Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
Forum Statistics

186,589 users have contributed to 42,469 threads and 255,880 posts.

In the past 24 hours, we have 6 new thread(s), 19 new post(s) and 45 new user(s).

  • Realistic settings for 3rd party signals

    last edited
    last edited

    I'm working on a project that uses a large number of 3rd party orchestral solo instruments. I know that one should ultimately make decisions based on how the results sound, but as a place to start, I'd like to try the general purpose instrument profiles that are the most physically accurate to the typical behaviors of the instruments. For brass, I assume that means 99f High Directivity 3D, given that brass indeed seems like it would be highly directional in the direction of the bell, and I see no reason why the radiation pattern would lack radial symmetry, as the other high directivity option does. What about woodwinds and solo strings? I don't have much intuition about those other than that they are probably less directional than brass, which still leaves several options. By the same token, it would be helpful to have some guidance about signal width. I guess setting it to the width of the physical instrument would be a place to start, but I second guess the idea of an oboe signal being only like an inch wide.


  • Great questions, covering an important topic when working with 3rd party sources within MIR 3D.

    You already guessed it: Of course, physical width is not the primary influential factor for solo instruments (... for ensembles it's a different story, though). Personally, I tend to start with the generic Cardioid pattern when working with sources other than Vienna Instruments. Ensembles sometimes get the Wide Cardiod, brass the Hyper Cardioid, percussion (especially low drums) perhaps even the Omni variant. High-frequency percussion is a good source for the Figure-8, as this increases the perceived width of the hall for otherwise usually very "peaky" voices (even if this does not reflect their actual, natural acoustic behaviour).

    Over the years, I have rarely used the High Directivity profiles for anything else other than tests or special effects, as these profiles tend to be too thin, almost skeletal, with little spatial envelopment.

    An unofficial side note: While it is indeed not advisable to use the instrument-specific settings we measured for our own samples with anything other than Vienna Instruments, they can be a useful option for larger ensembles as long as you consequently switch off (!) MIR's Character EQ and don't expect to get meaningful values from MIR's "Natural Volume" feature: Those settings are definitely only useful for Vienna and Synchron-ized Instruments.

    HTH,


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Related question: would it be accurate to point the woodwind signals in the direction the bells would point? On the one hand, I wouldn't think the sound necessarily actually comes from the bell the way it does for brass, because the vibrating air column wouldn't reach the bell unless most of the tone holes are closed, but on the other hand, I've learned from Mahler that having the oboes and clarinets raise their bells gives a more direct sound, and if that doesn't correspond to the signal pointing more directly at the listener, then I don't know what it would correspond to.


  • This depends entirely on the recording at hand. In the case of Vienna Instruments, we have taken these aspects into account as part of the respective Instrument Directivity Profiles. The volume slider of a MIR Icon is always the "player's nose", so to speak. When using 3rd party signal sources, however, you can only guess ...

    ... but honestly: Don't overthink things too much. It happens regularly that I position and/or rotate a source in completely unusual ways within MIR, simply because I like the acoustic results. 😊 Trust your ears.


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Another closely related question. Noting that ultimately it depends on what I want it to sound like, would a good starting place for 3rd party libraries (I'll not mention it here as it seems to be NOT THE DONE THING [maybe a Moderator could comment about that as it would possibly be easier to name names]) be to switch off all but their close mic's and position those instruments within the selected MIR room?

    Hoping that you all had a good Christmas.


    Just a beginner
  • @rAC said:

    [...] switch off all but their close mic's and position those instruments within the selected MIR room?

    This depends to a large extent on the approach used to record these instruments. In contrast to Vienna Instruments, many of today's en vogue multi-microphone libraries don't even attempt to capture all sonic aspects of the source with the spot microphones used. Typically, they are intended to support the main microphone array to provide some additional definition, but not to be used on their own.

    Keeping this possible limitation in mind, your suggested approach certainly makes sense. In fact, VSL's Synchron Instruments offer a dedicated "MIR-ready" Mixer Preset for exactly this task.

    Enjoy MIR 3D! 😊


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • While it's entirely possible I have missed these Presets I haven't been able to find them in Synchron Prime, the Free Big Bang, Synchron Brass, Synchron Woodwinds or Synchron Strings Pro.

    I would prefer to have my ignorance publically paraded by a screenshot or two of where to find them than to suffer in silence 🤡

    So if anyone can show me them 🙏 thanks.


    Just a beginner
  • I think Dietz actually meant the "Synchron-ised" libraries rather than all Synchron. The former definitely do have a "99 MIR Unprocessed" mixer preset. I've been experimenting with using the Duality Strings in MIR and I'm finding that the smaller "B" ensemble works pretty well, which is logical as it's recorded fairly dry. The larger "A" ensemble can work but you need to turn off all the Directivity stuff and then compensate in various ways. Actually I'd be interested in Dietz's thoughts on using Synchron libraries in MIR - I'm sure there are a lot of us who took the whole "Synchron libraries are not designed for MIR" thing as a bit of a challenge... 😀.

    @rAC said:

    While it's entirely possible I have missed these Presets I haven't been able to find them in Synchron Prime, the Free Big Bang, Synchron Brass, Synchron Woodwinds or Synchron Strings Pro.


    I would prefer to have my ignorance publically paraded by a screenshot or two of where to find them than to suffer in silence 🤡


    So if anyone can show me them 🙏 thanks.


    Mac Mini M2 16Gb RAM 500Gb int. SSD 2Tb ext. SSD Pro Tools/Mixbus An awful lot of VI, Synchron-ised and Synchron libraries, amongst others. VSL user since 2003.
  • I set the instrument profiles in a literal-minded way to start with, and worked on other aspects of the project to give myself time to get used to the shortcomings of this approach. I've just now gotten back around to trying alternative instrument profiles. One question that has come up: Do acoustic instruments sometimes have significantly different radiation patterns for different playing techniques? I'm second guessing a lot so far, but I think my cellos sound weedy with the cardioid profile and better with the wide cardioid profile when playing arco, but when playing pizzicato they sound fine with the cardioid and boxy with the wide cardioid.


  • Very valid question! Of course, acoustic instruments tend to have different radiation patterns not only for different playing techniques, but even more so in different ranges. MIR takes this phenomenon into account by assigning priorities according to the typical frequencies of the pitches or registers of an instrument, obtained by a statistical analysis of several dozen large classical orchestral works. To make things not more complicated than they already are MIR does _not_ differentiate further by playing techniques, though.

    -> https://vsl.info/en/manuals/mir-pro/think-mir#instrument-directivity-profiles

    If you find that you prefer the wide radiation for the arco cello, then there is nothing wrong with using a separate instance for each playing technique. You can group them [F8] and hide one to keep things easy to handle.

    HTH!


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library