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"pure" MIR
Last post Wed, Mar 20 2019 by William, 11 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Mar 01 2019 01:43
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5339

significantly shortened...

Posted on Thu, Mar 07 2019 16:13
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5339

I guess I was thinking that MIR is very different from other reverb in having such detailed positioning of sound sources.  Altiverb has (or had - I haven't used it in years) only one sound source position, and multiple mic positions.  This is the opposite of what is needed for an orchestra. So people tend to use it like an old hardware reverb wash when doing orchestral recordings. 

MIR on the other hand is exactly what is needed, but also - since you use the positioning to establish very realistically the placement in stereo field, the distance from the mics, and the amount of reverb based on the impulses -  you will be interfering with some very delicate balances that MIR creates by default if you mess around with levels of dry/wet or apply other changes to individual instruments other than maybe basic EQ.  The ambience that a sound source actually has in a certain spot in the hall - which was carefully recorded in MIR - will be changed.  And that changes the whole feel of the mix.  

For example - it is normal to process basses or percussion with less wet signal so they are not muddy or boomy.  But a hall doesn't do that - the loudest deepest bass drum in a hall has exactly the same amount of "wet signal" as a piccolo!  

I noticed this when doing this new mix of an older piece.  The default mix, with only positioning/size of instruments, a little EQ on individual instruments, and no other change, sounded so much like a live recording it was as if I was standing there in the hall.  But when I altered it in normally acceptable ways like the above it no longer had that total realism.  It sounded O.K. but not that uncanny realistic quality.

So I was thinking one should only use what the conductor of an orchestra would use to alter the sound of instruments in a venue if things aren't sounding right - choice of a different venue, seating, simple musical expression. So if it sounds muddy, you don't start playing around with settings - you simply record in a different hall.  Or you do what I did on this mix - I used the conductor's mic position instead of the 7th row.  That gives it clarity but retains the realistic response of the hall as much as possible.  

Though maybe I am over-thinking this...  

Posted on Sat, Mar 09 2019 11:07
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7234

Interesting POV, William!

Of course I have tried to deliver MIR with settings as meaningful as possible, but personally I wouldn't treat them as some kind of sacrosanct "Holy Grail". ;-) ... you know the old mantra I'm reapeating constantly: "If it sounds right, it _is_ right!" 

All the best,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 01:47
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5339

Dietz,

I know you're right. I started thinking along the lines of trying to use the inherent sound without adjustment.

However I am now doing some normally used tweaks to the mix.  They seem like a good idea...  

Thanks very much for replying!  It is great to hear from you.

Best,

Bill Kersten

Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 09:18
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7234

I think that's the way to go, Bill. Although I absolutely agree that mixing with MIR takes care for many issues which arise from conventional mixing setups, there will always be the need for fine-tuning and "mojo". After all, art is the result of individual human expression, not about presets and automatisms ... ;-)

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 14:51
by synergy543
Joined on Fri, Apr 01 2005, Oregon, USA, Posts 128

Dietz, thank you for your comments on this.  I have three questions for you.

1) When you say you "tried to deliver MIR with settings as meaningful as possible", did you do these on an individual basis or did you have a reference mix in which you used for adjustments and comparison?  And if the later, is it possible for us to hear this reference mix?

2) What are your thoughts regarding the pitch fluctuations that Miracle adds to a MIR mix?  How do you approach this process in your mixing (sprinkling on some spice?).  Clearly, in a real acoustic space, pitch fluctuations due to the air will affect everything, yet in a musical mix, it would serve particular instruments better than others (choir & strings vs piano for example).

3) Where it possible (I know this is hypothetical), if the pitch effects of Miracle could be applied to the early reflections in MIR as well, do you think it would have a meaningful audible impact?  Or are these ER spatial cues just too short to have any musical impact were they to include pitch fluctuations (you're probably too young to remember the Lexicon Prime Time? If not, rememb twidling that mod knob?).  Clearly, the pitch fluctuation effects on the later reverb tail have a huge impact, but what about the earlier ER cues?  Do you know if anyone (possibly Griesinger?) studied this or has it been determined more empirically?

Somewhat related but possibly of interest. Particularly the recording hall ex. at 14min.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84epTR2fyTY&t=14m

Thanks for your contributions and time,

Greg

Greg (Gregory D. Moore)
Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 16:44
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7234

Hi Greg,

quite some topics to chew on on a Sunday afternoon! ;-)

Originally Posted by: synergy543 Go to Quoted Post

Dietz, thank you for your comments on this.  I have three questions for you.

1) When you say you "tried to deliver MIR with settings as meaningful as possible", did you do these on an individual basis or did you have a reference mix in which you used for adjustments and comparison?  And if the later, is it possible for us to hear this reference mix?

There was no reference mix, of course. This wouldn't make any sense anyway. With a few exceptions, the pile of presets I created for VSL in general and MIR in particular all try to "pave the way" for a prospective user, without trying to impose (too much of) my own preferences. Most of the time I aim for a believable, "well-behaved" sound that will fit easily into many musical contexts. Somtimes I follow are more specific ideas which are marked cleary in the preset name or its description (... some MIRacle settings and several Vienna Suite settings come to mind).

