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Panning Tips Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 26th August 2008
  #1
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Panning Tips

When recording background vocals for R&B/pop songs, to acquire that wide,spacial effect, here is what I usually do dedicating twelve tracks.

Lets say you are recording a three part harmony part.
Start by recording each part mono.

First part (usually the middle note) four stacks.
Second part(high note) four stacks
Third part (low note) four stacks.
When panning,pan each note hard left and hard right

Now pan your first four tracks L-R-L-R-
Second four tracks L-R-L-R-
Third four tracks L-R-L-R-

Now when satisfied with your blend,place all twelve tracks on a group but keeping them all separate.
Now solo your group so you can hear the result of your effort and decide whether you need to hi pass .

Open a stereo aux fader and insert a nice,smooth eq of choice with maybe a 14hz shelf, a slight 5k boost and a further hpf if needed.
I like using the URS CSP for this purpose, and sometimes the Sonalkiss 517.
Now bus send each of the 12 tracks to the aux.
Open another stereo aux send and insert a nice,smooth plate at about 2 seconds with maybe a 120ms predelay and open another bus sent to that aux..
Adjust your aux returns to taste and...voila.
Old 26th August 2008
  #2
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ryst's Avatar
 

Thanks, PSM. Question. Do you pan everything (instruments and vox) L/C/R? I know a lot of the old consoles didn't have pan knobs, just a L/C/R switches or buttons. I started panning this way a while ago and I gotta say, I LOVE IT!. Do you pan this way?
Old 26th August 2008
  #3
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stacks work great. If you dont have many stacks just dub the ones u have and time-compress or expand the dubs a teeeny weeny bit just to change the file. Some like to pitch-shift them, but I like what i do better. Just meheh

panning would go somewhere in the neighborhood of: 7, 8, 9, 10 o'clock(s) heh with 7 being full Left. and 5, 4, 3, 2 o'clock with 5 being full right.(or just before full right). the levels will vary on each panned stack. I might also add a btiny bit of efx to 1or 2 of the stacks to add depth(not just width).

and yes...I also group & bus them to an aux track(group bus) then process(comp, EQ, efx) in stereo. Blends much better than doing them separately.
Old 26th August 2008
  #4
Nice one..

I never thought of putting an EQ on an Aux.

Thnx for making me feel stupid.. lol

but seriously.. This is one of those small tips that make a big difference.

I didnt even do it yet and i can tell.


Good Looks PSM..
Old 26th August 2008
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
Thanks, PSM. Question. Do you pan everything (instruments and vox) L/C/R? I know a lot of the old consoles didn't have pan knobs, just a L/C/R switches or buttons. I started panning this way a while ago and I gotta say, I LOVE IT!. Do you pan this way?
I dont go THAT far back(smile)
However,I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall on some of those classic fifties and sixties sessions especially in ashville and L.A.

I try my best to use that "Bruce Swedien" style of "everything in stereo".

My individual drum components are mono but sometimes I will do a stereo snare just for the heck of it and I almost always record stereo bass..
A lot of alleged stereo keyboard sounds are really mono so when I have say, a rhoades and a grand, pan each sound maybe at 10 and two with a little delayed chorus on both and kind of cross the two efx.
Its all love(smile)
Old 27th August 2008
  #6
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ryst's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
I dont go THAT far back(smile)
However,I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall on some of those classic fifties and sixties sessions especially in ashville and L.A.

I try my best to use that "Bruce Swedien" style of "everything in stereo".

My individual drum components are mono but sometimes I will do a stereo snare just for the heck of it and I almost always record stereo bass..
A lot of alleged stereo keyboard sounds are really mono so when I have say, a rhoades and a grand, pan each sound maybe at 10 and two with a little delayed chorus on both and kind of cross the two efx.
Its all love(smile)
I wasn't implying that you were "old". heh But I thought you had probably worked on one of those consles before....i mean, you are Phillysoulman.....HELLO!heh

I'm familiar with Bruce's philosophy but I have yet to really try doing everything in stereo. That's something I need to try. So when you say stereo bass are you talking about keyboards or real bass guitar?
Old 27th August 2008
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
stacks work great. If you dont have many stacks just dub the ones u have and time-compress or expand the dubs a teeeny weeny bit just to change the file. Some like to pitch-shift them, but I like what i do better. Just meheh

panning would go somewhere in the neighborhood of: 7, 8, 9, 10 o'clock(s) heh with 7 being full Left. and 5, 4, 3, 2 o'clock with 5 being full right.(or just before full right). the levels will vary on each panned stack. I might also add a btiny bit of efx to 1or 2 of the stacks to add depth(not just width).

and yes...I also group & bus them to an aux track(group bus) then process(comp, EQ, efx) in stereo. Blends much better than doing them separately.
Nope..thats cheating and not the same effect.
And forget about all of those different "oclock settings" its bull**** asnd not the way its done for full effect
Its hard left and hard right
Old 27th August 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehkz View Post
Nice one..

