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Author Topic: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)  (Read 5196 times)

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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2019, 09:21:59 PM »
I'm trying to do some housekeeping in my session.  For starters, I'm setting up a reverb bus to send all the vox tracks to in place of having reverb on all the tracks.  I plan to experiment with sending many of the instrumental tracks through this as well to see if I can get a more cohesive sound coming out the other end.  I've reached a roadblock that I don't want to barge through or detour around without knowing how it's working.  I can't for the life of me find an answer to what I imagine is an elementary question.  I understand the concept of wet vs. dry in terms of the balance of processed vs. unprocessed signal.  It seems most of the effects that utilize this as a metric have a single slider with wet and dry on the extreme ends.  The regular "Reverb" effect in Audition CS6 has separate Dry and Wet sliders which go from 0 to 200% for Dry and 0 to 500% for Wet.  It's obvious how to manipulate the sliders to get one extreme or the other, but it's not clear to me what the purpose is of having independent sliders here. I'd like to understand the subtleties of this.  See the default "Room Ambience" settings below (my chosen starting point, for better or worse).  Hopefully this is similar to how it's handled in other DAWs and is easily explained.

https://imgur.com/qZrarXj

Second -- with the reverb applied to the individual tracks, I adjusted the reverb effect settings to control how much reverb I wanted.  When sending these through the dedicated reverb bus, it seems I have two choices:  1) set up the reverb like I did before and send all the signal to it; or, 2) set up a more extreme reverb and then calibrate how much each track gets via the send control knob.  Is there a best practice here?  Pros/cons?  To end up with just a little reverb in the end, is it best to give it "a little of a lot" or "a lot of a little"?
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2019, 09:06:52 AM »
The range on those we/dry sliders is bizarre. When bussing verb, you want it to be 100% wet. You determine how much verb you want by how much of each instrument you send to the bus.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #47 on: October 23, 2019, 09:23:51 AM »
The range on those we/dry sliders is bizarre. When bussing verb, you want it to be 100% wet. You determine how much verb you want by how much of each instrument you send to the bus.

Thanks -- that answers one big question.  Can anybody speculate on the purpose of the separate dry slider, then?  Do I necessarily just put that at 0%?  Up to this point, and in the sample posted earlier, the reverb I had applied directly to all the vox tracks was about 20% wet and 80% dry, since I had made up my mind to ignore the goofy ranges and make my selections sum to 100%, hoping that would effectively mimic a single wet/dry slider.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #48 on: October 23, 2019, 11:50:46 AM »
Lost an entire post here this morning about the routing options and don't have time to retype it.. maybe later.

In essence (without the fluff and parenthetical ifs and buts):
If using effects bus routed 'verb set it to 100% wet as opsopcopolis states.  This routing scenario gives you an effective wet range adjustment of 0-50% (parenthetical hand-waving)

I can only speculate that the very odd adjustment-range of the sliders in the plugin affects positive gain for settings above 100%.. making for an output gain increase. Sort of like the make-up gain control on a compressor.  /speculation.

With regards to the second question, the other 'verb settings are what affect the character of the 'verb.  The amount applied is all about wet/dry ratio and levels.  The end effect should be the same within the available limits of adjustment regardless of where those levels are set, as long as gain staging isn't crazy off base causing noise-floor issues. 
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2019, 04:05:26 PM »
This routing scenario gives you an effective wet range adjustment of 0-50% (parenthetical hand-waving)

Can you elaborate on this when time permits?  In Audition, the send level is not in percentages, but goes from -∞ to +15.  In addition, I'm trying to conceptualize in my head the impact of sending signals pre- vs. post-fader.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #50 on: October 23, 2019, 05:05:25 PM »
This routing scenario gives you an effective wet range adjustment of 0-50% (parenthetical hand-waving)

Can you elaborate on this when time permits?  In Audition, the send level is not in percentages, but goes from -∞ to +15.  In addition, I'm trying to conceptualize in my head the impact of sending signals pre- vs. post-fader.

