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JS Bach Organ Chorale (BWV 727) - Arr. Strings and Organ
Last post Wed, Nov 13 2019 by teclark7, 18 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Feb 09 2019 00:58
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8
EDIT: New version added 11 November 2019 - see post below.
-=================================================-

Here is an arrangement I did of JS Bach's Organ Chorale (BWV 727) for strings and organ.

DELETED

All feedback appreciated. I am particularly interested on feedback on the mix as I mix exclusively on headphones (ATH-M50x). Any tips on how to mix on headphones from experienced members would be great. At the moment I use TB Morphit to correct my headphones and MagicAB for checking against references. I am also trying iZotope Tonal Balance Control and ISOL8 to get tonal balance right. For those interested, I used all VSL instruments: VSL Chamber Strings Full, VSL Synchron-ized Appassionata Strings and VSL SE Organ, with VIR MIR Pro 24 (Vienna ORF Grossersendesaal). Other plugins include Waves SSL and Relab's VSR S24.
Posted on Mon, Feb 11 2019 10:11
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1511

Not too shabby. 

Are you maintaining a single tempo throughout the entire piece because it does sound a bit mechanical to my ears.  Even if a piece is written in one constant tempo players will speed up and slow down slightly here and there.  The key word here being "slightly" so not too much tempo variation to the point it draws attetniont to itself.  They'll especially slow down a little bit at the end of phrases.

Also are you using a high pass filter on this?  It sounds kind of thin to me for some reason like the upper mids are coming out too much but I was listening in my car while driving  so maybe it was my listening environment.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Mon, Feb 11 2019 11:09
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Originally Posted by: jasensmith Go to Quoted Post

Not too shabby. 

Are you maintaining a single tempo throughout the entire piece because it does sound a bit mechanical to my ears.  Even if a piece is written in one constant tempo players will speed up and slow down slightly here and there.  The key word here being "slightly" so not too much tempo variation to the point it draws attetniont to itself.  They'll especially slow down a little bit at the end of phrases.

Also are you using a high pass filter on this?  It sounds kind of thin to me for some reason like the upper mids are coming out too much but I was listening in my car while driving  so maybe it was my listening environment.

 

Thanks for the feedback. I am starting out so I appreciate the honesty.

I have a tempo map which varies the tempo constantly but I think what you are saying is that it is not dynamic enough particularly within the phrases. I will definitely take that on board.

Yes, I was worried the upper mids seem too much. I tried a bit of corrective EQ but I think I need something more drastic in the upper mids. Searching on the forum, I see a few other people mention the need to do this. I have a high pass filter but at soemthing like 30Hz. I think it is the upper mids are out of balance as you say.

Thanks again

Posted on Sat, Feb 16 2019 02:08
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1720

Originally Posted by: teclark7 Go to Quoted Post

I am particularly interested on feedback on the mix as I mix exclusively on headphones (ATH-M50x). Any tips on how to mix on headphones from experienced members would be great.

Dear Telark7
The sound of your mix is ​​not very pleasant via my monitoring system. Presumably, you have used quite a bit of sound effects, especially when I read that you also tried Tonal Balance from iZotope etc.

The first tip I can give you: Remove all sound effects (or switch them off)! No EQ, no filter, simply nothing. VSL has recorded all instruments at the highest level and tuned the sounds with the best monitors and devices. The beginner usually breaks these great sounds. He often totally deforms these sounds with EQs and other sound designing tools. He thinks and believes to "filter out" resonances but often that are either important overtones of the certain instrument or those "resonances" come from bad monitors, the listening situation, ... etc.
So turn off all your sound effects and hear how real your strings sound without anything beside a bit of reverb. Later you may be able to cut off the unnecessary low frequencies (LowCut) or raise the high frequencies a bit with a hishelf filter for more presence or lower the hishelf filter a bit for a slightly more distant play. More I woud not do while you are collecting first experiences.

The second tip: Instead of adjusting the sound with iZotope-Tonal-Balance, I would rather take a great recording of strings, brass or whatever is needed and compare your results with those real recording reference. Although tonal balance can be helpful, but unfortunately this tool is probably not very helpful for your ensemble "Organ-Strings". Specially the sound of the organ depends on the stopps which can lead to wrong "total-balance-results". The tool compares the incoming sound with an unknown average...

