume adjustments to a varying degree throughout a piece--? Someone on the Forum said recently that this kind of automation isn't available, but that is so limiting!

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    Hi Randy,

    Sorry to be going back and forth with this, but I re-read my post and I had meant that the solo sound is louder when I bring the solo sound up in place of the group. When I get a chance I will check what it is set to in relationship to the group.


  9. #9

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    Hummm, well, Bill - I just got through finishing a piece using CMB, and in the keyswitched instruments, the solos are definitely quieter than the group sounds, by several decibals.

    I was only using keyswitched brass, so can't speak with as much confidence about how the woodwinds behave. The solo Trumpet in a KS instrument was so much softer, I had to do a very exaggerated swoop up with its audio fader in my Sonar mixer during its solo passage.

    Randy B.

  10. #10

    Re: CBMB sound tweaking

    I just checked my file and the default volume for Group Trumpet KS is -6.2 dB and the default for Trumpet Solo KSM is -4.4 dB so there is the difference....


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