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Author Topic: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?  (Read 6406 times)

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Offline Rockinman59

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Due to configuring my mic pattern the wrong way at a recent show, I wound up with way more applause on the left and more vocals and music on the right.  I was set up at an ampitheatre too far inside the right stack to use the A-B config so I mistakenly used the DIN 90 pattern but pointed it to be even with the vocalist's mic at center stage.  Dumb move.

I was advised to use a stereo imager so I bought the Waves S1 plugin and loaded it onto Sound Forge 10, rotated the 2 channels using the Asymmetry and Rotation sliders and ended up improving the wav file a little, but I don't really know what I'm doing and would like to remaster this source and do it right and get the wav file as centered as possible.   I got the applause to come out on both channels, but the music is still more right dominant.  There was a similar thread awhile ago in the thread I linked below but I need help from someone who would know how to get a better setting using the 2 sliders and also the Width slider.   

I can post a Sendspace link with a full song including the crowd applause and the lead singer's banter which sounds more on the right channel.  If someone with some expertise with Waves S1 wants to check this out and recommend the proper settings so it's more centered, I'll definitely post an audio clip here.  I'd totally appreciate it.   Thanks for any help!  I'll probably never screw up like this again, but this tape came out great in quality and shouldn't be left like it is with my amateur attempt at centering it LOL.                   

 http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=155716.0



Tom
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 03:16:34 PM by Rockinman59 »
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 04:29:03 PM »
Rather than artificial processing why not crossmix the channels somewhat?  That will get everything onto both sides and you can vary the ratios on each side to develop a pleasing balance and image (if there's one to be had).  That may also blend out some mild phasing if there is an issue with that too. 
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 06:30:23 PM »
Thanks for the info Bombdiggity.  I didn't realize the S1 stereo imager was an artificial fix.   Not sure what crossmixing involves and if I could use a function in Sound Forge Pro 10 to do that or not.  Is it panning that I would doing or something else?  I know panning can be used for a matrix.   The left channel wound up being a lot lower vs. the right and I wondered why while at the show.  I kept turning up the right channel not knowing that the DIN config was causing the imbalance all along
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Offline Chuck

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 06:51:09 PM »
Hey, stuff like this happens to the best of us Rockinman59.

I'm especially sensitive to imbalances like this and sometimes there is really nothing you can do to fix it to make it pleasing to listen to.

bombdiggity's suggestion is a good one. Cross mixing channels can often make imbalances like this bearable.




Edit to add:

I have this free VST Plug-in from engineer Roger Nichols. It's  called Inspector. You should be able to get it for free online at his web site. Among all the other useful features is a meter that gives you a visual indication of your channel balance in real time. I use it on every recording I make to confirm what I think I'm hearing when mastering my recordings. It also has a real time spectrum analyzer which is also very useful.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 07:02:22 PM by Chuck »
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 07:26:54 PM »
Thanks for the input Chuck.  I'm not sure if Inspector would do what I'm trying to do, but it may not be possible.  Because the left channel had way more applause after each song ends and the banter in between songs is clearly louder in the right channel, by using the S1 Stereo Imager I was able to get the applause in both channels but not the music or banter.    I can certainly try Inspector and see what it does vs. the S1 Stereo Imager.

Thanks again
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 08:56:33 PM »
Have you tried fractional millisecond delay between channels? You can sort of spin stuff around that way. Its a tradeoff though, you can fix either the music or the audience, but not both using the same technique.
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 09:10:38 PM »
Have you tried fractional millisecond delay between channels? You can sort of spin stuff around that way. Its a tradeoff though, you can fix either the music or the audience, but not both using the same technique.

I've not heard of this technique, but I have improved the wav file to the point that the crowd applause is even but the vocals and music are still slightly favoring the right channel.  Is there a way to do this delay in Sound Forge?  If so which function is it in the menu?   
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 09:21:20 PM »
Just insert a few milliseconds of "nothing" at the front of one of the channels.

Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 09:50:52 PM »
Just insert a few milliseconds of "nothing" at the front of one of the channels.


