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Sofaistic Spatial Exploration (look ma’ no reverb) 🧘🏻‍♂️

edited June 10 in Creations

The sofa is my center of operations and the main reason why I use an iPad for music. I’m an appaholic couch potato. @ervin finds it amusing so it’s all good 👍
So I thought I’d explore the sofa as a recording environment. Why not?.
Most of us have grown used to panning, reverb, delay as ways to create a sense of space. To mimic sound that comes from the left, right, front and back. You place the mic close to the source to get the best sound and then you place it in “space” while mixing, needed to create separation and depth.

Can I can achieve sense of space without panning, reverb or any effects from my sofa?. I don’t know if I’ve done it but it was fun.
Best listen with headphones…

I used a Zoom H4 placed in front of the sofa. It’s stereo (I believe that’s a must if you’re not allowed to use panning).
Then I played my 3 string cgb in 5 takes. 1) center sofa seat, 2) left, 3) right, 4) edge right, 5) edge left
Then sang from center, left and right.
Then banged things from random places on the sofa, hit a glass with a pen, and a floor lamp that sounded quite good.

I added compression and eq, specially to try to tame the rumble and noise. The only “effects” are on a fake bass track that’s a dup of the center guitar, that uses an octaver, chorus… the guitar, perc and vocals have nothing but eq and compression.

It’s noisy as hell!. The beginning is quite soft and the noise floor hits the ceiling. The H4 wouldn’t record in stereo so I had to use the line out… that’s another story.
The metronome bleed is all over the place, bla, bla. Who cares, it’s science!.

This was fun!. Any other experiments like this?

Comments

  • Btw does anyone own a Zoom H4?.
    It worked fine and now it’s only recognized as mono when used as an audio interface. So I had to run the line out of the h4 into the Behringer, which is probably even noisier. I believe this is recent. Could it be the last iOS update?.
    Here’s how it was setup

  • edited June 10

    @tahiche said:
    The sofa is my center of operations and the main reason why I use an iPad for music. I’m an appaholic couch potato.

    I didn't know there are other ways to make music on the iPad.

    I saw a recent YouTube video on using ambisonic recording for spatial design in production, maybe that could be something to experiment with. Also if you have a portable Bluetooth speaker (hopefully with more balanced frequency response), re-amping in stereo with it could be fun

  • @Cyndilov I saw a recent YouTube video on using ambisonic recording for spatial design in production

    Is that the thing with a dummy head with mics on the ears?. That’d be scary to look at…

  • That's binaural mics, and that's cool too and you can get pairs that you can wear yourself instead of the dummy head.

    Ambisonic micing is a 4-mic placement, if I understand correctly, that also capture the relative positions of the sound sources. Known to be used for VR audio. I think Zoom has a budget recorder for that

  • Really enjoyed that @tahiche.
    All good but your vocal struck me for some reason. cgb , what is that short for?
    Well done.
    Question though: how do you keep your house clean? Everything is white practically.
    I mean, it looks cool but that has to be a lot of work.

  • @Ben said:
    Really enjoyed that @tahiche.
    All good but your vocal struck me for some reason. cgb , what is that short for?
    Well done.
    Question though: how do you keep your house clean? Everything is white practically.
    I mean, it looks cool but that has to be a lot of work.

    Hi Ben,
    CGB stands for Cigar Guitar Box. It’s the one on the photo and the video with 3 strings.

    All good but your vocal struck me for some reason

    What do you mean struck?.

    Question though: how do you keep your house clean? Everything is white practically.

    I don’t have children, that’s probably it. It does look whiter and cleaner on the picture. Actually the sofa is brand new, we’ll see in a couple of months. I’m certainly not clean or organized, my lady partner would laugh at this 🙃

  • Really damn nice 👍

  • @Krupa said:
    Really damn nice 👍

    Thank u!. Appreciate it. But what about the space?. Is it there?.

    Sort of unrelated but YouTube sort of screwed up the sound towards the end, on the stronger parts. It limited and squashed. This mastering business with LUFS and whatnot has gotten very complicated.

  • That is marvellous. Really enjoyed it and subscribed. Thank you for posting.

  • @tahiche said:

    @Ben said:
    All good but your vocal struck me for some reason

    What do you mean struck?.

    I'll interpret through what I thought while listening, You have a really nice voice -- very present.

    Thanks for this. It's a cool experiment. It works for me.

  • BenBen
    edited June 11

    @NeonSilicon said:

    @tahiche said:

    @Ben said:
    All good but your vocal struck me for some reason

    What do you mean struck?.

    I'll interpret through what I thought while listening, You have a really nice voice -- very present.

    Thanks for this. It's a cool experiment. It works for me.

