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Post mixing a live performance.
Old 30th December 2012
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Post mixing a live performance.

Hi,

Firstly my apologies if this in the wrong forum, please move if that is the case.

Ok so my neighbor runs a glee/high school style choir, although it is not my type of thing I have to say the show is really impressive. The thing is she had her summer show recorded and filmed and has asked me (knowing I have a small project studio) if I would be interested in producing a CD of the show.

I normally produce EDM but know my way around a bit, not a complete novice however here is the thing;

She (or the people who recorded it) has/have supplied me with the wavs of the show. All the vocals recorded on various mics and the music. I assume it was recorded to a HD, it is all mono.

So I thought I would attack it as a whole show, and not single tracks, not sure if that is the right thing to do? But I am facing real problems getting it to sound right. Here is why...

1. It is soooo frikkin ambient! Is there anything I can do with the mic bleed on the vocal tracks? It is stacking up and making it sound like it was recorded in a big bathroom! I assume automation is my friend here? But where do I start?

2. The vocals alone are thin and and I do not know how to give them weight without affecting the bleed of the music.

3. By attacking the whole thing and not as single tracks I am struggling with levels, track to track.

I would really appreciate the help of other more qualified slutz... I kind of wish I had of said no, but I love a challenge... Seems like it may bite me on the ass...

Oh I am using Logic which I know is not ideal for this sort of thing, I do also own DP but I know Logic inside out...
Old 30th December 2012
  #2
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Sotsirc's Avatar
Ok, here's my 2 cent. I think you should mix it track by track knowing that the main part of your work can be reused for all the tracks so I would use the settings for the first track as a starting point and adjust where needed. Is mic bleeding still an issue when they're actually singing into the mic? If you can remove all the parts of the vocal tracks that don't have any voice without messing up the sound of the whole performance too much (ie does the music sound really different when you hear the bleed on top of the vocals?).
Old 31st December 2012
  #3
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterbean View Post
Hi,

Firstly my apologies if this in the wrong forum, please move if that is the case.

Ok so my neighbor runs a glee/high school style choir, although it is not my type of thing I have to say the show is really impressive. The thing is she had her summer show recorded and filmed and has asked me (knowing I have a small project studio) if I would be interested in producing a CD of the show.

I normally produce EDM but know my way around a bit, not a complete novice however here is the thing;

She (or the people who recorded it) has/have supplied me with the wavs of the show. All the vocals recorded on various mics and the music. I assume it was recorded to a HD, it is all mono.

So I thought I would attack it as a whole show, and not single tracks, not sure if that is the right thing to do? But I am facing real problems getting it to sound right. Here is why...

1. It is soooo frikkin ambient! Is there anything I can do with the mic bleed on the vocal tracks? It is stacking up and making it sound like it was recorded in a big bathroom! I assume automation is my friend here? But where do I start?

2. The vocals alone are thin and and I do not know how to give them weight without affecting the bleed of the music.

3. By attacking the whole thing and not as single tracks I am struggling with levels, track to track.

I would really appreciate the help of other more qualified slutz... I kind of wish I had of said no, but I love a challenge... Seems like it may bite me on the ass...

Oh I am using Logic which I know is not ideal for this sort of thing, I do also own DP but I know Logic inside out...
You should attack it track by track, but aim for a similar sound across the board. Turn up or down mics that aren't the lead at that moment, to cut ambience out. You can also automate EQ or compression plugs onto the channels where the singers go from lead to ensemble and back, to fatten them up as necessary. If you have a mono backing track, get the stereo mix from the director and line it up, track by track.

If you find, when adding it together, that the combo of bleed with the backing track is giving you mud, you can bus all the vox tracks together and do some critical EQ cuts across the bus to clean it up a bit.

You can also "fatten" by rolling off the high end on the vocal spots, which when used at a distance (6-18" from the mouth) can REALLY exhibit their typically strong presence peaks. Just use a nice shelf or, if you know the mic type, a bell trough to match their peak.

Pan the vocals to spread the sound a bit, and actually MIX it, don't just set and forget. Have fun!
Old 31st December 2012
  #4
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Hi guys, and thank you so much for your replies. It makes sense and is really appreciated. 2 further questions in reply to your answers.

1. When you say attack it track by track do you mean I should cut the recordings into single tracks at this point and have separate tracks in Logic because for 25 songs that is a lot of tracks or do you mean keep it as one long project, attack the tracks one by one, bounce the whole project when the mix is done and then do the cutting, fades etc then? If it is the latter then that was what I meant by attacking the whole thing, so sorry for any confusion.

2. Kevin you wrote "Turn up or down mics that aren't the lead at that moment, to cut ambience out".

This is my main problem, say going from a lead where I have automated the other mics out and then back into the ensemble kind of sounds weird, like 2 different recordings. Almost like the lead is a lovely studio recording and the ensemble come in and its all giant bathroom again... Dont get me wrong I understand that it is a live recording but it seems I cant find a middle ground.

This makes a lot of sense "You can also automate EQ or compression plugs onto the channels where the singers go from lead to ensemble and back, to fatten them up as necessary".

I will try this, also what are your thoughts and advice about the use of reverb on any of of the vocals etc...?

Lastly you mentioned about the backing tracks being Mono, I have been supplied with 2 mono versions and have just hard panned them L/R is this sufficient?

Many thanks again and Happy New Year!
Old 31st December 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
1). When I mix a live concert, I keep the concert in one or two long chunks. I bus the outputs of all the tracks to a new stereo track, and record it so that it is lined up time wise. This is the equivalent to using your DAW as a tape machine, recording say 14 or 22 tracks, and then mixing these tracks onto the final 2 tracks on your 2" tape. Rough analogy, but I think you will get the idea. There's no need to separate all the multitrack files out.

2). When I say "turn down the tracks you aren't using", I do not mean turn them down all the way. Turn them down enough that you lose the blur and mud without the contrast between full mics up and just feature mic up is substantial. A little bit of bleed is your friend. You can probably lose 8-12db on unused mics without it being too obvious, assuming you mix them back up tactfully. Use your ears and experiment for how to do this well, as it is something that takes practice.

3). Solo your backing tracks, which you have panned L and R. Is the sound centered in the middle (mono) or is there noticeable panning and width to it? You will have your answer then. A stereo backing track is essential to a good stereo recording.
Old 2nd January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 

First, settle on a naming convention and stick with it. When you say, "...a whole show, and not single tracks...," that suggests that - for you - a single track means a single song. But the very first reply you receive says, "...remove all the parts of the vocal tracks..." which suggests that that person is using tracks to refer to the individual channels.

Depending on how the subsequent responders interpret the word, you've either received some good advice or you haven't. Context can provide some clues, but some of the replies can be interpreted using either meaning.

best,

john
Old 2nd January 2013
  #7
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
My free advice may come with some grammatical nonlinearities ;-). Context should be clear. If not, ask questions.
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