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Blaise Douros

Add to pointers section, possibly?

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This is just something I thought I'd add to the sticky entitled "a few tips on how to make your songs sound better." Crispy did a fantastic job with this post--I just thought I'd add something in regards to orchestral soundtracking. Crispy's tips are excellent for a dry mix of a more pop/techno/rock-oriented song. For an orchestral soundtrack, there are a few things that I like to do that tend to make it sound a little more authentic than usual. I usually try NOT to compress my individual tracks in an orchestral song--simply because a slight imperfection can often make a (classically oriented ) song sound more real--generally, some instruments in a live orchestral setting will "pop out" now and then, and that's just the way it is. I will balance my instruments really carefully on the mixer, but then run the whole kaboodle through an advanced reverb or room modeller, set to full wet. This gives a sense that the whole orchestra is in a large stage or hall, being recorded live. If you are running a different reverb setting for each instrument, it will tend to sound pretty fabricated, so I find that using one large, wet verb gives me the best sound. Then, if something still jumps out very badly, I will go back and fix it, but not before creating that full-wet mix. Your workflow depends--sometimes I will work dry and add reverb later, but sometimes it's easier to simply work with what the end result will sound like. I suggest listening to a fully dry version of your song before rendering out though--often the reverb can cover up mistakes. That's all, hope it's helpful.

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That is very good advice you have mentioned. I've had the opertunity to record several orchestra performances live and generally what I do is hang several small diaphragm condensor omnis above the orchestra to pick up ambiance as well as use a stereo pair of large diaphragm condensors in an XY configuration to provide a cleaner stereo image. The hanging omi's pick up the same natrual reverb you would obtain when adding reverb to the final mixdown, rather than to each instrument individually.

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