Wallender Support was kind enough to respond to a question I sent, and I am sharing what they said. I hope it helps someone.
Can you recommend starting mixer values that would set instruments to realistic relative values when starting an orchestral score? The goal is not to set the mixer so volumes are equal, but so the volumes represent reality in an orchestral setting.
Thank you, --Konrad
Thank you for reaching out!
NotePerformer is designed to be realistically balanced out-of-the-box, with the default mixer levels. You write two voices in the score if you want more than one player. The instruments should follow the dynamics as written in the score.
You should not need to tweak any settings in our software to produce more realism, if that makes sense.
Best regards, Alexander
So I should file a bug report then about the saxes being to loud when set to the same volume levels as the other instruments?
I am going to do some tests. If a trumpet and flute at mf show the same on a VU meter or sound the same level to me, I will be suspicious, but I’ll start out assuming he’s right. I have not used NP saxes.
What triggered my question is how loud the violins, xylophone, and tambourine seem to be, but I’ll start testing with a fresh score.
NP can’t reproduce human performance. In a professional orchestral setting, the trumpet player would reduce his mf dynamic so he doesn’t overpower the flute. I address that in Dorico by ( for audio export) writing a softer dynamic for the trumpet.
Your point is valid, but if I mark forte for two different instruments, I don’t expect them to have the same volume. Several textbooks (like Rimsky-Korsakov) have basic guidelines, like two horns=one trumpet, two clarinets=one horn, etc.
I know there are lots of variables and players make adjustments. I just want the score playback to be somewhat realistic.
I get it. I’d like that too. It would be nice to simply enter the dynamics and have the instruments automatically balance. I write mostly for publication (church and school music), so good, realist- sounding playback is important. Maybe not too far in the future?