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Author Topic: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?  (Read 3104 times)

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Offline kuuan

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4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« on: October 16, 2006, 12:29:45 AM »
Quote from: OFOTD
With the rise in people owning R4's and 744's I am shocked that there is not more 4 channel discussion on mics combinations and configurations.   Maybe someone needs to start one?

from the same thread, http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=72769.0;all

Quote from: busman2
I have a hard time doing 2 mic recordings now that I have run 4 mics a few times it just sounds huge and in your face.
Quote from: MattH
I could not agree more with this statement. Mod or unmodded, 4 mics seems to sound much better than two.
Quote from: BrianSkalinder
I've had mixed results running 4-ch.  I've mostly run my 414s split omni + a center pair of ORTF/DIN/DINA cards or hypers.  I recently tried XY for the center pair and if my recent Tortoise recording is any indication, I like the sound much better...

OFOTD refers to R4 and 744 owners, 4 channel recorders. Certainly this topic would deserve an exchange of experiences.

my personal question:
  • Does it make sense to record with two stereo mics, thus 4 chanels, to a two channel recorder?

If so, how to best do it? Can anybody please explain?
Could I use a mixer to mix two left and two right channels to make one left and right channel?

If so I'd love to build a mixer, and try to do a similar mic config. as Brian mentiones using my AT822 and my pair of SP-CMC4s ( for which I plan to get omni capsules )

Could this mixer do the job?: http://sound.westhost.com/project94.htm
Can I use my preamps before the mixer?
Could I use the second stage only?: http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/p94-f2.gif

Any suggestion of any other mixer?
How about the following?:
http://www.aaroncake.net/circuits/mixer2.htm
http://home.maine.rr.com/randylinscott/may20.htm

Obviously I am a bloody beginner and my questions could be stupid. But I love to experiment and build my own small toys, and I'd be very grateful for any suggestion to kickstart my DIY project to mix two stereo mics to record to my iriver.
Hope that somebody can tell me if this is possible, and if so, how best to do it.
thank you,
andreas
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 07:24:46 PM by kuuan »
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

Offline muj

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2006, 01:04:57 AM »
you can record the 4 channels or more at the show, go home use a good da converter and then mix & sum via the new universal audio Desktop Console System, then to a master disc /medium.


what i am trying to say is


the possibilities are endless imo.

RebelRebel

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2006, 07:20:34 AM »
Yes...I used the wendt x4 mixer to do this , and successfully, quite a bit. You have to really be aware of what is going on around you and have good ears to ride faders when needed. but yes..it is a very practical way of working.


FWIW, about 70% of all professional classical recording engineers work in this manner...mixing several sources down to 2 via a mixer(usually line level, sometimes mic level)..



Quote from: OFOTD
With the rise in people owning R4's and 744's I am shocked that there is not more 4 channel discussion on mics combinations and configurations.   Maybe someone needs to start one?

from the same thread, http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=72769.0;all

Quote from: busman2
I have a hard time doing 2 mic recordings now that I have run 4 mics a few times it just sounds huge and in your face.
Quote from: MattH
I could not agree more with this statement. Mod or unmodded, 4 mics seems to sound much better than two.
Quote from: BrianSkalinder
I've had mixed results running 4-ch.  I've mostly run my 414s split omni + a center pair of ORTF/DIN/DINA cards or hypers.  I recently tried XY for the center pair and if my recent Tortoise recording is any indication, I like the sound much better...

OFOTS refers to R4 and 744 owners, 4 channel recorders. Certainly this topic would deserve an exchange of experiences.

my personal question:
  • Does it make sense to record with two stereo mics, thus 4 chanels, to a two channel recorder?

If so, how to best do it? Can anybody please explain?
Could I use a mixer to mix two left and two right channels to make one left and right channel?

