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Bruce Swedien Is in the House!

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  • I once participated in a memorial service where I was asked to provide a recording of the service. Also, I agreed to play a short closing piece on the piano. Well, when I got to that portion of the program, I started worrying about the levels from the piano, as I didn't do a levels check beforehand, as the occupancy made a great deal of difference on level set, and i couldn't do a practice run with the assembled audience. So I did a SWAG and left the control room.

    Well, I sat down at the keyboard, started to play, and froze. My left hand to be accurate, refused to move. I was still in left brain mode from recording, so the right hand moved, but the left hand froze.

    I still feel very remorsful for blowing that end. I knew the person well who had passed, as well as the participants.

    It didn't help not to have warmup first either!

    Comment


    • Ohh i had some similar experiences, i.e. before a concert i did not feel like playing, so i told the roadies to transport the kitchen to the concert hall and set it up on stage, then i was cooking for the audience for one and a half hours.

      .

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      • Originally posted by Angelo Clematide
        Ohh i had some similar experiences, i.e. before a concert i did not feel like playing, so i told the roadies to transport the kitchen to the concert hall and set it up on stage, then i was cooking for the audience for one and a half hours.

        .


        Angelo, whatever you're on you should consider trying half the dose next time...

        Martin
        http://www.nu47.com
        http://www.panphonic.com

        Comment


        • Great thread - for some reason i've missed this (I tend to ignore stickies) - so I've just done a 52 page catch-up in two days ... some great ideas here.

          Thanks Bruce and everyone - much appreciated.

          I'm pleased to hear about Bruce's dislike for MS mic'ing - it seems to be a popular fad in another forum. I'm interested in stereo techniques that gracefully collapse to mono. The thing I don't like about MS is that the stereo spread is created by phase inversion of a single source. So it cancels out completely when collapsed to mono. That's arguably better than other techniques that collapse into a phasey mess - but still not ideal.

          I believe it's important to use an omni mic for the Mid, so that when the Side information cancels out in mono, you still have some room sound. But then again, an omni isn't suitable for everything, and I really don't have much time for the whole MS thing at all.

          Something that amazes me is how bad many of the fake stereo effects sound when collapsed to mono. And how few people seem to care.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Kiwiburger
            The thing I don't like about MS is that the stereo spread is created by phase inversion of a single source. So it cancels out completely when collapsed to mono.


            Hmm, this is a difficult issue. What you are saying is actually that you don't like that the stereo component disappears when you remove it...

            Consider that the mid microphone signal does have some width in its pickup pattern too. You can have both a wider cardioid or even figure-8 to get more ambience in the collapsed mono version. An omni is not the only option.

            Actually, the way I see it is that theoretically all coincident techniques are only variations of the same idea. The sonic differences appear when real-life microphones are used.

            Here are some practical examples of how different coincident variations can sound if the microphone type is unchanged:


            http://www.nu47.com/samples/choir0.mp3
            http://www.nu47.com/samples/choir1.mp3
            http://www.nu47.com/samples/choir2.mp3
            http://www.nu47.com/samples/choir3.mp3
            http://www.nu47.com/samples/choir4.mp3

            Martin
            http://www.nu47.com
            http://www.panphonic.com

            Comment


            • I think the various stereo mic configurations are wildly different, especially when mono'd. And I care a lot about how my music sounds in mono (many don't care, and that's ok for them).

              A spaced pair, when collapsed to mono, becames a notch filter. The mix becomes wetter and more distant in mono.

              At least MS, when collapsed, cancels out the room sound. So that means it becomes dryer and more up front in mono.

              I prefer XY - it lacks the notch filter effect, because at least the upfront dry sounds are phase coherent.

              In my view - it's similar to comparing stereo chorus pedals. Some of them used phase inversion to create a second output from a single delay chip. They sound great in stereo, but when summed to mono, the chorus effect totally disappears. That can be really embarassing in a mix - because I think a chorused guitar part sounds weird if the chorus effect disappears.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Martin Kantola


                As I tried to say my last post, the "cancellation" doesn't actually work 100% because of microphone type and placement differences.



                I'm sorry but I think you did the trick wrong... what works much better is to record the tracks with the vocalist and the two speakers in phase.

                Then send the vocalist home and record the bleed only. Phase reverse, and mix with the edited vocal. Make sure you keep all levels exactly the same. A very useful trick for recording choirs!

                Martin


                And what about when you double and triple track? Or when you ride the vocal during the mix, do you group it so that the phase cancellation stays identical, or do you just bounce them to a new track at unity gain? And what do you do when the singer wants to hear a bit of himself in the mix as well? And does the comressor work and sound identically whether the singer is singing, or not? I'm sure you keep the monitor mix exactly the same for the whole session, too. Nobody EVER says, "could you turn the piano up a little in my mix" during the course of a vocal session... Right??? You never need to turn the mic pre up, or down during the session, or god forbid, ride it?

