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Topic: Trilian - output levels

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  1. #1

    Trilian - output levels

    Dear Spectrasonics,

    This has been on my mind for a long time, and finally had the time to write this...

    May I ask why the output levels of Trilian are as hot as they are? Yes, I know I can pull them down. :-) But why not default levels to an accepted good practices for printing, such as 0vu = -18dbfs ?

    We all used to make our libraries as loud and as hot as possible, to combat limitations of 16-bit samples, without regard to the next step-- but with hires virtual instruments that are integrated into a mix, default to "as loud as possible" only forces the user to always trim every time.

    is there a way to set the default output of Trilian lower?

    The docs say, "The output level of the part can be controlled in 1db increments. The default is -6db" - but that is NOT the case for many patches. Seems like many Trilian patches default to +1 or more. AND -- if you are in live mode, each part must be edited -- using the master volume is not practical if you want to map it to a volume pedal (come on, many bass players love using a volume pedal, why not keyboard bass too?) --

    Can't use the mix output for each part either to do a global trim.

    We need a trim or master gain for the plug, independent of expression pedal (cc10 or cc7).

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    J

    PS -- I know that this won't demo well in a crappy MI store with salesmen who don't know anything about gain staging. And for those guys who like to mix at -.5 dbfs RMS, this is not for you either. But for everyone else, we are either trimming Trilian at the source, or blowing our bus out on input. For those that don't use outboard analog hardware, not as big a deal... but why not simply default the instrument to an optimal operating bus level?

  2. #2

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    I dont have Trillian but Omnisphere IMHO comes out way to hot, there is no need for this surely, nobody pins things to 0 dbfs these days on individual tracks.

  3. #3

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    simply set the master level in Omni or Trilian to your liking and save that as the default performance

  4. #4

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Scheffler View Post
    simply set the master level in Omni or Trilian to your liking and save that as the default performance
    If you map a volume pedal to master output, that defeats the purpose.

    The issue here is optimum bus level - and 100% output of the VI should = 0vu rms, also known as -18dbfs. It's not as simple as pulling down the master level -- since the internal gain of the plug has now been trimmed.

    VI designers need to get it right.

  5. #5

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyroberts View Post
    is there a way to set the default output of Trilian lower?
    Yes. See the "How can I customize what is initially loaded in Omnisphere?" FAQ at support.spectrasonics.net.

    - Glenn
    Glenn O
    Spectrasonics

  6. #6

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennO View Post
    Yes. See the "How can I customize what is initially loaded in Omnisphere?" FAQ at support.spectrasonics.net.

    - Glenn
    Hi Glenn,

    That won't do it, since if I load a pre-defined multi in Trilian (for live mode use), each part must then be edited.

    We are talking about global settings. If I load a pre-defined multi (not really an issue in Omnisphere, but definitely an issue in Trilian), there is no way to pull back the entire output without re-programming and disrupting balances per part.

    Can you answer my question re:
    The docs say, "The output level of the part can be controlled in 1db increments. The default is -6db" - but that is NOT the case for many patches. Seems like many Trilian patches default to +1 or more.
    More importantly, why can't there be a master trim for the output of the plug, independent of midi volume or expression? This is all about gain-staging. When the output of Trilian hits the amp too loud, it doesn't mater how good my sim is if it's clipping on input, right?

    Thanks.

    J

  7. #7

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    The master level control adjusts the level for the plugin and there's no need to edit the parts. Controls have default values, but patches don't.

    I'm sure you probably have a valid point, but I don't understand your questions, so you should contact tech support and speak to someone there. They'll be very happy to assist you.

    - Glenn
    Glenn O
    Spectrasonics

  8. #8

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    Glenn,

    If you assign a cc (such as volume pedal) to master output, there is no way to scale the output.

    This is a fundamental design issue of all VIs and I know Spectrasonics is hip enough to get it.

    I will contact support and begin a discussion.

    Thanks,

    J

  9. #9

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyroberts View Post
    If you assign a cc (such as volume pedal) to master output, there is no way to scale the output.
    Why don't you adjust the gain on the track or bus of your DAW? Most have an input trim on the channel, which is exactly for that purpose. Or put a gain effect as the 1st insert. That'd be the same as an additional output gain in the plug-in itself.

    werner

  10. #10

    Re: Trilian - output levels

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamkeeper View Post
    Why don't you adjust the gain on the track or bus of your DAW? Most have an input trim on the channel, which is exactly for that purpose. Or put a gain effect as the 1st insert. That'd be the same as an additional output gain in the plug-in itself.

    werner
    Werner,

    No - it's not!

    I'm not sure this is the time or place to educate the forum on optimal bus level and operating levels for ITB mixing, but I'll try to share a little now...

    Just as you wouldn't over-record a mic, and you would adjust output level of the pre to INDUSTRY STANDARD 0vu = +4dBu = 1.228v = -18dBFS

    Trimming back levels need to happen at the source, not the mixer. If you trim as the first plug, you've already blown your bus to shreds, and there's no getting the headroom back once you've distorted the crap out of your signal. There's a reason why tape machines and all outboard gear all have (had) standard operating levels.

    The problem is that sound designers have been getting away with bad audio level practices going back to the beginning of time -- since the output of a sampler needed to be optimized (dare I say normalized) to make use of 8/12/16 bits. And the output went to an analog stage -- and then proper gain staging for the analog output was normal, and easy. Musicians fed sampler signal to engineers, who knew what to do with it.

    But with VIs, in the freaking box, the levels feeding the audio chain need to match optimal bus levels for good mixing.

    The solution for non-engineers who couldn't make a mix ITB if their life depended on it was to use external summing. But double-blind tests have shown that the summing was simply an analog process, and had nothing to do with the mix bus. Top engineers mixing ITB found great success by going back to old school techniques, and respecting optimal operating levels for everything in-play.

    Anything that joins your mix bus must start at a level that matches the rest of your gear, which is 0vu = +4dBu = 1.228v rms = -18dBFS

    But since most DAWs don't have pro metering, most composers haven't a clue how to do this.

    Isn't it time that the major VIs start behaving like pro audio devices and their output levels match the hardware these VIs are emulating?

    (wow didn't mean to turn this into a rant, but it just came out this way - sorry!)

    PS -- some people have been critical of VE Pro and VSL since the outputs are "low" -- HELLO -- that's exactly the point. I still pull down VSL/VE Pro ever so slightly so it plays nice on the mix bus -- but the point is the VI Pro instrument has this built in. Master volume is not related to expression pedal. And it defaults to a level that is well within standard bus operating levels.

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