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#437078 - 11/08/17 06:34 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please!
ulrichburke Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 7
Dear Anyone.

OK, I know every project's different so there's no one-size-fits-all advice but there's gotta be some goto steps I can fall back on...

So I've got a piano piece and strings, not individual stringed instruments (though no doubt they would be better if my skills were!) but one of thos STRINGS patches you get. I'm using Edirol Orchestral. And to keep this very simple, I just want to put string chords sitting behind the piano. Right now, I cannot make piano sit in front of strings to save my life. I have tried every possible combination of EQ/reverb/other processes on both piano and strings (apart from the right one, obviously!)and had about as much luck as I do playing Roulette (hint, I don't win much!)

Please, could someone patiently walk me through how to make string chords sit BEHIND a piano tune from start to finish, and what dumbass mistakes to look out for (believe you me I'll make 'em if not told otherwise!)

I want to end up with a New Agey piano and strings sound (you're bound to have heard the sorta thing in elevators and shopping malls!) I know Edirol isn't the world's greatest package but it's the one I've got for now and as I'm getting all the sounds from there they should work together better, no? Once I can make Edirol piano sit in front of Edirol strings I'll buy better stuff cos I'll know the basics. If anyone needs examples of what I'm trying to make my pieces sound like I'll give YouTube links but think Richard Clayderman, Anime music, Kevin Kern, anyone like that.

Treat me like I'm as stoopid as I'm feeling right now!!

Have fun!

Chris.

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#437082 - 11/08/17 07:03 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5259
Chris....

Start by removing the reverb and processing. That really muddies the mix with strings. A little goes a very long way. Leave it dry for now.

Bring the strings down to zero and work on the piano. You want that "up front" so get it sounding like you want. KEEP IT DRY TOO. Use EQ to get it sounding like you want.

Once you have that piano right, add the strings. Bring them up slowly until they reach the point where they are still in the background. Consider having the piano set in the middle of the mix if it's the main instrument and then use TWO string tracks that differ from each other in some way.... maybe cello on one track, violins on the other track. Pan those right and left far enough and by equal amounts, that you hear they are not in the center with the piano. This gives you separation of the instruments and widens the sonic stage. If they are midi.... it's OK to clone the string pad source track and make 2 tracks out of one. Just assign a different sound sample to each and you have it ready to go for 2 tracks. You can even keep the pad but be careful you don't have it muddying up the mix. If you keep it... center and low. Have the other 2 tracks at 50% L&R or whatever works best.

Your mix should still be totally dry. Once you get the mix set properly as a dry mix.... now, you can add some reverb. Be gentle and add only what it really needs. I'd suggest a light overall master reverb. Maybe a dark plate. If you think it needs more.... use a different reverb type on the strings and on the piano. remember that reverb is cumulative. so the more you add in the tracks, the more verb you're going to end up with in the final mix. In fact, adding reverb to the main piano may be enough because the ear will automatically think it's on the strings too.

I've had people ask me what reverb was on a particular track and when I look to see, it's a dry track overshadowed by the verb on a different track. The ear plays those tricks so you can use that to your advantage too.

Hope this is useful information.
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#437089 - 11/08/17 07:18 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10266
Loc: Hamlin NY
Hi Chris.

First you are not stupid! Virtually everyone starts the same way and that is learning by doing, studying, and asking questions. The only stupid question is one that is not asked.

There are a few ways to accomplish your issue. First I will assume that you are staying in BiaB and working in MIDI. Pan the strings a little to your left and the piano a little to the right. Add more reverb to the strings then the piano. The problem with this, IMHO, is both patches are running through the same Edirol program.

So, again IMHO, I would bounce both tracks to wavs and load them in a DAW. Now you will have two totally individual tracks that you can add various effects. This works perfectly in any DAW, including RealBand. There are a number of effects, both for purchase and for free, that you can use. In fact you can use different effects for each track, such as adding a touch of delay to the strings, or adding different EQs for both tracks.

Also if you open the BiaB file in RealBand or transfer the MIDI tracks to another DAW you can try different strings and pianos. Again there are many free and to purchase sounds out there. In your case I would go with the free ones first then after you learn more you can purchase others.

The transfer of wavs or MIDI tracks to my DAW is my workflow. Others here have other workflows as there are many ways to use BiaB and DAWs.

I hope this helps and good luck.

{edit} - Ps- Herb just reminded me to add that if you transfer the tracks to a DAW, either MIDI or wav, do so dry, i.e. no effects. Add all effects in the DAW.