In Sound Forge, I can have the cursor at the beginning of one channel, select just that channel and then there's Insert on the toolbar and Silence is one of the choices.  I can insert 00:00:00.300 where the cursor is which is at the absolute beginning of the wav file.   Is that 3 milliseconds I'd be inserting and is that what you mean by a delay full of "nothing" ?   Thanks


Tom
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 11:58:09 PM »
too much, I'm talking between 1 and 25 samples, I find that you need a plugin that adds delay to do it properly. Reaper has one (see below).

Even 0.5 ms will be a dramatic swing. (that's about the spacing between capsules for sounds originating 90 degrees off center axis in NOS).
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2013, 03:01:07 AM »
I may have misunderstood your question.  If it is balance or content and they're in phase cross mixing is good.  It's easy to do in Audtion and probably most others (basically mix a ratio of left and right together for a new version of each channel).  50/50 of both will make the two resulting channels basically the same.  Varying the ratio will provide some sense of the stereo image. 

If they're out of phase (one channel delayed relative to the other) you should absolutely do your best to fix that first.  Inserting the correct number of samples in front of the leading channel to push its timeline back to match the lagging channel is the best approach.  You can visually measure the distance if you zoom in really close.  Essentially compare the same peaks and valleys between each channel and determine how many samples apart they are - if the mics stay fixed it's usually constant but if you're moving you need to sort of arrive at the average.  That's my favored method for phase adjustments. 

Some programs have measurement tools and auto fixes.  They may or may not work as intended. 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 03:04:55 AM by bombdiggity »
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Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 04:01:33 PM »
You can visually measure the distance if you zoom in really close.  Essentially compare the same peaks and valleys between each channel and determine how many samples apart they are - if the mics stay fixed it's usually constant but if you're moving you need to sort of arrive at the average.

For any non-coincident mic config that uses space between the capsules, the timing relationship of any single peak will vary slighlty between Left and Right channels for sound sources which were off-axis from the center-line of the mic array.  Sounds arriving from anywhere on the median plane (directly in front, in back, above, below, etc) should have the peaks lining up exactly, but the farther to either side the sound arrives from, the more the peak in one channel will lead the other.  You need to zoom in closely on the waveform to see it, but it is especially apparent in A-B spaced omni recordings and can mess with your attempts to align things unless you are aware of it.
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 04:36:06 PM »
What lee said.

Thats why I play with the plug and listen. I find I get better controllable results that way (but the theory behind it is basically the same, it's an adjustment of interchannel phase interaction).

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 04:53:17 PM »
As an allstar member of team too-lazy, I'll reiterate few obvious things already metnioned that are good to check and play around with before going too deep with the more advanced tools: 1) Adjusting the level of each channel independantly to get them more equal and/or to pan the apparent image somewhat as desired.  2) The 'cross-mixing' mentioned previously, which is equivalent to panning the channels towards center.  There is no reason the panning or 'cross-mixing' needs to be done symetrically, you might find that it's best with the dominant side panned toward center slightly and the other side still hard-panned to one side, or vice-a-versa. Play around with it in combination with channel level and use the combination that sounds best. 3) If the channels sound significantly different in timbre, you might try EQ them seperately to match better.

A philosophical insight- We work with 'artificially repoduced sound'. Everything we do through the entire recording chain is 'artifical processing' of past real events, begining with the microphones and going on from there.  Panning and level changes are no less artificial than more complex tools, they are just simpler manipulations that have less pitfalls and obscure complications than more complex ones.



Another idea I've been considering for a long time but simply haven't played around with is this, and I think it might work well here:
Use of Mid/Side decode/processing techniques to place the dominant channel in the center and spread the less dominant (more ambient channel) to the sides of the stereo image.  The aim being to place the channel with the greater proportion of direct PA sound in the center of the playback image and spread the channel with more crowd and room sound out to both sides. 

Not sure exactly how to do that yet, beyond simply assigning one channel as Mid and the other as Side and using a M/S decoding tool.  I imagine it might cause some unwanted low frequency cancellation so it may make sense to only do this above a certain frequency.  I have a handfull of 4 channel surround recordings where the Left and Right channels are compromised or corrupt but the Center and Back channels are fine, and salvaging those are what got me thinking about this, but it would also apply to other situations like this one where an different 'artificial' stereo image (center/outside) might be more appropriate than the typical left/right paradigm.  An application closer to home for many around here would be producing a plesant stereo recording from a single mono SBD and a single mono AUD channel instead of simply mixing them to mono or using the typical pseudo-stereo techniques like hass delays or EQ combs..