If so I'd love to build a mixer, and try to do a similar mic config. as Brian mentiones using my AT822 and my pair of SP-CMC4s ( for which I plan to get omni capsules )

Could this mixer do the job?: http://sound.westhost.com/project94.htm
Can I use my preamps before the mixer?
Could I use the second stage only?: http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/p94-f2.gif

Any suggestion of any other mixer?
How about the following?:
http://www.aaroncake.net/circuits/mixer2.htm
http://home.maine.rr.com/randylinscott/may20.htm

Obviously I am a bloody beginner and my questions could be stupid. But I love to experiment and build my own small toys, and I'd be very grateful for any suggestion to kickstart my DIY project to mix two stereo mics to record to my iriver.
Hope that somebody can tell me if this is possible, and if so, how best to do it.
thank you,
andreas

Offline kuuan

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2006, 01:42:56 PM »
Yes...I used the wendt x4 mixer to do this , and successfully, quite a bit. You have to really be aware of what is going on around you and have good ears to ride faders when needed. but yes..it is a very practical way of working.


FWIW, about 70% of all professional classical recording engineers work in this manner...mixing several sources down to 2 via a mixer(usually line level, sometimes mic level)..
thank you very much Teddy, your post makes me confident to try this out.

But I do not understand yet how to mix two stereo Mics into one stereo signal. I do not have any experience with mixing nor do I know anybody I could watch doing it.

E.g. the circuit ( http://sound.westhost.com/project94.htm ) first has a buffer and it says, quote: A microphone preamp is a must if very low level signals are intended. The next stage is a socalled 'standard Baxandall feedback tone control' featuring bass and trebel controls
at the end comes the mixer which they call a 'common "virtual earth" mixing amplifier'.

I don't understand how the whole package really works and what I really need:
Do I need the buffer?
Do I really need the tone controls? - OK, I agree, better to have the tone controls, but I want to understand how the mixing itself works?
Could the mixer alone be sufficient. But how does it work?

Looking at the mixer circuit all I see is that it simply combines the various right channels to just one right channel, and the various left to one left channel - it simply puts them together! and then goes into an opamp amplifying the signal and finally adds a pot to adjust the final output.
Well, if this is so, - simply adding the right and left channels after their tone adjustments, why do I need a mixer then at all??? Could I not simply go with my 2 stereo mics into an stereo preamp each, and then simply adding the two right channels and the two left channels into a new single right and left channel after I adjust their gain on the preamp?

Or is having the tone controls what enables an effective mixing?

The other two mixers I had linked seem to make more sense as every channel first has it's own level adjustment. The tone adjustments are after the channels have been added, only in the final mix which could be a disadvantage.

Hopefully my questions are not to dumb for you experienced guys, hopefully you can help me to understand and to decide how to proceed, resp. which circuit to build.

thank's a lot,
andreas
 
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

RebelRebel

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 03:18:33 PM »
get a good mixer...like the mackie onyx or the WENDT X4..and youll be fine..
Yes...I used the wendt x4 mixer to do this , and successfully, quite a bit. You have to really be aware of what is going on around you and have good ears to ride faders when needed. but yes..it is a very practical way of working.


FWIW, about 70% of all professional classical recording engineers work in this manner...mixing several sources down to 2 via a mixer(usually line level, sometimes mic level)..
thank you very much Teddy, your post makes me confident to try this out.

But I do not understand yet how to mix two stereo Mics into one stereo signal. I do not have any experience with mixing nor do I know anybody I could watch doing it.

E.g. the circuit ( http://sound.westhost.com/project94.htm ) first has a buffer and it says, quote: A microphone preamp is a must if very low level signals are intended. The next stage is a socalled 'standard Baxandall feedback tone control' featuring bass and trebel controls
at the end comes the mixer which they call a 'common "virtual earth" mixing amplifier'.

I don't understand how the whole package really works and what I really need:
Do I need the buffer?
Do I really need the tone controls? - OK, I agree, better to have the tone controls, but I want to understand how the mixing itself works?
Could the mixer alone be sufficient. But how does it work?

Looking at the mixer circuit all I see is that it simply combines the various right channels to just one right channel, and the various left to one left channel - it simply puts them together! and then goes into an opamp amplifying the signal and finally adds a pot to adjust the final output.
Well, if this is so, - simply adding the right and left channels after their tone adjustments, why do I need a mixer then at all??? Could I not simply go with my 2 stereo mics into an stereo preamp each, and then simply adding the two right channels and the two left channels into a new single right and left channel after I adjust their gain on the preamp?

