Recording MIDI sequences as digital audio advice please

Discussion in 'comp.music.midi' started by Kingy75, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Kingy75

    Kingy75 Guest

    Hi all,
    I'm currently working on a large MIDI sequencing project - (I'm sequencing
    the entire score of a musical production)and when all the MIDI sequences are
    done I have to record them to audio CD.
    The instruments I'm sequencing are: (my question is below)

    Reed 1 (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax - differs from song to song)
    Reed 2 (Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax - differs from song to song)
    Reed 3 (Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Tenor Sax - differs from song to song)
    Reed 4 (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax - differs from song
    to song)
    Trumpet 1
    Trumpet 2
    Trumpet 3
    Trombone 1
    Trombone 2
    Trombone 3
    Piano
    Bass Guitar
    Drums
    Percussion (Vibes, Marimba, Xylo, Glock, Woodblock etc)

    MY QUESTION:
    Should I record each instrument/instrument section as a separate audio track
    then mix & master everything later or should I just get the MIDI sequence
    sounding the way I want it then just record everything at once onto one
    audio track? My inclination is to do each instrument section separately.
    Have any of you guys ever done anything like this before? If so, how did you
    go about it?

    I'm using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.03 and a Roland SC8850 sound module. I also
    have Sonar 2.0 XL but haven't learnt how to use it yet :)

    ANOTHER QUESTION:
    When recording instrument sections separately (eg I first record trumpets
    one 1 track, then trombones on another), should I adjust the master volume
    on my Roland sound module to bump up the levels as close to 0db as possible
    without clipping or should I just leave the master level alone and
    normalize/compress the entire track when done?

    Sorry for the large post, any help would be greatly appreciated here!

    Thanks,
    Chris
  2. dickydoo

    dickydoo Guest

    Just a tip. When you listen to them under headphones it is not the same as
    using amp and speakers.You may be better to play your midi files thru the
    system you will be using live to get your balance first.Then save .
    "Kingy75" <kingy75@tpg.com.au> wrote in message
    news:3f319384@dnews.tpgi.com.au...
    > Hi all,
    > I'm currently working on a large MIDI sequencing project - (I'm sequencing
    > the entire score of a musical production)and when all the MIDI sequences

    are
    > done I have to record them to audio CD.
    > The instruments I'm sequencing are: (my question is below)
    >
    > Reed 1 (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax - differs from song to song)
    > Reed 2 (Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax - differs from song to

    song)
    > Reed 3 (Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Tenor Sax - differs from song to

    song)
    > Reed 4 (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax - differs from

    song
    > to song)
    > Trumpet 1
    > Trumpet 2
    > Trumpet 3
    > Trombone 1
    > Trombone 2
    > Trombone 3
    > Piano
    > Bass Guitar
    > Drums
    > Percussion (Vibes, Marimba, Xylo, Glock, Woodblock etc)
    >
    > MY QUESTION:
    > Should I record each instrument/instrument section as a separate audio

    track
    > then mix & master everything later or should I just get the MIDI sequence
    > sounding the way I want it then just record everything at once onto one
    > audio track? My inclination is to do each instrument section separately.
    > Have any of you guys ever done anything like this before? If so, how did

    you
    > go about it?
    >
    > I'm using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.03 and a Roland SC8850 sound module. I also
    > have Sonar 2.0 XL but haven't learnt how to use it yet :)
    >
    > ANOTHER QUESTION:
    > When recording instrument sections separately (eg I first record trumpets
    > one 1 track, then trombones on another), should I adjust the master volume
    > on my Roland sound module to bump up the levels as close to 0db as

    possible
    > without clipping or should I just leave the master level alone and
    > normalize/compress the entire track when done?
    >
    > Sorry for the large post, any help would be greatly appreciated here!
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Chris
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

  3. >Should I record each instrument/instrument section as a separate audio track
    >then mix & master everything later or should I just get the MIDI sequence
    >sounding the way I want it then just record everything at once onto one
    >audio track? My inclination is to do each instrument section separately.
    >Have any of you guys ever done anything like this before? If so, how did you
    >go about it?