A mix setting on reverb is usually for times when you use it as a plug inline on a mix channel, there it's in parallel if mixed 1-99%.  If it's bussed and sends feed it, it's in parallel with the signal channel and thus should be 100% wet.

Send levels on a whole group of vocals should probably start at unity gain on the send, and set the return fader where it sounds right.  That gives a good starting spot for other things to be lower if needed, and room to boost if something is quiet. 

You usually want send post-fader so they follow the fader. 
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #51 on: October 23, 2019, 06:48:10 PM »
^Thanks.  I'd started this reply then got pulled away.  EmRR answered more concisely above but I'll post this anyway. Basically the same info stated differently in case that helps.

This routing scenario gives you an effective wet range adjustment of 0-50% (parenthetical hand-waving)

Can you elaborate on this when time permits?  In Audition, the send level is not in percentages, but goes from -∞ to +15.  In addition, I'm trying to conceptualize in my head the impact of sending signals pre- vs. post-fader.

Sure. The dry and wet signals are routed in parallel and combined in the mix bus, so if each is at the same level, that's 50% wet. My simplified scenario assumes a -∞ to +0dB send level range.  You can actually go more than 50% wet since the send range goes up to +15dB gain instead of 0dB (unity gain).

Consider the signal routing through a channel strip in the mixer.  Channel level is adjusted using the fader.  After that the signal is mult'd and sent two different places: directly to the mix bus (the dry signal), and the effects send (if setup to be post-fader, which is typical for mixing, not sure of the options in Audition).  Because that split done post-fader, the send level output tracks along with the channel output level to the mix bus as the fader is adjusted - such that the balance between the two (the dry/wet ratio) remains constant as the fader is adjusted up/down.   If the send level is set to unity (0dB), you are sending the same level of signal directly to the mix bus (100% dry) and to the effects bus 'verb (100% wet), making the combination in the mix bus 50% wet.  The signal paths are in parallel. This ignores any adjustment of the effect return level or gain the 'verb plugin introduces (assuming those to be unity-gain).

If you turn down the effects send on the channel strip, you reduce signal level sent to the 'verb, which reduces the combination in the mix bus to something less than 50%.  Yet since your send goes up to +15dB you can actually send more signal through the effects bus (wet) than directly out to the mix bus (dry), increasing the ratio to more than 50% wet it you wanted to do that.  ..and
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Offline morst

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2019, 05:39:12 PM »
You usually want send post-fader so they follow the fader.
^^^ I am seeing very good advice from these cats here, but I want to post and specifically agree with this part.
Pre-fade sends might typically be used to make a monitor mix for performers to hear what they are playing, mixed with previously recorded tracks. Then once that mix is set, you can keep using your faders to create the main mix without changing anything on the monitor side.
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2019, 07:32:28 PM »
You usually want send post-fader so they follow the fader.
^^^ I am seeing very good advice from these cats here, but I want to post and specifically agree with this part.
Pre-fade sends might typically be used to make a monitor mix for performers to hear what they are playing, mixed with previously recorded tracks. Then once that mix is set, you can keep using your faders to create the main mix without changing anything on the monitor side.

Pre-fade can be good for special effects in a mix, like making a vocal disappear into a sea of reverb only. 
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Offline morst

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #54 on: October 24, 2019, 11:42:58 PM »
Pre-fade can be good for special effects in a mix, like making a vocal disappear into a sea of reverb only.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2019, 07:24:44 PM »
I've just about completed my first comprehensive round of volume envelopes (basically, just turning instruments and mics "on" and "off" as necessary for each song).  For DI tracks, I'm not worrying about fading them in/out too much.  For the mic tracks, I'm sometimes fading in/out over a minute or more to make the transitions as imperceptible as possible.  Once I'm done with this, I'll start listening to the whole thing on various speaker systems and making notes of where to further adjust things (piano down here, lead vox up there, etc.).  At that time I'll probably also solicit opinions on a new mixdown of the track I already shared, and maybe another song with different instrumentation.  In the meantime, a couple questions:

