Convincing mixing/mastering of virtual symphonic orchestra

I know those questions come around fairly often, but technology changes and so does the way real recordings sound. The question is: Which effects do I have to apply to create a convincing, contemporary film music-like sound with a sample-based production?

Those are the things I already discovered:

  • The composition itself has to be musically valid.
  • Choosing the right articulations is important.
  • Panning left-right according to orchestra setup is also important.
  • Dry-Wet-Ratio according to front-behind-position helps a lot.

BUT… despite using Vienna Symphonic Library samples and a SIR2 convolution reverb, I don’t get the SOUND. Particulary there’s a lack of bass. When I listen to soundtracks, there’s always a broad, powerful bass. And when I mix in some Omnisphere Bass Pad (without any changes apart from that), it literally blows me off. My VSL double-bass section however sounds like they’re hidden in the right corner having a snack.

This makes me wonder:

  • Should I use limiter/compressor with symphonic mixes? Normally I wouldn’t, but maybe it adds the punch I’m looking for.
  • What and how is EQ best applied? I’ve read that EQ-ing is sometimes a valid means to achieve a good sound. I’ve never used it with symphonic mixes, though.

Any advice is most welcome. Thanks in advance!

Equipment (most time):

  • VSL Vienna Instruments, Vienna Ensemble, EWQL, Omnisphere
  • Windows 8, Cubase 7.5
  • SIR2 with included set of impulse reverbs

I would try I mastering suite like Izotope, find a preset that give some good results and check under the internal settings to see whats going on in EQ/compression of individual bands, like the mid/bass sections you’ve mentioned.

Sounds great, thanks! Can you recommend a particular plug-in? Izotope features various products, some of them bundles and, em, rather expensive.

btw: I uploaded some of my compositions on Soundcloud, if anyone would like to take a listen:

I’d assume professional ears around here be able to tell what’s needed by merely listening in for a few seconds. Or maybe everything’s fine, but I tend to think there’s still much to do on the production end of things. Thanks in advance!