Quote:
2) What are your thoughts regarding the pitch fluctuations that Miracle adds to a MIR mix?  How do you approach this process in your mixing (sprinkling on some spice?).  Clearly, in a real acoustic space, pitch fluctuations due to the air will affect everything, yet in a musical mix, it would serve particular instruments better than others (choir & strings vs piano for example).

You mentioned the Lexicon sound yourself in your third question. The typical "sweetness" of modulated artificial reverb tail is something we got used to when listeming to recorded music during the last 35 years (... I usually refer to it as "whippped cream" ;-) ... when you ever come to Vienna and taste our local pastry you'll know immediately what I mean). Adding this ingredient - or rather "spice", as you call it correctly - to the true-but-static sound of a real recording (or its virtual representation in MIR) was indeed the main idea behind the addition of MIRacle to MIR Pro.

I tend to add MIRacle (or other clearly modulating algorithmic reverbs) to ensemble sources rather than to soloistic performances as long as I try to achieve somewhat "realistic" results, but this is hardly a rule, more a personal habit. In a hybrid, cinematic (pop-music) context, anything goes: Echoes, modulation effects, distortion, filters ... you name it. 8-)

Quote:
3) Where it possible (I know this is hypothetical), if the pitch effects of Miracle could be applied to the early reflections in MIR as well, do you think it would have a meaningful audible impact?  Or are these ER spatial cues just too short to have any musical impact were they to include pitch fluctuations (you're probably too young to remember the Lexicon Prime Time? If not, rememb twidling that mod knob?). 

Disclaimer: I was born in 1964. More than old enough, I guess. ;-)

Quote:
Clearly, the pitch fluctuation effects on the later reverb tail have a huge impact, but what about the earlier ER cues?  Do you know if anyone (possibly Griesinger?) studied this or has it been determined more empirically?

The discussion could be an interesting one, no doubt, but in our case it would be futile as there are no plans to split MIR's impulse responses in ER and LR parts. You will have to resort to the original publications of Griesinger et.al. with this part of the question, sorry! :-)

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 16:54
by synergy543
Joined on Fri, Apr 01 2005, Oregon, USA, Posts 128

Dietz, thank you very much for your thought-provoking answers.  Lots of good things to consider when mixing with MIR and it all makes great sense.

If you have time, I urge you to give this talk by Greisinger a careful listen, I think you might enjoy it.  Its fascinating in theory (the importance of low freq stereo in hall sounds) though I still have to be convinced with actual listening examples.  Fortunately, its something we can probably play around and test with samples.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuoDo_QKeLI

Cheers,

Greg

Greg (Gregory D. Moore)
Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 19:21
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7234

Originally Posted by: synergy543 Go to Quoted Post
[...] (the importance of low freq stereo in hall sounds)[...]

... thus my repeatedly expressed passion for the so-called Gerzon-shuffling in Waves' S1 and Vienna Suite Pro's Imager Pro, which does wonder especially on recordings derived from coincident microphone setups (like MIR Pro). :-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Mar 19 2019 17:04
by littlewierdo
Joined on Sun, Apr 24 2016, Posts 178

Its why I dont change much when I was MIR. One of the things we tend to do is over-correct the inaccuracies to get a perfect mix. This is very akin to humanization and why it is such a brilliant, but simple function that to my knowledge, is only available in VSL. It is the inaccuracies that bring a recording to life.

What we have to decide is, are we going for a "prestine" performance, one with few imperfections, which might have a sound much more akin to a studio recording, or are we going for more of a live recording, which has more of an imperfect sound quality? Because we are working with a simulation, and we have the ability to do so, we can carefully correct for glaring issues. A boomy bass drum for example, I might notch a frequency down 2 db or so with a wide filter. A violin section might have the lower mids notched down 2 db using a narrow filterr, so they dont sound muddy. I tend to avoid overdoing it, keeping my tweaks small, and keeping the number of changes to a minimum, because I am looking for a more authentic, "as if you were there" feel. When you put headphones on, I want you to feel like you are the conductor, only using the additional balcony mics on a low volume setting to create ambiance.

One of my biggest peeves is the over-use of compression in modern day recordings. Music is supposed to be dynamic, and you are not necessarily supposed to hear every little nuance in every recording. You dont need to hear every overtone / undertone if it exists.

To my ear, MIR is the only reverb engine that really brings orchestral instruments to life in such a way that they dont need much (if any) FX other than MIR and the occasional and small EQing, and when it comes to EQing, its rare I even use that, and if I do, its small and subtle. I use minimal compression, with exception to percussion, and even then, the amount of compression I use is very minimal.

Perfection is the complete opposite of what we want in music. If we wanted perfection, we'd quantize everything, design theatres with a completely flat equalized sound, and record with microphones that have the flattest frequency response we can find.

Posted on Wed, Mar 20 2019 19:16
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5339

"To my ear, MIR is the only reverb engine that really brings orchestral instruments to life in such a way that they dont need much (if any) FX other than MIR and the occasional and small EQing" - littleweirdo

Really agree with that, and it's exactly what I've noticed, having used others, MIR is the only one that allows such ease of use and yet gives an incredible sound.  I am in the middle of a big mix and doing just a little Eq and small dry/wet adjustments that are very easy to put in.    

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