Jump to content
Bob Greene

Track 'CrossTalk' in a DAW? It can happen!

Recommended Posts

I am from the old school of engineers when everything was tape, etc. During this era, there was a problem called 'crosstalk' that would invade your mix if the heads were not aligned correctly... it is when one track bleeds over into the track beside it. This is not supposed to happen in the digital realm, but....

I was doing a setup for a mixdown, setting up a kick>bass gtr 'duck' compressor to make the drums a bit more aggressive beside the bass. I set up my sends on the kick, snare, and HiHat tracks going to the sidechain on the bass compressor at the appropriate levels and noticed that during a part where I had enveloped the drums out at a certain point for the bass to ride with a keyboard part, that the drums were still peaking through onto the bass track. This confused me as digital should have no crosstalk. I began sorting out the 'equal likelihood division' troubleshooting and realized that it was coming from the drum sends that were set on 'pre' to the sidechain bass duck compressor.  Then I realized that it must be the attack time as it was set to less than 0.4 msec, so I raised the attack time to 0.7 and this stopped the crosstalk of the drum peaks through the bass track. No matter how many years you have produced material, there is no end to the learning... AIN'T IT GREAT!!

    Hope this helps someone else in our little world of sound.  If you have a similar experience that might help us, please don't be ashamed to let the rest of us in on it. I'm sure many of us could use your knowledge.  Have a great day!!!

 

Windows 10 Pro, 64bit, HP Z420 Workstation, Intel  Xeon CPU E5-2690 v2 @ 3.00GHz  3001 Mhz, 10 Cores, 20 Logical, 32 Gb RAM
KomaTosa Records Staff
Donalsonville, GA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/2/2022 at 9:35 PM, Bob Greene said:

I am from the old school of engineers when everything was tape, etc. During this era, there was a problem called 'crosstalk' that would invade your mix if the heads were not aligned correctly... it is when one track bleeds over into the track beside it. This is not supposed to happen in the digital realm, but....

I was doing a setup for a mixdown, setting up a kick>bass gtr 'duck' compressor to make the drums a bit more aggressive beside the bass. I set up my sends on the kick, snare, and HiHat tracks going to the sidechain on the bass compressor at the appropriate levels and noticed that during a part where I had enveloped the drums out at a certain point for the bass to ride with a keyboard part, that the drums were still peaking through onto the bass track. This confused me as digital should have no crosstalk. I began sorting out the 'equal likelihood division' troubleshooting and realized that it was coming from the drum sends that were set on 'pre' to the sidechain bass duck compressor.  Then I realized that it must be the attack time as it was set to less than 0.4 msec, so I raised the attack time to 0.7 and this stopped the crosstalk of the drum peaks through the bass track. No matter how many years you have produced material, there is no end to the learning... AIN'T IT GREAT!!

    Hope this helps someone else in our little world of sound.  If you have a similar experience that might help us, please don't be ashamed to let the rest of us in on it. I'm sure many of us could use your knowledge.  Have a great day!!!

 

Windows 10 Pro, 64bit, HP Z420 Workstation, Intel  Xeon CPU E5-2690 v2 @ 3.00GHz  3001 Mhz, 10 Cores, 20 Logical, 32 Gb RAM
KomaTosa Records Staff
Donalsonville, GA

Interesting.

I have noted obvious cumulative    build up of undesirable frequencies at times in some mixes, especially if reverb or other efx sends are involved. I can get a mix happening really well before I add reverb which can then kill a good mix. The amount of signal sent to the verb. the verb itself, the EQ in the verb, the frequencies sent from the channel to the master bus and verb all play a part in it. I guess there have always been variables both old school and in the new stuff.

I'm glad you found out what was causing your issue. While I have not had this specific issue, it reminds me of the struggles I went through getting a master mix to sound like I was hearing it in my head. It's like I have a good recipe and all of the ingredients are working well together, then I decide to drop in plug in X or maybe change the reverb. Sometimes it turns out like I put detergent in my birthday cake.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've run into issues like this with sidechaining. But by nature, sidechaining kinda is a form of crosstalk.

My thing was that I did the standard Daft Punk sidechain the snot out of the bass synth with the kick. Then during further mixing, I was hearing an odd, unwanted warble in the bass synth. Well, duh, I had extended the note length on the synth while still having the sidechain modulating the end of the notes.

I guess I can use automation to turn off the compressor during those tails or do like Bob and set the compressor a little softer, but sheesh, why did it take me so long to figure out the culprit? 🤣

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/6/2022 at 6:55 AM, Tim Smith said:

I can get a mix happening really well before I add reverb which can then kill a good mix.

Whew. Reverb. I am definitely still working on this one. My default behavior is to put one really good reverb sound on a bus (Nimbus, R4, Mturboreverble or MReverb) and then use sends on whatever instruments I want to reverberate. The idea behind this is that I want all the instruments to sound like they're in the same acoustic space.

