Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

with industry Pro, Nick Batzdorf

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gongchime
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Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by gongchime » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:39 pm

Started three tunes and so far they are entirely midi. Want to back them up before starting work on the audio parts. The midi parts were created in Cubasis. Not sure how to approach it. Convert each track to an audio file and burn them to separate tracks on the cd? Or what? Also, the computer is sometimes playing back clicks and pops but this might not be a problem if only one track is recorded I'm not sure. Anyway, made significant progress and they sound great. The metallophone instruments sound great even though they're midi. Sampled them all myself and mapped them to the keyboard. Another concern is mixing. Have three metallophones made of brass and played with a soft mallet that sound in octaves c1, c2 and c3 respectively. They're very similar to a vibraphone. Also got three iron metallophones in octaves c2,c3 and c4. They're struck with a hard hammer and don't sound like anything except what they are; Indonesian instruments. Would you make the instruments in the same octave have different volume levels and paned differently? Or not because they have very different timbres and won't interfere with each other? Oriental music doesn't really have a bass. The bass instrument is an octave above what we would normally consider a bass. Do I still need to pan it dead center? Any advice would be helpful.Gongchime

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by davewalton » Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:10 am

Hi,For backing up, back up the files that are created by the Cubasis project. If you convert to audio and then back up, you'll only have audio and none of the elements that allowed you to create that audio in the first place. Midi notes, pan settings, track settings, etc. On the bass instrument, panning dead center isn't necessary. In the orchestra and in orchestral software, the basses are all set to the right.Not sure about the other question. Two out of three is pretty good for me. Dave

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by zink » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:59 am

Hey Greg,There could be a couple reasons for clicks and pops. Most likely, your clipping at some stage in the signal chain, either samples themselves have clips, or your clipping somewhere else. It could also be (I'm not sure of your setup, so this might not apply) caused if your using digital inputs (such as SPDIF of ADAT optical) without setting the proper clock source.As far your panning question, I would pan those out to the sides, since they are going to be taking up a lot of the same frequencies. I would also consider my arrangement very carefully, making sure the two parts don't step on each other, but rather work together.good luckZ

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by davewalton » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:41 am

Quote:There could be a couple reasons for clicks and pops. Somehow I missed that in your original question. My guess would be that the latency setting for your soundcard is set too low. For example, if latency is set to 7ms, the try upping it to 11ms. The better the soundcard (and the software drivers that come with the soundcard), the lower you'll be able to set your latency. it's a give and take. Low gives you immediate keyboard response but too low causes problems like what you describe. Also make sure you're using the latest versions of the soundcard drivers.

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by ernstinen » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:35 am

Hi Greg,Dave's right about panning orchestral basses. Since I write for large symphonic ensembles now, I try to then pan the other "bassy" instruments around to try to keep the right channel from overloading. --- Ironically, I just saw the L.A. Philharmonic in the new Disney Concert Hall, and the conductor had the basses in the left rear! The second violin section was where the celli and basses normally are. Go figure! It sure sounded great, though.You probably know this, but the rule that you HAVE to pan the bass center stems from the old vinyl days. Engineers worried that the stylus would jump out of the groove if the bass wasn't centered. Of course, the Beatles broke that rule, as well as most every other established recording rule! Ern

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by matto » Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:49 pm

Greg,Glad you got this stuff to work...finally... Backup: You'll need to back-up three things:1-Your Cubasis song or project file (can't remember which it's called in Cubasis), the file the program creates when you hit save. It will have the name you gave it followed by the extension .sng or .cpr2-The custom programs you created in the Emulator when you assigned your samples to keys etc. You probably saved those programs in the Emulator. If you didn't you should.3-The actual recorded files of your instruments you made, which you used to make those Emulator programs. These MAY be saved as part of the Emulator program, I don't know. They will be wav files, most likely.What you would do is burn a special kind of CD called a Data CD (not audio). Your CD burning software should allow you to switch to that type (you still use the same blank CDs it's just formatted differently to hold data; all kinds of data files can then be burnt to it).God forbid your harddrivershould ever crash, you'll be able to load those files back in and restore the song perfectly.Crackling: All three mentioned scenarios are possible, but my money would be on the latency setting being to low (buffers to small)Panning: If'you'd like to be able to differentiate between the two instruments at the same pitch, pan them to opposite sides. If you'd like them to blend together and sound as one, pan them to the same place. Just make sure you don't hard pan everything.Other than that, there are really no rules, just do what sounds best to you. I would also encourage you to experiment with synced delays which tend to sound great on those type of instruments and can add an almost magical effect (unless you're going for a very authentic sound of course).matto

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by nickbatzdorf » Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:44 pm

Personally, I'd probably position the instruments where they'd be if they were playing in front of you and not pay the slightest bit of attention to the frequencies or whether you have two instruments playing in the same register. This is acoustic music; presumably the goal of the production is to make the listener feel like he's at a performance.How literally to take that is a subjective call. For example, if you hear those instruments in real life, they're going to come from pretty much a single point as soon as you step back more than maybe 12 feet. But on a recording you can spread things out in lush stereo, and nobody thinks twice about the suspension of disbelief.

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Re: Saving and Mixing unusual instruments

Post by gongchime » Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:26 am

I haven't been able to get to a computer that would let me log into the forum. Though I read this message a while ago. Just wanted to say thanks for the great advice. Since it's a midi performance and I had control of levels when I recorded the samples and also have control over the attack velocities so that nothing is sticking out in the mix, is there any need for compression? Some people are saying that I should compress each track differently. If so, I'm very inexperienced and am afraid I wouldn't do it right. The other question is EQ. Bass guitar is usually what needs it most. The bass instrument is a metallophone but sounds an octave higher than a proper bass guitar. I'm also not using guitar, synth pads or piano so I'm inclined to ignore EQ entirely since those are what traditionally need it and I wouldn't know what I was doing anyway.The only mitigating point I can think of is that I close mic'd everything and I think I have to give some air to the mic for the production to sound like the listener is at a performance. Some of the very high metallophones had to be mic'd ultra close so as to allow me to hit it softer in an attempt to avoid too much of the hammers attack yet still be audible and strong. So far, I listened to how each instrument sounds when playing back in Cubasis and adjusted the levels in the midi track mixer so that it's like in a live performance with each instrument panned where it would be on the stage never pushing anything farther to the left or right than 50. Would you do it differently? Gongchime

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