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Topic: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

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  1. #1

    Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Hey everyone -

    Can anyone give some advice on final mastering for orchestral work?

    Right now, I have a 1:00 piece for a client. There is nothing on the master output (in Logic) for mastering. The client thought the volume was a little low, although it peaks for about one second during the piece at around -4db, otherwise it hovers around -10 to -14 db.

    Can/should I use the Logic Multipressor to increase the apparent volume of the piece? If so, what do you recommend for some basic settings?

    I need an engineer!!! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Originally posted by Eric Doggett:
    Hey everyone -

    Can anyone give some advice on final mastering for orchestral work?

    Right now, I have a 1:00 piece for a client. There is nothing on the master output (in Logic) for mastering. The client thought the volume was a little low, although it peaks for about one second during the piece at around -4db, otherwise it hovers around -10 to -14 db.

    Can/should I use the Logic Multipressor to increase the apparent volume of the piece? If so, what do you recommend for some basic settings?

    I need an engineer!!! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">If you are using Logic, one thing to try is the \"Audio Energizer\" function found in the sample editor window/factory menu. This is a kind of normalizing and will increase perceived volume. Experiment with the settings...not too much....maybe 40 percent. It will increase the perceived volume but not alter the dynamic range (too much) if you set the \"factor\" parameter low enough. Cetainly don\'t go over 100 percent.

    Select your final master mix file and run it through Audio Energizer. Maybe this will work for you, maybe not. As always, back-up your file before doing this, as I don\'t believe there is an undo if you don\'t.

  3. #3

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Originally posted by Eric Doggett:
    Hey everyone -

    Can anyone give some advice on final mastering for orchestral work?

    Right now, I have a 1:00 piece for a client. There is nothing on the master output (in Logic) for mastering. The client thought the volume was a little low, although it peaks for about one second during the piece at around -4db, otherwise it hovers around -10 to -14 db.

    Can/should I use the Logic Multipressor to increase the apparent volume of the piece? If so, what do you recommend for some basic settings?

    I need an engineer!!! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">If you are using Logic, one thing to try is the \"Audio Energizer\" function found in the sample editor window/factory menu. This is a kind of normalizing and will increase perceived volume. Experiment with the settings...not too much....maybe 40 percent. It will increase the perceived volume but not alter the dynamic range (too much) if you set the \"factor\" parameter low enough. Cetainly don\'t go over 100 percent.

    Select your final master mix file and run it through Audio Energizer. Maybe this will work for you, maybe not. As always, back-up your file before doing this, as I don\'t believe there is an undo if you don\'t.

  4. #4

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Runyon, good tip if Eric is bouncing down to audio. If like me Eric, you do your mixing in the midi realm and bounce down from there I have found MDA Dynamics to be an excellent free plugin (AU) You can find links for their stuff at kvr or osx audio. Depending on the nature of the piece it can give you great comp/limiting without too much damage to orchestral. For anything that gets a bit bombastic I very much recommend it. I use it on almost every track I do. I only have Logic Audio (not Gold or Plat) and have not really liked any of the fx in that package. Don\'t underestimate the apple fx either. I much prefer the appleverb to the logic one. Although I hear the plat. is pretty good.
    You should post and you\'ll get a lot of good tips from all the fine folks here.

    christianb

  5. #5

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    server acting funny?
    ignore

  6. #6

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Hey guys -

    Good tip on the energizer, I\'ve never used it. Will try. I am running Logic Platinum 6.1 on a mac.

    Here\'s a link to the current file - it\'s really short, and was written to picture, so there\'s a hit near the beginning, and then it\'s \"calm\" after that.

    mp3 demo

    Let me know if you have any further suggestions on how to best master this.

    Thanks for your help, and if you have any questions on this (tools used/samples/etc) I\'d be happy to answer.

    Thanks,

    Eric

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Eric,

    I too am on Logic 6.1

    I\'d suggest trying the multi-pressor with either the \"enhanced medium\" or the \"Hyped medium\" presets. You\'ll have to judge for yourself if you like the results. Those generally work well for me, and my mixes always seem to translate well out of the studio using either of those two presets. Also, a little tweaking can really make it fit the mix, as well.

    Another plugin that works well is Waves ultamax limiter. It basically can be set to be a \"brick wall\" on overs. However, really dynamic mixes might suffer from something like that set to high.

    My only advice against the \"Audio Energizer\" is that it will raise the noise floor on your mix as well. As long as you make a safety, try it and see if it works. Be warned that any low level noise from your gear that you might otherwise have never noticed will rear it\'s ugly head in that situation.

    Hope that helps...

  8. #8

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    If your piece peaks at -4db nothing could be easier than applying a 4db gain (normalizing it) - that will add quit a lot of volume.

  9. #9

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    Simon -

    That\'s a good point - I guess the issue is whether upping the output about 4db will do enough to bring the quieter areas up in level, or should I look at compressing, which I know some people on this board are adament about not doing for orchestral work [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Eric

  10. #10

    Re: Orchestral Piece/MB Compression

    You can use a gentle bottom-up compression of say a 1.1:1 ratio with a threshold in the range of -30 to -40 dB. This will lift all the softer parts with some 3 dB without noticable compressions in the louder areas. I bet this is done a lot on film scores. Recording orchestras is not such a pure approach as you might think.
    You should take care however with compressing the louder parts (the \"typical\" compression), which is quickly noticable and annoying. Use a multiband compressor, if available.
    BTW, if possible, try to take this mastering work outside of your sequencer. Use an app like SoundForge or WaveLab. Will give you more control over and feedback on what you do and the processing previews and undo options are really time and life savers.

    Regards,

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