I'm interested in your thoughts on that Page, and those of anyone else.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 05:00:47 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2013, 09:03:04 PM »
Thanks for all the input guys, but being inexperienced with some of the terminology, I feel more confused now lol.

Basically what happened was I used a DIN90 pattern and I was DFC but rather inside the right stack and too far in to simply point both mics straight at the stack.  I thought by setting an even 90 degree pattern then turning the mic stand to line up with the singer's mic on stage it would come out ok.   I had to adjust the right channel a lot higher to get it even with the left, but I never have to do that, the UA5 is usually only a 1/4 turn off from the other channel.   The music looks even during the song, BUT at the end when the crowd applauds, the left channel is dominant and you can see it on the wav file.  Then the banter in between seems to be right channel dominant, that's why someone told me a stereo Imager like the S1 would work.   I played around with it and got at least the applause even but the vocals, banter and music are still heard more on the right channel. This is where I am stuck.  I guess I could play around more with the S1 and see if I can do anything better, but I was hoping someone here had real experience with it and could listen to a clip and tell me if it could be adjusted to sound closer to centered with crowd, vocals and music.

Here's a clip of one song that should show how the crowd favors the left and the vocals and banter is more right.  The music itself sounds pretty even.  This is the original wav file of this song before I did anything with the Waves S1:    http://www.sendspace.com/file/4ufx76   

« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 09:29:07 PM by Rockinman59 »
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 09:22:25 PM »
Thanks for all the input guys, but being inexperienced with some of the terminology, I feel more confused now lol.

Basically what happened was I used a DIN90 pattern and I was DFC but rather inside the right stack and too far in to simply point both mics straight at the stack.  I thought by setting an even 90 degree pattern then turning the mic stand to line up with the singer's mic on stage it would come out ok.   I had to adjust the right channel a lot higher to get it even with the left, but I never have to do that, the UA5 is usually only a 1/4 turn off from the other channel.   The music looks even during the song, BUT at the end when the crowd applauds, the left channel is dominant and you can see it on the wav file.  Then the banter in between seems to be right channel dominant, that's why someone told me a stereo Imager like the S1 would work.   I played around with it and got at least the applause even but the vocals, banter and music are still heard more on the right channel. This is where I am stuck.  I guess I could play around more with the S1 and see if I can do anything better, but I was hoping someone here had real experience with it and could listen to a clip and tell me if it could be adjusted to sound closer to centered with crowd, vocals and music.

60 second sample of music? I'm interested enough to play with it. I won't need more then about a minute though.

I'd personally do all of your settings for the music and to hell with the crowd applause, but if you really want to put in the effort, knock yourself out. I personally wouldn't pan the tracks because of the comb filter you'll get, but anyway.

Another option is find optimum settings for both crowd and band and then split the show into segments (just music/crowd) and then do crossfades between where the effects transition. Again, that takes time though.

Another idea I've been considering for a long time but simply haven't played around with is this, and I think it might work well here:
Use of Mid/Side decode/processing techniques to place the dominant channel in the center and spread the less dominant (more ambient channel) to the sides of the stereo image.  The aim being to place the channel with the greater proportion of direct PA sound in the center of the playback image and spread the channel with more crowd and room sound out to both sides. 

Not sure exactly how to do that yet, beyond simply assigning one channel as Mid and the other as Side and using a M/S decoding tool.  I imagine it might cause some unwanted low frequency cancellation so it may make sense to only do this above a certain frequency. 

Maybe, I wouldn't do much with it because you're sounds won't line up enough to get a clean decode, but small amounts sometimes will help salvage something. That's something I'd want a schematic drawn of the layout and a sample to play with.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2013, 12:59:55 AM »
You can visually measure the distance if you zoom in really close.  Essentially compare the same peaks and valleys between each channel and determine how many samples apart they are - if the mics stay fixed it's usually constant but if you're moving you need to sort of arrive at the average.