I never thought of putting an EQ on an Aux.

Thnx for making me feel stupid.. lol

but seriously.. This is one of those small tips that make a big difference.

I didnt even do it yet and i can tell.


Good Looks PSM..
Thanx man..try it..you just might like it.
Old 27th August 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
I wasn't implying that you were "old". heh But I thought you had probably worked on one of those consles before....i mean, you are Phillysoulman.....HELLO!heh

I'm familiar with Bruce's philosophy but I have yet to really try doing everything in stereo. That's something I need to try. So when you say stereo bass are you talking about keyboards or real bass guitar?
As far as bass, its keyboard bass in stereo...but if the player has a "stereo contraption" as sometimes is, then Ill go ahead and record it in stereo.
Old 27th August 2008
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
I wasn't implying that you were "old". heh But I thought you had probably worked on one of those consles before....i mean, you are Phillysoulman.....HELLO!heh

I'm familiar with Bruce's philosophy but I have yet to really try doing everything in stereo. That's something I need to try. So when you say stereo bass are you talking about keyboards or real bass guitar?
Ive seen some of those boards you are talking about.
As a matter of fact, one of the local radio station owners has some vintage consoles which he collects and if only I can get that UREI one he has.
I did ask him and his daughter...and Ill ask again believe me.
I saw the original light blue Gold Star 12 in 3 out board that Phil Spector used when I was doing a lot of stuff at A&M when Herb was still there and he took me into the store room to see it.
f only.....
Old 27th August 2008
  #11
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Hey PSM, Thanks for the panning tips , whats your fav method for getting a nice wide sounding hip hop vox for eg BVS/overdubs or even hook/chorus parts. Do you use a slap delay or similar or do you apply a similar technique with panning etc like your original post with less takes?
Old 27th August 2008
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Nope..thats cheating and not the same effect.
And forget about all of those different "oclock settings" its bull**** asnd not the way its done for full effect
Its hard left and hard right
huh??

there's one thing in music that I've been taught very early on is ..."whatever sounds right IS RIGHT". You can't ever question that.

so many different ways of doing things Philly.

out
Old 27th August 2008
  #13
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isgwill's Avatar
 

Thanks Soulman!!!!
Old 27th August 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flex View Post
Hey PSM, Thanks for the panning tips , whats your fav method for getting a nice wide sounding hip hop vox for eg BVS/overdubs or even hook/chorus parts. Do you use a slap delay or similar or do you apply a similar technique with panning etc like your original post with less takes?
Heres an example of what I usually do for rap oriented sessions.

Ive been working with an outstanding female mc who also sings her own hooks, and very well at that.

With her,if shes sing unison parts,Ill record eight passes and pan in the same manner as above and with three part harmony, the same as above.

Ill double her lead vocs and maybe pan them at 11 and 1 and the same with her doublesd ad libs.

Ill also use bus eq which is flattering to her voice as well as a stereo aux with slight compression,maybe Fairchild and my stereo aux with a short,smooth room verb.
Old 27th August 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
I like using the URS CSP for this purpose,


alright, i'm starting to think they're paying you. heh


good tips


sounds a lot like my process. but 120ms of predelay, i don't normailly go that high. i'll have to give it a try.
Old 27th August 2008
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
alright, i'm starting to think they're paying you. heh


good tips


sounds a lot like my process. but 120ms of predelay, i don't normailly go that high. i'll have to give it a try.
Te 120 ms is a starting point and the amount is very minimal.

I'll more than likely eventually use a tempo based 8th note pre delay and very minimal.

Also, I always set my tempo of the song on the edit screen of PT as soon as the new song is created, that way there is no muss,no fuss when copying and pasting my bvs in absolute grid mode.
I usually do my edits maybe an 8th or quarter beat before the bar,depending on the resolution,so that any discrepency relative to the beginning of the phrase will be a moot point because of your edit point and I never ever have to use Vocalign..never.

