VSVI Dev Blog no. 1: Summer Recording Session

First off, sorry for the long delay in news on the blog!

Over the summer we were super busy working on samples. which we kicked-off with a week-long intensive sampling session with VS members Samuel Hebert and Justin Belanger coming down from Canada to assist with the sampling. I then spent an entire month sampling more instruments in order to keep us busy for the next year. Best part, we got to record in a large auditorium and use a much nicer set of equipment than previous years (instead of a giant pile of SM-57’s).

Behold: the first step in sampling an instrument!

Sam Hebert playing trumpet during the sampling session.

Sam Hebert playing trumpet during the sampling session.

So yes, something we’ll be releasing quite a bit of in the next few months is brass. However, we did something that isn’t ordinarily done with brass libraries. If you look closely in the picture, you might see we stuck a ribbon mic behind the bell of the instrument to pick up on the warmth and sonorous elements of the timbre, then a large diaphragm condenser in front of the airstream to pick up on the airy, bright tone that projects from the instrument. This way, in a multi-mic environment, the end user can blend between the two to create the timbre they need for their piece.

And of course, for the reverb heads, there is the obligatory “ambient” mic. You can hear a live performance using just the ambient mics here (note that the noise will not be as present in the finished sample library). In between those two are some wide-spread mid mics which pick up the sound of the stage, which is quite nice when blended with the other mics.

Right now, I am sitting waiting for the stems from the sessions to slowly get mixed down… after that, they get sent off to be cut, tuned, and denoised and then it’s instrument-building time!

In the next couple weeks, look forward to more blogs covering ongoing sampling work and some of the behind-the-scenes on how it works.

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