Why do we record in stereo?

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vvv
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Post by vvv » Fri May 15, 2009 7:13 pm

Stereo in all its variations is fun.

I've been enjoying playing with double-mic'd hard panned stereo tracks, like the rhythm guitars, here.

(Song's a little rough {4 hours from writing to mixdown}, but the stereo thang is cool, and I've been asked about it already on another forum.)
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Post by loganwexler » Fri May 15, 2009 8:28 pm

FBH wrote:
@?,*???&? wrote:What is the goal of two-channel recording?
For me, the goal of stereo recording is to create a product which enables a listener to close his eyes and sense that he is in a real three-dimensional space with a band, or a choir, or whatever.

Mostly, I agree with cgarges. It's fun and amazing to be able to pick out where an instrument is placed within the soundstage of a recording, especially when the instrument very clearly seems to be coming from a place other than either of the two speakers, whether above, below, between, behind or in front. There is a kind of cognitive dissonance created which is pleasant to experience. You know in your mind that all sound is originating from two moving paper cones, but you clearly hear it as if it has originated somewhere else.
That was amazing. Exactly what I was thinking.

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Jay Reynolds
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Post by Jay Reynolds » Sat May 16, 2009 11:00 am

This is prolly going to get me flamed to a crisp but:
Stereo seems so much more "visual".
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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat May 16, 2009 11:32 am

As much as I hate to participate in a JR thread, it's sometimes fun to fnd a way to articulate the painfully obvious.

Stereo is the "bang for the buck" choice. Mono doesn't play with both your ear holes, and for any setup with more than two speakers the law of diminishing returns sets in. 99% of people prefer the "bang for the buck" option in almost any scenario.
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Post by percussion boy » Sat May 16, 2009 12:27 pm

Corey Y wrote:1. Simulation of listening to live music
OR . . . exactly the opposite.

If you've ever heard, say, the Lomax SOUND OF THE SOUTH stereo field recordings, it's like being in a real space. (The mic placement in the session photos is intriguing . . . like a bunch of prisoners (!) singing outside around an RCA 77 ribbon mic, with another 77 eight feet behind the singers.)

At the other extreme, a lot of sixteen track recordings from the seventies use stereo to give you MORE information than a live experience would . . . With headphones, you can hear all these little guitar, percussion, and keyboard parts way off at the extreme left and right -- the ear candy stuff that rewards repeated listening. If you were in a room with ten different instrument and vocal parts going on, the details would just be a blur.

What's cool about stereo is you can go either way. Or do a "mostly mono" stereo recording and use the melting together of all the parts as a different aesthetic choice . . . which ALSO works.

Recording music . . . the most fun you can have sitting up.
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Post by @?,*???&? » Sat May 16, 2009 8:18 pm

Before you set about making a recording, do any of you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to capture a specific image? Or does shit just sort of happen?

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Post by jaguarsg » Sat May 16, 2009 8:23 pm

because surround is too distracting.

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Post by apropos of nothing » Sat May 16, 2009 8:32 pm

Sometimes you get an assignment for parametric composition, and sometimes you cast about aimlessly for years at a time, because you're not in the right place at the right time to catch the inspiration. It just depends. Mostly intentional recording is good, but if the happy accident is there, who am I to reject it?

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Post by Jay Reynolds » Sat May 16, 2009 8:44 pm

@?,*???&? wrote:Before you set about making a recording, do any of you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to capture a specific image? Or does shit just sort of happen?
Here's my process:
1. Always use the most expensive pieces, because they're always better.
2. Always record as close to 0dbfs as possible, because I'm using digital and recording hot is the only way to use all the 0's and 1's.
3. Always run 3-5 "practice takes" before hitting record.
4. Always track without compression or eq on the way in, so I can have lots of options later.
5. Always make sure I've ingested the same amount of drugs and/or alcohol as the artist so that we have the same "vibe".
6. Always use condensers and ribbons instead of dynamics, because dynamics are only good for live sound reinforcement.
7. Always monitor as loud as possible (often at or near 120db), so that I can feel the rock when I listen to playback.
8. Always record everything in stereo.
9. Always track and mix with my lucky sombrero, because things don't sound right without it.
10. Two words: Hot Pockets.
11. Always keep a tub with 6" of lukewarm water under the desk so that I can soak my feet while I work. This is essential for the "superaction80" sound.

Apologies to anyone who isn't doing any of these. I'm not saying that you're wrong. This is just what works for me.
Prog out with your cog out.

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Post by Young Winston » Sun May 17, 2009 1:13 am

@?,*???&? wrote:Before you set about making a recording, do any of you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to capture a specific image? Or does shit just sort of happen?

Before you set about typing a post, do you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to condescend to a specific group of TOMB members? Or does shit just sort of happen?
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@?,*???&?
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Post by @?,*???&? » Sun May 17, 2009 9:42 am

Young Winston wrote:
@?,*???&? wrote:Before you set about making a recording, do any of you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to capture a specific image? Or does shit just sort of happen?

Before you set about typing a post, do you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to condescend to a specific group of TOMB members? Or does shit just sort of happen?
I can see how this reads condescending, but it's not intended to be. I find engineering is more reacting to things. If you don't start with a microphone in A position, then you'll never be able to imagine B position, etc. There is not necessarily always some grand vision at work. On an hourly clock, I know that's next to impossible anyway. You'll get pure convention on an hourly clock with limited creativity.

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Post by AstroDan » Sun May 17, 2009 10:18 am

I do because all legitimate bands do.
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Post by rwc » Sun May 17, 2009 10:56 am

@?,*???&? wrote:Before you set about making a recording, do any of you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to capture a specific image? Or does shit just sort of happen?
I always have a set out vision.

My steps are to have a vision for what things should sound like, the confidence to follow it, and the technical knowhow/experience to achieve it.

Whether I record the drums in mono with emphasis on "balls" or in stereo with emphasis on spatial cues and ambiance depends on the vision I had for what the recording should sound like.
Real friends stab you in the front.

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@?,*???&?
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Post by @?,*???&? » Sun May 17, 2009 11:39 am

rwc wrote:
@?,*???&? wrote:Before you set about making a recording, do any of you actually think about what you are doing?

I mean, do you set about to capture a specific image? Or does shit just sort of happen?
I always have a set out vision.

My steps are to have a vision for what things should sound like, the confidence to follow it, and the technical knowhow/experience to achieve it.

Whether I record the drums in mono with emphasis on "balls" or in stereo with emphasis on spatial cues and ambiance depends on the vision I had for what the recording should sound like.
If only reality were so black and white.

So I am guessing you NEVER go for true stereo binaural...therefore, you create a false stereo image through panning that has no foundation in reality. Which means that what it is you create is imaginary and stated with an over-confident and pompous tone. What I create is imaginary too. Neither is right or wrong. Nice use of the Sun Tzu "Show no weakness" sensibility btw.

Does anyone try to capture a stereo image of the band in the room?

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Post by rwc » Sun May 17, 2009 11:45 am

Real can be good. or bad.

Good cannot be bad, but is not necessarily real.

My point is, real is ok, but interesting is better.

Recording in stereo and recording in a binaural fashion so that what you hear at point X in the room is exactly what you hear standing in front of a nice hi-fi are two different things.
Real friends stab you in the front.

Oscar Wilde

Failed audio engineer & pro studio tech turned Component level motherboard repair store in New York

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