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Impressions of MIR Pro and questions about MIR Pro
Last post Fri, Jun 14 2019 by Dietz, 15 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Jun 10 2019 18:00
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 59

This software is nothing short of incredible.  After digging into it, I can safely say that I am beyond impressed and will be purchasing in the near future.  What I'm most impressed by is how it behaves in a hybrid reverb set-up.  I've never been a fan of convolution reverb in its most static form (i.e. Altiverb), but the phenomenal and time-saving spatialization capabilities of MIR combined with the seemingly endless flexibility in how it can blend with a more "spaceless" reverb make this such a joy to work with.  Topping off various room ERs with Seventh Heaven was like taking a trip through soundtrack city.  

That said, I have some questions for both the developers and experienced users:

1) For the creation of soundtrack type music (films, video games, etc.), it would seem that the Teldex pack and the Synchron Stage are the most useful roompacks to me.  If I intend to use MiR primarily as a hybrid reverb set up (utilizing the early .3-.5s of MIR's IRs for spatialization info) to facilitate the creation of this style of music, is there any consideration I should give to the other roompacks?  On one hand, it seems to me that feeding the early part of the Grossersaal's IR into a Hall reverb would generate a much more congruent spatial impression than a mis-matched venue and tail.  On the other hand, the IR is shortened so much that perhaps it won't even make an audible difference.  Or is there more ambisonic stuff at play here?  Of course, I'll play around with it and test with my ears, but I was curious if anyone had any advice on this matter?

2) MiR encourages me to think more like a recording engineer and conductor than an electronic musician, which is great.  However, I don't know a lot about the process of recording an orchestra or other musical ensemble in a scoring stage and all that goes into it.  Similar to the academy on this website, is there a resource of some kind where I can learn more about how this process works?  I'm particularly interested in learning about the input mics, how they work in real life, and how that translates to MiR's simulation of the microphones.  That way I feel I can make more informed decisions with the software rather than blindly testing things until it "sounds gud".

That's all I can think of for now.  Such an exciting tool!  Thanks to all the developers who sacrificed sleep to make it possible for people like me to even conceive of making music like this.

- Sam

Posted on Mon, Jun 10 2019 19:14
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7227

Hi Sam,

thanks a lot for your enthusiastic message! Highly appreciated. :-)

Re. 1) - Personally I would always use one of MIR Pro's Studio Venues for the hybrid reverb approach you seem to have in mind.*) Most of the studios and scorings stages were captured with a comprehensive approach all over the room, rather than a "stage only" setup. Like that, you have much more freedom to move your sources to almost every position you could aim for - e.g. also to the very left and right for extreme width, or even behind the Main Microphone's position (... the latter to be used with caution, though).

The following MIR Pro Venues offer the aforementioned "blanket coverage":

- Funkhaus Wien - ORF Studio 2 (RoomPack 2)

- Funkhaus Wien - ORF Studio 3 (RoomPack 2)

- Teldex Studio Berlin (RoomPack 2)

- Tonstudio Weiler (RoomPack 2)

- The Sage Gateshead - Northern Rock Foundation Hall (RoomPack 4)

- and of course Synchron Stage Vienna. (RoomPack 6)

That said, I dare to doubt the unconditional necessity for a "hybrid" approach. :-) More often than not, the careful shaping of the Main Microphone's virtual capsules and (at least equally important) the use and shaping of the Secondary Mircophone make algorithmic "sweetening" of MIR Pro's reverb superfluous.

... which leads us directly to the answer of your second question:

Re. 2) You're absolutely right that some understanding of the basic techniques used for orchestral recordings makes the usage of MIR Pro easier. But trying to answer a topic like that thoroughly is beyond the scope of a forum message. Maybe a fellow forum member has links to some meaningful resources to share ...?

An old-school way to grasp the basics of recording is this old but tried-and-tested book: 

-> http://www.stereosoundbook.com/index.html

... this is nothing for a 15-minutes break, though. ;-D

Kind regards,

/Dietz

*) BTW: You _do_ know that MIR Pro comes with "MIRacle", a dedicated algorithmic reverb add-on with exactly this task in mind ...? ;-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Jun 10 2019 21:04
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 59

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Hi Sam,

thanks a lot for your enthusiastic message! Highly appreciated. :-)

Thanks for making MIR!

