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Time alignment

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Anonymous
September 21, 2004 2:24:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi folks - been in non lurk mode for a while and just been through 10,000 posts!

Have been messing about with time alignment in my DAW and wondering if
there are any useful bits o pick up on of which I might not be aware.

--
Mike Clayton

More about : time alignment

September 21, 2004 2:24:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

m.clayton@it.canterbury.ac.nz (Mike Clayton) wrote in message news:<m.clayton-2109041024090001@mcl47.tacacs.canterbury.ac.nz>...
> Hi folks - been in non lurk mode for a while and just been through 10,000 posts!
>
> Have been messing about with time alignment in my DAW and wondering if
> there are any useful bits o pick up on of which I might not be aware.

Very useful on drum kits for proper phasing. If you didn't already
know, you can slide kick and toms (and sometimes snare) back a few
milliseconds relative to the overheads - so that the sound produced by
all mics arrives at the listeners ear at the same time - in better
phase w/ each other. Also applies to DI/cabinet mic combinations for
gtr, etc.

One thing to watch in DAWs is plug-in latency. On my most recent
project, I had to actually move the kick FORWARD almost 50 ms, because
the compressor and gate plug-in latency delayed the kick a lot. IIRC,
some newer DAW platforms can auto-compensate for plug in latency. Pro
Tools, maybe others? I'm not sure.

Hope that's a start...

Mikey Wozniak
Nova Music Productions
This sig is haiku
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 3:26:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mikey" <novamusic@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:526517d0.0409201852.12ac4f93@posting.google.com...
: m.clayton@it.canterbury.ac.nz (Mike Clayton) wrote in message
news:<m.clayton-2109041024090001@mcl47.tacacs.canterbury.ac.nz>...
: > Hi folks - been in non lurk mode for a while and just been through 10,000 posts!
: >
: > Have been messing about with time alignment in my DAW and wondering if
: > there are any useful bits o pick up on of which I might not be aware.
:
: Very useful on drum kits for proper phasing. If you didn't already
: know, you can slide kick and toms (and sometimes snare) back a few
: milliseconds relative to the overheads - so that the sound produced by
: all mics arrives at the listeners ear at the same time - in better
: phase w/ each other. Also applies to DI/cabinet mic combinations for
: gtr, etc.
:
: One thing to watch in DAWs is plug-in latency. On my most recent
: project, I had to actually move the kick FORWARD almost 50 ms, because
: the compressor and gate plug-in latency delayed the kick a lot. IIRC,
: some newer DAW platforms can auto-compensate for plug in latency. Pro
: Tools, maybe others? I'm not sure.
:

Nuendo has full plug in delay compensation during mixdown and preview.
If only they could figure out how to make what's playing in the DAW line up to what I am
playing.on an instrument I could get rid of the mixers.
Phil Abbate
www.philsaudio.com/live.htm
: Hope that's a start...
:
: Mikey Wozniak
: Nova Music Productions
: This sig is haiku
Related resources
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 3:26:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Nuendo has full plug in delay compensation during mixdown and preview.
> If only they could figure out how to make what's playing in the DAW line
up to what I am
> playing.on an instrument I could get rid of the mixers.
> Phil Abbate

More than likely this is a driver or configuration problem. I've used Nuendo
with an RME interface with no problems whatsoever.
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 5:59:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mikey wrote:
<SNIP>
> One thing to watch in DAWs is plug-in latency. On my most recent
> project, I had to actually move the kick FORWARD almost 50 ms, because
> the compressor and gate plug-in latency delayed the kick a lot. IIRC,
> some newer DAW platforms can auto-compensate for plug in latency. Pro
> Tools, maybe others? I'm not sure.
>
AFAIK, Pro Tools LE and TDM only do latency compensation when bouncing
to disk, not in normal play mode. Can't comment on HD.