For any non-coincident mic config that uses space between the capsules, the timing relationship of any single peak will vary slighlty between Left and Right channels for sound sources which were off-axis from the center-line of the mic array.  Sounds arriving from anywhere on the median plane (directly in front, in back, above, below, etc) should have the peaks lining up exactly, but the farther to either side the sound arrives from, the more the peak in one channel will lead the other.  You need to zoom in closely on the waveform to see it, but it is especially apparent in A-B spaced omni recordings and can mess with your attempts to align things unless you are aware of it.

Agreed.  I know you're very attuned to all this but for those that aren't (which seems to be a fair number of the less hard core recording crowd):

That's why I mentioned the "averaging" idea...  With proper placement of the mics the timing relationship is very close.  There's movement in it but it's slight and will look pretty even and will not lean totally to one channel vs. the other.  When there's an issue you can see pretty a dramatic and consistent variance with one channel always notably ahead of the other. 

There are "natural" variances in phase which in large part are what creates a stereo image. 

The problem arises if the mics are severely enough off-axis that cancellation results or one channel essentially becomes deadened (i.e., it is so far behind the other you don't really perceive it anymore).  Phase correction is an attempt to get a better image (or relative temporal balance) when the recording just doesn't represent that well because the time differential is objective and large enough to be heard.   

A two channel mono recording of course has a very precise and exact alignment (events on the two channels should always happen at exactly the same point in time), though at least in the days of cassettes varying azimuth alignments (recording and/or copying) often means even mono cassettes are not in phase. 

Stereo is more a moving target but the results of misaligned mics or poor seating arrangements can (at least sometimes) be adjusted for and significantly improved.  I find headphones can give a very good read on phasing, but finding a good adjustment IMO requires looking carefully at the wav. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 01:12:00 AM by bombdiggity »
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2013, 01:08:35 AM »

A philosophical insight- We work with 'artificially repoduced sound'. Everything we do through the entire recording chain is 'artifical processing' of past real events, begining with the microphones and going on from there.  Panning and level changes are no less artificial than more complex tools, they are just simpler manipulations that have less pitfalls and obscure complications than more complex ones.



If it is a consistent phasing issue the simplest, least complex (and most direct) approach IMO is to move the forward channel back the appropriate amount to get them aligned.  You can hear a huge difference when a recording that is out of phase gets back in alignment.  Using levels or panning to get at that doesn't correct the fundamental misalignment, it just tries to cover up the results. 


Another idea I've been considering for a long time but simply haven't played around with is this, and I think it might work well here:
Use of Mid/Side decode/processing techniques to place the dominant channel in the center and spread the less dominant (more ambient channel) to the sides of the stereo image.  The aim being to place the channel with the greater proportion of direct PA sound in the center of the playback image and spread the channel with more crowd and room sound out to both sides. 



That is a cool idea that probably has potential at times.  I'm not familiar enough with M/S to have any real idea though (I don't record that way). 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2013, 01:18:53 AM »
Here's a clip of one song that should show how the crowd favors the left and the vocals and banter is more right.  The music itself sounds pretty even.  This is the original wav file of this song before I did anything with the Waves S1:   


The music does not seem significantly out of phase.  If you did levels that may be all you needed to get the balance closer.  You could try the cross-mix if you don't like the stereo image and want to try to modify the balance of specific elements on each side. 

I just listened though didn't put it under a microscope.  Given the circumstances I'm not sure you'll get much more out of this. 

As Page I wouldn't worry at all about crowd/banter.  If you can hear it that's usually enough. 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2013, 10:53:54 AM »
OK, here's the basics were dealing with here without too many complex terms-

Stereo is basically level and/or timing differences between channels.  Timing in this case is equivalent to phase differences.  You can have either or both of those types of differences between the two channels of a stereo recording.  A recording made with coincidently arranged X/Y pair of mics or panned inputs through a sound board will produce level differences without significant timing (phase) differences.  An A-B spaced pair of omnis produces timing (phase) differences without big level differences.  A near spaced pair of directional mics like DIN90 produces both level and timing differences. Level and timing are separate domains.  Both effect stereo imaging and adjusting one can somewhat compensate for but not specifically correct for the other.  Small adjustments to either will shift the apparent playback imaging around.

