Thankful! That is what I am! Many of you listened to the three basic orchestral mockups of the Polar Express Suite from last week video. Many votes came in. Some of you shared your thoughts, insights, arguments why one of the three mockups sounded the best to your ears. Valuable information for all starting aspiring composers and I guess for the ones who are on the road for quite a while. One thing for sure, I’ve learned a lot from it! But in the end, one is the most favourite.
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It was a close call!
In this video I will announce the version which is favoured by the people who voted. And of course, we have an in-depth look at the settings of that orchestral mockup version!
So I’m not gonna spoiler it. If you’re curious which one was most favourite, then grab something to drink and eat and enjoy the video.
Great comments to learn from
But what I do want to share right now are some valuable comments from fellow composers on Youtube to last weeks video.
Paul Cassidy Orchestration commented:
Hi David. I think 2 is the most natural sounding. 1 sounds wider, but also the horns sound too far to the left to my ears. 3 is close to my second favourite, but again the horns sound too far left, and a little too forward in the mix. If they were slightly more central and a little further back, I think I would prefer 3, because it seems to have the best sense of depth.
There’s very little to choose between the three of them. Personally, I’m not a fan for all these mic options, especially in something like BBCSO, it’s just overkill. I will always select a tree mic, or room mic depending on which the library has, because I like to have a little bit of room sound in the sample so the instrument is already in a “space”. I never use close mics because to me just sounds like bad, almost mono sounding samples, especially on the brass.
I like to use placement software, not so much for hard panning, but just to push the instruments back in the space where needed. But I don’t go overboard with the left/right panning, just a little on the brass and woodwinds. If I don’t pan a little there is too much crowded in the centre of the stereo field. My strings I don’t pan at all or use placement software because I think they sit nicely across the front of the stage straight out of the box.
So, number 2 for me, and 3 a close second.
LazyPixel Music commented:
I like number 2 more. The vocals sound much better. More present. I usually only toy with microphones when I want to push something away in the mix. Or for effect on a lead part. Using a distant mic for a cello lead makes it round and full. Close never use close mics. Tends to be very harsh. Again, only for effect. [LazyPixel Music]
Regarding the point about panning (assuming we’re talking about wet libraries recorded in situ), you didn’t go into WHY panning sounds worse. So for anyone who wants to know, it’s because you’re also panning the room impression baked into the samples’ early reflections. It can cuickly get extra messy if you start to add your own reverb on top. [Snarf]