Can only monitor myself in mono. But records in stereo?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mateenj, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. mateenj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #1
    Hello everybody. I had a random question about recording. I recently asked for some help recording my band and everyone here was very helpful. I ended up getting Logic Express (which hopefully I can confirm is very reliable and a phenomenal program, thanks for those who suggested) and the process has been going surprisingly well. A few problems have come up obviously, mostly the issue of mono/stereo tracking (if that's what it's labeled as). Basically, when we try to mix and hear the sound of an instrument through the speakers or through headphones before we record, it only comes from the left speaker. I realize this is probably a very simple problem, but it's somewhat frustrating and I have read through much of the manual. It records in stereo just fine and sounds great, but I want to mix it beforehand so we can mess with the EQ and get the mics placed ideally especially for drums. What can I do to get it coming from both speakers and insure that what I hear is what shall get recorded. Also, how loud is a typical recording recorded as because we do not want low level recordings. Is there an average dB level or something along those lines.

    Thanks a bunch
    Mateen
     
  2. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    Hi!

    Glad to hear that you're recording!

    Can't really say much about the mono/stereo thing as I don't have a ton of experience in Logic. What outputs are you using to monitor from? That may help us a little more if you could describe exactly how you have things set up.

    Regarding recording level:

    - There's a few different camps regarding this. Some say you should record everything as hot (loud) as possible before it clips. Others say you should leave a fair enough amount of headroom while recording.

    Personally, for me, I like to have the meters for material with high transient content (kick, snare, toms, percussion, maybe acoustic guitar) to be fairly hot as the transients are sending the meters to that high level. However, with most other things, I like the meters to be fairly steady at 3/4 or 2/3 of the way up the meter...this tells me that I'm not distorting the converters going into the computer.

    As far as an overall mix, I like to get my mix as loud as I can without clipping and without a disgusting amount of compression on the master fader. I'll typically throw a peak-limiter on it and maybe global EQ if I need to. But if I want the mix loud, I'll do it with the faders, not compression.

    Once I have mixed though, I'll take my stereo mix and apply compression, different EQ, global effects, etc. That's when you can squeeze every last bit of life out of a mix...that's called mastering. Mastering can be as simple as a touch of EQ or as intense as multi-band compression, noise reduction, slamming the hell out of it with a stereo compressor.

    Anyway, just use your ears for the mix and get back to us with your setup so we can help!
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    are the instruments you're hearing in the left channel panned left? then pan them center.

    regarding recording levels in digital, stay conservative. record at 24 bits and then there's absolutely no need for you to get anywhere near the top of the range. i set levels such that the signal spends most of its time 1/3 to 2/3 the way up level meter.

    if the signal has too much dynamic range to hit that mark, ask yourself why. is it the vocalist singing the verses softly and the choruses loudly? think about recording it in two passes. is your drummer wildly inconsistent with his snare hits? get another drummer. okay, just kidding, but do ask him to be more consistent.

    another option is to throw a compressor between the mic pre and the converter. note that a software compressor has ABSOLUTLEY NO EFFECT on the recorded signal or what the converters see, it affects the signal only after it's been written to the drive.

    a cheap but reasonably good compressor is the FMR RNC.

    a level is too low if, when you turn it up, you hear noise. do not clip your levels by recording too hot -- you will ruin your signal and digital distortion sounds pants.
     
  4. mateenj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #4
    Thanks guys. Well, actually I just chose to add one stereo track and made it read inputs 1-2 and it was panned exactly in the middle. Now when I tried to pan it to the right, nothing would come out, so for some reason it's muted on the right. I hooked a bunch of different speakers to the right output to see if that was the problem, but it obviously wasn't. So I must be doing something wrong with the tracks. Maybe I need to add another track to track both. Regardless, everytime it only comes out of the left speaker.
     
  5. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    Are you running through your computer's CoreAudio or are you using a separate one like Digidesign' CoreAudio?

    Logic, DP, Garageband can use Apple's internal audio while Pro Tools uses a separate driver for audio.

    If it's the internal one, check your sound preferences in "System Preferences" to make sure that it's center. Also look at the audio/MIDI system in the Utilities folder.

    Also, check the outputs from your interface.

    Again, can you give us specifics regarding your computer/interface/monitor setup - the actual, physical connections.
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    what were you sending to inputs 1 and 2?
     
  7. mateenj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #7
    I was sending two mics. One for the low end of the piano, and one for the high end.

    This is my setup:
    I have an acoustic piano beind mic'd on low and high end. Both of them requiring phantom power which is provided by the Presonus Firepod which they are hooked into (inputs 1 and 2). The firepod is hooked up to the labtop and I'm using Logic Express. The output I used to track them was either the headphones output or this other output CPR Output 1 or something. That's where I think the problem lies, maybe I need to track myself using outputs 1 and 2 corresponding to their individual inputs. On Logic, I have enabled a stereo track with inputs 1 and 2 being read.
     
  8. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    If you have two mics, you'll need two inputs. Do you have the firepod connected via FireWire?

    Now, I think you need to understand the terminology here. You won't use an output to track...you'll use an input to track and an output to monitor/send signal to something.

    So Inputs 1 and 2 are being used for the mics INTO the Firepod and INTO Logic Express.

    Now, the Firepod is sending its information to the computer via firewire I assume.

    How do you have your monitors connected? Are you running out of the headphone jack and using a Stereo 1/8" to Two Mono 1/4" adapters? (or XLR depending on the input of your speakers) or do you have your monitors connected to your Firepod?
     
  9. mateenj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    #9
    Sorry about my amateur terminology issue, hehe. Anyway, yes, I am monitoring myself using headphones connected to the output jack of the Firepod. You are correct about my setup. Mics > Inputs 1 & 2 on Firepod > Macbook (firewire). Now for some reason, I can only monitor myself when I connect to the output of the Firepod and not the computer. I guess until it's mastered, you won't be able to hear it on regular computer speakers. I think the problem herein lies in the outputs I'm using to monitor myself, but I am not certain. I have to wait till Sunday to mess with it, because it is our bassist's Macbook. As for now, I can take any sort of advice or aid, and once again, thank you all so kindly.

    Mateen
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    just wanted to follow up on this comment. when you look at the piano part you've recorded, do you mean that you can see waveforms on both the L and R parts?

    if so, first make sure you're panning the stereo track hard left and right. if you are, then to me it sounds like the problem is indeed in the monitoring and, further, you're somehow hearing a mono signal (left side only).

    i'm not clear on if you're monitoring through headphones only or if you've got monitors hooked up to your firepod and are having trouble there. i'm assuming the former.

    things to check:
    1. are the headphones plugged in all the way?
    2. do the headphones work properly when plugged in to, say, a stereo?
    3. get some Logic whiz (not me) to step you through your s/w setup.
    4. try a different firepod, perhaps the headphone jack is broken.
     
  11. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    So I checked out a photo of the Firepod. The knob just to the left of the jack...it can be set to input (monitoring 1-8) or playback (monitoring 1-2...what's being sent to the stereo mix). Which do you have it set at?

    Also, are the outputs for Logic Express set to 1-2? For example, are all the tracks in the mix window being sent to outputs 1 and 2?

    I know that on the mBox for Pro Tools, there's a similar knob that allows you to switch between monitoring what's coming into the mBox from what's going out. When you monitor the input, you sometimes only hear what's coming out of the left.
     
  12. britton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    #12
    i think i can clear this up

    in garageband after you've created a new track open the track info and at the bottom right where it says "input source" it will probably say something like 1/2 (presonus stereo) change that to 1 (presonus mono) and then your mono instrument should be coming through in stero. :)
     

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