VSL: Voyage Cinematic, Tutorial by Michel Ramillon (french with subtitles)

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Good morning, everyone! In this video, I invite you to listen to one of my compositions made with the virtual instruments of “Vienna Symphonic Library”. Afterwards, I will explain in detail how I went about making this track. Enjoy listening! Now I am going to explain how the title you just heard has been created. First of all, some clarifications. I am using Vienna Ensemble Pro. This is a software that allows me to distribute the sounding instruments on two computers. I am using Vienna Instrument Pro and some plugins that I will talk to you about later. For the string parts, I used two sound banks loaded with Dimensions Strings. I created two groups each to have them playing in ‘divisi’. I took the matrices group 1 for the 1st violins and group 2 for the 2nd violins. I did the same for violas and cellos. Each matrix has its own velocity-controlled cell changes. I have assigned the modulation wheel from my keyboard to the Velocity X-Fade, which allows me to control expression. The wheel activates new samples when moved up or down. This way, we get soft samples for low values of the wheel and louder samples, when we move up to higher values. I’ll show you this with the Cellos. I organized the cells of the matrix as followed: The first cell with legato, a second one with espressivo. The third one contains espressivo aswell. These are all legatos, but the last one is a portamento patch for more sliding on the strings. I did pretty much the same with all the strings. I also doubled them with the Appassionata strings to give them more sound. Ich lasse Sie das mit und ohne diesen zuhören. Dies sind die beiden Gruppen der Dimension Strings. And now with the Appassionata cellos. Now I’ll let you listen to the first part with all the strings. Each section is positioned with MIR Pro in the large concert hall. I placed all the instruments close to the microphone to give them more direct sound instead of a reverberant sound. On average, it is 40% of this direct sound. Sometimes a little less. For the cellos, I have a little less reverb and more direct sound. Finally I activate the gallery sound to get the those sounds as well. This way, I don’t have to add an additional reverb. I think that’s enough. In the second part, I switch between legato parts and staccato parts. I’ll show you an example from the violas. There was only one small problem: Since I assigned Velocity X-Fade to CC01, I had to deactivate it again. That’s very simple. Here I have “Vel. XF On/Off” set to CC44. So if we go back to the example of the violas, we can see that the controller 44 is set to zero. With this value set to zero, the “X-Fade Velocity” function is deactivated. This allows me to program the velocity and play samples that depend on the velocity. that depend on the velocity. For practical reasons, I have created two matrices. One with Staccato and Piano-Forte articulations, which I control with Expression Maps in Cubase. I’ll show you this now. I’ll let you listen to the strings solo. For the brass groups, I used Dimension Brass. Here you can see the four horns, the four trombones, a matrix with all the trumpets and a matrix with the deep brass instruments of the same collection. I’ve also added the Epic Horns & Fanrare Trumpets to achieve a bit more density at forte (fff). I am managing all this on a second computer, as you can see on this screenshot. For the matrices, I used the same matrix for all four horns, and I did about the same for the trombones and trumpets. For the Epic Horns low brass instruments, I built a matrix filled with Decrescendo patches that I assigned here. For the trumpet, I used an ordinary patch. I did the same for all instruments as I did for the strings: I controlled them with midi controller 1 to create a crescendo effect, using the “Velocity X-Fade” fader. For some passages, I used instruments with naturally recorded crescendo dynamics in this matrix. I’ll let you listen to an extracted. In this section legato parts often alternate with staccato parts, so it’s the same process. I use Cubase Expression Maps to change between articulations. For example, with these horns. Here, at the end for example, we have these three staccato notes that are triggered like this. And the same applies to the other parts. For the wood instruments, I only used solo instruments and natural trills when possible. I’ll show you an example for you to listen to. I placed all the instruments a little but further away from the microphone in the concert hall, but always with more dry signal than reverb. With the exception of the clarinets for example. With controller 1, I used the same principle. In fact, with woodwinds we manage to have particularly quiet pianissimo with a very soft timbre by using this technique. For percussion instruments, I use among other things a timpani patch from the Full Library or timpani rolls naturally recorded with standard mallets. Here is another example where the timpani roll was also recorded naturally – but with more accentuation. To support the timpani, I used a bass drum from the Epic Orchestra 2.0 collection. With the new Synchron Player, where the reverb of the concert hall is already implemented. Together with the timpani. I place the timpani in the great concert hall, but a little closer to the microphone with 41% of the dry signal. For the cello solo part, I used the cello from the Solo Strings Library. I created a matrix because I had a particular phrasing in mind. Again, I use controller 1 for the Velocity X-Fader value. As well as an Expression Map that I also created myself. Also, the cello is positioned right in the concert hall – with more dry signal than reverb. The cello is placed very close to the microphone. Now I play you the harp, which also has some reverb on it. There we go! Finally, two or three words about elements of the mix. A warning first: Don’t worry if you see the signals lightning up here. For the purpose of this video, I had to increase the levels. That being said – I used a multi-band compressor to mitigate parts of the spectrum with too many low frequencies. I also use the compressor and equalizer of the Vienna Suite for the cellos to dampen some problematic frequencies. I’ve grouped the strings, woodwinds & brass to monitor their volume levels. You can see that here. We are now at the end of the video. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you again soon!

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