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About This Multitrack
30-11-2012, 07:07 PM
Post: #1
About This Multitrack
You can find the multitrack files for this project in the 'Mixing Secrets' Free Multitrack Download Library.

Before posting a mix, please read The Three Commandments!
Please post your mix as a new thread, rather than as a reply to this sticky.

Here's some more project info you might find useful:
  • About The Raw Multitracks: This is a live big-band recording that was carried out on location at Homerton College, Cambridge, by a team from Sound On Sound Magazine, headed by respected engineer Hugh Robjohns. The session comprises a live recording covering 13 tracks, and two additional tracks of vocal overdubs.
    • The drums were miked with stereo overheads supported by close mics for kick and snare.
    • Electric bass and guitar cabinets were close-miked, and the acoustic grand piano was miked under the lid in stereo.
    • The horns were covered with six close mics, and were also picked up via the main stereo room mic, which was set up above and in front of the ensemble.
    • The scratch vocal was overdubbed following the live-band session, but because the singer had a bad head-cold at the time it was later rerecorded.
    • You can read more details about this session in Sound On Sound's December 2012 'Session Notes' column, which includes a full mic list and pictures taken at the session.
  • Challenges You're Likely To Face: This is a well-recorded multitrack session, but not without some mixing challenges which are inherent when close-miking is adopted to allow rebalancing of the ensemble at mixdown.
    • Because there was no baffling available for the session, there's a certain amount of spill on most of the mics, and the bass guitar in particular bleeds onto most of the other instruments fairly heavily.
    • The bass amp isn't putting out very much real low end, so it feels a bit lightweight.
    • On the room-mic signal, the saxophones sound further forward than the trumpets and trombones, and are also favoured in terms of the level balance.
    • The trumpet and trombone close mics are overbright on account of the close on-axis placement.
    • There's a lot of proximity-effect bass boost on the guitar amp capture, for similar reasons.
    • The balance between the instruments in the performance itself isn't optimal at times, especially as regards the piano and the different sections of the horns.
    • Blending the close-miked signals with the more ambient room and overheads mics always takes a bit of work.
  • Some Mixing Tips:
    • Spend plenty of time checking for the best polarity and phase matches between these mics. It's not that the raw tracks don't combine pretty well as they are, but there are bonus points available if you take the extra effort.
    • High-pass filtering most of the tracks makes sense here, not only for general low-end decluttering reasons, but also to reduce the bass spill.
    • I used a low-frequency compression process to provide sufficient low-end reinforcement on the bass.
    • A short ambience reverb is very good at sinking close-miked signals into a mix.
    • Try rolling a little high end off the vocal close mic if it feels like it's separating too much from the backing.
    • A lot of this mix is about automation, especially if you want to redress the imbalances in the original performance.
    • My mix of this multitrack (the preview mix for this multitrack) was featured in the Sound On Sound's January 2013 'Session Notes' column, so you can read more tips and discussion of what I did there.

If you have any other general questions about this multitrack, just reply to this post and I'll see what I can do.

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
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