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Microphone Month 5

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"New" approach to Stereo Backing Tracks, is my idea even possible?

thebladeslastkiss

Ok so I've got alot of good advice on this site just reading, but this is my first time posting.
Ive been doing live backing tracks for my band by splitting a stereo signal, click track left, synth track right, left to drummer headphones, right to foh/pa system. Foolproof setup except the synth track is mono. I've been tossing around ideas to get stereo: one by using 3 channels of a surround sound sequence and splitting the outputs in a similar way, another by getting a multi out soundcard and routing the tracks via software.... but another much less expensive idea came to me just now on the crapper and I want to know if you guys think its possible.
What if I take the stereo track, apply a violent comb-filter style eq to each side (one side the inverse eq settings of the other), them mix the stereo tracks to mono. During playback of the MONO source live, could I run the track through two equalizers with the exact same (inverse) settings i first used, pan the eq'd tracks left and right, thereby "extracting" the L and R from the mono?
Am i crazy?
July 30, 2010 @06:29pm
TimOBrien

You can try it, but my first reaction is to answer: Yes.
The KISS principle is: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Not a slam but the less you do the least problems you'll have.
FOH only needs mono. Keep your click on a separate channel and stay with stereo files.
Last thing you want your audiences doing is getting some weird feed, going "what the HECK is that?" and walking out on you forever....
July 30, 2010 @06:35pm
DAS

No, this won't work, at least not the way you want. If you lower (for example) 100 Hz by 20 dB in the left channel and boost it by 20 dB in the right channel your mono recording will end up with 100 Hz at 0 dB of relative boost/cut (not counting the energy already in the tracks).
When you play it back through the inverse EQ you will get something resembling stereo, but that will happen anyway, even without your "encoding" process.
I think the best option of the ones you mentioned is to use the LCR of a surround playback format. You could also synthesize your own stereo from the mono track via any number of DSP applications/products that can create stereo from mono sources. It still isn't "real" stereo, but then the stereo output of many synthesizers isn't much more than what the effects processors are doing as it is.
Good luck. Got to give you props for a creative idea there.
July 30, 2010 @07:16pm
yeahforbes

The only thing I could think of would be if your click was a pure sine wave tone, everything in both channels, and you notch that frequency on the way to the FOH. Drummer gets click+synth.
Or if he needs a noise broader than a single cycle, say pink noise bandpassed to 3k-6k, put the click on both channels mixed with stereo synths but click inverted on one side. On the way to FOH mono-sum the 3k-6k band so it disappears while the parts of the synths which are out of that range remain in full stereo. Drummer's cans should be fed from only left or only right, unless he actually likes the super wide click.
Just some brainstorming. But honestly, "FOH only needs mono" is right. Just put a stereo reverb on it.
July 31, 2010 @03:00am
blacklist21

I think the best option of the ones you mentioned is to use the LCR of a surround playback format. You could also synthesize your own stereo from the mono track via any number of DSP applications/products that can create stereo from mono sources. It still isn't "real" stereo, but then the stereo output of many synthesizers isn't much more than what the effects processors are doing as it is.
August 10, 2010 @05:32am
J. Aaron

Heres what I do. I use Protools LE/mpowered running on a MacBook pro with an Maudio Interface. Stereo backing tracks routed (in PT Mix window) to outputs 1 & 2 of interface. Click track is on a mono track in PT and is routed to Output 3 of Interface. I send all this down the snake (interface output(s) to D.I. to snake) to mix/distribute as needed. I create individual sessions for each song, although you could do it all in one session using tempo changes if you were so inclined.
I would stay away from using a soundcard with multiple outs (the whole LCR thing)
Ive used this setup quite frequently with no problems.
Cheers
October 10, 2010 @04:29pm