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playing the field

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Josh Conley, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    the 'stereo' field.

    Im curious to know what techniques you employ for moving things -not necessarily vocals- forward and back in a mix?

    left and right, hey theres a knob for that.
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    For me, it really depends on the song, Josh.. There's really not any particular "formula" I follow, I just use what I've learned over the years, and I let my ears decide what sounds best.

    There are times I'll record several different guitar tracks, (different takes) and then I'll place them throughout the field, to where I think they sit and sound the best.

    I can tell you that, when looking at volume control -as opposed to automatically reaching for a fader - I almost always reach for panning first.

    People tend to forget that at its fundamental core - without delving into the various laws of constant power vs tapered, phasing, center field perception and the other parameters - the pan pot is fundamentally a volume control... you are either increasing or attenuating the signal on a side, or at various positions, throughout a field. If you have a mono source, and you pan Left, you are decreasing the volume on the Right... and vice versa.

    There are times where, in a mix situation, if an instrument is shy, using fader/gain is not the best move, especially if you are talking about those times when a track needs to come up just a hair, panning, IMO gets the job done nicer. You don't have to separate it very far, either...sometimes just a notch or two, to the left or right, gets a track to sit perfectly.

    There are other scenarios that involve multi-mic / stereo arrays; like MS, where I'll pan either very wide, or maybe not so wide, and then use the Fig 8 mic fader (along with its cloned track with the phase flipped) to control the volume of the sides, which effects the width - or narrowness as the case may be - of the instrument, relative to where it is in the space of the mix.

    You can also use multiple mics that aren't in a stereo array, to add space and depth. For example, mic'ing a guitar amp with a close up mic, and then using a mic backed off into the room (if the room sounds decent), and then, by moving those two separate tracks around, relative to each other, you can get a very nice "open-ness" to the sound(s).

    In the end, I think that it really comes down to the song, and what you feel it needs, and I don't think it's the same in every circumstance. In fact, it hardly ever is. ;)

    IMO of course. ;)

  3. Reverend Lucas

    Reverend Lucas Active Member

    In my limited experience, reverb can be used to move things back. Also, sounds with less high frequency content tend to be perceived as more distant.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I always think of music much like painting a picture. The shades and light are similar to freq and reverb/delay. When you are sitting in a room, what freq do you hear more of, closer or further away? Depending on what you are painting, is it black and white or does this mix have colours and shading/ 3D or all in your face?
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Other than the obvious surround sound mixing. With a stereo mix, if you talk about moving a sound in a space. It's defenitly a combination of Volume, EQ and reverb for me. Also, to make it constant, I'll watch the dynamics.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... that's easy for you to say, you're like the Leonardo da Vinci of DAW's. LOL ;)

    Chris is right. It's textures, dimensions, and shades. It's why audio engineers use terms like:



    bigtree likes this.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


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