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Eq-ing XY recording with MS EQs

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion

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KVRist
 
179 posts since 26 Nov, 2008

Postby Tapehead; Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:55 pm

I recorded some acoustic guitar tracks with XY microphone positioning. The instrument was great, I had DPA stereo pair running into Forsselltech SMP-2 into HEDD...All of that to say is that it sounds really good...but only when it is in solo. The track has to be used within fairly intricate arrangements where vocals obviously have to take the center stage, backed by acoustic fingerpicking and somewhere towards the end of the track it will go into a full orchestral treatment. So for the first time I want to try mid/side EQ-ing in order to free some frequency range for other instruments.

I want to prepare my guitar XY recording so that it sits well with the vocal without thinning it out too much, meaning I want to remove some low mids from the center and push them a bit to the sides and perhaps to do the same on the upper frequencies. In other words, I want to keep as much as I can of the rich, full sound of the XY guitar sound and yet allow some space for the vocals. Can somebody give me a step by step guidance of how to deal with the above scenario by implying mid/side equing. Do I have to use MS encoder first and then EQ the track with some Mid/side capable EQ? If so what would be the best (or the easiest) tools to achieve this goal? What are your favorites and why?

Thank you
www.montrealserai.com
Montreal Serai-featuring diverse arts; poems; essays, cinema & music reviews, coverage of alternative media
Shy
KVRAF
 
4804 posts since 26 Jun, 2004

Postby Shy; Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:18 pm

From my experience, it would likely just sound weird. Consider how things are done in real stage performances such as operas. Instruments and vocalists are arranged strategically according to the requirements of each musical segment. If you think the voice is not pronounced enough compared to the guitar, then you may have placed things improperly. You may need lower volume for the guitar (further back, in stage terms) and less reverberant sound for the vocal (front) compared to the guitar's. If the high or mid frequencies of the guitar are so dominant that nothing helps, consider whether there is something wrong in the frequency response of either the guitar or the vocal. If you conclude that each is proper, and you've adjusted volume and reverberation well enough and it's still not enough, then there is an error in the choice of either the guitar or the singer, so you'll have to compromise and "fix" it by attenuating a frequency range of either. Doing it on side channels more than mid channels can easily give a terribly unnatural sounding result, even if done moderately. So try that if you must, but make sure to recheck the sound several times afterwards, so you won't regret it later.
"Music is spiritual. The music business is not." - Claudio Monteverdi
KVRist
 
179 posts since 26 Nov, 2008

Postby Tapehead; Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:18 am

Everything on my end sounds really good and yes I can mix it using traditional, old school approaches by giving priorities to the instruments according to their "stage positioning" etc.

My desire was to push thing a bit further by employing techniques that I haven't used yet. I don't own any EQ plug-in with MS capability so I haven't experimented with it. Basically , I want to collect as much information as I can before trying it out.

The reason I asked this question is because I thought it was possible to achieve much more transparent results by manipulating the width of different frequency ranges and then subtracting some stuff from the side channel and compensating for it in the center channel ( or vice versa) thus not really compromising the original sound. Perhaps this is only used in the mastering stages but from what I read so far it is used a lot during mixing therefore I want to get some grip on this technique and see if it might be useful or not.

Thank you
www.montrealserai.com
Montreal Serai-featuring diverse arts; poems; essays, cinema & music reviews, coverage of alternative media
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KVRian
 
722 posts since 9 Apr, 2012
 

Postby Halma; Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:48 am

In my experience MS won't fix things for you. It's more icing on a cake. Stuff that sounds already good in the mix might sound better than without but the original mix has to sound good for that.

But you said you like it solo? Then there should not be a problem to mix it well. Maybe it's not the guitar that sounds bad in the mix but another instrument that covers the same frequency range? Or does it sound "too full"? Then maybe a little bit of compression and eq might help. Or even distortion so it stands out a little bit more.

Regards
Sebastian
Underground Music Production: Sound Design, Machine Funk, High Tech Soul https://watchthemkraut.wordpress.com/
Shy
KVRAF
 
4804 posts since 26 Jun, 2004

Postby Shy; Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:34 am

You don't have to use an EQ that has M/S features. It may be more comfortable, but you could use any EQ with the free Algorithmix plugins LR2MS and MS2LR instead (sparing you the trouble of logging into their FTP server. read the txt.). Maybe there are other similar plugins, but this is as simple as it gets.

edit: Windows plugins. If you use OS X, maybe someone could point you to something similar.
"Music is spiritual. The music business is not." - Claudio Monteverdi
KVRist
 
179 posts since 26 Nov, 2008

Postby Tapehead; Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks for the link Shy! I'm checking it out...
www.montrealserai.com
Montreal Serai-featuring diverse arts; poems; essays, cinema & music reviews, coverage of alternative media
User avatar
KVRian
 
553 posts since 28 Jun, 2005
  

Postby Yeager; Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:30 am

I like this one, it's free and easy to use:

http://www.voxengo.com/product/marvelgeq/
KVRian
 
1071 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Postby Ah_Dziz; Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:13 pm

http://www.wavesfactory.com/trackspacer.php

I can't recommend this plugin enough. It works is M/S mode and is super transparent when used properly. Give it a try. For a simple free M/S EQ you can't really do better than the Voxengo EQ linked above this post.

JJ
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.
KVRist
 
179 posts since 26 Nov, 2008

Postby Tapehead; Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:24 pm

YES Voxengo's free plugins are absolutely phenomenal . In fact, in the quality department there are no equals to his stuff -truly innovative in functionality and workflow. Though what I'm also eying right now is the Fabfilter ProQ, not free but the workflow is also simply incredible. You can split the same frequency band into side and mid on the fly ---->Genius !

Thank you


PS. I bought the trackspacer but for some reasons it is glitchy on my computer (Intel® Core™ i7 Processor with 32gigs of ram)
www.montrealserai.com
Montreal Serai-featuring diverse arts; poems; essays, cinema & music reviews, coverage of alternative media
KVRian
 
1071 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Postby Ah_Dziz; Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:05 pm

Tapehead wrote:YES Voxengo's free plugins are absolutely phenomenal . In fact, in the quality department there are no equals to his stuff -truly innovative in functionality and workflow. Though what I'm also eying right now is the Fabfilter ProQ, not free but the workflow is also simply incredible. You can split the same frequency band into side and mid on the fly ---->Genius !

Thank you


PS. I bought the trackspacer but for some reasons it is glitchy on my computer (Intel® Core™ i7 Processor with 32gigs of ram)


It glitches on my system when adjusting the high/lowpass filters. I don't have any need to automate those it's no trouble. This thing saves me lots of work when my schedule is hectic. The developer is super cool too you should approach him with your bugs if you haven't already. He also makes great affordable sample libraries.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

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