Making sounds pop out in stereo can add much needed dimension to flat sounding mixes. It can also define sections in an arrangement; like a wider sound on the choruses. This is great on vocals, synths, and more. In this article I’ll be showing several techniques and effects that are perfect for accomplishing this. As with all stereo effects, these are best heard with headphones, but even on your monitors you should easily hear the difference. I’m using a simple chord pattern for demonstrating and each method has a before and after sample.
Most of the processes we’ll be looking at in this article are accomplished directly on a stereo channel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t process a mono recording like a vocal. In fact, mono sounds will benefit the most from these methods. If the track you want to process is mono, click Logic’s “Input Format Button” (directly to the left of the input select drop down) until it displays two circles instead of just one.
Phase Inversion with Logic’s Gain
First let’s talk about inverting the Phase of one side of a two-channel track. When you do this, you get an instant widened “pop.” You can use Logic’s Gain plug-in to easily accomplish this cool trick. Add the stereo Gain plug-in and from its “Phase Invert” section choose either the left or right button… Boing! Sometimes this process can make the sound seem off balance. Use the Gain plug-in’s balance knob to alleviate this.
Next up, let’s take a look at Logic’s Stereo Spread effect. This is one of my favorite effects in the whole Logic bunch. You can use it to easily push sounds out and to the sides. It treats the left and right stereo channels independently creating opposing EQ bumps. This is quite a dramatic effect… even the default preset will give you that instant stereo pop. Try adjusting the order knob for a quick repositioning. I’ll often take down the spread effect on the lower frequencies since this can create mud. You can do this by either pulling down the Lower Int slide, or by sliding the Lower Freq over to the right.
The kind of tasks that need to happen on a location recording are actually not at all dissimilar to what happens in the studio. You’ll need to provide the singing group with some means of hearing the track. This will probably mean a using a pair of small speakers in the ambient singing area, since it’s unlikely there will be enough sets of headphones to go around. But you will also want to capture their performance with a suitable microphone set-up, and in such a way that there is a minimum of track spilling back through the microphones.
Ideally, you will want to set yourself up somewhere away from the singers in another room, to give yourself the best hope of hearing exactly what you are recording without the interference of the ‘live’ sound coming from the hall. If you are anything like me, you’ll be wanting to set up a few equipment bits and pieces in this new ‘control room’; either a set of speakers or a good pair of headphones to monitor with, some means of providing compression and maybe a little eq to the vocals.
On the DAW side, you’ll want to be able to run the track but also have several tracks instantly available for an assortment of vocal takes, as well as the option to drop-in. I tend to use a laptop connected to an audio interface when travelling; it might be possible to do it all with an iPad or even a hi-end professional field recorder, but I’ve yet to be totally convinced!
On record, I have said ordinarily that I am not an enormous defender of summing blenders.
Do the faders on a unit have a sound? Yes, an exceptionally slight one. Do the aux send ways on a comfort have a sound? Yes, a slight one. Does the summing lattice and speaker have a sound? Yes, a to some degree less slight one. At the same time by and large, before the advanced days, the “best” summing units on a support were the ones that granted as meager of a sound as could be expected under the circumstances. Least crosstalk, lowest distortion, and so forth.
Some would counter to say that the computerized world sounds “cold” or “sterile”, yet that is simply a negative turn on what one could undoubtedly mark as “exact” or “splendidly direct exchange capacity.” Is that great or terrible? No. It simply is.
So my stance on summing blenders has been that in the event that you need to include an a flavor or vibe to your mix, shake on with your terrible self! At the same time if your summing unit is planned because of summing, that smidgen of vibe or flavor would be exactly as effectively presented with the multi-reason capacity of, say, a simple compressor with healthy transformers on the yields.
Enter the Unit Audio Summing Mixer.
Mine specifically is the Micro-Unit, a detached summing box with 8 inputs. The initial two of which could be utilized to toss mono sources to focus simply to get somewhat more mileage out of the unit.
It’s a cheap box which does one essential thing: entireties sources down to left-right.
It doesn’t consist of make up up gain amp. Which is an enormous less right? Not in any manner! This is the place my stance on summing movements a bit.
This is the level that sets apart the striving engineers from the inspired engineers.The skill to ”assist the music” is usually lost on the bands and performers who need it the most — however for the vetted specialists, groups, producers who hear and feel musicality — this is the true litmus test.
The engineer hears the essential blend and starts to translate the musical expectations.
There’s a bunch of means in which musicality is indicated, converted, and hence helped along — and a lot of it is intuition — however when you hear it you hear it.
Everything I can say is a lot of this methodology includes automation— bringing key components out at fastidious experiences.
As a maker, a standout amongst the most vital aptitudes I’ve required to create is sympathy.
I’m alluding to having the capacity to comprehend the sentiments of the specialists I work with. Craftsmen are glorious and intriguing individuals, and they’ve all got an extremely individual (even private) and serious association with their music. Through the years and in the wake of gathering several specialists, I’ve gotten interested with investigating the likenesses and contrasts.
As you know, accomplishment in this industry is dependent on a great deal more than specialized (counting musical) aptitudes. Variables, for example, duty, ability to learn, valor, solid respect toward oneself and quietude are significantly more imperative.
Through the years, I’ve gotten much better at judging individuals’ character. I can tell when an individual I meet is somebody I’d need to work with. Clearly, this included some significant downfalls. As the truism goes: great judgment originates for a fact; experience originates from terrible judgment. I’ve absolutely had a decent amount of terrible careful decisions!
So while whatever is left of the online maker world is discussing Pro Tools and drum specimens, I’m making a feature arrangement that doesn’t manage gear whatsoever. Rather, its about sentiments.
I talked with some of my craftsmen from a year ago and got some information about music, life, insecurities, fervor and pushing send through troublesome times.
In this way, this is the third feature in the arrangement. Here the specialists are discussing whether they discover it less demanding or more troublesome now, contrasted with when they began making music.
I’m distributed one consistently for whatever remains of the year. Stay tuned.