80hz roll off..beware or use it

Discussion in 'Recording' started by stickers, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. stickers

    stickers Active Member

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    I was recording myself the otherday with my acoustic. 3 mics. XY stereo on guitar and vocal mic.

    I used 80hz roll off on all the trackand found that it really made things cleaner and clearer than with out it.

    Then out of curiousity, i recorded the same thing without the 80Hz and it seemed cloudy due to extra lows. So i used an eq plug in with 80Hz roll with the same amount of decrease in gain per octave and it just didnt seem to have the same clarity..weird.

    why?
     
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  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

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    Hey Sticky, I think you'll find that the 80 hertz filter on the microphone is at the capsule prior to the impedance converter/electronics? The impedance converter/electronics will not get ravaged by the low frequencies from the proximity effect.

    Doing it in the software meant that the microphone had to contend with those extended low frequencies in its electronics prior to the microphone preamplifier.

    One of the same reasons why I like to use compression/limiting while I am tracking as opposed to after. People are so afraid of doing something that cannot be undone which only comes from inexperience. One must take risks in order to grow. If people are worried about being safe call the time while recording, why do people drive cars? They're so dangerous and you cannot undo death. Best not to drive anywhere. NOT!

    Still alive after all these years
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
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  3. stickers

    stickers Active Member

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    the roll off is on the mic pre
     
  4. stickers

    stickers Active Member

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    Remy got on AIM!
     
  5. jwnc

    jwnc Active Member

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    I usually roll off 80 on the recording also, I usually end up taking off up to 125 hz on the acoustic. Then once you do that the acoustic usualy brightens right up without having to boost a lot of high end. I like this term

    Cut to make things sound better
    Boost to make them sound different.

    Jason
     
  6. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

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    RemyRAD said
    Would you be willing to share some knowledge on how you determine what sounds need how much compression?
     
  7. QuickDiscs

    QuickDiscs Guest

    Digital EQ takes almost twice the amount of cut for the human ear to hear it, due to the fact that there is no phase shift.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

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    I would like to address QuickDiscs, you are incorrect with your knowledge regarding phase shift in digital equalization. There are 2 popular kinds of computer equalization, some are like what you believe them to be and others, most, are still like their analog counterparts. One is known as FIR equalization and the other is known as IIR equalization. One affects corresponding harmonics and the other doesn't. They both have their applications and one cannot assume what you have assumed.

    Now on to your question from cfaalm. Many of us who have been recording for quite some time generally know what we want to begin with. For example, I most always add some light compression, from 2 to 10 DB's at between 2:1 to 6:1 and/or limiting, just a couple of DB's at 8:1 to 20:1, to most contemporary popular vocalists. It really makes a difference in the sound when you do that going in as opposed to doing it when it's coming out. One can also, frequently do both, i.e. record the vocal on one track with processing and on another track clean, without processing if one is hesitant to commit during tracking? I don't usually do any of this with operatic talent, unless I'm trying to obtain a certain sound or style in the recording.

    I will frequently add a few DB's of limiting to electric basses, when taken direct, whether I'm using an active direct box or an output from the bass player's preamplifier, depending on the musicians technique used. I will also frequently use some type of limiting and gating on bass drum and snare drums. I like how it tightens things up. I also frequently invert phase on the bass drum for the change in texture it affords the drum mix (it creates a more solid thud then a flabby one). I also like adding a microphone to the bottom of the snare drum, also inverting the phase of that while mixing it in with the top microphone on the snare drum, usually on a pair of tracks, separately. It definitely adds more snap and snare sound and I frequently use a SDC like an SM 81 or AKG 451or just another SM57.

    If an electronic keyboard player utilizes too wide a dynamic range (which I have found frequently) I'll add some stereo limiting to the keyboards.

    Again, I cannot stress enough that when tracking with dynamics processing, LESS IS MORE. Depending on the situation and circumstances, I have also been known to track clean without adding anything until mixdown. I follow no particular formula except for emotional impact, convenience and spontaneity, unless a producer specifies otherwise. I usually also do not mix down with a stereo limiter across my stereo mix bus. I'd rather do that after I mix but for numerous live broadcasts of musical events, I have sometimes been asked to do just that (for numerous different reasons).

    Now don't misinterpret what I'm saying here as there are many different brands and type of limiters/compressors. Some have peak detectors, others have averaging or RMS detectors, some rely on optical ballistics. I have and use all of the above types by numerous different manufacturers. If I don't like what I'm hearing from one unit, I'll try the others until it tickles my years, ears and rear (thank God that last one is singular)! TMI!

    Nobody has ever really thrown me any curves but when they do, I roll with them, adapting along the way and never getting upset over what I may believe to be a peculiar request. It's always a learning experience and a fun challenge while strutting your stuff. The more obstacles thrown at me, the more exciting I find the job (of course there is always substantial stress involved but that's part of the job). Some people are very set in their ways and they don't do well with those kinds of situations. I excel at them.

    Everything old is new again
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  9. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

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    Wow, Remy, thank you for your elaborate answer. I enjoyed reading that. So I gather that you use (analog?) compression and limiting in a conservative way. That makes sense.

    I have read about reverse phasing the bottom snare mic and kick drum mic before. Somebody talked me out of reverse phasing the kick drum mic last session and now I think it sounds like crap. Fancy that. :D

    We still have another session ahead of us so I'll be cooking a little with your recipe. I hope we'll perform well enough to post some material.
     
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

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    That's pretty cool and always remember, you can still invert phase of the bass drum in mix down. Now, I don't always invert phase on the bass drum. I usually only do it when I want a harder hitting, tighter bass drum sound instead of that fatter, flabbier in phase bass drum sound which I still like depending on the music and the project involved.

