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Church and H.O.W. Forums for HOW Sound and AV - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Church and HOW Forums => Church Sound => Topic started by: Jason Lucas on September 22, 2012, 04:49:22 pm

Title: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 22, 2012, 04:49:22 pm
I've done a few recordings straight from the main mix on to USB, but every time I do it sound like there's no low end whatsoever. The bass and kick are almost none existent. It doesn't make much sense since I have those two instruments up a lot higher than most of the others. They should sound just as hot in the recording as they do in the speakers, wouldn't you think?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Matthew Donadio on September 22, 2012, 05:25:40 pm
Few things to check:

Are you positive that the main out is what is being recorded, and not another aux/group/matrix/alt?

Did you double check that the bass/kick are assigned to same out that is being recorded?

If you PFL/AFL the out that is being recorded, do you hear the bass/kick?

Can you monitor the in and the out from the recorder?  Do you hear the bass/kick?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on September 22, 2012, 05:43:19 pm
If you are talking about a board check from a mix done in a live room that is not in a very large room the stage wash from a live drum kit and big bass rig may reduce the level needed for them in the PA mix..

JR
 
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 22, 2012, 05:48:54 pm
Few things to check:

Are you positive that the main out is what is being recorded, and not another aux/group/matrix/alt?

Did you double check that the bass/kick are assigned to same out that is being recorded?

If you PFL/AFL the out that is being recorded, do you hear the bass/kick?

Can you monitor the in and the out from the recorder?  Do you hear the bass/kick?

Yep, I'm positive what is being recorded, I have the main left, right, and center all going to a matrix, and the USB recorder is getting its signal from that matrix. The matrix has no processing on it.

I'll try monitoring out of that matrix and seeing if I can hear the kick and bass.

JR: There is no rig for the stage, he's going direct through the system. The kick drum's signal is as hot as I can get it without the preamp clipping and I have the fader at +6 over unity and the main fader at unity, so I'm running the kick pretty hot, much hotter than other instruments that I can clearly hear in the recordings.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 22, 2012, 06:38:44 pm
Yep, I'm positive what is being recorded, I have the main left, right, and center all going to a matrix, and the USB recorder is getting its signal from that matrix. The matrix has no processing on it.

I'll try monitoring out of that matrix and seeing if I can hear the kick and bass.

JR: There is no rig for the stage, he's going direct through the system. The kick drum's signal is as hot as I can get it without the preamp clipping and I have the fader at +6 over unity and the main fader at unity, so I'm running the kick pretty hot, much hotter than other instruments that I can clearly hear in the recordings.

Check that the polarity of the multiple LF sources is the same.  If not, they'll cancel to a greater or lesser degree.  If the bass is going in direct and the kick is miked up, then there'll be a slight time differential in the signals, likely enough to cause some cancellation.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 22, 2012, 06:53:38 pm
Check that the polarity of the multiple LF sources is the same.  If not, they'll cancel to a greater or lesser degree.  If the bass is going in direct and the kick is miked up, then there'll be a slight time differential in the signals, likely enough to cause some cancellation.

Wouldn't I be able to hear that live?

I haven't ever experimented with the phase switch on either the kick or bass, but I've never heard the two instruments cancel each other out live.

Either way, I'm going to do some headphone monitoring tonight because I'm really curious why this is happening.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on September 22, 2012, 07:38:54 pm
Wouldn't I be able to hear that live?

I haven't ever experimented with the phase switch on either the kick or bass, but I've never heard the two instruments cancel each other out live.

Either way, I'm going to do some headphone monitoring tonight because I'm really curious why this is happening.

No the kick and bass do not cancel each other out, stage wash leaking into other open mics may be opposite polarity and causing them to cancel themselves out.

LF sounds are long acoustic wavelength so cancellation from leakage is more possible than from HF signals with their shorter wavelengths where the mics meed to be much closer together. 

