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-   -   Let's hear your latest stuff....right here (https://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=60365)

Roy Howell 07-18-2004 09:28 AM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
Hey you guys.......back from Destin/ocean.....oh man, man, man.....so nice. Listened mostly to Norah Jones/'Feels Like Home'.....just perfect for that place, especially the song 'Carnival Town'.
I wanna hear some of what's been posted, including Chris C.'s newest (wish I'de had it with me in Destin).

Chris Cavell 07-18-2004 11:15 AM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
Gee guys, I'm blushing!

Honestly, I consider this a pretty darn rough mix for me! I've got a long ways to go before I'm completely satisfied with it. Since you asked for it though, I'll give you a little bit of the story behind it:

There's a group called Strawboss in Lafayette, LA that I've known since their beginning and earlier...tracked mixed and mastered their first album (first rock album I did...you can hear most if not all of it on their website) about five or six years ago. For years prior to this, it had been nothing but classical and jazz and live sound for rock stuff. But years of classical and jazz had really killed me to the genres so this project seemed to come together out of thin air and was just what I needed.

As life tends to repeat itself, I've lately been getting rather exhausted on classical and jazz...and have been toying with the idea of putting together a resume CD and possibly going on the "job hunt" (anyone need an engineer for their studio? ) I knew I could do way better than that last album: better gear, better ears, five more years of tweaking my techniques etc and decided I should call them up and see if they had a tune or two I could mix solely for the purposes of getting some new and better material for a resume disc.

They've been working on an album in Nashville with another buddy of ours (a darn good engineer with a gear list that would make you cringe...and a helluva a bass player to boot!). Before they left nashville, brian asked to get a copy of some of the tunes so he could practice his mixing techniques (I helped him put together his 001 project studio after the last album), so he had this tune and another he could let me try my hand at.

Unfortunately, for some reason the sessions he has are at 16 bit! Listening to the raw tracks, it doesn't sound like anything too crazy or surprising with the tracking...standard guitar micing techniques, etc. However, there are digital clicks and pops all over the place on a couple of the guitar tracks which leads me to believe that at least some of the tracks were done through an interface which wasn't clocked properly.

Another biggie for me that I would have done differently had I tracked it is the drum overheads. Justin (the engineer) obviously used spaced pair (possibly somewhat in front of the kit)...I CAN'T STAND SPACED PAIR... ESPECIALLY WITH U87's!!! (I don't think justin used 87's, but i hate it when i get a mix where someone got the bright idea to use 87's as OH's. I'd usually start off with xy around 100 to 110 degrees and if it didn't do it, move to ORTF....but not spaced! Spaced pair has absolutely no natural cohesiveness to it...the stereo image it creates seems no wider than ortf or 110 degree xy and sounds unbelievably false to me...and there's rarely any "shimmer" to spaced pair as drum oh's imo.

Anyway...enough about what I'd have done differently in tracking...honestly it was tracked far better than anything I've been given for mixing before...hat's off to justin!

The session had a million tracks...and I initially tried using all of them...but got frustrated with the results...tossed it all and went back to basics:

All the guitar tracks except one were tracked with two channels...each on a seperate amp. I just picked the one I liked better and turned off the voice on the remaining one...except on the solo guitar, the second amp sound was just the subtle boost it needed in the mix. Justin also double miced the kick, and the snare...and used room mics as well for the drums...I picked a kick (they both sounded great, could have used either) and a snare (neither sounded good to me, overly trebly...not enough mid punch, so I picked the lesser of two evils) and tossed the room mics out alltogether (really, what the hell's the point of capturing the room sound if the room doesn't sound like a million bucks to begin with! another little tip on room mics for drums...if the room doesn't sound superb to your ears, and you haven't got a pair of omni's...don't bother! Your mix will probably be better without them.).

Most of the eq for each track is just from a set of presets I created and tweaked over the past 7 or 8 years. Same with the comps.

The only thing I got really creative with were the overheads and the vox in the choruses. I had an earlier vox take...loaded a bgv preset, trashed the hell out of it with vinyl, moogerfoogered a delay on it and dropped it down in the background...some of the phrasing is different in this particular take, messing with the delay sound, so I may have to edit it....or possibly the more easily done dupe of the main vox take and move the plugs over (manual plugin delay compensation will be needed to prevent phasing if I do this).

Overheads are something else...squashed, eq'ed, then squashed again to try and incite a few non-existent overtones...then reverbed with a convo impulse I made in an attempt to give it back some of the lacking cohesiveness mentioned earlier...then, yep, squashed again (probably overkill by the third time)!

Toms are nothing but loosely gated...snare hits come through...which adds some of the mid punch back to the snare that isn't there on it's own track.

Guitar tracks have just the tiniest bit of presence boost and a huge hi-pass.

Man, this is taking forever for me to type out for some reason...I need a coca-cola...it's hot as hell down here today! If any one has specific questions, or just wants to know more about it e-mail me. Really, there isn't much "irregular" going on in this mix...just a good tune with okay tracks to work with...an engineer's dream really .


spkguitar 07-18-2004 12:45 PM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
Chris, truly well done on that. I strive to be even half that good.
One thing; on my system, the ride was a bit loud. Might just be me.

Here's a funny one of mine: I've been messing around with the demo of Native Instruments Guitar Rig, and I'm finding it very cool. I came up with this little ditty.