Cheers,
joe.
Anonymous
September 21, 2004 8:44:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Clayton" <m.clayton@it.canterbury.ac.nz> wrote in message news:m.clayton-2109041024090001@mcl47.tacacs.canterbury.ac.nz...
> Hi folks - been in non lurk mode for a while and just been through 10,000 posts!
>
> Have been messing about with time alignment in my DAW and wondering if
> there are any useful bits o pick up on of which I might not be aware.
>
> --
> Mike Clayton


IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing with a
multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the space that
makes the resulting kit have more 'size'. The more perfectly aligned
the tracks, the smaller the kit seems to sound. While this may be fine
for 'techno' stuff, it weakens the strength of a typical drum set sound.

Are you in reference to time alignment of instrument mics after tracking,
similar to above, or are you in reference to compensating for delays
incurred when processing tracks with plug-ins, etc.?

--
David Morgan (MAMS)
http://www.m-a-m-s DOT com
Morgan Audio Media Service
Dallas, Texas (214) 662-9901
_______________________________________
http://www.artisan-recordingstudio.com
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 12:30:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing with a
multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the space that
makes the resulting kit have more 'size'. The more perfectly aligned
the tracks, the smaller the kit seems to sound. >>



I agree 100%. I've found this to be true also with solo piano, guitar,
orchestra, just about everything. If additional non-point source miking is
involved, I usually do it to add space, ambience, fullness as a contribution of
the room. I definitely don't want the ambience to be time aligned with the
closer mics.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 2:08:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"ScotFraser" <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote in message ...
> << IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing with a
> multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the space that
> makes the resulting kit have more 'size'. The more perfectly aligned
> the tracks, the smaller the kit seems to sound. >>


>
> I agree 100%. I've found this to be true also with solo piano, guitar,
> orchestra, just about everything. If additional non-point source miking is
> involved, I usually do it to add space, ambience, fullness as a
contribution of
> the room. I definitely don't want the ambience to be time aligned with the
> closer mics.
>
> Scott Fraser

On a lot of this I agree, but with orchestras and other large ensembles
(especially in a classical sense), I completely disagree with you here...

Because of the time lag and the distance especially when you start dealing
with woodwind spots in an orchestral setting, I find time alignment to be a
necessity. Otherwise, you end up with an image where the woodwinds sound
like they are closer to you than the violin section. Last time I looked,
orchestras don't set up that way :p ~ When dealing with closer mics like
solos, the time alignment helps deal with issues like comb filtering when
the sound is hitting 2 mics at slightly different times (like the solo mic
and the main pickup in front of the ensemble).

With a "studio orchestra" I usually don't time align because the whole sound
is that in-your-face, up-close-and-personal sound... Time alignment doesn't
really help with that- add to that the fact that I usually mix stuff like
that on a larger analog board, and time alignment is a pain or impossible to
do. For chamber groups, it really depends on the situation- I'm trying to
go more minimal for a lot of my gigs, but it doesn't always happen
(especially with composers who usually write works that don't balance
acoustically).

I never time align ambience mics, though...

--Ben

--
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com

Please remove "Nospam" from address for replies
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 11:37:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <pTY3d.4353$Co1.3911@trnddc02>, "David Morgan \(MAMS\)"
<mams@NOSPAm-a-m-s.com> wrote:

> IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing with a
> multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the space that
> makes the resulting kit have more 'size'. The more perfectly aligned
> the tracks, the smaller the kit seems to sound. While this may be fine
> for 'techno' stuff, it weakens the strength of a typical drum set sound.
>
> Are you in reference to time alignment of instrument mics after tracking,
> similar to above, or are you in reference to compensating for delays
> incurred when processing tracks with plug-ins, etc.?

The former David, and with respect to multi microphoned orchestras. Don't
use a lot of plugs and when I do it's in post anyway. I was messing about
with the time differences between a back and front pair over a somewhat
deeply set orchestra.

