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Fix It In The Mix

Lesson 9 of 17

Overhead and Room Mic Q&A

Kurt Ballou

Fix It In The Mix

Kurt Ballou

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Lesson Info

9. Overhead and Room Mic Q&A

Lesson Info

Overhead and Room Mic Q&A

See some questions all right um so buggy woogie asks if you had great tracks from uh from each direct mike, would you even bother using the room mike resume tracks? I would think mastering river bs would give the room ambience in a cleaner fashion. Yes, that may be true and, um, you know again my kind of my overall recording philosophy is do a little bit at a lot of different stages um and uh, so I would probably do a bit of artificial reverb as well as a bit of the room track and also so in general sending doesn't matter how good how perfect are amazing sounding a reverb is it's never going to sound the same as an instrument in a room? And the reason for that is because when you're when you're working on a mix and you want to send some snare drum into a river, for example, you're sending a recorded snare track into a reverb and that's recorded snare track was recorded with a microphone which is inherently in perfect and that microphone is placed in a way that is, you know, right up by...

the drum, which is unrealistic to how you hear it in a room and that microphone goes into a mic preempt any q and a compressor maybe all of those things are unnatural in the way that you hear a snare drum in a room so the signal that you're feeding into the reverb unit the reverb is a perfect representation of a room. The single feeding into the reverb is not the same as a real instrument in acoustic space. So there's two me there's never if the room mike sound good there's never a substitute for a real room mike, but adding artificial reverb, convolution, river bs, whatever like that stuff khun b supplemental and very beneficial to the room sounds that already exist. Ryan wants to know are you not a fan of pseudo stereo plug ins like the brain works terry maker forgetting wite out of amano overhead? I'd like some results I've gotten from them, but I'm worried about phase issues they might introduce. Yeah, you certainly have to be be concerned about phase issues um particularly with regards to mano compatibility, you know, like if you if you have two speakers and the speakers or six feet apart that's cool when you're you know, standing close to them, but the further away you get from those speakers, the closer those resemble mono. So a lot of a lot of cases those like stereo maker type of plug ins kind of collapse once you start to hear them in amore mano environment, which is why you should always check your mixes in mono I know a lot of monitor controllers and most good mixers have a mano button on them, so you can reference your mixes in monaco, make sure that those things don't fall apart. I have messed with stereo maker briefly, but it's not really fresh in my head, so I kind of forget what that does, but I'm gonna be doing some mohr stereo making stuff in the next segment where we talk about guitars. But maybe if any of you got other guys had experience with that stereo maker thing, there's a whole ton of different, like sterilizer style style plugs out there. Um what? Yeah, talk about getting in trouble. No, no, no, okay, yeah, I mean, like a lot of this stuff, especially stuff that that involves the stereo field, like m s processing. Ah lot of it works on principles of sort of phase shift and delay, and you could get in trouble really quickly doing that stuff. So you have to use it sparingly and be very cautious as you're doing it.

Class Description

The best way to get a great recording is to start with great source material, but that’s not always possible. Occasionally you are stuck with a less-than-perfect recording and the only thing you can do is to try and clean it up. 

Lucky for you, there are reliable techniques for restoring poorly recorded audio, and Kurt Ballou will teach you everything you need to know in Fix it in the Mix. 

While replacing drums with samples and reamping guitars are often effective ways to rebuild a sub-par recording, they are time-consuming and can diminish the uniqueness of the original recording. 

Fix it in the Mix will explore organic approaches to recovering and enhancing the natural tones from the original performances. Kurt will use recordings from real-world scenarios and walk you through, in detail, the audio restoration process. 

In Fix it in the Mix, Kurt will show you how to think outside of the box to come up with creative solutions to audio restoration problems every engineer has faced. 



An absolutely fantastic course for anyone who is new (or even experienced) on how to use very innovative techniques to help bring some life to an otherwise poorly recorded demo. Thank you Kurt!


another fantastic course in the creative live audio section, kurt kills it,!! thank you!

Ashton Thebault

Definitely some handy tips in here that are useful for mixing live music, poorly recorded tracks and anything else that couldn't be rectified during recording. Kurt gave some tips I had never thought of and there were some valuable insights that came out from his discussions with people in the room. Very valuable if you deal with any sub-standard recordings and if you just want to get some tips.