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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #105 on: May 10, 2013, 09:54:27 AM »
Just his playing.  Processing was pretty simple and constant across the entire session: First mixed to stereo, then EQ, parallel comp, and just the slightest touch of width adjustment on a whim, all applied to that stereo mix-down.  The only thing different on So What and Chicken is that those have more volume envelope adjustments than the other tracks to knock down just the hottest drum hit peaks to get the overall dynamics manageable.  Those adjustments are both pretty small and rapid, and I listened pretty closely to make sure they didn't change the timbre of the hit or kill the energy of the groove.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #106 on: May 10, 2013, 11:21:08 AM »
Funny.  Last night at home I listened to the Soundcloud stream (which oddly didn’t play in the correct order) thinking "man, those cymbals do sound too bright to me", so I popped in an extra CD copy I'd burnt for the band to compare and the cymbals were maybe slightly hot but much cleaner and less ‘tizzy’ so I decided it was partly the data compression of the stream that was bugging me.  At that point I thought "what the hell, I should listen to the raw tracks off the recorder as straight multichannel playback" which is funny because that's usually the first thing I do once I get home- plug in the recorder and listen, each channel routed to it’s own speaker. 

But for a few reasons I never did that this time until last night: This was a session intended to produce 2ch material for the band, not a live surround recording for myself; I had already decided on the basics of the stereo mixdown at the session by using the DR680 monitor mixer to pan and balance a rough headphone mix for the musicians to listen to at the end of the session, which sounded good to everyone on the ‘phones; and I was heading out of town for a week and haven't had much free time to until now.

However, I had setup the three ADK TL mics in a configuration that was similar to the my current on-stage surround setup, simply because I knew that worked for similar instrumental jazz trios and should mix-down to 2-ch stereo well.  So I plugged in the 680 and routed the left TL to the left speaker, the center TL to the center speaker and the right TL to the right speaker and just ignored the two MG ORTF channels.

Wow, I should find a way to post those three individual mono tracks for anyone who wants to try playing them back that way.  It’s not technically as good as the full 5 channel surround on-stage recordings made in a good room with an audience (I checked that immediately afterwards since the raw files from the most recent BLR jazz trio recording was on the same card) but in a number of ways it’s significantly better than this 2-channel mixdown- specifically the solid and palpable imaging and general tonal balance.. at least that’s what I convinced myself of that last night.  The massaged stereo mix may be better in some other aspects.  I’ll have to listen again to really decide. It’s certainly better in the practical sense that the dynamics are managed and it can actually be easily distributed and listened to in stereo. 

Maybe I should look into setting up a dropbox account or something if anybody wants to hear the raw mono tracks.  I suppose I could throw some snippets of the raw 5 channel BLR surround stuff in there too.

It's a rare day when Lee opens his treasure chest.  :o  :)

Heh, the motivation to quickly mix these down to distributable stereo files came from needing to get something to the band!  That’s typically the only time I actually get around to finding the time and making the effort to do the post-recording work.  You all are my other motivation!
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Offline acidjack

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #107 on: May 10, 2013, 03:52:30 PM »
^^ Yeah, I wouldn't base any evaluation of something that specific off of Soundcloud. Their compression sounds pretty bad.

[Your samples sound great, though]
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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #108 on: May 10, 2013, 04:13:18 PM »
Just his playing.  Processing was pretty simple and constant across the entire session: First mixed to stereo, then EQ, parallel comp, and just the slightest touch of width adjustment on a whim, all applied to that stereo mix-down.  The only thing different on So What and Chicken is that those have more volume envelope adjustments than the other tracks to knock down just the hottest drum hit peaks to get the overall dynamics manageable.  Those adjustments are both pretty small and rapid, and I listened pretty closely to make sure they didn't change the timbre of the hit or kill the energy of the groove.

So I snaked out early and spun tracks 09 and 06 for a listen before packing.

