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Author Topic: Scoop 'N Strain  (Read 3335 times)

compasspnt

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Scoop 'N Strain
« on: February 06, 2005, 10:35:56 am »

"You flip them and they flop...you lift them and they drop!"
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compasspnt

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2005, 02:11:08 pm »

Wow, I am shocked that nobody immediately picked up on the obvious question imbedded in the above statement:

What is it that the audio guys who put together TV commercials DO to the sound...especially the voice overs...is it massively over-compressed, or what?  I have often wondered how they do it.
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Otitis Media

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2005, 04:55:51 pm »

Well, I mixed post for a couple years for TV spots.  It was indeed compressing the fuck out of stuff.  Of course, there's a bit more finesse to it than that, but really, none of my mixes had much more than a 6dB crest factor.  

Vox was a combo of EQ (lose the deep lows and give a push in the mids for "cut"), compression followed by limiting and gain automation.

Music and SFX got gain automation follwed by some ducking sidechained from the vox.  

2-bus out was compression, bell curve EQ followed by limiting.

The trick was to get lots of compression happening without that typical "super compressed" sound.    
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Dan Roth
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compasspnt

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2005, 07:48:51 pm »

I was afraid of all that!  Maybe we should make mp3 albums that way!
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Otitis Media

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2005, 03:32:36 pm »

Well, the object, for me anyway, wasn't to have the commercials be as loud as everything else out there, it was to just have them sound consistent when they're inserted next to content from other sources, etc.  

Controlling the dynamic range so heavily ensures that even when someone's a "wallpaper" TV listener, the mix will translate.  If I went too hot with the mix, I'd trip the head end limiters, which are brutal - so the goal was to get the sound in that tiny dynamic window.  

I'm also a compression junkie, at times....

Dan
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Dan Roth
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blackcatdigi

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2005, 09:55:50 am »

Hi Dan,
I have a related question for you. (This appears to be a closely guarded technique, so feel free to weave and bob!)

I have a friend in the ad biz who does a ton of voice work for local businesses, and we've been trying to match the voice levels of some national ads. We've found that some of these spots absolutely jump out of the speakers on broadcast and no matter what we do to his spots, we cannot get the same effect. We were able to get ahold of a couple of these spots, and I've done a little analysis of them here in the studio.
What I've found, is these spots have a much higher crest factor than I would have thought, and they appear to have some subtle phase manipulation on both the voice and the music bed. Again, listening to these spots in the studio, they are nothing spectacular, but when these things hit the air, they absolutely POP.

Any comments?

Also- Terry,
Many, Many Thanks to you for hanging here and sharing your experiences making many of my all time favorite records!
Zep III changed my life. And Fandango was the first album I ever purchased!  
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Sincerely,
Casey
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Otitis Media

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2005, 02:13:27 pm »

Well, it's all about overlaps.  You want to make sure that there's  enough space in the fundamental for vox (250-400Hz), as well as 3-6K for some "snap".  

I usually would get things together in mono first and then see what stereo sounded like.  You can carve a little bit out of the music with EQ, too.  

I'd usually trim all the mud out of the vox - a dip between 500-1K.  Low cut that rolls everything below about 125, as well.  The midrange push is really what makes it jump.  

A multiband on the vox can get you there.  A multiband on 2 buss might work, too.  

Sometimes with music, I use a little bit of Waves S1 to spread the music out in stereo, but still work in mono.  

I was impressed with some of the presets in the TC MasterX plugin.  Made things loud as fuck with the click of a button.  Not a subtle tool, but man, it did it's thing righteously!
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Dan Roth
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maxdimario

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Re: Scoop 'N Strain
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2005, 02:23:49 pm »

blackcatdigi wrote on Fri, 11 February 2005 15:55

Hi Dan,
I have a related question for you. (This appears to be a closely guarded technique, so feel free to weave and bob!)

I have a friend in the ad biz who does a ton of voice work for local businesses, and we've been trying to match the voice levels of some national ads. We've found that some of these spots absolutely jump out of the speakers on broadcast and no matter what we do to his spots, we cannot get the same effect. We were able to get ahold of a couple of these spots, and I've done a little analysis of them here in the studio.
What I've found, is these spots have a much higher crest factor than I would have thought, and they appear to have some subtle phase manipulation on both the voice and the music bed. Again, listening to these spots in the studio, they are nothing spectacular, but when these things hit the air, they absolutely POP.

Any comments?

Also- Terry,
Many, Many Thanks to you for hanging here and sharing your experiences making many of my all time favorite records!
Zep III changed my life. And Fandango was the first album I ever purchased!  



I remember reading about a process used to fool broadcasting limiters.
if you have a waveform that has a spike, be it symmetrical or only on the positive or negative scale compared to 0 Volts, by shifting the phase of the frequency content proportionally to frequency, you can alter the shape of the waveform and make it 'flatter' (less peak, more RMS).

in a waveform that has a ridge or peak, shifting the phase relationship between low and high frequency information will decompose the waveform shape, but keep the harmonic content intact.

some cheaper broadcast equipment from the transformer era did this automatically because of phase shift in cheap transformers and the frequency-dependent feedback loops used to boost lost highs in the less-than-perfect circuits.


anyone else know anything about this?
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