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Mixing Question & Dry Question
Last post Mon, Jul 11 2011 by SJSF, 6 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Jul 10 2011 02:12
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Utah, Posts 497

I would appreciate if anyone would take a shot answering me these two things.

1) A friend of mine is insisting to me that 'the standard' is using two reverbs- not an 'ER' and 'Tail' thing, but one reverb for each instrument and one master reverb for adding a sense of realism to 'bring out' the sound. I keep thinking that this can NOT work, that it would be a super muddy product in the end. Any thoughts?

2) What are the pro's and cons to recording dry? This same person keeps telling me that recording 'too dry' will suck the life out of the sound, and that VSL edits the samples to remove any resonance that lingers (like on a violin)- although I think he's way off with that point) but I want to understand the pros and cons to both.

I have now placed my violin II on the right sight and I prefer this. I keep thinking with EW's 'mic positions' that this wouldn't be possible... and that with a wet sound it wouldn't sound right. I also have been under the impression that wet samples would involve convolving an existing room on another room, causing a problem. Personally I feel that my samples sound better than his anyway, and I feel that my mix is far better than his... so I don't think I'm off base or anything... but I want to understand these things a little more. Any advice or reference of somewhere I can read about it would be GREATLY helpful!

Thanks,

Sean

Studio One 3.5 | VIP 2.3.0.15962 | VEP 6.0.16502 | RME HDSPe AIO | scoredfilms.com
Posted on Mon, Jul 11 2011 11:23
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7291

Hi Sean,

there is only one fundamental rule in audio engineering: "If it sounds right, it IS right." ;-)

ad 1.: Your friend offers a valid way of adding the impression of room and reverb to a multi-track recording, but it is only one of the "typical" ways, not necessarily "the" standard procedure. I for one would doubt that using just one type of reverb to all intruments will be sufficient to build a realistic virtual 3D-soundstage (especially in terms of perceived distance). OTOH, it is _not_ unusual to add some additional over-all reverb to a mix for "sweetening"; this is done with recordings from real orchestras more often than not, and it will also work with virtual recordings from MIR. The secret lies in the texture chosen for this additional reverb as well in the amount of its signal that gets mixed in. - It might be interesting to know that this is sometimes even done by mastering engineers in a pop/rock context, where a "super muddy" result wouldn't be acceptable at all.

ad 2.: We have to define the word "dry" here first. If you refer to VSL's recordings in our SilentStage, I can just repeat what has been said literally hundreds of times: This studio is anything but "dry", and it is _not_ built  like an anechoic-room (... a common misunderstanding; this mis-information has become some kind of Urban Legend during the last decade, though). In the SilentStage, there's plenty of room around an instrument, and lots of air get moved with each and every note. We have average reverb times of about 0.5 seconds here - which would translate in "rich ERs, but no actual reverb tail" in our lingo. The proof for that is most (if not all) Vienna Instruments offer dedicated release-samples. It is safe to say that your friend is wrong in this respect, and it is very likely that he is biased by the gossip spread on the web. ;-)

Please watch the Quicktim-VR-movie on this page to get an idea: ->  http://www.vsl.co.at/en/65/72/102/19.vsl ... no chance that a room like that is "dry" in the actual meaning of the word.

The name "SilentStage" comes from the main goal to isolate our recordings against noise from the outside; we did _not_ plan to "suck the life out" of them. Confused The absence of actual reverb gives us the chance to put these instruments in any acoustic space a certain composition and/or arrangement asks for, in any position on a (virtual) stage, and in any distance from the listener - especially with built-to-the-task applications like Vienna MIR. This isn't possible (or at least hard to achieve) with "prerecorded mic-positions".

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Jul 11 2011 11:28
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7291

PS: Some pictures from the SilentStage, especially from the legendary test with the helicopter circling about 10 meters above its roof, are still available online in an article form 2007:

-> http://recording.de/Magazin/Testberichte/Software/1625/article.html#article 

... text is in German, but you get the idea. ;-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Jul 11 2011 14:48
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Utah, Posts 497
Dietz wrote:
The secret lies in the texture chosen for this additional reverb as well in the amount of its signal that gets mixed in.

The secret? I figure it's 'by ear' to what each person prefers... but my first reaction to this statement was that there would be a right and wrong way to approach choosing a texture- or things to look for specifically in chosing the overall reverb. Any truth in that? I'm trying to avoid asking you to hold my hand with each step- so this will be my last question about it. 

And who says I don't know German!? Surprise

I don't... but I loved the food and miss europe every day, so close enough!! lol

Thanks,

Sean

Studio One 3.5 | VIP 2.3.0.15962 | VEP 6.0.16502 | RME HDSPe AIO | scoredfilms.com
Posted on Mon, Jul 11 2011 17:57
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7291

Ha - you got me there. One gets so used to make excuses for the own mother-tongue on the web that this came across snappish, most likely. Sorry for that.

iscorefilm wrote:
Dietz wrote:
The secret lies in the texture chosen for this additional reverb as well in the amount of its signal that gets mixed in.

The secret? I figure it's 'by ear' to what each person prefers... but my first reaction to this statement was that there would be a right and wrong way to approach choosing a texture- or things to look for specifically in chosing the overall reverb. Any truth in that? I'm trying to avoid asking you to hold my hand with each step- so this will be my last question about it. [...]

It's done by ear, that's right. The goal is to add something that's missing from the room that's "already there", like brightness, sheen, or - quite contrary - more defined, clean low-end.  Additional length of the reverb tail is a typical sought-after feature too, or just more "enveloping" (in the sense of out-of-phase stereo information). Very often, the modulation that comes with most algorithmic reverbs adds some "sweetness" to the more static nature of real rooms ... in Viennese German I like to call this "Schlagobers" (whipped cream), something that's typical especially for those classic Lexicon algorithms. :-)

BTW - ask whatever you want, as often as you want. The worst thing that can happen is that I don't know an answer. :-D

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Jul 11 2011 21:03
by SJSF
Joined on Sat, Sep 18 2010, Utah, Posts 497

lol, I love the whipped cream analogy!

Thanks a load! I officially label you (and Martin for taking the time to solve my tech problem right now) as the reason why VSL rocks! (no offense to Herb or the others, lol)

-Sean

Studio One 3.5 | VIP 2.3.0.15962 | VEP 6.0.16502 | RME HDSPe AIO | scoredfilms.com
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