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Topic: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Well, I\'m quite miffed...I\'ve been mashing my mittens my mom made me trying to make this orchestral mix sound amazing, so I figure, hey...my mentor always reminded me to make sure it passes muster in \"Mono\", mister, or you might make many an enemy of multiple clients.

    Well, it sounds like a massive mound of mushy monkey doo in Mono. I guess the monkeys haven\'t been getting their fiber. Major, major phasing. But what the hecks a man to do?? I tried it with zero effects and it still has that miserably menacing phasing.

    I mean, these are samples from several different libraries, so it\'s not just isolated to one measly set. I really don\'t understand how one can avoid such nasty phasing if it\'s inherent in the sample itself. How do you guys fix this? Am I missing something obvious?
    -Hudson

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Mono makes mush of many a mix. If you need mono compatibility, which in some cases is mandatory, you may need to make some of the instruments themselves mono, at least the worst offenders.

    In general, a single-point (xy, stereosonic, mid-side, etc.) stereo recording will condense to mono just fine by combining channels, i.e., collapsing. So, this bodes well for mono compatibility even if you leave them full stereo in the mix. However, a-b and other spread mic techniques are stereo of time and phase as well as directionality. Collapsing those instruments gives you the comb filtering and phasing on the track level. For those, it\'s better to just throw a channel away.

    The trick is that in many cases you can\'t know how the original session was recorded, so you just have to try it out, and find the instruments that really cancel and phase.

    Mono is a big reality in television, still. Some actually specify it, but anything that\'s written for television should be mono compatible. And it\'s not so much that people with tiny TVs will suffer, it\'s that the mix engineers have very specific levels and channelizing required for their masters. If they mono your work out on the mix stage, and things start going haywire, they grumble and you start catching heat. Since those guys have immense power over how your stuff ultimately plays and sounds, it\'s always a good idea to make their job as easy as possible.

    It\'s sometimes the safest bet to provide stereo and mono mixes (in essence, sparing the post engineer the view of any dirty laundry that might have slipped through). If you have a good developed relationship with the post engineer, you can usually just come to an agreement about what is most convenient for him. I have found that a little \"getting to know you\" call to the post house does wonders for those relationships. If somebody already likes you and has a good impression, it buys a lot of grace and understanding if something doesn\'t go well...the difference in getting a phone call vs. hearing through the grapevine that a dartboard has been erected in your honor.

    Along the same lines, subsonics can get you in trouble. Although it\'s no problem for the post engineer to roll off a little bass, make sure you don\'t have any \"cone floppers\" left in there--frequencies that aren\'t contributing to the bass, but just flapping the woofers.

  3. #3
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    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Hudson, instead of mixing L&R channels, have you tried using a stereo controller plug-in? These take the mean from both channels and allow you to modulate any differential components; surpressing the differentials completely would leave you with mono. I haven\'t tried this for such radical use (-disclaimer!). You\'d loose amplitude from panned instruments, but, as long as you\'ve left panning till after rendering, it wouldn\'t be too arduous to produce a second, unpanned mix, to convert to mono.

    If you\'ve haven\'t, it\'s not worth not trying, as they (some) come dead cheap, e.g. PSP Stereopack (-I\'m not sure whether you pay or whether they send you money with it), which I think is downloadable. Or try a demo

    (Edit
    google search found web page

  4. #4

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    So many of the stereo librarys are completely out of phase. Almost all the pianos and many of the string samples have severe phase problems. This is a result of clueless, deaf engineers. Recording in stereo is not rocket science. In order to prevent these problems listen to the demos of the librarys in mono. This should give you a good idea if you will loose some of your clients later on and a lot of your time.
    Sample developers: Stop using stupid gagdets to achieve stereo, stop thinking you are audio engineers if you aren\'t, audio engineering is craft learned by recording 1000s of hours of music, speech or other sonic events. If you think you can hear phase just because you just purchased pro tools and a couple of mikes, you may be making a mistake.

  5. #5

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Originally posted by franz:
    So many of the stereo librarys are completely out of phase. Almost all the pianos and many of the string samples have severe phase problems. This is a result of clueless, deaf engineers. Recording in stereo is not rocket science. In order to prevent these problems listen to the demos of the librarys in mono. This should give you a good idea if you will loose some of your clients later on and a lot of your time.
    Sample developers: Stop using stupid gagdets to achieve stereo, stop thinking you are audio engineers if you aren\'t, audio engineering is craft learned by recording 1000s of hours of music, speech or other sonic events. If you think you can hear phase just because you just purchased pro tools and a couple of mikes, you may be making a mistake.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">fact is, if you listen to something, you always do this with to ears, dont you? There are no monophonic acoustical signals out there, unless you are deaf at one ear. If you record ensembles and solo-instruments and combine them, you achieve a persuasive result only by using stereo.

