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how to get rid of that "far away" sound

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by nickname, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. nickname


    Jan 22, 2005
    I'm sure its been asked before but here it is.

    I currently have the following setup

    EURORACK UB2442FX-PRO mixer

    The problem I'm having is that the recording comes through nice and clean, but it seems to have the perception of being far away. no matter how loud it is, it still has that feeling as tho its distant.

    Do i need to invest in a pre-amp or compressor? if im using a PC to edit, what is the point of getting a compressor if the computer can compress the audio?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A preamp or a good DI probably would help get rid of the far away sound. A compressor, not so much. And I agree...if you have a good comp plugin, just use that and save your money. I love the Waves comp plugin myself.
  3. EQ + Compression, and perhaps something like CamelPhat.
  4. nickname


    Jan 22, 2005
    ive noticed when using a simple gate in audition it brings the sounds much closer, especially for vocals. should i invest some money on getting a gate/pre amp?

    whats the solution for bringing it forward using equipment? and why is this caused right now? the mixer i stated, apparently has lots of pre-amp power
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Do you have a short MP3 of the sound you can link to let us hear?
  6. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Not really trying to be a smarta**, but...

    Turn off the echo?

    that could definately do it!
  7. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    How are you recording? Direct to the board or through a mic?

    If you are going direct you need a DI, if you are going through a Mic you need a preamp. In either case a compressor is helpful because it will allow you to boost your signal without clipping. Adding a compressor after the track has been recorded isn't as helpful because you wil have already recorded any clipping that might occur, which in the digital realm means you've ruined the take. You want to compress the signal as its being recorded, if you can do that in software great, if not you will need to use an outboard compressor.

    Another possibility is that you might be micing too CLOSE to the cab. Bass waveforms take time to develop, you usually want you mic at least 3-4ft from the cab, maybe more depending on the room and other factors. Close micing a bass cab tends to wash out the lows and lower mids while getting only the highs, resulting in a hollow, distant sort of sound that could be what you are describing.
  8. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    He's not talkin' about clipping, he's talking about a "far-away sound." Compression is only needed during tracking if you have wide dynamic variances in performance.

    I'm sorry, but this is just bad science and it is wrong.

    The main two reasons for the "far-away" sound are:

    Bad acoustics in the room;
    Miking from too far away.

    Or, generally, a combination of the two.
  9. nickname


    Jan 22, 2005
    ok sorry i didnt make it clear.

    first off the Echo Layla is NOT an echo effect machine. It's a multitrack that connects to your computer.

    I am connecting microphones that are appropriate for each instrument, with XLR cables to the board. Then going from the direct outs on the back, into the Layla board.

    does that help?
  10. Have you tried to put pillows behind the microphone to cut down on reflections?
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes and no. Some people just like to burn effects to the track because it saves time mixing. Especially compression. if you like the compressed sound and you know you're going to use it anyway, it only makes sense to burn it to the track.

    As for this far-away sound, gating doesn't really change the sound of anything. It just turns your volume off when you're not playing it. It might be cutting off reverb tails but that's about it. Are you micing a bass amp? What kind of mic(s), bass and amp are you using, and how close is the mic to the speaker? Micing an amp when recording bass is best done with good stuff. Maybe you might have better success DI'ing it if you're not already. But who knows? A couple people have asked you what you're using and you're really not being specific enough about what you're using and how you're using it. If you give us better details, someone on here can definitely tell you what's going wrong.
  12. nickname


    Jan 22, 2005
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Really it doesn't sound too awful bad. The snare drum is too loud, and the bass drum and bass aren't loud enough. But soundwise, it's not bad for a home recording. I think you just need to tweak your balances a little. Listen to songs you like the mixes of and try to emulate them. But definitely turn the snare down and the kick and bass up.

    On another note, I think you have a really good band. Your singer is terrific.
  14. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Yeah, what Jimmy said. I think it all comes down to how the tracks are balanced. It's also going to end up being about equalization.. mostly on the master track but probably at least a little on the individual tracks as well.

    The snare really throws off the perception of things to me. It sounded fine until the drums kicked in and that's when the far away sound started.

    It also sounds like you're mixing using monitors with too much bass response (are you maybe using a sub or are you in a boomy room?) Not only are the kick and toms too low, the snare itself seems really middy.

    One of the best things you can do when learning mixing is to do a lot of listening on other stereos in between tweaking, ideally with other sets of ears and in different rooms. The old standby of driving around in a car while listening is good too. I also find that when I'm mixing, I get farther a lot faster if I keep the volume really low and try to make it sound good that way. It also doesn't wear your ears out as quickly. Make sure you take notes when you do this stuff.
  15. nickname


    Jan 22, 2005
    thanks guys! i appriciate it.

    i'll do some tweaking and repost.
  16. Nice stuff!

    Some comments:

    -Starting out with the single guitar in the extreme left channel is a little irritating if you listen to it in headphones. Maybe it should not be panned so drastically.
    -As noted by others, the snare should be quieter.
    -When the vocals begin in the verse, turn down the guitars a hair.
    -Maybe a little delay on the vocals? Not especially audible though.
    -Make sure the vocals are always loud enough. In some sections of the song they could stand to be a little louder.
    -Your drums have promise, but the tone could use work. The snare micing needs some tweaking and the cymbals don't sound "full" enough.
    -Overall the song is really good but it doesn't seem like you're getting the quality production sound you're aiming for. Mixing will help, but the main issue I'm hearing is the drums.

    Anyway, just some comments. Sounding great!
  17. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I concur with everything that's been posted. Good band, singing, playing, writing. Total absence of bottom or thickness to the recording - which I suspect is down to mixing at high volume on a powerful bassy monitor system. (FWIW, I mix on a pair of sub $10 computer speakers - works great, makes sure the music sounds good through cheap little radios etc, and then double-check on a nice separates hi-fi system and in car (with accurate, not boomy sub that goes down to 25Hz)). I can't believe how quiet the bass and kick are! The panning is too extreme on both guitar and vocals.

    Won't take much work to make it sound great, though!