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Blending channels

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by TheControlled, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Gday JMJ. Hope all is well! Curious as to how many channels of bass you may often blend into the mix (or send for mixing) when you are recording. I decided to try a few different mics on my Ampeg Heritage cab today - SM57, AKGD112, Audio Technica AT2020 and Rode NTK (simultaneously).

    I had the Radial JDI running a clean channel into the desk and distortion via a Boss ODB-3 and/or Reutz modded "84 ProCo Rat (with the blend on just a touch) to an Ashdown ABM500 with Tung-Sol pre tube and Ampeg cab via the 4 mics summed into one mono output to interface. I mucked around for ages finding the best combo to my ears. I found that a blend of the JDI, SM57 and AT2020 (all budget stuff) to sound really clear, full and aggressive, with no nasties. (Think a Dean Bernadini from Chevelle type sound).

    I guess what I'm asking is, if you find that a blend works for you (summed to one track/channel) do you think you would rather send that one track for mixing, or is it preferable to record all (however many) tracks as individuals to send them all away for mixing? What would a mixing engineer prefer?

  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    It depends on the mixer, frankly. I'd say most would want simply any and all amp tracks summed down to one mono, along with DI as another mono. It's the most intuitive, and easiest to phase align and get down to business with.

    Speaking of phase: if you're going to record that many mics: GET THAT PHASE SORTED before you print anything!
  3. Awesome, thanks for the heads up. I found the phase pretty easy to correct in the DAW - you can certainly hear when it is and isn't right!

  4. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    Correct; however, if you're summing four mics into one input, you'd be remiss not to really inspect the phase before it gets printed to one channel of audio. You're probably already on top of it, so forgive me if this sounds instructive: You should do that by both very accurate mic capsule to source measurement, and then using your ears. Sometimes more mics is not a better sound.

    When I do use multiple mics, I use one of these to stay on top of things, when I can't align in the DAW because I'm preemptively summing:


  5. That Phazerbank looks like a great solution! However, I don't think it will be often that I use multiple mics to record, it was really an A/B/C/D comparison to see which mic sounded the best to my ears, and then haphazardly found an odd combination that works for my system.

    I ran each mic and DI into separate channels on the desk (which has phase flip switches - as does the JDI as you'd know) and tried a few variations of using the switches - you could hear when it was working for you and when it was not, but could not find a combination that worked for all at once. So I ran each channel out to separate tracks on the DAW, nudged them until it sounded "fuller", then back to the desk where I summed them to one bus, then out to the monitors for listening back.

    I wouldn't be keen on doing that every time though, what a P.I.T.A!

    I'll certainly have to do some research and gather some more knowledge and techniques in eliminating phase issues. Some say that the phase reversal switches have nothing to do with time and more to do with frequency cancellation, and the best method is to move the mics until it works?

    Because I mostly work alone, I guess I could record a single track, reamp it back to the amp and listen on headphones while I move the mics around to find out which placement works best in the future.
  6. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005

  7. Awesome. Cheers.

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