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Topic: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

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  1. #1

    Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Hi -

    I consider myself (much) more of a composer than a sound engineer. Although I'll write the occasional progressive-rock instrumental, for the past several years (when I have the time) I've been focusing my writing towards orchestral compositions. My understanding of sound-engineer is mostly self-taught, either working with a friend who knows what he's doing or by reading posts from bulletin boards like this one. Well, I'm never going to be a sound engineer. It is an art all by itself. Whenever I do write and sequence an orchestral composition, i find myself spending too much time on instrument placement, reverb and mixing it all together so that the sound mimics an orchestra recorded in a hall. Despite the efforts, I can create an "OK" mix. It's just OK. But it's no where near the sound that's created by someone with the chops and knowledge to properly mix everything all together. I guess I give up. I'm never going to be a hot sound engineer and I can live with that reality. I'd rather put my time and energy writing the music (when I make the time to write music).

    Recently I found that there are programs that can help create that "orchestral sound mix". The Vienna MIR Pro seems to be one of them. Putting expense aside (it's expensive), what are your thoughts on using a program like Vienna MIR Pro to help create that "orchestral sound"?? What is the quality of the mixes created by a program like the Vienna MIR Pro?? How well does the Vienna Mir Pro work with DAWs like Digital Performer and Logic Pro?? (I own both.) I'm not necessarily going for perfection. I'll leave that for the professional sound engineers. I'm just exploring ways where I can better my overall orchestral sound (mixing-wise) without spending a crazy-amount of time doing it like I do and achieving only mediocre results.
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  2. #2

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    I use it with Finale and I think it's great for the same reasons you've outlined.

    But why not get a demo? It's a 30 day demo (I think) and fully functional. As far as expense there's also MIRPro 24 which just limits you to 24 tracks.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  3. #3

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Given the $$$$ investment involved with the Vienna MIR Pro program, I think I'll try the demo version. I don't usually do that because it frightens me!!! LOL! If I don't like it, can I get rid of it?? What if the program messes up my otherwise nice-working computer set-up??? But, I'm seriously thinking about purchasing this expensive tool so demoing it might be worth the "risk".

    Glad to read that it works well for your situation.

    By the way, I usually don't have the cash to spend on such programs. However, I was recently gifted some money (inheritance) and wish to put that gift towards something that I really enjoy doing: composing.
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  4. #4

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Quote Originally Posted by efiebke View Post
    Given the $$$$ investment involved with the Vienna MIR Pro program, I think I'll try the demo version. I don't usually do that because it frightens me!!! LOL! If I don't like it, can I get rid of it?? What if the program messes up my otherwise nice-working computer set-up??? But, I'm seriously thinking about purchasing this expensive tool so demoing it might be worth the "risk".

    Glad to read that it works well for your situation.

    By the way, I usually don't have the cash to spend on such programs. However, I was recently gifted some money (inheritance) and wish to put that gift towards something that I really enjoy doing: composing.
    I don't think it will impact your system. It is processor intensive as I think most convolution reverbs are so you may have to play around with buffer settings. It's spelled out in the manuals pretty clearly though.

    One thing I forgot to mention though is Vienna does use eLicenser and there's a usb dongle you'd have to buy so the demo isn't technically free I suppose. I think they're $25 or $30. You can order them in the US from Ilio. This turns off some people.

    Another tool that people use of course if Altiverb but it may be more expensive than MirPro24. Oh and VSL changed the way they sell MIR. It's sold as a plugin without any rooms and you buy the rooms separately. It used to come by default with RoomPack 1 but this way someone can buy a different room pack if they want. Anyway the demo comes with a scaled down version of roompack 1.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  5. #5

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Hi Steve -

    I already own Altiverb. It's certainly a very nice sounding plug-in. But I have problems utilizing it to create that orchestral sound that others seem to be able to create when using it. I believe that Dan uses it extensively.

    I already own VEPro 5. I purchased it a while back as a possible solution to working with Digital Performer and with doing the modest amount of video-scoring that I do. I like Digital Performer, but can't seem to get it to be as stable as another DAW program that I use (Logic Pro). In the long run, I want to use Digital Performer. MOTU JUST updated it to 8.04 and already I see an improvement CPU-wise. At present, I'm creating an orchestral templet using Digital Performer (DP8) and VEPro 5. In working with VEPro 5, I see that it can tightly interphase with the MIR program. This seems pretty cool to me, so I investigated MIR more thoroughly. It's the result of this resent findings about MIR that I decided to bring it to this forum for discussion.

    At this point, what would make me really, really happy would be to get VEPro 5 and MIR to do most of the CPU processing while DP 8 handles all of the midi-sequencing tasks. It would be an entirely new set-up for me! But if this new set-up can be STABLE and, in addition, provide a convincing orchestral sound, I could live with this for a long time!

    By the way, I STILL use GPO and JABB for much of my orchestral stuff. I use these VIs in addition to the Kirk Hunter VIs that I own. If I understand MIR's ability & functionality correctly, I believe that I can use these different VIs in such as way to a create reasonable-sounding "virtual orchestra". I'll let you know as I experiment with MIR (after I finish downloading the demo, which will probably take forever! LOL!).

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  6. #6

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Aah. You'll like it I think especially since you already have VEPro5. I have that as well and the integration is tight particularly if you're using VSL samples.

