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Mirx realism
Last post Tue, Aug 14 2018 by Francesco Pirrone, 6 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 08:08
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 237

Forgive me, these may be some dumb questions, just something Ive been thinking about as Im learning more about the engineering side of composition. It seems these days, a composer needs to understand both now.

I have a piece I have been tweaking and adjusting for realism. After a friend listened to this piece, he asked me why it sounded so "hollow." He meant, why it had so much reverb.

For reference, this is the piece, I used Mirx, the big concert hall (Grossersaal).

"Relm Theme"

Now, mind you, Im not using a surround system, I am using studio monitor stereo speakers with a sub, they are similar to Mackey 5" studio monitors, with a 10 inch sub, run through a behringer pro EQ that has been adjusted to provide a very flat sound. My headphones are Sennheiser HD600 headphones (as I understand, these are the standard in music recording these days).

To my ears and on my setup, it doesnt sound like it has an excessive amount of reverb.

As I understand it, Mirx handles panning, EQ settings (if checked), and sound pressure levels (if checked) automatically to provide an authentic representation of that instrument, in that venue, based on the preset location you have provided. Is this correct?

Does Mirx also handle placing the appropriate amount of reverb based on the location of the instrument? That is, instruments further away will have less gain on the "close mic" to create the effect of that instrument being further away?

Lastly, what is the listening position that Mirx is trying to simulate? To my ears, it sounds like somewhere around 5-7 rows back, center aisle of the venue. As a conductor (although I havent conducted in awhile), I have always found the sound of the orchestra to sound unbalanced because some instruments, particularly lower pitched instruments, need room for their sound to fully develop. For example, if you stand right next to a tuba player (or in my case, are actually playing the tuba), it has a much brighter tone than if you are say 20-40 feet away from the tuba being played. This is why I ask, because the tuba recordings actually sound much different than what I hear sitting next to a tuba player or playing myself, or conducting. The vienna recordings sound as if Im sitting quite a distance away, if I had to guess, around 40-50 feet.

I have just started using Mirx and it has mainly helped immensely with saving time on adjusting gains for each instrument. For the most part, using the natural sound option on every instrument seems to provide a pretty decent balance, requiring only a few minor tweaks when I need an instrument to either stand out a bit more, or not stand out quite as much. I am all about spending less time tweaking and engineering and more time writing notes!

When using the natural sound, is the best approach to set every instrument to the same velocity and use the main volume control to create crescendos and decrescendos, and in the case of strings, swells? Or, is there a better way of doing this? Or is natural sound not a good option to use? Just curious what the best approach for me is, and with the help of others who have more experience, maybe I can pick up some tips here.

Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 13:56
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7646

Hi there!

Originally Posted by: littlewierdo Go to Quoted Post

Forgive me, these may be some dumb questions, [...]

"There are no dumb questions, only wrong answers." ;-)

Quote:
To my ears and on my setup, it doesnt sound like it has an excessive amount of reverb.

As I understand it, Mirx handles panning, EQ settings (if checked), and sound pressure levels (if checked) automatically to provide an authentic representation of that instrument, in that venue, based on the preset location you have provided. Is this correct?

That's the underlying idea, yes. Still we have to accept that there is always some specific manual input needed, as there are not two identical pieces of music, let alone two identical arrangements or performances. I sound like a broken record when repeating this over and over (sorry for that!), but my MIRx-presets can only serve as starting points for your own settings. They can't be seen as ready-mades for any arbitrary context. :-)

Quote:
Does Mirx also handle placing the appropriate amount of reverb based on the location of the instrument? That is, instruments further away will have less gain on the "close mic" to create the effect of that instrument being further away?
 

As long as you didn't un-check the option for "Distance Dependent Scaling" in the section of MIR's interface that takes care for the handling fo the direct (a.k.a. "dry") signal component, then MIR will indeed change the ratio of dry and wet automatically as soon as you move the Icon on the Venue's stage. Of course this is based on the Dry/Wet ratio you have set for this Icon.