--
Mike Clayton
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 11:37:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Clayton" <m.clayton@it.canterbury.ac.nz> wrote in message news:m.clayton-2209041937240001@mcl47.tacacs.canterbury.ac.nz...
> In article <pTY3d.4353$Co1.3911@trnddc02>, "David Morgan \(MAMS\)"
> <mams@NOSPAm-a-m-s.com> wrote:
>
> > IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing with a
> > multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the space that
> > makes the resulting kit have more 'size'. The more perfectly aligned
> > the tracks, the smaller the kit seems to sound. While this may be fine
> > for 'techno' stuff, it weakens the strength of a typical drum set sound.
> >
> > Are you in reference to time alignment of instrument mics after tracking,
> > similar to above, or are you in reference to compensating for delays
> > incurred when processing tracks with plug-ins, etc.?
>
> The former David, and with respect to multi microphoned orchestras. Don't
> use a lot of plugs and when I do it's in post anyway. I was messing about
> with the time differences between a back and front pair over a somewhat
> deeply set orchestra.
>
> --
> Mike Clayton


That sort of thing isn't a forte' for me. I rarely deal with delays of more than
20ms. In most cases, like the drum sound reference, only a hand full of ms..

What did you find? (And how) After reading Benjamin's response, I'm
intrigued.

DM
Anonymous
September 23, 2004 2:38:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <kUa4d.9823$464.8330@trnddc01>, "David Morgan \(MAMS\)"
<mams@NOSPAm-a-m-s.com> wrote:

> That sort of thing isn't a forte' for me. I rarely deal with delays of
more than
> 20ms. In most cases, like the drum sound reference, only a hand full of ms..
>
> What did you find? (And how) After reading Benjamin's response, I'm
> intrigued.
>
> DM

In this case the time difference was about 16mS. I heard a slight
improvement in the focus of the sound, but it wasn't a huge difference.

It was the first time I'd tried it, and I subsequently did it with another
job, this time an orchestra in the local cathedral. That was a time
difference of 18mS between the two pairs and it definitely gave me a
better focus on the woodwinds, so much so that I needed to make a slight
level adjustment downwards on the back pair to push them back a tad.

I suppose on reflection I could have just let them have less of a timing
adjustment.

I'm beginning to think that it's going to be a case of varying mileage!

--
Mike Clayton
Anonymous
September 25, 2004 9:09:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Because of the time lag and the distance especially when you start dealing
with woodwind spots in an orchestral setting, I find time alignment to be a
necessity. Otherwise, you end up with an image where the woodwinds sound
like they are closer to you than the violin section. >>



I guess I don't bring the spot mics up enough to predominate over the main pair
(or trio). OTOH the orchestral tracks I'm working on these days were all cut in
a very dry smallish room, & all the usual classical approaches go out the
window. It ends up being more of a film score style mix, where the close mics
are the majority of the mix.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
September 26, 2004 12:46:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

ScotFraser <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote:
><< Because of the time lag and the distance especially when you start dealing
>with woodwind spots in an orchestral setting, I find time alignment to be a
>necessity. Otherwise, you end up with an image where the woodwinds sound
>like they are closer to you than the violin section. >>


>
>I guess I don't bring the spot mics up enough to predominate over the main pair
>(or trio). OTOH the orchestral tracks I'm working on these days were all cut in
>a very dry smallish room, & all the usual classical approaches go out the
>window. It ends up being more of a film score style mix, where the close mics
>are the majority of the mix.

I find that it doesn't take much... as soon as you bring a spot in, you can
hear the rest of the stereo image changing a little bit because of the leakage
into the spot mike. Time delay helps this a lot, and with the DA-88 it's
trivial to set arbitrary times. Used to be I would pace things out and set
the main mike pair up in the general area where I could use sel-sync to advance
them in time to match the spots.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 26, 2004 11:44:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< with the DA-88 it's
trivial to set arbitrary times. Used to be I would pace things out and set
the main mike pair up in the general area where I could use sel-sync to advance
them in time to match the spots. >>

