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True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning
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Keyplayer
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3rd October 2004
Old 3rd October 2004
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True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning

One of the techniques that I used frequently, for getting more punch out of lead and background vocal tracks, was duplicating those tracks in my DAW and processing them as one combined sound.

Recently, I did a session where I had a pair of mics set up to record background vocals. I had one capsule hanging down and the other pointing up. Both were as close as I could get them without touching (I could slide one sheet of paper in between them and it would stay). I decided to try cutting lead vocals with this configuration and found it very difficult to get a balanced recording. The signal was so hot that I had to turn down the gain to a point where the softer sung parts were almost too low. Also I noticed that I had accidentally used this technique on a couple of overdubs and had to clone tracks to match the performances.

It seemed to me that the cloned tracks were smoother sounding. I assumed this was because there was absolutely NO phasing issue. The other thing I noticed was that the dual mic tracks had an edge to the sound that was kind of like overdrive.

I should point out that the mics, while being the same model (AT-4033), were not a matched pair. So I'm also assuming that might have had a great deal to do with the outcome as well.

Bottom line is, my impression now is that it is better to use a single mic and clone it rather than to use a double mic for point source recording. But given those earlier factors mentioned and the fact that I hadn't tried it before, I think I probably did a lot of things wrong. So before I abandon that option, I thought I'd check with you all on the proper way to stereo mic single sources. Should I have phase reversed one of the mics? Should I have compressed the signal on the way in? Should I have used different models altogether and then tried blending the sounds? What's the general approach you guys take for getting really close, full, intiamate sounding vocal tracks? I'd also like to use this approach for acoustic guitar solos over a jazz rhythm section.
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3rd October 2004
Old 3rd October 2004
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Re: True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning

Quote:
Originally posted by Keyplayer
One of the techniques that I used frequently, for getting more punch out of lead and background vocal tracks, was duplicating those tracks in my DAW and processing them as one combined sound.

Recently, I did a session where I had a pair of mics set up to record background vocals. I had one capsule hanging down and the other pointing up. Both were as close as I could get them without touching (I could slide one sheet of paper in between them and it would stay). I decided to try cutting lead vocals with this configuration and found it very difficult to get a balanced recording. The signal was so hot that I had to turn down the gain to a point where the softer sung parts were almost too low. Also I noticed that I had accidentally used this technique on a couple of overdubs and had to clone tracks to match the performances.

It seemed to me that the cloned tracks were smoother sounding. I assumed this was because there was absolutely NO phasing issue. The other thing I noticed was that the dual mic tracks had an edge to the sound that was kind of like overdrive.

I should point out that the mics, while being the same model (AT-4033), were not a matched pair. So I'm also assuming that might have had a great deal to do with the outcome as well.

Bottom line is, my impression now is that it is better to use a single mic and clone it rather than to use a double mic for point source recording. But given those earlier factors mentioned and the fact that I hadn't tried it before, I think I probably did a lot of things wrong. So before I abandon that option, I thought I'd check with you all on the proper way to stereo mic single sources. Should I have phase reversed one of the mics? Should I have compressed the signal on the way in? Should I have used different models altogether and then tried blending the sounds? What's the general approach you guys take for getting really close, full, intiamate sounding vocal tracks? I'd also like to use this approach for acoustic guitar solos over a jazz rhythm section.
First of all I have to point out I'm not exactly sure from your post what you are trying to achieve, but I can make a couple of technical observations that you need to be aware of. Firstly if you are recording in stereo with a pair of similar mics in a cross paired configuration (I'm not sure this is what you are doing) then panned left and right there should be no phase problem as its a stereo signal, obviously if you subesequently mono the mix potentially minor phase could make a difference when compared to a single mono mic, all this assumes your stereo pair are wired in correct phase to one another. Duplicating a mono mic by cloning has no advantage over having just the single track panned to the centre. If you clone a channel on your DAW and then pan that and the original left and right, it should be exactly the same as the original track panned central, unless you have something severly wrong. Of course their maybe some mileage in clonning tracks to apply a different processing chaqin, however that doesn't appear to be the case from your original post.

Perhaps if you can tell us what you are seeking to achieve you will get some good advice. There are many knowledgeable folk here on gearslutz, who I am sure will be willing to advise.


Regards



Roland
Keyplayer
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3rd October 2004
Old 3rd October 2004
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Re: Re: True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning

Quote:
Originally posted by Roland
Perhaps if you can tell us what you are seeking to achieve you will get some good advice. There are many knowledgeable folk here on gearslutz, who I am sure will be willing to advise.


