[LAU] orchestra mixing, reverb, and spatialization

Fons Adriaensen fons at kokkinizita.net
Tue Feb 10 17:38:31 EST 2009

On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 11:17:49PM +0100, Stéphane Magnenat wrote:

> I am helping a friend to mix an orchestral piece using Ardour. To add depth to 
> the different instruments, we have created three buses, each with a TAP 
> Reverberator with the same settings (Hall HD type) excepted the dry/wet ratio.
> The different instruments are panned according to a common orchestral layout.

If all three have the same settings you can have *exactly*
the same effect using just one Reverberator. Set it to 100%
wet. On each track use a post-fader aux send to the
reverberator, and mix its output into the master bus.

> This works, but I feel that both the depth and the stereo positioning could be 
> improved. Indeed, the Hall HD reverb settings has fixed early reflections 
> patterns while the different instruments should have different ones according to 
> their physical positions.
> I was wondering if any of you knows about some ways to improve this. As a 
> solution, I am thinking about writing a software to compute the early 
> reflections patterns of an instrument given its 2D position in the orchestra. 
> In this case, do you have suggestions of how many early reflections I should 
> use (left/right walls + back for left/right walls?). Does the allpass filter 
> settings depend on the position of the instrument/walls?

This is absolutely right, but not easy to achieve unless you
have dedicated software to do it. Even in that case, using
just three different patterns of early reflection (left,center,
right) produces very good results.

If you don't have dedicated early reflections for each
distance, the parameter to play with (assuming the routing
as desribed above, with the reverb in 100% wet mode), is
a delay in the aux send to the reverb. For close sources
you use a larger delay and lower send gain, for far sources
the delay is shorter and reverb level is higher. Ardour
doesn't allow to do this in a simple way (there is delay
control on the aux sends, nor any way to insert one).



Laboratorio di Acustica ed Elettroacustica
Parma, Italia

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