Old 10-20-2011, 10:03 PM   #2081
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
Nobody on the internet ever concedes a point. They either keep arguing or stop posting. I don't think anyone in the history of internet ever admitted they were wrong, they just move the goalposts or nit-pick at details or accuse each other of personal shortcomings or whatever. IRL, you have to do things, or people just stop listening to you. On the internet, you can always have the top post and get a response just by finding something wrong with the previous one
no, you're wrong!..... will you be the first and make me right?

or perhaps you won't concede my point, in which case you may have a point.

but then i have just conceded, and so i must be right..... wait... i've gone cross eyed.




it is a trait often found in humans that we compete for alpha hierarchy whether it is physically, or monetarily, or in opinion or knowledge of a subject matter. so in discussion, it will often end in a collision. the funny thing is, is that it is like in fighting. to me, the best way to fight is to be trained to act correctly on reflex. to train to be very quick, and so powerful. then, you should only react. action is a moment of weakness. if you are acting then you are vulnerable. if you only react, then you only act while your opponent is occupied acting, and therefore not a threat.

so, to me, the best way to fight is not to act at all. to only react. and so if two great fighters meet in combat they will never fight because they only react and never act. i personally love the poetic irony of that, but it is the same with internet bickering i find. really the best male, the most alpha male, imo, is the one that does not fight at all.

people tend to fear, and ascribe power to the man in the suit of armour with the big weapons, whereas i would fear more the man in the cloak, for they both live amidst warfare, and one walks around with nothing but a cloak.

the stronger man loves, and the weaker man hates.

that's how i see it anyways.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:33 PM   #2082
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You are probably right, the thread has had its life and could be unstuck. It's just that noone feels good about unsticking this legendary thread. I think it doesn't harm to leave it stuck until we need to stick something else up here. However thank you for creating it and please feel free to write about "Why your recordings sound like ass despite you've read the entire 'Why do your recordings sound like ass' thread".
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:34 PM   #2083
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This was never a thread about how to make a starter violin sound like a Stradivarius, nor about how to make a garage-sale piano sound like a Steinway, nor about how to make an untrained singer with a reedy voice sound like an operatic mezzo-soprano.
dammit, and i was just getting interested in starting reading this monolith of a thread.

in all seriousness though my recordings do sound like ass, and to get my recordings not sounding like ass i feel i need to spend alot of money. like, you can't make a shit bass sound like a good bass. you can't make a loud room sound like a quiet room. you can't make a starter violin sound like a stratavarius, so for me getting nicer recordings is kind of an impossibility.

i'd started reading this thread, and i forget really why i stopped, but you seem quite knowledgeable and experienced.

the sorts of things i would really want to know, is how people apply effects to things, and how they mix, and orchestrate things.

i mean, what sorts of reverbs do people use for this sort of guitar, or that sort of guitar, and i don't mean brand of plugins. i mean settings within them.

i've read some stuff here or there, but there are many situations with many sorts of sounds. i think actually that this is the sort of thing you can only really fully get with videos. people building tracks. using this sort of reverb, or that one, compressing for which effect, and you can hear the changes and how things improve.

i've seen some videos like sonnox oxford ones, and they were awesome. there's a little bit of "selling my product" factor, but some of them are very cool. i found a few of producers talking you through it, but not that many.

what i find would be cool is if someone made a track, or tracks. finished it. and then went back through it. a video for every instrument as it builds in some entertaining order. and then at the end, the master.

then people could comment on those, and hopefully, it won't errupt into a "my penis is bigger than yours" debate, but you never know.

anyways i think you probably have the power of removing posts on your own youtube page.

or anyone that has cool ways they use a certain plugin, or found something go to, that they really like, they can just show that and show what it could do. that would be sick. unfortunately. i don't have much of those.

the thing is that's tough for me, is that i'm not sure how much my recordings sound like ass, because i am ass, and how much they sound like ass because of my riggidy setup.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:47 PM   #2084
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This is an extremely informative thread, I worry that people will miss out if it is unstickied. I guess it's not very democratic, but what about removing all the noise and then locking it? Maybe let yep go through it and send a list of posts to be removed or a number to be cut after to a mod?
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #2085
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Quote:
Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
This is an extremely informative thread, I worry that people will miss out if it is unstickied. I guess it's not very democratic, but what about removing all the noise and then locking it?
I agree... this truly is a "monolith of a thread" as mentioned
above. There's just too many commentary posts that make it
hard to find the true nuggets of wisdom.

Cleaning out the crap and commentary, and locking the thread
at that point, as weird as that sounds, makes sense to me.

I love this thread, but it's really overwhelming in toto as
it stands.

Jedi
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:34 AM   #2086
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would smurf be able to put up a link to the last pdf? i can't bear wading through all the crap of the last few months worth of posts to find it.

then lock this motha!
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:43 AM   #2087
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This thread should be cleaned and locked.
The "good" part of it is so useful that it deserves to be protected.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:17 AM   #2088
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Let smurf in with the latest link to the pdf - then lock it.

