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natenajar

Gold Finger

Posts: 843 Member Since:14/04/2011

#21 [url]

Apr 23 17 2:53 PM

On the Performing side of the glass the only system I really like is the mytek. I've worked in a few rooms that have little mackie mixers for each player and functionally it's fine but they're usually noisy for one reason or another. As I'm usually playing quiet acoustic music it drives me nuts. My favorite situation is when you have an engineer who really knows how to make a good cue mix and he just gives you one off the board. Jim Czak at Nola on W57th street made the best cue mixes, it was one of the many great reasons to record there. Jim died very unexpectedly last month, we had just made dinner plans a few weeks before because I hadn't seen him in awhile. Now I suppose it will be that much longer before I do....

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#23 [url]

Apr 24 17 8:54 AM

nobtwiddler wrote:
For me it has to be analog. And SIMPLE to operate...

 
It's funny--I was just thinking about this the other day.  I was recording a cast album of a musical and thinking about how the singers--who continuously seemed to need help getting their cue mix the way they wanted--would probably have been much happier with a pot or fader they could just turn up or push up.  One other irony is that, unless you build in a lot of digital headroom, it seems like a digital system would be at odds with the fact that people often want to turn things up (or have them turned up).  Especially true on a project where I'm recording strings (reasonable click volume), then pop 'Jerry Hey-style' horns (slamming click volume).  

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,871 Member Since:20/01/2011

#24 [url]

Apr 24 17 10:58 AM

the best sounding 'personal' foldback mixer system I heard was also one of, if not the, first ones I ever saw... that being the custom made system that AIR had.

Yes,I prefer the sound of the Mytek but I've played so many sessions with the Avioms now at so many places that I'm used to it enough to be happy.

there's no question that a digital system has its issues though...

FWIW, even though I believe it's an option, I don't know anyplace that goes digitally into the Aviom. everyone seems to go into it through its A-D interface.

Last Edited By: weedywet Apr 24 17 12:36 PM. Edited 1 time.

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podgorny

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,330 Member Since:27/01/2011

#25 [url]

Apr 24 17 10:59 AM

Digital has more than enough headroom. The issue is poor sound quality, poor user-interface, and latency. 

And of course, there is that question of whether multichannel headphone systems are a good idea in the first place. 

 

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#26 [url]

Apr 24 17 11:16 AM

podgorny wrote:

And of course, there is that question of whether multichannel headphone systems are a good idea in the first place. 


 

They make almost every player happier, but whether or not they make people PLAY better (or sing better) is very much in question. "What we like" and "what we need" are not always perfectly correlated.

brad allen williams

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,871 Member Since:20/01/2011

#27 [url]

Apr 24 17 12:40 PM

"digital" has enough headroom... for whatever that means... but it's easy, relatively, to overdrive the input of the Aviom or Hearback convertors and make the system clip.

and of course there's always some latency.

I balance audio for living.... I can do a cue mix for myself that's just "as good' as the one someone in the control room can do for me (or better ),
but the ISSUE isn't how good it is, it's the potential for every player to be playing to something too DIFFERENT from the others.

still, on the whole I've found it's better as a compromise than the need to 'force' people to play to a mix that was made for the squeakiest wheel.

once you're doing 6 different holdback mixes for the band and singer, you might as well just let them "more me" themselves as they're no longer playing to the same thing anyway.

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#28 [url]

Apr 24 17 1:46 PM

One thing I forgot to mention, but it's handy/helpful.  There's a studio where I've only worked a couple of times that has, according to their website, the Furman HD16 Personal Cue System.  What's cool about those boxes is that they have a talkback mic, with a momentary switch, for the players to talk to the control room and it's built into the box.  When they got used to it, it seemed to make for better, easier communication (without GIANT snare drum blasts coming through the drummer's TB mic when it wasn't needed).  

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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,112 Member Since:23/10/2013

#29 [url]

Apr 24 17 1:58 PM

soapfoot wrote:

podgorny wrote:

And of course, there is that question of whether multichannel headphone systems are a good idea in the first place. 



 

They make almost every player happier, but whether or not they make people PLAY better (or sing better) is very much in question. "What we like" and "what we need" are not always perfectly correlated.

Lol!

Yeah, never ceases to amaze me when someone just one other instrument, or something along those lines. "The other guys? Nah, don't need to hear them!".

Not bagging on it entirely, but it seems like it's better to save that for the edge cases, nailing some peculiar part, etc.

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podgorny

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,330 Member Since:27/01/2011

#30 [url]

Apr 24 17 2:26 PM

weedywet wrote:
I balance audio for living.... I can do a cue mix for myself that's just "as good' as the one someone in the control room can do for me (or better ),


Respectfully, no you cannot.

You're busy PERFORMING, while I am busy making sure it sounds good. You might be able to get a great static balance, perhaps even better than I can, but the mix changes subtly throughout the song in response to what the players are doing.  I still contend that the best way to do it is to mix a stereo cue off the console, and add click or individual channels as needed.

