3 point mixing?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by ThirdBird, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    To my understanding, 3 point mixing is where less important tracks are panned hard left or hard right, and more important ones are panned dead center.

    Are there pros/cons or potential road hazards I should be aware of before I try to mix a song in this manner?

    I tried googling, but I didn't really find anything.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. HemlokSociety

    HemlokSociety Active Member

    Well depending on how many instruments you are mixing together to 2 tracks, your not only going to pan hard left and right, you need to consider all pan positions. Take for example a drum kit, you could have anywhere from 1 to 20 microphones on that kit at 1 time, if you just panned every mic either hard left, right or center, you will get a very messy sound from that drum kit. Not to mention any other instruments in the mix. You want every instrument to have its own seperate space in the mix. So pan a guitar at 9 o'clock, bass usually always dead center along with vocals centered, drums pan to either drummer perspective or audience perspective....Either way dude you have a lot of work ahead of you, so get a mixing book to really get you started and read all of these posts on this forum!


  3. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    ThirdBird wrote:

    What are those?

    If a track has "less importance" it is unecessary, IMHO.

    For a great example of placing instruments within the stereo image, listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman's "Dive".
  4. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    I didn't mean it like that.....

    For instance, most likely you wouldn't want an auxiliary percussion track front and center, with the vocals on the side.

    Like in "Yesterday" by the beatles.... guitar is one side, strings are the other, and vocals are in the middle.

    Do you know of any popular, really well-known examples of this, that you really admire?
  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    The cover of "In My Life" that Ozzy did.
  6. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    I would say shaker could be considered less important than the lead vocal.

    Anyway, back to the issue. A lot of my mixes get stuck in the "Super Stereo" rut (I can't remember what the real term is , but its when you rely on recording everything in stereo or using stereo effects instead of panning creatively). I recently ran into a mix that sucked even more than usual, so I resorted to a real simple mix, using mono guitars panned hard left and right and it sounded better (at least the client liked it)

    I would only suggest double checking the mix in mono often (for the sake of all those people still listening to music on AM radio)
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    :cool: on mono (panned) guitars.

    A mix that sucked more than usual.

    I like it!
  8. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    Yes. Steven Curtis Chapman.

    In my genre (CCM), he is very well known, very popular, and I admire him both as an artist and a man; more than you can imagine.

    Why not? Because FM radio hits don't do it that way?

    Nevertheless, that auxillary percussion track was important enough to record. Where I placed it in the L/R - Front/Back image would be an artistic decision, important only to me as the artist. If my artistic decisions pleased some listener, then all the better.

    I submitted a song to a songwriters forum once. I was told the rules of songwriting said that I couldn't ryhme 2 lines in a row during a verse, and that I had to get to the chorus within 30 seconds or no one would listen. I immediately thought of at least 3 songs in the forum's genre that broke the first of those rules, and were mega-hits.

    Up until recently, I tried to follow all the "rules", you know, the ones you learn by listening to radio hits. I would pick a "commercial" hit that was arranged kinda like the song I was mixing, and go, "Ok, so where is the acoustic guitar panned, the organ, EP, the crunch guitar, the texture guitar? When do they fade in and out? what's predominate in the verse, pre-chorus, chorus?

    What I ended up with was songs that sorta sounded like my favorite hits, but were lacking something...oh, yeah, ORIGINALITY.

    Lately, I've been trying to seek out and listen to lesser know artists who don;t follow the rules and end up making very creative artistic statements.

    Of course, if what you're doing is mixing for clients, then it doesn't matter a hoot what your artistic bents are. You're a technician whose job is to translate and commit what the producer hears in his head, to CD.

    Of course, if he doesn't havea clue where things should be panned, then you're back to being an artist, sort of.
  9. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    Wow. I was gonna post a youT*be link to "Dive", but I listened to it first and YUK! There is absolutely no stereo separation at all. Everything is lined up right down the middle. Nothing at all like on the CD.

    mp3 sucks!
  10. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think most if not all videos on youtube are mono - though I could be wrong.

    I remember Remy a while back taking the site to task over that...
  11. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Youtube is mono. I love how the Recorderman Stereo OH drum technique videos are shown in mono as well. Really good way of demonstrating it's awesomeness.

    "mp3 sucks!" What else is new?
    I can hear the difference between mp3 and wav with HD280s plugged into cheap computer speakers.
    Mp3 is for people who's output chain contains zero pro equipment.
  12. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    As soon as I saw your post, I tried to youtube it. I think it's really cool that so much stuff is on youtube, but it would be nice if the sound quality was better.

    I have one on order from the library.... I believe it's The musician's guide to home recording.
  13. HemlokSociety

    HemlokSociety Active Member

    I have that book, its not that great really, I also have Mixing Engineer's Handbook which is what you probably should get, very informative and descriptive and has different opinions from well known mixers.
  14. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    You mean mixers as in people who mix or as in a lifeless piece of equipment?
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I guess the point has already been made that this method of mixing is not exactly "standard." I'll add another second hand, poorly remembered quote from some big name in some small article (Sorry, we have visitors in town this week and my sister and brother-in-law just took my nephews and niece off. I'm trying to decide how big a hangover I can manage tomorrow) - aaaaanyway, his advice was "there are three places that you should never pan unless you have a really good reason - dead center, full left, and full right." I kind of like the advice as long as you remember that there are a lot of good reasons to pan to those places. I like to create a fairly natural sound stage panning the tracks the way I'd place members of a live band. There are lots of other ways to go especially when we are talking about stereo mics or double tracked guitars. I'm pretty skeptical about the approach you are talking about, but by all means try it. The only thing you can make is your time.

    It's pretty well documented that the focus at EMI at that time was on mono mixing. Stereo was considered a fad from the US - only worth a quick and dirty mix. The stereo mixes on US albums like "Yesterday and Today" were horrible. Some as bad as vocals on one channel, instruments on the other. Of course it wouldn't be the first time that an afterthought became a standard, but to someone over 50 the idea of trying to emulate the stereo mixes of these songs is really strange.

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