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How would YOU pan?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ThirdBird, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    a voice, an ukulele rhythm track, ukulele solo, and djembe

    the first options I am going to try:

    1 - voice center, solo center, uke rhythm VERY slight left, djembe, mid-rightish

    2 - voice center, solo middle, uke mid-leftish, djembe mid rightish

    Any other brainbusting ideas?

    edited to include test track:

    Download Now
  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Rock style:
    Voice center, solo center. (assuming they don't occur at the same time)
    Double track the ukulele pan hard left and right.
    Two mics on the djembe. one phase inverted in the body, and the other oblique reflection on the head (like a snare) pan each 25% from left and right.

    Folk Style:
    Voice center, presence boosted dry.
    Djembe out back (roll off high and low, pan 25% left some ambient reverb)
    Ukulele 10% right dry. (both and don't overlap the parts.)

    Dance style:
    Vocals XY pair, make sure the vocalist moves around and gets into it.
    Ukulele tons of reverberation and arpeggio chords. stereo chorus, maybe flange.
    Djembe one CAD kick drum mic in the body pan center.
  3. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    word up!

    in the dance style what plane should the xy vocal mics be?
  4. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Just some brain storming ideas. I was thinking of the XY parallel to the floor because that is the plane that the speakers and listener are on. However parallel to the wall would create an interesting effect. What style of music are you playing? Do you have a vision for the sound?
  5. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    something laid-back and mellow
    kind of like Iz, Jack Johnson, Sufjan Stevens, peaceful Sublime.

    i want the listener to relax and hum along with the melody

    i like the idea of making something danceable and pop-py though, but possibly with an island feel

    thanks for the ideas!
  6. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    FWIW, for that style I would use an XY with SDCs on the ukulele over the end of the fret board one mic pointing at the sound whole, the other at the 12th fret. Pan them about 15% apart just to fill out the space a little better. The rest as for "Rock" above.

    Roll off the lows around 100 Hz on everything except the djembe. And mix a little thin, but not so much that it is harsh. Most of the energy in the mid range.

    tripplet delay/echo on the voice maybe?
  7. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Can you elaborate on that?

    Since I am trying two mics on the djembe and uke, what eq differences might be good to apply between the bottom and top of the drum, and the sound whole and neck of the uke?

    I stumbled across this at my library, it was a cd of Ravi Shankar's music, but it was produced by George Harrison. The recording was really warm and clear. It was fantastic to hear this great Indian music, but without the poor recording quality of much world music.

    I am looking for that kind of effect.

    Gecko, thanks for all of the advice... I really appreciate it.
  8. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    By thin I mean make sure there is a fair amount of high frequency components. A dry room with small diaphragm condensers 18" away is a good start. A little airy. High shelf boost if needed on tracks that have some good high content. (probably the djembe head and ukulele at the 12th fret, maybe the vocal)

    If you get too much high frequency content it will sound harsh and fatigue the listener. You will know you have boosted too much if you get tiered quickly while mixing.

    Ravi Shankar is legendary, and those are some great recordings.

    For the EQ of each microphone pair I would start by boosting what is already present on the tracks. Balance between the microphones so that the overall sound is still natural. For the djembe body that will be in the lows and low mids. On the head try to get a nice "tik" sound, a boost around 1k worked last time I was mixing a djembe. For microphones, anything that sounds good on a kick will work in the body, or an SM57 which is good on anything. SM57 on the head. You probably want a dynamic microphone over a condenser even if the condenser is "rated" for high SPL.

    I would use a small diaphragm condenser matched pair on the ukulele, but if you don't have a pair I would use the one with a better transient response on the sound hole.

    What do you have for microphones?
  9. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    I have an extremely low-budget operation. I am blessed with only a cheap Nady drum mic package. I am actively working on this. My next purchase is probably going to be an SM57 and SM58.

    2 CM85 SDCs
    1 DM80 Dynamic, which is larger than the
    4 DM70 Dynamics

    I was thinking the condenser's for the uke and vocal's. Should I try the larger dynamic on the bottom of the drum, and a condenser on top?

    My room isn't completely dry, so I may go closer than the "18 on the uke. Would you go straight at the instrument or on some kind of angle?

    How far should I put the mic from the top head on the djembe?

    What is a good starting point for the distance of the vocalist to the xy mics?

    In this sort of setting, any guesstimates on what kind/if any compression or reverb you would use?

