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Dvorak 9th Mixing Feedback Please
Last post Tue, Sep 18 2018 by William, 7 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Sep 14 2018 15:21
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 335

Will you please give me some mixing feedback? My ears are not as good as they once were and I need to know if I am on the right track. The piece used is the Dvorak Symphony 9 Fourth Movement. I have only finished the exposition section.

This is 100% VSL plus the Spitfire Symphonic Strings. All 8 woodwinds are individual instruments. Horns and Brass and timpani are all VSL. I had the most trouble with the strings. It is difficult to get sampled strings to sound as rich and complex as real strings. In this case, I used VSL Orchestral Strings plus VSL Chamber Strings, plus Synchron Strings (room mix), and that still wasn't a rich enough sound so I added Spitfire Symphonic Strings. I did not use the Appassionata Strings because they seemed to decrease the "bite" that I needed. 

I used a CD of the London Symphony Orchestra and copied that into Cubase. Then I used the Cubase tempo matching feature to create a tempo map so that my version would exactly match the tempos of the LSO performance. Here is the CD of the LSO.

Dvorak 9 CD of the LSO

In this version, I used MIR Pro, Synchron Stage without any other processing EXCEPT I have a VSL compressor on the clarinet for the solo. All instruments are 30% to 40% wet/dry. The overall wet/dry offset is -25%. 

Dvorak 9 MIR Pro Only

In my final mix, I added several additional elements. I used Fabfilter Pro Q2 to match EQ curves with each of the strings groups. I added three instances of Altiverb (front, mid and mid-back) and sent a small amount of each group (woodwinds, horns, etc.) to the appropriate Altiverb (Mechanics Hall), but just barely heard. In the Final Mix I added a small amount of Cubase Magneto (tape emulation saturation), a small amount of Stereo Widening, and a small amount of the VSL exciter. Here is a link to my final mix.

My final mix

So please provide some feedback. Is the final mix better than the MIR Pro Only? Is there something else I should do? Please share your thoughts.

Based on feedback I received on other forums, I did a remix. I think it sounds even better now. If anyone is interested in what I did, let me know. Here is the Remix.

Dvorak Remix based on Feedback


Posted on Fri, Sep 14 2018 15:43
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 869

Great to see you working on such powerful symphonic music.

Just an Idea, if you use Synchron Strings, they as far as I can see do have no problem with "bite" at all.

Especially the tremolo are able to be done perhaps notably more excited if you dont use tremolo patches, but program the 1/16 notes with the incredible supershorts of the Synchronlibrary. They do have Roundrobin capacirty enough for not sounding mechanical as you perhaps might fear, but the fact, that they are metrical correct adds a lot of excitment this passage seem to ask for, while I fear in my humble opinion, the Spitfire Symphonic might give you perhaps strings for long chords, .....but "bite"? But I dont know of course exactly for what purpose you have used them,.

Anyway I like very much it how you try such great music.

Good Samplelibraries deserve to be used for more than just "Demos",
http://klassik-resampled.de ...more than 3400 mp3 with sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries

You realy want to know how Synchron Strings could sound in real music?
...33 mp3 with more than three hours of complete and ambitious scores from 19th and 20th century produced with Synchron Strings.
Posted on Fri, Sep 14 2018 18:20
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 253

Hi Paul, that sounds wonderful. Especially the strings, very real and expressive. Ok, some places are a little different as the cd, but that doesn't matter at all. It's a rich strings sound, what you get here.
Because you asked for feedback: perhaps you can get some more expression in the clarinet solo, that sounds a little flat to me.
Concerning the MIR Pro version and the Full Mix, I find it difficult to make a choice, I think at the end I should choose the full mix, but I think, this is a matter of taste, and there are also moments in the music that I should choose for the MIR Pro version. The MIR Pro version is a little more direct, and sometimes that gives more detail but in other moments I like the more mixed sound of the Full Mix.
You wrote that your ears are less good, and of course I believe you. But at the other hand you make a wonderful piece of music, so that should give me the idea, that for this kind of work your ears are well enough, happily for you!
And for you perhaps nice to know: comparing the different versions I had all of them in a different tab of the browser. In a certain moment I was writing this and listening and thought that I was listening to the cd version, and: tada... it was the full mix version.

Posted on Fri, Sep 14 2018 19:32
by Gustar
Joined on Wed, Sep 05 2018, Posts 3

That's impressive!

If I were to suggest something to take a look at, it would be the brass motif from 0:16 to 0:29.
In the LSO version, it has a bit more bite than in your full mix version and cuts through the rest of the orchestra.
In your mix, I feel it gets a little lost compared to the rest, which is probably because the volume balance is not 100% perfect (in case you want to get as close to the LSO version as possible).

You could also try to raise the presence range in the brass with an EQ, maybe a few dB @  around 2.5 KHz and see if you like it. But all in all, I like your final mix better than the "MIR Pro only"

Posted on Sun, Sep 16 2018 20:24
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 335

My thanks to everyone who replied! 

I received a number of suggestions on this forum and on other forums. In response, I did a Remix incorporating all of the suggestions I have received. I think it is even better now. Here it is.

Dvorak Remix based on Suggestions.

Posted on Tue, Sep 18 2018 18:19
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1969

Great work Paul.  If you could tweak the brass a bit, EQ?, it will raise it a few notches. 

Posted on Tue, Sep 18 2018 21:58
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5113

I listened to the Mir pro only and the "final mix" but thought the Mir pro only sounded much better. There is something wrong in the later version, but I can't tell exactly where it went wrong.  The Mir pro sounds more natural to me.  Great performance anyway!   

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