The Holy Grail of Reverbs

For musicians the search for the perfect reverb plug-in is like the quest for the holy grail. As I started out composing with samples I first used algorithmic reverb, then was the arrival of convolution reverbs and I used the inexpensive, but very potent SIR engine with an impulse response from something called TC 3000.… Continue reading The Holy Grail of Reverbs

Easy Mixing Advice: Struggling with Legato

One reason many MIDI compositions don’t sound convincing is legato. If the notes, especially violin phrases, do not sound connected, even casual listeners will know immediately. This is especially the case with strings, but of course all instruments deserve convincing legato. I’m far from getting it 100% right, but I have discovered some aspects that… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Struggling with Legato

Easy Mixing Advice: Doubling Instruments

This is an advice which is actually not a mixing advice, though it works quite well as a mixing tool: If parts of your sample-based orchestral composition don’t sound right, like sharp or unrealistic, don’t EQ or compress, try fixing it with orchestration first, with doubling instruments being the simplest method. The composers of the… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Doubling Instruments

Easy Mixing Advice: Combining Convolution and Algorithmic Reverb

I’ve yet to discover the best reverb settings myself, but I can share with you already something that proved for me personally to be a good starting point. First, you have to be aware that reverberation serves two purposes: Reverb 1: to (sonically) place instruments in a room and position them within this room, thus… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Combining Convolution and Algorithmic Reverb

Easy Mixing Advice: Compression and Orchestral Music

It’s a common misconception that orchestra music doesn’t need compression. Especially film music relies on compression, it’s important for the “Hollywood sound” we’re used to listening to for the last 30-40 years. So, compression is basically a good thing. Two reasons why: Orchestra music with its loads of timbres and combinations of textures is inherently… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Compression and Orchestral Music

Easy Mixing Advice: Don’t underestimate Saturation

You did your best with reverb, eq and compression, yet your mix sounds “uncomfortable”? If you know that notion, you should make yourself familiar with saturation. Saturation is an effect that is provided by tube and tape recorder plug-ins. They come from the analog world and what they do is kind of magic that only… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Don’t underestimate Saturation

Easy Mixing Advice: Headphone Position

This is probably the most awkward advice you will ever get: Check the position of your headphones on your ears! No kidding. Some headphones, especially On-Ears, but also some Over-Ears, sound different depending on how (well) they sit on your skull. And some people have ears that are very sensitive to those fine position adjustments,… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Headphone Position

Easy Mixing Advice: Use Pre-Defined EQ Settings

If you’re like me then you are reluctant to use pre-defined settings, knowing that each situation requires specific treatment. That’s true, but if you’re just starting out using EQ and not really well versed, you might do your composition more harm than good. One possible way to go is: Look at the pre-defined settings and… Continue reading Easy Mixing Advice: Use Pre-Defined EQ Settings