You are here

Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Elephone » Fri May 31, 2019 9:30 pm

Reading about components on the 12-channel MCI desk:

"These devices comprise the class of radiophonic or sound effects filters typically used to simulate distant sound or spatial dislocation, voice mediated through radio or telephone, and other such spatial effects in radio and cinema sound design."

Something I noticed in a lot of 70's dub music is a kind of distance in the drums, but not due to reverb... and even though they used close mic'ing techniques. Perhaps recording to tape and bouncing to fewer tracks (once or twice) does this naturally (by tempering the high frequencies), but could it be also due to other filter settings?

One thing with digital recordings is everything automatically sounds up front (as it was recorded) and a bit 'in-your-face' by default.

I feel this leads to too much sonic information in modern mixes that people are then trying to carve and cram into the whole available spectrum. Add loudness wars and it's just obnoxious!

So convincing/effective ways to set instruments back would be worth knowing, apart from the obvious ones. Are there any favourite open-space placement plugins (i.e. not room/reverb reliant) or filter techniques that you recommend?

Thanks
Elephone
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1111
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:00 am

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:10 am

You might want to look into low pass gates.

Some info available here, http://www.elby-designs.com/webtek/cgs/lpg/lpg.htm

Unfortunately, I am unaware of any open source or free plugins that emulate a low pass gate, but they use a very natural sounding filter that emulates the way sounds appear in the natural world in that the amount of high frequency roll off is tied to the amplitude of the sound; ie, the quieter the sound, the less high frequency information it has.
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:00 am
Location: NYC

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:53 am

The 'Dynamic Noise Filter' was a more common variation on the same theme. Intended to help minimise the intrusion of HF noise on analogue tape by rolling off the high end when the amplitude is low, but allowing more through when the amplitude rises (and masks the tape noise more effectively).

But fundamentally, rolling off the highs (and lows) can help to replicate the natural acoustic processes associated with a distant sound source. Adding reflections (as opposed to normal reverb) can also help simulate the effect, depending on the intended acoustic environment.

For The Archers -- an everyday radio drama about 'cun'ry voke' -- they often employ a crossed pair of SM58s for the outdoor scenes, because as the actors move away from them the sound very quickly loses both the lows and highs in a natural way that simulates the sound associated with outdoors, in a field... and small physical moves by the actors closer or away from the mics sounds like much bigger changes of distances in the implied real world! :D
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24106
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:18 pm

High shelf: more HF, the source is nearer, less HF the source is further away - all related to the HF level of the source you want in front. From 2/5K on.
User avatar
CS70
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3899
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:36 pm

Play with the attack on your compressors. A faster attack can dull the initial transients and push stuff further back in the mix.
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3075
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Gallifrey
"The performance is 99.9% of what people hear"- J. Leckie
"It's all complete nonsense, anyone who knows what they're doing can deliver great results with whatever comes to hand" - H. Robjohns

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:15 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:Play with the attack on your compressors. A faster attack can dull the initial transients and push stuff further back in the mix.

True enough... but if you think about it, it's another variation on the 'roll off the high end' treatment! ;)
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24106
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:16 pm

The other thing to try setting delays at different times before they hit the reverb. A short delay will sound like it's close to the 'back wall', a longer delay will sound like it has further to travel to the back of our imaginary room and therefore will sound a bit closer.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7680
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Elephone » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:14 pm

Thanks. I meant without reflections or reverb, just what happens to the frequency with distance minus reflections, like a particular pattern of energy loss. But it could well be just the effect of tape, especially with bouncing.
Elephone
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1111
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:00 am

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby CS70 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:10 am

Elephone wrote:Thanks. I meant without reflections or reverb, just what happens to the frequency with distance minus reflections, like a particular pattern of energy loss. But it could well be just the effect of tape, especially with bouncing.

That’s exactly what Hugh and I were talking about. High frequency has less energy so it dissipates quicker with distance, so our brain interprets sounds with less HF as emanating from further away.

Tape has little do with it unless It’s used to remove HF, but it would be a quite crude way.
User avatar
CS70
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3899
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Darren Lynch » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:38 pm

How about playing with stereo width? A source which sounds impressively stereo because it is physically wider than human ear spacing (drum kit, grand piano) folds into mono the further away it gets? Just a thought.

I guess many 4-track and 8-track dub masters started with the bass and drums, then bounced down to free tracks for FX and vocals. That would give you both the compression and HF roll off already mentioned.

Also, for really quick messing around with relative HF, get hold of a free tilt eq plugin. I love em.
Darren Lynch
Regular
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:19 pm

Er, I'm sure we've had this conversation before, beause I certainly remember recommending this freeware plug-in from the wonderful Toyko Dawn, and Jack Ruston thanking me for the link ;)

https://www.tokyodawn.net/proximity/

Image

Essentially this provides a large slider acting as distance panpot, and then a host of switchable options including the associated time delay, gain fall-off, air absorption and so on. It looks rather complex at first sight, and some of the options are indeed subtle (particularly the air absorption roll-off), but you can generally exaggerate them if needed, and this is one useful plug-in, both for altering spatial depth and width, reverb distancing and for all sorts of other enhancements, such as bringing sounds closer than they were originally.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14047
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Creating the impression of distance without/before reverb...?

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:35 pm

Thanks, Martin. I always have a problem making certain sampled instruments sound like they are at the back of the hall like marimba and percussion. I’ve tried eq and transient removers. Haven’t tried fast attack compression as suggested here, but this plug looks promising!
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: In the woods in Canada
 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users