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Author Topic: How can I prevent recordings with vocals in one channel and band in the other?  (Read 2568 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Still need to rotate the rig to point directly at the audible acoustic center no mater the location, centered or otherwise.  The common problem is that the acoustic center and visual center frequently differ.  If it's particularly bad, with differing lopsidedness's for various instruments or parts of the mix you'll need to choose what is most important to have centered in the resulting recording (the vocal presumably) and let the rest fall where it may.
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Offline jj69

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^^ that’s what it sounds like to me. Standing close to the stage, direct sound from stage in one mice, PA in the other. Seems the solution would be to move bak and center on the stack, even with omnis you’ll still end up with a portly balanced tape (although easier to fix than the cards

No, this was not the situation at all.  I was in the sweet spot, dead center in front of the stage between the two monitors and about 2/3 back from the stage.  75% of the time  this produces a well balanced recording in this room, but 25% of the time I get vocals dominant in one channel.  The stage  is on the long wall in a rectangular room, resulting in the ceiling mounted PA monitors being farther apart than they should be.  The room desperately needs a center fill channel.  I just wish I could find a way to reduce that 25% figure but I'm not sure what else I can do.  I'm guessing the mic on my right shirt collar must have shifted too far outward.  I have to remember to get my shirt starched at the cleaners. 


Offline jj69

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I was not able to make the pseudo mid-side mix work.  Mono is out of the question for me. 

The best result I've been able to get so far has been through use of the "Music Rebalance" feature in Izotope RX7.  I used that feature to isolate the lead vocal from the right channel.  I then inverted the polarity of the isolated vocal and I "Mix Pasted" that inverted isolated vocal track into the the left channel.  I found that after isolating the lead vocal, I had to significantly reduce the gain on the resulting isolated vocal track before pasting it into the left channel.  I'm not sure why.  It could be an artifact of the Music Rebalance process.  The vocals were actually too loud in the mix in general for this show, so that is a factor as well. 

The result I got was very natural sounding, but the vocals are still too dominant in the mix.  I'm going to try using Music Rebalance to reduce the gain on the vocal in the original right channel by a couple of db to see if that helps...


Offline Gutbucket

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More starch!  ;)
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Scooter123

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Or Center Channel Extract in RX7 would work perfect, the software taking the perceived center of the two channels and extracting that as a separate source.  Add the two original sources plus the extract to a DAW (Reaper ProTools, etc) and mix the three sources accordingly. 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 07:53:20 PM by Scooter123 »
Regards,
Scooter123

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mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline jj69

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What's the best way for me to post samples here? 

Offline capnhook

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Offline opsopcopolis

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^^ that’s what it sounds like to me. Standing close to the stage, direct sound from stage in one mice, PA in the other. Seems the solution would be to move bak and center on the stack, even with omnis you’ll still end up with a portly balanced tape (although easier to fix than the cards

No, this was not the situation at all.  I was in the sweet spot, dead center in front of the stage between the two monitors and about 2/3 back from the stage.  75% of the time  this produces a well balanced recording in this room, but 25% of the time I get vocals dominant in one channel.  The stage  is on the long wall in a rectangular room, resulting in the ceiling mounted PA monitors being farther apart than they should be.  The room desperately needs a center fill channel.  I just wish I could find a way to reduce that 25% figure but I'm not sure what else I can do.  I'm guessing the mic on my right shirt collar must have shifted too far outward.  I have to remember to get my shirt starched at the cleaners.

If that's the case and what you're hearing in the recording is NOT what you're hearing in the tape, omnis will make a huge difference as the orientation of the capsules will have a significantly smaller effect on the pickup. That said, the change in balance is weird, I'd expect one channel to be quieter than the other, not pickup entirely different signal
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

Offline jj69

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^^ that’s what it sounds like to me. Standing close to the stage, direct sound from stage in one mice, PA in the other. Seems the solution would be to move bak and center on the stack, even with omnis you’ll still end up with a portly balanced tape (although easier to fix than the cards

No, this was not the situation at all.  I was in the sweet spot, dead center in front of the stage between the two monitors and about 2/3 back from the stage.  75% of the time  this produces a well balanced recording in this room, but 25% of the time I get vocals dominant in one channel.  The stage  is on the long wall in a rectangular room, resulting in the ceiling mounted PA monitors being farther apart than they should be.  The room desperately needs a center fill channel.  I just wish I could find a way to reduce that 25% figure but I'm not sure what else I can do.  I'm guessing the mic on my right shirt collar must have shifted too far outward.  I have to remember to get my shirt starched at the cleaners.

If that's the case and what you're hearing in the recording is NOT what you're hearing in the tape, omnis will make a huge difference as the orientation of the capsules will have a significantly smaller effect on the pickup. That said, the change in balance is weird, I'd expect one channel to be quieter than the other, not pickup entirely different signal

Unfortunately, omnis would be counterproductive in this situation.  Remember, this is a stealth recording with small mics clipped to a shirt collar.  As with must rock clubs, the room is filled with screaming drunken idiots.  It's hard enough keeping away from them as it is.  Cards are just mandatory in such situations. 

