Mixing/mastering for video conferencing

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Scodiddly
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Mixing/mastering for video conferencing

Post by Scodiddly » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:59 pm

Yup, if you thought cheap earbuds on an MP3 were bad, you will like playing your music back during a Zoom (& similar) meeting even less.

Curious if anybody else is dealing with this, and if so how.

I'm just doing some simple productions for small church zoom services, mostly folky acoustic music. First thing that I've dropped is reverb, though for the next one I might try some spring reverb on background vocals or something. Also I'm pretty much doing dead center mono even while sending in a stereo file, since I don't know if one channel or the other might get lost in the process. The person who actually runs the session and plays the music does so from Powerpoint slides.

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markjazzbassist
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Re: Mixing/mastering for video conferencing

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:40 pm

i used to do some mixing for church services that would then be posted to a file share for church members to listen/download. you're spot on with mono, i was never sure of the quality of playback device so i just always went mono. thing with church is kinda like singer/songwriter types where you want the vocal to be upfront and everything else supporting that. compression was my friend just because the musicians weren't super talented. other than that, i'd double a vocal here or there to give it a "bigger" sound, but mostly was just doing level balancing.

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Re: Mixing/mastering for video conferencing

Post by mwerden » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:35 pm

I tend to deliver things pretty hot and not very dynamic for the data compression/streaming world. I find the low level stuff gets mangled and swirly. So if you master like it's 2003 you might even be better off. I try to do it in stages (individual track comps, bus comps, master comp, then limiter) and that seems to do the trick.
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Scodiddly
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Re: Mixing/mastering for video conferencing

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:16 am

Thinking about it I've realized that we're basically back in the AM radio days. If you want reverb you have to crank it in the mix.

Some of the mixing I've done is in the Acapella app (iOS) which is sort of amateur video multitracking. You can pass work-in-progress off to other users so they can add their parts, then they pass the session back to you. Compression (there's an OK compressor built-in) does help a lot simply because people can't hear each other to blend the way it would be with a live performance.

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Scodiddly
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Re: Mixing/mastering for video conferencing

Post by Scodiddly » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:43 am

The really cool part, though, is that now I'm in the mindset of getting almost everything remotely - send out a guide track, get back a vocal part. No special tech needed, either.

I can do that with anybody who's willing to add a part! Just messaged an old friend out east to ask if she'd be willing to add some harmony to a song. 8)

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