I used to carry a tape measure for time alignment but eventually found that
every time I did it by the book & matched arrival times to the millesecond, I
always preferred the undelayed version, or too much delay, or too short a delay
better.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
September 27, 2004 12:03:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Benjamin Maas" <benmaas@nospamfifthcircle.com> wrote in message news:<LD14d.343715$8_6.136684@attbi_s04>...
> "ScotFraser" <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote in message ...
> > << IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing with a
> > multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the space that
> > makes the resulting kit have more 'size'. The more perfectly aligned
> > the tracks, the smaller the kit seems to sound. >>


> >
> > I agree 100%. I've found this to be true also with solo piano, guitar,
> > orchestra, just about everything. If additional non-point source miking is
> > involved, I usually do it to add space, ambience, fullness as a
> contribution of
> > the room. I definitely don't want the ambience to be time aligned with the
> > closer mics.
> >
> > Scott Fraser
>
> On a lot of this I agree, but with orchestras and other large ensembles
> (especially in a classical sense), I completely disagree with you here...
>
> Because of the time lag and the distance especially when you start dealing
> with woodwind spots in an orchestral setting, I find time alignment to be a
> necessity. Otherwise, you end up with an image where the woodwinds sound
> like they are closer to you than the violin section. Last time I looked,
> orchestras don't set up that way :p ~ When dealing with closer mics like
> solos, the time alignment helps deal with issues like comb filtering when
> the sound is hitting 2 mics at slightly different times (like the solo mic
> and the main pickup in front of the ensemble).
>
> With a "studio orchestra" I usually don't time align because the whole sound
> is that in-your-face, up-close-and-personal sound... Time alignment doesn't
> really help with that- add to that the fact that I usually mix stuff like
> that on a larger analog board, and time alignment is a pain or impossible to
> do. For chamber groups, it really depends on the situation- I'm trying to
> go more minimal for a lot of my gigs, but it doesn't always happen
> (especially with composers who usually write works that don't balance
> acoustically).
>
> I never time align ambience mics, though...
>
> --Ben

Two important basic issues here are *presedence* and the type of
source. As Ben points out, sounds that arrive first sound closer
(presedence) and for *acoustic* ensembles (orchestra, big band, jazz
group, etc.) accurate timing can impart a sense of realism. Or,
conversely, realism can be lost if these timing relationships are not
properly set up. This works for recording and for sound reinforcement.
There was a recent thread about this either here or in the live-sound
ng.

The second issue is about the type of source. For sounds with a longer
attack (string bass, tuba, etc.) our ear has less on which to go in
terms of determining presedence. Turns out something within 30ms or so
may not be noticed. But for sounds with a percussive attack
(percussion, some woodwinds, piano, classical guitar, etc.) our ears
are *very* sensitive to timing relationships. Here, we can often
resolve timing prolems down to 5ms or less. That's why for live gigs
with the big band, I usually set the main pa back to the drum set.
Made a world of difference in terms of the clarity and realism of the
sound. The biggest thing was that the sound appeared to be coming from
the band instead of the speakers...

Karl Winkler
Lectrosonics, Inc.
http://www.lectrosonics.com
Anonymous
September 28, 2004 5:51:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 08:29:10 -0500, "Romeo Rondeau"
<romeo@oakwoodrecordingstudio.com> wrote:

>> Nuendo has full plug in delay compensation during mixdown and preview.
>> If only they could figure out how to make what's playing in the DAW line
>up to what I am
>> playing.on an instrument I could get rid of the mixers.
>> Phil Abbate
>
>More than likely this is a driver or configuration problem. I've used Nuendo
>with an RME interface with no problems whatsoever.
>

Me too. RME+Nuendo. It automaticallly compensates for whatever
latency setting you have it on. I usally record using the highest
latency with all live instruments (guitars, drums, timing critical
anything) and it automatically compensates and playback is perfect.

