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Alright, first of all, let me know if the link doesn't work. I'm trying to use Google Drive to share stuff at the moment.

This is, much to my chagrin, really another template question as it's really nothing more than a few ideas squashed together right now, and is far, far from resembling a piece of finished music. But, per Sam's info here, I've realized, as I've been working on these ideas, that my bass section is a possible mud source. Accordingly, I have started experimenting with cutting some of the low end from it, something which I was loath to do in the past. Low frequencies were booming up out of the depths and eating everything around them; although, I'm not sure if cutting has done anything but taken the punch out of the basses. Some objective ears will no doubt be useful here.



I'm trying to challenge myself a bit and make "action" music, which I think is one of my weaker areas. This was inspired by a scene from Stormbringer in which Elric and co. see the Ships of Hell bearing down on them for the first time during a naval battle.


Eight Amber Arrows
Cool track, and I think I remember the scene you're referring to. But yeah, there is a certain lack of punch in the low end right now. Have you tried using a low shelf EQ rather than outright highpassing the basses? (Maybe that's what you're doing already).
I would listen to Mattias' advice here and maybe even setup a subtle side-chain compression on your Low Brass Bus. I'm not getting much width though so maybe dial in some more of the room mics on your libraries. You still want to get some room reflection from those instruments like Trombone, Tuba, and Low Strings who typically sit on that far right side.
Most mud sits around 100-500 Hz, so maybe just scoop that out lightly for the basses. The issue is that a lot of orchestral instruments have strong lower harmonics and tend to sit rather low in pitch, creating a lot of overlapping textures, especially with harmonically-rich basses thudding away. You can actually even boost bass frequencies, but use this gentle cut at the same time to make the basses nice and punchy without eating into the rest of the ensemble. Also works on bass drums.

In case I neglected to mention it in our discussion before, there is of course a difference between (1) how a real orchestra sounds, (2) how an orchestra is recorded and mixed in the context of a classical recording, and (3) how orchestras are recorded and mixed in the context of film music. While we were discussing how a real orchestra might sound, in a film score, the basses would be accentuated for dramatic purposes.

Not sure if it's just me, but the overall panning seems a little wide on headphones, like the stereo image is expanded so everything is either 'mostly left' or 'mostly right' with little in the middle. For example, the trombones sound as far right as the basses and horns as far left as violins. It sounds a bit like what I'd expect a close blumlein array to sound like, or one of those recordings from the 60's where they exaggerated the stereo image to show off the new tech. It's a clear sound, but perhaps not the most true-to-life. Maybe bringing the panning back in a little for these mid-left/mid-right instruments would help?

Adding in or accentuating room or mid/main mics as Chris notes would probably be a good idea, so long as you can do that for everything together. The farther an identical mic array is away from a source, the narrower the stereo image appears, so having a close stereo array will result in a wide, pin-point spread, while a farther stereo array will result in a narrower, more blended sound (without getting into the specifics of coincidence and directionality...). Overall I think the amount of reverb is good, and I would be cautious to introduce too much more 'hall' into the sound.
(09-14-2019, 04:10 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Cool track, and I think I remember the scene you're referring to. But yeah, there is a certain lack of punch in the low end right now. Have you tried using a low shelf EQ rather than outright highpassing the basses? (Maybe that's what you're doing already).

I was just using a peak filter around the low freqs that were bugging me, which wasn't really all that effective, as it turned out. I've since switched to a shelf, however, which seems to be much better for my purposes here. So, good idea!




(09-15-2019, 04:30 AM)The Darris Wrote: [ -> ]I would listen to Mattias' advice here and maybe even setup a subtle side-chain compression on your Low Brass Bus. I'm not getting much width though so maybe dial in some more of the room mics on your libraries. You still want to get some room reflection from those instruments like Trombone, Tuba, and Low Strings who typically sit on that far right side.

(09-15-2019, 05:33 AM)Samulis Wrote: [ -> ]Most mud sits around 100-500 Hz, so maybe just scoop that out lightly for the basses. The issue is that a lot of orchestral instruments have strong lower harmonics and tend to sit rather low in pitch, creating a lot of overlapping textures, especially with harmonically-rich basses thudding away. You can actually even boost bass frequencies, but use this gentle cut at the same time to make the basses nice and punchy without eating into the rest of the ensemble. Also works on bass drums.

In case I neglected to mention it in our discussion before, there is of course a difference between (1) how a real orchestra sounds, (2) how an orchestra is recorded and mixed in the context of a classical recording, and (3) how orchestras are recorded and mixed in the context of film music. While we were discussing how a real orchestra might sound, in a film score, the basses would be accentuated for dramatic purposes.

Not sure if it's just me, but the overall panning seems a little wide on headphones, like the stereo image is expanded so everything is either 'mostly left' or 'mostly right' with little in the middle. For example, the trombones sound as far right as the basses and horns as far left as violins. It sounds a bit like what I'd expect a close blumlein array to sound like, or one of those recordings from the 60's where they exaggerated the stereo image to show off the new tech. It's a clear sound, but perhaps not the most true-to-life. Maybe bringing the panning back in a little for these mid-left/mid-right instruments would help?

Adding in or accentuating room or mid/main mics as Chris notes would probably be a good idea, so long as you can do that for everything together. The farther an identical mic array is away from a source, the narrower the stereo image appears, so having a close stereo array will result in a wide, pin-point spread, while a farther stereo array will result in a narrower, more blended sound (without getting into the specifics of coincidence and directionality...). Overall I think the amount of reverb is good, and I would be cautious to introduce too much more 'hall' into the sound.

Taking Sam's and The Darris' points together: Unfortunately only a couple of my libraries have multi-mic options, and the brass is not one of them. That's OBC, and it only has close and stage (used here; I never use the close), and there's no option to blend the two. So there isn't much I can do to blend mic positions and such across the sections. Strings I could technically do; but right now it's just the stage mics.

As for accentuated bass frequencies and panning, I'm sort of leaning more toward a "film score" sound, as that is what my samples and my music seem to be best suited for, anyway. It's just that the basses in their vanilla state seem to be the most present low instruments at my disposal and I think something needs to be done to help them fit a little better. I believe I might benefit by going the opposite direction with the low brass, and adding a little more low end in, at least on the tuba. I will certainly play around with the panning; although, I sort of like the clarity afforded by not having things all on top of each other in the center.

"natural" and "artificial" are concepts that are starting to evolve a bit in my mind. To get a truly "natural" sound would be to remove a lot of the "cinematic" characteristics I like, and may not even be possible with much of the gear at my disposal anyway. While "artificial" doesn't necessarily have to mean "unrealistic." Rather, it can mean that an aesthetic choice was made to enhance something that was already there (as in the aforementioned accentuated low end for the basses).

Anyway, I'll keep at it. Thanks, everyone, for all the good feedback, as always!