· Could you walk through the typical process you go through when laying strings down. Not so much the compositional process, but the technical process of getting the \'sound\' you get from GOS. Things like layering (any other string libraries used?), expression control (CC11), EQ\'ing, reverbs, compression, limiting, etc.Thanks for your time.” Submitted by jubal
Well, I\'ve got a fairly conventional template I use that is in score order. For those that don\'t know what this is (bear with me all of you PhDs), it is merely the order of the instruments as they would appear on a conductor\'s chart. There are no other strings being used at Artistry Entertainment now. Everything you hear is GOS. I\'ve got the strings split out on a D8B right now across \"violins\", \"viola\", \"celli\" and \"basses\" so it is a pretty simple setup. My strings tend to be heavier in verb than what you hear in real life. This is a stylistic thing that I do and it helps blend the different types of attacks. I use a Lexicon 300 pretty extensively along with a 960L in some cases. I also have darkened down the violins with a gentle British EQ roll-off. Something like 3.9 db starting in the mid ranges extending upwards. GOS tends to be bright so I took this into account in matching the sound of my ideal synth orchestra with the sound of a live orchestra. I also sometimes add a soft knee compressor to the basses and celli. This helps to focus the sound a bit. Panning is also a piece of cake. My firsts are gently nudged a bit more left than they come out of the box. I also nudge my celli to the right and brightened the celli on a lot of my mixes. Last but not least, I use lots and lots of expression control. Volume, foot, breath, mod...you name it. It\'s all there. You need all of these things to keep the tone articulation and phrasing musical. I use my lungs, hands and feet simultaneously. It\'s seems a bit like smoking and riding a motorcycle at the same time--it looks cool but it\'s easy to crash.
· 1) When you make orchestral mockups, with which instruments or groups to you typically start? Do you have a general piano track for jotting down musical ideas (sketch track)? 2) Do you have system or a set of \"principles\" for getting individual instruments within a proper level range? There are so many variables, like velocity, expression, volume that affect the final loudness of an instrument (samples) in the mix. 3) Do you compare levels and settings like eq, reverb with \"real recordings? Or has this become an internalized reference? Thanks in advance”, Submitted by PeterRoos in The Netherlands
Thanks Peter, I\'m always comparing my synth setup to a real orchestra. In fact, when I write, I try to imagine the monitors as merely windows into an orchestra hall rather than speakers connected to an amp. I always try to think about what the instruments should sound like at various levels. It\'s far too easy to play samples out of perspective. I think it is important to watch perspective just as much as the notes and rhythms.
· How did you get such nice depth and sound placement in your GOS demos? Did you use plugins like Soundstage or Acoustic Mirror and place the instruments accordingly? Did you use different reverb techniques for strings, brass, woods? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks”, Submitted by Damon
I\'ve used acoustic mirror--it\'s cool, but it doesn\'t beat the real thing. But for electronic reverb, it\'s hard to beat Lexicon.
· Jeremy, thanks for taking the time here. 1. Would you discuss the whole issue of ambience with some detail. I feel you have mastered it, you have captured the air in a very tasteful and professional manner. “ Submitted by gungnir
Thank you! A few reviewers have said I use too much reverb... I do have a reason for going heavier in the verb and that is to cover the seams generally produced by Gigastudio and low-resolution midi that we\'ve all been stuck with for far too long (I HOPE the MMA reads this). Gigastudio could be powered with a firewire cable connected to Mac or PC running some sequencer if a few people would get together and talk. We don\'t need to modify entire assembly lines at Roland, Yamaha and whatever else to adopt a new standard now. It\'s just a little software and off-the-shelf hardware as far as Gigastudio is concerned. This resolution would make it possible for me to use less ambience as I\'d have greater control over the instruments.
Some live classical mixes I\'ve heard have an astounding amount of verb on them. I believe that for the most part, the room is like another instrument. My percussion is often sampled as far back as 40 feet from the source. There\'s simply no other way to get this sound. I can\'t tell you how many tympani samples I\'ve heard that sound like the mic is being used as the mallet!
· Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. I see that others have asked all but one of my questions, so here is mine: It begins with the fact that it sounds like your reverb returns for each individual track are in mono. Are they? Thanks”, Submitted by Rick
My sends and returns have been in panned mono setups as I have been playing around with this for a while. It allows me to punch up verb on the opposite channel of the instrument which also happens in real life. A lot of the problem I have with artificial verb is that the amplitude characteristics of an orchestra in a room are completely glossed over. If my trumpet is on the right, I want the sound of the wall on the left to really show itself. It\'s hard to get this effect without manually manipulating it. I\'m still toying with this technique.