    At any rate let us know what you think once you've had a chance to play with it.
    Steve Winkler GPO4 JAAB3 Finale 2012 Reaper Windows 7 Pro 64-bit VSL SE+

  7. #7

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Hi there, ef. I'm exactly where you are, always searchingfor a better sound, and lamenting all the time wasted that I could have beencomposing. It's sad that people are so stuck on the sound part. If your soundis not up to world-class engineering standard's, many people won't even listento your music. But that's the reality. And I guess we have to accept it. Afterall, it is, in the end, all about sound. I just bought Vienna Special Edition1, my first taste of their software. I'm trying to integrate it into myother libraries, GPO and EWQLSO Gold. One thing I just learned, is that panningis extremely important. I've been using Sonar's pans, with some tweaking. But Ifound out that if you pan something hard left or right, you lose signal.That's because stereo works by simply having signal in both speakers. When youhard pan, you reduce the signal in the other speaker, which means the sounddegrades. An 18 member violin section will be reduced to 11 or so!So, my violins were sounding rather thin and weak. Then I saw a thread on a forum which said not to pan certain libraries, because they were recorded in position, already panned and balanced with each other. so, they are panned, but still have all their signal. Vienna has something called power panning, which allows you to pan without losing stereo. So blending Vienna with other libraries can work pretty well. WhatI need to know now is, is the GPO library recorded in situ, so that it does notneed to be panned? Then I could use GPO and EW in their native pans, and power pan Vienna. I think that might finally get my panning problems straightened out. anybody have an answer to this?

  8. #8

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Michael -

    GPO now comes with the Aria Player. The instruments do comes pre-panned & pre-leveled, but that's all easily adjusted within the Aria Player mixer. So, you have a choice to how to pan each instrument. All instruments are recorded quite dry with the option to add reverb within the Aria Player. At least to my modest ears, the GPO instruments blend well with other libraries. As mentioned earlier, I use GPO and JABB along with the Kirk Hunter libraries that I own. I'm pretty happy with this set-up.

    I know that there are now many, many orchestral libraries out there. In my humble opinion, GPO still "makes the grade". I don't make a living with my music so I don't have to worry about pleasing anyone with my "sound". (I am the only one who needs to be happy with the composition and sound.) But it's my understanding that "professionals" in the music composition world still use many of the instruments found in the GPO library, at least in creating mock orchestral recordings. I love GPO's wood-winds and much of its orchestral percussion. I also use GPO's solo violin, viola, cello and dbl. bass within my larger orchestral templet. I like blending these solo strings with Kirk Hunter's Concert Strings 2 library. Also, I really do like JABB's solo brass instruments with the different mutes. I use them within my modest orchestral templet, too, especially for the sound of the mutes. Is my basic orchestral templet ready for the "professional world"?? Probably not. But I'm happy with it. Although GPO (and JABB) is relatively cheap compared to other instrumental libraries, it doesn't mean that they're cheap in sound. The fact that they are recorded quite dry and are able to be panned at will is a strong point for these libraries, in my opinion. At the very least, having GPO provides you with additional choices in instrumental sound to add to your orchestral "palette".
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  9. #9

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Hi, Ted! Always a pleasure to see you here.

    wow--I'd never heard of this Vienna MIR Pro before--Over $700! yikes - But there's a 24 track version for 1/2 that price, as Steve Winkler pointed out. I suppose you noticed that? Still expensive, but if it fits your needs, a big savings.

    Piggybacking a reply here - Here are some things to help you out, Michael:

    Quote Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
    ...if you pan something hard left or right, you lose signal.That's because stereo works by simply having signal in both speakers. When youhard pan, you reduce the signal in the other speaker, which means the sound degrades...WhatI need to know now is, is the GPO library recorded in situ, so that it does notneed to be panned?...
    Most of the samples in GPO aren't stereo. Mono samples can be panned anywhere you want without the volume being reduced. But if you have any stereo effect engaged, like ARIA's Stereo Stage, the signal is stereo and panning becomes Much more blurred.I found the old thread from 2007 where DPDAN lists all the Mono and Stereo samples in GPO and JABB - very useful:

    Garritan Samples - Mono/Stereo List

    And Michael, in Sonar, look at the controls on the audio tracks. You'll see one control that's a depiction of stereo sound. Hover over it to identify it. When you click that, you're changing the track from Stereo to Mono. If you ever have trouble panning an instrument where you want, click that stereo/mono interleave button and once its in mono, panning retains the same volume wherever you push the control.

    You always need to work with both your panning and volume levels. The defaults are just starting points. But the default volumes are very mismatched between Libraries, COMB being much softer than the other Libraries, for instance. Always set volumes as needed, using the sliders on the MIDI tracks in Sonar, since those control the volume sliders in ARIA's mixer. Also use Sonar's pan pots to set your positions, because those control the ones in ARIA. The default pans will sometimes have instruments sitting right on top of each other - something you never want. Move things around, and simply listen - The stereo image will take shape as you make your choices.

    AND don't pan anything all the way to either side because it doesn't sound natural at all. If you want something as far to one side as possible with it still sounding right, aim for around 70% and see if that's sounding to one side enough.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: Working with a program like the Vienna MIR Pro to create convincing mixes

    Ted, I agree, the GPO woods are wonderful. Ditto for the percussion. I keep wishing, though, that the powers that be will come up with some better strings. that is really a struggle for me. My ear likes the EW Gold violins and violas. Cellos seem to be a problem with all my libraries. and the only good bass I've found so far is the one with Vienna "Sp Ed 1". (No, that's not my academic track, although when it comes to all the technical stuff, it might as well be). I'm still trying to figure out basic stuff like panning. Fortunately, Randy came through with some good info on that, which I will try out. thanks, Randy!

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