017 MixCoach Minute – Why does leakage bother you?

While at lunch, we were talking about the new session this month on MixCoach Member. The guitar was recorded live with the singer…. so there is bleed. This is a little brain hack to get you over the fact that there is leakage in both mics. Think of it as one performance.


Raw Transcript:

Hey guys, it’s Kevin with MixCoach. This is another episode of the MixCoach
Minute. I’m out to lunch here today with my new intern from MTSU. His name
is Ben, and we were talking about this month’s session, Falling in Love
with a Girl, the one on MixCoach Member. And I asked him if he was
struggling with anything, and he said that he was having trouble dealing
with the leakage from the lead vocal to the acoustic guitar, because Marcy
played and sang live, which I thought was really cool, and he said he was
having trouble with it, and I’m like, “Why are you having trouble with it?”
He says, “Well, you know, to get those channels clean.” And it was like,
“Why are you trying to get the channels clean?” And then I realized that
it’s something that I have struggled with in the past, too, and still do
from time to time.

As engineers, we kind of think that everything has to be clean, that there
can’t be any leakage from one mic to the other, or we have failed as
engineers, which is not necessarily the case, because I want you to look at
recording a vocal/guitar or piano/vocal or whatever as recording one
instrument. Because it’s a, you know, let’s just say you were recording
bagpipes or drums, let’s say bagpipes, you wouldn’t want to record one
bagpipe and have it on a separate track from the other, unless it was just
to be blended, and that’s what this is. You don’t want to be able to mute
one and not ever hear it on the other track, because then it wouldn’t sound
like a bagpipe.

Another example would be drums. If you’re recording drums and you totally
isolate one tom from the hat from the kick from the snare from each cymbal
individually, which is a pretty drastic way to look at it, but it’s still a
good way to look at it. Then what you end up with is a drum machine, and it
doesn’t, and everybody would agree that drum machines don’t sound as good
as live drums.

So, you have to look at it like that, and just to further that point, in
the last several years, when you’ve got people developing things like
Superior Drummer and Slate stuff, they actually build leakage into their
plug-ins, so they actually know that you desire leakage. So, it’s just a
mindset of mixing guitar vocal. If they’re both recording well, then you’re
going to use both of them in the mix without isolating either one of them,
then use both of them and think of them as one instrument that you have a
lot of control over.

So, anyway, I hope that helps you, Ben, and I hope that helps some other
guys that may be struggling with this song, or if you’re not a member at
MixCoach Member, that’s cool. Maybe you’re dealing with a song like this
where you’ve got a guitar/vocal or a piano/vocal. Don’t think of it as two
separate instruments. Think of it as one instrument that you’ve got a lot
of control over, and that will help you get your brain around what you need
to do as a good recording engineer.

One more favor to ask. If you like these videos, or not all of them in
general, if there’s one particular one that I have mentioned something that
you want to talk about more, give me a thumbs up on the video, and that
will let me know which ones I need to come up with Part II of or whatever.
So yeah, do that if you don’t mind, and I will see you tomorrow on the next
MixCoach Minute.

See you soon.

Click HERE to watch the next episode of the MixCoach Minute!

Leakage, MixCoach, Bleed

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