Use headphones and compare the solo'd channel to the final mix, if there is cancellation it will be apparent there.  Another test is to mute the drum mic and see if it goes away completely, or if there is audible leakage into other mics.

JR
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Lee Buckalew on September 22, 2012, 08:51:15 pm
I've done a few recordings straight from the main mix on to USB, but every time I do it sound like there's no low end whatsoever. The bass and kick are almost none existent. It doesn't make much sense since I have those two instruments up a lot higher than most of the others. They should sound just as hot in the recording as they do in the speakers, wouldn't you think?

You say you are recording to a USB recorder.  Are you recording an MP3? What settings for the MP3?  The MP3 perceptual encoding and settings may well be a t least a part of what you are hearing.

Lee
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jay Barracato on September 22, 2012, 10:46:34 pm
If you are running the subs a lot hotter than the tops and you are mixing to what you hear then they are going to be lower in the recorded mix.

Also are you playing back through the same system?.
 
Checking your recording feed with a pair of headphones will help.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 23, 2012, 12:40:25 am
I tried flipping the phase switch on the kick channel, no change. Same with the bass channel. I did notice that when monitoring the kick that it sounds really thin and wimpy, no "oomph" to it at all. Probably explains why I couldn't hear it very well in the recording.

The recordings are 24bit, 48KHz wave files.

When I played the recordings back, I was listening through headphones.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Lee Buckalew on September 23, 2012, 12:43:51 am
I tried flipping the phase switch on the kick channel, no change. Same with the bass channel. I did notice that when monitoring the kick that it sounds really thin and wimpy, no "oomph" to it at all. Probably explains why I couldn't hear it very well in the recording.

The recordings are 24bit, 48KHz wave files.

When I played the recordings back, I was listening through headphones.

Then go back to Jay's comment and check how hot your subs are.  I am betting he's correct and that when you monitor the output of your console via headphones you will find that you have little bass there as well.

Lee
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Caleb Dueck on September 23, 2012, 12:55:51 am
Often, subs are run 6-12-ish dB hotter than the mains. This is usually done via DSP or some other method "downstream" of the console. Hence, signals as they leave the console, whether to DSP or to recording, are 6-12-ish dB low.

Caleb
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 23, 2012, 01:30:51 am
I don't think the microphone is picking up much low end from the kick drum. When I monitor it from the board it sounds really thin and whimpy, like a "tick, tick, tick", no real low end energy. The bass guitar on the other hand sounds pretty full.

Maybe we need to try a different kick mic? Or add a sub kick mic?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on September 23, 2012, 09:03:46 am
While we don't need to rehash "what's your favorite drum mic" this week, mic pattern and where it's placed will make some difference on the sound it picks up. The "thump" sound will be loudest from the middle of the drum head, while it is generally hard to not get any (check the mic).

JR
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 23, 2012, 11:31:28 am
While we don't need to rehash "what's your favorite drum mic" this week, mic pattern and where it's placed will make some difference on the sound it picks up. The "thump" sound will be loudest from the middle of the drum head, while it is generally hard to not get any (check the mic).

JR

I like the kick mic inside the drum about 3-4" from the beater and a tad off-center.  If you can't get "thump" from that position, your mic is seriously suspect.
Title: Re: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jay Barracato on September 23, 2012, 12:26:43 pm
I like the kick mic inside the drum about 3-4" from the beater and a tad off-center.  If you can't get "thump" from that position, your mic is seriously suspect.

I like to place a mic inside in the bottom center of the kick drum,

And one inside about 3 inches from the beater

And one in the outside of the beaker head away from the beater

And one in the outside at the beater

And a small lav type attached to the beater

And both the inside and outside of the front head

And then there are the top left and right on the shell

All of these should be polarity and time aligned to the lab on the beater. The mics inside the drums get negative delays while those outside the drums get positive delays.

