Old 06-13-2021, 09:14 AM   #1
Beat Machine
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Default mix ruined by live mic technique

so i downloaded a track and the engineer had recorded 5 guys standing around a stereo mic it was like a typical folk group

so sometimes the instruments are louder than the vocals,..in the vocal mic!

then they uploaded it?

if they had done 1 overdub it would have been a great song


i threw every technique in the book at it

ill post this hot mess tomorrow
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:58 AM   #2
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These are the most fun to try and make work, though. If you're into that sort of thing. Mixing isn't fun when it's just "fader and forget" :P
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:01 AM   #3
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Default yea but i get blamed

the mandolin is the loudest thing in the song

darn dem recording engineers


oh btw love yer band
dig the originality
nice and tight too
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:34 AM   #4
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The one-mic technique works for all kinds of music and all sizes of bands, but the "mixing" happens at the recording stage by placing singers and musicians at different distances from the mic and having them control their dynamics. It can be challenging, but when it works there's nothing like it.

See https://www.aearibbonmics.com/onemic/ for example.

To get the balances right, you really need an engineer in a control room; the musicians won't be able to judge it themselves using headphones in the live room.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:53 AM   #5
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There's no mix to be ruined if there's no mix to begin with. More accurate to say something like "Making a mix from this live mic seems impossible!"

Some live broadcast "mixes" come out pretty messed up! It happens. It's hard to deliver a really well balanced mix and master live on the spot sometimes. And nowadays you have all different skill level of stuff being "broadcast". There's SNL where they have a control room and the mix and broadcast level will be on point. (Sorry, there's surely a better example!) And then you have someone with their phone out and that grating distortion you hear actually used to be a music performance. (Not a trash compactor running.) And then everything in between.

I kind of made a hobby of doing audio restoration of very troubled recordings. Between Reaper and iZotopeRX I can get away with a lot. You can do really targeted dynamics control with a couple instances of ReaEQ and parameter modulation. For one example.
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:36 PM   #6
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Default yea there are tricks for this kind of thing

i threw every technique i had at it although i dont know how to do spectral edits

side chain duckking
targeted frequencies
automation rides
a doubled track with lyrics cut out

its not just that they had to use a "cool" technique the band obviously wasnt prepared for ,
..its that they released it as a "mic demo"

serr,sir, its more like whats the point of all the other mics?
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Old 06-13-2021, 03:00 PM   #7
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Default anyway hers the song

carolina in the pines- neo folky stuff

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1twt...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:56 PM   #8
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I guess they didn't grow up recording early in the last century. If they had, they'd know how to stand around a single mic and not crowd out the lead vox.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:38 PM   #9
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Default smth goes wrong

It's all about the recording process itself. You need a more professional approach of a band leader who leads the whole process and sees mistakes from the outside. How many recording attempts were there? You need to test the sound more than once before recording. Yes, it's a time consuming process. It's hard to say what exactly is wrong.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beat Machine View Post
carolina in the pines- neo folky stuff

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1twt...ew?usp=sharing
Is that the file after you had your way with it or is this the original recording that you downloaded? FYI, both Izotope RX and Acon Digital's (cheaper and excellent) Acoustica have remix tools that allow you to selectively boost vocals or specific instruments on stereo mixes with varying degrees of success.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:09 AM   #11
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Default bjohn

thats the mix;

i notice
issues on first vocal line
mandolin poping out of the mix
imaging problems in the vocal sections


heres the blumlein mic
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LTQ...ew?usp=sharing

*sounds alot better w/o it in the mix
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:50 AM   #12
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Okay, that's easier to work with (I'm assuming you used a limiter on the mix as it was really compressed). If I have time this week I might try some remix tools to bring out the vocals; Melodyne can also be used for that (and some pitch correction on the vocals would be helpful too); people think of Melodyne as pitch correction but that's just one of its many useful functions: you can adjust dynamics, sibilance, timing, even timbre. If I can isolate the vocals in Melodyne (tricky on a stereo mix) I can boost their volume, especially the lead-in on that very first vocal which really needs help.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:08 PM   #13
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Default DONT TRY TO FIX IT- cant polish that turd

heres a much better live recording

colebrooke road ;
https://soundcloud.com/user-20365268...d-bright-angle

same folky stuff
individually miced

seriously bjohn i appreciate the offer
but this is just some stuff i downloaded to practice on
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:50 PM   #14
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Listened to the track. It has a weird choked quality up front. Sounds like streaming artifacts or something. They might have only recorded the performance online via their streaming host. If this were to be captured from the audio interface and left unprocessed and uncompressed 24 bit, you would be able to pull and tug things into shape and have plenty of depth. Lossy compression gives you just the surface. If the mix isn't on point with that it doesn't always work so well. Then add in the streaming for extra weirdness.

I've heard so much worse. Just today even! This is just an imperfect live recording. Not to brag about but not so bad. No ice pick to the ear drum and not blasted out.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:03 PM   #15
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yeah there's some weird compression feeling here, not natural
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:35 PM   #16
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Feels to me like a sucking and releasing thing,
Could be a Melodyne thing where you stretch a note a wee bit longer
to correct timing and it makes this type of sound.
On one of the tracks perhaps.
Very hard to listen to for any length of time.

