Future Contingents: Playthrough Visualizer and Spatializer


I don’t expect my suggestion to be forthcoming, but it would be a great feature for anyone that is interested in diving into, and is passionate about, timbre and orchestration. So, here goes:

I’d love Dorico to include a playthrough visualizer and spatializer that would allow one to position virtual players, single instruments or entire sections of instruments, on a virtual stage and spatialize the audio output, and would also allow the playthrough (thus spatialized) of the audio output of any subset of the given ensemble, from single instruments to entire sections.

All the best,

There are already at least two VSTs who do this, although Dorico’s routing is not really flexible enough to accomodate them — and I don’t really think it should be, to be honest.

LSalgueiro, as far as I know there are no VSTs that do what I describe. Anyway, what I have in mind is for the Visualizer/Spatializer to be an option in Dorico’s Play mode without any need for third-party plugins.

There are at least two: Vienna Symphonic Library’s MIR and VirtualSoundStage by Parallax Audio.

While we do have a very good grip on the specifics of audio spatialization (or simulation thereof, in this case), I find it difficult to justify allocating any resources to a feature that has no connection to notation (symbolic or otherwise). Although, not that I look at it again, it might be possible to make VSS work with Dorico’s mixer already, but I haven’t tried it.

LSalgueiro, thank you so much for the plugin references, I’ll definitely get into MIR. Concerning the point of contention you raise, I’ll just say this… Since Dorico proposes a Play mode to begin with — which is indeed a non-notational, DAW-like component, — I definitely think it is worthwhile to make it a perfect simulacrum of live Music, as much as possible. Besides, space itself can be scored…

Very good idea! :slight_smile: +1 here!
It would be great if Steinberg create their own Virtual Stage Plugin /similar to VSL - MIR Pro and Parallax-Audio - VSS 2.0 Pro/,
which will be part of Dorico Pro, Cubase Pro and Nuendo.

Greetings :slight_smile:

FWIW, the ARIA Player VST has a MIDI CC for “Stereo Stage Depth” (and Stereo Panning), as well as its own Convolution and Ambience ‘space’ settings.

Izotope has a visual mixing plugin that does that, and you can insert a mix-tap (or Neutron) on whatever sample library or instruments you like in the mixer. Combine it with a true stereo reverb and…

… it is also (from my personal preference and point of view only) a working example of how this turns out to be not such an amazing or especially useful idea. Again - that’s just my opinion.

Lets say that you ( or Dorico) added digital processing to “virtually” move a close mic’d player back a few feet and to the left. The sound would still be unnatural and weird because you are applying that processing to detailed close up string sounds, bow scraps, etc. Or, if you tried to move an instrument recorded at mid stage “forward”, it would be still be missing the detail of a close mic. I suppose that Dorico could arguably manipulate multiple mic positions to create A visual field - but that seems to be dependent on the library, and better IMO to make the responsibility of the library designer.

Even so, in my limited experience, standard live orchestra seating (let’s say) doesn’t sound amazing. Its fine, but It is like taking a picture of the Grand Canyon - its no where close to the experience of being there. And won’t give you the epic “more real that real” film type experience we get asked for a lot…

These are my thoughts only though.

gdball, I don’t have iZotope’s Visual Mixer, but from what I understand it’s supposed to work with full-blown audio tracks, not the likes of Vienna Symphonic Library or Spitfire Audio libraries and other Midi instruments as such.

Concerning your general point on mics and sample recording, though definitely worthy of consideration, in the end it shouldn’t really be an impediment as long as the sample library applies the same recording protocol and standard to all its samples, like any professional sample library worthy of its name does… Spatialization isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s in no way intractable, especially for professional sample libraries (e.g., Vienna Symphonic Library and Spitfire Audio libraries.)

On the issue of (Music in) film being “more real than real” and a fuller experience than (Music in) a concert hall, I wholly disagree with that. Live Music is where it’s at for me.