perfect,
frenchy
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 8:57:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Two important basic issues here are *presedence* and the type of
>source. As Ben points out, sounds that arrive first sound closer
>(presedence) and for *acoustic* ensembles (orchestra, big band, jazz
>group, etc.) accurate timing can impart a sense of realism. Or,
>conversely, realism can be lost if these timing relationships are not
>properly set up. This works for recording and for sound reinforcement.
>There was a recent thread about this either here or in the live-sound
>ng.
>
>The second issue is about the type of source. For sounds with a longer
>attack (string bass, tuba, etc.) our ear has less on which to go in
>terms of determining presedence. Turns out something within 30ms or so
>may not be noticed. But for sounds with a percussive attack
>(percussion, some woodwinds, piano, classical guitar, etc.) our ears
>are *very* sensitive to timing relationships. Here, we can often
>resolve timing prolems down to 5ms or less. That's why for live gigs
>with the big band, I usually set the main pa back to the drum set.
>Made a world of difference in terms of the clarity and realism of the
>sound. The biggest thing was that the sound appeared to be coming from
>the band instead of the speakers...
>
>Karl Winkler
>Lectrosonics, Inc.
>http://www.lectrosonics.com
>
>
>
>

This is something I have advocated for a long time in any situation that the
amplified sound and the acoustic sound of an ensemble have to blend.

I suppose that the same effect could be accomplished by delaying the FOH
speakers to match the time difference.
Richard H. Kuschel
"I canna change the law of physics."-----Scotty
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 8:57:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

rickpv8945@aol.com (Richard Kuschel) wrote in message news:<20041001125735.03267.00001326@mb-m17.aol.com>...
> >Two important basic issues here are *presedence* and the type of
> >source. As Ben points out, sounds that arrive first sound closer
> >(presedence) and for *acoustic* ensembles (orchestra, big band, jazz
> >group, etc.) accurate timing can impart a sense of realism. Or,
> >conversely, realism can be lost if these timing relationships are not
> >properly set up. This works for recording and for sound reinforcement.
> >There was a recent thread about this either here or in the live-sound
> >ng.
> >
> >The second issue is about the type of source. For sounds with a longer
> >attack (string bass, tuba, etc.) our ear has less on which to go in
> >terms of determining presedence. Turns out something within 30ms or so
> >may not be noticed. But for sounds with a percussive attack
> >(percussion, some woodwinds, piano, classical guitar, etc.) our ears
> >are *very* sensitive to timing relationships. Here, we can often
> >resolve timing prolems down to 5ms or less. That's why for live gigs
> >with the big band, I usually set the main pa back to the drum set.
> >Made a world of difference in terms of the clarity and realism of the
> >sound. The biggest thing was that the sound appeared to be coming from
> >the band instead of the speakers...
> >
> >Karl Winkler
> >Lectrosonics, Inc.
> >http://www.lectrosonics.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
> This is something I have advocated for a long time in any situation that the
> amplified sound and the acoustic sound of an ensemble have to blend.
>
> I suppose that the same effect could be accomplished by delaying the FOH
> speakers to match the time difference.
> Richard H. Kuschel
> "I canna change the law of physics."-----Scotty

Richard - yes, exactly. That's what I meant about "setting the PA back
to the drum set". We would measure the distance from the main speakers
back to the drum set, then delay the mains by that amount (usually 1ms
per foot) plus 5ms to ensure that the acoustic drums reached the
audience first. Worked like a charm.

-Karl
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 11:07:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I suppose that the same effect could be accomplished by delaying the FOH
speakers to match the time difference. >>



Very commonly done in the PA world. Helps especially with acoustic acts to make
the PA somewhat disappear.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
October 3, 2004 5:01:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"David Morgan (MAMS)" wrote:

> IMHO, it is the lack of 'perfect' time alignment (when dealing
> with a multi-miked, close miked drum kit), which provides the
> space that makes the resulting kit have more 'size'.

Listen to my mix at http://raw-tracks.com for an example of this.

(http://makeashorterlink.com/?B28454F69 is the direct route)

> David Morgan (MAMS)


Kind regards

Peter Larsen

--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
!