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Mono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?

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John StanowskiMono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?
by on Apr 18, 2009 at 6:10:16 am

I regularly edit commercials supplied with a mono voiceover. The music I add is in stereo. I always have difficulty creating a balance between the two so that they can both be heard. I start by trying to keep the voice peaking around -5dB and the music at -12dB. But the music has so much dynamic range that even when it's lower in amplitude, it still seems to drown out the voiceover. And when I make it low enough where it doesn't seem to interfere, it's too low for itself. Is mono and stereo a bad mix? Should I make the music mono as well? Or somehow make the mono VO fuller?



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Steven TalleyRe: Mono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?
by on Apr 18, 2009 at 7:36:55 pm

Have you tried compressing the music to level it out or try side chain compression to duck (lower) the music when the voiceover is present.
More info and a free vst compressor here...
http://sonictransfer.com/side-chain-compression-tutorial.shtml


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John StanowskiRe: Mono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?
by on Apr 19, 2009 at 2:11:56 am

I've tried a compressor on the music but I still think it sounds cluttered. Side Chain Compression sounds interesting, I don't think SoundBooth will let me do that, though, or add VST effects. Could be wrong, just starting out.



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Terry MikkelsenRe: Mono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?
by on Apr 21, 2009 at 12:01:43 am

"carve out" some space in the music with EQ. You need to know the dominant frequencies of your VO, and then reduce those frequencies in the music bed.

Moderatly compress the music bed. Heavily compress the VO.

Duck the bed, or use mixer automation to "manually" duck the music.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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John StanowskiRe: Mono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?
by on Apr 21, 2009 at 12:15:18 am

It's scary how well that worked. Holy crap. Thank you.
I'm not good enough at this to do the duck thing, but even without it -- wow. Is there a trick or set of rules for dipping the frequencies in the EQ? Again, wow.



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cowcowcowcowcow
Terry MikkelsenRe: Mono voiceover and stereo music a bad mix?
by on Apr 21, 2009 at 1:09:49 am

You are welcome. Glad it worked well for you.

If you have a canvas entirely covered in paint, then there is no space for new colors. Same principal here, we just need some space to add new sounds. There isn't a real rule here, just lower the conflicting frequencies. The trick is in identifying the frequencies that need to be affected and making adjustments that sound good. Each piece of audio is going to have its own "signature", so the adjustments that are going to be made will only work best for that one instance. Each problem will need its own unique solution.

The ducking isn't too much for you. Ducking is an automated process of lowering the music bed when the VO is "heard". You can do this manually with the mixer fader. You can then record those data changes (fader moves), for automated playback.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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