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  #31  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:26 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Kevin,
Every track on this audio montage employs the 1Cent flat L, 1Cent Sharp R:

http://howardemerson.com/music2.html

HE
The question here is if it made any real difference or improvement. What would it sound like without the pitch changes?

Later I might experiment with the montage (or Doug could do it), go 1Cent sharp L, 1Cent flat R and see what happens.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 10-05-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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  #32  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:29 AM
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Kevin,
Every track on this audio montage employs the 1Cent flat L, 1Cent Sharp R:
Ah, I recognize the effect now!. Sounds great.

I started this thread just to share some mic placements I hadn't tried in a while, comparing stereo images, but Howard's helped move it into a new dimension. As long as we're at it, I thought I'd try a different technique for artificially enhancing the stereo image, so here's another wrinkle.

Schoeps MS

EQ Spread

I just realized I used a different sound bite for this. Oh well. Anyway, the first sample is the Schoeps figure 8 MS. The 2nd one activates Logic's Stereo Spread plugin, which just applies complementary EQ to each channel. The nice thing about this effect is that it collapses to mono fine, the EQs just cancel each other out. So in combination with the MS setup, which also is perfectly mono compatible, you have a pretty "safe" process, if less dramatic than the pitch shift.
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  #33  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:36 AM
KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Kevin,
Every track on this audio montage employs the 1Cent flat L, 1Cent Sharp R:

http://howardemerson.com/music2.html

HE
Hey sounds great , to clarify are you saying the tracks have no reverb just the Cent L-R ......or some reverb and the Cent L-R
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  #34  
Old 10-05-2012, 01:57 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Hey sounds great , to clarify are you saying the tracks have no reverb just the Cent L-R ......or some reverb and the Cent L-R
Kevin,
Before any of the mixing and mastering, I had this done to every track.

Left track lowered 1Cent, right track raised 1Cent. No other tracks. I have no clue as to how Fred balanced the mics. I only listen, and say yes or no.

It is a digital doubling, normally done in analog fashion by retuning your guitar ever so slightly, and then playing it exactly along with the original track.

Then whatever ambient program we decided on was used, and we did our mastering.

The whole point is just to fatten the guitar track itself. What you do to it afterwards is up to you. We did very little eq and very little limiting, except for a couple of bass notes that got out of hand on one track.

Among others, Fred used Manley, HSE and Maselec analog, tube processors.

Only two mics were used, very close. One about 6" from the 4th fret (Neumann U-87) and one down near the butt end of the guitar about the same distance (Shure KSM-141)

HE
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  #35  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:10 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Hi all,
For you gear heads, here is a link to Tiki Recording Studios in Glen Cove, NY where I did my latest CD, It Ain't Necessarily So:

http://www.tikirecording.com/Pages/directory2.html His gear list is linked on the Studio A page.

Fred also engineered my CD, Crossing Crystal Lake in his prior studio, which was sold, in its entirety, to Alicia Keys.

HE
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  #36  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:41 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
The question here is if it made any real difference or improvement. What would it sound like without the pitch changes?

Later I might experiment with the montage (or Doug could do it), go 1Cent sharp L, 1Cent flat R and see what happens.
Hi Rick,
I assume you're referring to 'here' as being Doug's short test tracks, right?

It absolutely made a difference on my entire CD, and although subtle, a positive contribution as far as my ears and musical tastes are concerned.

HE
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  #37  
Old 10-05-2012, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Later I might experiment with the montage (or Doug could do it), go 1Cent sharp L, 1Cent flat R and see what happens.
You're talking about trying to "undo" the effect on Howard's tracks to compare? Not sure that would be completely accurate, since Howard says reverb and any other processing was done afterwards. If you reverse the shift, you'll maybe get the original guitar back, but have pitch shifted reverb. You'll also have 2X the artifacts from pitch shifting.

When I was playing with those 2nd clips I posted (stereo spread), I tried the pitch shifter idea, and got really nasty artifacts on the long sustained notes. You could hear the pitch shifter doing some slicing. Maybe the ProTools shifter is better at that than what I have handy, but there's inherently going to be some slicing of the signal when you do a pitch shift - you can't just speed it up or slow it down without changing the length. So it'd be something to be careful with depending on the type of material.
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  #38  
Old 10-05-2012, 04:22 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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You're talking about trying to "undo" the effect on Howard's tracks to compare? Not sure that would be completely accurate, since Howard says reverb and any other processing was done afterwards. If you reverse the shift, you'll maybe get the original guitar back, but have pitch shifted reverb. You'll also have 2X the artifacts from pitch shifting.