  6. #6

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Originally posted by silent stage:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Originally posted by franz:
    So many of the stereo librarys are completely out of phase. Almost all the pianos and many of the string samples have severe phase problems. This is a result of clueless, deaf engineers. Recording in stereo is not rocket science. In order to prevent these problems listen to the demos of the librarys in mono. This should give you a good idea if you will loose some of your clients later on and a lot of your time.
    Sample developers: Stop using stupid gagdets to achieve stereo, stop thinking you are audio engineers if you aren\'t, audio engineering is craft learned by recording 1000s of hours of music, speech or other sonic events. If you think you can hear phase just because you just purchased pro tools and a couple of mikes, you may be making a mistake.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">fact is, if you listen to something, you always do this with to ears, dont you? There are no monophonic acoustical signals out there, unless you are deaf at one ear. If you record ensembles and solo-instruments and combine them, you achieve a persuasive result only by using stereo. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">You are missing the point.

    Actually, listening with human ears from a mono source is a binaural thing. Stereo is simply creating an illusion of a center by spacing and panning instruments between 2 speakers.

    Franz is right, use some scopes people!!!

  7. #7

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    make sure you don\'t have any \"cone floppers\" left in there--frequencies that aren\'t contributing to the bass, but just flapping the woofers
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">What are peoples\' opinions about leaving in the rumble from concert bass drums (below 80HZ or so)? I\'m undecided. On one hand, it\'s really dramatic; on the other, most people don\'t hear it and it eats up VU. The VSL bass drum doesn\'t have a lot of it, but others certainly do.

    In other words, I can\'t decide whether it\'s contributing or flapping the woofers.

  8. #8

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Originally posted by Nick Batzdorf:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\"> make sure you don\'t have any \"cone floppers\" left in there--frequencies that aren\'t contributing to the bass, but just flapping the woofers
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">What are peoples\' opinions about leaving in the rumble from concert bass drums (below 80HZ or so)? I\'m undecided. On one hand, it\'s really dramatic; on the other, most people don\'t hear it and it eats up VU. The VSL bass drum doesn\'t have a lot of it, but others certainly do.

    In other words, I can\'t decide whether it\'s contributing or flapping the woofers.
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">You shouldnt make eq adjustments simply by a this or that logic framework. Examine the pitches, then add and subtract according to the fundamental and the consequential harmonics, etc. EQ is a craft.

    Put samples on a FFT , look closely at what information (energy) you may or may not need, experiment!

    And yes, some \'rumble\' is bad, but careful as to where u slop or u may loose the attack of the drum.

    A great place to start with EQ is to think \'pitches as frequency\'

  9. #9

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Nick,

    Why don\'t you just benchmark against some recordings that have a lot of bassdrum material? LoTR for example. Look at the material in a spectrum freq. analyzer. Should give you an idea. Anyway, it all depends on what your final medium is. If it\'s TV, then there\'s no reason to leave it in, in fact you prolly wont even hear the bassdrum [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Personally I would leave it in because the really low frequencies tend to give a bit of body to the piece.


    Thomas

  10. #10

    Re: Massive mayhem mitigating in Mono

    Originally posted by Thomas_J:
    Nick,

    Why don\'t you just benchmark against some recordings that have a lot of bassdrum material? LoTR for example. Look at the material in a spectrum freq. analyzer. Should give you an idea. Anyway, it all depends on what your final medium is. If it\'s TV, then there\'s no reason to leave it in, in fact you prolly wont even hear the bassdrum [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Personally I would leave it in because the really low frequencies tend to give a bit of body to the piece.


    Thomas
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">In 2003 we cant roll-off just because of delivery format. More and more television viewers are using hi-fi home theatre setups to listen to all audio. So therefore, rolling off --- removes it forever . I mean ... DVD\'s are not mixed with this in mind, and some people will watch/listen with only TV speakers. The information is still there, the TV speakers cant reproduce it.

    And careful about referencing other material .... like i said .... it is acoustical energy. There are no golden rules. It is pitch relative ........ if the LOTR piece is in Bb, and maybe the drums are pitched accordingly, And Nicks piece is in , lets say C# minor. Then it wold not be wise to refernce to this. ((( Some people DO pitch their floppy bass drums ))) ....... also, rather than sloping off low frequencies, try to control them with a multi-band compressor. Better to tame them than loose them.

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