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Auto mix/auto ducking for multiple microphones in small studio

Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2023 Mar 06, 2023

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Hi!

 

I have a small recording studio equipped with a Røde Caster Pro 2 and 4 Shure SM7Bs. I record all mic tracks seperately to post mix in Audition.

 

Everything is good when recording with only one guest and one host. But with two or three guests + host I get a problem with "spill over" sounds from each microphone.

 

When I put each microphone on lets say track 1 to 4 in Audiotion and just plays the project, all microphones sound very "canned like".

 

When I just solo play a single microphone track everything is good. So it's of course because of spill over sound from all microphones when having them all turned on at once. 

 

Instead of using a auto gate which I'm not a big fan of, can I them somehow use Essential Sound or another "auto mix" feature in Audition to lower all microphone tracks which are not playing active dialogue while another microphone track is?

 

I have also tried to do a sum comp routing all four mic tracks into a bus track and the doing a comp on the bus track only. But it stil sounds "canned" in a way.

Can anyone help with good advice here?

Best,

Morten

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Community Expert ,
Mar 07, 2023 Mar 07, 2023

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This is a situation I've run into before, but I don't believe it's an 'electronic' one, and I should say from the outset that I don't think you'll find an acceptable fix for it in Audition, if you don't like gating. From the sound of it, you have a situation where instead of just one mic in your recording space picking up room tone - which may be just about acceptable - you've got four or five, spread around the room. And when any one person is talking, you have them, plus all the phase issues of multiple mics at different distances from the source plus all of the extra room tone to contend with from the other open mics. I have to tell you now that it takes quite a bit of work to even minimise this, never mind eliminate it, and even in proper broadcast studios they tend to mute (or pull the fader on) mics that aren't being used, even if it's a group discussion. It's also normal for whoever is in charge of the group discussion to ensure that people don't speak over others, and this always makes things clearer for the listener; another strategy to consider. What it comes down to in the end is that there are probably several things you need to do to come up with acceptable results; it won't be just one thing.

 

I said 'quite a bit of work', but there is one thing that's relatively easy to do to a room, if you can get hold of some velvet curtains. Basically you need the area behind each guest to have the curtain hung - but there is one significant thing you have to do when hanging it, and that's to get it at least four inches away from the wall behind it. The simple explanation for this that when sound hits the curtain, it gets attenuated but some still passes through. This gets bounced off the wall and beamed directly back to the rear of the curtain, and attenuated again as it passes back though. So double the benefit, but you need those few inches of space for this to work properly. Just sticking acoustic foam on the walls really doesn't help - but most people don't realise that putting the foam on battens that spaces them a similar distance to the curtain spacing will achieve a similar result - for exactly the same reason.

 

Anyway, if you do that, then the sound from the person speaking won't be reflected back into the other mics at anything like the same level, and you'll have a much more 'peaceful' working environment to be in as well. If you've got people around a table, with the mics on it, then it's also worth putting some treatment on the table surface too, to minimise first reflections.

 

I hope that's some help. Feel free to ask more questions.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 09, 2023 Mar 09, 2023

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Hi Steve.

 

Thanks! I found the de-bleep plugin from iZotope which seems to do the trick.

 

Best,

Morten

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