Multi band processing & monitoring

Post Reply
Swenk
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:39 am

Multi band processing & monitoring

Post by Swenk » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:59 am

Hi all.

New to the forum, so apologies if I have posted in the wrong place.

I am mixing live bands on remote locations for broadcast to the Internet. My background is in live engineering (mostly musical theatre) so I am familiar with most tools available

Since I am streaming direct, the multiband processor will be with me on site. We are using Breakaway Live running on a dedicated machine as an insert (via digital spdif coax i/o) across the outputs of the yamaha 01v96.

Sure breakaway isn't the best solution, but it's what we'very got...

My question is where would you monitor audio...? Before or after the processing?

I was thinking of providing both via an a/b switch. Sound checking on the clean feed (so i can set compressors and eq accurately per channel) then mixing the broadcast on the processed feed. Thought being that way I'll be hearing what it sounds like to the listener.

Thoughts?
Last edited by Swenk on Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Deep Thought
Posts: 3178
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:23 am
Location: La Grange, IL
Contact:

Re: Multi band processing & monitoring

Post by Deep Thought » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:09 pm

First question: How much processing are you doing?
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

Swenk
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Multi band processing & monitoring

Post by Swenk » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:11 pm

Hi
Imagine a software version of a modern optimod unit.

The software is preset based. It does provide 'controls' but these aren't your usual eq, threshold or ratio.they do multiple things at once.

The preset I am using has

Agc stage
Mutiband compression stage (7 bands)
Peak limiter
Stereo widening

In pretty much that order.

I am using the 'jazz' preset which is pretty flat but with good capture if a horn solo goes a bit hot.

I am mixing jazz with a decca tree in the room, timed and panned area mics on the horns and spot mics on the rhythm section.

I am seeing 3-6 dB of reduction in the bands and up to 12dB of boost through the Agc.

My thoughts were to build the mix like normal with usual compression etc until I am happy with it in rehearsal as the the processor generally just makes everything cleaner and louder to be honest. I am just worried that I won't be hearing what the listener is. Hence wanting to monitor the actual stream audio before its streamed.

User avatar
Deep Thought
Posts: 3178
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:23 am
Location: La Grange, IL
Contact:

Re: Multi band processing & monitoring

Post by Deep Thought » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:55 pm

I was referring more to how much, as in is this just gain riding and peak limiting or are you trying to force some sort of signature sound?

To answer your question, you need to monitor pre-processing in order to get the mix correct. Whatever happens after that requires its own monitor, but you shouldn't be fiddling with that while mixing. There is a very steep cliff you'll fall off of if you treat the "air processing" as part of the mix in real time. Concentrate on supplying the best quality audio mix you can to the processor and let it do its job. Radio station engineers and program people know not to make large changes, not make any changes when you cannot devote 100% attention to what you are doing, and that garbage in means garbage out.

I would stick to the pre-processing monitor for mixing with provisions for brief quality control checks on the output of the processing. Record some shows (no processing) and then use them to test different settings on the processor offline when you can pay attention to the nuances of each adjustment.

You might also take a look at Stereo Tool. The free version has everything you'd need and a lot of stuff you probably don't.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

Swenk
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:39 am

Re: Multi band processing & monitoring

Post by Swenk » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:39 pm

Thanks for the advice.

I figured this might be the case. As a live engineer it feels weird to entrust my hard crafted mix to a processor and not hear the results of its meddling.

I had no intention of adjusting the broadcast processing whilst on air or whilst mixing.

Based on your advice I will still put in the a/b switch, but keep it more in the 'a' pre processed position, flicking to 'b' out of curiosity and to check my work isn't being squished.

I spent a lot of time trying to decide between Breakaway and Stereotool. Just finally bought a licence for Breakaway based on the lower processing requirements, simplicity and clear display on a tiny screen.

I have it running on a mini itx in a 3u case with 5" display on windows 7 embedded. No connections to the outside world other than spdif i/o and a couple of usb ports if I need a mouse/keyboard.

This unit sits where a meter bridge would normally sit so I can see how hard I am driving into it.

I am running the whole project. So I've got the whole thing mics to encoder to worry about. As well as having a junior tech mixing the live sound in the room from isolated splits of my mics.


Thanks for your help

Swen

Post Reply