Orchestral reverb spacing

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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

No - delaying the MIDI is to misunderstand what this is about.

This is not about delaying the sources themselves (though go ahead and try that if you like...); rather it is about delaying the onset of reverb.

Delaying the reverb is about suggesting to the ear that a source is closer, or further away from the initial reflecting surfaces. By reducing the time between source and reverb you place a source closer to the reflecting surfaces, and by increasing the time between source and reverb you place a source further away from those reflecting surfaces.

Since a lot of orchestral reflection comes from the front wall of the hall - which the orchestra is closest to - then by manipulating the onset of reverb you create a rough illusion of a source being closer to, or further away from that wall, and, hence, the 'audience'.

Combined with a bit of EQ (sounds further away will have their highs dampened), then you can achieve a degree of front-to-back illusion.

Hugh and the utensil beat me to it - and I used more words, so they win!
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Moroccomoose »

There are two things at play here... the relative arrival times of the direct sound and the onset of reverb.

I think my method should work to impart delay on the direct sounds based on their distance from the listener as the rompler will play the instruments with their respective delays. - I thought this would be the significant factor in giving the perception of depth.

The onset of reverb delay is the missing piece to my setup, so I need to have a think about how I can do that. Maybe I can handle within the rompler fx section. this is not ideal as it is not so easy to setup and recall.

Alternatively, I will have to print the midi to audio so I can set up the reverb properly. In which case I would probably set everything up in the audio domain and strip the delays out of the MIDI

I will have a play.

addendum: I think for me this issue is more about handling post rompler fx from a multi-timbral synth with a stereo output.
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Moroccomoose wrote:I think my method should work to impart delay on the direct sounds based on their distance from the listener as the rompler will play the instruments with their respective delays. - I thought this would be the significant factor in giving the perception of depth.


I think it's more likely to give the impression of an orchestra that can't play in time! :-)

Alternatively, I will have to print the midi to audio so I can set up the reverb properly. In which case I would probably set everything up in the audio domain and strip the delays out of the MIDI


You don't need to 'print the midi to audio', the sources can still be live Midi instruments. You just need to configure the DAW mixer to route the audio from those MIDI instruments to one or more reverb processors via suitable delays to create varying pre-delays.
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Moroccomoose »

You don't need to 'print the midi to audio', the sources can still be live Midi instruments. You just need to configure the DAW mixer to route the audio from those MIDI instruments to one or more reverb processors via suitable delays to create varying pre-delays


There is the rub! The rompler (in my set up) only has stereo out and is playing all of the orchestra instruments. So to affect each section's reverb individually, I would have to print the audio. Alternatively, the rompler has spdif out, sub out 1 and sub out 2 which could be set up as 3 stereo or 6 mono channels. Sending each section to one of the mono channels which in turn is sent to a particular reverb delay channel (Per Elf's setup). Routing the instruments within the proteus virtuoso is a bit tedious!
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Moroccomoose wrote:There is the rub! The rompler (in my set up) only has stereo out and is playing all of the orchestra instruments.


Ah.. yes... I see the problem! :)
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Moroccomoose wrote:I think my method should work to impart delay on the direct sounds based on their distance from the listener as the rompler will play the instruments with their respective delays. - I thought this would be the significant factor in giving the perception of depth.


I think it's more likely to give the impression of an orchestra that can't play in time! :-)


I thought it, but you said it! :lol:

The idea has some merit in theory, but in practice I do suspect you'll just end up with a wonky orchestra.
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:What you're trying to achieve is a difference between the arrival time of the direct sound, and that of the first reverb reflections since that's what defines how close the source sounds and how far from the walls it seems to be!

So the delay has to be inserted between the sound generation and the reverb processor. If the reverb processor is within an instrument and you can control the pre-delay time with MIDI, then great. But just delaying a MIDI instrument isn't going to do what you need to do!


So far so good, but where does the reverb send level, from the audio, figure in this ?

The depth is being faked by the different delays, say 15, 30, 45, 60 - so do the send levels from each audio source need to vary also ? Or can I just set all the send levels to 0 and adjust the faders of four delay aux buses ?
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

I wouldn't be so prescriptive - a bit of creative tweaking and careful listening is all that's really needed.

Lift a reverb and it will make the source seem as if it generating more power to be bouncing from the walls, lower it and it will seem softer and more intimate - but this will work best when other parts, with different levels of send (and EQ) help to create the context.

TBH I didn't realise this was all such a black art! :lol:
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by ManFromGlass »

going deeper into thy blackest art -

How do you make an instrument like the xylophone which has a bright sharp attack, sound like it is at the back of the hall?

Use your longest verb?
Roll off hi frequency information?
Nip a bit of the xylophone note attacks off with a plugin?
Or?
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

ManFromGlass wrote:How do you make an instrument like the xylophone which has a bright sharp attack, sound like it is at the back of the hall?


Short pre-delay (if any), roll off the highs. Thassit!

No 'longest reverb', since we're talking about one reverb with multiple feeder delays in these examples.
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by ManFromGlass »

D’oh!
Of course. Got it now.
But my stubborn brain is saying in theory that xylophone at the back of the hall is very close to the back wall of the hall so virtually no delay for the reflections but you are talking about the reflections reaching us in the audience. :think:

I need to play with your system a bit as I’ve never successfully figured out how to get bright instruments with sharp attacks sound like real instruments at the back of a real hall.
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Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Wonks »

You could play with this calculator to work out how much to cut with EQ at different frequencies for different distances.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-air.htm

I'd decide how far away from the instrument I wanted to be, then I'd plot out a graph for different octaves and then EQ for the relative attenuations at that distance. I'd take the temperature as between 22-23°C and around 55%rH.

Where it becomes more difficult is the attenuation of the reverb frequencies if you are using a single reverb. You could try adding a different EQ into each of the delay paths, but in reality, the reverb sound is taking many paths of many different lengths, so will have a real mix of HF attenuations. Hopefully, a good reverb algorithm should take that into account.
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