And yes, you can clip the inputs to the Hearback or the Aviom. You can also clip the inputs to the Mytek. Are we discussing design deficiencies or gain-staging deficiencies?

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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queef bag

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,275 Member Since:24/02/2011

#31 [url]

Apr 24 17 4:00 PM

podgorny wrote:

weedywet wrote:
I balance audio for living.... I can do a cue mix for myself that's just "as good' as the one someone in the control room can do for me (or better ),


Respectfully, no you cannot.

You're busy PERFORMING, while I am busy making sure it sounds good. You might be able to get a great static balance, perhaps even better than I can, but the mix changes subtly throughout the song in response to what the players are doing.  I still contend that the best way to do it is to mix a stereo cue off the console, and add click or individual channels as needed.

And yes, you can clip the inputs to the Hearback or the Aviom. You can also clip the inputs to the Mytek. Are we discussing design deficiencies or gain-staging deficiencies?

oof!   well i have had many an instance where and artist has asked (for example,) for more and more vocals in his phones till there was so little track in the phones there was no pitch reference...
there are many artists who will ask for what they want, which often is not what they need to perform well.  
there are also artists, both pro and otherwise who can dial in what they need quite well.  they know their personal preferences on what they like to lock to and what to ignore.
the second set is in the minority...but if they can give themselves exactly what they want/need fine.  i don't want them to settle for 'good enough' when better may lead to a better take.

but mostly, i like to be able to monitor what people are hearing, and take that into consideration when looking at the 'feel' being played, as (duh) that has a huge affect.

jf

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#32 [url]

Apr 24 17 4:29 PM

I feel very confident that I can draw upon my experience to dial in a cue mix for myself that reflects what I need to play well. I'm sure that WW can do the same.

In a tracking situation, a static balance is what I prefer. If I cannot comfortably play to a static balance, something is FAR wrong with either the arrangement or the group dynamic, and that needs to be addressed, not disguised. In fact, the single biggest annoyance to me, as a player, are levels moving around while I play. It makes it impossible for me to truly know what the relationship of my part is to the other parts (timbrally, temporally, aesthetically) at any given time, and frustrates me to no end. 

The real disadvantage of the personal mixers is simply that many players, particularly lower on the experience scale, don't have as much audio/mixing experience to draw from when making their own cue mixes (and, as WW pointed out, are often playing to different things).

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 24 17 4:41 PM. Edited 5 times.

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zakco

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,089 Member Since:02/03/2011

#33 [url]

Apr 24 17 4:56 PM

soapfoot wrote:

The Behringer lists <1ms but isn't more specific.
I was really skeptical of this spec and did a careful loopback test out of protools, which surprisingly verified this. It's important to note though, that this is in addition to the existing system latency. The total latency with PTHD (TDM) ends up being just under 2ms total, which in my experience is workable for all but the stunningly rare, freakish, rhythmic savants. In practice, I haven't had a single player even bring up cue mix latency with the Behringers. I have found however that there is a certain personality type that will, when they are TOLD latency exists, will claim to hear it even when you feed them a placebo, all analog, direct mix, but that's a different type of disease that requires medication rather than gear...

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zakco

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,089 Member Since:02/03/2011

#34 [url]

Apr 24 17 5:02 PM

soapfoot wrote:
I feel very confident that I can draw upon my experience to dial in a cue mix for myself that reflects what I need to play well. I'm sure that WW can do the same.

In a tracking situation, a static balance is what I prefer. If I cannot comfortably play to a static balance, something is FAR wrong with either the arrangement or the group dynamic, and that needs to be addressed, not disguised. In fact, the single biggest annoyance to me, as a player, are levels moving around while I play. It makes it impossible for me to truly know what the relationship of my part is to the other parts (timbrally, temporally, aesthetically) at any given time, and frustrates me to no end. 

The real disadvantage of the personal mixers is simply that many players, particularly lower on the experience scale, don't have as much audio/mixing experience to draw from when making their own cue mixes (and, as WW pointed out, are often playing to different things).
Sums up my feelings on the subject perfectly. I perform best with a cue mix that favors certain aspects of the arrangement that provide the necessary feel or pitch cues for my instrument and not a lot else.  Not only will my intonation and pocket improve but I will be less fatigued than I would be when listening to a dense, headroom-chomping wall of sound that might be preferred by the folks in the CR. Where experience comes into play here is knowing which elements are the most relevant you the parts you are playing on a given song.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#35 [url]

Apr 24 17 5:09 PM

zakco wrote:

soapfoot wrote:I feel very confident that I can draw upon my experience to dial in a cue mix for myself that reflects what I need to play well. I'm sure that WW can do the same.


In a tracking situation, a static balance is what I prefer. If I cannot comfortably play to a static balance, something is FAR wrong with either the arrangement or the group dynamic, and that needs to be addressed, not disguised. In fact, the single biggest annoyance to me, as a player, are levels moving around while I play. It makes it impossible for me to truly know what the relationship of my part is to the other parts (timbrally, temporally, aesthetically) at any given time, and frustrates me to no end. 


