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Topic: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

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  1. #1
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    Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    I have mixing question/dilemma regarding Trilian. By themselves, the various bass patches/instruments sound lovely. They truly do. However, in the context of a mix the individual quality of each patch is lost and becomes somewhat problematic…at least for me. Why? Because of lack of “depth” or air or space surrounding the sounds. Some packages (such as BFD) allow for close mic, overhead and room sounds that can be blended together in varying degrees to give depth to the sound, which aids in providing some sense of space to the instrument and helps in balancing a larger mix. These are real recordings of a studio space and it seems to make a difference to the overall effect. And, of course, quality delay and reverb programs can also be brought into the game to help bring a sense of space to percussive sounds. The sounds in Trilian seem quite “close up” and don’t offer depth options. (I’ve tried turning down the DI and only using the Amp.) Reverb can be tricky when applied to bass sounds, so I tread very carefully here, and I usually reach for ambience programs instead. EQ is another friend that I bring into the equation and I try to leave adequate space for the bass. Still, I’m having problems getting my bass to be distinct and have depth perspective, at least the way I would like it. I’m aware that samples have their limitations, and a sample set without separate room recordings will be difficult to tweak.

    For the next year or two, given my current situation, I need to be completely ITB. If I had access to my small studio, I might consider re-amping Trilian to capture some real room characteristics. Given all the above, any ideas on how to achieve a more distinct bass sound in the context of a mix, and to be able to bring the bass more or less to the front or back in a mix?

  2. #2

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Hi Jariya

    Im not qualified to answer you question because i dont have trilian but a few of the guys that post here do, im sure you wil get some nice tips,

    not sure how your using trilian but will assume you have a PC or Mac and maybe a sequencer,
    im kinda guessing.

    If your base is sounding to clean or sterile you can use the out put from your sound card and plug it into a nice amp or mixer and play live into your sequencer so you get an audio instead of digital, your sound and presence should be more natrural,

    if you want your base up front or back you can use surround sound that way you can put the base anyware or you can play about with your panning and velocity and of course effects.




    novaburst

  3. #3

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    The idea of using room sound is not a good one for bass. Pretty much all bass in recordings is using DI or AMP or a combination of the two.

    However, there are many important factors which influence how well the bass sits in the mix:

    1. The choice of Bass sound you use (a great sound used in the wrong context quickly becomes a bad sound)

    2. The bassline and the overall arrangement (much more important than most people realize)

    3. The monitoring environment (most home studios have huge bass response problems....getting this under control makes a gigantic difference in what you can achieve)

    3. Equalization (boost highs and mids to cut through, boosting bass is usually not necessary with Trilian and cutting Bass is also not such a good idea)

    4. Compression (Just like EQ, this can make a big difference in how elements work together. Knowing what compressor/eq to use, how to set it up and when to use it is what a good engineer does. The more you understand about mixing)

    spectrum

  4. #4

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Jariya, were you afraid that we could not read your topic in normal size?

  5. #5
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    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Thank you Novaburst, Effenix and The Chief! First of all, sorry for the font size. I had initially composed my thoughts in Word and then used copy/paste to transfer them into the message box. Wow, too big. I tried adjusting the size but I couldn't get it to work. Again, sorry for that. (One of the problems I face in this post-conflict, developing country is the poor internet infrastructure...I can't count on having a viable connection for too long.)

    The ability to accurately hear bass frequencies is, of course, very important. My mention of EQ was more to do with cutting the frequencies of the other instruments in the mix to leave room for the bass to stand out. As to compression, I was under the impression that Trilian samples were already nicely processed and didn't require too much in the way of dynamic adjustment.

    I'm still learning -- gaining experience, tuning my ears, learning the tools, and trying to compensate for limitations in my setup.

    The key points highlighted by Spectrum in regards to mixing with bass sounds should be a sticky somewhere. How about a page of tips on the Trilian site? Cheers!