After I also put the six mics I need on the snare my console is pretty much filled up. One of these days I would like to have a console large enough to try some vocal mics but until then I want to make sure I have the important stuff covered.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 23, 2012, 01:04:25 pm
Alright, well, I got a pre-EQ, pre-dynamics recording of the kick drum, what do you think?

http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/sb795ge7uw/kickdrumrecording.mp3
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 23, 2012, 01:17:06 pm
Alright, well, I got a pre-EQ, pre-dynamics recording of the kick drum, what do you think?

http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/sb795ge7uw/kickdrumrecording.mp3

Is that rattle coming from something in/on the drum or is it in the mic itself? 
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 23, 2012, 01:21:59 pm
Is that rattle coming from something in/on the drum or is it in the mic itself?

No idea.  ???
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: George Dougherty on September 23, 2012, 04:54:03 pm
Alright, well, I got a pre-EQ, pre-dynamics recording of the kick drum, what do you think?

http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/sb795ge7uw/kickdrumrecording.mp3

Seems fine here on my "studio" setup with mains and a sub that's reasonably well balanced.  Good amount of snap and definition with decent thump.

What mic do you have on the kick?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 23, 2012, 05:47:04 pm
It's a Superlux FK-2. Came from this little bundle: http://www.superlux.us/images/DRK_F5H3.pdf
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Brad Weber on September 23, 2012, 06:28:36 pm
I tried flipping the phase switch on the kick channel, no change. Same with the bass channel. I did notice that when monitoring the kick that it sounds really thin and wimpy, no "oomph" to it at all. Probably explains why I couldn't hear it very well in the recording.

The recordings are 24bit, 48KHz wave files.

When I played the recordings back, I was listening through headphones.
Alright, well, I got a pre-EQ, pre-dynamics recording of the kick drum, what do you think?

http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/sb795ge7uw/kickdrumrecording.mp3 (http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/sb795ge7uw/kickdrumrecording.mp3)
So are you saying that clip is how it sounds coming in to the channel but it is wimpy and thin after the channel processing?  What happens if you bypass all the channel processing and then monitor it?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 23, 2012, 06:44:40 pm
It's a Superlux FK-2. Came from this little bundle: http://www.superlux.us/images/DRK_F5H3.pdf

Did you take the link down?  I went back to have another listen to see if I could tell where the rattle was coming from and there's no clip there now.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 23, 2012, 06:51:00 pm
I can still hear it when I click the link. Not sure what's up. BTW I've done other recordings and that rattle wasn't there, that might have been just something going on that one day.

Won't be at the church until Wednesday so I'll have to wait until then before I can monitor the kick again.

I'm also still clueless why I can't hear the bass guitar at all in the recordings. If I record the bass guitar's individual channel it comes through clear as a bell.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Stefan Maerz on September 24, 2012, 12:29:45 am
This might be blatantly obvious, but is it possible you are playing back the music on lousy speakers? Perhaps lousy headphones?

"Wimpy" is a good adjective to describe the sound that your kick makes coming from my laptop speakers. For the most part, all I'm hearing through my laptop speakers is the beater click.

Through the speakers I mix with, the kick sounds pretty normal, aside from the hum that has been mentioned.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 24, 2012, 12:40:11 am
It could be that I was listening through headphones in a loud room at a lower volume.

Still doesn't change the fact that the kick is basically silent when I monitor the main mix.

And like I said, the signal is fairly hot. I have the gain almost as high as it can go without clipping, and I have the makeup gain on the compressor set pretty high too. Same with the main and channel faders. I can't for the life of me figure out where the issue is.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Kent Thompson on September 24, 2012, 01:12:16 am
Did you take the link down?  I went back to have another listen to see if I could tell where the rattle was coming from and there's no clip there now.

The rattle is coming from the bass ( causing a vibration on something on or in the bass drum (probably the microphone stand is up against the bass drum body). The rattle changes pitch with the bass. There is a loud noise that happens at around 6 & 7:19  probably a clip because the level raises at that point.
The recording sounds pretty decent to me on my monitors...
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Brad Weber on September 24, 2012, 07:33:01 am
I'm also still clueless why I can't hear the bass guitar at all in the recordings. If I record the bass guitar's individual channel it comes through clear as a bell.
Still doesn't change the fact that the kick is basically silent when I monitor the main mix.

