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  • Tips on getting VSL Percussion to sound in the back (i.e. orchestral context)?

    Hi All,

    Three things:

    1) Don't get me wrong I, I think the VSL Percussion is excellently recorded and sounds amazing in a close-mic setting (i.e. a chamber hall, or a percussion ensemble type work).  Still...I'm having a tough time trying to get the VSL percussion to sound authentic in an orchestral context (i.e. sounding in the back).  Maybe I'm not doing something right though?  Anyone have any tips?  I've been using the Christian Kardeis method of double reverb on the percussion, but I feel like the actual samples may have too much 'strike' recorded in them to closely approximate an orchestral percussive setting.  However, I love my VSL I'm not willing to do anything drastic, like buy another set of percussion samples, unless there is no other way...which leads me to two...

    2) Should I have to do something drastic, I'm thinking about Project Sam True Strike.  Anyone had any success mixing True Strike with VSL in an orchestral setup?  Is it difficult or easy to get True Strike to sound natural with VSL?  Do you use the far or middle mic positions on True Strike for orchestral placement?  Do you still send True Strike through Altiverb (reverb), or only use Altiverb (reverb) on VSL? Any reason why I shouldn't buy True Strike even if I can't get a more distant sound out of my VSL Percussion?....and finally....

    3) Will MIR solve the problem of hearing so much 'strike' on the VSL Percussion?

    Thanks, Brian


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    Hi Brian,

    Maybe this will help you in some respect. I have posted two sound files with examples of 1. a timpani motive: www.musesamples.com/testlib/OrigamiTimp.mp3

    and 2. a drum roll followed by a hit: www.musesamples.com/testlib/OrigamiDrums.mp3

    I used the Origami tool by Yellow Tools which has a kind of space positioner.

    You will find the examples resp. a. without reverb at all; b. in front of the stage; c in the middle and d at the back of the stage. The overall sound seems to be altered in relation with these placements apparently. The less direct strike in the percussion sound d is maybe different enough (from the original sound I mean) for you to stay with the VSL.

    I hope this will give you at least some more and relevant information.

    I guess this is the same Brian from another thread here somewhere: I would like to express here my compliments and respect for your splendid version of the Elgar theme. Really a great job, very musical and expressive.


  • Dear Brian,

    Try the "Processed Percussion" and adjust the dry/wet-ratio between instrument and reverb according to your taste. This will bring the sound to the far back of a world-class orchestral stage (the Vienna Konzerthaus).

    HTH,

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  •  Hi Dietz,

    I forget these processed samples are in there.  I need to really explore this again.   I'll look later today when I get back to the studio but are most of the perc instruments covered here?

    Also are you suggesting to ALSO add reverb to them (your wet/dry comment)?

    Thanks in advance.

    Rob


  • Hi Erik,

    Thanks for the reply! [:)]  You're suggestions were very helpful.  I think I've got a better orchestral percussion mix now using reverb with EQ.  Here is an audio example: (1st one is dry, 2nd one is with reverb, 3rd one is with reverb and EQ)

    http://www.aeneaseditions.com/TimpTest/TimpTest.wav

    Sorry about using the wav file, but I feel that uncompressed audio is better in determining the sound quality of this kind of experimentation.  Oh, by the way, glad you enjoyed the Elgar!  I have the second variation up now too.

    Hi Dietz,

    Thanks for the tip of the 'processed percussion', but unfortunately I'm using SE, so I don't have access to them.  I'm going to continue to work with my VSL percussion as I've gotten better result out of them by experimenting.  Also, you'll be happy to know that I decided to spend my money on getting VSL SE+ Extended rather than on other percussion samples! [:)] I really needed the repetition samples for my woodwind ensembles!  Again I love my VSL, I guess I'm just not as happy with the percussion as I am with my other VSL libraries....like Appassionata Strings I & II.  Someone would have to claw them from my cold dead fingers before I'd give those up. [;)]

    Brian


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    @Brian said:

    [...]

    Hi Dietz,

     

    Thanks for the tip of the 'processed percussion', but unfortunately I'm using SE, so I don't have access to them. [...]
    Oh - sorry for that, Brian. I didn't look at your signature.

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Quick and dirty method - adjust the attack of the instrument; the further away you want it, the longer the attack. However, we're only talking about initial transients here, up to around the first 30ms at the start of a sample. Works very well with things like snare, xylophone and timpani, less so with cymbals, tamtam,etc. Also consider hi and lo pass filters to account for loss of freq information over a distance from source to (concert hall?) listener. Add in some Altiverb orchestral positioning, and you could be good to go!

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    @reid said:

    Also consider hi and lo pass filters to account for loss of freq information over a distance from source to (concert hall?) listener. Add in some Altiverb orchestral positioning, and you could be good to go!

    Along those lines, maybe fiddle around at 3-5 kHz to adjust presence. Did the job for me on the timpani, which drove me nuts with their in-your-faceness (I like 'em far, far away, possibly in the next time zone 😊 )...


  • Hey Thanks Guys!!! [:)]

    Both of your suggestions really helped!  Gosh I don't know why I didn't think of lengthing the attack on the percussion samples!?!?! Duh!!! [:P] Since the strike of the mallet is the main problem taking off the first 30ms of the attack is just perfect! Yeah! Cool!

    Thanks, Brian


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    @reid said:

    Quick and dirty method - adjust the attack of the instrument; the further away you want it, the longer the attack.
    Well, you mean longer envelope attack times? (which would mean a fade in?) Thanks

  • Yup. But only by a tiny amount - the transient of most percussion strikes occurs within the first 30ms or so, so by lessening the 'in your face' nature of the transient you achieve a sense of distance. If need be, fiddle with your velocity > attack relationship so that quiet notes don't disappear entirely.

  •  You could try to put a reverb on a send at pre fader.

    Then you lower the level of the track and increase the send till your taste...