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Author Topic: mixing from Unity  (Read 8730 times)

Kent Thompson

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Re: mixing from Unity
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2012, 02:02:49 am »

The board we had before we went digital :P but, yeah your point is well taken.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: mixing from Unity
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2012, 09:25:05 am »


When was the last time you had to back off faders because your summing amps were clipping....  anybody?

It was just a couple of years ago.  We were providing stacks and racks-the band provided everything else.  A LARGE outdoor event (the audience area was around 1000' deep and probably at least 2000' wide.  Loud was not the requirement here-but coverage was needed (at least to be able to hear the band)

I setup my system and then just took a line out of their console.

The problem was on the vocals.  With 1 2 or 3 vocals everything was fine.  But when the 4th vocal came in-the vocals would distort.  Almost every time.

So I went up to to the mixer (they were doing the mix on stage-typical for them).  I dropped the vocal channel levels a bit and increased the vocal subgroup level (by the same amount) and everything was fine.

While I agree it is rare-it does happen.  However I can only think of this one particular case in which it did happen---------------So take it for what it is worth-no much.  But it did bother me for a little while anyway.
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Ivan Beaver
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: mixing from Unity
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2012, 11:23:15 am »

Only two examples? You guys can do better then that.

My point is that bus saturation is "generally" over-estimated as a problem. Of course it "can" happen. I designed one recording console with over 100 stems feeding the L/R bus. it can happen.

Looking at your 4 vocals singing at the same time... ASSuming the worst case summation (if they were making exactly the same signal, they don't) it would sum to 4x or +12dB. So if the bus was capable of cleanly passing +20dBu that means every vocal was peaking above +8dBu at the same exact instant. If the signals were not coherent they would only increase 2x or +6 dB meaning every vocal would have to be peaking to +14 dBu simultaneously... lets split the difference and say they were probably hitting +11 dBu each,, so pretty hot for a single stem, let alone a 4 part vocal harmony.

This is why we put meters on buses, and when no meter is budgeted, at least a bus clip light..(while some value products may not even indicate there).

Like I said if it sounds OK and no clip lights are flashing, it is OK. If you hear audible clipping like Ivan did, find it and fix it. It's not like the old days when we wanted to hit the mix bus hot to get decent S/N. While some may not have gotten that memo yet.

JR 
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brian maddox

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Re: mixing from Unity
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2012, 11:45:54 am »

Like I said if it sounds OK and no clip lights are flashing, it is OK. If you hear audible clipping like Ivan did, find it and fix it. It's not like the old days when we wanted to hit the mix bus hot to get decent S/N. While some may not have gotten that memo yet.

JR

i'm with JR on this.  early in my career it was pretty critical that i pay scrupulous attention to gain structure throughout the console and the whole signal chain just to get something decent coming out of the speakers.  but times have changed.  i now have a very pragmatic approach to fader level made possible by the advent of electronics with a very wide area between the noise floor and clipping.  i'm certainly aware of where the limits are, but i'm not afraid to use the real estate given to make my final product as consistent and seamless as possible.

so now i tend to mix with the faders as close to the -5 to unity range as possible.  i long ago realized that using the on/off buttons on the channels was very abrupt and distracting during a show so i always use the faders to turn on and off microphones.  if i've set my gain structure such that the correct level for that mic is somewhere close to unity, than i don't need to 'remember' where the fader was, i just bring it to that level and then if it needs a bit more or less i just gently nudge it in that direction. 

i've also been known to use unity as my 'maximum safe level before possible feedback' when doing lavs and lectern mics.  especially with lectern mics this is very handy.  as different people get up to speak i can vary the level always knowing that i'm safe until i get to unity at which point i know i may be pushing it and i need to turn my 'critical ears' on so that if there's a hint of anything i hear it before anyone else does.

as usual, this is a long way to say what JR already said.  if it sounds OK, it is OK...  :)
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Re: mixing from Unity
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2012, 11:45:54 am »


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