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"Centering" Libraries like LASS or Sable for MIR
Last post Thu, Jul 25 2013 by strytten, 3 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Jul 10 2013 01:42
by strytten
Joined on Sat, Jan 06 2007, Posts 65

I've had several projects lately that required blending various combinations of VSL, LASS and/or Sable strings as if they played in the same room. I've learned from a prior thread that step 1 is to "center" the sound output before it goes into MIR, keeping as much stereo width as you can. One of the contributors in the prior thread posted a video showing how he does this with Powerpanner and LASS.

I'm posting to add a couple things I've learned about Powerpanner and LASS, and about a similar process with Sable.

Assume for the moment that your sound is a first violin that was recorded off to the left. You would pan the left side of the signal towards the right until the output is equal. Powerpanner does this easily, and the sound actually sounds louder. That is, until you decide where to set the "pan law" which opens at 0db. Since pan law addresses the issue that we perceive things to be louder when panned to the middle than when panned to the side, it seems to me it makes more sense to set this to a similar setting as in whatever DAW you're working with, perhaps -3 db. Once you do that, the sound seems roughly the same in volume.

The first time I tried to do this process with the Sable close mic samples, I got some unexpected imaging and phasing issues. It took awhile to figure out. Sable comes with a "stereo width" setting. It loads from the factory in the center position, but if slid to the far right, produces the greatest stereo width. It turns out that the far right setting invokes an uber-stereo effect in Kontakt that artifically exaggerates the stereo image; and the center position is the setting you want if you just want the two mics panned hard left/right without any further processing. Once Sable is in the center position, you can use Powerpanner the same as with LASS, and you're on your way.

I hope this is helpful.

Steve Trytten
All VSL strings, winds, and most others, Vienna Imperial, VE Pro, MIR, Protools 10.3.5, Mac Mntn Lion 12 core, LASS, Ivory, Kontakt 5, Spitfire Sable Strings
Posted on Wed, Jul 17 2013 15:08
by Symfoniq
Joined on Sat, May 04 2013, Posts 45

This is great info. Thanks for posting it.

Has your experience with Spitfire products inside MIR Pro been a good one? In particular, do the close mics preserve enough of the great Spitfire out-of-the-box sound and at the same time sit well inside a MIR Pro mix?

Posted on Thu, Jul 25 2013 00:57
by strytten
Joined on Sat, Jan 06 2007, Posts 65

Yes, and yes. For some projects, I use the Spitfire Sable "tree" mic, which for me is the most gorgeous mic sound in Sable. Then I'll put my other libraries in MIR and try to match the sound of the hall. I'm pretty satisfied with how this sounds. For other projects, I use the Spitfire Sable close mic sound right into MIR, and I find it matches really well. Just for the heck of it, I tried running the Sable close mic through the setup I was using to match the Sable tree mic, and I was surprised that they sounded totally different. The Sable close mic has a very distinctive quality (very detailed) that survives no matter what you do with it. I like to use con sordino a lot, and it is always a challenge to find the various articulations I need, and I often have to cobble together a mix of Vienna, LASS, and Sable. So these reverb techniques are really essential to what I do.

Steve Trytten
All VSL strings, winds, and most others, Vienna Imperial, VE Pro, MIR, Protools 10.3.5, Mac Mntn Lion 12 core, LASS, Ivory, Kontakt 5, Spitfire Sable Strings
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