reducing a harmonica volume in the mix

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by lukeb, May 13, 2010.

  1. lukeb

    lukeb Guest

    Hi guys just letting you know im a huge newbie and dont know a lot about mixing so any help would be awesome.

    Basically the band im in got a show on a radio station and we all played well and we're thinking of turning the recording the station gave us into a live demo.

    The only problem is the harmonica player turned up late and missed the sound check and he is rather loud in the mix. I was hoping to take him down a little in a post mix/master or what ever.

    Ive heard of taking the vocals down using the fact the track is usually split across the two channels but im not sure about working with harmonicas.

    If anyone has any tips id be grateful. Even giving me the heads up that its not possible would save me some time.

    Its a 128 kbps recording WAV file

    Ill either use logic8 or reaper v 3.4 when im screwing around. whatever is easiest.

    Cheers Guys
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    128kbps refers to the bit rate of compressed files like MP3 or similar. A .wav file is characterised by its sampling rate and bit depth; for example, a professional recording might be stereo 96kHz at 24 bits, and a CD-quality file is 44.1kHz at 16 bits.

    If you have only a 128kbps compressed file from the radio station, put it up as a download from a website or keep it as a souvenir, but I wouldn't go to the effort of putting it on a CD - the quality will not be there, even for a demo.

    As for reducing the level of one particular performer, you can do no better than the method of suppressing the vocals you mentioned by reducing the level of the mid channel (L + R) and boosting the side channel (L - R). If your DAW does not has a specific vocal suppression or a stereo widening tool, it's is best done by M-S encoding, lowering M, raising S and then M-S decoding (same process as encoding). This all assumes the harmonica is central in the mix as a vocalist would be.
  3. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Depending on what you are prepared to spend for software tools:
    Izotope RX, Algorithmix ReNovator & WaveLab 6
    are the most amazing tools for audio restauration and rescue.. ;-)
    ReNovator, being the most expensive one is also the most powerful tool.
    You can simply erase a snare drum from a CD track, coughing from a classic concert recording...
    you name it... Of course it allows to reduce the sound object in volume, too.
    RX has received some good critics, as well. Wavelab has a downgraded version of ReNovator, but works well, too.
    The main thing: the rest of the musik stays amazingly untouched.

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