Helpful ReplyFriday's Tip of the Week #167: Behold! Dual Mono Becomes Stereo!

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Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/24 00:28:18 (permalink)
Keith Albright [Cakewalk]
Also note that Jamstik sends MIDI over BTLE.  Microsoft had recently announced we were working on Windows 10 support of BTLE.
https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2016/09/21/midi-enhancements-in-windows-10/#fCloY7DwxelBEgPs.97
 
Keith



Breaking news: Noel actually had Bluetooth LE working with Jamstik and SONAR at NAMM. Bear in mind you'll have more latency than with USB, but it's nowhere near the 35-40 ms with Bluetooth audio...more like 15 ms, according to Noel. CME's Bluetooth keyboard does about 7 ms.
 
There is some very interesting momentum with MIDI right now. Because I was elected to the Executive Board of the MIDI Manufacturers Association, I know what's being discussed...but can't comment due to NDA status. FWIW representatives from Microsoft, Apple, and Google were at the MMA sessions. Harmony Central will be covering public MIDI news in the upcoming NAMM show report.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/24 06:26:17 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Zargg 2017/01/24 08:49:53
Nice to hear that music issues are being discussed at the highest levels. Bodes very well for the future.

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Soundwise
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/24 17:22:11 (permalink)
I don't know what can or needs to be done to enhance MIDI any further, except, maybe, a better integration with standard notation, but I have no doubt that when such brilliant and creative people come together to work on this protocol, we are to hear about something excitingly innovative. Really looking forward to some great news on MIDI.

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/27 20:30:32 (permalink)
Well gee it's not as if anyone's going to get Jamstik confused with Jamstix or anything :)

James
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Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/27 21:50:16 (permalink)
Week 130: The “How Does It Sound in a Car?” Tester
 
I’ve alluded to mixing with noise, but haven’t covered the details...so let’s get into it, and create an FX chain.
 
This tip is for those of you who won’t sign off on a mix until you’ve heard it in a car. I think there may be an actual scientific reason why this is beneficial. Noise tends to mask sounds, so if one instrument gets lost in the noise and another jumps out, it’s time to try a mix that raises and lowers those levels, respectively.
 
The ear doesn’t discriminate level differences as well as pitch differences. So without noise masking a sound, the level may seem okay,. But as soon as you mix in noise, the sound disappears. If you increase the level just a bit so you can hear it, when you remove the noise there’s a very good chance you’ll like the new level setting better. Think of this as doing something similar to compression, but without applying any actual dynamics. You’re just making sure the levels that need parity, have parity.
 
Of course this doesn’t mean you want everything jumping out of the noise—those tambourine and shaker parts are probably just fine as they are. The main sounds to listen to here are vocals, leads, drums, and bass, and their relationship to each other.
 
This also doesn’t mean you should mix consistently with noise, as it will bias your hearing (and besides, it’s truly annoying). I add noise in with a mix as a last diagnostic step. If the mix has sounded fine up until then and passes this final test, I consider it ready to master. And I don’t need to go driving anywhere, either.
 
THE FX CHAIN
 
This is a signal-generating FX chain, not a signal-processing one, so it needs to go into a bus FX Rack. I usually drag it into a bus I don’t need at this late stage of the mixing process, like the Metronome bus. Or you can create a bus and dedicate it to The Car Test FX chain. You might even want to make this bus a part of your normal project template.
 

 
The "Noise On" switch controls the Sonitus Surround processor’s Test Noise button. 0 turns off the noise, 100 turns it on. The other button is called "Noise/Car," and the screen shot shows the control settings. Noise doesn’t include any filtering; Car drops the highs and adds more low end.
 
So, how much noise do you add? It’s kind of like maximizing. Set it 6 dB below the mix’s peaks, and you’ll hear what occupies the upper 6 dB of dynamic range. Set it 12 dB below the mix’s peaks, and you’ll hear what’s in the upper 12 dB of dynamic range. This isn’t an exact spec per se, but it provides a rough standard of comparison.
 