I wish you a lot of success

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Sun, Feb 17 2019 01:10
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Originally Posted by: Beat Kaufmann Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: teclark7 Go to Quoted Post

I am particularly interested on feedback on the mix as I mix exclusively on headphones (ATH-M50x). Any tips on how to mix on headphones from experienced members would be great.

Dear Telark7
The sound of your mix is ​​not very pleasant via my monitoring system. Presumably, you have used quite a bit of sound effects, especially when I read that you also tried Tonal Balance from iZotope etc.

Beat, thank for taking the time to give me the benefit of your experience.

I am going to strip out all the effect like you suggested (as well taking on some other feedback on dynamics and tempo).

I've got some good tiups to work with.

Thanks

Tim

Posted on Sat, Mar 02 2019 02:18
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Here's a new reworked version (version 2) where I have taken on board suggestions for more dynamics, more tempo variation, changes to the organ part and less FX.

JS Bach BWV 727 (Version 2)

Interested in feedback on what worked and what might still need attention.

Tim

Posted on Sat, Mar 02 2019 11:52
by bbelius
Joined on Sat, Mar 14 2015, Posts 580

Originally Posted by: teclark7 Go to Quoted Post

I used all VSL instruments: VSL Chamber Strings Full, VSL Synchron-ized Appassionata Strings and VSL SE Organ, with VIR MIR Pro 24 (Vienna ORF Grossersendesaal).

Hi Tim,

the second version sounds better.
Still, I would replace the Appasionata Strings with Solo Strings. I think this will suit the piece better and give the chamber strings more life. Also a little more reverb may help to connect the notes better.

Best, Ben

Ben
Technical Support - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 04:45
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Thanks everyone for feedback. It's been a useful learning exercise.

Here's a new version 3 with VSL SE Solo Strings stacked on the VSL Chamber Strings I (Full). I made a few other changes. Interested in any further comments.

JS Bach BWV 727 (version 3)

Tim

Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 19:36
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 26

Hi Tim,

I would like to comment on the use of headphones for mixing.

When I began studying about mixing and mastering, I always came across comments from almost all the studio professionals; and they said "never, never, never use headphones for mixing or mastering !" Now, I am old school ( I am 63) and I did understand their reasoning behind their almost ranting about this. But maybe todays headphones are of much better quaility that 30 or even 20 years ago. It is my opinion though that their opinion is still correct.

Apparently, our ears have a hard time determining the tone (or timbre) of particular instruments, when the source of the sound is so close to our ears, as in the case of the headphones.  Once again, most of those professionals said they use headphones exclusively for checking the balance of the instruments (left, right or center in the stereo field) but always relied on the studio monitors for tone and which instruments were too loud or too soft in the mix.

To make a long story short (maybe too late already) I usually wind up mixing 119 or so tracks with the way I mix.  That sounds like alot I know but every one has different ways of getting the results.  It drives me a little crazy at times but I have the luxury of time on my hands.

I am certainly not an expert on this but if you have any questions, I would love to chat about it.

John Minardi

https://www.broadjam.com/songs/johnminardi/composition-24/Play

Copy & Paste link

Posted on Mon, Mar 18 2019 03:26
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1720

Hello Tim
Earlier, I recommended that you should remove all effects from your strings, because the sound sounded quite far from "natural". Example 3 now may sound different (I did not compare again with 1) but still pretty far from "natural".

I repeat myself again:
With the VSL samples you have a great sounding library. People of VSL took great pains to record the samples, edit and publish them. So you get a great sound without doing anything.

What is/was your mixing goal?
I do not know what you wanted to achieve with all the effect you used for your mix. A more pleasant sound?
Whatever you use to judge the sound is obviously anything but neutral. You probably adjusted the sound so that it sounded great with your "reference". To me it sounds quite discolored frankly. If you have the chance, play your mix in your car, or on your hi-fi system...

A possible help
I allowed myself to play BWV 727 with a Midifile - without big sample optimization. It was all about the sound. I chose Chamber-, Appassionata- and Orchestral strings to get an average string sound. Except for a bit of compression and reverb, I did not use any other effect - so no EQ as well! Then I switched between my sound and your sound. The example starts with VSL-pur...

http://www.musik-produktion-createc.ch/BWV727-Ref.wav (23MB)

 Do you hear the difference? That's what I mean by "compare to a reference". Reference here is the "original VSL recording sound". If you compare your sound with an analyzer, it looks like this:

http://www.musik-produktion-createc.ch/Teclark7.jpg

Green means original - VSL strings / White is your BWV 727.
Incidentally, you also see that you probably used a stereo widener tool. Especially in the lowest frequencies and from 2kHz above "stereo has become a bit too much" or you used a reverb that makes a bit too much stereo here.

