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Stereo Spectrum

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lordtekken, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. lordtekken

    lordtekken Guest


    Does anyone find the stereo spectrum of most commercial releases more "full" in sound than your own home studio recordings?


    I recently produced a nice track at my home studio. Vocals were center... I had symbols panned slightly right/left, kickdrum centre, I had some lush pads panned far right/left, some sweeping stereo FX panning right/left and a nice vocal chorus with a stereo pan. In other words, everything was where it should be and I was making good use of the stereo spectrum.

    However when I compare my final 2 track master to that of some other recordings - aside from it not being as loud [obviously]... I also notice the mix to feel a little less "full"... slightly "flat", it does not have the same stereo spectrum.

    My signal chain runs through an aging Yamaha 03d via SPIDIF into my MOTU 828 and into Logic Pro 7. I use some seperate outboard gear like an Avalon Mic Pre etc... but essentially the converters in my O3d process everything from analog to digial.

    SO these are my thoughts:

    + Protools HD + affilated converters and/or Apogee Rosetta converters?? Maybe higher quality A/D converters somehow increase the apparent stereo spectrum or something??

    + Stereo exciting?? Maybe in the mastering process?

    + SSL consoles or similar high-end mixing desks increase the spectrum??

    I have no answers. Anyone have any ideas?

  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    GEAR: In the long run, every little thing adds up. You're stacking nickels trying to make a dollar. Higher quality converters (along with most other gear) won't *make* the recording sound bigger, they'll *allow* the recording to sound how it should.

    MASTERING: While getting a recording to sound "big" wasn't really the realm of the mastering engineer in the past, it's falling more and more to the M.E.'s on a lot of home & project studio stuff. If a mix really sounds good, but seems a little "bland" (for lack of a better term), an experienced mastering engineer might be able to tweak it up considerably.

    Obviously the very top priority is getting the best sound possible at the source.
  3. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Have all the medical tools money can bye and you still do heart surgery? what makes you think it's mostly about having the right scapel? And fixing it in mastering isn't even close to a real option either in all truthfullness.
  4. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    maybe a stereo-imaging plugin like the Waves-bundle has, will help a little?
    i never use it though.
    but the interface looks pretty cool :?
  5. lordtekken

    lordtekken Guest

    Some good points...

    ideally I am assuming it must be possible to get it at source.

    Has anyone ever tried taking a project studio multi-channel recording - lets say recorded in Pro-Tools... and mixed it down using an SSL console or NEVE at a pro studio? I wonder if that would help, seeing as u could affect given channels with some high-end EQ and maybe soft-clip to a certain extent, giving more apparent loudness and/or stereo spectrum.

    The vocals sound awesome in this case with my Avalon VT-747 mic pre and Neumann U87, so its not like we are talking about using some $100 mic... however in my opinion the Yamaha 03d is where im gettin killed in the chain... maybe bypassing the mixer and going straight into the MOTU would improve things... but weather the 03D converters are inferior to the MOTU 828 MKI converters is something I would like to discouver.

    thanx for the insight ;)

  6. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    be aware that mastering the whole thing using some limiter plugin like the wave l1 or l2 or l3 or sony inflator or such will bring up the out-of-phase sustaining components such as pads considerably which might also yield a more lively stereo spectrum...
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Stacking nickels again. :cool: It *can* be a good thing. Some swear by it, some swear at it. One thing is for certain - Top quality conversion is a must for this technique. Most SSL equipped rooms probably have it, so it's certainly not out of the question.

    Still keep in mind the apples / oranges thing - Of course, I have no idea the raw quality of your tracks, but big-buck / big-room productions with big-buck / big-name talent (in front of and behind the board) and state-of-the-art gear... You know where I'm going here I'm sure... All things being equal, the project with the most stacked nickels will sound better.
  8. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    I know there will always be a gear debate but this is what I have found. If you run direct things into a real good DI (I like radials di's) and then into a real good pre amp (focusrite red or avalon or neve) keys and direct bass or direct acoustic gtrs sound much more open then using the line level inputs of less than ideal mixers or converters.

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