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  • Sibelius mixer and VE PRO: how does the fader work?

    Hi all,

    Maybe a stupid question but I try to understand how the fader in the Sibelius mixer EXACTLY works in combination with VE PRO.

    I use VE PRO to create an "acoustically correct and well balanced orchestra" that I trigger from Sibelius. In VE PRO, every instrument group (strings, woods, brass percussion) is combined in it's own aux channel strip that is routed to MAIN. So, the instruments don't return their signal individually to Sibelius. I guess, over LAN, VE PRO returns 4 seperate stereo audio stream; one for each of my instrument groups?

    So, in this setup the Sibelius fader can't influence the incoming (returned by VE PRO) signal from every instrument because that signal is grouped before Sibelius receives it. But the fader in Sibelius DOES influence the level of each instrument. I guess it does influence the level BEFORE it sends the MIDI signal to VE PRO. If yes, what kind of MIDI message does it use?

    You see, I don't get this concept yet.

    Any help is welcome. Thanks in advance.


    Wim Dijkgraaf

  • As I understand it, the sliders in the Sibelius mixer send volume messages (CC7) to each Vienna Instrument loaded into VE Pro, allowing you to mix inside Sibelius instead of VE Pro.  When I started using Sibelius and VE, I didn't use this, and in fact turned off those incoming volume messages in VE Pro.  However, now I prefer to leave the faders at 0 in my VE Pro templates, and mix the instruments within each Sibelius project using the Sibelius mixer. 

  • Thanks Gary for your reply!

    I guess you're right. I'll do a simple test today to see if it is CC7 that does the trick.

    But you bring up an interesting topic. Can you explain to me why you prefer to leave the faders at 0 in VE PRO templates and mix instrument within Sibelius on a per project basis?

    I tend to work on a setup that does the contrairy. Have a well balanced orchestra in VE PRO, use non of the mixing in Sibelius. But I tend to finalize the mix in my DAW after having finished the composition in Sibelius.
    - STEP 1: composing in Sibelius with a good template in VE PRO that is well balanced "out of the box"
    - STEP 2: fine tuning the perfomance in my DAW and doing a final mix down using the same template in VE PRO

    I'm working on a first project with VSL (6 pieces, one hour of music) so any thoughts, tips or ideas are welcome. Wrong decisions in the start can result in a lot of time at the end ... ;-)


    Wim Dijkgraaf

  • I'm certainly not very experienced at composing from scratch, so I don't have any advice to offer about that.  At this point, I am working with MIDI files created by others.  Perhaps your method is better for what you are doing.

    About your question, the main reason I like to mix in Sibelius is so I don't end up in 5 years with hundreds (or thousands) of playback configurations in the Playback Devices>Configuration drop-down menu in Sibelius.  Originally, I was creating a playback configuration for each piece, but this started to get cumbersome.  So I decided to make templates in VE Pro, and use the same name for the Sibelius playback configuration.  Now, for example, if a piece calls for flute, oboe, clarinet, three trumpets, two horns, timpani, violin, violin, viola, cello, and bass, I can call up the template in Sibelius.  If three more pieces use the same instrumentation, I can use the same playback configuration, instead of making a new playback configuration for each piece.  Incidentally, I would name this template "O - FOC_TpTpTpHH_T_VVVCB."  The "O" is for orchestra (as opposed to "C" for chamber music), and each section of the orchestra (winds_brass_percussion_strings) is separated by an underscore.  Even though several pieces use the same instrumentation, I find myself tweaking volumes differently for each piece.  I would rather have these minor volume differences be saved with the Sibelius session than the VE template.  This is just my latest attempt at some organization.  But I'm kind of a rookie, so this could all change if I think there's a better way later. 

    I would love to hear how other people are making music with VSL.

  • Hi Gary,

    Yes, you are right; it's CC7 that the Sibelius mixer sends to the Vienna Instrument.

    And many thanks for your explanation. In your situation, I can imagine the Sibelius mixer is the right approach to mix.

    I'm also quite happy with my approach. Which is as follows:

    1) One playback configuration for writing for symphony orchestra (called VSL Orchestra).
    2) One VE metaframe to load all the VE instances, its instruments, panning, EQ and reverb (Vienna Suite plug-ins).
    3) Every instrument (except the keyboards, percussion, harp) uses "velocity cross fading" and the "expression" controller is disabled (set to "none" in window: map control)
    4) In Sibelius all fader are at 0db
    5) In every VEpro instance, all faders are at 0db
    6) The "expression" fader (window: perform control) is used to set the right "over all" level of the instrument

    So, actually I do the basic mixing by adjusting the expression fader of every VI instument. This results in a well balanced "orchestra" as a starting point for every score I work on during the composition process. No matter if I work with Sibelius or my DAW (Logic 9), the first mixer settings are all at 0db and the orchestra will be in balance "out of the box".

    Later when the real mixing process starts, I use the mixer in Logic to do the final mixing.


    Wim Dijkgraaf

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