And like I said, the signal is fairly hot. I have the gain almost as high as it can go without clipping, and I have the makeup gain on the compressor set pretty high too. Same with the main and channel faders. I can't for the life of me figure out where the issue is.
How are the bass and kick channels routed?  Have you tried bypassing all the related effects and processing, then maybe reinserting them one at a time to see how they are affecting the kick and bass?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on September 24, 2012, 11:39:25 am
When you mix signals together they tend to step on each other, so texture and details that are audible when solo'd alone can easily get lost in the final mix.

Generally drum and bass are pretty dominant sounds, but maybe you have other LF-MF sources stepping on them.

A crude spectral analysis of the track and the final mix might help reveal what is going on, while I don't suggest we mix with a SA.

JR

 
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Stefan Maerz on September 24, 2012, 04:36:21 pm
It could be that I was listening through headphones in a loud room at a lower volume.

Still doesn't change the fact that the kick is basically silent when I monitor the main mix.

And like I said, the signal is fairly hot. I have the gain almost as high as it can go without clipping, and I have the makeup gain on the compressor set pretty high too. Same with the main and channel faders. I can't for the life of me figure out where the issue is.
A wimpy kick can be a symptom of a speaker that has a weak low end (such as my laptop). Since myself and others are hearing a pretty full kick sound and you arn't, I kind of figured that your monitoring device is possibly suspect.

When you monitor the main mix (in our hypothetical example), you might hear the beater click, but not the low end thump (as seems to be the case when you solo it).

Personally I can say that sometimes I can loose the beater click sound in busy arrangements....thus, since you have lost the low end through the speaker and the click has been masked, you might not hear much at all.

A quick test might be just to post the main mix up.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 24, 2012, 04:42:16 pm
A wimpy kick can be a symptom of a speaker that has a weak low end (such as my laptop). Since myself and others are hearing a pretty full kick sound and you arn't, I kind of figured that your monitoring device is possibly suspect.


Don't think for a minute that the clip showed a "pretty full" kick sound.  If that's what you want the kick drum to sound like you could just use a drum trigger to activate a sample of a screen door slamming shut........
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 24, 2012, 05:12:25 pm
I can post a snip of the main mix recording, but I won't be at the church until Wednesday so I won't have access to the file until then.

I agree with Dick, I don't think that recording is all that "full" sounding, way too much beater head. But like I said before that recording is pre-EQ. I have a lot more "thump" and a lot less "click" coming through the mains than that.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 24, 2012, 05:21:55 pm
I can post a snip of the main mix recording, but I won't be at the church until Wednesday so I won't have access to the file until then.

I agree with Dick, I don't think that recording is all that "full" sounding, way too much beater head. But like I said before that recording is pre-EQ. I have a lot more "thump" and a lot less "click" coming through the mains than that.

As long as I'm being candid about the clip sound, I'd say that among all the factors to be considered is that it's an un-tuned drum and a cheapo kick mic.  Just the rattling alone would drive me to attack things with zip ties, gaff tape, drum key, crescent wrench and such.

GIGO
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 24, 2012, 06:06:01 pm
As long as I'm being candid about the clip sound, I'd say that among all the factors to be considered is that it's an un-tuned drum and a cheapo kick mic.  Just the rattling alone would drive me to attack things with zip ties, gaff tape, drum key, crescent wrench and such.

GIGO

I'd love to get a new kick mic.

I've recorded the kick drum in this manner before and there was no rattle. Makes me want to record it again this weekend to see if its still there.

The tuning is up to the drummers to take care of. Even if I knew how to tune a kick drum (which I don't, really) they'd rather have the drummer do it.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 24, 2012, 06:51:16 pm
I'd love to get a new kick mic.

I've recorded the kick drum in this manner before and there was no rattle. Makes me want to record it again this weekend to see if its still there.