    Can't see any reason to submix, unless you're running out of midi
    resources in the tutti passages.

    I strongly suggest you include dummy vocals in the mix. Sing them
    yourself if necessary. They don't have to be good, but they need to
    be loud! Make your mix against these vocals. Then mute the vocals
    and record the final mix. It's very hard to mix an accompaniment
    track without something to accompany :)


    CubaseFAQ page www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
  4. On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 09:46:14 +1000, "Kingy75" <kingy75@tpg.com.au>
    wrote:

    >Hi all,
    >I'm currently working on a large MIDI sequencing project - (I'm sequencing
    >the entire score of a musical production)and when all the MIDI sequences are
    >done I have to record them to audio CD.
    >The instruments I'm sequencing are: (my question is below)
    >
    >Reed 1 (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax - differs from song to song)
    >Reed 2 (Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Alto Sax - differs from song to song)
    >Reed 3 (Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Tenor Sax - differs from song to song)
    >Reed 4 (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax - differs from song
    >to song)
    >Trumpet 1
    >Trumpet 2
    >Trumpet 3
    >Trombone 1
    >Trombone 2
    >Trombone 3
    >Piano
    >Bass Guitar
    >Drums
    >Percussion (Vibes, Marimba, Xylo, Glock, Woodblock etc)
    >
    >MY QUESTION:
    >Should I record each instrument/instrument section as a separate audio track
    >then mix & master everything later or should I just get the MIDI sequence
    >sounding the way I want it then just record everything at once onto one
    >audio track? My inclination is to do each instrument section separately.
    >Have any of you guys ever done anything like this before? If so, how did you
    >go about it?


    If you love the mix you get from your MIDI synth, then simply record
    an audio track from that. Do your final mastering -- compression and
    EQ mostly -- on that audio track. Note that since your synth may
    offer some options for that as it is, you may find it effective to
    simply record without any final tweaks.

    If you want to add effects to individual tracks, which are only
    available in audio, then record those tracks separately.

    >I'm using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.03 and a Roland SC8850 sound module. I also
    >have Sonar 2.0 XL but haven't learnt how to use it yet :)


    With the SC8850, you can do an awful lot of adjusting the individual
    MIDI parts. With Sonar, you could add additional software synths for
    particular instrument sounds to supplement the SC8850. I find that
    analog synths - pads, lead, and bass -- are far more easily done well
    with softsynths than with samples, even though the SC8850 has some
    really nice sounds of that sort.

    >ANOTHER QUESTION:
    >When recording instrument sections separately (eg I first record trumpets
    >one 1 track, then trombones on another), should I adjust the master volume
    >on my Roland sound module to bump up the levels as close to 0db as possible
    >without clipping or should I just leave the master level alone and
    >normalize/compress the entire track when done?


    Depends on the level. I'll bump up the level of individual tracks
    if they are quite low. Actually, if you're going to do individual
    tracks to audio, you're making a new mix, so I'd set the channel
    volume to max and record one channel at a time as audio.

    Clipping sounds rotten, so I try to hold levels to -6db at most.

    But I prefer to mix MIDI tracks in MIDI, and create an entire submix
    version in it, then record that. Saves time, and unless I absolutely
    need something done on the audio per track, it sounds about as good.

    Once you go to individual tracks, you're essentially treating the
    MIDI synth like an audio source. For that, most mixes use one track
    per instrument, or a stereo pair mix per section. The fact that the
    source was a MIDI synth isn't relevant. But it takes more time to run
    it that way.

    If you're using softsynths, though, you're going to do that anyway.
    You'll hit a point where you must render them as audio, in order to
    have CPU power left.

    >Sorry for the large post, any help would be greatly appreciated here!


