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  • VSL & real Cello

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    Hello,

    Currently I am working on a very elegic piece, and this is the first time that I brought my Cello into a VSL production.

    The VSL solo strings are great, but in my case it is logicall that I play my real Cello when I have the real thing just at home.

    But...

    this causes some problems:

    First of all I recorded myself in a small room ( my working room), you can't compare it to the silent stage;-)

    it is really a challenge to match to the acoustics of the VI instruments.

    I tried some tweaks with reverb and EQ, this is really hard.

    This is a little excerpt of the whole piece, maybe some of you can give me a hint concerning the relation between solo cello and the VI instruments!

    excerpt.mp3

    thanks in advance,

    christof


  • Only had chance to listen to it twice - and I like the tune immensely.

    There is a problem there though as you suspect. I will kick it off and allow the technical guys to come in hopefully.

    The solo Cello sounds too much like it's part of the overall scene. It needs to be separate to the backing and stand out more. This could be because (a) it does not fit within with the orchestration (b) it's too high and needs to be played an octave lower based on what you've posted (c) the original key need to be examined or (d) the reverb choices need to be examined.

  • Thanks Paul, this is not a matter of orchestration or octave and key, I played it exatcly as I want it to sound concerning the music, the only thing is the room ambiance and the sound...when you hear a solo cello within an orchestral piece it is allways played by the principal cellist of an orchestra, that means he is positioned in the cello section of the orchestra. I want it to sound like that, if there is a cello soloist playing a cello concerto, this is another story, he is sitting next to the conductor, that is not my intention in this piece...

  • This sounds very good - nice music.  If it is a cello with orchestra solo rather than a player in the orchestral cello section, the cello should be center stage,  slightly larger stereo image, and slightly less reverb than the orchestra.  In altiverb it would be relatively simple to pull it forward with the same ambience. 


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    @William said:

    If it is a cello with orchestra solo rather than a player in the orchestral cello section, the cello should be center stage, 
    it should be a solo of a cellist in the cello section, not center stage, rather right positioned. Thanks!

  • Hi Chris,

    very nice music! I am thinking the reason the cello may not be standing out as much could be that, it appears to me that there is another instrument doubling the cello line [is it an oboe?], either in the same register or an octave above. By either taking it out, or lowering it's volume, maybe that could solve it, and I am also wondering if there are other instruments accompanying it with harmony in the same note range of the cello melody. If they are, maybe putting the harmonic background lower than the cello, or maybe above it, could help?

    Also, when I listened to John Williams "Shindlers List" music where the strings provided harmonic background to a solo violin, I was wondering how on earth he got the solo violin to stand out over the strings so well - the problem being that having a string solo instrument with a string background, it could be hard to have the solo violin stand out over a timbre that is similar. When I found the orchestral score to this in one of the music libraries here, I discovered that he has the string section play con sordini.   I don't know if you have any muted string samples, but maybe that could also help the cello solo stand out also.above the string background.  If not, maybe a nice woodwind sustained background could also be a possibilty.

    Hope that may be helpful!  By the way, as I said, it is a very nice melody. I hope we get to hear the rest of it!

    best regards,

    Steve[:D]


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    @William said:

    If it is a cello with orchestra solo rather than a player in the orchestral cello section, the cello should be center stage, 
    it should be a solo of a cellist in the cello section, not center stage, rather right positioned. Thanks!

    In that case you would probably need to experiment with con sordino backing strings. In reality, as you must know, when a player from a string section plays solo and remains in the section as it were, the rest of the orchestra is not exactly playing fff. So you need to get your orchestration right and get the backing volume down.

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    @PaulR said:

    as you must know, when a player from a string section plays solo and remains in the section as it were, the rest of the orchestra is not exactly playing fff. So you need to get your orchestration right and get the backing volume down.
    well Paul, I know, I have played cello solos in the orchestra, and sometimes with a lots of cellos in my back, in this particular case the others are not playing fff, they are playing p, but anyway I think I got a better mix now. The main problem is that I recorded my cello in such a small and muddy room, and this causes inseperable problems. Well, it's just a demo, so what...I'll post the entire piece soon. christof

  • Very nice composition.

    I agree with the other posters that the panning is distracting. Either it should be centered and up-front, like a Hilary Hahn CD, or it should sound like the player is sitting in the section. Assuming you're after the latter, I would turn down the volume a bit, add some reverb (or record with the mic backed off) and add a shelving EQ on the high end to remove some high frequencies above 8k. You might want to shelve out some low frequencies as well. 

    Listening in headphones, there was a rumble on the track. Perhaps this is cassa playing throughout but it was distracting. If you're mixing on small monitors without a subwoofer you should check the mix in headphones for any bass problems. 


  • Hi, Nice piece! Even if you had a real orchestra playing, I think you'd have a hard time discerning the solo cello with the oboe doubling and other stuff happening in that same range. Maybe using a eq with a sidechain on the orchestral stereo out, scouping out the frequencies that the cello is playing. I pretty sure that is possible, but don't know if that would solve anything. And you could pull the solo a bit foward and definely push the oboe back in space (with Altiverb).

  • Just a thought, but isn't VSL equal tempered? If so, I would expect it to be very difficult to marry a live instrument with VSL like this unless it was also played in an equal temperment, which at the least would be unnatural for a Cello if not down right impossible.


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    @Christof Unterberger said:

    First of all I recorded myself in a small room ( my working room), you can't compare it to the silent stagešŸ˜‰

    it is really a challenge to match to the acoustics of the VI instruments.

    This IS a challenge, if not impossible. There are the early reflections in your working room, and you canĀ“t eq those away, and when using reverb, you also reverberate those. What microphone are you using? In an ideal world, you would probably use something like a Neumann U87 positioned about 0,5 m to 1 m from the cello. In difficult rooms (or when thereĀ“s a p.a.) I go as close to the f-hole as possible. ThereĀ“s a special holding for the Schoeps CCM4V that is attached to the body of the instruments (I only have one for double basses, but I guess thereĀ“s something for the celli too), so you can move and the sound is not affected.

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    @Brian said:

    Just a thought, but isn't VSL equal tempered? If so, I would expect it to be very difficult to marry a live instrument with VSL like this unless it was also played in an equal temperment, which at the least would be unnatural for a Cello if not down right impossible.

     

    Reminds me of this discussion elsewhere:

    http://www.soundsonline-forums.com/showthread.php?t=2242&highlight=lgrohn


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    @Christof Unterberger said:

    First of all I recorded myself in a small room ( my working room), you can't compare it to the silent stagešŸ˜‰

    it is really a challenge to match to the acoustics of the VI instruments.

    This IS a challenge, if not impossible. There are the early reflections in your working room, and you canĀ“t eq those away, and when using reverb, you also reverberate those. What microphone are you using? In an ideal world, you would probably use something like a Neumann U87 positioned about 0,5 m to 1 m from the cello. In difficult rooms (or when thereĀ“s a p.a.) I go as close to the f-hole as possible. ThereĀ“s a special holding for the Schoeps CCM4V that is attached to the body of the instruments (I only have one for double basses, but I guess thereĀ“s something for the celli too), so you can move and the sound is not affected.

    Some additional food for thought maybe here:

    http://www.vi-control.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9422


  • One more thing, Christof ... very beautiful playing!

    Nevertheless I suppose if you were playing this as a solo in front of a real orchestra you would perhaps rovel your cello a little more which would help for better exposure. I know from my own recordings that it is difficult sometimes to get into that flow when sitting alone in a studio with nobody to play for than a microphone.


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on