Audio Recording Issues – Introduction Part OneThe topic for this series of Posts is about specific audio recording issues that commonly come up in the tracking, mixing, and mastering processes. The Audio Engineer often plays a combination of these roles in the chain, or may specialize in a niche position.
I have addressed an outline of 5 specific types of Equalizers and how they are used in daily tracking, mixing, and mastering. I followed this with covering 10 common EQ modes that we work with under these 5 categories of EQ designs, both in analog and in digital domains.
Now, I would like to break this down into a process of analyzing 12 specific scenarios that we face, with a groundwork provided of EQ types and EQ modes. What situations arise that call for us to be the EQ Artisan, making creative decisions, and when do we run into EQ emergencies that call for an EQ surgeon? Although the situations are ongoing and extremely expansive, I have outlined 12 specific scenarios that I think are interesting to discuss at length. I began this topic throughout my 2013 Blogging year, but as many of you know, it has been an incredibly eventful year for audio recording, including releases and updates that CDSoundMaster has taken part in with Acustica Audio, like the Cooltec EQP-1 Audio Plug-In that we are so proud of, and our independent Nebula Pro libraries that we believe are among the world's finest audio processing options available today. Needless to say, my Blogging has been unsteady, and has shifted topics many times throughout the year as a result.
So, I am going to begin this topic fresh, uninterrupted, and I hope that it serves as an informative tool for you. As I have stated in the past, we use tools in order to leave a creative mark on our work. We define our artistic decisions with the hope that they provide a signature, whether it is a strong artistic statement or the decision to always remain true to the song or music style. Productions are approached in so many different ways, and every choice can have a profound effect on tracking, mixing, and mastering.
Regardless of your approach, you want to be sure to identify key factors in making improvements to your mix. The following is list of scenarios that call for important EQ decision making in tracking, mixes and mastering:
1. Actual notes that are out of balance.
2. Overtones that overstay their welcome
3. It sounds great on its own, but...
4. Nice sound when tracking, but way too much "-----" when blending parts together
5. Multiple mic's setup to track the same instrument and need the right balancing together
6. Two birds, one stone
7. Separation or glue
8. Overlap in the mix causing unwanted frequency bumps
9. Compressing and limiting changed something that needs to be fixed
10. What happened to my stereo field?
11. Comb what?
12. Making it stand out or bringing it all together
These processes come up all the time in music production. Every Audio Engineer has their own approach to address these situations. There are also Producers, Engineers, and others involved in the recording industry that have not run into these issues, or have not been equipped to handle them. Addressing these situations can show the myriad of scenarios to help prepare those that have never run into them, are lost as to how to handle them, and also those that are well-trained, but may be looking to broaden their experience and offer more ways of approaching the same situations. This is also about showing how the mastering process can lend information to the Mixing Engineer, providing ideas about how to better prepare recording sessions for a successful outcome.