I hesitated to mention the Mid/Side idea earlier specifically because I didn’t want to overcomplicate the discussion. I mostly threw that out to Page and bombdiggity because it really does fundamentally address the issue here, I’m just uncertain how to best apply it.  Mid/Side manipulation is one of the most basic core elements of stereo imaging tools such as the Waves S1. Converting between Left/Right and Mid/Side is powerful because it is a very fundamental way of manipulating differences between two signals.

You needn't record with a Mid/Side microphone setup to use Mid/Side as a post-production technique.  It's just an alternate way of handling 2 channels of differing information other than Left/Right.  The Mid/Side and Left/Right are losslessly interchangeable if you make no manipulations before changing back to the other format, and that's how it is used for robust stereo radio and television sound transmission.  However in this case, the whole point is that we want to make manipulations of the sound  before switching back to the other format and that's where both benefits and problems can arrise.  So we listen closely, and do our best to understand what is going on to keep those pitfalls and obscure complications under control.  Mid/Side processing is powerful and one of the most commonly used audio mastering techniques for precisely the reason this recording is problematic- dividing the channel differences into center/sides is often more useful than dividing them into left/right.  In this case the problem is that left/right differences would preferably be center (vocals) / sides (audience) differences with the music spread between them.

I haven't listened to the sample, but that leads me to a point that often crosses my mind- an unusual playback image is perfectly OK as long as it isn't over distracting or disturbing to listen to. We've all become accustomed to a rather rigid concept of the stereo playback imaging ideal over the course of 50 years of recorded stereo music, yet vocals and crowd reaction don't always have to be centered the same way, they really just need to be enjoyable to listen to.  We aren't nearly as critical about those things at the actual live event.  I think we can easily get too hung up on listening to specific technical aspects of sound when we are turning knobs, and it can be hard to put that out of mind for a moment and listen simply as a 'music enthusiast’ on purely enjoyment terms.  When I can let myself slip over to 'music listener' mode for a moment, the 'audio engineer' part of my brain recognizes that other things like direct/reverberant ratio and frequency equalization are far more important than playback image.  Get those things right and you're most of the way there to pleasing the ‘music enthusiast’. 

I have a few recordings that are oddly balanced but I actually find them interesting because of that, and attempts to force them towards a more standard/traditional stereo image begin to cause problems with the more important aspects that make them enjoyable.

Oh, and here's a suggestion for addressing the initial root issue of appropriate mic setup, which I find especially useful myself- Don't listen to what your eyes tell you when it comes to the final tweak of pointing the mic array.  Close them, listen while trying to forget where things are visually, turning your head until the stereo image is centered as you prefer it to be (doing your best to disregard what you know about the actual physical layout of the venue or placement of musicians PA speakers and all that) and then point the center of your mic array in the same direction as your head.  Sometimes I’m surprised at how differently I point the mics using my ears instead of my eyes.
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2013, 12:00:28 PM »
Stereo is more a moving target but the results of misaligned mics or poor seating arrangements can (at least sometimes) be adjusted for and significantly improved.  I find headphones can give a very good read on phasing, but finding a good adjustment IMO requires looking carefully at the wav.

THIS.

People ask how I can just listen to a stereo recording and just tell it's opposite polarity/phase; it's so obvious to me when I listen on good headphones, the soundstage and sound is completely messed up in the center. That's not something that is as readily apparent over speakers.

I have a plugin that simulates monitors in terms of phase cancellation and I'll use that a lot to compare things, but for telling major phase errors, heaving it over headphones is the best thing I've found.



I hesitated to mention the Mid/Side idea earlier specifically because I didn’t want to overcomplicate the discussion. I mostly threw that out to Page and bombdiggity because it really does fundamentally address the issue here, I’m just uncertain how to best apply it.

yeah, and the answer in my experience even in good setups where things are balanced to start with is "sparingly."

I find the soundstage degrades with artifacts if you do it too much. Stereo expanders/contractors are another one which falls into that category.

I think we can easily get too hung up on listening to specific technical aspects of sound when we are turning knobs, and it can be hard to put that out of mind for a moment and listen simply as a 'music enthusiast’ on purely enjoyment terms.  When I can let myself slip over to 'music listener' mode for a moment, the 'audio engineer' part of my brain recognizes that other things like direct/reverberant ratio and frequency equalization are far more important than playback image.  Get those things right and you're most of the way there to pleasing the ‘music enthusiast’. 

