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Multichannel FX recording - how is this mixed down?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Multichannel FX recording - how is this mixed down?

Hello all...

I’m an FX editor with a D100 who occasionally records for fun so I don’t have much knowledge of the multichannel process - I’m really intrigued by the serious multi mic setups but trying to get my head around how these are mixed down...

In the case of say, a car by - I’ve seen a setup with 4 mics - it was described as an approach, a center, an away and a 4th mic for “detail” - makes enough sense at this point but what takes place to combine these into either a stereo or mono mixdown? Is it just a case of bringing the 4 channels into your DAW, adjusting the levels until you’re happy then bouncing out to stereo (or mono)?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Do you mean an effect recording of a car going past, recorded with 3 external mics, then broken up into approach, very close as it goes past and then trailing away sound as it departs, plus perhaps additional detail.... such as tyre noise or wind noise ?

What you describe should work....with attention to overlapping and cross fading the 3 signals across each other...so there's a seamless transition between the 3 mic elements, in keeping with how it would sound if you were a hitchhiker on the side of the road....sliding in the 'detail track' as the car approaches closely and fading it immediately after.

Perhaps a single ORTF stereo mic pair, or a mid_side pair, on the roadside facing directly across the road, will pick up all aspects of the event, and you'll get a dramatic transition from stereo left to right as the car passes the stereo mic pair. Or you could employ 3 widely spaced mics, as you've implied in your description ?

If it's a dramatic scene you might want to hyper compress the audio, so it adds a surreal element... otherwise aim for a natural, true-to-life representation of the event.

You might also want to stopwatch time the actual event as a bystander when recording on location....so that your final mix down is representative of how long the approach/departure actually takes (which will be dependent on approach and departure speed of the car, of course)
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Do you mean an effect recording of a car going past, recorded with 3 external mics, then broken up into approach, very close as it goes past and then trailing away sound as it departs, plus perhaps additional detail.... such as tyre noise or wind noise ?

What you describe should work....with attention to overlapping and cross fading the 3 signals across each other...so there's a seamless transition between the 3 mic elements, in keeping with how it would sound if you were a hitchhiker on the side of the road....sliding in the 'detail track' as the car approaches closely and fading it immediately after.

Perhaps a single ORTF stereo mic pair, or a mid_side pair, on the roadside facing directly across the road, will pick up all aspects of the event, and you'll get a dramatic transition from stereo left to right as the car passes the stereo mic pair. Or you could employ 3 widely spaced mics, as you've implied in your description ?

If it's a dramatic scene you might want to hyper compress the audio, so it adds a surreal element... otherwise aim for a natural, true-to-life representation of the event.

You might also want to stopwatch time the actual event as a bystander when recording on location....so that your final mix down is representative of how long the approach/departure actually takes (which will be dependent on approach and departure speed of the car, of course)
Hi there - I was really using this as an example of a multichannel recording setup and how the file is ultimately output other example would be something like a door - would you have a mic pointing at the hinge and another at the latch?

The question is, once you have your multiple recordings - do you mix them down to stereo to achieve your final product?

In the multichannel car example I would want to end up with one stereo file made up from the 4 mics as opposed to using 3 in an edit session faded into each other...is this a case of stacking your tracks in the DAW, mixing and treating to taste then bouncing out stereo?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by breaktheory ➡️
Hi there - I was really using this as an example of a multichannel recording setup and how the file is ultimately output other example would be something like a door - would you have a mic pointing at the hinge and another at the latch?

The question is, once you have your multiple recordings - do you mix them down to stereo to achieve your final product?

In the multichannel car example I would want to end up with one stereo file made up from the 4 mics as opposed to using 3 in an edit session faded into each other...is this a case of stacking your tracks in the DAW, mixing and treating to taste then bouncing out stereo?
In a multichannel DAW such as Reaper, I'd give each mic its own track, make your adjustments (stretching, shrinking, cross fading etc) there and then mix down (bounce or whatever you call it) to stereo as your final product.

There's a difference between generating and recording naturalistic effects...versus Foley creations, which frequently use odd, unexpected or counter-intuitive sources to produce effects. From your original post it's hard to discern whether you're an effects collector, generator or employ them in your own video productions. Foley is a big world unto itself...there are plenty of YouTube and other resources for you to research.