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Old 06-15-2021, 06:25 AM   #17
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Default the golden ears club

i thought it was master bus pumping...but when i looked at the tracks
i had put a gate on the vocal track to try to deal w all the bleed

i never went back to set it properly

anyway i made some changes but i think the mix lacks "sonic integrity" now

Colbrooke Road v2
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10uI...ew?usp=sharing

anyway im really impressed how well everyone adressed the issue
great ears guys
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:34 AM   #18
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now there are some rough frequencies in the vocals.

I'd say some automated eq, most definitely a dynamic eq, and some soft limiting is all you need.

maybe a slight reverb.

I wouldn't do too much on this track. They did a lot of the choices already.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:12 AM   #19
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Are you trying to work with these folks, @Beat Machine?

If this mutilated recording is just the best they ever played and opportunities to record them are few and far between, that's fair.

Short of that, simply actually capturing the very same single stereo mic in front of them with an audio interface into a computer would change night into day. If there's any opportunity to record another day, just do that and let this one be what it is. A rough for Youtube.

Sounds like the weirdo stuff that happens with lossy compression and especially streaming. Only the 'surface' is preserved. So here when one of the players steps back a little it sounds like their level drops out severely. Most of this recording has been effectively lost. (An old school cassette machine would have preserved more of it.)
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:31 AM   #20
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wait, colebrook road... they performed at harmony presents or the hawley harvest hoedown show.

That entire show (3 bands that all needed to be set up at once) was a huge success for the town, but a terrible experience for me
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:33 AM   #21
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I think I had like 2 minutes for the soundcheck...i was the only audio engineer there. It sounded... passable.

I had to connect everything, use all my equipment from my own gigs, and had some helpers just to move stuff around and tell me from the backstage if anyone was complaining and text me.

And none of them knew audio.

It was a volunteer effort for the town that took about 24 hours of work. lol

one of the worst days of the year, but had to make it happen. Small town, big dreams at the time

https://harmonypresents.com/event/colebrook-road/
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:12 AM   #22
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Default love folk festivals

lol i worked as a grunt for a music festaval and i got hired the next day
sorry i wansnt around jay.

Im just trying to keep my mix skills up, give myself new challenges and try to stay relevent

thanks for your feedback it really gave me a lot to think about

serr i throw a "mastering chain" on all my demos so they are louderized
do you think it causes the problem your hearing, otherwise soundcloud has
some serious problems(they do offer to auto-master yr tracks for you)

heres the last effort
colebrook road v3

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s7-...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:39 AM   #23
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it was awesome for the crowd, dont get me wrong. Next time I will request you ahhahaha
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:48 AM   #24
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the vocal sounds a little thin and there's some weird stereo image/volume stuff happening, but much more natural.

I wonder if you can't dynamic EQ or multiband compress some of those harsher frequencies but likely it might affect something else too much.
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:06 PM   #25
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Default contender #3

heres anouther live mix
i bet it suffers from the same problem vis vie bleed in the vocal mc


Dont Let The Devil Take Your Mind - Jackie Greene - Uptown Theater, Napa, CA 04.07.2015 - RUFF MIX
https://soundcloud.com/user-20365268...72015-ruff-mix

i used to do live sound so i thought it might be easier for me to do mixes of live soungs,.not so easy,...
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:45 AM   #26
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Just my reaction but I would have been chuffed for that mix to go out live. For me the drums seemed to lack something and there were some odd moments with the organ etc. that may or may not have been intentional (!) but the track captured a very good band ... playing live.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:23 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beat Machine View Post
heres anouther live mix
i bet it suffers from the same problem vis vie bleed in the vocal mc


Dont Let The Devil Take Your Mind - Jackie Greene - Uptown Theater, Napa, CA 04.07.2015 - RUFF MIX
https://soundcloud.com/user-20365268...72015-ruff-mix

i used to do live sound so i thought it might be easier for me to do mixes of live soungs,.not so easy,...
could it be that the natural ambience of the space you're in gives a false idea of things?
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:09 AM   #28
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Just my reaction but I would have been chuffed for that mix to go out live. For me the drums seemed to lack something and there were some odd moments with the organ etc. that may or may not have been intentional (!) but the track captured a very good band ... playing live.
The just stunningly awful audio that has gone out over streaming since the pandemic started and the artists involved apparently being alright with that is jaw dropping to me. Can you say cease and desist? Apparently not...

Youtube bootlegs with blown out audio from fan made phone recordings are one thing. If this came from the festival... Yeah, you have to watch out for that shit! Someone is probably just trying to do something cool and just doesn't understand the standards required for this. That doesn't make it OK. (It usually makes it even harder to deal with!)

Having said that, this one isn't so bad overall. It's pretty far from the worst fan bootleg. If this performance is "The One", have at it. There's still audio in there to pull and tug at. The post stream lossy audio took a big hit though. (My speculation of what happened.) If you're serious about capturing a recording, just saving the actual audio from the board or interface directly to hard drive would be a big deal. And if this is a show being run with something like a Midas X32 or some other digital board, you could very likely patch a laptop in and record the multitrack to work with later. Put your efforts there.

