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Topic: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

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  1. #1

    Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    I am looking (again) in depth creating in a orchestral mix and know that this appears because of natural mic position in a room. What I understand is that the the more reverb and less volume an instrument gets, the farther away is sounds and vica versa. Also I read the advice to use different kind of reverbs for the instrument groups when working with orchestra: For the strings which are close by the listener, use a small room; for the woodwinds which are 1 step further away, use hall reverb, and for the background instruments like brass and percussion, use cathedral reverb.

    Is there anything else that can be used to imitate mic position? Or maybe is there a totaly different approach possible in GPO 4?
    You can listen to my music on: www.andrevanharen.com

  2. #2

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Hi Andreas

    Try toggling with "Stereo Stage" control in the Aria player.

    Tjah
    Fabio
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  3. #3

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Quote Originally Posted by fabiolcati View Post
    Hi Andreas

    Try toggling with "Stereo Stage" control in the Aria player.

    Tjah
    Hi,
    I tried it and don't like this option because it deforms the sound. The strings for example really sound weird when this option is on.
    You can listen to my music on: www.andrevanharen.com

  4. #4

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasvanHaren View Post
    Hi,
    I tried it and don't like this option because it deforms the sound. The strings for example really sound weird when this option is on.
    I'm using the Ambience Cathedral preset for my virtual orchestra, and I really haven't noticed that problem. Are you running into it only with the solo strings, or with the section strings as well? If you could post a brief example with and without the Stereo Stage option enabled, I'd like to hear it. Perhaps I'd be able to figure out what's going on.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  5. #5

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Johnson View Post
    I'm using the Ambience Cathedral preset for my virtual orchestra, and I really haven't noticed that problem. Are you running into it only with the solo strings, or with the section strings as well? If you could post a brief example with and without the Stereo Stage option enabled, I'd like to hear it. Perhaps I'd be able to figure out what's going on.

    Steve
    Hi Steve,
    I tried it with the normal string section, and noticed that the sound becomes darker. I read in the manual that it does some stereo placing in the field, but isn't that what the panning already does?

    I still don't understand fully what the Stereo Field option does with the sound. If it really does a back/front placement, does it do this by finding a balance between volume/reverb? Because those 2 elements are having an impact on the feeling of depth, as far as I understand it.
    And if this is the case, is the Stereo Field option supposed to be used in combination with the reverbs?

    Are you using the same reverb setting for the whole orchestra in your piece? And are the default settings for the Stereo Field for every instrument already correct?

    André
    You can listen to my music on: www.andrevanharen.com

  6. #6

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    I tried it again with the stereo field option in the Aria player. I noticed a little different in some solo instruments that really appear more in front when I put the knob on 0 and farther away when turning towards 100%. But the moment I use a little reverb effect, this depth effect is gone, also when panned anywhere else than in the middle, there is hardly any different in depth. I didn't hear any different at all when using the string sections.

    For now, I will try to get the depth effect by playing around with the reverb and keep the stereo field option off.

    André
    You can listen to my music on: www.andrevanharen.com

  7. #7

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasvanHaren View Post
    Hi Steve,
    I tried it with the normal string section, and noticed that the sound becomes darker. I read in the manual that it does some stereo placing in the field, but isn't that what the panning already does?
    No, panning addresses only left-to-right placement of the "dry" sound. Stereo Stage addresses width in combination with depth (front-to-back) and height (floor-to-ceiling).

    I still don't understand fully what the Stereo Field option does with the sound. If it really does a back/front placement, does it do this by finding a balance between volume/reverb? Because those 2 elements are having an impact on the feeling of depth, as far as I understand it.
    Balancing volume and reverb cannot by itself create a feeling of depth. Here's what the GPO4 manual says about what Stereo Stage does (page 56):

    "When Stereo Stage is turned on it adds calculations that simulate the arrival times from the position of the instrumental sound source to a pair of virtual stereo microphones plus the first reflections from side walls, rear walls, and ceiling. This can create a more three dimensional image for positioning instruments on the stereo stage, both left to right and front to back, especially for monaural instruments (e.g. solo instruments that lack recorded stereo information.)"

    And if this is the case, is the Stereo Field option supposed to be used in combination with the reverbs?
    Yes, Stereo Stage must be used with reverb. Remember that the combination of reverb and Stereo Stage is intended to create a three-dimensional sound space. Without reverb you're not giving the Stereo Stage components anywhere to "go", and if that's what you were trying, I can understand why you were getting odd-sounding results.

    By the way, I noticed in your latest post that you said you're using only a little reverb. Please bear in mind that because Stereo Stage responds according to reverb levels, it stands to reason that lower reverb settings would result in little or no noticeable Stereo Stage effect. Personally I prefer the feeling of sitting in a concert hall about midway between the stage and the back wall, so I have the effects sends for all of my virtual orchestra instruments set to 100%. I realize this may be different from what you prefer, but in any case I believe a reverb send of at least 50% would be needed to get a decent result from applying the Stereo Stage element.

    Are you using the same reverb setting for the whole orchestra in your piece? And are the default settings for the Stereo Field for every instrument already correct?
    Yes to the first question, no to the second. Actually, I should mention that although I'm using the same reverb preset for my entire virtual orchestra, I have made adjustments to some of the Ambience reverb parameters in ARIA's Effects panel. I have found the Decay, Predelay, Width, and Level parameters particularly useful for tailoring the reverb to what I believe sounds best in terms of where the various ensembles are positioned.