As crazy as this idea sounds, try it sometime and tweak your mix. Then turn off the noise, take a short break so your ears get acclimated back to normal hearing, and check the mix again. You just might find it’s a whole lot better.  

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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Jimbo21
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/27 23:00:16 (permalink)
Just took my latest mix for a little drive. If this works for me it would definitely save some time. Thanks Craig!

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/27 23:04:12 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Brando 2017/01/28 16:03:29
Craig, it's a fascinating idea, a mixing system designed around optimizing a mix with consideration for background / road noise. So, in theory if a mix sounds good while driving, it must be a good mix. I like your scientific approach to this issue, as I always place great importance on the "car mix"  . . . and I'm going to give this a try.
 
Though, I must admit, I really hate listening to my own mixes while driving on a freeway or highway, they never pass that test . . . but low speed suburban driving is doable. Volume is the key. It has to be just loud enough to get above the road noise to sound decent, but then there is a listener fatigue with listening to say, 12 songs. The volume and the road noise make my brain scream out for some silence eventually.
 
I usually put a disclaimer on my CDs that it is optimized to sound great only in a Ford Ranger.
The driving test also includes the quality of your car stereo, and whether you have front tuned speakers that bring back the low mid range that gets masked by the road noise . . . this can also make you car mix sound better than it actually is.
post edited by noynekker - 2017/01/27 23:35:36

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 00:33:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby BRainbow 2017/01/30 19:27:22
Finally a car I can afford!!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 00:48:45 (permalink)
Craig, I love your explanation and find myself saying yes, yes, yes.

I definitely listen in the car. I can only adjust volume, treble, bass and pan. I can make sure everything sits nicely.

When my wife or kid turn it down, I note how far down and what it sounds like to the person trying to listen.

I believe most attentive music listening happens in the car these days.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
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JohnEgan
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 06:46:59 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Zargg 2017/01/28 12:22:19
Can this simulate a 69 426 Hemi, Superbee?, LOL, (which is music to some peoples ears). 

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 08:42:10 (permalink)
How about taking a handheld recorder and recording the noise in my truck on the highway for a few mins, then saving the track and then figuring out later a "city" level and a "highway" level?  Then you get around the variable of the player.  I'm gonna try it since I'm currently car testing an album.
 
Edit:  well, i tried to record noise and got basically 'noise'... but I did measure 69db on the highway at 60mph.
post edited by Maarkr - 2017/02/01 14:50:17

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Leadfoot
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 08:53:58 (permalink)
JohnEgan
Can this simulate a 69 426 Hemi, Superbee?, LOL, (which is music to some peoples ears). 

I like the way you think! One of my favorite "songs" is my 66 Chevelle SS396 as it lopes at idle or screams at 6500rpm.
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 09:49:44 (permalink)
Great tip, Craig! Tried on the most recent mix - nothing is masked.  
To enhance "inside a car" experience there is a free monitoring utility by beyerdynamic
http://north-america.beye...om/virtual-studio.html

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 11:53:39 (permalink)
Soundwise
Great tip, Craig! Tried on the most recent mix - nothing is masked.  

 
I'm not surprised 
 
To enhance "inside a car" experience there is a free monitoring utility by beyerdynamic
http://north-america.beye...om/virtual-studio.html

 
Thanks for the tip! I'll check it out. I've been using Audiffied's "MixChecker" for that kind of application, it will be interesting to see how the free version stacks up.
 
 
 

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 11:58:25 (permalink)
noynekker
Craig, it's a fascinating idea, a mixing system designed around optimizing a mix with consideration for background / road noise. So, in theory if a mix sounds good while driving, it must be a good mix. I like your scientific approach to this issue, as I always place great importance on the "car mix"  . . . and I'm going to give this a try.