  6. #6

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Hi Jariya

    Just wondering how are you using Trilian, how are you doing your music, are you in a studio, live recording, , are you using software sequencer, PC/ Mac let us know what kind of set up you have to do your work/music





    novaburst

  7. #7

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Quote Originally Posted by Jariya View Post
    As to compression, I was under the impression that Trilian samples were already nicely processed and didn't require too much in the way of dynamic adjustment.
    Cheers!
    I don't know if the instruments were recorded with compression, I would guess little if any. But Trillian does include a compressor. However it's rather basic and I usually shut it off and use one of my DAW's comp plugs.
    JP

  8. #8
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    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Thanks guys for your interest. My wife and I are development economists who occasionally take up residence in poor countries (most recently in Africa, Central Asia) for several years at a time. As a (serious) hobby I write pop songs and engineer the recording and mix process. It’s a lonely one-man operation. Back in the U.S. of A., my home setup consists of decent speakers (Dynaudio BM15a), nice mics & preamps, and a well-treated room. But because my initial focus is on composing, I rely a lot on the benefits of a DAW and midi. (For me, midi is the modern day equivalent of what the old masters did: used pen and paper to write out all the notes on a staff…none of this loop business). Anyway, now that our current assignment has taken us back to Africa, I’ve had to squeeze the entire studio into a laptop! So, in answer to your question, I’m working with a high-performance ADK device running Windows7 64-bit (cpu 930@280Ghz with 12 GB ram, and with Cubase 6 32-bit as my host. (By the way, I’m gradually transitioning to Cubase 64 bit now that my main writing drum programs – BFD2 and Addictive – are beta 64.)



    So, how do I approach all this music writing and mixing? Every single note (including each drum hit, every piano note, bass line, etc) is written in Cubase with my mouse! No external keyboard. I look at the screen and write in the notes. That’s it. I monitor through Sennheiser HD600 headphones through external RME Hammerfall DSP Multiface II converters. Everything is ITB. And because I rely so much on samples with this approach, the quality of the digital instruments and FX processing is critical if my efforts are going to have any resemblance to a real experience. I have all the Spectrasonics offerings because…well, they’re just so good. Now, if only I could get my game up to a higher level that would please me to no end (all the while knowing that I’m working under some key limitations: the shortcomings in my talent and skills, and the electronic tools at my disposable).



    I’m using Trilian for my bass sounds (upgraded from Trilogy). The midi notes trigger this VST instrument, along with all the other VSTs. As much as possible I build up my tracks (arrangement) with VSTs playing together; that is, not bounced to audio, because I’m continually re-writing the notes and adjusting the song sections. Today’s computers allow for this, although there are times when I hit cpu and memory limits. Once I’ve more or less exhausted any new ideas, I bounce to .WAV and begin to mix. Among other things, the low-end is hard to fully conquer, and this may be due in part to headphone monitoring. I don’t doubt the wisdom from Eric, but I’ve always appreciated the bass sounds coming from the Beatles and I think I hear a sense of depth and space that comes from recording with a mic at some distance from the amplifier (or at least capturing some room ambience). But hey, what do I know? All those great sounds coming only/mainly from DI? As to compression, I find that most sample libraries/instruments need little in the way of compression. In this context, I’m referring to compression for maintaining widely fluctuating levels, not for tone and character shaping. Cheers!

  9. #9

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Wish you well on your work and hobby,

    with the spectro vsts your in good hands i have Omni myself and it took living with it for over a year before i could make it come alive, and would say my arsenal of music software is not complete with out it.

    The software for music is playing a major part in the lives of many writers, composers, and i will quote it dosent turn up late, it is not high on dope, and is ready to play at a moments notice.





    novaburst

  10. #10

    Re: Mixing dilemma with Trilian

    Quote Originally Posted by Jariya View Post
    So, how do I approach all this music writing and mixing? Every single note (including each drum hit, every piano note, bass line, etc) is written in Cubase with my mouse! No external keyboard.
    This is probably the biggest problem. Electric Bass really only feel right when it's been played.

    I monitor through Sennheiser HD600 headphones through external RME Hammerfall DSP Multiface II converters.
    Headphones are the worst possible bass reference you can have. That's another major challenge that's not going to improve much by staying on phones.

    I don’t doubt the wisdom from Eric, but I’ve always appreciated the bass sounds coming from the Beatles and I think I hear a sense of depth and space that comes from recording with a mic at some distance from the amplifier (or at least capturing some room ambience). But hey, what do I know?
    Of course the Electric Basses in Trilian are recorded with real amps, in real rooms, with real air and some distance with real mics. :-)

    Check the Epiphone Viola Bass....it dials the Beatles sound pretty dead-on.

    As to compression, I find that most sample libraries/instruments need little in the way of compression. In this context, I’m referring to compression for maintaining widely fluctuating levels, not for tone and character shaping. Cheers!
    All the new basses in Trilian were recorded without compression. The patches use realtime compression. The suggestion to use your favorite compressor plug-ins is a good one! :-)

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