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Old 11-17-2017, 07:30 PM
Jdiggity Jdiggity is offline
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Hi all,
Here's a mockup I did recently using exclusively what is available in Composer Cloud and the stock Cubase plugins.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rvge3bw6e...HymowkeNa?dl=0

I've included a DRY version to show what it sounds like with no processing (it's pretty ugly), but to also demonstrate that a lot can be achieved with production.
There are also individual sections. (Easier to hear the flaws)

Products used:
- Hollywood Orchestra Gold (Strings, Brass, WW, Perc - one mic position)
- Symphonic Choirs
- Hollywood Harp
- Symphonic Orchestra Gold (Woodwind runs and a bell tree)
- Goliath (a bit of dulcimer)

Plugins:
- QL Spaces
- Stock Cubase plugins

I'm pretty darn happy with what can be achieved for $30/m
Oh and by the way... used up under 4.5GB of RAM. Just so you know...
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Last edited by Jdiggity; 11-17-2017 at 07:32 PM. Reason: slight ammendment
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:15 AM
tommyrack13 tommyrack13 is offline
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Jdiggity - this is a really excellent mockup and a demonstration of what you can do with a very affordable set-up! Great work man.

It's absolutely amazing the difference between dry and produced. It really feels like the staging/spacial elements of the produced version are so three dimensional - any chance you might share a little about what your approach to the production side of the track was? For instance, how you're routing your tracks to reverb (is it all one master verb with various sends, a different verb per section, something else) and whether you're adjusting the panning on the sections yourself?

T
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:26 AM
Jdiggity Jdiggity is offline
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Thanks a lot Tommy!

My routing is a little involved and would probably benefit from a diagram (or a walkthrough?) but for now i'll give a brief description.
For reverb i use separate effects channels for each section (strings, brass, perc, choir, etc.) and bus the individual instruments to them, but there are two key things i do to achieve depth that not everybody does.

- Send as Pre-fader (not post fader)
If you've never done this before, play around with and hear what it does.
It essentially gives you more control over a wet/dry mix.
When using post-fader sends (which is default in most daws) the amount of reverb is determined by the level of the channel. So if it's turned down low, there'll only be a little bit of verb. With pre-fader, there is always the full amount of verb even if you turn down the volume of the channel.

Anyway, the second thing is
- Use 'combined panner' mode.
Now, not all daws have this, but the main ones do. Instead of your typical balance panner that gives you one slider to move either left or right, a combined panner lets you adjust the width of the stereo field. This is key.

When instruments are heard up close, you get a full stereo image. If something is far away however, the sound source is much narrower, and you can pin-point the direction it is coming from.

After each individual instrument has been sent to a verb and has its stereo field narrowed a bit, i apply effects to my group channels. This allows me to then put a verb as an insert on a whole section for that extra bit of glue.

Other techniques to affect depth include EQ, volume, and another little secret sauce... Mid-side EQ.
If you havent explored mid-side processing, i encourage you to do so.

Anyway... That's pretty much a general overview of what i tweak to achieve spatial positioning. There are of course a number of ways to do things.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:08 AM
tommyrack13 tommyrack13 is offline
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Awesome! That explains a lot of how you're getting that depth and perspective. I definitely need to particularly look into mid-side in a real way for this application because your results are great.

Regarding the combined panner, are you narrowing/widening the stereo field of the dry instrument which is then sent into a full-width reverb, or are you narrowing/widening the instrument's wet & dry signal? If the latter, doesn't that mean you need a verb for pretty much every track?

T
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:45 AM
Jdiggity Jdiggity is offline
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Panner is only affecting the instrument, not the reverb.
So it is essentially like a narrower instrument signal getting sent through a full stereo width reverb.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:31 AM
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Well done, Mr. Diggity.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:36 AM
jamieboo jamieboo is offline
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Nicely done Jdiggity.
I'm very intrigued by this Combined Panner thing.
I have Hollywood Orchestra Diamond and I've never experimented with panning because of the much vaunted "everything is already in it's right place" feature.
But I've been looking for a way to get a bit more clarity in my mixes. My orchestrations are dense (wannabe Williamsy) but I think reasonably crafted so I'm looking to improve clarity in other areas, and for a while I'd been thinking about playing with panning.
So how exactly does Cubase's combined panner work with already panned patches?
If I'm using it to narrow the stereo image on an instrument do I have to have the 'centre' of that narrowing in the correct left-right place? Or can I just narrow it for each instrument keeping Cubase's default central position?
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:54 PM
Jdiggity Jdiggity is offline
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Thanks Jay.

@jamieboo
if you have used VEP's power panner, or even Waves' S1 plugin, the combined panner works in a similar way.
The default "balance panner" adjusts the levels of each of the L and R signals, so if you imagine it as two separate channels (L & R), moving the pan slider to the left is essentially like turning down the right channel. So if you're signal is already panned hard right, there won't be much coming into the Left signal, and if you try panning to the left, all it is doing is turning the volume down for the Right channel, which is where most of the signal is coming in. So it's not as effective at "moving" the signal/positioning around if it is already "pre-panned".
The Combined Panner is more effective at moving the signal from side to side, as it shifts the whole stereo signal, instead of adjust the levels of only one channel.

When narrowing the stereo image, you are pushing the signal closer to the centre, since you are taking away the left and right edges of the signal.
You have the option to then move it back into position on either side, but it will just have a narrower signal.
For most instruments in HO Gold you can simply narrow the image and leave it "centred". This is basically like keeping all of the instruments "in place", but pushing them all back a little bit. As if you just walked away from them about 10 metres or so.
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:02 PM
jggiano jggiano is offline
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I don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said, but that some might fine work you did and do.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:48 AM
jamieboo jamieboo is offline
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Thanks for explaining Jdiggity, although I still feel slightly in the dark!
So using Hollywood Diamond in Cubase, I can just use the Combined Panner to narrow the 'bar' keeping it central, and that will respect the 'already panned' quality of the samples?
Also, how do you just narrow it? When I interact with it with the mouse it's difficult to select a point where just narrowing happens - sometimes I was accidentally grabbing either the left or right extreme and modifying those ends. I want to keep left/right as is, and just narrow it.
When you do this is it a very involved process? Or do you just go through each instrument and narrow the same amount? And for a Williamsy symphonic sound, how much would you narrow each instrument?
I've had Hollywood for years now and I'm still baffled by all this stuff!
Just the other day I was thinking of switching everything to Close Mics and upping the reverb in Spaces to try and give a bit more definition - is that worth trying? (Always a bit of an arduous task as there's no way you can switch all mics with just one click)
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