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Do you mute between singing on open vocal mic's when mixing down?
Old 7th October 2002
  #1
Do you mute between singing on open vocal mic's when mixing down?

Say you have a chance to mix a gig down later, do you mute open unused mic's? Or leave em open?

Old 7th October 2002
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I only gate or mute them if it doesn't drasticly change the ambience of the recording. If it does I'll try to either use them in the mix or patch in an expander.
Old 7th October 2002
  #3
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jay and I have similar approaches to this.

When mixing post the performance:
If I like the sound of the room tone and the performers are not blasting away on their rigs (that's around 30% of the time), I tend to leave them up. Many times I leave them up and either gate them with just a 3 to 6 dB of attenuation or manually ride them. If I don't have a choice (about 70% of the time) I'm muting or gating at about 6 to 40 dB every chance I can. Expanders work well too.

I get more control of my mix when I track the performance. When we are primary audio on stage, we get to pick the mics and position them as we like. If necessary, we suggest different speaker placements to help the recording. It all depends on how important the recording is to the production. I try to position the mics away from loud signal sources. Kind of like a virtual gobo or gate. This is one place were "Vaporware" gobo's would work. heh When the mics mostly point away from the offending sound source, you have better isolation and less noise to gate or mute later. That makes your job much easier during the mix process.

Important note: If you're not mixing the tracks, this may cause some serious problems for the mixer down the road. They will not be able to "fix it in the mix" and unfortunately, you're also not helping the mixer's economics when you do this kind of stuff. heh
Old 7th October 2002
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I learned a long time ago (in college) that bad ambience is better then a drastic change in sound. One of my friends recorded a band on a 1/2" 8 track at a local bar and he gated the vocal mics to tape because there was a buzz on the line which I'll assume was a ground loop. When we got everything back to the dorm to mix the vocals and everything else sounded fine, no buzzes. But, now we had hard gated vocals to tape. The result was pretty bad.
Old 22nd February 2013
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Always mute these and other direct mics that are just going to cause interference. You really should never leave your drum direct mics in when you're using condenser or ribbon overheads, they're just going to cause phasing with the cymbals.

It's the same with any vocal mics, scratch or not. All they're going to do is pick up the other instruments playing, the reflections of the mains off of the room or venue (probably not as much of an issue if it's an outdoor set), but either way it's not going to be adding anything good.

I really like the gate on the Waves SSL plug-in, it doesn't sound artificial to me for whatever reason. I didn't like using gates on tracks until I tried that, simple to use and easy to hear when it's hurting the direct sound its supposed to be capturing.
Old 22nd February 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs ➑️
I learned a long time ago (in college) that bad ambience is better then a drastic change in sound. One of my friends recorded a band on a 1/2" 8 track at a local bar and he gated the vocal mics to tape because there was a buzz on the line which I'll assume was a ground loop. When we got everything back to the dorm to mix the vocals and everything else sounded fine, no buzzes. But, now we had hard gated vocals to tape. The result was pretty bad.
Should have bounced it digitally to mix/add gates and just used the gates for the mains live! I'd never use gates hard to tape, only for monitoring and post-tracking mixing.
Old 22nd February 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
I record mostly jazz drumming, so very nuanced playing. Gates do not work well for this. So my tricks:

Check phase and bleed when setting up mics. Make sure you can leave them open and still have a good sound.

Second, if say I haven't tracked but am mixing like a live concert take, and there is a phase problem, I cut out everything on the unused mics (toms, extra stuff) and just leave in the few parts where the drum is actually being used. Manual gate I call it.
Old 28th February 2013
  #8
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
October 2002!
what a bump!
might be a record
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You may be correct, Joe!

This happens a lot in the "Remote Possibilities..." Forum!

We're an open book; entries are added throughout the decades.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➑️
October 2002!
what a bump!
might be a record
Old 28th February 2013
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Old 28th February 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well said, Stuart. ;-)

Old 1st March 2013
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Hahaha, what i was going to say was;

Recent 'live in the studio' afrobeat band recording, ended up with a bit too much spill from drums on the horn mics. I found a combination of automating down the sections where no horn were playing, and a small amount of gating (6db reduction) got me out of the fix.

I guess I could have automated the whole thing, but time constraints and all it worked out ok in the end


Edit: just read your post Steve, should have saved myself the typing really......
Old 1st March 2013
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, no, and everything in between. For a live recording, I'll generally keep the open mics on to maintain ambiance. I may pull the volume back a bit if I can still make it sound natural. If necessary, I will cut an open mic altogether and try to simulate the ambiance using the other tracks. An example of when that might be necessary - if musicians are chatting with each other as they play. Sometimes this can sound good, but sometimes they are self-conscious about the conversation and want it cut out. This is one way that bands can learn about their stage presence -if they listen to unedited recordings and hear things they should have done differently. But most continue to do the same, and just rely on me to edit the recordings, not regarding how it appears to fans who are there at the time.
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