+1

My hangup on soundstage is purely because I've heard fantastic semi-coincident soundstage and know what to look for with it. It's a bittersweat curse. Most people won't care as much. I even asked a musician friend of mine once about this with a sample of two recordings and he opted for one which had a better tonal balance but bland stereo image (but made with what many consider inferior gear).
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2013, 12:22:06 PM »
My hangup on soundstage is purely because I've heard fantastic semi-coincident soundstage and know what to look for with it. It's a bittersweat curse. Most people won't care as much. I even asked a musician friend of mine once about this with a sample of two recordings and he opted for one which had a better tonal balance but bland stereo image (but made with what many consider inferior gear).

Same here.  Thinking about persons I know well, I find the difference in perspective between what the musicians among them value and listen for verses what the audiophile types value and listen for really quite interesting in how stereotypical it can seem.  Most of the musicians I know are hyper sensitive to a natural sounding tonality and reverberant balance and don't seem to care hardly at all about imaging.  Quite different perspectives.  Similarly stricken with the bittersweet curse of standing in both camps, I want it all if I can get it.. if I can get it easily enough that is.  Go team lazy!

Just enough is the right amount. Slightly too little is usually better than too much..
And in general, moderation in all things, including moderation.
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2013, 10:47:49 PM »
We may have lost our OP but... 

OK, here's the basics were dealing with here without too many complex terms-

Stereo is basically level and/or timing differences between channels.  Timing in this case is equivalent to phase differences.  You can have either or both of those types of differences between the two channels of a stereo recording.  A recording made with coincidently arranged X/Y pair of mics or panned inputs through a sound board will produce level differences without significant timing (phase) differences.  An A-B spaced pair of omnis produces timing (phase) differences without big level differences.  A near spaced pair of directional mics like DIN90 produces both level and timing differences. Level and timing are separate domains.  Both effect stereo imaging and adjusting one can somewhat compensate for but not specifically correct for the other.  Small adjustments to either will shift the apparent playback imaging around.

 

Need to pin that somewhere...  Concisely and clearly stated. 

I haven't listened to the sample, but that leads me to a point that often crosses my mind- an unusual playback image is perfectly OK as long as it isn't over distracting or disturbing to listen to. We've all become accustomed to a rather rigid concept of the stereo playback imaging ideal over the course of 50 years of recorded stereo music,


+1.  I think those I like most of my own efforts are those that are very spacious.  I've run the MK4V's up really close basically A-B and gotten some really nice ones where the playback image is essentially like the stage set up with a clear audio perspective from left to right.  It's not a typical approach (cards with a typically omni technique) but the result is as close to being there as I've gotten (it usually gets the directionality of cards within the perspective width of an omni, giving a very clear sense of where each instrument was in the original soundscape, where I think an omni tends to blend things together more and would start to pull in the crowd/room reverb too).  Others have liked them too though not being there they may not realize how closely it captured the live sound (if you were DFC and very close).  It does provide great clarity since the reverberant element is nearly gone and the instruments aren't all blended into a muddy mass.  Clarity and definition are my goals.  The real perspective of any given situation may or may not be, though we always want the result to sound "real". 

When I can let myself slip over to 'music listener' mode for a moment, the 'audio engineer' part of my brain recognizes that other things like direct/reverberant ratio and frequency equalization are far more important than playback image.  Get those things right and you're most of the way there to pleasing the ‘music enthusiast’. 

A pleasing image is the hardest thing to capture.  I'm more in the camp if you didn't capture it then there's not a real good way to try to create it after the fact.  Fortunately as you suggest most people don't listen for that so if it's there that's great but if not it's not and few will miss it. 

Oh, and here's a suggestion for addressing the initial root issue of appropriate mic setup, which I find especially useful myself- Don't listen to what your eyes tell you when it comes to the final tweak of pointing the mic array.  Close them, listen while trying to forget where things are visually, turning your head until the stereo image is centered as you prefer it to be (doing your best to disregard what you know about the actual physical layout of the venue or placement of musicians PA speakers and all that) and then point the center of your mic array in the same direction as your head.  Sometimes I’m surprised at how differently I point the mics using my ears instead of my eyes.

