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Author Topic: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)  (Read 5991 times)

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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2019, 09:42:59 AM »
For room mics I like to time align, pan wide, remove the center if possible, and sometimes sidechain to the level of the music. That would mean that the volume of the room will come up when the music is at a lower volume. Whether or not I do this depends on whether the aud mics capture the room ambience or really just the audience noise.


This is interesting, would like to try it. For removing the center are you just using a M/S plug and pulling down the mid?


Offline EmRR

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2019, 09:58:00 AM »
As I suspected, there is obviously no right and wrong approach to any of this, as there are some contradictory suggestions here that I'm sure yield equally pleasing results.  I suppose that's the nature of any project where the quality of the end product is subject to personal preference.

What may seem contradictory amongst everyone's suggestions is really the nature of mixing, what works on one thing I record may not work at all on the next thing I record, even if it's the exact same technical setup in the same room.  I find this true with opening bands versus headliners, or set 1 versus set 2.  You have to be ready to change directions if a path you take isn't working, liberal doses of common sense applied to what may sound like hard and fast rules, etc. 
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Offline yousef

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 11:35:05 AM »
Sounds as though you and I have developed our workflow opposite each other. I used to think time aligning everything wasn’t necessary, now I do it as a rule. The kit is actually the part I’m least worried about. Aligning vocal mics makes a world of difference IMO.

I wonder if there is some scope for uploading a song's worth of raw tracks and then seeing how different people mix them? Detailing the workflow, plugins etc...
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Offline morst

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2019, 01:58:08 PM »
I wonder if there is some scope for uploading a song's worth of raw tracks and then seeing how different people mix them? Detailing the workflow, plugins etc...
For many years I have anticipated a way to post audio projects publicly, with a default mix, which can be remixed as desired by listeners. A more advanced version could allow users to save their mixes and share them with other users.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2019, 05:21:57 PM »
^
I’ve done something like that with Dropbox before. Put a template session with the files in a folder. Share the folder ad everybody just saves their own version of the sessions.

I might have a set of multis somewhere that I could throw up at some point. Wish I had saved one of the tauk shows I did, but they were so damn big...

For room mics I like to time align, pan wide, remove the center if possible, and sometimes sidechain to the level of the music. That would mean that the volume of the room will come up when the music is at a lower volume. Whether or not I do this depends on whether the aud mics capture the room ambience or really just the audience noise.


This is interesting, would like to try it. For removing the center are you just using a M/S plug and pulling down the mid?

Basically, yeah. I like the center plug by waves.

As I suspected, there is obviously no right and wrong approach to any of this, as there are some contradictory suggestions here that I'm sure yield equally pleasing results.  I suppose that's the nature of any project where the quality of the end product is subject to personal preference.

What may seem contradictory amongst everyone's suggestions is really the nature of mixing, what works on one thing I record may not work at all on the next thing I record, even if it's the exact same technical setup in the same room.  I find this true with opening bands versus headliners, or set 1 versus set 2.  You have to be ready to change directions if a path you take isn't working, liberal doses of common sense applied to what may sound like hard and fast rules, etc. 

Agreed wholeheartedly with this.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2019, 09:27:32 AM »
After taking plenty of time to digest all of these recommendations and others, and after waiting more than a week for my Media Mail delivery of a book I purchased on Cool Edit Pro, this weekend I finally opened all of these tracks and started playing with it for the first time.  It took nearly an hour and a half to open them all, but once they were open I was surprised how little affect the open session had on my system (which functions as my Plex server).  I was a little concerned that my 16 GB of RAM would be stressed right from the start.

My initial observations and questions (in bold):

1.  I have mixed enough board feeds with my mics to be pretty comfortable at hearing time-alignment issues and resolving them through shifting or stretching (depending on whether the sources were captured with the same or different recorders).  I've spent a couple of hours listening to various parts of this show, playing with the mix, including plenty amounts of the house mics, and I can't hear any time alignment issues.  Should I trust my ears on this, or is it impossible for there not to be any necessary adjustment?

