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Posted on Fri, Jun 22 2012 12:28
by Ege
Joined on Sat, Jan 22 2005, Washington, DC, Posts 105

I am using Logic 9 and the Environment "multi-instrument" approach to set up VSL instruments in VE Pro.  I am trying to do a decent final mix (and I realize from earlier research that mixing is a whole subject of its own), and short of taking a degree from MIT in mixing technology, I am in search for some practical advice from users.

To control volume of instruments (and therefore affect its relative loudness among other instruments), its stereo placement, front or back relative to a convolution reverb, and, lastly, but far from leastly, artistic expression, I have the following at my disposal:

1.  Velocity on the keyboard.

2.  "Master volume" in the VI Pro player (usually controlled by CC 7).

3.  "Expression" in the VI Pro player a subset of Master Volume that allows "volume within volume" as it were (usually controlled by CC 11).

4.  Velocity cross-fade in the VI Pro player, which, I believe, sets the keyboard velocity at which a sample of the same note taken at higher velocities are played in instruments that have several velocity samples, or layers, for the same note, depending upon the strength with which the key is played.  I don't know what happens if this is not turned on in the VI Pro player.  In the default VI Pro set up, this is controlled by CC 2 and turned on and off by CC 28 (see "Ctrl Map" in advanced view of VI Pro).  Some samples overcome this mechanical approach and are simply recorded directly as "articulations" such as sforzando (I don't know whether this has layers as well) or forte-piano.

5. In VE Pro, I have a "Master Bus" volume control, as well as individual volume controls for each instrument loaded into VE Pro.

6. In Logic, in the mixer view, you can see individual volume controls for each of the individual instruments loaded into the multi-instrument.

7. In Logic, there is also a volume control for the individual instance of VE Pro, but this volume control, visible in the Logic mixer, appears to have no effect.

8. In Logic, "Output volume" in the mixer and

9. In Logic, "Master volume"

I think that's it.

So I am not lacking for volume controls.

To get through my present assignment, I propose to do the following:

Set all of these volume controls to their maximum value, with the following exceptions:

1.  The the individual, instrument specific volume slider in the mixer view of VE Pro will be used to establish relative volume among the other instruments as well as stereo placement, front and back.  It will not perform any specific artistic expression function.

2.  The "Expression" slider in VI Pro will be used for general crescendi and diminuendi over a measure or measures as well as to provide fixed dynamics over measures -- piano, forte, and so on.

3.  Velocity cross-fade I will turn on and set at 64, the mid-point value.

4.  "Output volume" in Logic I will set depending upon aggregate volume coming from all instruments so as to avoid exceeding 0.0 db.  I don't yet know how to use a Compressor plug-in in Logic to handle this task.

5.  Keyboard velocity will be used for the most important and individual artistic expression.

In other words, all those other volume controls are so much dead weight.  Am I wrong?


IMac, 2.9 GHz Intel 4 Core i5, 32 GB, OSX 10.10.1
Posted on Fri, Jun 22 2012 15:27
by jeremyroberts
Joined on Thu, Apr 17 2003, New York, NY USA, Posts 282
Steve_DC wrote:
In other words, all those other volume controls are so much dead weight.  Am I wrong?


Dead wrong.

NEVER set instrument volume to maximum. We're in a 24-but world. Save some gain for later.

ALWAYS use "expression" for performance-vased volume IN CONJUNCTION with vel x-fade. IN a perfect world, vel x-fade should be all you need, but it's not a perfect world. Vel x-fade is THE MOST IMPORTANT performance tool you have (along with expression). Never set and leave it (for many/most instruments).

Study gain staging and mixing. No don't study anything. Just make music.

You are WAY overthinking this.

Look at it this way -- good writing will always be superior to good mixing. In other words, a well written orchestration will require far less "mixing". And a well performed, well written orchestration requires even less. This applies to music played on "real" instruments as well as virtual.

Can you intern at a studio and learn how mixing actually works in the real world?

Posted on Wed, Dec 27 2017 11:23
by StasPraha
Joined on Tue, Mar 15 2016, Posts 13

Dear Super Wrong,

the discussion is not about Expression nor Xfades. The discussion is about too many volume controls everywhere. I send everything from Vienna ensemble to MIR, whrere I rely on natural volume. BUT what with the global volume slider in Vienna instrument where each of groups of delivered presets has differnt volume (Advenced view, Perform, Volume)? Nowhere is explained the relation between this volume and the natural volume in MIR. Shoud it be equalized in Vienna instrument for all presets or what???



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