A live multitrack is gold.
There might still be some rough spots. (Usually are.) You can often fix stuff in isolation pretty easily. Now you can just mix.
Only kept the live mix and there were a few problems? Those problems are baked in now and the whole thing is a problem.
Only kept a lossy post streaming copy of that live mix? You're screwed!
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:30 AM   #29
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There have been six audio files posted by Beat Machine in this thread but almost nobody has indicated which one of those six they are referring to when they comment, making it difficult to know which one they are referring to.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:04 AM   #30
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Default dont flip your wig

serr these are all 24bit wav individual files at 24/48 they arnt bootlegs

for me the situation is whatever gets in the vocal mic
makes useing the spot mics pointless or at least difficult

the problem isnt the engineering per say
1 they let bad engineering ,..said ok
2 they obv had no communication w the band about how to make it work
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:20 AM   #31
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Quote:
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serr these are all 24bit wav individual files at 24/48 they arnt bootlegs

for me the situation is whatever gets in the vocal mic
makes useing the spot mics pointless or at least difficult

the problem isnt the engineering per say
1 they let bad engineering ,..said ok
2 they obv had no communication w the band about how to make it work
I was commenting on the original file you posted.
You indicated it was a recording of a single stereo mic that the FOH engineer had posted to Youtube. I heard telltale of what sounded like lossy streaming compression artifacts. I speculated that perhaps they never recorded on site but instead used the host streaming site copy. (This is a common scenario nowadays.)

I didn't mean that this was a fan posted bootleg. Just that it sounded like one! The files may be 24 bit lossless wav now, but if the original recording was a live 2-track sent straight to streaming and then captured from the host webpage, that's all that's left no matter what container you put it in afterwards.

Again though, this one didn't sound that bad overall. I don't mean to dismiss critique! It gets so much worse... I'm just saying that preserving the source files directly on site would lead to greater returns in post. Best of luck with this!
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:59 AM   #32
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yea im posting mp3s all the time ,.i really hate on it
it really does change how you mix, i guess what your talking about
is probably one reason theres so little dynamic range in modern music

the first song was bliemline(stereo mic + spot mics)
you just couldnt pick out the individual intruments
because it was all on the vocal track

does this mean were going to have to run vocal tracks
through ozones whatever?
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:59 PM   #33
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Quote:
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the first song was bliemline(stereo mic + spot mics)
you just couldnt pick out the individual intruments
because it was all on the vocal track
I thought the original file was just Blumlein (which is single stereo microphone with a fairly narrow 79 degree stereo recording angle). People who use that technique need to know how to use it; the "mix" occurs live and is based on people's positions and their relative distances from the mic. Once recorded there's not a ton you can do to tweak it other than using remix tools or possibly Melodyne (not its pitch correction features but its amplitude features). The most common mistake with Blumlein is having some people in the group outside the 79 degree angle, which puts them out of phase. Also happens with drum kits when a Blumlein array is placed too closely to the kit.

If there were spot mics on each musician and singer and a Blumlein mic was used as a room mic that's an entirely different story.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:46 PM   #34
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Yeah, um, I thought that original post was the original stereo track you downloaded and found impossible to work with.

I don't care how bad the musician placement was around the mic (I do but bear with me), any raw mic on a stage is going to have more depth of sound in it. Balances may be screwed up but there's expected sound there. I heard obvious processing and warbley stuff that sounded like classic streaming compression.

This was not a raw capture off an audio interface (or digital board). I suggested that the reason you couldn't just attack it with multiband compression and go digging into it was because it sounded like only the "surface" was preserved via lossy compression. (Which is exactly what lossy compression does.)

If that was miscommunication originally and you're sitting there with a multitrack... um, what?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beat Machine View Post
yea im posting mp3s all the time ,.i really hate on it
it really does change how you mix, i guess what your talking about
is probably one reason theres so little dynamic range in modern music
The file I downloaded (the first one posted) was a .wav file.

I don't think mp3 compression changes a mix or adds compression (not the squashed volume war "mastering" compression style thing anyway). There's no modern digital format that suffers from any of that actually. Not the lowly 16 bit CD or even mp3. Mp3 less than 320k starts to sound weird in the high end and it gets very obviously grainy at 64k. Absolutely 100% of any poor sound you hear in any modern digital format is the result of "garbage in, garbage out". There are CDs that sound like they grabbed some random methhead off the street to master it. Sometimes the bluray or 24 bit file is left intact. But not always. Sometimes you get that hash in HD for that extra insulting experience!

Last edited by serr; 06-16-2021 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:19 AM   #35
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Default just to prove to serr i can actually mix

heres some jazz...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eut...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uhg...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:46 PM   #36
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Default thats a no to jazz?

heres a neo-folk song. dualing vocals and an electric guitar

Andrew Cole- "Dead Roses"
https://soundcloud.com/user-203652687
my egos been wounded here
im trying to prove i can mix
to serr
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