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
Re. 1) - Personally I would always use one of MIR Pro's Studio Venues for the hybrid reverb approach you seem to have in mind.*) Most of the studios and scorings stages were captured with a comprehensive approach all over the room, rather than a "stage only" setup. Like that, you have much more freedom to move your sources to almost every position you could aim for - e.g. also to the very left and right for extreme width, or even behind the Main Microphone's position (... the latter to be used with caution, though).

The following MIR Pro Venues offer the aforementioned "blanket coverage":

- Funkhaus Wien - ORF Studio 2 (RoomPack 2)

- Funkhaus Wien - ORF Studio 3 (RoomPack 2)

- Teldex Studio Berlin (RoomPack 2)

- Tonstudio Weiler (RoomPack 2)

- The Sage Gateshead - Northern Rock Foundation Hall (RoomPack 4)

- and of course Synchron Stage Vienna. (RoomPack 6)

That's a good point, didn't think about that.  Looks like Roompack 2 and 6 are the ones for me, then, with other ones added as funds allow and needs dictate.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

That said, I dare to doubt the unconditional necessity for a "hybrid" approach. :-) More often than not, the careful shaping of the Main Microphone's virtual capsules and (at least equally important) the use and shaping of the Secondary Mircophone make algorithmic "sweetening" of MIR Pro's reverb superfluous.

Not necessary, of course, but it's an approach I enjoy as it lends itself to the kind of eclectic music I like to write.  If I could afford it I'd just grab the roompack bundle, but alas :)  The soundstages will give me the most bang for my buck it seems.  Make no mistake, though, I fully intend to use MIR's reverb on its own for my less eclectic projects as well as a learning tool to understand acoustics and stereo imaging. 

It's the fact that MIR is so flexible in this regard that is exactly why I'm going to purchase it (well, that and how much time it saves mixing this stuff).  The fact that I can turn on and off each and every aspect of its simulation, route it so flexibly, and use as little or as much realism as I want to glue whatever I want to throw together for a mix in...it's worth its weight in gold.  It's the same reason I invested in the VI libraries for my orchestral tools; the audio quality is great, but the flexibility and potential is, as far as I can see, unparalleled.

 

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

... which leads us directly to the answer of your second question:

Re. 2) You're absolutely right that some understanding of the basic techniques used for orchestral recordings makes the usage of MIR Pro easier. But trying to answer a topic like that thoroughly is beyond the scope of a forum message. Maybe a fellow forum member has links to some meaningful resources to share ...?

An old-school way to grasp the basics of recording is this old but tried-and-tested book: 

-> http://www.stereosoundbook.com/index.html

... this is nothing for a 15-minutes break, though. ;-D

Kind regards,

/Dietz

Thanks!  I'll have a look.

 

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

*) BTW: You _do_ know that MIR Pro comes with "MIRacle", a dedicated algorithmic reverb add-on with exactly this task in mind ...? ;-)

Yep!  The presets are very informative and it sounds nice and silky.  Another color to add to the palette.

Posted on Tue, Jun 11 2019 03:42
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 301

Samsonite,

Roompacks 2 and 6 are awesome and probably the most "hollywood" for lack of a better word, but if you are into eclectic sound, you should definitely check out Mystic spaces pack also...it has some absolutely dreamy long tail reverberation in it.  I started with 2 and 6, but ended up buying all the packs eventually anyway I just couldn't help it.  The churches they sampled and mystic spaces...have really cool interesting sounds on their own and if you're into eclectic sound I think you will find a lot of reverberation in the tail to work with in those spaces.

Using a hybrid approach, nothing wrong with that, but I also agree with Dietz, you can acheive as lot right in Mir all alone.  i prefer to use Miracle or some other algorithmic reverb just for the very longest and latest part of the tail in order to get a bit more modulation and movement and fill in the cracks, but all the early reflections and some of the late reflections too are coming from MirPro, which capture the character of the rooms they are modeling...

I was overwhelmed by MirPro also when I first got it, but after playing around with it for a while it all comes together.  Mind you, I haven't tried to create any custom mic tree configurations or anything like that, I don't know enough to do that, and you're right you do kind of need to be a bit of an audio engineer to make use of some of that power.  But the good news is you don't really need to, the mic tree presets are already good and Herb made some more presets with stuff like that...and a lot of the VSL tutorial projects have MirPro integrated into them, with mic tree configuration and everything..so you can look at all those and get some good things to work without neccessarily monkeying around with that.  How to place instruments in a room is an entirely different matter, especially some of the smaller rooms, I have no idea what I'm doing with zero orch recording engineer experiencel; but the nice thing is you can just move the instrument around on the stage until it sounds good, experiment and find your stage arrangement that works.   