The tuning is up to the drummers to take care of. Even if I knew how to tune a kick drum (which I don't, really) they'd rather have the drummer do it.

The crappier the drum, the closer I put the mic on the beater and the tighter I gate it.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: George Dougherty on September 24, 2012, 10:18:14 pm
Don't think for a minute that the clip showed a "pretty full" kick sound.  If that's what you want the kick drum to sound like you could just use a drum trigger to activate a sample of a screen door slamming shut........

Yeah, but it's got about as much bottom to it as I usually hear from just a Beta91 thrown inside the kick a few inches back from the beater.  It's very possible to get a workable kick sound from that.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 25, 2012, 09:10:59 am
Yeah, but it's got about as much bottom to it as I usually hear from just a Beta91 thrown inside the kick a few inches back from the beater.  It's very possible to get a workable kick sound from that.

There might be something usable in the sound after you discount the rattling and bleed from the rest of the kit.  But all the extraneous crap should be 86'ed first.  If you don't you'll just get more rattly crap when you boost the kick in the mix.

It almost sounds as if the HPF is engaged........
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 25, 2012, 01:05:13 pm
There might be something usable in the sound after you discount the rattling and bleed from the rest of the kit.  But all the extraneous crap should be 86'ed first.  If you don't you'll just get more rattly crap when you boost the kick in the mix.

It almost sounds as if the HPF is engaged........

I do use a HPF on the kick drum, but it's not engaged in that recording.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Tim Padrick on September 26, 2012, 02:10:38 am
I find that when playing pre-recorded music, most systems are bass heavy in at least some part of the below 100Hz spectrum.  This is likely contributory, as well as perhaps some of the other things mentioned.
Title: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Merlijn van Veen on September 26, 2012, 04:36:15 am
Again, this has been mentioned twice before AFAIK, because most subs are set up 6 to 12 dB's louder. Effectively shifting the crossover frequency, where subs and mains are equally loud, up. IMHO this seems to be the most likely reason for the lack of lows in the 2-track. Personally  I make a great effort to setup an equal amplitude or "flat" system. Without going into the pro's and con's of such a setup. I've never found my 2-track's lacking any lows. Ask yourself, would you record and mix in a studio, where the subs are 6 to 12 dB's louder?
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 26, 2012, 11:41:08 pm
Again, this has been mentioned twice before AFAIK, because most subs are set up 6 to 12 dB's louder. Effectively shifting the crossover frequency, where subs and mains are equally loud, up. IMHO this seems to be the most likely reason for the lack of lows in the 2-track. Personally  I make a great effort to setup an equal amplitude or "flat" system. Without going into the pro's and con's of such a setup. I've never found my 2-track's lacking any lows. Ask yourself, would you record and mix in a studio, where the subs are 6 to 12 dB's louder?

I understand and agree, but the one thing that doesn't make sense is that I'm running the kick drum about as hot as I possibly can without clipping. I mean, that thing is cranked. If the gain knob was up by just 1 click more the preamp (actually the A/D converter in this case) would overload. I also have the digital attenuator boosting the signal by 2dB (would you call that "un-attenuating"? lol) and I have a compressor, with enough make up gain to have the output meter as high as the pre-comp meter. And I have a boost in the lows around 3dB on the EQ. And, finally, I have the channel fader at about 6dB over unity.

So, the only way I can see it being any hotter is either boosting more on the EQ or maxing out the channel fader. Or both.

The bass guitar I could run a little hotter, but I still run that one pretty hot, too.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 27, 2012, 02:11:28 am
Don't hear any rattle in this one: http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/1rz7z5mu3w/kickdrum.mp3

I don't know what the time difference is between the two, not sure which one was recorded first. So I'm still going to check this Sunday and see if I hear rattle.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Sidney.Pilien on September 27, 2012, 02:54:30 pm


If you are recording from stereo mains (tops) and running bass and kick to subs  to and aux, I'm assuming, then your recording source is not getting any bass or kick. If so, you need them up in the house mix. There is no technical problem in this. There is simply no bass or kick in the source. I'm not too familiar with matrix so I'm assuming the source is stereo house mix.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 27, 2012, 07:22:10 pm
Our sub is not AUX fed. We send the bass and kick to the main mix along with everything else and send the full main mix to the sub, and use its built in cross-over to feed the tops.

