Use your full room or stereo imaging
Hi guys, it’s Andre.
Often in production, you’re fighting with sounds clashing together at the same frequency. Simple changing of volumes won’t help in every case, so often you’re facing a fader creep. A Fader creep means raising the volume of a single channel to make it more hearable, but as result of that, you have to raise another channel and another channel, until you reach the maximum volume and end with clipping.
To avoid the fader creep, you need to create room for each element by EQ-ing for example, but ‘creating room for each element’ can be used literally. You’re also working with another ‘room’ besides the frequency range, I’m talking about the stereo panorama.
Using the whole stereo panorama gives mixing new opportunities for placing several sounds in the same frequency range without making them clash. Clever use of left and right or mid and sides really helps your mix stand out. A pretty common example of that technique can be heard in Rock Music. Instead of trying to place two guitars in the same frequency range in the same place, they are placed in different locations in the stereo panorama.
Avoiding clashing by placing sounds and instruments in various places in the stereo panorama is a widely used technique in music production (got it? Widely? Haha, I’m such a joker ;)), so why not use this in radio imaging as well. All you need is an EQ which able to change between mid and sides. Make your VO stand out with the right stereo imaging.Make sure, your VO is placed in the middle of your stereo panorama (we @ Benztown have our VO always in mono to make sure it’s always perfect hearable, no matter, if heard in stereo or full mono).
Route all your music to one channel and put your EQ on it. Change your EQ settings to mid/side and chose a mid band. Cut a bit off your music in the range, where your VO is placed. This will make your VO more hearable with less music over it.
Find your right settings, until your VO sets itself apart from the music.
– ‘Ok, I did that, but why did I need an EQ with separated mid and side processing for that?’
Your VO is supposed to be placed in the very middle of your stereo panorama, while the music is filling the full stereo width. The only place where VO and music can clash, is the middle and only the middle. The mid band lowering on the music channel will create room for your VO without affecting the sides of the music. You still have full and nice stereo sounding music, there’s just a little room in the middle made free for your VO, all done with clever EQ-ing and placing sounds in the stereo panorama.
Avoid the fader creep by using the two rooms, the frequency range and the stereo panorama.
Cheers and have a great weekend,