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Question about Synchron Stage MirX Mode (for MIR Pro)
Last post Sun, Feb 21 2021 by Pixelpoet1985, 37 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Feb 02 2021 18:54
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

Dietz,

I've been poring through the Synchron Stage MirX presets and trying to learn by reverse engineering the thought process behind how you matched the MIR Pro ambience to the Synchron lib. ambience.  If you have time, I have a few questions (regarding the "wide" preset):

1) The reverb time is reduced overall to 1.43 seconds as opposed to the full 1.8s.  Is the idea behind this to match the overal MIR Pro RT time to the total RT time you get with the out-of-the-box Mic+built in reverb sound of the Synchron/Synchron-ized libraries?

2) The main mic array (in MIR Pro) is a blumlein+cardioid and secondary mic a delayed blumlein facing "forward/up".  Is the rationale behind this to simulate the decca tree arrangement of the Synchron libraries by using the main mic as the "center" mic and the delayed blumlein as the L/R?  I noticed the delayed blumlein up 3db, and the wet signal is delayed of course (mic delay on Main and Main-C mics is usually ON by default in Syn libraries).  I know you can't *really* fully mimic a decca tree in MIR Pro, but I'm curious if this set-up is meant to get as close as possible (for ambience/perspective matching purposes).

As always, thank you!

- Sam

Posted on Tue, Feb 02 2021 21:05
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

Hi Sam,

The "Wide" MIRx settings for Synchron Stage Vienna are indeed my attempt to mimic the sound of our Synchron Instruments series*) as close as possible. I didn't follow any technical pre-conceptions or visually "proper" setups, but tried to match the feeling of the instruments in the hall with closed eyes, so to speak. So - what you see now is simply what I heard. ;-)

I have to admit that creating these presets that way was easier said than done. It's more rewarding to go with the flow, that's why my "classical" MIRx-settings for SSV (in portrait view) were less effort by comparison, as I could adjust any parameter without checking my reference tracks over and over again.

Enjoy MIRx mode! :-)

*) ... actually, I tried to match my preferred SI factory mixer setting: It's called "Surround wide", if I remember correctly (I'm not in front of my DAW right now).

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Feb 03 2021 13:21
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

This is extremely helpful information and insight, Dietz.  Thank you so much!

Posted on Sat, Feb 06 2021 18:26
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

PS: To avoid any possible confusion, I looked up the actual name of the Synchron Instruments factory mixer preset I referred to while creating the settings for MIRx SSV "Wide". It is "02.03: Wide Surround To Stereo (Downmix)" - without the additional algorithmic reverb, of course. :-)

Hope that helps,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sat, Feb 06 2021 20:15
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

It does help.  Thanks for taking the time!

So, if I wanted to match MIR's settings closer to the "Classic Stereo to Surround Downmix" presets in the Synchron Instruments (which, in comparison to the wide, seem to accentuate the closer mics while toning the main, high, and high surround mics down), would the main way you go about it be:

1) moving the instrument icons closer
2) turning the global WET/DRY more to the dry side
3) changing the main and secondary mic settings/positioning

I realize as I type this the answer is probably "all of the above and use your ears"   Even so, I'm curious what your "go-to" method of emulating a mic set-up in MIR pro would be?

Thanks!

- Sam

Posted on Sat, Feb 06 2021 23:35
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

1) is the most obvious solution, although each Icon will use different IRs then and the sound will change - much like in real life.

2) is most likely an individual "per Icon" thing and maybe not really necessary.

3) is the most straight-forward method if you really just want to change the imaging and nothing else. Just keep in mind that the relation between Main and Secondary Microphone is quite delicate.

... I think you could indeed sum it up as "all of the above and use your ears" !

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Sun, Feb 07 2021 00:03
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

Thank you, Dietz.  I'll be digging into it pretty heavily in the coming months so this is a great help.

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 18:28
by Pixelpoet1985
Joined on Fri, Dec 23 2016, Germany, Posts 287

I would not change Dietz's positionings, because they are very good the way they are. I would change the settings of the microphones.

I think the dry/wet is a bit misleading, because people think (at least I'm guessing here) that this is the relation between the close and the main microphone. It isn't. In MIR Pro it's always a combination of both. The ratio together with the reverb length defines/shapes the room.

For example the overall ratio in the Synchron Stage is approximately 30 % wet and this shoudn't be changed, because this setting resembles the "real wetness" of the instruments. Of course, some instruments need slightly different settings, but if they are once positioned and set, they shouldn't be changed when applying the term "closer mix". In reality, a close microphone has the same wetness as the main microphone, isn't it? The difference between the two is the distance, the panning and the stereo image. 

Hope I don't talk nonsense, but this is how I understand MIR Pro now, and it took me a long time to understand this. At least I'm fine with this. ;)

@Dietz:
Comparing the MIRx settings to the Synchron and BBO libraries I stumbled upon the microphone delays. In MIRx the secondary microphone has a wet delay of 12.2 ms. The room microphones in the Synchron Player are set to 21 ms. Wouldn't it make sense to set it to the same value in MIR Pro? I tried and also increased the volume of the secondary microphone from 3 to 4 dB. I don't know... Maybe the value in MIR Pro can't be compared to the real thing. I like this change, and this is the good thing about MIR Pro compared to MIRx.