The bass and kick are being recorded, they're just extremely quiet for some reason.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Kent Thompson on September 28, 2012, 11:00:30 am
Of course no one can tell for sure without being there but, it is beginning to sound like your subs are running hot so your mixing to it being that way. If your subs were being run a little lower it might represent more of what you are hearing coming out of the mixer and being recorded.

Just to note digital metering does not always work the same as analog so what looks soft on a digital meter may be much louder than what you think. You may be misjudging how loud the kick is on the recording. It may be that everything else on the recording is too loud.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 28, 2012, 11:46:03 am
Of course no one can tell for sure without being there but, it is beginning to sound like your subs are running hot so your mixing to it being that way. If your subs were being run a little lower it might represent more of what you are hearing coming out of the mixer and being recorded.

Just to note digital metering does not always work the same as analog so what looks soft on a digital meter may be much louder than what you think. You may be misjudging how loud the kick is on the recording. It may be that everything else on the recording is too loud.

Additionally, a board dub will always be a "board dub" if the board is being used for live sound.  If you want the recording to sound like a recording, then you've got to do a separate, dedicated record mix either via a matrix mix or a split to a dedicated recording console.

If it's loud in the house, it'll be light in the dub.  That's just the way it is.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 28, 2012, 01:03:37 pm
Speaking of all of that, I was playing around with a multi-track recording I have of the band (where each input was recorded pre-EQ, pre-dynamics, pre-HPF, etc) and when the faders in my DAW were all at unity the kick and bass were completely drowned out. So I think you're right Kent, the digital meters are not accurately representing the volume of each input. The acoustic guitar was the loudest thing in there, with the synthesizer a close second. Had to turn everything else way down to make the kick really come through.

So all of this being said now, what's the best way to get a stereo mix that accurately represents the mix that I hear in the room? Is multi-track the only real option?

Getting the subs, tops, and center cluster to all produce sound at the same volume is difficult, because each one has its own volume control and each one is a different brand with different DSP (or no DSP in the case of the center cluster). Unfortunately, level-matching them accurately is beyond my current skill level as a sound tech.

It's not a huge deal or anything since we don't publish our worship recordings, only the sermons. But I'd still like to be able to get an accurate board mix of our worship, even if it's only for the team.
Title: Setting up record mixes
Post by: Mac Kerr on September 28, 2012, 01:17:19 pm
So all of this being said now, what's the best way to get a stereo mix that accurately represents the mix that I hear in the room? Is multi-track the only real option?

Dedicate a couple of post fader aux sends to recording. If you have stereo auxes that would be great. At soundcheck get the band sounding right on stage, then use headphones with good isolation to listen to the record auxes as you set up the record mix. Once you have a good mix on both, the record mix will track the level changes you make different songs, solos, etc. It won't give you the level of control you would have with a multi track that you mix later, but it will be much better than the PA mix.

Mac
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 28, 2012, 01:19:47 pm
Speaking of all of that, I was playing around with a multi-track recording I have of the band (where each input was recorded pre-EQ, pre-dynamics, pre-HPF, etc) and when the faders in my DAW were all at unity the kick and bass were completely drowned out.

That's what happens when you try to mix with your eyes.....
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on September 28, 2012, 02:00:34 pm
Speaking of all of that, I was playing around with a multi-track recording I have of the band (where each input was recorded pre-EQ, pre-dynamics, pre-HPF, etc) and when the faders in my DAW were all at unity the kick and bass were completely drowned out. So I think you're right Kent, the digital meters are not accurately representing the volume of each input. The acoustic guitar was the loudest thing in there, with the synthesizer a close second. Had to turn everything else way down to make the kick really come through.

