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  #1  
Old 04-20-2018, 12:00 PM
Ginridge Ginridge is offline
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Default Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

Hi Everyone,

I'm in the beginning phases of what will prove to be a major mixing project for me. I recently did a live performance of my show, Oh Freedom! in a 385 seat theater at a regional state University. The show was shot with multiple video cameras and a 24 track audio recorder and was I'm mixing the audio down for sync for the DVD of the performance. I will have countless questions as the process moves forward so I hope I can turn to you folks for advice.

The tools:
Pro Tools 12.4.0
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt
Mid 2015 Macbook Pro (bought in 2016) with a 2.8 Ghz Intel Core 17 Processor and 16 GB memory Running OS X El Capitan Version 10.11.6
Glyph Studio Raid 4TB external drive
Emotiva Stealth 8, 8” Powered Airmotiv Bi-Amplified Active Studio Monitors

The performance included myself on Vocals, and multiple acoustic and electric instruments:
3 acoustic guitars, 2 resonator guitars and 1956 ES 225 and period guitar amp, and a vintage mandolin. All acoustic instruments were DI'd wireless with an individual channel in the recording plus a single Neman KM-184 for live sound. The electric had the amp mice's/ an SM-57.

In addition there was a percussionist (one KM-184 overhead)
A Fender Jazz Bass, DI'd to the board (no onstage amp) and second acoustic guitarist with a DI and KM-184.

The biggest fly in the ointment is a 44 voice choir in 4 different miked locations around the stage in various sizes from 4 to 44 throughout the show. Needless to say, this will be one major mixing project!

I have moderate experience in mixing by professional standards. I've recorded and mixed my last 5 CDs (one of which charted on Billboard for 1 week) and several similar, but smaller live shows and festivals but nothing of this scale before. Clearly I will need additional support to pull this one off.

I just dumped the tracks into Pro Tools and am beginning the rough edits but already have many questions I hope to pose to the forum. I'm new to posting images here, but I'll try to add a couple to show you the set up:
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2018, 12:14 PM
Ginridge Ginridge is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

The basic format of the show is a series of songs with narrative introductions. I'm wondering if I should break the show (run time about 68 minutes) into segments based on each section, or if I should run the entire performance as a single session. I'll need to make significant automation, EQ and FX change each song and have not dealt with such a long and complex session in the past but I don't know if breaking things up will be a help or a hinderance in the long run. Any thoughts on that?

My next issue, obviously, will be mic bleed. I've only just begun but there was so much going on live that I'm attempting to isolate the various tracks as much as possible by focussing on the DI signals rather than attempting to use much of the the KM 184's on guitars. Once I add in the various Choir mics (7 channels in all) there will tons of bleed regardless. I'm hoping I can use EQ and FX to make it manageable.

Needless to say, I'm going to have many many more questions in the weeks the that follow and will appreciate all your feedback. Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:29 PM
Ginridge Ginridge is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

I'm beginning the clean up process by removing unused tracks and open mic sends in the actions where they weren't used on a given song. Would it save Disk space to select those sections rather than just automate Mutes? Of course I'm working with copies of the master so I can re-import the raw tracks in case of a major snafu...
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2018, 08:58 AM
Ginridge Ginridge is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

Anyone???? Bueller?? Bueller???
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2018, 07:12 AM
sdmaas sdmaas is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

68 minutes of 24 tracks should be no problem. I routinely record/edit/mix 120 minutes of 16 [recorded] tracks with video with no problem. Do all of the project in "Stems". Do this by doing the entire 68 minutes of each localized group, such as only the Narratives or other sections that do not rely on the others for context. SFX/Dialog/Foley/Music are typical stems in a production. If your session gets bogged down, simple deactivate the tracks on the stem(s) not being used.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:24 AM
sdmaas sdmaas is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

As to the disk space... Remember to consolidate any regions that are cropped for killing out the empty space (strip-silenced).

I always "Save" and "Save As" after the recording is finished and keep the raw recorded session separate so you have a session to go back to if needed.