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 19:06
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post

 In reality, a close microphone has the same wetness as the main microphone, isn't it? The difference between the two is the distance, the panning and the stereo image. 

Well, not quite, from what I've seen/heard.  There's also a difference in the mic itself.  For instance, the Close mic position on Synchron Strings Pro, when solo-ed, has barely any room information in it.  I presume this is primarily because of the type of microphone used.  In MIR, even if I move the instrument icon right in the face of the main mic array, if the dry/wet ratio is towards the wet end there will be way more room information than there is in the ambient library's close mic. 

I'm probably over-thinking things, but one of the unforeseen side effects of using MIR has been that it's got me thinking, learning, and exploring a lot more about acoustics, recording, and stereo playback than I thought I ever would! 

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post

@Dietz:
Comparing the MIRx settings to the Synchron and BBO libraries I stumbled upon the microphone delays. In MIRx the secondary microphone has a wet delay of 12.2 ms. The room microphones in the Synchron Player are set to 21 ms. Wouldn't it make sense to set it to the same value in MIR Pro? I tried and also increased the volume of the secondary microphone from 3 to 4 dB. I don't know... Maybe the value in MIR Pro can't be compared to the real thing. I like this change, and this is the good thing about MIR Pro compared to MIRx.

I'm curious about this as well...

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 20:27
by Pixelpoet1985
Joined on Fri, Dec 23 2016, Germany, Posts 287

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post

Well, not quite, from what I've seen/heard.  There's also a difference in the mic itself.  For instance, the Close mic position on Synchron Strings Pro, when solo-ed, has barely any room information in it.  I presume this is primarily because of the type of microphone used.  In MIR, even if I move the instrument icon right in the face of the main mic array, if the dry/wet ratio is towards the wet end there will be way more room information than there is in the ambient library's close mic. 

Yes, of course there is a difference. And this is what I meant with 1) stereo image, 2) panning and 3) distance.

A close microphone is... 
1) mono (depending on the microphone),
2) has to be panned, 
3) does have less room sound, because it's close to the instrument.

About the wetness I'm not sure. A close microphone is indeed (a bit) drier, but in MIR Pro I can achieve this also by reducing the reverb length. So it's not easy, there are many options. :D

Do you have an example for the issue mentioned in your the last sentence? What do you mean with "towards the wet end"?

I figured this out when comparing to other, wet libraries. It's only my impression after many, many hours of testing. Don't take it too seriously: 

  • The setup in MIR Pro always resembles a combination of "spot/close" and "main" microphone in reality. You could go down to a "close" microphone on it's own though.
  • The main microphone alone can't be compared to a "decca tree" in reality, only in combination with the secondary microphone. 
  • The main microphone brings the dry instrument into the room (i.e. the dry/wet ratio). This resembles a "mid" microphone in reality. Depending on the stereo image this could also yield into a "close" microphone, see point 1.
  • The secondary microphone (which is only wet) gives additional depth and resembles, in combination with the main microphone, a "decca tree" to "ambient" sound.

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post

I'm probably over-thinking things, but one of the unforeseen side effects of using MIR has been that it's got me thinking, learning, and exploring a lot more about acoustics, recording, and stereo playback than I thought I ever would! 

Same here! I learnt a lot, but I think that MIR Pro could be made a bit easier for those who don't have this ambition.

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 20:45
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post
[...]

@Dietz: 
Comparing the MIRx settings to the Synchron and BBO libraries I stumbled upon the microphone delays. In MIRx the secondary microphone has a wet delay of 12.2 ms. The room microphones in the Synchron Player are set to 21 ms. Wouldn't it make sense to set it to the same value in MIR Pro? I tried and also increased the volume of the secondary microphone from 3 to 4 dB. I don't know... Maybe the value in MIR Pro can't be compared to the real thing. I like this change, and this is the good thing about MIR Pro compared to MIRx.

Good question, but I know only a very vague answer: "12 ms" simply felt right. 8-) Thinking about it, this is a value I like to use a lot when adding pre-delay to (algorithmic) reverbs, too. Maybe just a question of habits ... 

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 20:47
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post
[...] one of the unforeseen side effects of using MIR has been that it's got me thinking, learning, and exploring a lot more about acoustics, recording, and stereo playback than I thought I ever would!  [...]

:-D ... you know what? I've been told this several times already. For me it's one of the nicest compliments you can pay MIR. Thanks a lot!

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 20:51
by Pixelpoet1985
Joined on Fri, Dec 23 2016, Germany, Posts 287

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post
[...] one of the unforeseen side effects of using MIR has been that it's got me thinking, learning, and exploring a lot more about acoustics, recording, and stereo playback than I thought I ever would!  [...]

:-D ... you know what? I've been told this several times already. For me it's on of the nicest compliments you can pay MIR. Thanks a lot!

Yes! But, in my case, it's still only on a basic level. Hopefully I didn't tell too much nonsense in the posts above. XD

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 20:52
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post
[...]

