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About This Multitrack
26-04-2012, 09:50 AM
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: As befits a multitrack showcasing a mic manufacturer's products, there's more multi-miking on this project than some, which makes it a good one for tonal experimentation.
    • The drum close-mic setup is pretty standard, featuring close mics for kick (in, out), snare (over, under) and two toms, except that you get two different overhead stereo pairs to play with.
    • Both the acoustic and electric guitar overdubs provide three mic choices.
    • There are recorded DI feeds for both the acoustic guitar overdub and the bass, and there's also a mic on the bass amp.
    • The piano was captured with close and distant spaced stereo mic pairs.
    • The lead vocal overdubs were captured with four different mics at once, and the female backing vocal with two.
    • In addition to these tracks, there are three scratch parts recorded during the initial tracking: lead vocal, backing vocal, and acoustic guitar DI.
    • For more information about the performers and some photos of the recording sessions, check out this page on the Telefunken site.
  • Challenges You're Likely To Face:
    • With so much multi-miking going on, phase/polarity issues can easily catch you out if you're not careful.
    • The close piano mic pair has some quite strong out-of-phase components, so you need to take care with mono compatibility if you pan them wide. The close mics also have quite a dull tonality overall, so may need some stiff EQ'ing if you fancy a clearer tone.
    • The snare top mic has caught quite a strong drum resonance that doesn't seem to fit the key of the song. Whether that's a problem is largely a question of taste, though...
    • Getting male and female vocals to sit in the same track can be a tricky thing, especially when they also sing together, as in this case. A little upper mid-range rasp in Andrew's voice may also prove difficult to balance, I suspect, especially if you happen to chose a vocal mic that emphasises it.
  • Some Mixing Tips: Although this isn't a mix I've attempted myself, here are some suggestions that come to mind:
    • Just because you've got all those mic signals available, that doesn't mean you have to use them all! For what it's worth, I reckon I'd probably only use a couple of the guitar mics in each case, and probably only a single vocal mic for each singer.
    • Experimenting with the piano close mics, I took about 5dB out at 300Hz and pulled the whole top half of the spectrum up by 6dB or so before they began to sound in the right ball-park for me tonally.
    • I'd be tempted to bring in the scratch acoustic DI (possibly reamped in some way) as a means of filling out the texture at selected moments, perhaps just for the choruses.
    • For Andrew's lead vocal, I think I'd probably put some EQ into the compressor side-chain to help rein in the touch of 'rasp' in his voice around 4-5kHz.

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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02-12-2012, 05:13 AM
Post: #2
Phase
In his track notes, Mike Senior points out there’s a lot of multi-miking in this session and that can cause phase problems when combining tracks. I listened for and measured phase among most of these combinations and recorded the results in the attached PDF. The quick summary is that I believe the recording engineer paid close attention to phase issues and most tracks can be used together with no problem. Here are the few potential issues I noticed:

You might want to flip phase on both the snare top and bottom so that they better match the overheads. This isn’t very serious. They don’t sound bad together.

The bass amp and DI tracks probably shouldn’t be used together. There are swings from positive to negative depending on the pitch so flipping phase on one track just reverses the swings.

The close and room tracks for the piano probably shouldn’t be used together for the same reason as the bass tracks.

Phase on the acoustic guitar DI track should probably be reversed if you want to use it with any of the mic tracks.

Note that in some cases you might actually want to use some out-of-phase tracks together. Some of them combine to thin the mid-range and that could be something you want. I’d probably opt for EQ myself but it’s a possibility.


.pdf   Phase.pdf --  (Download: 123.84 KB)


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02-12-2012, 07:13 AM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2012 07:15 AM by electricladyLAN.)
Post: #3
RE: Phase
(02-12-2012 05:13 AM)Mike Z Wrote:  The bass amp and DI tracks probably shouldn’t be used together. There are swings from positive to negative depending on the pitch so flipping phase on one track just reverses the swings.

Hi Mike Z, I had a look at the pdf you made, that is probably a good help to someone wanting to mix this track.

When I read your comment in the post (quoted above /\ ) I wondered is it possible that the problem could be fixed with an all pass filter?

At what pitch does the phase change? It may be possible to all pass one track at that frequency in order to combine the two signals. But if what you found is just different phase difference at RANDOM pitches then it may be a lot harder.

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02-12-2012, 10:20 PM
Post: #4
RE: Phase
Hi electricladyLAN,
B-flat 1 is the most in-phase (around +0.4 in PhaseScope) note throughout the song. Many other notes are out-of-phase. F1 is a good example and it measures -0.4. The first occurrence of B-flat 1 is around 6 seconds in while the first for F 1 is around 8.2 seconds in. You’ll hear the same sequence repeated many times throughout the rest of the song. Filters may be a difficult fix. They can alter phase themselves and these notes are fairly close together. But what the heck, give it a try!
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03-12-2012, 07:44 AM
Post: #5
RE: Phase
(02-12-2012 05:13 AM)Mike Z Wrote:  The bass amp and DI tracks probably shouldn’t be used together. There are swings from positive to negative depending on the pitch so flipping phase on one track just reverses the swings.

That's to be expected really, given the inevitable timing offset. However, I wouldn't expect time-alignment of the two signals to have the same problem, so I don't think it's a reason to discount using the signals together. Otherwise you'd have to chuck out every amp+DI recording ever made! Smile

Quote:The close and room tracks for the piano probably shouldn’t be used together for the same reason as the bass tracks.

A lot of this depends on the respective levels of the tracks. I'd not expect to use the room at the same level, so any comb-filtering would be a lot less severe as a result.

Interesting document, though, nonetheless, and some very good pointers in there.

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
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03-12-2012, 03:53 PM
Post: #6
RE: Phase
I agree. I should have phrased it differently than “probably shouldn’t be used together”.

You mentioned time offset in your post and that brings up another idea for combining the bass tracks. Delaying or nudging the DI track right by 200 samples brings the two into much better phase. If that’s the right number, it means the microphone was approximately 5.1 feet (1.6 meters) from the speaker cabinet.
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