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Author Topic: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"  (Read 6866 times)

Dan Costello

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2009, 07:28:10 AM »

Silas Ng wrote on Tue, 24 February 2009 23:50

Dan Costello wrote on Tue, 24 February 2009 11:13


How much experience do any of your engineers have mixing outside of church? If you're pretty inexperienced, I suggest finding some multitrack software and some projects on the internet so that you can practice mixing in your free time. You can also come into the church on some off-time and practice with different mic placement, which can make a huge difference.

-Dan.


While I understand that analogy, I think it only works to an extent. Eg. if it's just a vocal and guitarist, we can only make one louder than the other.


That still doesn't have to sound raw. How many country/folk/blues tracks have been cut like that with no compression and still sound amazing? Though I would suspect that with just those inputs, if it sounds raw and unpolished, it's probably more the fault of the guy on stage than the guy in the back.

-Dan.
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Dan Costello

"Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.."

Doug Bull

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2009, 09:46:46 AM »

Why don't you upload some of your board mixes so we can make some recommendations from a mix standpoint?
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2009, 01:55:38 PM »

[quote title=Silas Ng wrote on Wed, 25 February 2009 04:50
While I understand that analogy, I think it only works to an extent. Eg. if it's just a vocal and guitarist, we can only make one louder than the other.[/quote]

If you have just a vocalist and a guitarist, you should probably also be capturing some room sound. There are two extremes to capturing room sound - using spaced mics or using coincident mics. This gives you at least 4 channels to mix with, not just 2.

Recording a vocalist with more then one mic - not so much, but recording an acoustical guitar with more than one mic, often worth a try.

After tracking, you have even more options for mixing down a recording from a multitrack master than just levels:

(1) Panning
(2) EQ
(3) EFX, particularly reverb.



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Dan Costello

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009, 02:07:12 PM »

Arnold B. Krueger wrote on Wed, 25 February 2009 13:55

Silas Ng wrote on Wed, 25 February 2009 04:50


While I understand that analogy, I think it only works to an extent. Eg. if it's just a vocal and guitarist, we can only make one louder than the other.


If you have just a vocalist and a guitarist, you should probably also be capturing some room sound. There are two extremes to capturing room sound - using spaced mics or using coincident mics. This gives you at least 4 channels to mix with, not just 2.

Recording a vocalist with more then one mic - not so much, but recording an acoustical guitar with more than one mic, often worth a try.

After tracking, you have even more options for mixing down a recording from a multitrack master than just levels:

(1) Panning
(2) EQ
(3) EFX, particularly reverb.



This isn't just recording; it's live sound reinforcement. The trouble with mic'ing an acoustic guitar in a live setting is that unless the player is sitting down and staying still, they're going to move around a bit, which will throw your mix all out of whack, particularly if the mics started off fairly close to the guitar. That is, unless you use a mounting systems that clamps onto the guitar. Also, trying to reinforce "room" sound is a good way to get your system to feed back. Both can be done, but everybody on stage and off has to know what they're doing.

-Dan.
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Dan Costello

"Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.."

Jeremy Johnston

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2009, 04:48:22 PM »

I have a Soundcraft K2 and I use two matrix outs for a stereo record feed.  We mostly only record the sermon, so I don't NEED two matrices, but I wasn't using them before, so I patched them as record feeds.

I have also borrowed a recording rig and used direct outs from 24 channels.  I have also, and this is what I recommend you try if you can, used the group outputs.  You can sub everything to the main and mono outs for your live service, but also record each group output and mix the groups down after service for a good stereo recording mix.  I currently use three groups for drums - assigned Left, Right and Mono; three groups for vocals - Left, Right and Mono; and two groups for instruments - assigned Left and Right.  I have my piano assigned direct to Left/Right and Mono, and the pastor's headset mic assigned directly to Mono output, but I could re-assign the piano and record my whole band from the group outputs.  That saves you having to completely mix direct outs for a worship mix, but it gives you flexibility to adjust the balance of your worship recording after the fact.

Usually you would find that the drums might be too soft in the recording mix (conversely the vocals too loud) because the acoustic sound in the room forces you to turn the drums down to the main loudspeakers.  If you record all eight group outs, you could adjust the drum balance later.  

That's a quick breakdown on how we do it here, with the same console.

Jeremy Johnston
Technical Director
Christian Center - Kalispell
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Yohann Park

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2009, 06:53:50 PM »

What if you do not have the opportunity to master later, but only have the option to record on-the-fly?  This is my main concern.  I do understand all the comments/recommendations that you all have given me, but I don't know if I can implement any of this because the recording is uploaded onto the server on-the-fly.  I wish I could have the time to mix down!!!  I would love for my mixes to sound incredible!  Any suggestions guys/gals?
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2009, 11:20:27 PM »

For most applications any decent compressor will even it out enough to get a good enough quality for most applications. Just watch your output meters and ride your matrix master as needed.

In my application I have to do live "mastering" for a large 70v system and recording for instant dupe. Traditionally I have used simple compressors and tried a few DSP options without the success I was looking for. As such I have just picked up a TC Electronic P2, but it is rather expensive piece for what it does. That said if it does what it says on the tin it has a good chance of substantially "profesionalizing" my recordings.


Karl P
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2009, 11:38:07 PM »

No, with two inputs you have a world of EQ possibilities and you can pay undivided attention to subtly riding those two inputs to bring out the best spectral balance possible.

Effects and Dynamics can most surely help, but I wouldn't bring them in until I was happy with my mix without them. They add another layer, but they in no way make up for a "Flat" mix.

As those before me have already stated, this is either an operator problem or a talent problem.

Just to give some background I mixed for three or four years before I ever even ran into my first dynamics unit. Any while I made a lot of mistakes, I really learned how to make up a decent mix back then when I had smaller input lists and less distractions.

These days I am mixing 40 or more channels with dozens of dynamics and effects at any one time, but I have only gotten there by starting at the basic end and mastering that before moving on.

You need to learn to work with what you have an get a good sound and then learn to do that consistently. Once you master that you can begin to bring in dynamics and effects.

Karl P
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Re: Trying to make the mix not so "flat"
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2009, 11:38:07 PM »


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