Edited by MarioD (11/08/17 07:24 AM)
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#437222 - 11/09/17 05:30 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: MarioD]
ulrichburke Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/14/14
Posts: 7
Dear MarioD.

Y'see, this is the problem I'm hitting when I've been looking info up. You're saying add more reverb to the strings than the piano, the other guy's saying add reverb to the piano, leave the strings dry and people will think the reverb from the piano's on the strings! I'm not trying to argue with ANYONE as I don't kow what I'm doing anyway, it's just diametrically opposing viewpoints. And I've read somewhere else that reverb pushes sounds back so I'm going to go with you and put reverb on the strings, sorry Herb Hartley, I'll try yours as well.

MarioD, QSE IS a DAW, in its own way. OK when you input notes with a mouse - which I do, I'm disabled - they're obviously MIDI but you can still insert 4 effects per track including on the out track so you can have Reverb, Compression and 2 others per track. You also get automation, panning, balance (never worked out the difference between panning and balance!) Velocity, all with CC changes and there's LOADS of spare CCs to MIDI learn things to. Thing IS, not everything uses CCs for some reason so I stick with things that DO, Edirol does, some of the posher packages don't so I've had to dump their demo versions and stick with Edirol! (How the heck are you supposed to control things with no CC changes? Rhetorical question, but it bugs me.)

Why I'm saying all this is ideally, I'd love to write-an-mix-on-the-go. I think of a tune, write it, chuck the backing on, mix it, then decide a chunk of it's useless and needs a rewrite. If I'm using wave files, I've got to close down DAW, reopen QSE, reopen sound packages, put sounds back into sound packages, rewrite chunk, resave as sound files, reopen DAW, re-insert soundfiles. That's if I change one note or 200 notes! If I'm doing it all in QSE, I just change the bit I don't like on-the-fly and carry on mixing. It's instantaneous and intuitive and soundfiles are SOO long-winded if you want to change anything (I can't play keyboards, lack of co-ordination, I'm mousebound!)

Thanks for reading this if anyone does.

Chris.

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#437252 - 11/09/17 09:19 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10266
Loc: Hamlin NY
Hi Chris,

Herb and I do things slightly different but we do more things the same. What Herb is saying and I agree with and do also is to do your initial mix dry, i.e. no effects. They will not necessarily be front to back yet but panning is the main thing here. Now slowly add your reverb. I like to do my strings first then do the other instruments but others do things differently. Like Herb said reverb is accumulative so go easy unless you are looking for an Enya type lead sound. I lot of reverb can kill a mix.

Here is a picture that I use when doing orchestra work:


Attachments
th.jpg

Description: Orchestra seating


_________________________
Never question your wife's choices. You were one of them!

64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

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#437298 - 11/09/17 03:42 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5389
Loc: Chicago
Chris, if I may, I am working on a project right now with primarily piano, strings, and vocal. I believe I am having the very same issues you discuss here. So I thought maybe we could listen to something that would put the guys comments in perspective.

So let me make a suggestion. Can you upload the piece you are working on so we can hear the sections. Then perhaps we can "critique" what we hear and perhaps that will help. Or since it looks like you have two tracks, can you upload each and let us try to provide a mix for you. Just an idea.

Dan
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#437343 - 11/10/17 02:43 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 11937
Loc: Australia
Chris,

When mixing, there's one thing that I always keep in mind. This is that the brain grows tired very quickly and, when this happens, perceptions of 'what sounds good' distort.

For example, from reading your post, I get the impression that you are so focused on the strings at the moment that even if they were reasonably quiet in the mix, they would still sound comparatively loud to you because your brain has tuned-in into their sound and this focus overrides how the mix really sounds.

In my own work, I find it's very important to take about an hour's break after every 20 - 30 minutes of mixing. I also don't worry too much about reverb, delay, etc., until the final stages. Generally, I just use a small amount of medium length reverb - just enough to add a bit of an echo to the sound.

With the above in mind, my approach is...

1. Solo the main backing instrument and bring it up to a volume that sounds comfortable to me.

2. Raise the volumes of the other backing instruments until I get a sound balance that I like. Now I have a rest for 60 minutes.

3. I then re-listen to my mix of backing instruments. If it doesn't sound quite right, I repeat steps 2 and 3 until it does. When the mix of backing instruments finally sounds good, it is at this point that I move on to adding the strings.

4. Now I bring the strings up in the mix until I think they sound ok (I don't worry about tweaking too much at this point).