Do yourself a favor and automate everything at the end; it is very easy to turn the project into a disaster when you are dealing with only minutes, let-alone over an hour of material. Take your time and take lots of breaks to keep your sanity. This looks like an epic project, it will take epic work to keep it that way.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2018, 02:51 PM
Ginridge Ginridge is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

Thanks very much sdmaas! I had a very lengthy reply worked out, but I just lost it the I tried to post a soundcloud link. I try to re-write it again...

Since I hadn't heard from anyone, I went ahead and did a significant amount of work on this since I first posted the question.

First of all, I cleaned up my computer moving all data files onto the external drive. I found that I had inadvertently keep a number of audio files on the Mac book pro and things moved quicker once they were properly stored on the external drive.

I decided to go ahead and delete the large sections of tracks when they were not used on a particular section such as the narrative, or when the choir was not singing. Of course, all the unused tracks had been muted in the FOH mix but all 24 the tracks were open for the recording. I was nervous about doing this, but decided that I could always bring them back through the drag function or by re-importing the raw WAV files. I had considered doing this with mutes in the automation, but decided against that. I wanted to do all the edits, time correction and error repairs (the band made lots of music mistakes I needed to correct) before I added in automation. There were 7 mics on the choir that were used in various combinations depending on the song and I used 7 different instruments in the performance, each on it's own track. The sheer amount of bleed and room ambience would have very problematic in any mix. I did have KM-184s on the acoustic instruments, but stage bleed made it impossible to use them in the mix. I went with DI signals and EQed out the pick up "zing".

To avoid a glaring change in the soundscape, I made a point of putting long fades on the end of tracks I deleted when not being used, particularly the choir tracks. This seemed to work fairly well so far but I'll be listening carefully in the final mix to make sure it's not an issue.

It's been a massive project so far, but I just completed all the edits and corrections and have rough EQ and FX in place. I did do on SAVE AS about 3/4 of the way through this part of the process and just did a second one now. I've put fades on all the edit points, but haven't yet consolidated the tracks. I'm going to go through all the edits a second time to make I've got them all before I do that.

I'm not very familiar with working in stems, but have done a bit of research on the internet and will be trying to get a handle that. I have heard other folks talk bout them and it's one more thing I'll need to get under my belt to move forward.

I have yet to link in the video to pro tools, but will try to do that soon. I have one of the 4 camera shots they took and it sounds like an relatively easy thing to hookup (famous last words!)

As suggested, I was planning on saving automation for the end. The sheer size of this project is intimidating and I am going to have to get a handle on automating EQ which may have to change from song to song. I've used it many times in the past but only on album based projects that were individual tracks, not an extended work like this.

OK, here's the link to a rough mix of We Shall Not Be Moved along with the narrative intro. This song features the full choir, lead vocal, electric slide guitar, bass and rhythm acoustic guitar. Basic FX (comp, De-esser) and rough EQ. https://soundcloud.com/gin-ridge-rec...gh-mix-4-27-18
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2018, 05:23 PM
sdmaas sdmaas is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

Good start. These long projects really can become taxing, but keep doing what you are doing and I'm sure you will be happy with the results. The video file import may be problematic if it is not in the correct format. I use Apple Pro Res Proxy for video files, but there may be better options for you running PT 2018. Keep on keeping on.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2018, 06:57 PM
Ginridge Ginridge is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

Will do!

I'm running PT 12, version 12.4.0. I guess don't really need to have the video downloaded since I have viewed it and only have 2 places I'll need to do a short video edit to correct performance flaws, but I am concerned that with such a long program, there may be syncing issues. I had that on an earlier project with this University but the videographer involved in that project may have converted the WAV file to a different format and complicated things. I was much newer to pro tools back then. I was able correct that as much as possible by having the audio cut and re-synced in the applause between songs.

At their request, I'm using AIFF instead of WAV and hopefully that will avoid issues. I'll begin to tackle automation later this week. Any feedback on the above rough mix would be appreciated. Thanks all.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2018, 09:38 PM
sdmaas sdmaas is offline
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Default Re: Oh Freedom! Live Mix Project

Syncing issues may be related to the parameters of your session. Make sure your frame-rates are matched. Most of the projects I get and send out are 48k/24 bit rather than the typical 44.1k/16 bit that music is standardized at. I will give the mix another listen in the studio tomorrow and see what I can pick out.
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