1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

How do I place an instrument "back" on the virtual stage?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lehmannmusic, May 18, 2010.

  1. lehmannmusic

    lehmannmusic Guest

    Hi - I mainly use MIDI for orchestral scoring, and my main library (VSL) is completely dry. I've been reading a lot and experimenting and asking friends - I just can't wrap my brain around how to properly set an instrument further back.

    I would like to be able to make an instrument (say trumpet) sound like it's 20 feet away from me on a stage in a theatre. I've read "The Composer's Approach" which is fantastic (The Composer's Approach) but I didn't quite understand it all.

    I think I'm looking for a way to set up my template that doesn't allow the direct dry signal in the mix. Does that make sense? It seems to me that if I want the instrument to sound like it's 20 feet away, I don't want the dry signal there. I've tried using a stage reverb with just the stage, but it sounds like it's missing the main sound - I hope I'm explaining this well enough...

    I'm using Logic 8 with Space Designer and the Vienna Symphonic Library.

    Any thoughts are appreciated!
  2. BJG

    BJG Guest

    I'm not familiar with Logic or Space Designer, but the current issue of Future Music has an article on psychoacoustics with a couple of general pointers on this.

    1) Introducing a delay (suggests 1ms for every foot distance)
    2) Roll off the high frequencies slightly to match real-life dispersal
    3) Echoes and reverb, paying particular attention to early reflections and decay time

    (When using reverb you'd usually have a dry/wet control to balance the original signal with the effect.)
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Set up a pre fader auxiliary or effects send (essentially the same thing but different DAWs name them differently). In the auxiliary/effects return set up your reverb plugin with a 100% wet ratio. You decide which verb to use. I don't know how big you imagine the room to be. You control the amount of signal gets sent to the verb via the aux/effects send. Control the amount of reverb with the fader on the aux/effects return. If you play with this you can really fine tune the distance. Doing it this way also allows you the freedom to bring the instrument closer by raising the fader on the main channel without affecting the amount of signal going to the verb. You can set the verb to be very wet and still bring the instrument closer but it "remains in the same room".

    Of course this is just the way I do things. No techo jargon involved. No calculations as to how many feet away. I just do things by ear and when it sounds good, it's good.
  4. lehmannmusic

    lehmannmusic Guest

    Thanks for the excellent advice. I've been fooling around with it, and I'm struggling with the question of whether or not I include the original signal at all.
  5. BJG

    BJG Guest

    ...yes, otherwise you're just hearing the echo, and that ain't natural.
  6. lehmannmusic

    lehmannmusic Guest

    I'm imagining a trumpet at 20 feet, and exactly what I'd hear if I were standing there... the sound directly from the trumpet would hit me at almost the same time as some of the early reverb - if I include the original dry signal, am I not defeating that distance concept? It's a dry direct sample.
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You don't have to include the dry signal. It's your vision. Do what you must to achieve it.
  8. BJG

    BJG Guest

    Totally agree - if it sounds right, it is right. But I just meant to explain that, usually, the reverb effect is mixed with the original signal rather than used in isolation. As you say, you would be hit by the direct signal and the early reverb at almost the same time. Not at exactly the same time though. And the minute time difference is part of what creates the impression of space.

Share This Page