5. After 20 minutes of balancing strings, I put the mix away and come back to it about 60 minutes later. (During this time, I usually work on another song.)

6. After 60 or so minutes, I listen to the mix again and tweak the strings slightly so that they fit my perception of what 'balanced' should sound like. Again I only spend around 20 minutes on it. (NOTE: I only tweak strings at this point because all other backing instruments have been previously balanced and I do not change them.)

7. Now I put the mix away for 24 hours.

8. When I return to the mix after having not heard it for a day, I play it through once. While it's playing, I make a note of what bars I need to adjust. I write these changes down using bar numbers and up and down arrows because they are quick and they tell me which direction I need to adjust the volumes. My aim is to make these notes as quickly as possible so that I don't get distracted too much from listening to the music.

9. Using the notes I've just made from playing the mix through after having a long rest, I play the mix again and make the adjustments I heard.

10. When I have the mix sounding reasonable to my ears. I again put it aside for 24 hours and don't listen to it.

11. I now repeat steps 8, 9, 10. By the end of this, the mix is starting to home in on what sounds good. Eventually, after I've repeated 8, 9, 10 a couple of times, I find that I'm happy with what I hear after having had a 24 hour break. At this point, I consider the job pretty much done.

I find mixing a very slow process because it is so easy for the ear to start hearing everything as 'normal'. Rather than mixing, for me it is the rests between mixing that are the most important aspect of getting a good mix together.

Hope this helps,
Noel

I'm not an expert mixer by any stretch of the imagination but if you want to have a listen to a couple of my songs in which I have used strings just so you can hear what sounds balanced to me....

...this first one uses piano as the main instrument with a full midi-based string orchestra sound in the background...

...and this second one is a co-write with Janice and Bud Merritt that uses a single 'cello BIAB Realtrack against guitar to interplay with Janice's singing.

In both songs, the strings come in about halfway through.
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#437361 - 11/10/17 06:30 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: Noel96]
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10266
Loc: Hamlin NY
Chris, Noel brings up not only an excellent point but he also jarred my brain. I will add that you must mix a low volume. If you mix at high volumes then you are not only not hearing the mix properly, shortening the time you get ear fatigue but also damaging your hearing.
_________________________
Never question your wife's choices. You were one of them!

64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

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#437390 - 11/10/17 10:03 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 11937
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: MarioD
...he also jarred my brain.

Sorry Mario. I did not foresee doing that at all. I hope I didn't hurt you too much!

Originally Posted By: MarioD
I will add that you must mix a low volume. If you mix at high volumes then you are not only not hearing the mix properly, shortening the time you get ear fatigue but also damaging your hearing.

Thanks for picking up on that, Mario. I completely forgot to mention mixing volume. (This is one of the strengths of forums, if someone forgets something, there's always someone else to fill in the blanks. That's why forum discussions can be so very valuable!)


Chris,

I was at a mixing seminar a few years ago with Stephen Webber from Berklee. He won a Grammy with mixing. I clearly remember at this seminar that he said that he prefers to mix at 80 dB. This means that the volume of the sound reaching his ears is around 80 decibels. This is easy to measure these days with cell phones because there are free apps out that detect decibels.

I prefer to mix around 70 dB. This is about the sound level of TV or a vacuum cleaner. (My lawn mower has a label on it that tells me it's 75 db, for comparison, and that's louder than what I mix at.)

Here is a list of decibel levels and what objects or circumstances have such a volume.

http://www.industrialnoisecontrol.com/comparative-noise-examples.htm

Mario's point is very true though. Nothing tires the ear quicker than having the mixing volume too loud.

When I have a mix that is seemingly good, I listen to it as quiet as I can hear it (probably 10-20 dB) to see if I can detect all instruments and then I listen around 90 dB to see if any glitches stand out. This is only the final step, though. All other mixing is done with the volume a bit above conversation level.

Hope these added thoughts are useful,
Noel


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#437401 - 11/10/17 12:14 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: Noel96]
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10266
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: Noel96
Originally Posted By: MarioD
...he also jarred my brain.

Sorry Mario. I did not foresee doing that at all. I hope I didn't hurt you too much!

Noel



Noel, you did a lot of damage to my head and now I'm brainless:







Attachments
head.jpg

Description: Me after Noel jarred my brain




Edited by MarioD (11/10/17 12:16 PM)
_________________________
Never question your wife's choices. You were one of them!

