Orchestral reverb spacing

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Is there any way I can simply pause a signal for a specific no of milliseconds in Digital Performer ?

I am trying to use one reverb for an orchestral piece, but I want to try feeding that reverb from 3 intermediate aux busses, Front, Middle and Back, so I can put the reverb sends from the various instruments into these as appropriate to try and mimic the concert space a little. Thus Strings sent to front, Perc sent to back etc ?
Gone To Lunch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 954 Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:00 am Location: London

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

This is something I do a lot with orchestral arrangements. I'm a Cubase guy, but hopefully the principle applies.

I create a number of effects channels, and into these I place delays set to different time values according to how much pre-delay I want ahead of the reverb. Then I create my reverb effects channel and I use a send from each of the delay channels to feed the reverb channel.

Now all you need to do is send from any source to any of the delay channels and you will pick up that delay that will feed the reverb.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18076 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Martin Walker »

What a sensible approach Monsieur Elf! :clap:

And although I daresay you use your ears to determine the delays for each project, presumably you could instead calculate the theoretical distances to the audience from each section of the orchestra, so that violins could perhaps be ten feet away (10mS delay) through to the percussion section maybe 20 feet away (20mS delay), and so on.

How many different delay times do YOU typically use in your projects? I would have personally thought no more than four 'depth settings' would really be needed.

Delay time presets could also be created for smaller chamber orchestras through to full on massive spectacular performances with a huge orchestra backed by a vast choir.

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 19003 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

Four delay times is usually plenty to create the depth I'm looking for, but... I typically use more 'feeder' delays, since I am often also playing around with EQ too. I may feed the reverb a darker delay channel from cellos than from violins, for example - or sometimes I just may want to de-emphasise an annoying resonance.

It would be worth adding a mention of wet/dry mix levels here too. I set the reverb for 100% wet, but occasionally I may need a smudge of one of the delays itself (not a 'realistic' effect, but still...). To this end I will often send from a feeder delay pre-fader, then I can use the feeder delay's own fader to creep it in if needed.

A bit of minutiae here, but the OP can ignore it!
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18076 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Gone To Lunch »

The Elf wrote:This is something I do a lot with orchestral arrangements. I'm a Cubase guy, but hopefully the principle applies.

I create a number of effects channels, and into these I place delays set to different time values according to how much pre-delay I want ahead of the reverb. Then I create my reverb effects channel and I use a send from each of the delay channels to feed the reverb channel.

Now all you need to do is send from any source to any of the delay channels and you will pick up that delay that will feed the reverb.

This is exactly what I am trying to do, and for the same reasons, so it looks like my problem is that I don't know how to use the Delay plugin in my Digital Performer....
Gone To Lunch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 954 Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:00 am Location: London

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Wonks »

Set it 100% wet, set any feedback level/regeneration to 0 and chose a time delay mode where you can enter it in ms. If there are different modes e.g. tape, analog, digital, then select digital. Make sure any modulation or wow and flutter effects are turned off,
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12624 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

I've never used DP, so I can't help, but this is a pretty basic requirement of any DAW.

How are you trying to achieve it, what are the results, and what problem are you hitting?
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18076 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Thank you Wonks, that was enough for me to grasp how my Delay works in DP.

I have been able to use four auxes with delays of 0, 15, 30 and 45 msec, to space the instruments from front to back, all going in to same reverb

I also have an Aether reverb in which early and late reflections can be switched separately, so I am also trying using just the one LR on the main rev bus, with four ERs set to the same four settings, each on their own aux bus.

Both seem to work ok, but increasingly it seems the problem is really the arrangement itself.
Gone To Lunch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 954 Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:00 am Location: London

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Gone To Lunch wrote:
I have been able to use four auxes with delays of 0, 15, 30 and 45 msec, to space the instruments from front to back, all going in to same reverb

I have subsequently found that delays of 10,15,20,25 sound a whole lot better.

The effect on the orchestral blend is quite remarkable in that it seems to gently increase the separation of the instruments, but without violating the blend.

Fascinating stuff.
Gone To Lunch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 954 Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:00 am Location: London

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by The Elf »

I typically end up with bigger values than those, but I do it by ear without reading the actual values. The 'front' of my orchestra often ends up in the 80/90ms region.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18076 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Moroccomoose »

I am trying to achieve a similar thing, but I am using a rompler (Proteus 2000 virtuoso) but I am putting the delay in as a MIDI effect because I am only using a stereo output. I was wondering if I was missing any subtle effect doing it that way?

Basically I have delayed and panned the MIDI to suit the orchestra pit then I send the stereo output of the whole thing to a reverb.

I suppose a 'less instant' way to do it would be to print each individual MIDI instrument to audio then set up the spatial arrangement as Elf describes.

Stu.
Moroccomoose
Regular
Posts: 393 Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:00 am Location: Leicester

Re: Orchestral reverb spacing

Post by Sam Spoons »

I think the subtle difference comes from the different delays relating to the different distances from the audience each section of the orchestra sits. Violins (at least the front row) maybe 20' closer that the percussion, brass in front of the percussion and woodwind in front of them?
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17143 Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am Location: Manchester UK
Your karma has run over my dogma
Post Reply