Summarized:
With samples you usually get good results, when you take care of correct volume ratios between the instruments and when you manage the left and right things. Finally a bit of a concert hall at the output and that's it.  Such a mini mix often sounds better than a lot of what you can hear in the net, which was "treated with effects" for weeks...
I can only recommend again: Try to use less effects (until you know them better), check your listening situation, use reference sounds and try to hear your own mixes more often on other systems (car, hi-fi, etc.).

---------------------------------------

Sorry I was very direct. That might hurt a little. But keep in mind: I would not have taken all the effort if I did not really want to help you. I hope you can see that positively.

I wish you success
With kind regards
Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Mon, Mar 18 2019 11:23
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Beat

Thanks for your honest constructive feedback. The sample WAV file you did showed remarkably what you mean by the "tone" not being good.

I am going to go back to just the samples and MIR PRO and see what I can do with careful programming.

I will also, as you suggest, try using the car and my hifi system to listen to my mixes to see how the tone sounds in different listening contexts.

Thanks

Tim

Posted on Mon, Mar 18 2019 13:07
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1720

Originally Posted by: teclark7 Go to Quoted Post

Beat

Thanks for your honest constructive feedback. The sample WAV file you did showed remarkably what you mean by the "tone" not being good...

Tim

Hi Tim

The example shows how important it is to always work with references. Our ears (brain) get used to new conditions within a short time. When you are working on a mix for a long time, you usually do not realize that you are completely wrong with the sound. In this situation, only a comparison with a good reference helps.

When you work with MIR: Keep in mind that there are a lot of parameters that can affect the sound: venue selection, microphone method, microphone positions, number of microphones, EQ, amount of "wet" ... even though the tool makes you believe it is customer-friendly in everything (which it is), you can do a lot wrong as well. The recipe also applies in this case: "Less is more." - means: I
f you do not know exactly what you do, do as little as possible,  ... Then also: Again and again compare with a reference.

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Mon, May 27 2019 12:40
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 405

Originally Posted by: Beat Kaufmann Go to Quoted Post

Hi Tim

The example shows how important it is to always work with references. Our ears (brain) get used to new conditions within a short time. When you are working on a mix for a long time, you usually do not realize that you are completely wrong with the sound. In this situation, only a comparison with a good reference helps.

When you work with MIR: Keep in mind that there are a lot of parameters that can affect the sound: venue selection, microphone method, microphone positions, number of microphones, EQ, amount of "wet" ... even though the tool makes you believe it is customer-friendly in everything (which it is), you can do a lot wrong as well. The recipe also applies in this case: "Less is more." - means: I
f you do not know exactly what you do, do as little as possible,  ... Then also: Again and again compare with a reference.

Beat

Beat your advice in this instance is also much appreciated by me. Thank you for being so helpful!

Paul McGraw

Posted on Mon, May 27 2019 18:41
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1720

Hi Paul

Thanks for your kind words. Good luck until next time.

Beat

www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Tue, May 28 2019 15:33
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5401

Beat Kaufmann is correct to point this out.  With MIR you have such a great sound out of the box, you must have a real reason to alter it fundamentally.  I think a lot of people can't believe that they can just use it because they are used to traditional mixing techniques that require massive labor and great expertise.   With MIR the expertise is programmed in.  It is still a revolutionary approach to mixing that can create a beautiful mix with minimal changes.   

Posted on Sun, Nov 10 2019 11:02
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Dear all

Here is my latest attempt at this piece. I have gone back to basics as suggested by Beat and gone for a simpler mix with more attention on the MIDI programming:

JS Bach BWV 727 arranged for strings and organ (Nov 2019 mix)

Since my earlier attempts, I have added Synchron Strings to this mix and used MIR PRO with Synchron Stage for the VIPro instruments.

I welcome any comments to help with my learning.

Thanks

Tim

Posted on Tue, Nov 12 2019 16:58
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 26

Hi Tim,

I took a listen and I think it sounds extremely better than when I first heard the recording.  

 

John Minardi

Posted on Wed, Nov 13 2019 11:26
by teclark7
Joined on Thu, Feb 23 2017, Posts 8

Thanks John for the encouraging words.

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