How do you guys get realism with eastwest quantum leap orchestra (gold)? What plugins do you use? What do you do on midi, in the channel strip and in the master? (I’m talking about orchestral based tracks!)
I wish you a good productive 2013!
Just try experimenting with reverb and midi-automations like “expression” or “loudness”. You should really try to imitate real players and their movements while they’re playing with their bows. Also you can try to lap the midi notes a little bit. Just extend the notes a little bit to the left, this will make it sound a little bit more realistic.
Hi enrimusic. I think reverb is the most important to simulate real orchestra. I use several reverb with deferent setting to emulate complex reflection of concert hall. Horns and percussion use more reverb to make distant sound because they sit far from audience. and strings use less because they are close to audience. They hear more actual sound from the instrument. Also, I use pre fader send for reverb. This way you can adjust the balance between actual sound and reverberation by just moving channel fader. If you use post fader, when you move the channel fader,amount of reverb send are changed together.
To simulate larger strings section, Try overdub same phrases with deferent sound. For example, 1 Orginal phrase with high quality strings sample 2 same phrase but slightly off timing 3 same as 2 but with synthesized strings sound (not sample) Adjust the volume of these tracks until you get the sound you like.
This can help to create thicker and bigger sound.
Remember! It’s the orchestra. Use reverb and pan right.
Thanks all of you guys!
So, reading what you wrote I have a “few” questions:
1- prefader reverbs (what kind of rev do you mix?)
2- pans (do you pan like here? http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S7c8lxXDpqg/TZR6VRbP0VI/AAAAAAAACVw/wISaaJAgCQw/s1600/ffffffffffffff.gif)
3- midi articulations and humanization (got it!)
4- super-overdubbing phrases (if I do this, my track could be less clean and confusing. Or not?)
5- midi automations on expression (ok! but what do you mean by automate loudness? volume?)
6- Are here any EQs ideas? Ways to get a more realistic timbre (especially on strings)?
7- Do I use compressors? And if I use them, how to better recover sound degradation?
Thank you guys!
2. You can use this pan for example. By the way there are many options orchestra placement.
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EWQL SO Gold\Platinum is a relatively strong library.
Most of the patches have reverb already turned on. I turn it off when composing – then turn it back on for final mix\mastering. (Or I use a different reverb plug-in).
As you’ve noted above… a HUGE part of orchestral realism is proper panning. You need to virtually place the violins in their position on stage right… the basses need to go on stage left, etc… Also, when applying reverb and delay, consider that the percussion is in the far back, so they would be a TINY bit behind everything because it takes their sound just a bit longer to reach the audience’s ears.
The only real way to get a (mostly) authentic sound from any orchestral library is to understand the nuts and bolts of live orchestration. What instruments go well together… etc.
2 big ideas when it comes to realism:
When you write a divisi for…say… 16 violins… In a real orchestra, this would put 8 violins on each note. In most patches, when you play 2 notes, you get double the players (or, for this example, 32 violins). You can’t do this. Try to keep the number of ‘players’ the same throughout the piece.
Also… Consider the timbre of instruments. A trumpet has a vastly different sound at FFF than it does at P. You can’t just turn up the volume of the trumpet playing at P and expect it to sound real. Always consider the timber of a REAL instrument when writing\mixing in dynamics.
Is EWQL SO the best? Probably not… but it is more than suitable if the composer employs proper orchestration techniques as they would with a real, live orchestra.
..to add to my above post… The best advice my Orchestration instructor gave me was to compose as I would for an orchestra… Don’t compose the orchestra as you would for a keyboard.
All pieces of advice above were about technical side of orchestral writing – pan, volume, reverb etc. But I would like to help you from the other point of view.
Personally I would recommend you to study some books about orchestra – for instance, there was a brilliant Russian book Agofonnikov – Symphonic Score. But I don’t know, whether there is a translation into English. A composer, who writes a symphonic music, is obliged to know everything about the orchestra. The timbre of instruments in different registers, mixing of orchestral colors, how other composers did use the orchestra (e.g. Mahler loved huge orchestras and Glinka was using the orchestra very carefully). And, of course, you should go to the Opera house, to the Philharmonic, Organ house, different concert halls to listen, listen and listen. And not to listen thoughtlessly, but listen analytically. One must listen and watch the orchestra (that’s why I prefer balcony in the Opera house) in order to know, what sections are playing this very moment.What about technical side – I have EWQL SO Platinum (recorded from 3 microphone positions). And I make a recording from Stage position (the conductor’s place), then I make a recording from Surround position (the rear balconies), and mix them together. For example, my Waltz was made in this way: http://audiojungle.net/item/romantic-waltz-aminor/3661114
Hopefully, the info above will help you BTW, if you have any questions in orchestra writing – feel free to contact me.