Classical and jazz mixing in Mulab?

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KVRer
16 posts since 27 Apr, 2018

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 9:44 am

Greetings all,

I'm brand new here and doing a ton of research trying to narrow down a DAW I can use to get better and more realistic sound for my orchestral, jazz and choir projects I write using Musescore notation software—doesn't support much beyond midi.

I don't want compose or record using a DAW, just use VSTs (and the sort) to get as good of a realistic sound as I can for my own personal listening enjoyment and for sharing with others. I know I'll have to find the VSTs, so that's a given, but I need to know if Mulab is a good DAW mixing environment for this kind of tweaking? Would you sugget another DAW instead (Reaper's on my list, but man, that's a monster program)?

Just need some input about this program for the kind of work I need to do.

Thanks!

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KVRian
976 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:25 am

You should never mix jazz and classical! ;)

I find Mulab a joy to mix in. I ported over an old Logic project as wave files and had a blast editing and remixing. It sounds like you just need to copy over your MIDI files, arrange them and select proper VSTs to voice them.

Since everything is modular, it's very easy to add mix buses to route or send each track to, as needed.

The one caveat is that if you have an orchestral work with 100 tracks. That might start to get a bit unwieldy unless you have a very large screen. Also, if you use different articulation for instruments on the same track, you'll need the VST to support it fully, otherwise, you'll need separate tracks for separate articulation.

Anyway, download the demo and try out a trio or quartet on it to see if you enjoy working in Mulab. (With the free version, you'll need to use the built-in sounds and effects as VSTs are not allowed. The demo version does not allow saving, IIRC.)

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KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 27 Apr, 2018

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 12:57 pm

syntonica wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:25 am
You should never mix jazz and classical! ;)
Well...yeah, that's true! But we'll let Winton and other greats get away with mixing it up a bit here and there!
syntonica wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:25 am
It sounds like you just need to copy over your MIDI files, arrange them and select proper VSTs to voice them.
That's it in a nutshell.
syntonica wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:25 am
Since everything is modular, it's very easy to add mix buses to route or send each track to, as needed.
I'll have to learn about mixing buses and routing. I'm brand new to the DAW environment. Started studying it, oh, about three years ago, but off to the wayside it went for purposes of life.
syntonica wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:25 am
Also, if you use different articulation for instruments on the same track, you'll need the VST to support it fully, otherwise, you'll need separate tracks for separate articulation.
Now, this brings up something I definitely need to consider in all my research—I'll be spending time learning about this as well, but while I'm here I'll ask about this. If I'm doing an orchestral work in Musescore and only need, say, thirty parts (about two parts each for flutes, oboes, clarinets, trumpets, horns, etc.), I have, at minimun then, those many tracks, correct?

Now add VSTis, each VSTi composed of at least eight articulations per instrument (if I understand that as how a VSTi can be created), does one VSTi with those eight articulations within it count as one track? I take it, based on what you said above, that the answer is yes; however, if I use a VSTi comprising only one articulation each, then I'm going to compound the number of tracks, probably well over 100, correct?

So, is there a trick of the trade in Mulab to deal with so many tracks? I have a, oh, I don't now, 24" monitor, so I don't know if that's plenty for this.

Thanks much.

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KVRian
1153 posts since 21 Apr, 2017 from Bahia, Brazil

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 1:20 pm

It sounds like Mulab would be a perfect place to start for someone new to this world of Daws and vst.

It's easy to learn and use.
It's fun
It has all the instruments to get you started.
It is a small investment ..... considering.

It will shed some light on what is important to you. Maybe Mulab is enough for your needs.
What you don't want to do is go down the rabbit hole of testing and buying vst after vst. Stay focused on presenting your ideas. Mulab is perfectly cable of that by itself.
We jumped the fence because it was a fence not be cause the grass was greener.
https://scrubbingmonkeys.bandcamp.com/
https://www.scrubbingmonkeys.com/

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KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 27 Apr, 2018

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 1:23 pm

What's encouraging, Scrubbing! Thanks very much.

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KVRian
976 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:43 pm

Starkman wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 12:57 pm
Now add VSTis, each VSTi composed of at least eight articulations per instrument (if I understand that as how a VSTi can be created), does one VSTi with those eight articulations within it count as one track? I take it, based on what you said above, that the answer is yes; however, if I use a VSTi comprising only one articulation each, then I'm going to compound the number of tracks, probably well over 100, correct?

So, is there a trick of the trade in Mulab to deal with so many tracks? I have a, oh, I don't now, 24" monitor, so I don't know if that's plenty for this.

Thanks much.
A good orchestral VST uses articulation switching--a MIDI note down in the lower registers so, e.g., your second violins can switch between detaché and pizzicato just by entering a note just before the switch. I think the harder part is finding an affordable orchestral VST that includes all the juicy articulations you might want, like muted horns and Bartok pizzicato.

As for the number of tracks, they can be made different heights so finished tracks can be squashed down as short as possible. In the mixer rack at the bottom, there's a switch to make them skinny so you can see several more at a time. Both windows scroll, of course.

I've never used anything but a laptop for composing, so I don't know how well MuLab deals with multiple monitors and never explored it, which really serious composers use for the luxurious real estate. I'll let another user jump in here...

Oh, and regarding buses, if your VSTs don't already have a reverb you like, you can set up a reverb bus and feed your instruments to it. Thus, your percussion in the back can have a little extra reverb compared to the strings up front, Each instrument can also be panned, so with reverb, you can place them exactly on stage where you want them. Or, you can use your own paradigm for mixing if you don't want a traditional 115-piece orchestra on stage. That's the nice thing about mixing--you can experiment with non-traditional ideas.

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KVRer

Topic Starter

16 posts since 27 Apr, 2018

Post Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:55 pm

Great, thanks very much, syntonica! I do appreciate it greatly (and...I understand it!)

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KVRist
44 posts since 15 Jul, 2020

Post Thu Jul 01, 2021 8:29 am

I don't know how well MuLab deals with multiple monitors
You can detach windows (floating windows) like editor or browser and then you can move them to the other screen. MuLab has no full support for windows management (like win + -> or snapping to screen edges) so you need resize windows manually. But it is possible to work on multiple screens.
You can stretch MuLab on two monitors having panoramic view and single workspace if you like.

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