Mastering the Spitfire libraries
Hello everyone, and a very happy new year 2023.
I use several Spitfire libraries with enormous pleasure, in particular the BBCSO pro orchestras and Appassionata strings.
I was wondering what your mastering process was (typically, what EQ, what kind of reverb or what compression).
In most cases, I content myself with the proposed mixes (mix 1 for BBCSO pro for example) and I sometimes use extras on specific spots of instruments that I want to highlight.
But maybe you have some equalization tricks, to sometimes also change the overall sound of the orchestras a little? (which is very natural in its uncorrected version by the way).
I know some people like to sculpt the sound a bit more.
This topic may have been discussed before on the forum, but I'm interested in your feedback.
I’m interested too…. I don’t have any tricks yet as I’m a real,novice at mastering. I do find that the Toneboosters Barticade 4 is an excellent transparent limiter on the master track.1
Thanks for making me aware of Toneboosters. I'm quite impressed with Barricade.0
For export in general, I use the calibration functions integrated in Reaper, and which simply allow you to adjust the levels for the LUFSi standard of Youtube (or other platforms, you must have the target values that can be found on the internet).
Typically on Reaper, I inform at the moment of export, if I want a fairly version the standard of -15 LUFSi and -1 db ThruePeak. It is then rather "calm" as an export. If I want to keep more dynamic, I prefer an LUFSi between -17 and -19. (or not any LUFS to keep dynamic, but with -1 of thruePeak).
I sometimes use dynamic compression with a few plugins (tubetech or LA2A), but really just to accompany the modulation a little and barely move the needles. It is more than an approach aimed at matching libraries with real recording (such as models including singing with orchestra, or piano). Sometimes also a little parallel compression, which can output weak signals in a natural way.
Regarding the aspect of sound aesthetics:
On orchestra like BBCSO pro, for the moment, I remain on a respectful approach to the proposed mixes that are magnificent. Even if you can sometimes look for a clearer or more transparent sound, especially if you accumulate a lot of desks. For this, I haven't really explored the thing yet.
Very often, I also mix several articulations to get more fusion between the modes. (for example, a detached layer with legato to get "detached in the sound", but all combinations are possible and must be dosed.
I also have a little secret trick, to have a nice legato patch with mutine that is absent from BBCSO or appassionnata bookstores... but chttt... It's a magic trick that I'm going to use soon :)1
My general practice at the minute is to only use the close mics in the BBCSO mixer. I'll then add compression to nearly every instrument and bus these out to a main reverb (I've got a Abbey Road chamber setting on Valhalla, link below). I tend not to fiddle too much with the individual tracks. Compression and slight EQ is usually enough for me.
On the master track I've just bought Klevgrand's Grand Finale which offers a set off mastering tools in series, each adjustable. It can add a lot of warmth if you get the settings right.1
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