Using what was posted, I wanted to favor a +3db bell curve centered around 1200hz (flat at 500 and again flat around 3700). I personally love that sort of air that you're getting above 10khz, but I'd be interested to hear one of them in the raw 5ch format to tinker with the mix myself and see if it has the same character or if that's a byproduct of the tri-mic mix. The oomph at 60hz was well reproduced, and I was surprised that it came through that well actually.

Maybe it was luck, but I noticed that the only energy in the top bit or so was drum hits, so I used a super crisp limiter at about 7db worth and almost never invaded anything other than those occasional explosions. Yeah yeah, it works towards flattening the mix, but I don't see much reason to lose detail in trade for the occasional blast, especially when I can keep most of it's character and bring up other details.

First mixed to stereo, then EQ, parallel comp, and just the slightest touch of width adjustment on a whim, all applied to that stereo mix-down.

Widen or Narrow?

When you did the mixdown, did you favor the center channel and use the other two channels as outriggers, or the opposite and use the center only as much as you thought necessary?

Well done. When I get back I'll have to dig out some choice cuts and try to up the ante.  ;) That's a tough act to follow actually...
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #109 on: May 10, 2013, 07:41:41 PM »
^^ Yeah, I wouldn't base any evaluation of something that specific off of Soundcloud. Their compression sounds pretty bad.

[Your samples sound great, though]

Thanks, I trust the ears and value the opinions of you all more than anyone else, except my own, including the musicians!  :P

Using what was posted, I wanted to favor a +3db bell curve centered around 1200hz (flat at 500 and again flat around 3700). I personally love that sort of air that you're getting above 10khz, but I'd be interested to hear one of them in the raw 5ch format to tinker with the mix myself and see if it has the same character or if that's a byproduct of the tri-mic mix. The oomph at 60hz was well reproduced, and I was surprised that it came through that well actually.

I'm with you.  I often like to bring up some presence range around 1200-2500 as well.  I think I did some of that here (can't remember exactly, I'd have to go back and open the Samplitude session to check how much and where) but I also thought later that it could use some more there.  I actually didn't get that impression on listening to this isolation, but in comparison to professionally recorded stuff.

The air up top around 10kHz and a good bit of the room ambience is from the MGefell M94 ORTF pair.  That aspect is what influenced the decision to mix what was originally intended as two separate sources, simultaneously recorded (the 3 ADKS and the ORTF Gefells).  When I combined the two while playing around with the headphone mix at the conclusion of the session to give the guys a listen, the mix really came alive. The M94s have a pretty good peak around 10K which is sweet in for diffuse field but can be a bit much that close, so I notched that down a bit. 

One thing that was interesting on listening to the discrete 3-channel TL playback last night was that it didn’t seem to suffer as much from the lack of that extra air as I remember the straight 3 TL 2-channel mix doing. There could be some cancellation in the 3 mic mix that mixing in the Gefells compensates for, or it could be psychoacoustic, or I could be imagining things.  I’ll have to listen to that again.

The bottom ooph quality and quantity somewhat surprised me too, especially since the TLs were all in supercardioid pattern and those MG M94 caps are a little light on the bottom.  The mics may have been close enough to the kick and one of the Leslie cabinets to get some slight proximity effect, but I attribute a lot of that to the on-floor placement of the TLs.  They are close enough to the floor to be within the boundary-effect zone effect at those frequencies. 

I’m really digging that on-floor setup for a few reasons:  it's out of audience sightlines, captures that solid bottom couple octaves, and minimizes floor reflections.  One of the big factors for me in placing the 3-mic setup is making sure the center mic is off-center from the main axis of the kick, but still relatively close to the kit.  I also make sure I have a clear line to the snare and angle it up towards it, not so high to get too much cymbals, though I try to get more cymbals in the Center than Left/Right and angling the Center up helps that too.  Those things collectively are the keys to good on-stage drums with the 3-mic setup for me.  Tapers seem worried about getting too close and getting too much drums when recording on-stage, this seems to manage that while giving me clear, clean drum transients without too much room sound.  Most everything else except vocals can usually stand to be more ambient than the drums in my thinking.