I've come up with what I think is a good result.  Is there an easy way for me to post samples here? 

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Offline jj69

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Here are two samples, the first without processing, the second using the "Music Rebalance" feature to do two things:

1. Isolate the vocal from the right channel, reverse its polarity and then paste it into the left channel. 
2. Reduce the overall gain of the vocal in both channels. 

Note: Both tracks have had basic mastering done, including mild EQ, normalization, gain adjustment, and downsample to 44/16.  Gear used was Church CA-14 cards > Sound Professionals 12V BB > Sony PCM-A10. 

https://soundcloud.com/user-81208688/01-lil-sample-no-processing?si=c4f53d97f07045ad8a4ad98c3c894955

https://soundcloud.com/user-81208688/02-lil-sample-music-rebalance?si=c4f53d97f07045ad8a4ad98c3c894955

Offline opsopcopolis

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^^ that’s what it sounds like to me. Standing close to the stage, direct sound from stage in one mice, PA in the other. Seems the solution would be to move bak and center on the stack, even with omnis you’ll still end up with a portly balanced tape (although easier to fix than the cards

No, this was not the situation at all.  I was in the sweet spot, dead center in front of the stage between the two monitors and about 2/3 back from the stage.  75% of the time  this produces a well balanced recording in this room, but 25% of the time I get vocals dominant in one channel.  The stage  is on the long wall in a rectangular room, resulting in the ceiling mounted PA monitors being farther apart than they should be.  The room desperately needs a center fill channel.  I just wish I could find a way to reduce that 25% figure but I'm not sure what else I can do.  I'm guessing the mic on my right shirt collar must have shifted too far outward.  I have to remember to get my shirt starched at the cleaners.

If that's the case and what you're hearing in the recording is NOT what you're hearing in the tape, omnis will make a huge difference as the orientation of the capsules will have a significantly smaller effect on the pickup. That said, the change in balance is weird, I'd expect one channel to be quieter than the other, not pickup entirely different signal

Unfortunately, omnis would be counterproductive in this situation.  Remember, this is a stealth recording with small mics clipped to a shirt collar.  As with must rock clubs, the room is filled with screaming drunken idiots.  It's hard enough keeping away from them as it is.  Cards are just mandatory in such situations. 

I've come up with what I think is a good result.  Is there an easy way for me to post samples here?

When you think about it purely in theoretical terms of pickup pattern, yeah, but that’s not how it turns out in practice. I’ve been stealthing with omnis in situations like that for years with generally great results. Your body acts as a baffle to block most of the sound from behind you, and the music will drown out most talkers around you the same way it does with cards. On top of that, the omnis are way more forgiving to body position and movement, so I can be less of a statue if I want to. It actually ends up being more of an issue at quiet jazz club style shows, picking up dishes/glasses/waiters more than it does talkers at loud shows.

Happy to provide some samples if you’re interested
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 11:35:01 PM by opsopcopolis »
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
Recorders: Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-05, Sony Hi-MD

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https://soundcloud.com/user-81208688/01-lil-sample-no-processing?si=c4f53d97f07045ad8a4ad98c3c894955

https://soundcloud.com/user-81208688/02-lil-sample-music-rebalance?si=c4f53d97f07045ad8a4ad98c3c894955

Maybe it's just me, but I don't hear unbalanced vocals in either of those samples — vocals seem reasonably centered, but the instruments are marginally skewed to one side, as you would get if you were centered between the PA stacks but the amps/drums weren't centered on the stage.

Either way, I agree with opsopcopolis that it's worth giving omnis a try, especially if you're using shoulder-clipped mics to record loud music in a room where you can set up in the sweet spot. Maybe run a test for an opening band that you don't care about?

Offline Scooter123

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+1 

Very good tape, a little out of balance, but not bad.  I always run Phase and De-Click on every audience tape, and on this one I would run center extract or re-balance with a vocal extract. 
Regards,
Scooter123

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Offline jj69

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+1 

Very good tape, a little out of balance, but not bad.  I always run Phase and De-Click on every audience tape, and on this one I would run center extract or re-balance with a vocal extract.

Scooter123: Do you mean you use the Phase and D-Click features in RX?  What do they do and how do you use them?  What about Center Extract - does that just create a mono version? 

When you say re-balance with a vocal extract, I believe that's what I did?

I should have stated from the outset that I tend to be hypercritical and hypersensitive to things like this, so when I say the recording is a mess, many people would consider that exaggeration.  Things like this drive me crazy, in large part because I know how good recordings in this room have been in the past - so I think it's a preventable problem if I could just find a way to prevent it. 

Another frustrating thing about this show was that the vocals (and the drums to a lesser extent) were mixed too high, which leaves the rhythm guitar - the key instrument for a metal band - far too low in the mix.  This is why I reduced the gain of the vocal track in both channels. 

 

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