All the guitar tones are my Ibanez with gibson pickups direct in to the 002r, and processed with the guitar rig.
I realized that I could hook my old foot controller (bear-ringer fcb1010) up through PT to control some of the parameters, and it worked out really well. There's a talk wah on one of the rhythm guitars, and the lead (quite obviously) uses the pitch shifter. It is meant to be silly, FWIW.
It is not really mixed, and I did a quick and dirty master on it, but my intention was more to show the functionality of this plugin.

Chris Cavell 07-18-2004 01:46 PM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
Yeah, that ride is killing me too. It sticks out like a rotten apple...sounds like a dining platter on a cymbal stand to me! Just one of the problems with spaced pair I often find. If it weren't for the fact that everything else coming out of the right OH sounds good, I'd have just brought it down...but once again, going for the lesser of two evils: effect everything good in that channel in a bad way, or ignore the one bad thing and leave all the good alone.

badperson 07-18-2004 03:16 PM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
I've actually never tracked drums, so bear with me...

When you say spaced pair, I'm visualizing two mics, either in front of the kit, at roughly 10 o'clock and two o'clock, or behind the drummers shoulders at the same angles.

When you say stereo pair, I'm visualizing two mics close together, pointed towards one another in an x-y shape; again either in fron of the drum kit, or in this case behind the drummer, over his head.

Is that right?

and what is ortf?


Chris Cavell 07-18-2004 04:02 PM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here

A little bit about stereo techniques:

There are two things going on that make up the illusion of stereo sound: phase or timings differences between the two channels, and level or volume differences. Spaced techniques rely heavily on the level differences, where coincident techniques rely on the phase/timing differences. ORTF is in the Near Coincident category, and takes some advantage of both differences to create the "illusion" of stereo sound. Here's some more detail:

Spaced pair is typically two mics placed anywhere at least a foot apart...often a meter, and sometimes several meters. Most often cardioid today...but typically omni in classical and other "critical" recording applications. It is important to pay attention to the "3 to 1" rule of thumb when using this technique: a mic should be at least three times further apart from any/all other mics than the distance of that mic to the source of sound. It should be noted that spaced pair can be modified to be a space trio, or even a spaced quartet, etc.

Near coincident is where the mics are close, but the capsules have a spacing, usually at least half a foot and less than a full foot and angled outward. ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise) is in this category (cardioids typically 110 degrees and a spacing of ~14 cm between capsules), as well as the Jeckelin Disc, the dummy head (I think neumann and AKG both still manufacture dummy heads...not sure though). These are typically cardioid...although any pattern can be used for different results (the better dummy-heads are usually tiny omni's placed in the ears of the dummy head and derives it's directionality from the canal, lobes, and shape of the face).

Coincident is where the mic capsules are right next to each other. The members of this category vary widely, but the capsules are always right next to each other and therefore by definition mono-compatible (there are a number of mics designed specifically for this category like the AKG c426b, the neumann sm69, the rode nt4, akg c24, a number of double ribbon mics, etc.) :

XY - typically between 60 and 120 degree seperation...usually cardioid facing left and right. (Omni x/y is an interesting idea that can yield surprising results...especially with large di omni's, due to the affect that frequency has on the polar response of all large di's and omni's.)

Blumlein - almost always 90 degrees facing left and right; by definition figure 8 patterns are used...frequently used in classical and is commonly thought to provide the most accurate capture of stereo sound possible.

M/S - mid-side, the 'm' mic can be any pattern really, but the 's' mic is always figure eight (once again by definition). M faces forward, and the + pole of the S mic faces to the left...hence the name mid-side. The signals are summed to create the left signal and differenced to create the right signal (called sum and difference matrixing). A 1 to 1 sum and difference with a cardioid m and figure eight s will result in a mathematically identical result as a 90 degree forward facing cardioid based xy. The ability to vary the ratio of m to s signal (the width of the audio) without touching the mics makes this an extremely versatile techniques for live recording and permanent hanging installations in concert halls.

I hope this helps a little with different stereo concepts. The best summation of all current stereo techniques that I've ever seen was written by Wes Dooley and published in the AES journal back in...geez, 82 I think. They've since compiled a bunch of articles on stereo techniques and offer it for sale...I think this article is in it but I'm not sure.

One other point of clarification...overheads got their name from being exactly that: above the head of the player...usually a little bit between the players head and the kit, and at least high enough so the drummer doesn't hit the mics...but as with anything in recording, this isn't written in stone and several other ways of micing 'overhead' are tried, some with success, some with no success, each and every day in studios around the world.


Chris Cavell 07-18-2004 04:24 PM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
I found the article I mentioned (just the article, not the compilation):

You can buy it online in pdf form for 10 bucks, or 5 if you're a member:

Basic Stereo Microphone Perspectives-A Review
Volume 33 Number 7/8 pp. 548-556; July/August 1985
Authors: Streicher, Ron; Dooley, Wes

scottedog 07-18-2004 06:19 PM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here

Honestly, I consider this a pretty darn rough mix for me! I've got a long ways to go before I'm completely satisfied with it.


I think you need to look back to when you first started, I think you would have been very pleased with work like this. I'll grant you it needs tweaking but as a rookie I'd be over the moon to have done this kinda work to say the least.

Oh, and thanks for the lesson on stereo mic placement. Hands cramped?

Gene Backlin 07-19-2004 06:32 AM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here

Will do tonight. I am in Chicago until this afternoon.

Hey Doc,

Next time your in town....give me a call.


Just repeating what others said, Great Job !

Take Care,

IntelDoc 07-19-2004 06:47 AM

Re: Let\'s hear your latest stuff....right here
Sorry Gene!
forgot that you were there...

I was in La Grange Park all weekend visiting the fam...

- Doc

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