Quote
Maybe it was luck, but I noticed that the only energy in the top bit or so was drum hits, so I used a super crisp limiter at about 7db worth and almost never invaded anything other than those occasional explosions. Yeah yeah, it works towards flattening the mix, but I don't see much reason to lose detail in trade for the occasional blast, especially when I can keep most of it's character and bring up other details.

Thanks, that’s helpful.  You are more accomplished than I at transparent limiting, which is one reason I usually just get in there and volume envelope the big offenders.  It’s one of the things I need to play around with more to get the average level up to something more reasonable in mastering for the real world.

Quote
Widen or Narrow?

Widened by the smallest amount, not to actually make the image wider, but because it pushed the drums back from out of the listeners face ever so slightly and tamed the cymbals up top slightly.  That was a last moment impulse choice before bouncing these test mix tracks out.

Quote
When you did the mixdown, did you favor the center channel and use the other two channels as outriggers, or the opposite and use the center only as much as you thought necessary?

I try it both ways, sometimes it works better one way or the other.  I typically start with Left/Right and slowly bring up the Center and play around with that balance until it’s as smooth and seamless as possible. Recording gain on the center TL was set 4dB lower to begin with, and I think I ended up mixing them pretty evenly here.  There is some range of reasonable adjustment but since the idea of this 3-mic setup is to have stereo imaging interaction across all three mics, there isn’t nearly as much level adjustment range as a panned individual close mic setup without things going wacky.  The sweet spot is pretty obvious usually.

This in depth discussion has me thinking I really should have imported the 5 raw tracks into Samplitude and done the mix there like I usually would- I could then play with treating the two sources differently as required, like manage the M94 air without affecting the TLs and vice versa.

Quote
Well done. When I get back I'll have to dig out some choice cuts and try to up the ante.  ;)

Thanks.  I’d love to hear it.  Have an enjoyable trip.
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Offline Chuck

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #110 on: May 14, 2013, 10:15:30 AM »
So, a friend wants me to multi-track his opening slot on a big stage in town on Saturday.

It's him with acoustic guitar and vocals and a pedal steel player that doesn't sing.

The venue will let me do anything I want. They have three way mic splitters that run to the monitor mixing desk which leaves me with splits to use from any onstage mics.

My question is the best way to handle the audience microphones. This place is a real barn with a huge high ceiling and it sounds like a barn in there. I'm thinking about running a pair of cardioid mics, right on stage facing the audience, rather than putting the mics in the audience area.

In the past, I've set-up at the SBD with audience mics and got a SBD feed, but I haven't multi-tracked in this place yet.

If I run the audience mics on stage I won't get the sound from the PA, which generally sounds very boomy in there.

I'll be running my DR-680 and plan to run the channels:

1 - vocal mic (from splitter)
2 - acoustic guitar (splitter from DI) He plays standing up and moves around the whole time, so no spot mic.
3 - pedal steel guitar (split from on stage mic pointed at the steel players amp)
4
5 - audience mic (L)
6 - audience mic (R)

What do you guys think?
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Offline Jimna

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #111 on: May 14, 2013, 10:19:24 AM »
That is what I would do, including the cards backward on stage.  Also, since you have a channel to burn you might want to grab a second pedal steel channel via one of your own mics so you can mix him in stereo with the acoustic and vocal right down the middle.  It creates a nice stereo feel to a rather minimal recording.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 10:21:41 AM by Jimna »
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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #112 on: May 14, 2013, 10:25:40 AM »
Hey Jim, yeah, It hadn't occurred to me to put another mic on the pedal steel guy. But, that could make for a nice stereo spread.
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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #113 on: May 14, 2013, 10:29:50 AM »
yeah, if he has 2 cones in the amp I would mic each, if not mic the center of the cone and then the outside too, but be aware of the potential need to invert phase on one of the 2.  we did this on Jim Lewin for the Great American Taxi album that will be out in June or July, it created a crazy cool effect that was simply awesome and you cant simulate in hardware or software.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #114 on: May 14, 2013, 12:15:51 PM »
Sounds like a good approach to me.
The three splits are obvious and the audience facing cards are a good.