    Exactly my thoughts.
    A good song top to bottom, the vocal just seemed to stand out for me. In the best way. The performance, production, good dynamics etc.
    Ok no children. Or pets I’m guessing.

  • @tahiche said:

    @Krupa said:
    Really damn nice 👍

    Thank u!. Appreciate it. But what about the space?. Is it there?.

    Sort of unrelated but YouTube sort of screwed up the sound towards the end, on the stronger parts. It limited and squashed. This mastering business with LUFS and whatnot has gotten very complicated.

    I definitely felt like it was moving about, and I wasn’t bothered by any quality issues, but I’m no engineer - I mainly dug the really nice tune and the somewhat ‘solid’ feeling of space...

  • edited June 11

    @tahiche said:
    The sofa is my center of operations and the main reason why I use an iPad for music. I’m an appaholic couch potato. @ervin finds it amusing so it’s all good 👍

    I have made my mark on the ios music making scene. 😎 What a feeling! (... ta-dan-tan-tadan). My work here is done.

    Thank you, maestro.

  • @ervin said:

    @tahiche said:
    The sofa is my center of operations and the main reason why I use an iPad for music. I’m an appaholic couch potato. @ervin finds it amusing so it’s all good 👍

    I have made my mark on the ios music making scene. 😎 What a feeling! (... ta-dan-tan-tadan). My work here is done.

    Thank you, maestro.

    “ I have made my mark on the ios music making scene” judging by the scene’s size, it hardly qualifies as a stain 😀
    @ervin Do you play drums?. I don’t know why but you totally should!.

  • @Ben said:

    @NeonSilicon said:

    @tahiche said:

    @Ben said:
    All good but your vocal struck me for some reason

    What do you mean struck?.

    I'll interpret through what I thought while listening, You have a really nice voice -- very present.

    Thanks for this. It's a cool experiment. It works for me.

    Exactly my thoughts.
    A good song top to bottom, the vocal just seemed to stand out for me. In the best way. The performance, production, good dynamics etc..

    Thank u Ben. I literally didn’t even think about what I was going to sing. The older I get the more I improvise. “got nothing to loose, who gives a shit” kind of thing. Liberating. And it actually yields pretty good results, probably fresher than overthinking it. If Benjamin Button was a musician…

    Ok no children. Or pets I’m guessing

    No… I wish. Hopefully will work out the pet situation… Given my record my pet will probably chew my iPad, but hey, it’s worth it 😄

  • edited June 12

    Found this stereo mic. Looks good, I own a pair of Superlux headphones, decent quality for really cheap.
    @Cyndilov i also saw the ambisonic weird 3D ones but they’re quite expensive. I saw a Zoom H3-VR , good price, but those seem aimed at 360 surround stuff, right?. I don’t know how those translate to stereo and if it’d be worth it. I believe I’d be fine with a stereo for my music needs. I’m assuming the superlux one below is made to somehow resemble the stereo “ears”, looks like it by the size.

    Then there’s also the 600€ wooden head 😳😂. Scary as hell.

  • @tahiche said:

    “ I have made my mark on the ios music making scene” judging by the scene’s size, it hardly qualifies as a stain 😀

    🤣

    @ervin Do you play drums?. I don’t know why but you totally should!.

    Let's say I play with drums. Closer to reality that way! :)

  • Enjoyed it. Do you really have a custom made block of wood for a guitar? That is awesome.

  • Interesting! I get the panning thing, and the spatial recording. I too produce from the couch (every now and then!) but what are you using for the visuals here? Trippy!

  • sounds great. very cool track, thanks for sharing. subscribing!

  • Good song - and the concept works, there's definitely a sense of space and a nice lo-fi vibe that suits the track.

  • @NeuM said:
    Enjoyed it. Do you really have a custom made block of wood for a guitar? That is awesome.

    The body of the CBG is an actual cigar box. 3 strings tuned in open G.
    It’s a long conversation and a whole different subject, but the reduced number of strings and the open tuning mean a completely different experience, a totally different mindset. It’s like you bypass the brain , it goes from gut to fingers. And it’s also super light so you sort of forget it’s there.

  • @Edward_Alexander said:
    Interesting! I get the panning thing, and the spatial recording. I too produce from the couch (every now and then!) but what are you using for the visuals here? Trippy!

    Thanks mate!. For the visuals I used glitch studio for the vhs, green led and other effects, good app. Then I scanned my sofa with an AR app that uses the Lidar thingy, I tried a few and liked one called All3D. I used CapCut for editing, it’s free, guess I’ll get Luma fusion at some point.

  • @shinyisshiny said:
    sounds great. very cool track, thanks for sharing. subscribing!

    Thanks for the comments, very welcome and encouraging.

    @richardyot said:
    Good song - and the concept works, there's definitely a sense of space and a nice lo-fi vibe that suits the track.