2.  I considered both viewpoints on whether to start with panning or end with it, and I like the argument that the perception of relative levels is affected by panning, so one of the first things I did was to move things around a little bit.  Keys are 30% right, drums 30% left.  When those musicians step to the front of the stage to play mandolin and bass, they're a little closer to center, so I panned those inputs (vox and instruments) only 20%.  The house mics (on-stage shotguns) I have panned 40%, and I currently have the center mic turned off because it seems to me to be a little more polluted with stage noise.  Whether this is a sound observation and reaction/judgment, I don't know.  But that's what I'm working with for now.  This sounds good to my ears, but I'll certainly consider tweaking it as the project evolves. 

3.  I've played with the levels a lot on different songs, and have settled on some pretty variable levels depending on the song, which underscores how much automation is going to be required to get everything just the way I want it.  Which is fine -- I have the time and patience to work my way through it.

4.  It took me a while to figure out all the effects terminology, especially in the multitrack workspace.  I think I'm figuring it out, but I'm wondering if I should be applying any of these in the track edit view (destructively to the source files) rather than layering them on top of one another in the multitrack.  Are system resources a consideration here?  Should things like the 100-150 Hz high pass just be applied to the source files?

5.  On the topic of effects, it took me until the end of the weekend (late last night) to realize that I seemed to be a little crippled using Cool Edit Pro 2.1, in that it appeared that it was going to prevent me from using a lot of VST plugins.  So the last thing I did last night was to find an old free version of Audition 3, which added a lot of VST compatibility.  All I've done so far is open a few tracks to ensure that the interface was close enough to Cool Edit Pro to look familiar to me.  In the process, I discovered that the tracks that Cool Edit Pro took 2.5 to 3 minutes each to open were each opened by Audition in 30 seconds or less.  I'm not sure if there's a good reason for that, or if it just means that Audition, by default, monopolizes more of the system resources and it's going to cripple my Plex server when I open all the tracks and resume work on the session.

Are there any particular amp sims that I should consider for the DI tracks?  Are these free plugins?

Thanks for all of the advice so far.  I think this is going to sound incredible when it's finished.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2019, 09:59:16 AM »
Glad to hear you’re having fun! Time alignment in multis like this is most likely not something you would hear. The mics are only separated by a handful of feet, so the issues are more in phase than slap back (like you would hear aligned an SBD and AUD mics.)

I wouldn’t do any destructive editing unless you absolutely have to. It doesn’t sound like your system is having an overly difficult time, so I would just leave as is for now.
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Offline morst

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2019, 01:59:22 PM »
I wouldn’t do any destructive editing unless you absolutely have to.
You could consider destructive editing on a COPY of the master if you have something like a CLICK from a cable being plugged in, or the like, but don't do any major processing to the whole file destructively.
Does your new Audition take the same amount of time to re-open an existing session as it does to create one? Audio is not really a hard problem for most modern computers anymore, it should not drag down your server unless you're competing for resources directly, like disc access or internet throughput. Servers should not be overly CPU-intensive (and audio only should be when it's rendering or actively processing, and even that should not totally hose your server, though you may notice a performance difference.)

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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2019, 06:49:15 PM »
Time align all the tracks to the snare. This will help small phase issues that you might otherwise not really hear, but can have a great affect on the overall tone of the tape. Summation is a very powerful tool.

What if the tracks that should need the most alignment (the on-stage shotguns pointed at the crowd) are too difficult to discern the snare, much less down to the sample level like I'm accustomed to evaluating when mixing SBD and AUD sources?  I feel like there's more potential error in eyeballing this than there is in the actual alignment.  Do you ever resort to just calculating a theoretical approximate delay and shifting accordingly?  There are video clips of the show on YouTube, so I know about where the shotguns were placed.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2019, 08:46:09 PM »
Time align all the tracks to the snare. This will help small phase issues that you might otherwise not really hear, but can have a great affect on the overall tone of the tape. Summation is a very powerful tool.

What if the tracks that should need the most alignment (the on-stage shotguns pointed at the crowd) are too difficult to discern the snare, much less down to the sample level like I'm accustomed to evaluating when mixing SBD and AUD sources?  I feel like there's more potential error in eyeballing this than there is in the actual alignment.  Do you ever resort to just calculating a theoretical approximate delay and shifting accordingly?  There are video clips of the show on YouTube, so I know about where the shotguns were placed.