    Looking forward to hearing your completed results.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    This is very a interesting comparison between compressors/limiters and microphone filters. I much prefer tracking vocals with an LA2A to a plug-in comp on the vocal channel, ITB. "Vocals" always sound fuller and silkier through quality analog tracking. But I never thought about the HPF as a deal breaker in the same way. I can think of quite a few mics without hpf. Many engineers prefer mics without the filter.
    @Boswell others....
    What do think about hpf on the microphone? Do you use them and prefer a mic with that option?
    Is this subjective to the quality of the mic/ preamp and/or headroom ?
    Do you find a capture sounds better when the mic hpf is employed during tracking or ITB during mixing?
     
  12. pcrecord

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

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    I haven't thought about it that far.. but I have a customer who does voice over and his voice has a lot of low end. I found that it messes the compressor behavior on my LA-610 so, with him I always use a mic with HPF engage.
    So not only the mic electronics could be overloaded with so much bass but it is certainly screwing up the compression, unless I use sidechain but since I'm gonna remove those frequencies anyway.. Better do it at the mic..
    I have to keep that in mind with other sources !
     
  13. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

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    I have always rolled off the bottom end around 80-100....but I have always done it post-recording. I actually never even thought about doing it pre-recording.

    I know this thread is older, (and the OP and I are from the same city, small world) but if what he is saying is correct, what would be causing that to happen?

    The only thing I can think of is the phase offset that will come with a 6, 12, or 18 db slope (anything but 24 or 48) that will be inserted directly into the recording if you have it in the chain during recording. Or is it possibly just a harmonic anomaly that may disappear if that crossover point was changed slightly? In other words, it's causing harmonic anomalies that are now in the low to mid 100's hz areas, which will bloat the bottom end (if anomalies are the cause).


    And this part....
    I don't quite understand how that would help? Isn't the sidechaining just causing the tracks it's applied to, to duck the vocal (or whichever slave/master you choose)? But if the vocal still has some bottom bloat...how does SC take care of that?

    I'm very curious bc I work with a girl who has, one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard. And enormous range. But her tone is deep for a woman. Think Toni Braxton, but lower. And I have a hard time controlling the bottom end sometimes. The presence just becomes too large...
     
  14. pcrecord

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

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    Commonly, compressors will react more to bass content compared to higher frequencies.
    To avoid this, you can send the track to an eq, remove some lows and take the EQ output as the sidechain input signal of your compressor.
    What it will do is avoid some pumping when the signal peaks in the lows.

    Of course this is a hard work to do OTB. Nowaday, many compressor plugins have that fonction imbedded.
    Fabfilter C2 has this. It processes the signal and when sidechain is activated you can either use an external signal or
    internal signal. With internal, it takes the input signal and apply an ajustable EQ to use it as sidechain.

    pro-c_image2@2x.jpg
     
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  15. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Check this thread for a different viewpoint on use of HP filters at the microphone input.
     
  16. pcrecord

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

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    Yeah it's a very good point, if the extra low end is reduced within the mic, it's own electronic won't be saturated by it, the same with the preamp and converters. In short it can only sound better, right ? ;)
     
  17. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

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    You da man! I never thought of this.
     
  18. pcrecord

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

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    You know you can even do a de-esser with this technique. Little tricks go a long way ! ;)
     
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  19. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

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    I can't wait to try it.

    Anyone know whatever happened to "Remy Rad?" Just didn't play well with others? She seems to know some stuff...
     
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

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    Some related history > http://recording.org/threads/hpf-on-microphone-preamp-or-when-mixing.59231/

    Tracking filters vs ITB filters. How important is this?
    For 3 years Sequoia 11, 12, 13 has had a problem with the stock channel EQ (plugin).

    When the HPF is engaged, depending on where you set the hpf roll-off curve (80 hz and below), silent to very obvious hiss begin to increase as you move the curve lower down in sub freq roll-off.

    You don't notice it happening unless the track has those freq present during the timeline. Meaning, the filter sounds fine until it see's those subs in the track.
    How important is this?
    Q: Does white noise in a mix cancel or effect the phase of transients? Will white dynamic noise effect good reverberation and all that comes with ambience, sweetness etc?

    This code error, while the hpf is reducing sub freqs, it is also dynamically increasing upper white noise freq throughout the spectrum in a song.

    which in turn effects the threshold sensitivity on the 2-bus compression ( side-chain de-essing and that bad swirly phase sound are a few areas that come to mind).

    Whats more interesting> no one noticed this until I pointed it out on the support Samplitude forums. My point is not to blow my horn here... but rather wonder, holy crap batman... .... how could we miss such an important code error, which hasn't been fixed!
    Thank goodness, they added an optional EQ to replace the older stock one.

    If they hadn't, this would have forced me to switch to another DAW. But then... I'm betting Sequoia is the lesser of evils.
    I am convinced, DAW engines are not all the same.

    Plugins do add anomalies and weird artifacts to a mix.
    Once I discovered this, I started researching, listening to other peoples mixes and I have indeed noticed hiss problems from (just a guess) converter AD op-amps, reverb plugins, and HPFs reacting from certain freqs.

    What I noticed about myself:

    After I upgraded to good (conversion, speakers, headphones > improved / subjective hearing techniques) I've learned to recognize how easy it was to evolve in a mix and miss subtle, yet very important accumulative aliasing artifacts/distortions the creep into a song/mix, that end up becoming part of the fabric of a mix. I now take extra time to listen to the full bandwidth of a track the moment I engage or disengage a process.

    It also makes me ask the question, how many people are actually rolling off the subs?

    Finally, I am a firm believer to get the best sound you can during tracking. Digital audio is awesome but its not magic. Some plugins do more harm than good.
     

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