Push & Pull

push & pull

I’ve been experimenting with a technique in Surround Sound mixing I’ll call “Push & Pull.” In the picture example above, I created two MIDI generated tones in XPand2 called “Low Smoke.” It is a low-end pulse with an added high-end steam effect that helps create the mood I need for my Industrial landscape.

The first “Low Smoke” is placed in the back Left/Right surrounds at a volume of -28.8 (higher) and the front “Low Smoke” is placed in the front Left/Right surrounds and dropped to -44.2 (lower). The two tones combine to create one sound, but because the back end tone is slightly louder then the front, it starts to push the viewers focal point deeper into the scene/images and the quieter front tone pulls them in even further.
A lot of times when mixing you might think of only mixing different sounds against each other, like a footstep against a dog bark, but interesting directionality points can be created when you duplicate identical sounds and start mixing them in surround placement and volume. This is a great way of subtly creating depth with the moving image.
– John


2 thoughts on “Push & Pull”

  1. This looks very interesting John. I’m recording a lot of 5.1 atmospheres with my DPA 5100 at the moment.

    Hope you are well.


    1. Hi Ray! Great to hear from you. I’ve gone back to hear the recording you made with the 5100 at the school. I love knowing all channels with the 5100 are the live and complete ambiance. It’s great to think that your capturing live sounds, but also everything in the ambiance that is responding and reacting on all sides! It would be great to try some field recordings with one someday. All the best!


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