64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

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#437486 - 11/11/17 01:19 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: Noel96]
WendyM Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/29/16
Posts: 119
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Noel96
Chris,

When mixing, there's one thing that I always keep in mind. This is that the brain grows tired very quickly and, when this happens, perceptions of 'what sounds good' distort.

For example, from reading your post, I get the impression that you are so focused on the strings at the moment that even if they were reasonably quiet in the mix, they would still sound comparatively loud to you because your brain has tuned-in into their sound and this focus overrides how the mix really sounds.

In my own work, I find it's very important to take about an hour's break after every 20 - 30 minutes of mixing. I also don't worry too much about reverb, delay, etc., until the final stages. Generally, I just use a small amount of medium length reverb - just enough to add a bit of an echo to the sound.

With the above in mind, my approach is...

1. Solo the main backing instrument and bring it up to a volume that sounds comfortable to me.

2. Raise the volumes of the other backing instruments until I get a sound balance that I like. Now I have a rest for 60 minutes.

3. I then re-listen to my mix of backing instruments. If it doesn't sound quite right, I repeat steps 2 and 3 until it does. When the mix of backing instruments finally sounds good, it is at this point that I move on to adding the strings.

4. Now I bring the strings up in the mix until I think they sound ok (I don't worry about tweaking too much at this point).

5. After 20 minutes of balancing strings, I put the mix away and come back to it about 60 minutes later. (During this time, I usually work on another song.)

6. After 60 or so minutes, I listen to the mix again and tweak the strings slightly so that they fit my perception of what 'balanced' should sound like. Again I only spend around 20 minutes on it. (NOTE: I only tweak strings at this point because all other backing instruments have been previously balanced and I do not change them.)

7. Now I put the mix away for 24 hours.

8. When I return to the mix after having not heard it for a day, I play it through once. While it's playing, I make a note of what bars I need to adjust. I write these changes down using bar numbers and up and down arrows because they are quick and they tell me which direction I need to adjust the volumes. My aim is to make these notes as quickly as possible so that I don't get distracted too much from listening to the music.

9. Using the notes I've just made from playing the mix through after having a long rest, I play the mix again and make the adjustments I heard.

10. When I have the mix sounding reasonable to my ears. I again put it aside for 24 hours and don't listen to it.

11. I now repeat steps 8, 9, 10. By the end of this, the mix is starting to home in on what sounds good. Eventually, after I've repeated 8, 9, 10 a couple of times, I find that I'm happy with what I hear after having had a 24 hour break. At this point, I consider the job pretty much done.

I find mixing a very slow process because it is so easy for the ear to start hearing everything as 'normal'. Rather than mixing, for me it is the rests between mixing that are the most important aspect of getting a good mix together.

Hope this helps,
Noel

I'm not an expert mixer by any stretch of the imagination but if you want to have a listen to a couple of my songs in which I have used strings just so you can hear what sounds balanced to me....

...this first one uses piano as the main instrument with a full midi-based string orchestra sound in the background...

...and this second one is a co-write with Janice and Bud Merritt that uses a single 'cello BIAB Realtrack against guitar to interplay with Janice's singing.

In both songs, the strings come in about halfway through.


J'know Noel this is the best mixing advice i ever read. :-) When im trying to mix what ive done in my DAW I get tied into a real headknot over what sounds right. Thanks. Wendym
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#437489 - 11/11/17 02:11 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 11937
Loc: Australia
Wendy,

I'm glad it's useful.

What DAW do you use? I'm a Reaper enthusiast.

When I'm mixing, I find that I don't use EQ or delay very often at all on individual tracks. I like the sound of the natural Realtracks as they come from BIAB. Again, compression is something I tend to avoid. I prefer to adjust volumes, if needed, using envelopes (and Reaper is great for this).

Also, I have two reverbs set up on busses. One is a shortish reverb and the other is a longer reverb. I just direct some of the instruments' sounds (except bass) through those reverbs. These two reverbs pretty much remain unchanged from song to song. (I have this as a template set-up.)

If you need any more details, please don't hesitate to ask.

All the best,
Noel
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#437507 - 11/11/17 06:29 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5389
Loc: Chicago
Folks, thanks for the good advice. I am working on a project now and struggling with the mix. I believe I have some very good tracks but putting them together is kicking my butt.

I think the real problem is that this project is primarily a vocal performance, and my vocals always need a LOT of help with fX's. But at the same time I am also trying to feature the strings, 2 pianos, bass, guitar (rhythm and solo) and drums in the backing.

Combine that with the fact that my hearing is pretty poor (that is another conversation).

