Grahame's Final Project

Mixing a stereo track into 8 channels

For this project, I attempted to mix one of my band Vice's songs - "Caught In A Circle" - for the 8-channel CCRMA Stage. This song was recorded here at the Knoll, and mixed in ProTools at both the Knoll and at my house. After getting what I thought was a good stereo mix, I exported each individual instrument (or in the case of double tracking each individual take of each instrument) with all the effects and volume changes intact. Thus what I had to do in Ardour was place the instruments where I thought they should go in an 8 channel surround-sound setup. It ended up looking like this:

The instruments I had were:

Drums (kick, snare, high-hat, three toms, and three tracks from the overhead mics)


Acoustic guitar (two takes with two mics each for a total of 4 tracks)

Electric guitar (two tracks of clean rhythm guitar, two tracks of distorted rhythm guitar, and two tracks of various lead parts)

Organ (originally stereo - exported from ProTools as two mono tracks)

Vocals (one lead vocal track, two tracks that double the melody, and two harmony tracks)

These add up to a total of 27 tracks.

There were two main issues that I wanted to deal with:
1. Taking all 27 mono tracks that made up the original stereo mix and putting them in their proper place with regards to surround sound.

2. Taking advantage of the additional flexibility I had when it came to issues of space. In other words, I wanted to really explore the ways I could make the song more interesting through the proper use of surround-sound panning.

Question 1

Question 2

Listening through this again, I think that the mix that I did for the Stage at its worst is an accurate representation of the original mix, and at best is something that stands on its own as a SURROUND SOUND mix. I think that the surround sound elements that I added enhanced the overall song rather than being superfluous exercises in space. That enhancement was the reason I chose to do this particular project. Stereo mixing is a powerful tool, but surround sound is much more exciting and dynamic, and can bring so much more to a song.

-Grahame Lesh