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Trouble with Stereo Mixing??
Old 4th September 2009
Here for the gear

Trouble with Stereo Mixing??

I'd appreciate anyones words of wisdom right now. I'm a classical singer, and would like to achieve the best possible recordings of myself and my pianist without hiring a studio.

So first step, I bought myself a Marantz PMD661 recently(which is incidentally wonderful, and very easy to use, a welcome thing for a novice like myself). Now comes my probably very naive question...ready?

There are 2 XLR Mic/Line In Jacks on the Marantz PMD 661, left and right. By plugging in the mic for the piano into the Left channel and the mic for my voice into the right channel, presumably the piano will dominate the left speaker and the voice, the right.
How can I balance this so that piano and voice are spread equally between both speakers? Is that something that is possible during recording, or do I need to purchase software?

Many thanks in advance.
Old 4th September 2009
Your analysis of the situation is correct.

You would need to mix the two channels together in some fashion (typically in a mixer but you could do it after the fact by importing them into a computer).

Mix them both to the center and you would have a classic mono recording. (You could pan them to different locations in the stereo spread, but since the piano was captured as a single point mono track with one mic, it would likely highlight the unnaturalness of that.)

But a generally better approach would be to capture the piano in stereo with two mics and spread that all or partway across the stereo field and then pan the separately captured vocal to the center. To do that live, you'd need three mics (or possibly a stereo mic for the piano and vocal mic) and a mixer.

Since you only have two channels, if you want stereo piano, you'd have to do it that way.

If you go with mono, you might be able to get a little bit of ambient feel by adding a little artificial stereo reverb to the piano. (Resist the temptation to drown the vocalist in reverb, if you can.)

Here's some info on recording basics (and more) which you're probably going to want to explore:


Technical Info / Education

Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
- a comprehensive guide to home recording GearSlutz Tips & Techniques Collection
Harmony Central - Library
Digital audio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Directory - The Project Studio Handbook - Digital Audio, Compression, Mixing, Monitoring, Microphones

more from Wikipedia:
PC Optimization for music - a sticky thread from recording gear site Gearslutz

Dan Lavry Forum Archives at ProSoundWeb- a genuine legend in digital audio technology and designer of some of the most desirable digital conversion hardware around, Dan Lavry presided over a hardcore digital audio technology oriented forum that was a magnet for a wild mix of the super-knowledgeable and those who thought they were...ProSoundWeb - an extensive set of forums oriented to audio technology, sound reinforcement, and recording

Using a Mixer with a DAW - from EQ Magazine

I've Read Mixing With Your Mind (Starvous), Mastering Audio (Katz), What Next? -- an exhausistive recording reading list from Gearslutz member, Teddy Ray
Old 4th September 2009
Here for the gear

theblue1 - Thank you. A very informative reply.
In my line of work i.e classical music everything is done live. To 'separately capture' ( I assume by that you mean to record separately and then paste together later) the voice is not an option, so it seems I'm left with your '3 mics and a mixer' suggestion (or 1 stereo mic for the piano, 1 vocal mic and a mixer).

But here I am unfortunately feeling dumb again, as I don't understand how all those mics and the mixer connect to my Marantz PMD 661? Do mixers have XLR Jacks? What connects to what?? And how?? Can you buy portable mixers?

Thanks again.
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