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  • Live orchestral mixing

    1st this is a bit off topic since it doesn't involve VSL but the best orchestral minds seem to frequent this forum so please forgive me.

    Do you typically use various depths of reverb for different sections as we do with samples or do you let the natural depth do that? Would you think using several depths on the close mics alone would give a better result than combining the close and and tree mics?

    What kind of compressor settings do you use? GIF of a typical setting? knee, release, ratio? What do you try to achieve with compression?

    EQ? high/low filtering eq's vs band eq's? Mastering EQ?

    If you know of any good articles I'd love to see them - or other forums on this topic.


  • Matt:

    Here are a couple of short discussions about orchestral recording.

    I'm not a recording engineer but my limited understanding is that in "classical" music, there is normally very little processing used. The post-production is more about editing than processing.

    As an example, most classical recordings use little or no compression. This music sometimes has a HUGE dynamic range and the goal of the recording is to retain that as an essential aspect of the music. This is why, in a car (obviously not the ideal listening environment) you sometimes can't hear part of the music and if you turn it up and there is a sudden fff, you get blasted. So, you won't usually hear much about compression ratio, knee, release, gates/limiters, etc., in classical recordings. In more pop orchestra types of music, it might be different.

    Also, I have trouble imagining them using much, if any reverb, much less different depths/types in orchestral music. The goal is to hear the sound of the hall. This is part of the musical experience and they want that sound on the recording. Adding different reverbs, even well bended, would sound very weird (I'm being nice in my word choice) to the classical music afficianado.

    Even in a studio, orchestral recordings are usually done in large rooms which are specially designed to sound excellent with a large ensemble. Of course, most orchestral recordings are done on site. Many, many world class orchestra recordings have been done with just a stereo pair of mics. There are purists who believe this is the "right" way to record an orchestra. Of course, there are those who disagree.

    As I mentioned, its more about editing, in this genre than about processing. Usually, unless its a live performance, what you're hearing on a record is a compilation of the best parts of several takes. Editing these together seemlessly is what its all about. AFAIK, once the set-up is determined to be satisfactory to record a good, clean sound, then what you hear is what you get.

    There are many here who are far more knowledgeable about this than me and I'm sure they will add more in-depth information.

    Be Well,


  • i think the word live is a misnomer here I meant a studio orchestra - for film music - which needs both reverb and compression at least everyone I know uses both.

  • Ahh! I see. I completely misunderstood what you meant. I know absolutely nothing about film composing. My brain doesn't go there when you refer to an orchestra. It would be interesting and educational for me to see what people say because you are certainly right that all that processing would be neccesary there. Sorry about chiming in where I have no knowledge.

    Be Well,


  • By accident I just found this interesting interview with Alan Meyerson (2004):

    Alan's credits:

    I believe he still works for Remote Control Productions, Zimmer's company.
    Recently he also worked on the KingKong recordings and is featured on the DVD/web docu's.


  • Cooool .... a five years old thread is seeing the light of day again ... 8-) 

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
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    @Dietz said:

    Cooool .... a five years old thread is seeing the light of day again ... 8-)nbsp;
    ...and finds some readers...the posted link by Peter Roos is still working and very interesting the net don't forget nothing :-)