BTW: MIRx can even exaggerate the impression of distance by simulating air absorption for the direct signal. This is the first option you can set or de-select in the Dry Signal handling section. I would use this feature with care, though, as in the end it just softens the top-end of the dry signal component according to the distance between Icon and Main Mic.

Quote:
Lastly, what is the listening position that Mirx is trying to simulate? To my ears, it sounds like somewhere around 5-7 rows back, center aisle of the venue. [...]
 

MIR's listening position is always the one of the Main Microphone. Still you can get very diverse acoustical impressions from the same Veneu, as the actual result depends a lot on the chosen microphone setup (which is completely customizable!).

Quote:
[...] When using the natural sound, is the best approach to set every instrument to the same velocity and use the main volume control to create crescendos and decrescendos, and in the case of strings, swells?
 

Oh - careful! If I don't misunderstand your question, you're talking about Natural Volume (!) here. It won't affect any other aspect of an instrument's sound.

This setting is meant to put the volums of all instruments of the Vienna Instruments orchestra into meaningful relationship. Again it is meant to be seen as a starting point for finer adjustments of individual volumes and their automation (... the latter might be almost more important than the stactic basic setting itself).

I would suggest to use the Natural Volume as the (technical) basis only, while using other controllers like Expression for (musical) automation of swells and so on.

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 17:23
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 237

Thanks much for the response, helps me wrap my head around what I think Im doing.

It sounds like Im not too far off from my approach. Im not sure about the distance setting you mention, Im only using MIRx... sadly, MIR is out of my price range, so if that setting is in MIR (not MIRx), that would be why I dunno about that setting...

I really have grown to love MIRx for its simplicity, I dont know if I have a need (or desire) for MIR Pro because I dont want to get caught up in the fiddly bits, I want to write music. That to me is the joy of MIRx, it just works with minimal tweaking. Please, for the love of God, dont sell me on Mir Pro unless you want to give me a free unlimited license for it. I can barely afford to buy more Vienna goodness as it is! This by the way is the devious aspect of your demo licenses, once you use it, you dont want to go back...

Im thinking I might purchase a couple more venues (eventually), namely the monestary (the accoustics are just out of this world) and the recording stage for those times when I want a more studio recording sort of sound.

Ok, back to studying economics, big test tomorrow and final next week to finish out our summer classes and sadly, that takes priority over my music writing hobby / obsession...

Posted on Tue, Jul 31 2018 22:41
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7646

Sorry if my answer came accross as if I wanted to sell you something - that wasn't the case, really. It's just that I was starting to mix up all the MIRx-related questions in this forum during the last days, so I wasn't aware of the fact that you were talking about MIRx (the actual product), not MIRx-Mode in MIR Pro.

All the best for your tests! :-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Aug 01 2018 15:35
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 237

Its all good! And no, you didnt sound like you were trying to sell Mir, it sounded like you use both mirx and mir pro and think of them as the same product.

While I would love a copy of Mir Pro, Im a mere student with limited finances. Im happy to have the core special edition library, based on my limited income, that was quite a feat to purchase throughout 2017. I am finding that even with just the SE Core library, I can do quite a bit, tho, it is more painful (trills...ugg).

I am relatively new to writing with MIDI (my writing has always been Beethoven quill and paper style...something about a wiggling feather than makes marks on a page, amuses me), so I am finding that it is probably a good idea I cant afford everything. I suspect it would be very easy to become overwhelmed...

Tests done for this week, get a few days to compose and then back to studying for finals next week...

Posted on Tue, Aug 14 2018 09:32
by Francesco Pirrone
Joined on Tue, Sep 30 2014, Posts 239

Hi Littleweirdo,

I really like your piece.

Just curious: have you tried it with different IRs?

Cheers

Francesco

Composer and Score Mixer -> www.francescopirrone.com
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