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Mixing with an LCR Rig

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by lakota651, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. lakota651

    lakota651 Member

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    Hey Boys and Girls,

    There is a good chance I might find myself soon mixing a worship band in a room with an LCR rig. While I am familiar with the concept, I have yet to have any experience in front of such a rig. I have mixed stereo (and mono, but who hasn't) rigs before, however I feel that this may be a different kind of beast.

    What I would love to hear from you guys are any tips you may have to share. One thing in particular I would love to learn is how to best avoid phasing and comb filtering problems.

    Any insights would be appreciated, so please, don't be shy.
  2. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Acoustical, audio and audiovisual consultant
    Marietta, GA
    It definitely is. Many rooms have what appears to be a left, center, right arrangement but it is actually something physically similar like stereo plus mono or exploded mono. So the first thing to find out is whether it is truly L/C/R or not.

    If the system truly operates as L/C/R, then the next question may be how well it works, especially whether each individual array provides good coverage and imaging for all the listeners. You might want to use pink noise and pan it left-center, then walk the floor. Do the sound and the imaging stay consistent as you walk the listener area or do they vary? If either varies significantly then you may want to consider minimizing the use of panning anything other than hard left, dead center or hard right.

    If you find that it is a well designed and functioning L/C/R system, then how you pan depends somewhat on the sources. For mono sources or impulsive sources (drums, etc.) you basically have to decide if imaging or clarity is more important. Having a mono source assigned to a single array (e.g. panned hard left, dead center or hard right) will result in the sound coming from a single source, improving clarity and time coherence. Panning a mono source between these (e.g. left-center or right-center) will result in multiple signal arrivals at the listener, thus typically reducing clarity and 'smearing' the signal. However, it is also that difference in time and level of the two signals that provides the imaging information.

    Stereo sources are a different matter as they can actually benefit from differences between the left and right signals. However, a L/C/R system is different than stereo in that the differences the system produces are between left and center or right and center rather than between left and right. On the one hand this means the imaging stays a bit more stable across the listener area than with a stereo system, if you have a channel panned left-center then the worst it does is shift a bit between left and center throughout the audience rather than between left and right as in a stereo system. On the other hand, it was intended to be a stereo source then introducing a center channel component will differ from the original intent. So for a recorded stereo source you may want to keep it with the left and right channels hard panned. But for a live stereo or two channel source, you may want to use panning to help place the image on stage.

    Here's a couple of resources you might want to read: Mixing AES01.pdf
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
    lakota651 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    Collingswood, NJ
    +1 to what Brad said.

    We have a true LCR system here at my university that I've mixed on many times. It's a bit different than the typical stereo/mono rigs. Once you are able to discern the differences, you can mix with confidence knowing what everyone is hearing is at least somewhat similar to what you're hearing.

    [rant]...Unless, of course, you are in a space like our auditorium where they put us in a booth that cuts out much of the lows/low mids. Stupid visual aesthetics...[/rant]

    Have fun, experiment a little, and remember: if it sounds good, it is good.
  4. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Performing Arts Center Manager
    Macomb, MI
    I agree with the precious two posts. My biggest recomendations would be to avoid lots of panning, and to walk the room a bit more than you would normally, so you can get use to how different things may sound in each location. This should help you mix accordingly.


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