Regards
Roland
Keyplayer: What I'm looking for was spelled out at the end of my original post. "What's the general approach you guys take for getting really close, full, intiamate sounding vocal tracks? I'd also like to use this approach for acoustic guitar solos over a jazz rhythm section"

I'm looking to get a sound sooo intimate that it feels like the sound is "coming from inside of you" when you hear it.
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3rd October 2004
Old 3rd October 2004
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Re: Re: Re: True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning

Quote:
Originally posted by Keyplayer
Keyplayer: What I'm looking for was spelled out at the end of my original post. "What's the general approach you guys take for getting really close, full, intiamate sounding vocal tracks? I'd also like to use this approach for acoustic guitar solos over a jazz rhythm section"

I'm looking to get a sound sooo intimate that it feels like the sound is "coming from inside of you" when you hear it.

A large part of this type of sound you are describing has a lot to do with frequency juggling.
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4th October 2004
Old 4th October 2004
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I don't know about the whole stero miking thing, that sounds like trouble to me. However I always mult my lead vocal output to two channels. Not so much for the reasons you seek though. For me it lets me get more volume out of the vocal without pushing the channel output so much. I can get a cleaner sound while still getting good volume. The way a sound hits the input of the console and hits the mix bus are important to the sound for me. But that's just me and it's different for everyone.
Keyplayer
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4th October 2004
Old 4th October 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by jonnyclueless
I don't know about the whole stero miking thing, that sounds like trouble to me. However I always mult my lead vocal output to two channels. Not so much for the reasons you seek though. For me it lets me get more volume out of the vocal without pushing the channel output so much. I can get a cleaner sound while still getting good volume. The way a sound hits the input of the console and hits the mix bus are important to the sound for me. But that's just me and it's different for everyone.
Keyplayer: Actually, your reason is very similar to my reason. I'm doing virtually what you're doing in real time on a fader. I clone my track for the extra volume I get WITHOUT having to overdrive the channel.

I used to do that function exactly the same way you just described. Then I found out that I could get the same result doing it in the DAW and use fewer faders on the desk, thus freeing them up for other tracks that I wanted to have on their own fader.

From the responses that I'm getting from other sites, I realize now that the way I set up the mics was the problem. Everyone is telling me that I should've:
1) Used "X Y" Configuration
2) Used "ORTF" Confiuration
3) Done either of these configurations on SMALL CONDENSER MICS
4) NOT USED THIS TECHNIC ON A LEAD VOCAL TRACK! Apparently, for some reason yet to be explained, this works better on guitar, piano, or other solo string instruments.

So, I'll try it again with small condensor mics and see if I get a better result.
Trp
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4th October 2004
Old 4th October 2004
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Keyplayer -

what you did was not "True Stereo Recording" by any means. The reason for stereo recording is to achieve a natural stereo image - normally that is not what you go for if you want your lead vocal "in your face".

Stereo miking doesn´t have anything to do with multing. Real stereo miking immitates our ears/listening (so you pan the signal hard L & R) because either phase differences and/or differences in pressure level occure between the two mics.

You can do stereo miking with either SD or LD.

Since you don´t seem to have any understanding of stereo techniques (and acoustics maybe?) I would grab a good book on this topic. Sorry, but it´s pretty much impossible to get you going by answering this in a forum.

Stereo miking can be great so you´ll enjoy learning about it.
Trp
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4th October 2004
Old 4th October 2004
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Re: True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning

Quote:
Originally posted by Keyplayer
One of the techniques that I used frequently, for getting more punch out of lead and background vocal tracks, was duplicating those tracks in my DAW and processing them as one combined sound.
Doubling a signal doesn´t add punch, it only increases the volume by 6dB. If you have headroom problems just pull down the other stuff. Volume is always relative.
Keyplayer
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4th October 2004
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Re: Re: True Stereo Miking vrs. Track Cloning

Quote:
Originally posted by Trp
Doubling a signal doesn´t add punch, it only increases the volume by 6dB. If you have headroom problems just pull down the other stuff. Volume is always relative.
Keyplayer: Doubling a signal DOES add punch if you process the cloned track. Sometimes I use processing similar to comping a drum kit and blending it with the natural kit. It's an effect that is more "felt" than heard.
Trp
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4th October 2004
Old 4th October 2004
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Well sure it can, if you process them differently. But you didn´t say so in your initial post.

If you sum two identical signals you only increase amplitude.
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