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Viewing topic "LCR recording"

     
Posted on: March 12, 2021 @ 03:39 PM
PeteParsons
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Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

I’ve been trying several things in my mixing from listening to several people on YT. One is mixing in mono. The other is LCR where you mix hard left, center and hard right only. A variation of LCR is also placing a couple of tracks at 50/50. In other words beside hard right and left you also place some tracks in-between center and hard right and left to fill out the stereo field.

I said all that to say this. I tried something outside the box and found it to be very interesting. Normally center is comprised of vocals, bass, snare and kick. Often also for a lead instrument like guitar or synth.

I tried panning the bass hard left and kick hard right. I placed tom’s in center. Snare I tried hard left and 50% left both which worked well but found the 50% position a little better. High-hat was hard right with the kick. Vocals and lead guitar in center. Keyboard was panned in center using auto pan for an effect. Two types of strings each hard right and left. Others like chimes and string pizzicato hard right and left. A few miscellaneous tracks at 50/50 to fill in the stereo field.

I know having bass and kick panned hard right and left is unconventional, but has anyone ever tried this or something similar? I found the results to make a very interesting mix. The trick is to balance each side. Just wondering what your thoughts are and wondering if you have ever done some unconventional mixing as well.

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Posted on: March 12, 2021 @ 03:51 PM
5pinDIN
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Joined  09-16-2010
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“Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind”
--Douglass MacArthur

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Posted on: March 12, 2021 @ 06:14 PM
philwoodmusic
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“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

--Bob Ross

When you mix something for yourself.  If something sounds good to you, then it is good.  If you like it, then that’s all that counts.

The idea of a centred bass, kick, snare and main vocal are likely an attempt throughout history to make music sound as good and consistent as possible on the wide variety of equipment that people listen to music on.  From one-speaker kitchen radios to really high brow audiophile equipment. 

It may also be an attempt to keep the mix left/right balanced, because it sounds like you’ve already noticed that it can sound a little odd if you don’t balance each side.

I like some of the older jazz recordings that have the whole drum kit on one side, and the whole sax solo on the other.  The stereo version of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s ‘Time Out’ (1959) with the classic ‘Take Five’ (as an example) has loads of atmosphere (for me) because of that.

To keep a strong left to right balance and to cut room for other instruments or voices, you may also want to double track various instruments and hard pan them each way.

Rhythm guitar parts, vocals and synths are commonly double tracked because they often sound nicer that way and you don’t have to give them a discrete position in your mix, which can sound awkward.

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Posted on: March 12, 2021 @ 09:39 PM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

My strings were double tracked left and right. Same exact part just a different string voicing. I just watched a video where it was suggested to double track the bass. One track being the normal bass tone, while the other scooping out the low frequencies and adding a little distortion. He said it would sound awful if you solo the voice, but added into the mix, it actually gives the bass some extra definition because bass tends to be the hardest to get right.

In years gone by, a lot of engineers in the hard rock genre used to pan LCR. As you pointed out, with certain jazz recordings, LCR adds that spacial atmosphere that can be a nice touch, especially when listening on a good system. In my day, it was all about high quality audio components. Today sadly, most people listen to their music on phones and computers so creative mixing really doesn’t get it’s due.

I have always mixed in the more conventional panning modes. More recently however, I’ve gotten more creative and found it really can make mixes come alive. The low end kick and bass on extreme opposite ends sounds pretty cool IMO. The drum kit with snare and kick on opposite ends with toms in center is a nice effect as well.

As you pointed out, double tracking guitars is a nice effect as well as either lead or rhythm. In my more conventional days I would sometimes pan organ and piano on opposite sides although I usually didn’t go hard left and right. I’m finding using hard R&L;panning not only gives you a wider mix, but on a decent audio system adds that spacial quality and stimulates your listening pleasure.

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Posted on: March 13, 2021 @ 05:37 AM
philwoodmusic
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I think those are some of the really magical things you can get into when mixing something.

I often use a number of parallel and differently treated bass tracks just like you mentioned. All balanced against the original.  If you’ve got enough channels to do it, and your processors or plugins are phase coherent, it can bring things to life, beef them up and make them lovely and bold.

You get to keep the original performance audio intact that way, too.

I love doing that to guitars too, and other things.

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Posted on: March 14, 2021 @ 09:06 AM
zpink
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I may be talking rubbish here, but I thought that bass always being in centre was down to vinyl not handle too big sideways movements of the needle very well, and therefore not as written in stone any longer.
That our ears aren’t particularly good at placing where lower frequencies are coming from may be the reason why this isn’t discussed more often. ;-)

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Posted on: March 14, 2021 @ 09:45 AM
philwoodmusic
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Yes. It’s only certain lower frequencies that are harder for us to hear in terms of the direction they’re coming from.  Not say, a bass guitar in general. (as an example)

I always centre my bass parts, that’s just what I prefer.

You might well be right about vinyl, I don’t really know enough on that subject.

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Posted on: March 14, 2021 @ 10:41 AM
5pinDIN
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It’s true that stylus tracking of the record groove is challenged much more by low frequencies than highs. However, with mono records the modulation was only lateral - there was no vertical component to the movement - so the problem isn’t so much a stereo/panning issue.

The low-frequency tracking difficulty (which also affects the cutting process) and the need to reduce surface noise were both dealt with by cutting the disk with an EQ curve that de-emphasized the low frequencies and pre-emphasized the highs. The inverse EQ curve is applied by phono preamp stages, restoring the bass levels and reducing high frequency levels to normal while simultaneously cutting noise. The process is known as RIAA equalization. See this article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization

And yes, with modern digital recordings that issue doesn’t exist.

As to localization of sound sources versus frequency, human anatomy/physiology has a lot to do with it. Below about 100 Hz or so most people find it very difficult/impossible. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization
Hence a single sub-woofer does the trick.

And yes, a sound that has sufficient harmonic/overtone structure (such as that of a bass guitar) can be localized because the cue is taken from the harmonics, which can be significantly higher in frequency than the fundamental tone.

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Posted on: March 14, 2021 @ 06:43 PM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

Great info. I was wondering why my mix was sounding really good even with kick and bass panned hard L&R;. Part of my brain was expecting it to be an issue. The fact that low frequencies are harder to determine direction or placement answers that doubt I was having regarding their placement.

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