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.33ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Tue, Jun 11 2019 07:07
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7227

Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post
[...] i prefer to use Miracle or some other algorithmic reverb just for the very longest and latest part of the tail in order to get a bit more modulation and movement and fill in the cracks, but all the early reflections and some of the late reflections too are coming from MirPro, which capture the character of the rooms they are modeling...

[...]

 That sounds very familiar! :-) 

BTW - talking about long natural reverb tails: To my ears, RoomPack 5 - derived from Pernegg Monastery - has the most beautiful and even reverb of all MIR Pro Venues. As a matter of fact I've already used it for mixing movie scores*) in 3D by using the IRs from the choir's balcony as top layer. Now _that's_ some nice spatial enveloping, believe me. 8-)

*) .... admittedly not your typical "epic" Hollywood soundtrack ;-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 01:28
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 59

Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post

Roompacks 2 and 6 are awesome and probably the most "hollywood" for lack of a better word, but if you are into eclectic sound, you should definitely check out Mystic spaces pack also...it has some absolutely dreamy long tail reverberation in it.  I started with 2 and 6, but ended up buying all the packs eventually anyway I just couldn't help it.  The churches they sampled and mystic spaces...have really cool interesting sounds on their own and if you're into eclectic sound I think you will find a lot of reverberation in the tail to work with in those spaces.

Using a hybrid approach, nothing wrong with that, but I also agree with Dietz, you can acheive as lot right in Mir all alone.  i prefer to use Miracle or some other algorithmic reverb just for the very longest and latest part of the tail in order to get a bit more modulation and movement and fill in the cracks, but all the early reflections and some of the late reflections too are coming from MirPro, which capture the character of the rooms they are modeling...

I took your advice and experimented with integrating more of MIR's reverb and found what you're saying to be quite true.  I could hear the distinct character of each instrument's echoes off of the walls in the Grosserhaal venue, something that gets completely lost in a hybrid approach.  It occurred to me there's a lot more to depth and spacial information than what's included in the first .3 to .5 ms, and that depth can achieve so much beautiful nuance that I find lacking in a lot of soundtrack music these days. 

I also found that stereo separation of like instruments (for example, the two flutes) remains consistent the more of MIR's tail there is due to the spatial information in there. If they are bussed to a centered algorithmic reverb, the similar timbres and pitches blend together towards the center even if panned very wide unless the signal is very, very dry (unacceptably dry, in this case)  This is an issue with reverb bussing that's been bugging me for a while and MIR fixes that handily.

I also investigated the mystic spaces and decided to put sounds from Massive and Absynth in there along with VSL instruments.  The results were incredible, especially when ping-ponged arpeggiators were placed on the balcony hotspots.  I was able to achieve a level of symbioses between sounds that couldn't be more different.  Some amount of algorithmic sweetening was still needed to make the synths sound like they weren't coming out of a synth keyboard, but you were right - the monasteries are amazing for off-the-wall stuff!

In short, I'll be saving up for the roompack bundle.  Like you, I'll just end up getting them all anyway, especially after hearing the konzerthaus organ where it belongs.  

A question for you: when you apply MIRacle, what settings do you tweak to properly "crossfade" from MIR's tail?  Do you decrease the gain of MIRacle so it "superimposes" on MIR or do you tweak the pre-delay so it "takes over" where MIR leaves off?  

Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 01:42
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 59

Dietz,

Again, I can't thank you enough for how much time you're going to save me panning and fading in the coming years.  I'm excited to dig deep into this program.

One last question, if I may:

Is there any way to see the EQ graph of the different character presets (like Silk, Air, etc.)  I ask because I'd be interested in matching the character preset of a Vienna instrument to a similar, non-Vienna instrument.  For example, I'd like to match the "Bite" character of the Vienna nylon guitar to a Turkish Oud instrument from Kontakt.

Thanks for indulging my endless curiousity.

- Sam

Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 02:55
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 301

regarding Miracle, so far I've just been using some of the "hybrid" presets that come with it, which generally have ~50ms of predelay.  Dietz may have much more to say about that, which I would like to hear also.