    As to Stereo Stage, I found that the default settings weren't all that useful, so I had to change them. Sorry to end with a "teaser" here, but I'm in the process of rendering my symphony-in-progress with GPO4. As soon as I'm done I'll upload the new audio file to my Virtual Concert Hall. I'll also include links to pages that provide all the technical details, including an instrument configuration list that will show the Stereo Stage and reverb settings I'm using. Hopefully there might be some useful information for you.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  8. #8

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Hi Andre

    Have you tried sending to the reverb - pre-fader rather than post-fader via your bus?

    So, for example, select an instrument on a channel. Increase thereverb send via the bus control as normal,
    but select pre-fader, rather than -post. The bus control then gets coloured green, I think, rather than blue.

    You can then conrol 'depth' using the channel fader.

    For example, When the instrument fader is completely down all you will
    hear is the sound totally coming from the reverb. This is your maximum 'distance'. As you increase the channel fader you introduce more 'Direct' sound which gives an illision of bringing the sound forward to some degree. You can also use pan to place the instuments as usual.

    You then have to use midi expression (controller 11) to makes things louder or softer, rather than volume (controller 7). Controller 7 will move the channel faders in logic, and upset any faders you have set for depth.

    You could also experiment by sending your prefade reverb from your group faders, and
    use these to control the depth of entire sections, rather than individual instruments.

    Give it a go and see if it gets you nearer the sound you are after.


    Best
    Ian

  9. #9

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Johnson View Post
    No, panning addresses only left-to-right placement of the "dry" sound. Stereo Stage addresses width in combination with depth (front-to-back) and height (floor-to-ceiling).



    Balancing volume and reverb cannot by itself create a feeling of depth. Here's what the GPO4 manual says about what Stereo Stage does (page 56):

    "When Stereo Stage is turned on it adds calculations that simulate the arrival times from the position of the instrumental sound source to a pair of virtual stereo microphones plus the first reflections from side walls, rear walls, and ceiling. This can create a more three dimensional image for positioning instruments on the stereo stage, both left to right and front to back, especially for monaural instruments (e.g. solo instruments that lack recorded stereo information.)"



    Yes, Stereo Stage must be used with reverb. Remember that the combination of reverb and Stereo Stage is intended to create a three-dimensional sound space. Without reverb you're not giving the Stereo Stage components anywhere to "go", and if that's what you were trying, I can understand why you were getting odd-sounding results.

    By the way, I noticed in your latest post that you said you're using only a little reverb. Please bear in mind that because Stereo Stage responds according to reverb levels, it stands to reason that lower reverb settings would result in little or no noticeable Stereo Stage effect. Personally I prefer the feeling of sitting in a concert hall about midway between the stage and the back wall, so I have the effects sends for all of my virtual orchestra instruments set to 100%. I realize this may be different from what you prefer, but in any case I believe a reverb send of at least 50% would be needed to get a decent result from applying the Stereo Stage element.



    Yes to the first question, no to the second. Actually, I should mention that although I'm using the same reverb preset for my entire virtual orchestra, I have made adjustments to some of the Ambience reverb parameters in ARIA's Effects panel. I have found the Decay, Predelay, Width, and Level parameters particularly useful for tailoring the reverb to what I believe sounds best in terms of where the various ensembles are positioned.

    As to Stereo Stage, I found that the default settings weren't all that useful, so I had to change them. Sorry to end with a "teaser" here, but I'm in the process of rendering my symphony-in-progress with GPO4. As soon as I'm done I'll upload the new audio file to my Virtual Concert Hall. I'll also include links to pages that provide all the technical details, including an instrument configuration list that will show the Stereo Stage and reverb settings I'm using. Hopefully there might be some useful information for you.

    Steve
    Aha! So are you saying you have to use the effects in the Aria player for the stage positioning to work? I guess that makes sense alright but I wouldn't have made that connection.

    Now Harsmith's solution negates the need to use the stage position function altogether. That might also work better for someone like me who has a less powerful computer and can't work totally in the midi realm. I have to end up bouncing tracks to audio and apply affects there. So as I understand if I bounce dry tracks and try to use the stage positioning, it's probably just going to result in a strange sound.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  10. #10

    Re: Can I imitate mic position in GPO 4?

    Quote Originally Posted by swinkler View Post
    Aha! So are you saying you have to use the effects in the Aria player for the stage positioning to work? I guess that makes sense alright but I wouldn't have made that connection.

    Now Harsmith's solution negates the need to use the stage position function altogether. That might also work better for someone like me who has a less powerful computer and can't work totally in the midi realm. I have to end up bouncing tracks to audio and apply affects there. So as I understand if I bounce dry tracks and try to use the stage positioning, it's probably just going to result in a strange sound.
    Yes, I can see how the connection between Stereo Stage and Ambience would be easy to miss. The GPO4 manual should've said something about that, but even the best documentation is bound to leave out one or two details we have to discover for ourselves. Hey, but that's one of the great things about this forum -- the ability to help each other out with this kind of stuff.

    Regarding Harsmith's solution, his reference to pre-fader vs. post-fader leads me to believe that he may be talking about reverb coming from an external source (DAW, reverb plug-in, etc.) Unless I'm missing something, ARIA does not give us that option, so the sends to Ambience are all post-fader. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know how I can switch Ambience to pre-fader sends, then I can experiment and see what results I get.

    If I'm correct about Harsmith's premise, then Stereo Stage would do you no good if you're using a reverb program that is external to ARIA. Think integration here -- Ambience is integrated into ARIA, and Stereo Stage adds an extra "dimension" to Ambience. By the way, I believe that Stereo Stage attempts to approximate convolution reverb. For my money it seems to work pretty well, although other opinions state that it falls short of what a true CR program can do. By reputation Altiverb seems to be the best CR program out there, and all good intentions with Ambience/Stereo Stage aside, it may turn out to be the most effective way of emulating the depth element of instrument placement in a virtual sound environment.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

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