Advice On Placing Horns In A Mix....

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by eXACT_Beats_, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    So, I'm having trouble getting a sitting-at-the-back-of-a-room, faraway feel for my horns on a particular track. I'm using reverb (obviously,) but adding enough to send the horns too far away clashes badly with the lightly reverbed track and is largely unpleasant, anyway.
    I've been fuckin around with the EQ, as I've seen many tutprials about the instruments percieved depth in the stereo image having to do with cutting and boosting instruments at different frequencies (along with the added reverb,) but none of them do anything but briefly mention that that's how it's done. Plus, the more I mess with the EQ enough to make any sort of difference in perceived space, the horns begin to sound weak as hell, whether it's higher frequency trumpets or lower, mid-heavy, trombones, which is to be expected, but is still endlessly frustrating. (Also, it's not pre-mixed/processed audio that I'm dealing with; it's just raw NI/Hein horns that I laid down that sit in the mix fine, just not where I want them.)
    Any advice/tips/tricks would be appreciated, or, if there are tutorials covering this topic, feel free to point me in their direction so as to save having to explain anything to me. :yes:
    Thanks in advance. :shalom:
     
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  3. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Platinum Record

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    Hard to advie without hearing tracks. Depends what type of sound you are going for.

    Pheonix Horns (Louis Satterfield-Earth Wind & Fire), Jerry Hey, Memphis Horns etc...

    You will have to carve space with EQ & posibly ducking.
     
  4. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    It's a Soul track; the instruments are pretty stripped down and basic: Modo bass, Gospel Musician rhodes, Electrix piano and drums. I know that hearing the mix would help, but I don't have access to it right now. The horns are NI/Hein with a vintage bend to them.
    Fairly similar to the horn in this track:

     
  5. The-RoBoT

    The-RoBoT Platinum Record

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    Not sure if this helps but in most times it's the voicing.
    EQ, Reverb etc is something that may be applied after the voicing is suited for the arrangement, same goes for strings.
     
  6. statik

    statik Rock Star

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    this might give you some insights in the frequency range[​IMG]

    and this one that's a bit clearer but uses a wider spectrum
    [​IMG]

    and this one for more traditional bands, incl acoustic drums
    musicfrequencycheatsheet.jpg
    and this one for electronic shit. not very extensive but still helpfull
    FM_clubmix_dsktp.jpg

    hope this helps you out a little bit
     
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  7. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Producer

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    Unfortunately there is way too much science involved regarding sound refraction and such to try and emulate it in the box as far as I know (unless I'm wrong?). Which is why Hanz Zimmer finds it important enough to record horns from high rise balconies in cathedrals.
     
  8. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Platinum Record

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    I have done a lot of tracks with horns... a lot.
    When recording, there are close microphones and stereo room microphones.
    Because you are using Hein horns and I am hoping you have each horn on separate tracks, placement is also important.
    Additionally while it will never equal the real deal, consider a microphone modeller if the "room" sound is what you after - play with condenser and ribbon microphones and the Neuman's that come with most good microphone modellers.
    Most engineers tend to pan the horns in an arc for 5 or so horns. Not a hugely wide arc often unless a Big Band.
    Try putting Trombone left, Baritone right, trumpet 1 center, Alto/Tenor sax slightly to one side, or if 2x Trumpets the 2nd slightly to one side.

    Also the choice of reverb type is proabably important. While the Lexicon is great for standard reverb, Altiverb and 2C Audio Aether, have some great room imagery, try them too, because the latter being convolution work on acoustic design rather than distance and color.

    The only way I know to see if something works is by trying it. You are not happy now so trying the above will not hurt.
    Cheers


    P.S:
    ALSO - another technique with sampled horns is to duplicate them - then you can do the close microphone and room microphone emulation. So do an audio dump if still in MIDI state of each one individually and import into new separate tracks i.e. so you will have two of each.
     
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  9. doctorG

    doctorG Member

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    You can use "Dear Reality dearVR pro" found on our sister site...........lets you position on an XYZ axis soundstage ...exactly where the player would be positioned on the stage....in front of, in back of, to either side of the sound field...pretty kool prog
     
  10. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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  11. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    On principal there are some rules to place sounds more far away:
    - don't use saturation plugins to make them more upfront
    - raise the amount and number of ERs with significant shorter predelay, more diffusion and do the opposite with the upfront sounds
    - use a bit more high cut/shelf on source and fx
    - or use Altiverb as insert and place them in the background
     
  12. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Interestingly all but two audio examples on their home page are "HEADPHONES ONLY"...
     
