Creating Sonic Space for MIDI Tracks Rendered from Pre-processed samples.

Discussion in 'Synths / Samplers & VSTi' started by MoBuc, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. MoBuc

    MoBuc Member

    Feb 11, 2011
    Hi...Open question to any and all MIDI Users-Trackers, who actully mix with Digital-audio that is Rendered from MIDI in their Projects (e.g. Kick Rendered from a VSTi Audio sample like found in N.I.'s Battery or Steinberg's Halion) : Do you process your 1st Compressions and-or EQ (within your DAW) as you would if Tracking the input of a live musician? (e.g. Thresholds,Roll-Offs, etc.)
    I'm concerned about the samples used already having been processed & is not a Dry audio. e.g. the creator of the sample used in the Kick of the Kit probably has already added some basic Compression, EQ and my biggest headache- Reverb/Delay or other Fx to the sample used. I'm looking for tips on developing Sonic Space in my mix when I have to use pre-processed audio.
    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    It depends entirely on the particular song I'm working on at the time. By and large, I will add some light compression to an input signal to things like kick, snare, vocals, just to tame the occasional transients that can occur with dynamic instruments... but that's not something I do all of the time.

    Well, sometimes that's the downside to using pre recorded samples - in that you're kind of at the mercy of the person who created them when it comes to dynamics processing and things like ambiance.

    Tone itself can pretty much always be sculpted - you can make a kick drum sound as thick as thunder or as thin as paper - if that's what you want, but at the sample's core will still be the processing used by the creator.

    My suggestion is, that instead of trying to use samples that you don't really like, and trying to "make" them fit into the soundscape, to instead use samples that you do like and that will allow you to color to taste based on the song(s) you are working on at the time - and the individual need of those particular songs - because every song is different.

  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Well in sonar x2, there's a freeze feature that actually render the vsti sounds into an audio track. That way the midi to audio process never leaves sonar and is not processed through the audio interface and retain the maximum quality. For that reason, I usually do some mixing in the vsti itself first. Some includes effects and mixing tools (ex : addictive drums) Then in audio format, I can send the signal to a bus and further process it...

    But, I try to use well recorded samples that don't need much work.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    i tend to do some general tweaking like a bit of eq/compression before rendering them to audio, but it'd usually to get them to fit better in the mix, it if needs it. i wouldn't want to have two sets of eq's/comprssors on the indivudual channels inserts, cuz i'm not a huge fan of how numerous tone shaping effects 'stack' on a channel so i try to keep in minimal if i can.

    it could be just me, but it just seems like the difference in the processing steps, create less 'processed' sounding result. when some/none basic tone shaping happens in the instrument program/mixer, then the next round happens w/in the daw. I tend to look at it like anything else i'm recording and the less tweaking i have to do in the mix, the better. It also depends on whether i'm building the drums to pre-recorded audio, or building the live audio onto the Vsti. Whether or not it's sounds that 'sound great', or sounds that 'fit' well, or serve a purpose like beefing up a kick/snare.

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