    Yeah, I think it’s an approach I’m gonna explore further. I think need a stereo mic like the Superlux above cos the noise is too high with the ZoomH4, otherwise I’m stuck with “extremely lo-if”.
    We’re so used to capturing a close recordings, be it an acoustic instrument or miked amp… and then using reverb and panning for everything else after the fact. And we’re not talking about recording drums in a stair hall like Zeplin… just the feeling of having an instrument at a given point from the listener.
    You can capture the “distance” with any mic, just placing it further or closer from the source. But left/right space?. That’s different. I think faking it with a reverb is nowhere as realistic as having the source reaching the left/right recording at different levels depending on the position. @Cyndilov made a very interesting suggestion of using remiking with a Bluetooth speaker, that would work with synths, drum machines…

  • @tahiche said:

    @Edward_Alexander said:
    Interesting! I get the panning thing, and the spatial recording. I too produce from the couch (every now and then!) but what are you using for the visuals here? Trippy!

    Thanks mate!. For the visuals I used glitch studio for the vhs, green led and other effects, good app. Then I scanned my sofa with an AR app that uses the Lidar thingy, I tried a few and liked one called All3D. I used CapCut for editing, it’s free, guess I’ll get Luma fusion at some point.

    Ah.. Nice! Great idea to use AR and the Lidar thingie. Thanks for sharing these details! You have a veritable cornucopia of visual effects here that suit the piece perfectly.

  • @tahiche said:
    Found this stereo mic. Looks good, I own a pair of Superlux headphones, decent quality for really cheap.
    @Cyndilov i also saw the ambisonic weird 3D ones but they’re quite expensive. I saw a Zoom H3-VR , good price, but those seem aimed at 360 surround stuff, right?. I don’t know how those translate to stereo and if it’d be worth it. I believe I’d be fine with a stereo for my music needs. I’m assuming the superlux one below is made to somehow resemble the stereo “ears”, looks like it by the size.

    The stereo mics looks good! The ORTF configuration can give you quite wide stereo image (yes similar to the binaural mics, though with binaural mics you're really also aiming to capture the reflections of sounds from the face and the 'filtering' with the shape of the ear). Worth experimenting with in addition to your H4n (X-Y has more focus on the centre of the stereo field, which is cool as an alternative for close-mic'ing instruments)

    Yes I think the Zoom H3-VR is probably the cheapest 3D ambisonic recorder out there. Don't know how good it is. Obviously for music we don't really need 3D audio but apparently with things recorded in this way, you can adjust the positioning of sounds almost, after recording. Almost like being able to change the 'configuration' of the head and it's position after it's recorded. But that'd would probably need a kind of software decoder and being able to bounce to stereo that we don't seem to have on iOS yet. Maybe someday we'll have an AU for that...

  • @Cyndilov said:

    @tahiche said:
    Found this stereo mic. Looks good, I own a pair of Superlux headphones, decent quality for really cheap.
    @Cyndilov i also saw the ambisonic weird 3D ones but they’re quite expensive. I saw a Zoom H3-VR , good price, but those seem aimed at 360 surround stuff, right?. I don’t know how those translate to stereo and if it’d be worth it. I believe I’d be fine with a stereo for my music needs. I’m assuming the superlux one below is made to somehow resemble the stereo “ears”, looks like it by the size.

    The stereo mics looks good! The ORTF configuration can give you quite wide stereo image (yes similar to the binaural mics, though with binaural mics you're really also aiming to capture the reflections of sounds from the face and the 'filtering' with the shape of the ear). Worth experimenting with in addition to your H4n (X-Y has more focus on the centre of the stereo field, which is cool as an alternative for close-mic'ing instruments)

    Yes I think the Zoom H3-VR is probably the cheapest 3D ambisonic recorder out there. Don't know how good it is. Obviously for music we don't really need 3D audio but apparently with things recorded in this way, you can adjust the positioning of sounds almost, after recording. Almost like being able to change the 'configuration' of the head and it's position after it's recorded. But that'd would probably need a kind of software decoder and being able to bounce to stereo that we don't seem to have on iOS yet. Maybe someday we'll have an AU for that...

    ORTF?. Wow, you know your stuff.
    I just read a bit about ambisonic, interesting but intimidating. Seems to be obviously aimed at surround sound, but like you say, in theory you could translate that into stereo giving a realistic spatial positioning. I guess it requires specific algorithms, plugins or whatever that I don’t know if even exist. The day we see an auv3 plugin that does it it’ll probably mean it’s mature enough. Very promising, well hopefully get there. Thanks for the info!

  • @tahiche said:
    ORTF?. Wow, you know your stuff.

    Haha, not trying to show off, it's just what it says on the Superlux website :D

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