Absolutely.  I always try to assess the space.  Soundchecks help!  Once things are rolling I always try to walk the room (or the better sounding parts of it anyway) to assess how it is that evening and build my feel for different bands/techs in the same space. 

Even open many of the rooms I run are sort of done under duress where certain suboptimal positional factors have to be dealt with or trade-offs must be made to get the best results.  I rarely run anything conventionally (in the sense of fixed configurations/patterns or even typical usage for the types of mics I have).  So I'll put the 4V's at stage lip because for example further back at one regular spot puts a well trod aisle and too much audience commotion between the source and the mics or I'll go stage lip on an ensemble that is fundamentally balanced and ditch the PA entirely.  I go by ear and position the mics to capture the elements that I think need to be captured in a way where I don't think I'll wind up with an untenable soundstage. 

Where phase and balance and placement related issues usually crop up are  >:D or fixed seating situations where one can't get the optimal position.  Those are the challenges where the results may benefit from adjusting.  If you're running right and have the freedom to set up in good position it's pretty rare any imaging/phasing tweaks would be needed. 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2013, 10:32:59 PM »
I'm still here lol.  Was just taping last night DFC so no problem there.

So I'm not sure if anyone (Bombdiggity or Page maybe) was going to play with the Waves S1 and let me know what setting comes closest to improving the crowd being more left channel, but here's my clip of the same song but with the S1 applied and it's in 16/44.  Does it sound improved enough to leave that way?  I uploaded that source and was going to remaster it later IF anyone came up with better settings to use on the S1 Stereo Imager

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5mvqlb   Track 3  (since it includes the applause prior to track 4's wav split)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/3ftd3q    Track 4 (same song as posted before but remastered)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/kc7m8c  Track 5 (since includes the banter after track 4)
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2013, 10:52:16 PM »
I'm still here lol.  Was just taping last night DFC so no problem there.

So I'm not sure if anyone (Bombdiggity or Page maybe) was going to play with the Waves S1 and let me know what setting comes closest to improving the crowd being more left channel, but here's my clip of the same song but with the S1 applied and it's in 16/44.  Does it sound improved enough to leave that way?  I uploaded that source and was going to remaster it later IF anyone came up with better settings to use on the S1 Stereo Imager



DFC usually makes like simpler  :facepalm: 

I don't have Waves (and am actually too far behind with some projects to work on other stuff anyway). 

Given what it was I would not be that dissatisfied with what I heard in the original sample.  There's quite a bit of crowd in it which won't go away and it seemed like you'd gotten the level balance addressed.  I never worry about the crowd/announcements in between songs other than making sure the crowd isn't too loud and the announcements can be heard. 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2013, 11:13:40 PM »
well, the 2 nights I taped dmb in Mansfield I had the exact same wrong set up with DIN 90, but both recordings got 5 out of 5 on 5 people who voted on both night's recordings, so that should satisfy me but one taper messaged me and said it still was off a little.  He took the wav's and copied one channel to the other making it a mono and said it was even then (no shit).  But being the perfectionist I am I was hoping someone used Waves S1 and knows more than I, but like the Waves company support said, I just have to play with it but I won't get it 100% fixed which I agree with

Did you listen to any of the remastered tracks?  Does it sound more even to you and I should just leave it alone?
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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2013, 11:30:09 PM »
I'll fiddle with it tomorrow after I'm done with my paper and see.

I'm minorly peeved that Waves doesn't put their documentation online...
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

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Offline Rockinman59

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2013, 11:40:05 PM »
Thanks man, I really appreciate it
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Anyone with stereo imaging expertise using Waves S1 plugin?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2013, 01:37:26 PM »
He took the wav's and copied one channel to the other making it a mono and said it was even then (no shit). 


Well that would be a different sort of "off" than some issue with the relationship between the two channels (which is mostly what we'd discussed).   A single channel can wind up sort of "out of phase" within itself if the recording position is really off (though that can also happen with substantial distance since different parts of the spectrum travel at different rates).  I have no idea how one would fix that. 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

 

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