This is a cover tune so I don't want to post the project in the forum but I would like to share what I got - a bit on the down low. If someone would be kind enough to provide a critical critique I would sure appreciate it. Let me know if you can help and I will send you a link via PM.

Noel, I am following you suggestion now with the Reverb Buss in Reaper. Just viewed a video on the topic. I think I can do that...
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#437523 - 11/11/17 09:47 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 11937
Loc: Australia
Dan,

In case it's useful for you, below is an example of how I usually set up my reverb busses for routing.

I have two reverbs (s/reverb and l/reverb - literally short and long reverb). I then spread the instrumental reverbs around the stereo field.

As shown in the images, both reverbs are receiving signals from tracks 4, 5, 7, 9 and I've spread the reverbs as follows...

(a) 60% left, 50% right, 40% left and 20% right for the short reverb

(b) 60% right, 50% left, 40% right and 20% left for the long reverb

This means that for each track, the short reverb for that track is heard on one side of the stereo field and the long reverb is heard on the other side. I've then alternated left/right with the next track so that, in the final mix, not all long reverbs are on one side and all short reverbs on the other side. Also, as the different percentages show, the reverbs for this song's backing are spread between 20% and 60% left and right.

DISCLAIMER: when reading what I've said above, keep in mind that I'm not a professional mixer smile


Attachments
Reverb busses.JPG


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#437672 - 11/12/17 08:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5389
Loc: Chicago
Warning - Cover, proceed at you own risk.

Remixed playing with Noel Reverb Buss. Listening and Listening till I can listen no longer (for now). But I do always appreciate corrective criticism so the next one can get better. This song fits into BIAB very nicely.

Calidonia
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#437689 - 11/12/17 10:22 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 11937
Loc: Australia
Dan,

That's a terrific listen! Seriously. I'm really enjoying it.

I'm on headphones (that's a disclaimer because headphones sometimes affect balance a tad)... that said, though, I really like how your vocals are out front.

At the moment, I wondering if the accompaniment piano and accompaniment guitar could come up around 0.2 - 0.5 dB. But then I listen again and I think they should stay the same. Oh... who knows! The bass and drums could come up slightly (0.5 - 1.0 dB) in my opinion. This would help strengthen the mix. The lead guitar instrumental could come down slightly (0.5 db maybe).

These are just my thoughts, though, and as already mentioned, I'm not a professional mixer smile

Even though I've said the above, I've enjoyed every minute of the ride you took me on. Thanks for posting it.

All the best,
Noel
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#437706 - 11/12/17 12:30 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Basic steps to mix piano and strings backing, please! [Re: ulrichburke]
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5389
Loc: Chicago
Noel, thanks for the suggestions and input.

So many tracks to balance! So many buttons to push or pull or twist ( I have way too many tools for editing).

Then sometimes I tell myself less is more and I don't need two pianos and two guitars and bass and drums and strings (an entire ensemble of violins and cellos), but then I listen to each one individually and they sound so good that I just don't have the heart to decide who stays and who goes.

This was a fun project. The tune is really sweet and the "cowboy chords" fit into BIAB so well. Literally took 6 good weeks of putting it all together in the time I could afford for it. But time to move on to the next project. I have something very different in mind for the next one.
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"The XTRA Styles are fantastic any future idle music-related minutes I may have had are now totally gone gonna find that perfect background rhythm on just about every one of my favorites!!!"
"Recent retirement and the 2018 version of BIAB is a perfect combination!!"
"it's educational utility and potential is awesome!!!"
"I must say, the new harmony options in particular have me champing at the bit!"
"Love the new Video RealTracks!"
"The mixer included into the StylePicker is a great addition."
"This will give my students a great overview of what's going on in an arrangement with the different instruments.!!!"
"A musician must have."
"Lovin' the new RealTracks!!!"
"Amazing!"

Upgrade your Band-in-a-Box® to version 2018 during our special for great savings & Bonus PAKs! www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.packages.htm

Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks Tutorial Video

Here's a video showing you the different ways you can use the Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks, new with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

Video link - Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows, now with Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks!

Plus, here are two audio demos, the full versions of two of the songs that appear in this video:

http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/_LAZYDAY_full_demo.m4a
http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/DownByTheSalleyGardens_with_VocalOohsAahs.m4a

Purchase RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs for just $29 here. It's also included in the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows PlusPAK, UltraPAK, and Audiophile Edition.

