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the quest for the the almigthy strong and deep centre channel
Old 1st February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the quest for the the almigthy strong and deep centre channel

Ok, I have been doing this for some time now and I am quite comfortable getting a local band in and helping them record and mix their songs and they all leave really happy.

But not me.

Allthough I am improving every time, I am nowhere near to where I want to be in terms of "Sound quality". And to me, this is defined at his point mostly with a deep, rich, strong and very tight center channel.

So, if you are on the same journey. what are your methods?
- specific gear?
- specific FX treatment?
- specific panning schemes?
- ???

I'll start of with some of my findings:
- more compression on the snare and kick, but lower level in the mix
- mono lead vocal and snare FX
- careful selection of which elements in the center get which part of the 2-8k band
- darker L/R sounds

Over to you!

Regards,
Dirk
Old 1st February 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB ➡️

So, if you are on the same journey. what are your methods?
- specific gear?
- specific FX treatment?
- specific panning schemes?
- ???

Over to you!

Regards,
Dirk
This is a really tough question and takes some thought. Only because we probably all hear and want different things out of the center. Personally for me its really about having an extremely killer sounding lead vocal, a great kick & bass interaction & a snare sound that makes the track. In terms of the gear its really whatever it takes to make it a reality. I do go to the grave believing that this is one place where analog summing wins over DAW summing in the depth of the center on each of the above. Lastly in terms of panning the only thing that comes to mind is not to always pan the bass in the center but sometimes a little bit off to give the kick that little inch of definition.
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
for me it's having the right arrangement and performances above all else. the music itself has to have the strength built in.

from there, it comes down to having the right monitoring for midrange; i used to be all about ns10's, i've since become an even bigger fan of the avantones, they allow me to push elements further out while leaving others further back, which imo is the hallmark of depth.

i've also come to realize that it's about deep compression on elements and groups, and little to none on the mix. in particular, i'm stepping on elements way more than i ever thought wise, layering slow, low ratio low threshold squeeze for tone and shape, followed by medium fast limiting to lock it down. when elements are clamped but still have transient punch and vitality, they're so much more pliable and options for balancing are so much greater. and with the right comps, eq is far less necessary.

lastly, having the right air around a sound, whether it be natural room or artificial verb or both, is a huge factor in the perceived weight and presence of a sound.


gregory scott - 'ubk'
.
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've somewhat recently stopped panning drums so wide and find that helps.

War
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
I find it useful to remind myself that in stereo mixing there is no center channel

there is only the left channel and the right channel and the illusion created that something is in the middle when it appears on both.

to me that means not loading up the middle with too much stuff and also not panning a lot of things '3/4'.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
strauss's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting topic..
Lots off times I'm fighting the balance between a wide mix and a strong center.

btw. which mixes do you consider a reference point for a strong center?
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
i've also come to realize that it's about deep compression on elements and groups, and little to none on the mix. in particular, i'm stepping on elements way more than i ever thought wise, layering slow, low ratio low threshold squeeze for tone and shape, followed by medium fast limiting to lock it down. when elements are clamped but still have transient punch and vitality, they're so much more pliable and options for balancing are so much greater. and with the right comps, eq is far less necessary
This pretty much is what I have been gravitating towards. I had no mix-bus compression on the last mixes, but have been leaning into more and heavier compression on single elements.

To the question of examples that I use as a reference for strong center?
Listen for example to John Major's Continuum, PG's UP, Paula Cole's This fire or even the silly loud This type of thinking from Chevelle, mixed by Andy Wallace.

Regards,
Dirk
Old 2nd February 2009
  #8
Gear Addict
 
hotpinkbirds's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB ➡️
Ok, I have been doing this for some time now and I am quite comfortable getting a local band in and helping them record and mix their songs and they all leave really happy.

But not me.

Allthough I am improving every time, I am nowhere near to where I want to be in terms of "Sound quality". And to me, this is defined at his point mostly with a deep, rich, strong and very tight center channel.

So, if you are on the same journey. what are your methods?
- specific gear?
- specific FX treatment?
- specific panning schemes?
- ???

I'll start of with some of my findings:
- more compression on the snare and kick, but lower level in the mix
- mono lead vocal and snare FX
- careful selection of which elements in the center get which part of the 2-8k band
- darker L/R sounds

Over to you!

Regards,
Dirk
I noticed in your thread you stated mono lead vocal and snare FX. I would recommend you try using stereo FX as well. I find that having slight delays and reverbs panned far (hard/soft depending on song) really makes the center seem that much more tight. As far as the compressing and EQ, I'm not sure how you go about it, but establishing a tight spectrum between kick and bass and filtering sometimes aggresively really helps bring a sense of tight and focus to sound.

Hope that helped.
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