1.  The show starts with the drummer playing banjo on a version of Seven Bridges Road.  This is the only time the banjo is used.  This track is very quiet, and I've got the fader pushed up to +13 (/15) to get it where I want it.  Am I better off adding amplification to that track via effects so that I don't have to deviate that much from unity gain on the fader?  Or is the fader applying the gain just as cleanly?  (Full disclosure:  I already added amplification to the BassDI track because it was so quiet, so your answer here will also advise me on whether to treat that track differently).

2.  On one song, Stephen (lead singer) plays the piano at stage left.  I have the piano vox panned R40 for the show.  For this song, would most of you bring the vox back to center or leave them panned?  I assume this is a personal preference thing, so go ahead and cast your vote.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2019, 09:06:31 PM »
I've worked quite a bit more on this and have gotten things working together better by passing most of the instrumentation and vocals through the same room reverb.  The drums have their own plate reverb.  I've also boosted the drums and completed a lot more volume automation of the backing vocals.  If anybody has the time to check out a couple songs, I've posted a couple with different instrumentation below.  Comments on anything your ears do or don't like are welcomed.

https://soundcloud.com/user1965380/4th-of-july/s-PqAda (acoustic guitar, drums, keys)
https://soundcloud.com/user1965380/wagon-wheel/s-UNZ18 (electric and bass guitar, drums, keys)
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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2019, 12:01:32 AM »
2.  On one song, Stephen (lead singer) plays the piano at stage left.  I have the piano vox panned R40 for the show.  For this song, would most of you bring the vox back to center or leave them panned?  I assume this is a personal preference thing, so go ahead and cast your vote.
Move lead vocals to center. Other key Vox can be located in correct relative stereo position.
Congrats on getting your rough fader mix finished! That's major. I'll take a listen after I listen to what I'm listening to... As for boosting levels, since I use Audacity which has a limited range of gain, sometimes I'll just copy a really low part to a brand new track, and just run the soft parts doubled (or more!) to get more gas on that track.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2019, 09:26:43 AM »
Acoustic guitar and drums sound and sit right, and no longer draw my critical ear on the 4th of July track.  Sounds good.  Audience reaction is good and natural sounding, but perhaps a bit overly hard-panned left/right.  I consider it is good to have audience/room-ambience portrayed very widely, enhancing the sensation of envelopment and sort of keeping from overly infringing on the musical elements in the center, but a bit more across the middle helps tie it together so it doesn't sound like two separate "pools" of audience hard left and hard right.

Nice job.

Haven't had a chance to listen to the second clip.
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Offline mattmiller

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Re: Mixing Multi-Track Recording (29 Tracks)
« Reply #59 on: November 05, 2019, 09:36:45 AM »
Acoustic guitar and drums sound and sit right, and no longer draw my critical ear on the 4th of July track.  Sounds good.  Audience reaction is good and natural sounding, but perhaps a bit overly hard-panned left/right.  I consider it is good to have audience/room-ambience portrayed very widely, enhancing the sensation of envelopment and sort of keeping from overly infringing on the musical elements in the center, but a bit more across the middle helps tie it together so it doesn't sound like two separate "pools" of audience hard left and hard right.

Nice job.

Haven't had a chance to listen to the second clip.

Good catch on the audience.  I've been doing a new mixdown each night and listening to it at work the next day, making notes, and then making those adjustments.  Last night's trial was to see what it would sound like if the audience was panned 100% left/right.  I was theorizing that maybe each mic might have picked up just enough from the other side to not sound like two different audiences.  I think I originally had them at L50 and R50 respectively, so I'll return them there unless you think there's an in-between that is just right.
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