    --
    *-__Jeffery Jones__________| *Starfire* |____________________-*
    ** Muskego WI Access Channel 14/25 <http://www.execpc.com/~jeffsj/mach7/>
    *Starfire Design Studio* <http://www.starfiredesign.com/>
  5. Old Nick

    Old Nick Guest

    On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 09:46:14 +1000, "Kingy75" <kingy75@tpg.com.au>
    wrote something
    .......and in reply I say!:

    >Hi all,
    >I'm currently working on a large MIDI sequencing project - (I'm sequencing
    >the entire score of a musical production)and when all the MIDI sequences are
    >done I have to record them to audio CD.
    >The instruments I'm sequencing are: (my question is below)
    >
    >Reed 1 (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax - differs from song to song)

    snip
    >Drums
    >Percussion (Vibes, Marimba, Xylo, Glock, Woodblock etc)
    >


    >MY QUESTION:
    >Should I record each instrument/instrument section as a separate audio track
    >then mix & master everything later or should I just get the MIDI sequence
    >sounding the way I want it then just record everything at once onto one
    >audio track? My inclination is to do each instrument section separately.
    >Have any of you guys ever done anything like this before? If so, how did you
    >go about it?


    My method is not to have one <G>. Seriously, I usually try to leave
    MIDI as MIDI until the last minute. But the whole balance goes as
    follows:

    (1) The MIDI capacity of the module(s) I am using. You can get a lot
    more than 16 MIDI Channels by "bouncing" to Audio and then starting
    with more MID. Likewise with polyphony.

    (2) The desire to keep Audio track count down to release strain on the
    PC (less so these days, but of course we then immediately want to use
    Audio FX that start to make it matter again :-< )

    (3) Often I cannot get an effect that I need from MIDI

    (4) To me, using MIDI usually is like "playing the instrument". Audio
    of the MIDI is like the "production" side of the thing. For instance,
    a player will play louder, and say there is some distortion on the
    instrument. Playing louder will increase the distortion, as well as
    the volume. The producer/mixer, on the other hand, can alter the
    ludness without affecting the distortion.

    etc, I am afraid.

    >
    >I'm using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.03 and a Roland SC8850 sound module. I also
    >have Sonar 2.0 XL but haven't learnt how to use it yet :)
    >
    >ANOTHER QUESTION:
    >When recording instrument sections separately (eg I first record trumpets
    >one 1 track, then trombones on another), should I adjust the master volume
    >on my Roland sound module to bump up the levels as close to 0db as possible
    >without clipping or should I just leave the master level alone and
    >normalize/compress the entire track when done?


    What sound card are you using? If an "ordinary" one, like a BSLive
    family, then keep input levels higher, particularly. These cards are
    noisy in the A/D/A dept. Better cards are better. But of course high
    signal always reduces noise, doesn't it? Not necessarily with a MIDI
    module. It's not a guitar, and has its own noise level. There are also
    hums etc to worry about.

    Basically again you need to assess your system. Make it as quiet as
    you can in itself (good wiring practice etc) and then decide whether
    it'sd best to have higher input or slightly lower.

    For your purposes, where I assume the CD will be used to play behind a
    live performance, remember that there will be all sorts of other
    sounds over the music. So make the MIDI side of things less dynamic,
    by way of "compression". This can be done in CW by Interpolating
    Velocity, Volume etc. In this was you avoid clipping while making the
    _perceived_ overall level higher. This is done even with the highest
    fi usually, to a greater or lesser extent.

    In the end you have to constantly listen. Burn a bit to Cd,. Take it
    somewhere it will be used, or something like it. Listen. Take severl
    ideas and listen to them all. Allow for audience absorbtion of high
    freq etc. Take careful notes and try again.
    ******************************************************************************************
    I could never _see_ myself as anything!

    Nick White --- HEAD:Hertz Music
    Please remove ns from my header address to reply via email
    !!
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