I know that I can take it further by learning how to use different reverbs on different mix elements, but I am scared to proceed. I am afraid to muddy it up (as I think you're describing). I'm also learning that reverb, like compression, is something I need to stop myself and ask "how much does this source really need it?"

It's more tempting to over-reverb now that I have sweet-sounding reverbs that make everything sound  great. It was easier when I was using crappier plug-ins. 😄

I love the Cocteau Twins, but I also love the beautiful dry sounds that pop out of David Tipper and Telefon Tel Aviv mixes. 🤔

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reverb has so many variables it's easy to get it wrong or off for me, especially when dealing with the differences between a monitor mix and a headphone mix.

When mixing on headphones things sound close. When moving to monitors that same mix sounds like a dungeon with flapping dragons in the background....ok that might have been a slight exaggeration.

I bought one of those fancy reverbs that has positional info built into it to simulate any instrument position in a real space. Way cool.

I can get a similar thing happening with something called panning 🤔

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tim Smith said:

I bought one of those fancy reverbs that has positional info built into it to simulate any instrument position in a real space. Way cool.

I can get a similar thing happening with something called panning 🤔

I'm curious which reverb you refer to. I have MReverb (and the MB version), which claims to be able to do this (complete with fancy dummy head graphic), but I've never gotten it to work for me in that way. TrueVerb before it, same thing. I suspect it has something to do with my always using reverbs as a send.

For cool wideness effects, I'm really into using mid-side compression and EQ. This is one of the things I like about T-Racks processors, most of them allow you to use separate settings for l/r or m/s.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was referring to a product by 2CAudio that is really several programs made to work together. It's called the PBJ Pack. Here's a LINK to it.

 

Here's a pic of a simple mix I made in it along with the track. This reverb  takes a little more work because you load two plugins into each track and they all share a group. The pic I uploaded for this looked good. For some reason placing it here as a stretches it out and makes it blurry.

 

 

 

Farewell.JPG

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/8/2022 at 12:50 AM, Starship Krupa said:

Whew. Reverb. I am definitely still working on this one. My default behavior is to put one really good reverb sound on a bus (Nimbus, R4, Mturboreverble or MReverb) and then use sends on whatever instruments I want to reverberate. The idea behind this is that I want all the instruments to sound like they're in the same acoustic space.

I know that I can take it further by learning how to use different reverbs on different mix elements, but I am scared to proceed. I am afraid to muddy it up (as I think you're describing). I'm also learning that reverb, like compression, is something I need to stop myself and ask "how much does this source really need it?"

It's more tempting to over-reverb now that I have sweet-sounding reverbs that make everything sound  great. It was easier when I was using crappier plug-ins. 😄

I love the Cocteau Twins, but I also love the beautiful dry sounds that pop out of David Tipper and Telefon Tel Aviv mixes. 🤔

Checkout The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Ownsinski

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate everyone's input on this topic. I always find these inputs useful.  I hope to hear from each of you in the future.... and Tim Smith, I extra appreciate your mix of the Celtic music, which is one of my favorite styles. You have a good ear and talent. Hope to hear more of your material. Thanx again everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2022 at 3:22 PM, Tim Smith said:

It's called the PBJ Pack.

I ran across this at some point.

I'm really into spatial soundscapes, and your piece sounds great, like you can walk around amongst the pipes and strings.

I'd have to crowbar my wallet open. Their website and ad copy are very enticing. The pricing is on that cusp of "I'll never be able to justify this" and "this thing is an incredible tool and I must have it."

Edited by Starship Krupa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/29/2022 at 12:13 AM, Starship Krupa said:

I ran across this at some point.

I'm really into spatial soundscapes, and your piece sounds great, like you can walk around amongst the pipes and strings.

I'd have to crowbar my wallet open. Their website and ad copy are very enticing. The pricing is on that cusp of "I'll never be able to justify this" and "this thing is an incredible tool and I must have it."

I don't use it all the time, only for stuff like this occasionally. I think you can get pretty close without it honestly. 

I just did a more prog rock thing and only used the DAW reverb.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Tim Smith said:

I think you can get pretty close without it honestly.

Those are methods I would love to learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2022 at 12:22 AM, Tim Smith said:

I was referring to a product by 2CAudio that is really several programs made to work together. It's called the PBJ Pack. Here's a LINK to it.

 

Here's a pic of a simple mix I made in it along with the track. This reverb  takes a little more work because you load two plugins into each track and they all share a group. The pic I uploaded for this looked good. For some reason placing it here as a stretches it out and makes it blurry.

 

 

 

Farewell.JPG

It would be interesting to hear it without the 2CAudio 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...