Monitoring, surround panning

Hi Chris! Thank you for sharing, a lot of useful and important information in your videos.

I have a couple of questions.

  1. Monitoring. We all know, that movie theaters and dub stages are tuned to have a so called x-curve response, which has a high and low frequency roll-offs. Do you tune your room to meet such a response and if yes, which curve do you have and what instrument do you use for that?
    Also do you “help” your front big KH-s with ultra low frequencies by adding a sub, or your sub is only for LFE channel?
    Do you have your rear channels -3db or less related to the fronts?

  2. Surround panning. How much do you use a center channel for the typical movie instrumental music? Some engineers are on the “only Decca_C for center” side, others are panning for example string spots with center channel too. What do you prefer?

What is usually in your LFE channel? Only non-tuned signals like low drums etc, or double-basses and bass too? Do you usually have anything special on your LFE -masters like lowender for example?

What is your approach to the front\rear balance? Do you move the music a lot to the rears? I work with some re-recording mixers, which usually ask me to move music to the rear, and I don’t like to do that because front speakers are full-bandwitch and sound better then rears. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about that.

Sorry for a lot of questions!
Thank you!

Hi Alexander,

Thanks for your questions.

  1. a) I do not tune my room on an X-curve. b) I do have bass management. c) My surrounds are at -6db in relation to the fronts.

  2. For the most part, I only put the center of a Decca tree in the center, plus the center of any orchestra reverbs. If I record LCR woodwind overheads (which I often do), I’ll occasionally keep them hard-assigned to LCR. Spots are always phantom center. The caveat to this is with drums and electric bass guitar in rhythm-heavy scores. I usually take a center room mic with drums that occasionally goes to the center channel, and I’ll sometimes frequency-split the bass and send a little of the top split into the center (but never alone in the center). But as a general rule, it’s tree and reverb center only in the center channel.

LFE mostly just gets percussive, non-tonal stuff, but that includes 808’s, which by their nature are tonal. Every once in a while I’ll throw a deep synth or bass in the LFE, as long as it’s not making anything tubby.

I’m most definitely a front-biased mixer (perhaps to a fault), but I do like to pull choirs and sometimes orchestra off the screen a bit. I’ve never had a rerecording mixer tell me to bias music to the rears, perhaps because they can do that themselves if they want. For my stereo reductions, my sides and surrounds are never more than -9db, but on some stems, I’ll just cut them altogether for the stereo soundtrack.

Hope that answers your questions!


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