That’s a perfectly fine way to do it.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2019, 09:06:33 PM »
For anybody that uses or is otherwise familiar with Audition, is there a "preferred" way to achieve a high pass filter (say, 150 Hz, as I think was recommended earlier) on all the tracks to get rid of anything non-musical?  It seems I can apply it in different ways in different places.  For example, as an effect in the effects panel (parametric my best choice here?), or two panels down in the mixer view is the EQ panel with filtering capabilities, it seems.  Best way to do this?  Is this where I use an effects bus?  See screenshot linked below.

https://imgur.com/HEIVdsF
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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2019, 12:42:50 AM »
For anybody that uses or is otherwise familiar with Audition
Well, firstly, that's NOT me. But I suspect the Parametric EQ might have a way to turn the lowest filter to "shelf" mode and set that where you want, with the curve you like?
As a rock&roll mix engineer, I would suggest doing this channel-by-channel. Electric guitar can have a lot of 60 Hz in it, but should not have any 30!? Electric bass has a FUNDAMENTAL at 31 HZ in cases of a low B string, like on a 5 or 6 string bass... don't roll that off, please. Kick drum, on the other hand, needs a low frequency SLAM and a high frequency SNAP (some people don't have ANY bass speakers and they wanna dance) but you can roll a lot of the sub-bass out of that SLAM and it can still massage your sternum at proper power settings.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2019, 10:18:46 AM »
For anybody that uses or is otherwise familiar with Audition
Well, firstly, that's NOT me. But I suspect the Parametric EQ might have a way to turn the lowest filter to "shelf" mode and set that where you want, with the curve you like?
As a rock&roll mix engineer, I would suggest doing this channel-by-channel. Electric guitar can have a lot of 60 Hz in it, but should not have any 30!? Electric bass has a FUNDAMENTAL at 31 HZ in cases of a low B string, like on a 5 or 6 string bass... don't roll that off, please. Kick drum, on the other hand, needs a low frequency SLAM and a high frequency SNAP (some people don't have ANY bass speakers and they wanna dance) but you can roll a lot of the sub-bass out of that SLAM and it can still massage your sternum at proper power settings.

Thanks for the insight.  I've just upgraded software for the second time in three days (CEP 2.1 > Audition 3 > Audition CS6).  Not only am I finding much better tutorials for the tools available in CS6, but it's lightning fast compared to v3.  I was surprised that v3 opened the tracks in about 30 seconds each (compared to more than 2 minutes each in CEP 2.1), but after that the program was extremely sluggish in trying to move things around and stuttered quite frequently on playback.  CS6 is flying by comparison.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2019, 09:52:27 AM »
I've been reading some articles on drum panning.  There seems to be fairly consistent advice to keep the kick and snare panned dead center (along with bass guitar).  It seems popular to pan the rest of the kit not together, but in varying amounts according to the kit layout (to this point I had the entire drum bus panned L30).  At this point there seems to be two schools of thought -- relative panning of the kit from audience perspective or from drummer's perspective.  At first I thought the idea of drummer's perspective must be for studio recording, but at least one article discussed this for live mixing as well.  Any thoughts on this?  Recall that the drum kit is stage right for this show, so, other than the bass and snare, I'm trying to figure out a good starting point for how far left I should pan these relative to one another, and whether to consider audience or drummer's perspective for the relative amounts.

For reference, here's a video clip from the show that shows the stage layout fairly well.  Best look at the drum kit is a minute into the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcfV_OhfLuw
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2019, 01:35:24 PM »
Drum mixing is all personal preference. I don’t like drummer perspective because I like to think I’m looking at the drummer, particularly with live recordings.  Sometimes I will mix drums off to the side, but it’s very band dependent and pretty rare. I do post work for a jazz venue that requests all their shows to be mixed as they were staged, so drums are always out house right
Mics: Berliner CM-33, CA-14 card, CA-11 card & omni, AT-853, Sony ECM-907
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