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Old 09-12-2017, 04:52 PM
jamieboo jamieboo is offline
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Default A certain broad orchestral sound - How?

Hello folks

I've been tweaking things in my Hollywood Orchestra template and I've lost all judgement in terms of the sound of the balance and appropriate ambience.

Those of you out there who use Hollywood Orchestra Diamond and are working in what could broadly be called a 'John Williams' idiom (large, late romantic/early modern symphonic) what steps do you take to get this sound?

So far I have generally used the Main mics, although Close sounds best to me for woodwinds. I've tried to mix in some other mics and I can hear difference but my judgement has abandoned me and I can't gauge if a difference is better or worse.
And what of reverb?
I have Spaces and I have a SoCal instrument section specific instance for each section of the orchestra - at default levels. This sounds... ok?
I know there are a million tweaks and I should be trusting my own ears, but if there are any others out there who are striving for the kind of sound I mentioned - how are you approximating it?

Thanks very much
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:14 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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I think the processing is a small part of that sound. Ideally, it's the orchestration and how you program/sequence the parts.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:48 AM
jamieboo jamieboo is offline
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Very true.
I tentatively think my orchestration is ok - it's this other element that I suddenly feel at sea with!
Besides even with perfect orchestration, there are still choices to be made with mics and reverbs - even if that choice is to leave them at default.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:13 PM
DJB DJB is offline
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Hi, I too struggle with the mixing side though I seem to get reasonable if not decent results by using a simple setup: for each group (strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, choir) has its own Spaces reverb (So. Cal with default settings). I only tweak the wet settings for short articulations eg. spiccato strings, and give them their own reverb group. I then send all the groups to a final Spaces reverb group just to give it a bit of sheen.

I hear some people also apply a high pass filter on each of the reverb groups from within Spaces itself. After all this I apply the mix to Izotope Ozone (I boringly just use their preset CD Master!) with a tiny bit of tweaking seems fine.

In terms of the mics I use main or mid for everything. Most importantly though if the mix of the arrangement (ie orchestration) is not good then none of this will solve it.

Hope that helps a little.

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Old 09-15-2017, 07:13 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJB View Post
In terms of the mics I use main or mid for everything. Most importantly though if the mix of the arrangement (ie orchestration) is not good then none of this will solve it.
That's it exactly.

I also use the mid mic in the Gold versions, and no eq or any other processing except for a master reverb on each Play instance.
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:44 AM
jamieboo jamieboo is offline
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Thanks for the responses folks!

DJB, I too use the SPACES So. Cal instrument section reverbs at default.
What do you find an additional final overall reverb adds? I use one as well, but I turn it on and off and can't really hear a significant difference.
I understand it's importance when mixing libraries - just to glue everything into the same room - but if everything is HO, I can't perceive it's contribution.
Also, for your short articulations do you tend to tweak these wetter or dryer than default? And do you do it for shorts in all instruments or just strings?

I just feel that sometimes in particularly dense and intricate 'Williamsy' moments of instrumentation orchestration detail can be a bit lost in the ambience, but then turning down the reverb loses the sense of 'space'.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:42 PM
DJB DJB is offline
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I haven't really settled on an overall reverb yet but tend to use one of the ACME Storage ones - to me it just seems to mould everything together. For the short articulations I just make these dryer - in isolation they can sound a little too dry but if combined with the wetter sounding reverbs from the long articulations you can get a nice balance I think.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:25 PM
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C4L88 C4L88 is offline
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My tip, as "boring" as it may sound, if you want to:
1) Learn how to use the library
2) How to orchestrate
3) Learn to balance and mix

You have to take a score you love and copy it into your DAW

Trying to imitate the proper articulations and expressiveness will really teach you how to work the library, seeing which parts play what helps you see the orchestration choices, and then after all that is in, using a reference track and you can balance, EQ, etc. until it is close to the reference track which gives you an idea of how to balance and mix a track of that particular style
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:43 PM
wine888riter wine888riter is offline
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Duplicate a couple pages of William's score that you like. That will at least eliminate (or illustrate) where the problem may lie as you concentrate on achieving the orchestra sound you're after.
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