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  13. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    So, I didn't abandon the thread, I was just away from my "box" for the weekend and have spent the last couple days fiddling with reverbs and watching videos. I found some interesting explainations on what instruments lose what vybe due to where you throw them etc. (savagely paraphrasing, obviously,) in a YouTube tutorial by Matthew Weiss, so that was interesting as well as helpful. I have never been a five-thousand-reverbs-are-necessary kind of guy, but hearing more in-depth analysis' about the way noises react was long overdue for my continued musical growth. The song (as well as a few others that are in the same vein,) are still in progress, but, as BaSsDuDe mentioned, it's just a matter of time and experimentation at this point.
    Thanks to all who contributed to this post; it's appreciated. :bow:

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Yeah, I've been re-recording the passages and have been getting better and worse results as far as how it sits in the mix. That was something that I had avoided initially as it is a tedious process (yes,yes; lazy, I know,) but I wasn't going to just try and drown the horns in EQ, reverb, and every other plugin as that always ends up sounding like hammered shit. Thanks for the input. :yes:

    I have frequency charts, but I hadn't seen the Sweetwater one before. That could be useful. Thanks. :yes:

    I actually watched some videos that were way above and beyond what I needed, basically because they were about how to make horns sound like they were heralding the return of Christ or something. I'm just looking for a dusty, back-of-the-room vybe, which I know is something that can be done in the box. The balconies are probably uneccessary for what I'm going for in this track. :yes:
    (Also, thanks for essentially pointing out that I will never be as awesome as Hans Zimmer. I suspected as much, but.... :rofl: )

    there are only a few horns and I'm setting them up how I set up basically everything, which is placing them where you would hear them in a live setting (as if you were watching a band, not from behind the set,) the exceptions being, of course, the drums and any bass-heavy instruments wich go down the middle, or, at least, the low register of an instrument. I may experiment with your idea, though,as it sounds like a solid idea for tracks with a few more horns. :wink:
    I actually had some 2C reverbs but they were on my old computer which had a complete nervous breakdown some years back, so, even though I had a lot of stuff backed up, everything on it was bust. When I began rebuilding my collection I had trouble replacing all of the plugins and VSTs (I had some help from tracks prompting me that I was missing such-and-such plugin for incomplete tracks, :yes:) and the 2C plugins having slipped my mind, so thanks for the reminder, they're nice plugins and the Breeze is actually looking to be closer to what I need, but the Aether does have a nice quality to it, so I'm trying some very dialed down setting with that as well.
    I had considered doubling the horns; I may have to try that now. I don't want it to have too large of a feel, but it may lends some weight to the track overall which, as mentioned, is intentionally pretty stripped down.
    Thanks. :yes:

    This one slipped by me. I may have to try this out and see if it can be of any use. I'm always wary of plugins with extreme ease of use, as they are usually lacking in other areas (I grew up around hardware, so I'm used to having to sweat a bit of blood to get results,) but I'll give it a go and see if it fits my needs. Thanks for the heads up on that one. :yes:

    The second and third on your list are things that I've been finding out via experimenting with presets and finding what I like and dislike in each and then setting up a new preset from that, but confirmation that these things place me somewhere on the correct path (from a solid source,) is always good. The saturation bit is especially helpful; that's something that needs tweaking. Thanks. :yes:

    Truly something to pause and give thought on, G-String, though you may be putting too much efforts, as well as too much information, into your comments. Also, please try and keep your comments to 800 words or less so as not to dominate a thread. That being said, your thoughtful and articulate input has lent me the courage to travel down brave new paths on my journey towards muciscal enlightenment.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Again, thanks to all. :bow:
     
  14. Iggy

    Iggy Platinum Record

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    I usually use a real shitty-sounding bright metallic reverb with lots of slap-back for horns, especially the staccato variety. Since my normal reverb is a lot denser and organic-sounding, it makes the horns stick out without adding too much reverb and EQ. Then, I usually pan 'em halfway either right or left and counter-balance them on the other side with an electric guitar, a mono organ or whatever's handy.
     
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  15. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    Glad I could help.
     
  16. Legotron

    Legotron Platinum Record

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    Plate reverbs are good for vintage soul horn sound, also saturation can add pleasant harmonics for the sound
     
  17. statik

    statik Rock Star

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    all things considered that is quite the historic event and will bound to have some really good sounding horns, i dont think you can go wrong with that
     
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