taming a loud section

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
stevebozz
gettin' sounds
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:38 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

taming a loud section

Post by stevebozz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:50 am

I realize some of this might be recording 101,use compression and limiting, etc. etc. but curious what folks do when they have a very loud part of a mix that is overwhelmingly loud.

in my latest battle, we recorded a woman playing yuke and singing with 2 room mics, and two mics about 1-3 ft away from the player. The result is no dedicated vocal track to control, but an entire mix.

here is a clip of the problem area

curious to hear how folks attack this sort of thing, thanks!
Steve

-- Chief City Recordings | www.chiefcity.com
-- BOZZmedia | www.bozz1.com

thethingwiththestuff
george martin
Posts: 1296
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:00 pm
Location: philly

Post by thethingwiththestuff » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:36 pm

was the mouth full of cotton balls her idea or someone else's?

seriously though, this is a performance thing, to me. i can HEAR that she's watching her frets and looking down. ideally, you should retrack. otherwise, the uke sounds pretty even, so it's going to be hard to pull her up. try some compression, pre and post EQ, like boost some 900 for voice then compress it, so only that range of her voice hits hareder..

perhaps summing to mono or just not panning was wide will help focus things. the stereo image sounds a little smeared/slightly comb filtered.

stevebozz
gettin' sounds
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:38 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by stevebozz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:08 pm

it is indeed a performance issue, she is a new performer so coaching around the dynamics is in order, and we worked a bit on it during the session. for this CD it will work, and she will improve for the future.. so it's time to be save-the-day engineer at this stage.

good idea about the panning!
Steve

-- Chief City Recordings | www.chiefcity.com
-- BOZZmedia | www.bozz1.com

thethingwiththestuff
george martin
Posts: 1296
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:00 pm
Location: philly

Post by thethingwiththestuff » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:45 pm

woo.... whole mess o' typos back there in my post!

good luck man, see you around

User avatar
fossiltooth
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:03 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:01 pm

This sounds like an Alan Lomax recording to me. It doesn't call for compression.

It is what it is. A raw, hastily made, documentation of a performance by an amateur.

If anything, that's pretty refreshing these days!

If you want control, and you want things to sound impressive, or even "pleasant" I'd consider an entirely different approach.

Otherwise, let it be. If you're lucky, people will think you're "making a statement" or something.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

tunesbybill
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:43 am
Location: PA
Contact:

Post by tunesbybill » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:58 pm

I agree that it's refreshing to hear this. I don't think that there is anything wrong with it...sort of. I think that with a little help (not looking at her hands) it will work out just fine in the future. Who is this singing?
Welcome to the revolution!

stevebozz
gettin' sounds
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:38 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by stevebozz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:01 pm

thanks for the input.. I think that's all I needed to hear. I guess in the back of my head I'm expecting to put out a really strong beautiful mix.. the loud part makes me cringe, but you're right, it was part of the vibe and hell it's unique and gets your attention.

I'm putting the compressors away!

the artist is Dina Elise, her debut CD will be out on Chief City Recordings sometime this Spring.
Steve

-- Chief City Recordings | www.chiefcity.com
-- BOZZmedia | www.bozz1.com

User avatar
JohnDavisNYC
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3035
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:43 pm
Location: crooklyn, ny
Contact:

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:56 am

print it to 1/4" tape at 3.75 ips to make it sound as old and nostalgic as possible... then it won't seem so wrong. digital absolutely ruins vibes like that....

some hiss and grind around the loud notes will make it feel like a cafe in paris in 1938... just gotta get some gypsy guitar in there too.....

john
i like to make music with music and stuff and things.

http://www.thebunkerstudio.com/

User avatar
I'm Painting Again
zen recordist
Posts: 7050
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 2:15 am
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Post by I'm Painting Again » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:49 pm

leave it..sounds perfect like that..

User avatar
Mark Legat
gettin' sounds
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:32 pm
Location: Hollywood, CA

Post by Mark Legat » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:42 pm

is it too late to go punch it real quick?
RIT 08'

stevebozz
gettin' sounds
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:38 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by stevebozz » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:26 pm

i like the idea of mixing down to tape. awesome point about the digital harshness killing the vibe, i didn't think about that.

keeping as is..

thinking about mixing down to cassette actually, rather than mess with reels.
Steve

-- Chief City Recordings | www.chiefcity.com
-- BOZZmedia | www.bozz1.com

themagicmanmdt
george martin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: home on the range

Post by themagicmanmdt » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:15 pm

personally, i'd try putting a light compressor ratio (say, no more than 3:1 or even 2:1) to the threshold of where her loud vocal parts start in the mix.

keep the track feeling good, but make it not 'so' dynamic is what i'd do.

at least, i'd give it a try.
we are the village green
preservation society
god bless +6 tape
valves and serviceability

*chief tech and R&D shaman at shadow hills industries*

frankz
studio intern
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:59 pm
Location: Oakland, CA
Contact:

taming a loud section

Post by frankz » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:11 am

I agree with some of the other posts, it's a live performance, a moment captured.
A little compression to tame it slightly wouldn't hurt but nothing bad there.
Like an old Son House recording, mumbling sometimes, shouting sometimes.
If you're working on a computer, download the free Vinyl Plug from Izotope and play around with some versions that sound like an old record, scratches, hum, 78 quality, etc.
The live cafe ambience idea could be fun also. record some clinking glasses, background conversation, applause.
I used to have fun adding crowd applause from live lps to beginning and ends of rough cassette 4 track recordings done in the bands rehearsal space, somehow made your ears more forgiving of the low fi quality.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 70 guests