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 Post subject: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:48 pm 
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Hi, has anyone encountered this before, record 15 tracks and then a vocal, mix together, no problem vocal blends in nice and sits well, but if you needed another couple of tracks and a vocal track, you would mix down the 15 tracks to a stereo track and then import the stereo track onto two spare virtual tracks, leaving you with 14 spare tracks for the vocal and whatever, now why is it the vocal does`nt sit well in the mix? it just sounds detached, it was fine with the 15 tracks when they were separate but as soon as they are in a stereo mix it`s not the same? what`s happening to the 15 tracks when their being combined?
Any ideas?
Thanks.
T.
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 Post subject: Re: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Footswitch Genius
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what`s happening to the 15 tracks when their being combined?

a loss of quality. when multiple sounds get combined into a single source, they sort of wash into each other a bit as the oversampler smooths out all the little jagged points in the waveform

by the same token, vocals played back with 'high quality' EQ i.e. super bright clear tops and rumbling lows, often sound stark. a 'warm' mic or preamp is warm because of the frequencies it attenuates, i.e. usually in the form of top-end or bottom-end roll-off (think of how mid-rangey an SM58 sounds, but how popular they are as a vocal mic.)

so perhaps reduce the 'quality' of your vocal, i.e. shave off a little tops and possibly bottoms, and see if it sits better in the mix

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 Post subject: Re: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:04 pm 
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I would hazard a guess about the compression settings. But I don't know where you applied ( or didn't a use) compression as you created the mix.

Did you compress the stereo bus, during the mixdown? Are you compressing the stem mix (perhaps inadvertasntly on the 15/16 Dyn settings) after it was moved to 15/16 as you freed up tracks 1 - 14.

In the same vein, don't forget that if you used some compression on the stereo bus during the mixdowmn, it may still be set to go - so as you listen to the 15/16 mix in preparation for your next steps, it may well be being "re-compressed". Depending on the threshold and knee settings this can have some radical influence on certain aspects of a mix - driving it away from what you heard, but in some instances pushing it closer to what you want to hear, as it "tightens up" the mix. the stereo bus Dyn and EQ settings get bypassed When you activate and listen back to the stereo track, but they are not bypassed if you are listening to the tracks - which is where you have moved your mix. so make sure that the stereo bus settings are turned off as you listen to your mix on 15/16.

Just some guessing here though -

-- getting the vocal (or other motif tracks ) to sit "right" is what the game is all about -- isn't it?

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 Post subject: Re: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:29 pm 
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As far as I know, good comments by both.

The way compression works, it can influence the sound in many ways. By creating a mix of the instruments you will by definition change it's sound. For instance, when you have compression on track 1 and track 2, they are separately compressed. If the piano is too loud, it will be smoothened by the compression. If the sax is too loud, it will be smoothened by the compression. But if they are both in the same mix, if either of them becomes too loud they will both be smoothened, even if for the other instrument it is not necessary.

This is one of the reasons why it's so hard to produce a decent mix of a vocal with a karaoke track. It's near impossible to give the vocal a nice placement into an existing mix.

There are many more reasons: one track pulling the signal over the noise floor so the other track gets heard. One track being compressed by the sound level of another track, by the key-in-source (which becomes instantaneously impossible after making a submix). Low frequencies being filtered out of one track because the low freqs of a different track becomes too loud... etc etc

You see, it's like a system comparison that gets an extra variable.

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 Post subject: Re: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:26 pm 
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The Reverend
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T-mac,

May be blasphemy, but you could export to the computer and try mixing that way... [-X I tend to do that on all my mixes now(yeah, right bok, when's the last time you posted anything :oops: )

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 Post subject: Re: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:51 pm 
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T.Mac - do you actually need to free up all the other 14 or whatever tracks? i.e. have you got that many more 'things' that you want to add to the song?

If you don't, I'd be tempted to not mix down 'everything' on to a stereo pair. I'd be inclined to just group some stuff to mix down - ie maybe drums and percussion together to a stereo pair and rhythm guitars/keyboards to a separate stereo pair - just to free up the minimum number of spare tracks you need to add the extra bits you want on the song.

By mixing down everything at this stage you are committing yourself completely to those sounds/dynamics/levels before the song is actually finished. You might find its easier to get the vocal to sit better with the backing track if you have maximum flexibility with the whole mix. i.e you might find that slight tweaks/eqing etc. to the other elements will help you to make the vocal sit in the right place and feel part of the song as opposed to something laying on top. And you won't be able to do that if 'everything' is on 1 stereo pair of tracks.

I'd personally want to retain as much control and flexibility as i possibly could right up to the very final mix.

Just a thought...

If you do need to use all those 14 spare tracks, then ignore me - I'm talking rubbish...


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 Post subject: Re: Vocal not sitting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Right guy`s thanks for the replies, like a total dipstick I left the compression on tracks 15/16 which is where I`ve put the stereo mixdown track #-o
Hi Bok, yeah I use Presonus software on the pc, but only for the mastering process, not to record or anything.

Hi Alex, I`m remixing some tracks I recorded a while back, but they were recorded on two Fostex DMT`S which were 8 tracks, but there was no way of backing up the tracks, no usb, no built in cd drive, in fact it had eq and thats it, no fx, no compression, basically a bloody hard drive with a plastic jacket on :)
So all I have are the stereo tracks hence the problem I`ve been having.
Thanks again all.
T.
www.tmacmusic.com

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http://www.soundcloud.com/t-mac-12

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmCjAzN ... ture=watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GETYJUJKu0

https://www.reverbnation.com/tmac


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