Noteperformer Balance Exchange

Hi everyone!

I’m curious to hear if anyone has thoughts on the out of the box balance of Noteperformer in an orchestral context.

Don’t get me wrong, generally speaking I think NotePerformer does a tremendous job and never in history has it been this easy to “imagine” the real sound at the premiere.

However, there are a few proportions that to me seem unrealistic and I wonder what your experience has taught you.

For instance, I can vividly recall a single timpani player virtually drowning out a massive late romantic size orchestra. In my project, I set timpani to 127 in the NP mixer, and my orchestra is quite small but still the timpani sounds ehhhh too polite.

I also feel like French Horns in real life can pierce through tutti passages much more than what NP does.

I think I will play around with lowering the entire orchestra to values like 90 or 80 and see if that does the job. But I’m curious if I’m wildly off or if anyone shares this impression…

Warm wishes,

Félix

Hey Felix,

I feel your pain. In the past when I was working with Sibelius, the player used for Notepeformer allowed one to add effects . I’m still getting my feet wet with Dorico and the potential it has to add VSL’s to coexist with the NP samples.

You are thinking the right direction by pulling your timp up in volume and lowering the rest of the orch to a lower setting. What’s missing is the natural body of the live timp player and the harder mallets they would use to generate that fff sound. The best you could do with the NP sample would be to brighten the hit up a bit with eq and add more verb to widen the sound. Or… find a different sample. There are many good ones available. Spitfire series, Project Sam True strike, Orchestra Tools libraries…

With the horns, I would check out the spitfire series and look for a sample that may be labeled bright horns that recreates 4-6 brilliant edgy horns with bells up or alike soaring above the orchestra . NP horns just are used to blend within the fabric of the orchestra. You could always try writing ffff for your playback when you want them really loud for the playback, and adjust a different set of dynamics for your players to read.

I’m sure after I write this, there will be tons of people who will chime in and give you good advice on how to proceed. It’s definitely an area of constant tweaking to get the mockup to come close to sounding real. I always turn my low winds way down in the mix and drop my inner wind parts , like flt 2, oboe 2, Clt 2, 20-30% less than principles to get a better feel for realism…

Personally, I’ve conducted many orchestras and done hundreds of sessions with studio orchestra and know that I rarely have to tell winds or strings to play SOFTER! I’m always asking for more sound from them, because perc, brass just dominate the room. Better to underestimate your orchestration playback with the lighter instruments for a truer feel for symphonic orchestration. You’re on the right path.

T

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Hi T,

Thank you so much for your detailed answer and sorry for my late reply!

It’s reassuring to hear you have similar impressions. Yes, you touch on something that is bound to be implemented in future upgrades for percussion in general: the choice of mallets. It’s really a question of colour just like with the horns. They can have quite a loud volume but if the colour is too mellow then it will blend with the rest of the orchestra which is great for some situations but can become a bit of an issue in other situations.

Thanks for all the tips, I will experiment with them.

Greetings from Leipzig!

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You are very welcome! Happy composing!

T