Or is having the tone controls what enables an effective mixing?

The other two mixers I had linked seem to make more sense as every channel first has it's own level adjustment. The tone adjustments are after the channels have been added, only in the final mix which could be a disadvantage.

Hopefully my questions are not to dumb for you experienced guys, hopefully you can help me to understand and to decide how to proceed, resp. which circuit to build.

thank's a lot,
andreas
 

Offline kuuan

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 11:14:18 PM »
I was hoping to build one.
If I buy on this one: http://www.guitarcenter.com/shop/product/buy_behringer_eurorack_ubb1002_10input_mixer?full_sku=103565974&src=4WBZ4DS
would be more in my prize range.
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

RebelRebel

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2006, 11:15:54 PM »
I was hoping to build one.
If I buy on this one: http://www.guitarcenter.com/shop/product/buy_behringer_eurorack_ubb1002_10input_mixer?full_sku=103565974&src=4WBZ4DS
would be more in my prize range.

behringer is crap..

build one...

Offline kuuan

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2006, 11:34:08 PM »
behringer is crap..

build one...

OK..

mind that I only use unballanced mics and that my standard is so much lower than yours.
Is it 'that' bad?
Building is fun, but looking at this Behringer, bif I buy only all these pots and connectors for DIY cost me more than the 99 USD it costs.
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

RebelRebel

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2006, 11:41:16 PM »
hey man..YMMV..I wouldnt use anything from that company.


they are thieves too.
behringer is crap..

build one...

OK..

mind that I only use unballanced mics and that my standard is so much lower than yours.
Is it 'that' bad?
Building is fun, but looking at this Behringer, bif I buy only all these pots and connectors for DIY cost me more than the 99 USD it costs.

Offline muj

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2006, 01:16:15 AM »
behringer is evil. haven't we all seen  the movie "Omen"??? >:D >:DUri Behringer is a son of a beast. ;D

Offline kuuan

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2006, 04:01:51 PM »
hey man..YMMV..I wouldnt use anything from that company.


they are thieves too.

OK, OK, thieves, shall not mention them any more.

Teddy thank you for taking me 'serious' which must be a challenge.

- seems that for mixing min. requirement is a resistor ( 1 k? ) before 'joining' 2  channels?
- and I guess also min. tone controls for each channel - to 'match' the sounds of 2 mics?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 04:08:27 PM by kuuan »
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

Offline ghellquist

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2006, 12:06:49 PM »
Hi, some ideas.

Personally I do mostly classical music, and I guess my mics is on a bit higher budget. This should not stop you from experimenting, half of the fun in recording is trying all those crazy setups, one of them might be the solution to a very specific problem.

There is a lot of things you can try with two mics first though. You could start by trying the distance between the mics and listen to the sound and stereo stage. If all you have is two stereo mics, then use one half of each mic (no need for a mixer, just cables). Assuming you then have two directional mics (or halves of two stereo mics), the you could try things like:
- XY : both mics in same place, but pointing different ways
- ORTF or DIN : a small distance between the mics, still pointing different ways
- Spaced : a further distance between the mics, pointing more or less forward.

Pan the mics hard left, hard right. As you move the mics further and further away you will reach a situation with the famous "hole in the middle". You will hear it lika sound coming from each speaker, but nothing in between. The stereo image is lost.

This is one situation where you would want to mix three mics. You may want to add a third mic in the middle, panned center. Add to taste to fill the hole.

A totally different variation: you might be able to have a stereo mic in the room, catching most of the perfomance and then add a mic on one or a few instruments / singers that does not really make it out into the room.

Clearly, having the possibility to mix several mics can help you make much better recordings, even when most of the sound comes from the "main" mics. Only experience will allow you tap this potential.

In your question though, you ask when to sum two stereo mics. In my experience very rarely, if ever. I might use it to capture the ambience of a room in a classical recording. The first (main) stereo pair would give me most of the sound and be rather close to the stage. Further back in the room I would place the second stero mic and add to taste to get a little more reverb in the room. But most often I cannot be bother and add the reverb in post production in my software instead. I would probably pan both stereo mics hard left/hard right.