Your door hinge/latch is another example of this....trial and error and experimentation is highly recommended, and in all likelihood you'll want to generate a wide range of variants for each discrete 'sound family'.....that's why effects libraries typically number hundreds or thousands of individually tailored sounds (how many different types of doors exist in the world ?), as the human ear is highly tuned to slight differences in audio detail. Don't make your individual effects too short in duration...it's easier to trim back a longer one, but looping a shorter one quite often sounds poorly executed.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
In a multichannel DAW such as Reaper, I'd give each mic its own track, make your adjustments (stretching, shrinking, cross fading etc) there and then mix down (bounce or whatever you call it) to stereo as your final product.

There's a difference between generating and recording naturalistic effects...versus Foley creations, which frequently use odd, unexpected or counter-intuitive sources to produce effects. From your original post it's hard to discern whether you're an effects collector, generator or employ them in your own video productions. Foley is a big world unto itself...there are plenty of YouTube and other resources for you to research.

Your door hinge/latch is another example of this....trial and error and experimentation is highly recommended, and in all likelihood you'll want to generate a wide range of variants for each discrete 'sound family'.....that's why effects libraries typically number hundreds or thousands of individually tailored sounds (how many different types of doors exist in the world ?), as the human ear is highly tuned to slight differences in audio detail. Don't make your individual effects too short in duration...it's easier to trim back a longer one, but looping a shorter one quite often sounds poorly executed.
Hi again - maybe the door wasn’t the best example.

I’m an FX editor that’s been recording as needed with my D100 and trying to get my head around the multichannel world.

When I mentioned the door and the car multimic setups it was more a question of do I mic every possible interesting point of sound and then combine for a more detailed stereo or mono recording (rather than keeping multiple elements and using them individually during editorial)
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Yeah thats pretty much what i do, to record SFX. Mic everything i want to hear. close mics for detail and mics at a distance that captures the ambience. Then i just add more mics some where else to be able to hear things i might have missed with close micing. Anything that i want to make sound like its moving (to and from, not necessarily back and forth) has to be in stereo.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by coreyspencer ➡️
Yeah thats pretty much what i do, to record SFX. Mic everything i want to hear. close mics for detail and mics at a distance that captures the ambience. Then i just add more mics some where else to be able to hear things i might have missed with close micing. Anything that i want to make sound like its moving (to and from, not necessarily back and forth) has to be in stereo.
Do you then keep these files separate to use during FX editorial or are they just deleted or archived once you have your mixed down stereo or mono file?

In the case of capturing motion - what would be an example of a to and from that would have you reach for a stereo mic (or pair)
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Since i use a multitrack usb recorder i have each individual channel saved instantly onto hardrive. So then I just drag into DAW and archive them in my SFX folder. So I keep the files on 2 seperate hardrives until i have to make room. Sometimes i'll store sounds on cassette tape.
An example of motion-to and from: a Motorcycle. A real road hog; boasting loud, aggressive exhaust pipes, ripping down the street. It would start from one side of the audioscape and move to the other. Using panning. A slow pan would imply the object's motion is slow, a faster pan would indicate speed.
Volume is a tool to give the perception of motion-back and forth. Distance.

a stereo recording configuration to capture SFX motion. x-y pair where the sound source is fixed but mic position is not. Or lining up a series of mics along the path of travel of the sound source. Or taking a single mic feed and just do pan and gain adjustments.
I wouldn't neccesarily be limited to a pair of mics, to achieve a stereo sound production.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
The other day I went to my local Harley-Davidson Motorcycle dealership. I wanted to record exhaust sounds. The setup was fairly simple, 2 omni mics an MXL990 and the ECM8000. The ECM I laid on the ground probably 10FT away from the bike recording open air, the MXL maybe 15FT -20FTaway on the ground in a brick alcove thing, so it did see boundaries/reflections. One problem that occurred to me a little too late in the process was the sheer amount of SPL coming from the motorcycle's 113ci motor. Inevitably the XL48 Preamps were glowing red hot when the throttle was twisted. So then in the middle of the recording I switched the mic to a different channel on my preamp with lower gain, which resulted in a total of 3 recorded tracks using 2 mics. This would prove to come in handy during Post editing. In post i made several adjustments, I had to time align the signals (The ECM would hear the bike start, then the MXL would hear the bike start), then I just blended the tracks to best represent the natural sound of the exhaust. After I got that in check, I just crushed the heck out of the Master because of the extreme dynamics from idle volume to revving volume. Next, I turned down the the track that clipped the most and ran it into a limiter, zoomed in and literally removed all the nasty square waves that clicked and popped, resulting in a much cleaner sound.
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