Presets for Orchestra?

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Pauljam
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Presets for Orchestra?

Post by Pauljam » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:18 pm

Can anyone let me know what presets they've come up with in Mixcraft 5 or 6 that sound the most authentic for orchestration - strings, strings and woodwinds, etc.? I've been tooling around and have yet to come close to what I'd like. Strings seem to be the most evasive...
Thanks!

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fredfish
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Re: Presets for Orchestra?

Post by fredfish » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:57 am

Hi Paul - it is certainly possible to achieve some excellent strings results using Mixcraft as a front end. However you are really going to need to investigate some 3rd party VSTis to get the best results, and they don't come cheap.

If you want to hear what is possible have a listen on chibear's soundcloud page. https://soundcloud.com/clyde-lindman

Clyde is (IMHO) probably the best composer using Mixcraft that I have come across - but he uses some serious bits of software.

My understanding is that Clyde exclusively uses Mixcraft.

Cheers

John

mick
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Re: Presets for Orchestra?

Post by mick » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:10 pm

String setting.PNG
String setting.PNG (105.87 KiB) Viewed 7623 times
Hi, I find some of the Acoustica sounds a bit "raw" the orchestral strings for instance being a bit "screamy" but with a little help can be toned down and sound very nice and warmer.
Adding some viola balances the overall sound by strengthening the lower register.
IMHO Mixcraft gives more than any other daw by way of "things to use" namely instruments and effects - unless you want to pay 10 times as much!
The flute, cello, oboe, viola, for instance are all really good "as is" unless you want something like the 8dio violins at a cost of $395!
You have to be adventurous and experiment but maybe you would like to try this setup.
Orchestral strings.
Viola.
put them into a submix system and add a little delay (not chorus) and reverb in the main track.
Pan the strings slightly left and viola slightly right (or vice-versa) and balance the output of each to taste.

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chibear
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Re: Presets for Orchestra?

Post by chibear » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:01 pm

fredfish wrote:Hi Paul - it is certainly possible to achieve some excellent strings results using Mixcraft as a front end. However you are really going to need to investigate some 3rd party VSTis to get the best results, and they don't come cheap.

If you want to hear what is possible have a listen on chibear's soundcloud page. https://soundcloud.com/clyde-lindman

Clyde is (IMHO) probably the best composer using Mixcraft that I have come across - but he uses some serious bits of software.

My understanding is that Clyde exclusively uses Mixcraft.
Thanks John (blush)

I'll start with a disclaimer: Having sat in orchestras for 50+ years I am constantly at odds with about 90% of the 'experts' I encounter on various forums as to what sounds 'real' or 'authentic'. So composers' forums and forums attached to certain sound libraries products are IMO probably the last places you want to go for this type of advice.

I found my greatest information and inspiration so far from Dan Kury who apparently used to do samples for Garritan and who is also very generous about sharing his knowledge. A study of his rendition of the Meditation from Thais is a masterclass in MIDI string programming. (If he used Mixcraft he would be in the OFC)

For strings, the question is how much work do you want to put into it. Right out of the Box Miroslav strings sound nice & warm but lack articulations. EWQL Symphonic orchestra has lots of keyswitch-enabled articulations but lack flexibility. The Embertone & Kirk Hunter libraries I am working with now have huge amounts of flexibility, but, especially for Embertone instruments, require lots of under-the hood Command Code, especially CC11, manipulation along with keyswitching that can be extremely time consuming even when you know exactly what you want. Then there is the application of vibrato which is an artform unto itself and I am only just beginning to grasp concepts of such. So you need to choose the level you want to work at.

As far as settings go;

For EQ: I roll off any lows not existing in the instrument as in samples there always seem to be a lot of LF garbage that is enhanced by reverb. I usually darken violin slightly (I personally find digital violins to harsh) and sometimes brighten trumpets & horns to give them a bit more edge when I think it needs it.

For Reverb: I have been attempting to use the various library players to apply early reflections in the individual tracks. For instance in EWQL Play this really enhances the positions on the sound stage (I usually turn it down LOTS though) and apply some 'large room' to the master. This is still VERY much a work in progress as I am considering adding QL Spaces and/or Virtual Sound Stage to the mix for greater homogeneity and clarity.

Compression: I don't use it all the time but when I do I found 5orcery to give me the best results as far as a 'realistic' sound. Often, probably since 'real' orchestra music is so dynamic, any compression seems to quickly squeeze the life out of a track.

Hope this meandering reply helps a bit :)
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aj113
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Re: Presets for Orchestra?

Post by aj113 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:46 pm

I just completed an orchestration for one of my degree modules. The brief was to use "real" instruments (as opposed to electronic synthesised sounds) to accompany a trailer for the new Godzilla movie. No sound effects, foley or vocals allowed. I did cheat a little with one small 808 tom fill but all the rest are "real" orchestral sounds. To be honest I don't really know much about orchestras so it's a bit of a bodge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajmHKQPdrVs

Ianpb
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Re: Presets for Orchestra?

Post by Ianpb » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:44 am

I find with the Acoustica orchestral sounds that they can all sound pretty authentic after a bit of eq is applied, and then at least just a touch of reverb to add some depth, although obviously less if it's intended for something like chamber music, which tends to be more intimate. That's usually easy enough when accompanying pop or rock music, but classical music will rely on the subtle characteristics of the different instruments. You may even manage to emulate certain characteristics by blending in particular sounds with the instrument. It's best if you just go through them all and play around with added effects to become familiar with the limitations, and then decide upon what kind of detail you actually need that the Mixcraft sets can't provide. You will likely discover this while working on a project.

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