The real disadvantage of the personal mixers is simply that many players, particularly lower on the experience scale, don't have as much audio/mixing experience to draw from when making their own cue mixes (and, as WW pointed out, are often playing to different things).

Sums up my feelings on the subject perfectly. I perform best with a cue mix that favors certain aspects of the arrangement that provide the necessary feel or pitch cues for my instrument and not a lot else.  Not only will my intonation and pocket improve but I will be less fatigued than I would be when listening to a dense, headroom-chomping wall of sound that might be preferred by the folks in the CR. Where experience comes into play here is knowing which elements are the most relevant you the parts you are playing on a given song.

Interestingly, the reason for my preference is entirely different (opposite, even) from yours!

I must be aware of the complete picture at all times (or as near as possible), otherwise I have no idea if I'm playing in a supportive, musical, appropriately-contextualized way. I can't interact with, support, blend, or stay out of the way of elements that I'm not hearing.

brad allen williams

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,871 Member Since:20/01/2011

#36 [url]

Apr 24 17 5:51 PM

What's important is that each musician has what he needs to do his best performance. 
Not that it 'sounds good'. 

And that varies sometimes. 
Bernard Purdie used to ask for nothing but click and himself. I thought it was weird but wasn't up to ME to insist he take my brilliant headphone balance instead. 
(And he played on all the Beatles records, so he knew what worked for him)

it's a rare bunch these days that's happy with one mix for everyone. 
The singer ALWAYS wants much more vocal. 
The drummer doesn't want much guitar. 
The bass player wants a lot of bass drum. 
And so on. 

So again, there's nothing better about doing multiple mixes from the control room than just allowing individual mixes by the players. 

I can't remember the last time I've been to a studio that did NOT have individual cue mixers. 

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zakco

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,089 Member Since:02/03/2011

#37 [url]

Apr 24 17 5:52 PM

soapfoot wrote:
zakco wrote:

soapfoot wrote:I feel very confident that I can draw upon my experience to dial in a cue mix for myself that reflects what I need to play well. I'm sure that WW can do the same.


In a tracking situation, a static balance is what I prefer. If I cannot comfortably play to a static balance, something is FAR wrong with either the arrangement or the group dynamic, and that needs to be addressed, not disguised. In fact, the single biggest annoyance to me, as a player, are levels moving around while I play. It makes it impossible for me to truly know what the relationship of my part is to the other parts (timbrally, temporally, aesthetically) at any given time, and frustrates me to no end. 


The real disadvantage of the personal mixers is simply that many players, particularly lower on the experience scale, don't have as much audio/mixing experience to draw from when making their own cue mixes (and, as WW pointed out, are often playing to different things).

Sums up my feelings on the subject perfectly. I perform best with a cue mix that favors certain aspects of the arrangement that provide the necessary feel or pitch cues for my instrument and not a lot else.  Not only will my intonation and pocket improve but I will be less fatigued than I would be when listening to a dense, headroom-chomping wall of sound that might be preferred by the folks in the CR. Where experience comes into play here is knowing which elements are the most relevant you the parts you are playing on a given song.

Interestingly, the reason for my preference is entirely different (opposite, even) from yours!

I must be aware of the complete picture at all times (or as near as possible), otherwise I have no idea if I'm playing in a supportive, musical, appropriately-contextualized way. I can't interact with, support, blend, or stay out of the way of elements that I'm not hearing.
Well, the last sentence of my post is key. And those elements may be everything or very little, depending on what role my parts play in the arrangement.

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dr funk

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,636 Member Since:24/12/2011

#38 [url]

Apr 24 17 7:03 PM

I recorded two drummers recently, both playing on different songs on the same album project. One wanted tons of click and not much else apart from some bass, while the other wanted the CR mix with everything. In fact the second drummer was disappointed that there were no guide vocals, as he always wants to play 'to the song', and vocals are really important to him. He also happens to be a great singer...

When I'm playing, I generally want the full picture in the cans, because I want to be able to hear myself in context with everything else, for the reasons that Brad stated. However, there have been occasions where, as engineer, it has been helpful to strip a mix right back to a couple of elements to help a player to really lock in, but that has almost always been in an overdub situation.

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,573 Member Since:26/01/2011

#39 [url]

Apr 25 17 8:42 AM

I'm always a little nervous when a musician doesn't want the vocal, that can be a bad sign. Many times I've heard musicians play parts that are great, but not right for the song. However there are musicians who can hear a song once and know it, and then they need what they need to play. Steve Ferrone comes to mind - he hears a song once and knows it. We once played on an album in a day produced by the great guitarist Eddie Martinez. We listened to the demo for each song once while I scratched out a quick chart for myself on each tune and Steve just listened. On one tune we came to a point where my chart said one thing, his memory said something else. We went back in the control room and listened again, and Steve's memory was right. My chart was wrong.

If a guy like that doesn't want to hear vocals I know it's because he knows what they're doing.

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