There are lots of algorithmic reverbs which can work fine for this, but Miracle works great and sounds good, included with MirPro and has some room specific presets.  Main thing is to block the ER's in the algorithmic reverb so that you only hear the long tails from it after predelay. 

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.33ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 06:37
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7227

Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post

Main thing is to block the ER's in the algorithmic reverb so that you only hear the long tails from it after predelay. 

MIRacle doesn't add ERs in the actual sense of the word, it's all about the late reverb tail.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 06:50
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7227

Originally Posted by: samsonite789 Go to Quoted Post

Dietz,

Again, I can't thank you enough for how much time you're going to save me panning and fading in the coming years.  I'm excited to dig deep into this program.

One last question, if I may:

Is there any way to see the EQ graph of the different character presets (like Silk, Air, etc.)  I ask because I'd be interested in matching the character preset of a Vienna instrument to a similar, non-Vienna instrument.  For example, I'd like to match the "Bite" character of the Vienna nylon guitar to a Turkish Oud instrument from Kontakt.

Thanks for indulging my endless curiousity.

- Sam

You're welcome! :-)

The graphics attached below should give you an idea of what to expect of MIR's Character Presets.

... please keep in mind that the settings I created for Vienna Instruments are much more detailed and specifically tailored for one well-defined signal source. It's best practice to use General Purpose profiles (and the more generic Character Presets they come with) for all other sources.

Kind regards,

File Attachment(s):
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/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 14:30
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 301
Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post

Main thing is to block the ER's in the algorithmic reverb so that you only hear the long tails from it after predelay.

MIRacle doesn't add ERs in the actual sense of the word, it's all aboutthe late reverb tail.


Good to know, thanks for that clarification! I rather suspected that was the case since it was really created to compliment mirpro. And that would be a very solid reason to use it for this purpose rather then anything else.

I guess there are no absolutes but can you say anything about why or when we might want to adjust the predelay in
Miracle for hybrid scenarios? I guess it would depend on the room and how much we want the ER’s to stand out, but I’d be interested in your wisdom here
5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.33ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 21:16
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7227

Originally Posted by: Dewdman42 Go to Quoted Post
[...] I guess there are no absolutes but can you say anything about why or when we might want to adjust the predelay in Miracle for hybrid scenarios? I guess it would depend on the room and how much we want the ER’s to stand out, but I’d be interested in your wisdom here

It depends on the room, of course, but also on the sound you're aiming for. If you want the algo reverb to be less of an obvious effect and more like some an unobtrusive layer a you will choose longer pre-delay. If you need a dense and clearly artificial tail, the pre-delay will have to be shorter.

... in the end, it's a decision I take on a case-by-case basis. :-) Sorry that I can't supply you with hard rules.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2019 22:03
by Dewdman42
Joined on Tue, Feb 27 2018, Posts 301

had a feeling you'd say that ;-)  but makes sense and the info you provied is useful.

5,1 MacPro 12core X 3.33ghz, 128gb ram, RX580 video, OSX Mojave, VSL (almost everything), LogicPro, Cubase10, StudioOne, DP9, Reaper, Dorico, Finale, MuseScore, Notion6, EW Hollywood Orch, Kirk Hunter, GPO, much more..
Posted on Fri, Jun 14 2019 16:19
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 59

Dietz,

I had too much coffee and thought of an off-topic, hypothetical mind-bender to pose to you:

Let's say you and your crew captured a top-notch, state of the art mixing/monitoring studio the same way you've captured MIR impulses of the current venues. 

Let's also say that you own a pair of studio monitors with a completely flat, perfect frequency response. 

Also, also, let's say that you place these monitors and yourself in a perfectly anechoic room that, to absolute perfection - matches the dimensions of the mixing room you captured the MIR impulses in and sit down to mix.

If you then load up MIR with the "mixing room" venue, select any song or whatever that you want to mix, and pan the outputs to precisely where the studio monitors are in the actual anechoic chamber, would you effectively get the same exact audio feedback as if you were playing that song through studio monitors in the mixing room itself?

*twilight zone music*

- Sam

Posted on Fri, Jun 14 2019 21:29
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7227

Yes, but only at midnight on a Blue Moon, after dancing five cycles counter-clockwise around your DAW with your eyes closed and your your left index finger in your right ear.

*Herman Munster theme song*

;-D

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
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