Clear sides in mix?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by MaXe, May 23, 2018.

  1. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    Consider I have got 4 stereo sounds. The common practice is to balance them in mono and do the mix in mono. People claim that if you do so, you will get clearer mix.
    I usually try to mix for instance these 4 stereo sounds in mono then make for example two reverb return channels and do some eq on them plus adjusting the timing of those reverb plugins not to muddy up the mix. But after I use those sends the mix still get muddy somehow. In my example there are just 4 stereo sounds which is just an example. I see in rap records, like Dr Dre is running several sounds in background and the vocal is running in your face then you suddenly see awesome effects like reverb, delay, and other vocal stems to support main vocal come on sides like it is clear asf.
    I think the matrix I am currently using sucks but have no idea how to improve this matrix to get better results.
    So my question boils down to
    • How should I get clear sides?
    • In stereo sounds, should I treat masking problems in mid and sides separately? Like doesn't mixing those stereo files in mono do any help to the sides?
    I have got several ideas but don't know whether it is good to separate each stereo file into mid and side stems after applying reverb and delay to those stereo files directly? This way I just lose the control to adjust those delays and reverbs directly because I am applying them to audio file to add to the side information of stereo file so it is kind of destructive.
    * I have noted that some stereo files don't have enough side information so that's why I've said I apply reverb to those stereo files to make the side information stronger
    Guys enlighten me, may god bless you :)
     
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  3. rootwits

    rootwits Ultrasonic

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    Panning and stereo imaging is the answer.
    In most DAW's the default panning mode is balance panner (If the left channel is diferent from the right one when you pan for example left you lose the right one), that's not a good ideea for stereo track's.
    Depending on your DAW try to experiment with panning modes (and panning law if you automate your panning).
    I use REAPER, im my case i use the dual panner mode for stereo track's (-3db panning law).

    In your case you have 4 stereo track's, if all of them take the whole stereo image it's hard to have separation, decide on who's the main element and let that mid (depending on your song), try to narrow the stereo image of the other track's and place them in the stereo field.
    After that some volume adjustment and EQ (if needed) and your good to go.

    Hope this help's
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
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  4. figroll

    figroll Newbie

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    Experiment with Pseudo stereo or haas vsts or auto panners :like:
     
  5. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    I can't recommend Haas, causes phase issues.
     
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  6. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    Thank you guys. BTW, I appreciate others suggestions too.
     
  7. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    rootwits pretty much nailed it. Separate your sounds in frequencies and pan.
    If you use four stereo pads, with the same notes and rhythm no-one can differentiate them.
    Make one wide, one more centered, move one a bit to the left, one to the right, use different notes/rhythm and different sounds (percussive and pads).
    BTW pseudo stereo causes phase issues and thus less mono compatibility too.
     
  8. Antonis Mavidis

    Antonis Mavidis Noisemaker

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    I personally tend to use FabFilter's Eq,S1 Imager from Waves and Doubler to deal with such things.Lets say i have 4 stereo tracks with info both on mid/side..... i always edit them with the theory that low frequencies stay in the center so if i have to cut some lows with my side eq i do.After im done with the lows (which are the most important regarding phase issues) i position the rest inside the spectrum and then eq them hard to avoid masking problems (hard eq is inevitable if we are talking about 4 tracks in the same area).Reverb is a thing that can get things really muddy so the first thing i always say is that you have to make clear that the sounds you are using dont have any reverb AT ALL,after that i wouldnt suggest using your reverb to all of them and if we are talking sends i would try using both mono and stereo ones

    Also .... i think the secret that makes the sides of Dre songs so great is not the sides but the crystal clear mid processing plus the console summing

    Also .... try the plugin DrMs by Mathew Lane and watch the youtube tutorial by MixBusTV on how to achieve console summing in the box
    Cheers
     
  9. saltwater

    saltwater Rock Star

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    study dan Worall videos


     
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  10. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    Yeah I have tried DrMS. This plugin does magic to sound! But I need to learn more about console summing.
     
  11. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    The first one is great. :wink:
     
  12. junh1024

    junh1024 Platinum Record

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  13. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    Yeah the concept of EQ matching is really useful but the problem is always finding appropriate tone to EQ match to. Do you recommend any source for finding good tones? where should one find high quality tones to EQ match to except commercial musics released?
     
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  14. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    ??? In the vid you can see that he used the tracks from the mix. Anything else doesn't make sense to me. How can the shape of a track from a different mix help you with yours?
     
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  15. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    Not always is EQ done for separation. Sometimes we EQ stuff for their tonal quality.
     
  16. saltwater

    saltwater Rock Star

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  17. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    What's that exactly?
     
  18. saltwater

    saltwater Rock Star

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    this is me giving up, nevermind
     
  19. MaXe

    MaXe Member

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    Giving up on exactly what?
    I saw the analog summing video on mixbusTV. The guy is simply recommending a chain to somehow emulate analog summing and at a part of the chain he uses DrMS plugin. My problem is mostly "panorama", simply putting elements in stereo field. Sometimes I imagine something somewhere in stereo field but cannot successfully put it there. I have played around with some 3d plugins like dearVR pro, I wonder how they put elements behind your head in panorama? do they play with phase? if they do how's that it is mono compatible? Any ideas on this?
     
  20. Rudy Manterie

    Rudy Manterie Ultrasonic

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    from the dev

    "DrMS is a unique spatial processor, available as AAX/AU/VST/VST3 plug-in for Mac and PC, with a wide range of applications for mixing, mastering and post production – going from simple MS (Mid-Side) encoding/decoding, over stereo field width and depth enhancement, to fixing mono compatibility issues and more."

    PS: I can sell you some tones but it won't come cheap...
     
  21. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Producer

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    I don't know if I got the context exactly right about the EQ matching idea (too ADD to sit through this vid) but I think I've done something similar when cross referencing a mastered track to my rough. I was taught once that taking a snapshot and comparing eq waveforms to a desired genre can help your track sound similar, I noticed some genres are drastically different. The dude showed me on Izotope, it will allow you to take a snapshot and estimate a similar curve for your channel or master. I don't see how this would be useful for a specific guitar sound or sample however. I don't need this much these days so I'm not an expert but wanted to throw it out there.
     
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