The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Orchestral film score bass panning
Old 2 days ago
  #1
Orchestral film score bass panning

Hello everyone -

So this is a question that has been bothering me for years. I have spent a lot of time checking out film score recordings and I have noticed the bass is sometimes more centered. In particular, John Williams' scores seem to have the orchestral basses recorded/mixed in orchestral position (to the right) while other film scores seem to have the basses in the center. Is this a practice that is commonly done in film score recording (recording basses in the center of the stage) and, at the mastering stage, is it common practice to center frequencies below a certain range? Or is that even necessary since the human ear has difficulty localizing below 100 hz or so? Thanks in advance for any responses, it's been a nagging question for years
Old 2 days ago
  #2
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
This is more of a production question. Take a look at the other two sub-forums here on GS closer to what you are asking.
In relation to mastering, no, whatever the composer and the production choices regarding cellos and contra placement within the ensemble, this would not be changed or re-centred. Whenever you hear this it is mostly a recording/mixing production choice.
Old 1 day ago
  #3
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
People set up orchestras differently. Traditionally you might have V1, V2, Vl, Cel, Bass in a semicircle.

For Howard Shore’s scores (I was a a runner at Abbey Road for Lord of the Rings) he has V1 on one side and V2 on the other, and the cello and basses more central. Presumably for as you say, a more even sound. I can’t remember John williams’ setup (Harry Potter was being done at the same time) but I think it was more traditional.
Old 1 day ago
  #4
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
When I was a kid, orchestral typically had bass, cello and viola in the center. I'm not sure exactly where or when it shifted to today's setup.
Old 1 day ago
  #5
Good source to hear and see the differences in orchestra setups is https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/home, different condusctors - different setups.
Old 1 day ago
  #6
Most consumer playback rigs use a mono subwoofer so it won't matter for most of them.
Old 22 hours ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

A) Traditionally, orchestral position to the right.
B) Modern, often more behind cellos but closer to the vla (small number of basses), large number of basses they can be their own ring more 2 o'clock filling to the center.
C) If a split violin section is done, they'll be in the center.

These positions are usually chosen to serve the music by the composer, orchestrator, and recording engineer. I've done A and B orchestras with different setups in the same score.

And then there's the case of basses done in overdub (usually the same position as B but I've done sessions with lots of basses with two rows centered.) The mixer chooses what to do after.

None of this should be messed with by a mastering engineer (unless possibly for a version going to vinyl.)

[I dread to give this site any traffic but if you want to see a bunch of different setups used, there are pictures of many of the composers' orchestra layouts here: http://scoringsessions.com/]
Old 22 hours ago
  #8
7+1
Lives for gear
 
7+1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
A) Traditionally, orchestral position to the right.
B) Modern, often more behind cellos but closer to the vla (small number of basses), large number of basses they can be their own ring more 2 o'clock filling to the center.
C) If a split violin section is done, they'll be in the center.

These positions are usually chosen to serve the music by the composer, orchestrator, and recording engineer. I've done A and B orchestras with different setups in the same score.

And then there's the case of basses done in overdub (usually the same position as B but I've done sessions with lots of basses with two rows centered.) The mixer chooses what to do after.

None of this should be messed with by a mastering engineer (unless possibly for a version going to vinyl.)

[I dread to give this site any traffic but if you want to see a bunch of different setups used, there are pictures of many of the composers' orchestra layouts here: http://scoringsessions.com/]
This really...

Traditionally you would put the Bass over to the right a bit but the more hybrid stuff happens and the more modern approach crosses into the fray..

Even stuff that is more traditional gets the center bass treatment from me these days...Lately I try to push the bass up in the mix more than normal, just feels it adds a glue overall.

I recorded and mixed the score for "Amanda" which was nominated for a french Academy Award for best score, and Anton's score always reminded me of a
Henry Mancini style score with Elmer Bernstein themes.... more traditional but wanted the bass centered for size..

Listen below..excuse the horrific sound of Amazon Streaming.
https://amazon.com/gp/product/B07KPP...2dd41cccc83ae8
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump