Recording and Concept
We are happy to have found a sonic home for our collections at the Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin.
The large recording stage at Teldex looks back on a long tradition of many well known and Grammy® award winning recordings. Famous orchestras, like the Berlin Philharmonics and great film composers from the USA and Europe trust and love the wide and clear acoustics of this room. One of the best sounding scoring stages in Europe, this room together with a fantastic complement of legendary microphones catapults our work to a new level of orchestral sampling.
The quality of a sampled collection begins with the recording. Every Orchestral Tools collection is recorded at 96khz with state of the art equipment. The full editing and post-production process uses these 96khz recordings without downsampling. We very rarely denoise our recordings and never treat them in any other automated way. If tuning is needed, it is done by ear without resorting to tuning algorithms. Only at the very end, right before the samples are mapped into their instruments, the content is converted to 48khz for best use of resources.
Our goal is to provide a set of tools that easily adapts to any workflow and creates a coherent sonic representation of the orchestra. The main way we achieved this is by recording every instrument in its orchestral position. All collections come pre-panned and pre-mixed with their respective volumes balanced. If there are multiple types of the same instrument, they are recorded in slightly different positions, yet still in their general section area. The different snare drums in Berlin Percussion, for example, have been recorded slightly spread over the general "snare drum area" within the percussion section. This allows you to have a very wide and full sound when combining multiple instruments.
We deliberately choose to also record non-traditional instruments as belonging to a symphonic setup, like electric guitars and a drumset in our Metropolis Ark Series. Modern media scoring introduces a host of new instruments into the established orchestral lineup and we feel these instruments deserve the same care and precision in fitting them into the symphonic sound as their traditional counterparts.
All collections feature a number of microphone positions commonly used in orchestral recording. The position of these microphones is identical in every collection, which means that for example the Tree is much nearer to the string section that it is to the percussion section (because the percussion section is situated at the back of the orchestra). This enabled lively acoustics that come pre-mixed for the respective stage position. The choice of mic positions also depends greatly on the instrument. Some instruments, especially in the percussion section, benefit greatly from a M/S position to enable accurately positioning the sound source.
Wherever possible, similar instruments use the same mapping scheme so it is usually possible to transfer MIDI data from one instrument to another easily. This is especially important and useful for percussion.