If Im recording live rhythm,I also record MTC and a click.
My fave drummer,Rocky Bryant of AWB is a human metronome and I can always depend on his live tracks to lock to midi..hes THAT good.
Old 27th August 2008
  #17
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what i've been doing a bit of is when i'm mixing in pro tools, i'll set up a medium delay right before the reverb plugin. set it to a 16th or 8th note, but turn down the mix, how much depends, so the reverb is still getting some of the dry signal. then predelay the verb plugin itself by a short amount, anywhere from 20-100 usually.

works for some stuff, not so much for others.


and i also do alot of fades on the BGs. fade in and out each phrase. generally don't have to do this with more talented singers, they kinda know when to come in soft vs coming in hard. but i find it really smooths them out with the lead.
Old 27th August 2008
  #18
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this is some good stuff
Old 27th August 2008
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
what i've been doing a bit of is when i'm mixing in pro tools, i'll set up a medium delay right before the reverb plugin. set it to a 16th or 8th note, but turn down the mix, how much depends, so the reverb is still getting some of the dry signal. then predelay the verb plugin itself by a short amount, anywhere from 20-100 usually.

works for some stuff, not so much for others.


and i also do alot of fades on the BGs. fade in and out each phrase. generally don't have to do this with more talented singers, they kinda know when to come in soft vs coming in hard. but i find it really smooths them out with the lead.

try that stereo delay trick on your master... adjust the mix level to taste.(8-12 % or so) Even set it up on another aux(sorta group bus) with certain things bussed to it. bypass it and compare.

just so many tricks to play around with.
Old 27th August 2008
  #20
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yo philly this technique blew my engimeer aaway, he usually did 2 stack of vocals for the hook and it was sounding so wide in the KRK speaker but in his car they were still mono like but this tehnique gt them soundin righ....
Old 27th August 2008
  #21
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
try that stereo delay trick on your master... adjust the mix level to taste.(8-12 % or so) Even set it up on another aux(sorta group bus) with certain things bussed to it. bypass it and compare.

just so many tricks to play around with.


yep, i love experimenting with delays...so many options!
Old 27th August 2008
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyflo View Post
yo philly this technique blew my engimeer aaway, he usually did 2 stack of vocals for the hook and it was sounding so wide in the KRK speaker but in his car they were still mono like but this tehnique gt them soundin righ....
Thanks Keyflo
Im always here to help(smile)
Old 27th August 2008
  #23
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The PSP 84 and the 608 have some very good preset/starting points, where applicable.
Old 27th August 2008
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
The PSP 84 and the 608 have some very good preset/starting points, where applicable.

hell yah
Old 27th August 2008
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukmusic View Post
hell yah
also the Roland 201 Space Station in the UAD 1 especially for reggae and dancehall
Old 27th August 2008
  #26
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sorry for the noob question...can you explain parallel compression a little...i kinda understand but not fully...when your tracking do you track the vocal without compression at all and then split the signal, compress one...bring it up on a sepaerate fader and then blend with the original signal??
Old 27th August 2008
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
The PSP 84 and the 608 have some very good preset/starting points, where applicable.


you like the PSP? how's it compare to a real PCM 42? one of my favorite delays ever, hardware or software. a lot of the magic of the pcm 42 is in the hardware i think though, how you drive it and such. does the plugin do anything to emulate that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
also the Roland 201 Space Station in the UAD 1 especially for reggae and dancehall
instant reggae with that thing! wish i had UAD back when i was doing a lot of reggae.
Old 27th August 2008
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
you like the PSP? how's it compare to a real PCM 42? one of my favorite delays ever, hardware or software. a lot of the magic of the pcm 42 is in the hardware i think though, how you drive it and such. does the plugin do anything to emulate that?




instant reggae with that thing! wish i had UAD back when i was doing a lot of reggae.
There nothing quite like a real 42..I actually like the PSP 84 better..more versatile
Also the 201 plug with a Helios plug ,...Jah Lion..Irie Mon!!
More bass in all frequencies....
Old 27th August 2008
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
T
Also the 201 plug with a Helios plug ,...Jah Lion..Irie Mon!!
More bass in all frequencies....


bombaclaat yute dem!
Old 27th August 2008
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
bombaclaat yute dem!
bloodclat dem
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