Band-in-a-Box® Version 2018 Build 506 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can download the latest Build 506 at http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#506

Summary of Changes since 2018 Build 205:
Added: "Export Song as Audio File..." menu item has been added to the Audio menu.
Added: BB2018 tutorials folder.
Added: New styles (STY files) for many of the new RealTracks in Sets 278-300 and MIDI SuperTracks sets 25-27.
Added: StylePicker User Categories updated for Xtra Styles PAK 4.
Updated: Styles database
Updated: Various improvements (including Db offset adjustments) to many of the new STY files and .SGU demos included with RealTracks Sets 278-300.
Fixed: "K3" did not work in the chord sheet for copying 3 bars (8 bars would be copied instead).
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box always opens with a maximized window briefly before resizing to the user's saved size.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box will not open using the proper window size if the Mixer window was open while exiting.
Fixed: Deleting a region of chords would cause "Undo Delete Bars" to appear in the Edit menu, but do nothing unless chosen twice.
Fixed: Error "Input and output sample rates must match" might show when the devices do have matching sample rates.
Fixed: Flash messages were not being added to the flash message log.
Fixed: If Band-in-a-Box was in DAW Plugin mode while exiting, the window size was not restored the next time opening the program.
Fixed: Rendering .m4a or video files might fail and request that the user install QuickTime if using Windows 7. QuickTime should only be necessary for Windows Vista or XP.
Fixed: Some of the Oohs and Aahs (Vocal) RealTracks were not working correctly, and they have been greatly improved.
Fixed: Sometimes when deleting a note in the notation window, you will be asked "OK to delete chord".
Fixed: The "Show Flash Tips" setting did not have any effect when disabled.
Fixed: WashboardBluegrass drums.
Fixed: When exiting DAW Plugin mode, the window would not return to its previous size (it would become maximized).

Have Your Band-in-a-Box® Delivered In Time for Christmas!

The gift of music... some say this is the greatest gift of all! Imagine receiving the tools to help you create your own music for Christmas... like Band-in-a-Box!

If you are in the United States or Canada, order Band-in-a-Box before 12:30 pm Pacific time December 21st for Express delivery in time for Christmas.

If you are outside of North America, order before 12:30 pm Pacific time December 19th for Express delivery in time for Christmas.

With major savings and Bonus PAKs until December 31st, it's a great time to purchase Band-in-a-Box upgrades as a gift for someone you know... or for yourself!
http://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.packages.htm

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 - Xtra Styles PAK Quick Start Tutorial Video

Our latest video includes a Quick Start tutorial on the installation, locations, and use of the Band-in-a-Box® Xtra Styles PAKs in Version 2018 for Windows. Video: Xtra Styles PAK Quick Start Tutorial

We have put all of our Xtra Styles PAKs on SALE! Until December 31st, purchase any Xtra Styles PAK (1 - 4) for just $29 each! (reg. $49) www.pgmusic.com/xtrastyles.php?os=win

User Blog - How To Record a Cover Song Using Band-in-a-Box and RealBand

Joanne Cooper's final blog post for 2017, How to record a cover song using Band-in-a-Box and RealBand is a must-read!

Joanne summarizes the steps she took to produce her cover of "Old Lang Syne" - her final result was posted to the User Showcase Forum: Listen to Auld Lang Syne

https://www.joannecooper.co.za/blog/blog/how-to-record-a-cover-song-using-band-in-a-box-and-realband

Announcing…The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

We are excited to announce the release of a new project: The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

Songwriter Floyd Jane shows the songwriting process from inspiration to performance and publication: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=IYMMZVvQdCw

The idea for this project came about when many members on this forum and elsewhere were asking questions about the song writing process. There are many aspects, and many parts of it necessary to create a song, get it arranged, performed, and then published on the internet. So we asked the great songwriter Floyd Jane, who is a regular member on this forum, if he could help. Floyd agreed and was even able to collaborate with other forum members, Janice and Bud. The result is this video we put together that you can see on YouTube or Facebook, called "The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)".

We hope this video helps other songwriters with their songwriting process, and also shows them tools that are available to them along the way. Also, we mention this User Showcase Forum, and hope to see many new aspiring or accomplished songwriters join this community :blush:

A big Thank You to Floyd for sharing your knowledge with the community and making this possible. And to Janice and Bud for your great collaboration!

Here is Floyd's original forum post for his song "A Little Bit Of Me": http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=433190

Check out Floyd / Janice & Bud’s music here:
http://floydjane.com/
https://www.janiceandbud.com/

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