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Channel Mixing

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Lloyd Christmas, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. On a song I recently recorded I was experimenting and I found that having everything playing equally on both left and right channels did not sound too good. I ended up recording the drums equally on both channels, one guitar also on both channels, one guitar entirely on the left channel, and the bass on both but with more emphasis on the right. I thought the results were fairly good for this heavy song with two guitars.

    However, I want the new song I am recording to focus more on the bassline so two guitars just doesn't fit. I have experimented a bit with putting the guitar more on the left side and the bass more on the left but the sound is still pretty thin.
    I was just wondering how you all approach channel mixing? Are there any other techniques you use to get a more complete sound in your recording, such as effects applied to the bass, guitar, or drums?
    --I use Cool Edit Pro to record and simple drum software called leaf drums.
  2. Assuming that you have the proper equip and mics to play with...

    Create a stereo field with the drums, first of all...When you mix drums, pretend that you're sitting behind the drumset, and pan the toms and cymbals in the fashion in which they are placed around the drumset...


    ...So if you're hitting the high (left) tom or the left crash, the sound will be most prominent in the left speaker. Same with the right side of the drum kit / the right speaker.

    However, your snare and bass drum (along with the main rythm tracks a.k.a 'bass guitar') should be square in the center of the mix.

    If you are recording two guitars, pan one hard left and the other hard right...Delay both guitars about 20ms into the opposite speaker...(In other words, if you were to solo the guitar that is panned hard left, it should play through the right speaker with a 20ms delay.)...This is one of the best ways to create a stereo field. It really livens up your recordings. You should also adjust the delay mix% to your satisfied level.

    This along with frequency adjustments should open up your mix and allow each of your parts to breath easier. If you adjust everything properly you shouldn't have trouble getting a clear bass sound even when recording two guitar parts.
  3. Thanks. I'm going to try that with the drums right now actually.
    I'm a rookie so I'm not too clear on some of the terminology though. What exactly do you mean by "frequency adjustments" (EQ?) and "delay mix%"? Also, do you know how I would go about delaying one guitar 20ms into the other speaker using cool edit?
    Finally, do you have any suggestions on how to get the best sound when only recording one guitar?
  4. I am sure that I am not using the appropriate terms in some cases. The frequency adjustments are, in essence, the EQ. Depending on your plug-ins (pre-amp plugins, standard EQ), you may have more or less options for adjusting and tweaking. The mix% is the 'wetness' of the effect, or how much volume is placed on the effect. So if you were to do the above with one guitar and set the effect to 50%, you should get the delay in 20ms in the opposite speaker, but at half the volume.

    With two guitars, I would suggest what I said in the first post, but keep the wet signal at a lower amount (%). When recording one guitar I would suggest the panned delay as well, and keep it at 100%. (So the signal is delayed into the opposite channel and at the same volume.)

    I am not at all familiar with the software and plug-ins you have. I am only familiar with DP4 and its stock plug-ins. Do you know what you have to work with in that area?
  5. Ok, I get it. I also figured out how to do this using Cool Edit Pro (I click on delay effects->delay :oops: :) ).
    I went and manually adjusted the pan for each drum sound my drum software uses, only to realize that the program had built in sliders for that very thing.

    I guess the only thing that remains is the EQ settings even though it is not entirely on topic with the title of the thread. Since I don't have a decent mic I just plug the line out from the guitar or bass amp straight into my computer. I assume that the idea is to get the bass to cover the frequencies that aren't played by the guitar. My bass amp has a 10 band EQ all appropriately labelled with the frequency range they control. However, the guitar amp I am using only has bass, mid, and treble knobs. When recording in the past I have generally scooped the mids on the guitar and boosted them on the bass. Although, since one is a guitar amp and one is a bass amp, 'bass', 'mid', and 'treble' probably correspond to different frequencies. Do you know what these are, or do you have any suggestions as to how to set the EQ, or do I just have to play around with it myself?
  6. Yup. Assuming that is the sound that you are going for. Judging by your statements it is. I am still at the 'tweak until it sounds right' stage myself, so I honestly wouldnt know what to suggest as far as that.

    However, I would use some suggestions from: http://homerecording.about.com/ check out some of their comments on setting up gates, compressors, mixing, ect. There is a lot to be learned just from the internet (at least as much as a 30,000/year education at Full Sail...:rolleyes: )

    Nothing beats hands-on experience though. Mess with it a lot.

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