Again, experiment and have fun.

Gunnar

Offline kuuan

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2006, 12:02:27 PM »
Hi Gunnar,

thank you very much for your suggestions. My AT822 is a XY mic, and only today, after a long delay, I received the SP-CMC4s I had bought at the yardsale here., Only now I can start to experiment, it's time to get more recording experience!

Since you say 'summing' two stereo mics won't improove things but adding reverb maybe there is no use for a mixer then, is it?

Still the thought of using the AT822 in the middle and the SP-CMC4 e.g. as spread omnis and mix those seemed to be an appealing idea.  However I encounter quite many problems there: I just found out that my DIY preamps give a satisfactory, high level signal with the SP-CMC4s, but with the AT822 it is much lower, too low I believe. So mixing these two I'd have to reduce the signal of the CMC4s to the unsatisfactory level of the AT822...
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

Offline Todd R

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2006, 06:00:23 PM »
Got a chance to play a bit more with my Marenius MM4210 4-ch mixer last night.  Did some recording of Fareed Haque onstage (well, stage lip technically, but the stage is just a 7" riser. :P )  I had planned on doing a center DIN cards pair with flanking mics set up to pick up the tabla on one side and pick up the keyboard amp a bit better on the far left.

But I was given the opportunity for using the soundboard outs.  Unfortunately, only had one 25' XLR cable, the other was only 15' -- needed the extra length to both run onstage and get the soundboard.  So I kept the single C4 on the keyboard (panned mainly left), the AKG ck61 DIN pair (panned hard left and right), and ran a single channel from the mono out of the soundboard, panned center.  Ran the onstage mics fairly high in the mix, probably at least the same level as the board, since the board didn't have a balanced representation of the instruments (since it was such a small club).  Still, even with a good amount of mics in the mix, the overall mix was fairly mono-ish.  But other than that, it came out very nice.  Far better recording than I usually get out of this small, chatty bar.

Check out the torrent if you're interested in hearing how it sounds:  http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=75229.0
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

Offline kuuan

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2006, 09:25:49 PM »
Hi Gunnar,

thank's again for your beginner's guide :), your suggestions how to experiment with 2 mics without a mixer.

When you say:
Quote
Pan the mics hard left, hard right
and
Quote
You may want to add a third mic in the middle, panned center

does panning refer to pan on a mixer though?
does 'panning centre' of a single mic mean that it's signal goes equally to the right and left channels?
'panning hard left and hard right' applies when using two seperate mics, not to a single stereo mic, yes?

Panning seemes to be an essential part of mixing individual mics. The DIY mixers I was looking at only adjust levels but panning doesn't make sense when using 2 stereo mics anyway, is it?. Or could it make sense to pan each channel a bit to the other channel?

You explain that 'summing' two stereo mics isn't done. I wonder if Chuck wants to do that with his line mixer ( see: Circuit help needed for battery line mixer' here http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=75397.0 )

Todd R thank you very much for your 'illustration', really gives me an idea of how mixing works.
Wished I could listen to your recording, but I don't have anything to upload..

« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 05:20:03 AM by kuuan »
Everything you do through out the day, every thought and every feeling leaves an impression stored inside you.
These impressions create tendencies, their sum total is your character.
gear: SP-CMC8+AT853 cards+omnis, AT822>DIY preamp>iRiverH120rockboxed

Offline ghellquist

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Re: 4 channel recording to a two channel recorder with a mixer?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2006, 01:18:14 AM »
Hi kuuan,
     missed your post.

You are dead on with panning - I referr to the pan pot on a mixer. In the center the signal goes equally to both sides.

With a little mixer you should be able to do a lot of experimenting with your mics. There is a bit of conventional wisdom in the area, but as always the only way to learn is to make all the experiments yourself. Good tools makes life so much easier, a few mics, a mixer, good headphones, but I guess you already know this, and what kind of hole it makes in the wallet. After a while in gear land the appetite seems to grow, my mic locker and the accompaning bank loan is testiment to that.

Gunnar

 

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