When I was playing with those 2nd clips I posted (stereo spread), I tried the pitch shifter idea, and got really nasty artifacts on the long sustained notes. You could hear the pitch shifter doing some slicing. Maybe the ProTools shifter is better at that than what I have handy, but there's inherently going to be some slicing of the signal when you do a pitch shift - you can't just speed it up or slow it down without changing the length. So it'd be something to be careful with depending on the type of material.
Hi Doug,
You can not undo it, so don't even try, but you know that.

Rick, why don't you record 16 bars of anything you choose, then detune a little bit, and exactly double what you played. That's the 'effect'.

Nothing fancy, been done for years, I don't know how many times you've heard Paul McCartney sing, but most of them are twice, Lennon too, etc, etc.

HE
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  #39  
Old 10-05-2012, 04:42 PM
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Nothing fancy, been done for years, I don't know how many times you've heard Paul McCartney sing, but most of them are twice, Lennon too, etc, etc.

Right, in pop music, real doubling is par for the course, on everything. I recall reading a comment in a magazine about a drum mix and how it was double-tracked, with the comment of "you don't really think a single snare drum sounds like that, do you?" When my son recorded with his punk rock band, playing bass, he tracked his bass part something like 8 times to get the "big" sound they wanted. I thought he was a bit crazy :-) Besides actual doubling, the Beatles used "varispeed", where they'd change the speed of the tape to do the de-tuning by altering the voltage going to the tape motors. One of the pitch shifters I tried was the Waves Doubler, which can pitch shift, and also can sweep the amount of pitch shift to create a less static effect, in theory more realistic - sort of a modern day varispeed. But that sounds very chorus-y when I try it on solo acoustic.

I'm curious how often this gets used on solo acoustic guitar, I've never run into it before, other than as a mono->stereo technique, but now I wonder if it gets used all the time, and just isn't talked about. You'd almost think it'd be a mastering trick.
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  #40  
Old 10-05-2012, 04:49 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Hi Doug,
When I sent you a few tracks a couple of months ago, I assume you listened to them.

Did they ever strike you as having been toyed with to any degree? As much as, say, Linda Ronstadt, who used the Aphex Aural Exciter quite liberally?

By the way: When it first came out, you could not buy an Aphex Aural Exciter. They rented it out: $30/minute.

HE

Last edited by Howard Emerson; 10-05-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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  #41  
Old 10-05-2012, 05:07 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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PS- It would not surprise me if others do it, but I have no knowledge of it being done this way, but people would be foolish NOT to do it this way, especially if time is money!!

As far as when it should be done, during mixing or mastering? I don't know, but we did it after the take was recorded and edited. I should send Fred an email and ask him about the basic process.

Fred speaks very highly of Pro Tools HD.

HE

Last edited by Howard Emerson; 10-05-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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  #42  
Old 10-05-2012, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Hi Doug,
When I sent you a few tracks a couple of months ago, I assume you listened to them.

Did they ever strike you as having been toyed with to any degree? As much as, say, Linda Ronstadt, who used the Aphex Aural Exciter quite liberally?

HE
Nope, I'd have never guessed. I just thought they sounded good. That's what's interesting here.

On a bit of a tangent: You listen to pop stuff, and the more modern it is, the more the vocals tend to not be like any human really sounds, and we just take that for granted. In fact, I sometimes wonder if applying more of this "artificial reality" would help the masses be more interested in fingerstyle. Get it to sound good and "produced" even in the car, for example. A few people, like maybe Kotaro Oshio, do this a bit, tho it's mostly just tons of reverb. Billy McLaughlin used to use a lot of effects, even Phil Keaggy sometimes goes there, with chorus and so on. Someone posted a track here a while back that had some serious manipulation on it, and it sounded "fake" but really good at the same time. Can't remember what that was. But mostly, the style is "keep it pure", and your tracks sound absolutely natural, with just a nice big sound.
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  #43  
Old 10-05-2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Nope, I'd have never guessed. I just thought they sounded good. That's what's interesting here.

On a bit of a tangent: You listen to pop stuff, and the more modern it is, the more the vocals tend to not be like any human really sounds, and we just take that for granted. In fact, I sometimes wonder if applying more of this "artificial reality" would help the masses be more interested in fingerstyle. Get it to sound good and "produced" even in the car, for example. A few people, like maybe Kotaro Oshio, do this a bit, tho it's mostly just tons of reverb. Billy McLaughlin used to use a lot of effects, even Phil Keaggy sometimes goes there, with chorus and so on. Someone posted a track here a while back that had some serious manipulation on it, and it sounded "fake" but really good at the same time. Can't remember what that was. But mostly, the style is "keep it pure", and your tracks sound absolutely natural, with just a nice big sound.
Most of the Japanese guitarists tend toward that. It seems more common now to get a "good" sound, where good doesn't necessarily mean completely natural, especially when playing live.
I love the sound in this one, and this is one of the more "natural" tracks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs7lYT3hGDg
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