 
I'll be interested to hear what you think. Do bear in mind that the "The Car Test" isn't designed to emulate the environment of a specific car, but provide the same functionality in a more repeatable way. You may want to reduce the amount of bass boost in the car sound to check out how the bass level relates.  
 

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 15:05:24 (permalink)
Howdy, Craig.
 
RE: Car Test... cool. I'd try this fershure.
 
Query though...
 
Is this chain included in one of the Anderton FX Chains collections or is the intent to show us how to create the chain (which of course is also doable).
 
Just asking because if there is a premade Anderdood chain that would of course save some time. If there is what would the release date have been? I haven't updated since like... spring (just been tracking/working trouble free so just haven't bothered... yet) so if it's a new addition then I'll go stalking it in my account and/or FX chain folders.
 
Cheers.
 
edit: And thank you.
 
Yeesh. Where are my damned manners?
 
*grumpy*
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 18:03:18 (permalink)
this is genius. awesome idea here Craig.

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 18:15:04 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby FCCfirstclass 2017/01/29 09:48:37
Beepster
Is this chain included in one of the Anderton FX Chains collections or is the intent to show us how to create the chain (which of course is also doable).



Sorry, it's a do it yourself project. However you won't need a soldering iron, so that's a plus.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 19:05:10 (permalink)
Anderton
Beepster
Is this chain included in one of the Anderton FX Chains collections or is the intent to show us how to create the chain (which of course is also doable).



Sorry, it's a do it yourself project. However you won't need a soldering iron, so that's a plus.



That'll be the next issue to arise here 
Sorry, and all the best

Ken Nilsen
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 19:05:29 (permalink)
Anderton
Beepster
Is this chain included in one of the Anderton FX Chains collections or is the intent to show us how to create the chain (which of course is also doable).



Sorry, it's a do it yourself project. However you won't need a soldering iron, so that's a plus.




S'all good, Anderdood.
 
Look forward to constructimanatin' it. Better for the thinkin' bone that way anyway.
 
Cheers.
 
 
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/28 20:36:01 (permalink)
This is close to "mangulator" status!!! 

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/30 00:55:23 (permalink)
Before I read your post, but I read the name of the tip (How Does it Sound in a Car?), I thought you were going to suggest using a convolution sample of the car to simulate the car environment in some sort of convolution VST.
 
The car mix test is really important for a finished product.

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/30 20:57:40 (permalink)
Anderton
 
Try it sometime and tweak your mix. Then turn off the noise, take a short break so your ears get acclimated back to normal hearing, and check the mix again. You just might find it’s a whole lot better.  




Ill try it but i cant help but ask, in trying to understand the art of mixing,  in trying to make a "mix" sound as good or balanced as possible under a noise induced listening scenario, wouldn't you somehow be compromising or more so over compensating in the mix, particularly with music having a large dynamic range, and which is likely to be mastered in a high quality listening environment? 
Perhaps, Im not understanding the intention here, or confusing mixing and mastering? Or could this also be something you may do for the "master", so the final product sounds good in several listening scenario, like a car?
(or perhaps Ive been doing this already without realizing, mixing with my air purifier running, LOL).
 
Cheers
 
    

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Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/30 22:00:03 (permalink)
JohnEgan
 
Ill try it but i cant help but ask, in trying to understand the art of mixing,  in trying to make a "mix" sound as good or balanced as possible under a noise induced listening scenario, wouldn't you somehow be compromising or more so over compensating in the mix, particularly with music having a large dynamic range, and which is likely to be mastered in a high quality listening environment?



The key is what I said about the ear having difficulty discriminating level changes compared to pitch changes. The noise artificially "biases" your ear (in the sense of a voltage bias or tape bias, not being prejudiced against extra-terrestrials) to hear within a limited dynamic range. This reveals which instruments in a mix fall, or don't fall, within that window. Mixing with noise is definitely not an arbiter, it's a diagnostic tool.
 