                I work with real people making artistic judgements, and following their intuition. Enforcing the rules necessary to obtain complete cancellation just wouldn't fit my style, or that of the artists I work with. Maybe you don't hear the phase differences, or maybe you like what they bring to your sound. That's up to you to decide. But to deny that they exist, and claim that you have found the perfect lab coat is foolish.

                Steve
                Steve
                http://www.hippocketrecords.com
                http://www.extrememixing.com

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Extreme Mixing
                  Maybe you don't hear the phase differences, or maybe you like what they bring to your sound. That's up to you to decide. But to deny that they exist, and claim that you have found the perfect lab coat is foolish.

                  Steve


                  It was never my intention to claim any of the above, please don't put words in my mouth.

                  As for your questions:

                  1. Double track. You can either record a "bleed-only" pair for each track, or by matching levels use one for the whole group.

                  2. Riding vocals. You need to mix in the "bleed only"-tracks before any other treatment, like EQ, compressing or panning etc. It can be good to "de-bleed" before editing too.

                  3. If the singer wants his or her voice in the speakers it will only add more vocal, not backgound track. But listen and judge.

                  4. If you need to make an adjustment in the playback mix, you can make a note of it and repeat the adjustment when creating the "bleed-only-track. Same for mic pre adjustments.

                  The whole idea, especially when using the trick on a lead vocal or small group is to create a better vocal recording, artistically, not technically! By getting rid of headphones some singers and groups can make better music since they hear themselves in a more natural way. I would never use any method in the studio for a purely technical reason!!!

                  Martin
                  http://www.nu47.com
                  http://www.panphonic.com

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Kiwiburger
                    I think the various stereo mic configurations are wildly different, especially when mono'd.


                    Yes of course, but the coicident ones have much in common. It's just that one rarely hears M/S and XY done with the exact same mikes simultaneously (as in the mp3's I posted earlier).

                    A spaced pair, when collapsed to mono, becames a notch filter.


                    True, but only for the direct part of the sound not arriving simultaneously to both mikes. So your room and source will affect the results a lot.

                    At least MS, when collapsed, cancels out the room sound. So that means it becomes dryer and more up front in mono.


                    Interesting point! Guess you could choose your level of "mono dryness" by selecting the mid mike type?

                    I prefer XY - it lacks the notch filter effect, because at least the upfront dry sounds are phase coherent.


                    Yes. Have to admit I've never used M/S as such, but XY is great. Sometimes it can be a bit boring though, IMHO.

                    Martin
                    http://www.nu47.com
                    http://www.panphonic.com

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Martin Kantola
                      Angelo, whatever you're on you should consider trying half the dose next time...


                      Thanks, reminded me to double the dose all the time. Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other. Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

                      ___________________________

                      Quote from Bruce about Quincy:

                      I am reminded of a time when Quincy and I were doing interviews together for Billboard Magazine. Q finished his part of the interview and it was my turn. The Billboard dude asked...."Mr. Swedien, in your estimation, during your long and illustrious career, what was the single most important technological advancement?

                      Off in the corner of the control room, I heard Quincy whisper to me, in a loud stage whisper, "Bruce.... tell him - ELECTRICITY!!!"

                      True story......

                      Bruce Swedien

                      .

                      Comment


                      • With Quincy and Bruce together, electricity becomes Electric City!

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                        • Brucie sez--------------------->I thought you might find the following interesting.... I want everyone here to think a bit about how her/he is motivated....

                          Specifically this is how I feel about my work with Duke Ellington. It was in the early 1960's. After working with Duke Ellington, I was never the same in any way about my work....

                          I have worked with many very talented artists in music, but none can compare with Duke Ellington for genuine love of what we are doing. My personal feeling is that Duke Ellington will go down in history as one of the most important persons in contemporary music. He was both a composer/arranger and a true creator of unique music. In addition to that he was a very warm, generous human being. A couple of times when I was recording the Ellington band, I would invite some of my musician pals to come to sit in on the sessions. They would watch the proceedings with their mouths wide open in wonder.

                          Studio
                          Music First!

                          Comment


                          • Bruce, this may be old news for you, but if not, you may like it:

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjKlFFp4-IE

                            Recording Duke E. in 1937

                            Peace, Han
                            Aka the 'sign' of MP

                            Comment


                            • Well, Garrison Keilor is a Minnesotan, right?

                              I also am totally involved with my work, and loving it! I also became a divorced man because I was so excitable about what I did.

                              Comment


                              • Han sez---------->Bruce, this may be old news for you, but if not, you may like it:

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjKlFFp4-IE

                                Recording Duke E. in 1937

                                Peace, Han

                                Brucie sez--------->Isn't that great??? I was three years old that year!!! I want to join up but it won't let me!

                                Bruce Swedien

                                Music First!

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