I figured this out when comparing to other, wet libraries. It's only my impression after many, many hours of testing. Don't take it too seriously: 

  • The setup in MIR Pro always resembles a combination of "spot/close" and "main" microphone in reality. You could go down to a "close" microphone on it's own though.
  • The main microphone alone can't be compared to a "decca tree" in reality, only in combination with the secondary microphone. 
  • The main microphone brings the dry instrument into the room (i.e. the dry/wet ratio). This resembles a "mid" microphone in reality. Depending on the stereo image this could also yield into a "close" microphone, see point 1.
  • The secondary microphone (which is only wet) gives additional depth and resembles, in combination with the main microphone, a "decca tree" to "ambient" sound.

1. True!

2. Not really, because the Secondary Mic is always "wet only", to avoid the otherwise inevitable phasing issues.

3. Partially true (see 2.), but you can indeed use MIR as an Ambisonics-based "spot mic" panning device without any room information added.

4. Mostly true, just without the "Decca" reference.

HTH, 

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 21:03
by Pixelpoet1985
Joined on Fri, Dec 23 2016, Germany, Posts 287

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post
[...]

I figured this out when comparing to other, wet libraries. It's only my impression after many, many hours of testing. Don't take it too seriously: 

  • The setup in MIR Pro always resembles a combination of "spot/close" and "main" microphone in reality. You could go down to a "close" microphone on it's own though.
  • The main microphone alone can't be compared to a "decca tree" in reality, only in combination with the secondary microphone. 
  • The main microphone brings the dry instrument into the room (i.e. the dry/wet ratio). This resembles a "mid" microphone in reality. Depending on the stereo image this could also yield into a "close" microphone, see point 1.
  • The secondary microphone (which is only wet) gives additional depth and resembles, in combination with the main microphone, a "decca tree" to "ambient" sound.

1. True!

2. Not really, because the Secondary Mic is always "wet only", to avoid the otherwise inevitable phasing issues.

3. Partially true (see 2.), but you can indeed use MIR as an Ambisonics-based "spot mic" panning device without any room information added.

4. Mostly true, just without the "Decca" reference.

HTH, 

Thanks, Dietz! Maybe it's depending on the library. Am I allowed to name it?

I mainly compare to MGM Sony, because the Synchron Stage is similar in size and, in my opinion, incredibly similar in sound, too. In this case a combination of main and secondary microphone indeed resembles the "room" microphone in this library. Maybe because it's a combination of decca and outriggers and some others, I'm not sure. So it's not a decca tree on it's own.

Of course, in MIR Pro it's not a "decca" tree, but I call it this way to have a comparison. And it comes really close to the sound.

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 21:18
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post

Yes, of course there is a difference. And this is what I meant with 1) stereo image, 2) panning and 3) distance.

Ohhh, my bad.  I misunderstood what you were saying.

Originally Posted by: Pixelpoet1985 Go to Quoted Post

Do you have an example for the issue mentioned in your the last sentence? What do you mean with "towards the wet end"?

I meant if the instrument's DRY/WET ratio is weighted towards wet, resulting in more room and less of the ambisonically positioned, character-eq'd dry sample.  

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post

Same here! I learnt a lot, but I think that MIR Pro could be made a bit easier for those who don't have this ambition.

Hmmm...you just gave me an idea...

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 21:40
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 243

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post
[...] one of the unforeseen side effects of using MIR has been that it's got me thinking, learning, and exploring a lot more about acoustics, recording, and stereo playback than I thought I ever would!  [...]

:-D ... you know what? I've been told this several times already. For me it's on of the nicest compliments you can pay MIR. Thanks a lot!

Of course!  Thank you for developing it and saving me approx. five billion-gajillion hours of reverb bussing.

Posted on Mon, Feb 08 2021 21:58
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post
I meant if the instrument's DRY/WET ratio is weighted towards wet, resulting in more room and less of the ambisonically positioned, character-eq'd dry sample.  

Yes. And just for the sake of completeness: The Character affects the signal before it's fed into MIR's convolution engine, which means that the resulting room signal benefits from the pre-processing, too (... hopefully ;-D ...).

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Feb 10 2021 10:00
by Pixelpoet1985
Joined on Fri, Dec 23 2016, Germany, Posts 287

As we were talking about microphones, I have another question:

MIR Pro is always a combination of close/spot and main, but the close isn't mono. I think it's really a sonic difference mixing a main microphone (e.g. decca tree) with a "real" close microphone.

Is there a way to route the main output in such a way that we can make a mono duplicate and then mixing this together? Or is this technically not possible with the underlying concept of MIR Pro? Or can this be achieved with a different microphone setup?

Hope you understand what I mean. :D

Posted on Wed, Feb 10 2021 12:27
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7610

I'm not sure that I really understand what you're asking for, but I'll try to give a meaningful answer nonethless:

I've used stereo spot mics very often; there's no rule that says otherwise. As a matter of fact, I like them much more than mono spot mics, but in Real Life it's simply a question of available microphones and / or mic lines, most of the time. ;-)

... but if you want mono "close mics" in MIR, just reduce the Icon's width to zero.

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
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