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How to normalize volumes within and between combi's

 
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laandodeman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:15 am    Post subject: How to normalize volumes within and between combi's Reply with quote

Just had the live recordings of a gig I did with my Kronos. Turns out I have a problem with the volume between the different parts in a combi and between the different combi's. I didn't notice when rehearsing in my studio. But my sound engineer has a hard time correcting all the time. And I use a lot, really a lot of combi's en parts.

Anyone has a tip on how to normalize the volumes a bit between and within the combi's?
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've experienced the same thing. What sounds good and balanced in one environment (home studio) sounds unbalanced in another (loud bar with live band). One of my main issues is with bass volumes.

I'm hoping someone has some live experience to share, but I think it's just one of those things you have to adapt to on the fly. Good to have the faders ready for volume adjustments for parts in a combi when needed...
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing does come to mind, forgot to mention.

I found that using TFX1 for multiband compressor and TFX2 for master stereo limiting works a bit, although the overall sound is a bit squashed.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

google search the forum

I recall that folks are using setlist for volume control
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vEddY
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
One thing does come to mind, forgot to mention.

I found that using TFX1 for multiband compressor and TFX2 for master stereo limiting works a bit, although the overall sound is a bit squashed.


I gave up using internal stuff for this. I'm using a separate rack with line mixer and additional external compressor (Rupert Neve Portico 5043). It's one of the nicest (albeit not the cheapest) compressors for this specific purpose out there.

Furthermore, it depends who you're playing for. If it's for yourself, then usuall "you let the sound engineer do his/her job". Whichever that might be Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy If you're playing for your audience, then you'd probably want to spend dozens of hours optimizing this yourself so that you can specifically tell the sound engineer not to use compressor on your tracks. That's what I do. And I throw stuff at them if I hear compressing/limiting on my tracks as I've grown to know/like the Portico and know how it sounds like through a PA.

If you want the best possible setup, you need to have separate outputs for your sounds if you use layered sounds. Then, multiple compressors, different EQ, etc... but it's a lot of stuff to do for a gigging musician.
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amit
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no automated way for inter patch balance, if you are looking for a manual way, This is how we used to setup our gear.

1:Hook up to pc (audio output) or an analog averaging (RMS) meter. On PC you can use the Free Sonalksis FreeG plugin which works quite good.
2: Go through each combi / patch and play it with max load (i.e maxinum numbers of timbre you use for that patch at a time)
3: Create a List (or Excel Spreadsheet) and note down the combi/program name and the RMS level of it (make sure you reset the level meter for each patch.)

4: You should have a list of your average outputs of each patch.

5: Pick one of the Patch as reference level (around -6dB / -12dB to have some decent headroom) and adjust all other patch levels to this level (within 1-2 dB) Best way is to put a eq or comp on Tfx and adjust it's trim/gain.

once you have all your patches balanced out with each other. you can then move to global adjustments and do venue specific adjustments in the setlist EQ so that it affects all patches similarly.

Once done, you can do another run-over and do a little bit adjustment on ear.
You do need to have a some neutral environment to start with.
It also helps to use a spectrum analyzer if you want to do it surgical
Any other Venue specific corrections the SE should do on his gear.
Always have some sort of High Pass filtering (40-100 Hz) when doing this for your tests as bad bass management leads/masks in a lot of other issues.
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geoelectro
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my case I use combi's and setlist. I have one sound, piano, that is always the same sound set the same. It is my reference for any and all other sounds. As I build combi's, I reference all new sounds to that piano. I may not even use the piano during the song, but it occupies timber 1 and can be used for balance during the setup.

Also, most non-piano sounds, strings, organ etc. are on my expression pedal. So I have my foot on the gas when I play so I can find a balance between me and the band. I play at church so the sound tech is always the same, the gear and room always the same which helps greatly.

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psionic311
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great replies. I can see using a combination of these techniques together with my XR 18 to achieve more balance:

-- reference timbre (piano) in combi to use as a reference point
-- multiple outs from the Kronos (esp bass timbres) into XR18
-- XR18 RTA and level meters used to get specific dBs to balance sounds out
-- XR18 HPF and dedicated compressors for fine tuning
-- saved as scenes/snapshot and matched to Korg combi, selected by MIDI patch change

Guess I know what I'm doing musically this weekend.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick side question, if anyone has seasoned mixing ears. Is it generally best not to mix reverb types? I understand using some room or spring reverb to give some ambience on some timbres, and then piping everything to a general hall reverb, might be acceptable. But I'm guessing it's not too good an idea to use various halls on timbres within one instrument, while your vocals go through another hall reverb on another device, with yet other instruments in the band using their own reverbs, and then all this through a board with maybe even another reverb...

More specifically, I'm thinking there should be one reverb to rule them all, so to speak, so as to put everything in the same audio space. Meaning rather than use the Kronos' O-verb, and the Integra's (hall) reverb, and the VoiceLive's (hall) reverb... but instead have them all fairly dry and just use the XR18's reverb for everyone -- keys, drums, vocals, and guitars.

I guess I answered my own question... Razz
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That depends completely. Often, the reverb is a part of the sound (like with dance synths, or a spring reverb like you said). If you mean to add a "general verb" to give everything "some space" then I wouldn't do that at all when playing out. Either the hall you're playing has actual reverb or you can leave it to the FOH engineer. There's no way for you to judge, from stage, how much reverb is appropriate.
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vEddY
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
Quick side question, if anyone has seasoned mixing ears. Is it generally best not to mix reverb types? I understand using some room or spring reverb to give some ambience on some timbres, and then piping everything to a general hall reverb, might be acceptable. But I'm guessing it's not too good an idea to use various halls on timbres within one instrument, while your vocals go through another hall reverb on another device, with yet other instruments in the band using their own reverbs, and then all this through a board with maybe even another reverb...


I would never, EVER, let a sound engineer put reverb or any other effects on my synth or guitar sounds. Vocals, drums and percussions, woodwinds or any other type of instruments like that - yes, definitely. Just my 2c Smile
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michelkeijzers
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SanderXpander wrote:
That depends completely. Often, the reverb is a part of the sound (like with dance synths, or a spring reverb like you said). If you mean to add a "general verb" to give everything "some space" then I wouldn't do that at all when playing out. Either the hall you're playing has actual reverb or you can leave it to the FOH engineer. There's no way for you to judge, from stage, how much reverb is appropriate.


Mostly I reduce the amount of reverb (except for piano ballad), since I play live and as Sander says above, the room has already a natural reverb.

Good sound engineers normally should not add reverb to instruments, unless in some small venues, but I have bad experiences with engineers who put the same amount of reverb to my synth as to the vocals. Luckily those 'bad' engineers remove the reverb from my keys after asking without discussion.
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