So all of this being said now, what's the best way to get a stereo mix that accurately represents the mix that I hear in the room? Is multi-track the only real option?

Getting the subs, tops, and center cluster to all produce sound at the same volume is difficult, because each one has its own volume control and each one is a different brand with different DSP (or no DSP in the case of the center cluster). Unfortunately, level-matching them accurately is beyond my current skill level as a sound tech.

It's not a huge deal or anything since we don't publish our worship recordings, only the sermons. But I'd still like to be able to get an accurate board mix of our worship, even if it's only for the team.
You have two options.

1: Figure out how to get more control from the board - Mac's suggestion, a real multi-track rig, splitter to another board with another operator doing a recording mix, etc.

2: Re-tune your PA so you don't have as large a bass boost pre-programmed.  If the room is more neutral, then the recorder mix will match better.  Unless you have virtually no stage volume you'll never get all the way there, as a lot of sound filling the room doesn't even go through the PA, and therefore is missing from the recorder as well, but it may be an improvement.  The other caveat is lower-end mixers may not have the EQ facilities to get the sound where it needs to be without some "pre-contouring" of the room in the DSP.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 28, 2012, 03:09:03 pm
That's what happens when you try to mix with your eyes.....

I don't mix with my eyes.

I was simply making the comment that two instruments with about the same signal level had dramatically different perceived loudness levels, which I didn't realize would be the case until I listened. Wasn't talking about how I mix.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 28, 2012, 03:19:44 pm
I don't mix with my eyes.

I was simply making the comment that two instruments with about the same signal level had dramatically different perceived loudness levels, which I didn't realize would be the case until I listened. Wasn't talking about how I mix.

That's how you were "mixing" the recording.....trusting your eyes looking at meters which showed "about the same signal level".

Yes, perceived loudness is the crux of the matter.  Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour

You should have a matrix or a pair of auxes on the Roland to do a separate record mix.

Good luck and have a nice journey.

Edit:

So you're sending your mix out of the console to the speakers.  You want the audience to hear (perceive) the various octaves in the mix at appropriately "equal" levels so that neither the HF or the LF predominate. 

The meters all look nice and the house mix is fine.  Now consider what you're using to deliver the various octaves of sound to the listeners.

Your HF drivers are fairly small and rated at under 100W.  Your LF drivers are proportionally larger and rated at perhaps 10x the wattage of the hi's........all to deliver the same SPL to the listeners in their designed bands.

What does that tell you about "perceived loudness"?  Understand what the meters are......and aren't......telling you.  Consider dialing your subs back if you can to better balance your system with regard to what your mix sounds like when "in the cans".

Title: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Rob Spence on September 28, 2012, 04:20:53 pm
I may have missed it but what make and model headphones are you using?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 28, 2012, 04:25:19 pm
That's how you were "mixing" the recording.....trusting your eyes looking at meters which showed "about the same signal level".

Yes, perceived loudness is the crux of the matter.  Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour

You should have a matrix or a pair of auxes on the Roland to do a separate record mix.

Good luck and have a nice journey.

Edit:

So you're sending your mix out of the console to the speakers.  You want the audience to hear (perceive) the various octaves in the mix at appropriately "equal" levels so that neither the HF or the LF predominate. 

The meters all look nice and the house mix is fine.  Now consider what you're using to deliver the various octaves of sound to the listeners.

Your HF drivers are fairly small and rated at under 100W.  Your LF drivers are proportionally larger and rated at perhaps 10x the wattage of the hi's........all to deliver the same SPL to the listeners in their designed bands.

What does that tell you about "perceived loudness"?  Understand what the meters are......and aren't......telling you.  Consider dialing your subs back if you can to better balance your system with regard to what your mix sounds like when "in the cans".

Oh, oh, oh. I'm sorry, I didn't realize I gave the impression that I was using the meters to mix.