I'd definitely take advantage of the 6th channel if possible.  The idea of stereo mic'ing the steel sounds great.   I might pull the second mic back a bit to give it some depth..

or if it sounds halfway decent on stage, you might consider placing that extra mic so it isn't close mic'ing either the pedal steel or acoustic but is oriented to get both of them, picking up the stage acoustic but not much room.  That could sweeten up the DI guitar sound nicely (depending on the stage levels) and provide some depth dimension.  If the level from the acoustic guitar is to low for that to be useful you might clamp a mic halfway up the vocal mic stand or something to get it closer to the guitar.  If the guitar player wanders away it'll still get the steel bloom and stage dimension and you automatically fall back to the guitar DI sound.  I'm thinking that mic might be a ticket to the guitar sounding better on your recording than in the room.

[edit-  I 'd just prefer not having all the mics picking up the main sources close-mic'd and I dig the depth I get by having some mics in near proximity but not too far away.  However Jim is far more knowlegable about close-mic'ing and splits than I, so you'd probably do well to defer to his opinion!]
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:24:31 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Jimna

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #115 on: May 14, 2013, 12:37:26 PM »
IME not lining up a pair of mics intended for stereo creates issues with phasing and makes that second channel a loss.  In theory it sounds good but in reality its a time alignment nightmare....just my 2 cents.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #116 on: May 14, 2013, 12:54:26 PM »
Makes sense. Probably a situation where the 'either close-enough or far-enough away' guideline applies. 

I suppose I'm something of a depth junkie.  8)
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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #117 on: May 14, 2013, 12:55:25 PM »
Stereo micing the pedal steel will made a big difference I think. Maybe with a dynamic (assuming venue SM-57) mic and a condenser a bit farther away. Because other than the pair covering the audience everything will be mono. The pedal steel can be stereo and tie everything together. Like Jim said vox and guitar down the middle with a little stereo post processing reverb added to give some depth.

It's been a really long time since I've done anything like this.

I did run FOH live sound 3 nights/week when I was in my 20-30's. But, I always recorded that stuff live to two track from the SBD. I haven't mixed anything down in a really, really long time.  ;D  Mostly because I don't have the time or patience anymore. But this will be way easier to do rather than mixing down a full band with drums etc... after the fact. I'm looking forward to this.

edit to add:

Just saw Jim's response. Maybe I'll just run a pair of my condensers on the pedal steel and not use the house mic?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 12:57:29 PM by Chuck »
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Microphones: Microtech Gefell M300, AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, Sennheiser MKE 2 elements, CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and mod-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), Audix M1290-o, Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, Naiant MSH-1O, Naiant AKG Active cables, Church CA-11 (cardioid), (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #118 on: May 14, 2013, 01:03:23 PM »
I am getting paid so I have a different mentality and approach, but I never use house gear if possible, I want the best signal I can get and do risk house gear in that process.  I would use a wide card or card, the less bleed on a direct channel the better, no Dynamics if possible.  Best results for me is a SD sub-card with a LD card seem to blend well.  I love a MBHO sub-card with a Senn 421 on a guitar cab, the 2 are (.Y.) together.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 01:08:07 PM by Jimna »
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Re: on-stage taping
« Reply #119 on: May 14, 2013, 01:07:08 PM »
I do have a couple of Peavey dynamic SM-57 clones that I can bring along instead of extra condensers.
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Microphones: Microtech Gefell M300, AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, Sennheiser MKE 2 elements, CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and mod-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), Audix M1290-o, Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, Naiant MSH-1O, Naiant AKG Active cables, Church CA-11 (cardioid), (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
Pre-amps: Naiant littlebox, Naiant littlekit v2.0, BM2p+ Edirol UA-5, Church STC-9000
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Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
Recording website & blog: http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com

 

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