Mysteries of the Mixer: how to sound far away?

Lots of sample libraries mic things very closely, but you often want instruments to sound ‘further back’. Does anyone know if this can be done with Reverb FX in Dorico?

Front to back spatial placement can be done with the reverb send on the instrument track and/or with pre-delay (the link below describes this on a conceptual level quite well, I think).
It’s very common to use more than one reverb bus: one reverb for spatial placement and another one for tails. I don’t use the stock reverb anymore, but IIRC the Reverence does have a dedicated pre-delay parameter.

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Obviously it’s a considerable cost, but VSL has MIR Pro 3D on sale right now. It’s pretty amazing for that sort of thing. You can position the instruments wherever you want in a chosen venue and it controls the reverb and spatial positioning.


May I say, yes but not really? The detail you get up close - the sound of bow on strings, breath etc. can’t be EQ ‘d and reverbed into the blend you get pulling up other mics. It still sounds like what it is except with verb on it. And I always felt I was making a hard choice between the tone I wanted and clearly too much verb. I’ve used that proximity plug-in too.

I know you can read about lots of tricks (and spend a lot of time and energy) shaping tails and EQ’ing And you can always say there are folks more talented than me and I wouldn’t disagree. Or you can pull up a different blend/distant outriggers on a library that has them, relax in your chair and say “never mind”. :).

Keep or sweep man.


Actually, you really can “move” the source, using reverberation but overall the first reflections, specific delays.
The balance between early reflections and the diffuse reverberation is important. This is real sound engineering, and MIR is there to do it for you if you don’t have an engineer nearby…


I use SPAT Revolution for exactly this. The Essential version is 34 sound sources and only around $400 range. It’s takes a while to understand all the options but it’s pretty incredible


That’s fair. Here is a proposal/straw man though: Listen to the demo for Hans Zimmer strings (which for the holidays is in the same general price range. ) If I take 60 solo cello parts and put them in either product will it sound like that? Could you place EW Symphonic Orchestra in either product and sound like that?

I don’t want to shade the technology, I’m just saying that the source material that you give them to work with matters. (Including the original mic placement)

Ex: 60 muted Cellos playing together is a different special thing.

I’ve made my own journey longer and harder when I’m attempting to polish… that which is not the fault of the polish. :slight_smile:

I recently spent quite a bit of time trying out endless reverbs including MIR Pro – and of course the Steinberg built-in options. MIR Pro is completely ruled out for me because of the system demands – remember that if you’re going to place every instrument in an orchestra, you’re looking at several dozen plug-ins. But I know of others who use it with success. There are algorithmic reverbs which specifically just try to increase the feeling of depth which is what you say you’re after, including the free Proximity which for me didn’t make a dramatic difference but is worth trying.

In the end my solution – being someone who cannot be bothered to learn how to become an audio engineer – was Altiverb which is ancient but still an industry standard with a vast number of very varied spaces which can easily be used globally with little or no tweaking. The main advantage of this for me, apart from the relative ease of use, is masking the often somewhat digital nature of the sound of virtual instruments but without losing significant clarity. Even though most modern libraries have a choice of microphone positions to play around with, the sound can still lack depth and warmth and this is where a global convolution reverb can come in. EW Spaces 2 or Liquidsonics Reverberate are cheaper alternatives but neither have the variety or quite the quality of the recorded spaces in my view.

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Thanks all for your thought.

I’m actually getting some Reasonable Results™ just by applying different amounts of reverb, with a bit of pre-delay added to the reverb plug-in’s parameters.

It’s probably not brilliant, but not the weakest link in my audio chain…! :grinning: