Stereo spread

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Stereo spread

Postby Luke Garfield » Wed May 11, 2005 8:18 pm

Okay I'm up to my final tweak of one "fast" and one not so "fast" mix. Comparing it to other commercial releases I realise the stereo spread is less even than the other tunes I'm listening too. It sounds to me as if the middle of the image peaks up but the stereo stuff is tapers off a bit. It's not huge but I'm trying to push myself as far as my skills (at this stage) will take me. I have been trying the mixes on a few systems and it's not always obvious.

My question:

1. Do I need to fix this or is this best left to the mastering side. Or to put it another way if I try to fix it now will I be creating something for a mastering engineer to fix.

Cheers.
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Postby wez » Thu May 12, 2005 1:43 am

i think the obvious thing to do would be to do two mixes and bring them both in.

but yeah you could end up making a problem for yourself, especially if you get too carried away comparing it to other stuff. anyway, i thought really narrow/virtually mono was in now (or was that last decade?) i don't know anymore. i'd reckon best left for mastering but then again i don't like tweaking stereo width... have a look at your mix and see what you can do there first. i know wider panning isn't necessarily what your talking about but it could be all it needs.
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Postby Martinez » Thu May 12, 2005 7:53 am

I know there are some pluginz around to help stereo width,
but I think they can have a bit of a nasty effect on the sound.

all you can do is try a few and see.
there's a few free ones floating around the net somewhere.
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Postby Luke Garfield » Thu May 12, 2005 11:40 am

Yeah I have a stereo spreader but I only use it for indi tracks because of phase issues.

I took the mixes to another studio tonight and a mate and I ran it through a fine tooth comb. The stereo thing didn't seem to be apparent on his monitors. It seems most apparent on my laptops speakers - but that is a poor representation of reality - is it just me or do lappys have a "party" compression across their outputs.

How do you get that really clicky kick with it's own space. Not metal, post hardcore, bands like POD & Blindside (same producer/engineer). I have the low mids wound out and a wide-ish notch of 8db at 3.9k. I have a d112 mic track for front of kick and a AKG c3000 (I think that's the mic) on the beater side. Comp the kick and have adjusted the attack to try and get some extra click from the comp. But alas it is still not in it's own space. Should I notch the guitars at 3.9k slightly to make some room. Actually now I think of it it's prob the mono dist guitar messing with the kick- well duh. I'm gonna go and fiddle now...

Cheers.
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Postby mfdu » Thu May 12, 2005 12:09 pm

if you got a mic on each side of the kik, you have examined phase, haven't you? otherwise, your kik may be missing due to phase cancellation . . .

not teaching you to suck eggs, please dont take offense if you already know all of that. you'd be amazed how many folks just dont know . . .

chris.
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Postby Jason Dirckze » Thu May 12, 2005 12:45 pm

My fave freq. for use with drums (Kicks, toms...)

400Hz

Pull out some at 400Hz and maybe crank the highs and your click will appear.
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Postby Will Usher » Thu May 12, 2005 1:04 pm

"How do you get that really clicky kick with it's own space. Not metal, post hardcore, bands like POD & Blindside (same producer/engineer). I have the low mids wound out and a wide-ish notch of 8db at 3.9k. I have a d112 mic track for front of kick and a AKG c3000 (I think that's the mic) on the beater side. Comp the kick and have adjusted the attack to try and get some extra click from the comp. But alas it is still not in it's own space."

Try sampling one kick hit from the kit you recorded and shoving it under each kick drum. Try a different sample. Try putting an Antares mic mod on Coles 4438 on the inside kick mic.

I've heard that most producers of that style of music shove samples under the drums. The guy who did Deftones did this as well.
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Postby rick » Thu May 12, 2005 4:48 pm

the very nature of how i master records tends to make the image wider bigger and deeper, and i am not talking about using the spreaders
when i turn the dedicated spreaders on the mix changes a bit ( ie its spread) so waiting untill you get home to work out if you like a spread mix is sometimes to late.
i dont like to send people home with choices

just make it as good as you can
your mastering guy should then know whats appropiate.

( i am trying to step around the idea that image spreading is often a mastering compression and eq thing - not a gimmick box )

and of course that big full fast stereo mixes are hard to mix but you know that right...?
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Postby Peter Knight » Fri May 13, 2005 1:16 am

[quote="Will Usher"]I've heard that most producers of that style of music shove samples under the drums. The guy who did Deftones did this as well.[/quote]

Hell, anyone heard of Andy Wallace?
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Postby Luke Garfield » Sat May 14, 2005 12:12 am

mfdu -yeah, I've been phase flipping don't worry about that ;-) (no offence)

24/96 - Um I actually want click. so I'm not sure about the advice

Will - yeah - have thought about it, will persist a little longer

Rick - yeah you bet I know fast mixes are hard to mix, I think I'm winning though. Making it as good as I can.

Yeah Peter I've heard of that bloke somewhere along the way ;-)

regards everyone these cookies are nearly cooked..
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Postby Adam Dempsey » Wed May 18, 2005 11:42 am

The stereo spread process, itself, simply increases the amount of stereo (L-R) content, eg fx, anything that's panned or not mono. So if done correctly, by definition increasing this doesn't affect the mono (sum L+R) signal itself, only the ratio between the two. But if it's left to the mastering stage of course you only increase the entire stereo content, reverbs and all.

Sometimes width can be acheived more successfully by only applying it to higher frequencies or by only summing low frequencies. Of course, low frequency compression on a mix can also widen things as it suppresses that (mostly mono) component of the signal.

I think a large part of the appeal of vinyl (true vinyl - not today's vinyl, often pressed from release CDs) was from the crosstalk and essentially mono low mids and below.

Regardless, obviously you risk messing with the mix if you can't monitor stereo spreading correctly and use it judiciously. So again, width is ideally best left for getting right in mixing, where contrast can play a huge part in making a good mix sound really great, with separation, yet density:
contrast between mono/tight elements of the mix and wide incidental sounds/samples/guitars.
contrast between dry & wet sounds.
contrast between percussive and sustained sounds.
and contrast with arrangement of loud/soft sounds.

Or supply alternate mixes to mastering if in doubt (and please label what each is!).
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