    I don't want to completely steal your style, but these are all very good starting points and I am grateful.
  10. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Try 8" from the SDC CM85 for the ukulele and vocals. If that is the one with the M/V switch use "V" for the vocals, and "M" for the ukulele. For the vocals position the elements at about shoulder hight and have the vocalist sing over them. Condensers are VERY sensitive to moisture, so use a puff screen on them. Moisture will corrode the diaphragm. If you don't have wind screens rubber band some clean socks over the elements for the vocals. (or dirty if you don't like the vocalist)

    The XY for the vocals is a very non standard / experimental type of thing, but if it doesn't work well you should be able to pan them both to the center and salvage the take.

    DM80 in the body of the djembe. DM70 6" from the head angled at about 30 degrees across left to right. Left to right will minimize the hand noise. the more acute the angle, the more snap, but also nosier. If the mic is directly above it will be more tonal.

    Other would probably approach this completely differently. There is no "right way" and there is always lots of room for experimentation.
  11. frankie101

    frankie101 Guest

    very good

    hmmmm, this is very interesting...
  12. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Would you pan the vocals hard left and hard right?
    Would you eq them any differently?
  13. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Re: very good

    For the vocals I would start hard left and right, and see if it works. You might end up panning them both center or near center. EQ is going to depend on the voice. Probably a high pass near 60Hz wouldn't hurt.
  14. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Alrighty, I have a few free hours this afternoon. I will post the results in the critique forum later on.
  15. 1000heads

    1000heads Guest

    just a suggestion- this is something that i've been experimenting with because i record a lot of hiphop vocals, and i'm trying to steer clear of the "multi-layered double vocals" and trying to have a full single voice - try recording vocals on a mono track and stereo track at the same time. i noticed it eliminates the "stuck in a tube" sound that just mono vocals seem to have on lower budget mics without good preamps, creating a full sounding recording. just lower the volume on each track a little so it isnt really loud.
  16. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Interesting. How do you set that up? 3 microphones? 1 microphone with different outboard gear? Are the paths to each A to D different in some way?
  17. 1000heads

    1000heads Guest

    well i used to record 3 overdubs - 1 extra vocal, and two "adlibs" one panned left all the way, and the other right. that gave me the idea to just create 1 stereo track and 1 mono track. i use either an x-y config with two rode nt-1 mics, or that with a sm58 in the middle, depending on the vocalist. i have sometimes obtained the desired effect with just a single nt-1, which surprised me (sometimes i record with a "portable setup"). i recorded the tracks at the same time, not seperately. I would usually lower the stereo track a little, so it isnt too loud, or sometimes lower both stereo and mono to be equal. When adding effects, such as reverb, i'd add it to the stereo track, so i can keep the original sound on the mono track. (thats just a personal preference). Ever since i've done this, people have started to compliment on my vocal recording quality, asking which preamp/mic combo i use. a lot of these rappers i 've been recording are starting to want to record a single voice instead of multi-voices now. this setup only works on recording digitally though. i've started to use this for my folk singing recordings also, and now vocals sound great. try it, and tell me what you think. when i finish setting up my website (sometime in jan '09), i'll drop you a line, so you can give me your opinion.
  18. 1000heads

    1000heads Guest

    this technique is actually used in a lot of R&B recordings, but to a more extreme level: imagine 32 tracks for one vocalist panned at different levels!!!
  19. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    So sometimes it is one take with several microphones and mix to taste.
    Other times it is several takes and one microphone (double tracking)
    And other times a combination of the two?
    That make sense.

    I use the multiple microphone technique for acoustic instruments, but have found that when recording voice movements of the vocalists head cause weird panning effects.

    At first I thought you were saying one microphone, one take but directing it to 3 tracks in your DAW.
  20. 1000heads

    1000heads Guest

    that is actually what i am saying. i know its weird, but i've been able to make it work. it doesnt work well with instuments though, or maybe i havent been able to work it right yet.(sometimes, when recording with my portable setup, i only have one mic) but it works much better with a stereo mic setup. i used to get that weird panning problem, but when recording the multiple tracks/1 take, we end up with a more full sounding vocal track, rather than a small "in a tube sounding" one. I'm not saying everybody has this problem with their recordings, but i have heard it on a few people's tracks. This is just another solution to try. remember that there is not just one way to record, otherwise everything would sound the same. but i've researched some of your posts. you seem to have a lot of knowledge. i'll be sure to thank you if i try one of your suggestions and it works for me.

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