I only use the meters to set gain structure. I use my ears to set the actual volume levels.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 28, 2012, 04:27:05 pm
I may have missed it but what make and model headphones are you using?

Sony MDRs, don't know the exact model. The ones with the blue sticker that says "professional".
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Kent Thompson on September 28, 2012, 05:32:06 pm
So I think you're right Kent, the digital meters are not accurately representing the volume of each input.

That is not what I was saying. The digital meter are accurate they just use a different method to display the signal.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 28, 2012, 06:06:10 pm
That is not what I was saying. The digital meter are accurate they just use a different method to display the signal.

Right. All I meant to say was that two instruments can have similar signal levels, and the meters can be showing those levels accurately, but those levels won't necessarily translate to the perceived loudness of each instrument.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 28, 2012, 06:49:19 pm
Right. All I meant to say was that two instruments can have similar signal levels, and the meters can be showing those levels accurately, but those levels won't necessarily translate to the perceived loudness of each instrument.

That's because they're not meant to show "loudness".  They show voltage.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 28, 2012, 06:54:17 pm
That's because they're not meant to show "loudness".  They show voltage.

Right, I was aware of that, I just didn't know that there would be such a dramatic difference between the signal level/voltage and the perceived loudness. Now I know! :)
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Ryan O John on September 29, 2012, 01:15:44 am
If you are running the subs a lot hotter than the tops and you are mixing to what you hear then they are going to be lower in the recorded mix.

Also are you playing back through the same system?.
 
Checking your recording feed with a pair of headphones will help.


What he said ^^

Or solo up the mains, listen to it in headphones, and mute the actual PA, and see what kind of low end is in your headphones...
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Sidney.Pilien on September 29, 2012, 03:44:56 pm
Right, I was aware of that, I just didn't know that there would be such a dramatic difference between the signal level/voltage and the perceived loudness. Now I know! :)

What you hear with your ears(perceived loudness) and what you see on the meters are totally different animals, especially on digital boards. After A/D conversion, you can't get hotter than 0 DBFS because everything is measured from 0 DB Full Scale down. There is no voltage.

So when recording, your number one priority is not what you hear with your ears but what you see on the record level meters. This especially true on multi-tracking. But in your case, you only have a stereo track so the real concern is the balance between all the channels summed to a single track which is exactly the house mix. I'm assuming what you are recording is the FOH stereo  mix.

Everything else is coming through strong except 2 channels. You can hear them but not loud enough. Crank up the bass/kick channel fader and eq up 6db or more with all amps off and check level at daw. It should come up and if it does, drop the subs amp levels. What you have is a routing/mix problem so you need to do whatever it takes, switch channels, change levels or whatever.

No on here seems to know your board so if nothing works, check with Roland or a Roland forum. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Jason Lucas on October 29, 2012, 08:41:01 pm
By the way this weekend I adjusted the mic placement on the kick drum and I think that helped a bit. The mic was about halfway in the drum basically pointing directly at the beater. Now mic is barely inside and pointing off-center slightly. It's less of a "click" now and more of a "thunk", which is more of what I was looking for. I no longer feel like I have to cut high end out.

I haven't done a stereo recording for a while but I think it's going to be a little better, it sounded okay when I monitored the main mix through the headphones. If it's still not enough I think I know how to fix it regardless.
Title: Re: Lack of bass in recordings
Post by: Tim Weaver on October 29, 2012, 11:29:51 pm
I tried flipping the phase switch on the kick channel, no change. Same with the bass channel. I did notice that when monitoring the kick that it sounds really thin and wimpy, no "oomph" to it at all. Probably explains why I couldn't hear it very well in the recording.

The recordings are 24bit, 48KHz wave files.

When I played the recordings back, I was listening through headphones.

This is the clue.


Think of it this way. THe recording is a "mirror image" of how well you set up your PA. If you have your subs too hot compared to the mids and highs, there will be no bass on the recording. Or in your PFL buss for that matter.