You'll find this out for yourself if you try it. For example, I tried this with a song and the rhythm guitar was buried because I tend to mix rhythm guitars relatively low anyway. So I increased the level to where I could just hear the string strums. When I took the noise away, the rhythm guitar level didn't seem all that different, but it filled out the song better...so I left it at the somewhat higher level. And it sounds better in a car 
 
Of course with SONAR, you have a big advantage because of Mix Recall. You make the tweaks with the noise, save it as a scene, then A-B it with other scenes. If it's better, great. If not...no harm. 
 
Also I'm glad you brought up mixing vs. mastering. I use this only to test mixes prior to mastering. Once the mix is right, mastering does the fine-tuning and at that point, using noise is too much of a sledgehammer if your interest is fine-tuning a song.

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/30 22:42:22 (permalink)
Anderton
And it sounds better in a car 
 

 
Thanks,
So for the car thing, do you do a dithered export of mix to MP3, or other means?. (I have USB and Bluetooth in car).
 
Ive been using Neutron, but haven't totally got into using the masking tool yet, but imagine it may allow for identifying these deficiencies in a mix, but one way or another you still have to listen to results.
(Funny I should relate to this as I spent a lot of my former career, setting up sound masking systems in offices)
Cheers        
 

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/30 23:04:58 (permalink)
I get a 1 to 2 db bass rise in the garage presumably from some resonance. If I pull out it drops to expected levels. Always has.
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/31 16:00:42 (permalink)
JohnEgan
Anderton
And it sounds better in a car 
 

 
Thanks,
So for the car thing, do you do a dithered export of mix to MP3, or other means?. (I have USB and Bluetooth in car).

 
I actually don't listen to music in cars, I did it just for diagnostic purposes until I came up with the "mixing with noise" replacement. This is for safety reasons...nothing can seize control of my mind faster than a good piece of music, so for me, it can be distraction which I don't want when driving.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/31 17:41:26 (permalink)
I think most people listen in their car because they are actually most familiar with that system as they likely listen to commercial music mostly when commuting etc.   I don;t know if the actual driving simulation is critical or not.  For me, I listen mostly to XM radio and CDs while in my car and know exactly how stuff should sound where as much as I should, i do little recreational listening on my studio setup.  Therefore, I know, when it sounds good on my car system and blends with tracks that are on the radio etc, I know my mix is done.   OTHERWISE... Really cool idea here Craig!
 

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/31 22:08:17 (permalink)
Anderton
 
I actually don't listen to music in cars, I did it just for diagnostic purposes until I came up with the "mixing with noise" replacement. This is for safety reasons...nothing can seize control of my mind faster than a good piece of music, so for me, it can be distraction which I don't want when driving.



Sadly, I find myself more listening to news talk radio in the car these days,and wearing a hat, LOL. 

John Egan
Sonar Platinum (2017-10),RME-UFX, PC-CPU - i7-5820, 3.3 GHz, 6 core, ASUS X99-AII, 16GB ram, GTX 960, 500 GB SSD, 2TB HDD x 2, Win7 Pro x64,  O8N2 Advanced, Melodyne Studio,.... (2 cats :(,  in the yard).
 
JohnEgan
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/01/31 22:37:53 (permalink)
stxx
 i do little recreational listening on my studio setup.  

 
I do most of my recreational listening/video watching/jamming and entertaining with friends and other musicians in my home studio, to listen in a higher quality environment and system, if listening to music in the car, also XM radio, ( if not news talk radio). I just crank it up if there's any background noise issues, (although dont hear the sirens either, good thing they have flashing lights also, LOL, got a flashing doorbell light in studio :).
 
cheers   

John Egan
Sonar Platinum (2017-10),RME-UFX, PC-CPU - i7-5820, 3.3 GHz, 6 core, ASUS X99-AII, 16GB ram, GTX 960, 500 GB SSD, 2TB HDD x 2, Win7 Pro x64,  O8N2 Advanced, Melodyne Studio,.... (2 cats :(,  in the yard).
 
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