/JfX
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:15 PM   #2089
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Thanks yep for this thread! Extremely helpful!
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:16 PM   #2090
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If it's going to be locked, could we make the very last post one of those really cool PDFs of all the good stuff, minus the warrgarble, and then sticky that?

I've spent days in this one, and am having trouble filtering it out.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:03 PM   #2091
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OK, for some reason the Stash will not let me upload a zip of these 3 folders, so hear are the links to the 3 Yep files for ya.....

1st Year

2nd Year

3rd - Final Year

Enjoy!
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:26 PM   #2092
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Here's a version I did a while back for iPhone (open with iBooks)

https://stash.reaper.fm/v/5976/WDYRSL...r%20iPhone.pdf

I also formatted for 8x11

https://stash.reaper.fm/v/10391/WDYRSLA%208x11.pdf

I think I got up to page 23 before things started repeating themselves.

..ant
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:48 AM   #2093
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Thanks Smurf & Yep! Now I can finish reading it without all the crap. Time to lock it!
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:11 AM   #2094
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Your Welcome Rockindaddy, Enjoy!!!
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:02 PM   #2095
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Thanks, Smurf!
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:11 PM   #2096
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...i mean, what sorts of reverbs do people use for this sort of guitar, or that sort of guitar, and i don't mean brand of plugins. i mean settings within them...
In all seriousness, if you go back to the "useful" part of this thread, or at least to the part that I had anything meaningful to contribute to, the point of it was never to tell you what reverb setting to use for guitar, or anything like that.

To re-phrase the questions in your post, the point was not "how to make a starter violin sound like a Stradivarius", it was "how to make a recording of a violin sound as good as it actually sounds", with a dose of "how to then flatter that sound or sit it favorably in a mix of other sounds."

The thread title is "Why do your recordings sound like ass?" not "Why does your music sound like ass?".

I absolutely recognize why a great many people care just as much about the former answer as the latter, but an audio-recording software forum is not the place to explore that question.

This started out as a "how to get your recordings to sound as good as your live performances" discussion, but has increasingly turned into a "whether you need this or that magic box or setting to sound good" thing. I personally think that kind of discussion is a waste of time. I don't object to it, if people are contributing meaningful and substantive input, but I have yet to see such a discussion provide meaning and substance, much less better music.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:18 PM   #2097
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In all seriousness, if you go back to the "useful" part of this thread, or at least to the part that I had anything meaningful to contribute to, the point of it was never to tell you what reverb setting to use for guitar, or anything like that.

To re-phrase the questions in your post, the point was not "how to make a starter violin sound like a Stradivarius", it was "how to make a recording of a violin sound as good as it actually sounds", with a dose of "how to then flatter that sound or sit it favorably in a mix of other sounds."

The thread title is "Why do your recordings sound like ass?" not "Why does your music sound like ass?".

I absolutely recognize why a great many people care just as much about the former answer as the latter, but an audio-recording software forum is not the place to explore that question.

This started out as a "how to get your recordings to sound as good as your live performances" discussion, but has increasingly turned into a "whether you need this or that magic box or setting to sound good" thing. I personally think that kind of discussion is a waste of time. I don't object to it, if people are contributing meaningful and substantive input, but I have yet to see such a discussion provide meaning and substance, much less better music.
right, i completely agree with you. i think i may have miscommunicated things i was trying to say. what i'd really like to improve on is not make my crap sound good. not musically but sonically. because i know my shit is shit, and there's only so far as i can go given my physical setup.

what i'd like to know better, is a "using this effect in this case, yields this result, for this sort of effect."

you know, how to orchestrate things. and, to me, there is no right way, or wrong way really. i mean there are ways that don't sound good. for sure. but there are imo, multiple ways to produce a song that are all good. all very good. just like you could paint a portrait in many different ways and styles and it will be good, just different. but some brushes are good for painting some specific shapes. i'm not talking about comparing one compressor with another, or saying one tool is better than another, and the end all be all. to me, there is no such thing. there are tools that do things and sound certain ways. and in some cases every can be used and be great. it just depends where and at what time, and how you used it. but, i've not tried a bazillion compressors. i don't know fully all the sorts of effects i can get out of all of them really. or even layering multiple plugins. i mean every tool has a character, and so needs to be used in different ways and over different. but examples of which tools in which situations is really what i'd like to bombard myself with. we could argue all day on whether a stratocaster is better than a les paul. one is not better than the other. they are different and good in different ways. but if i didn't know guitars, then i wouldn't know that. but if i heard and saw types of music in which each guitar is used, and with which sorts of effects they tend to be used, then i would have a good idea about the differences.

i can lsiten to music, and get ideas, of pan and things like that. but how which tools got yo uto which sounds, i can't tell. i often try to figure it out.

but if i was a really expert recording artist, i would imagine i could listen to a finished mix, and have an idea of which compressor, or another similar compressor i know, was used on the vocals to get that sound, or at least know how i would go about doing it exactly. to watch and listen to things getting EQ'd even.

but for me, like i said, my shit sucks. i don't have quiet, i don't have awesome microphones. i don't have an awesome bass. all my software shit is good. that's ok, so it's tough too for me to know how much of the sucky sound i get is from my crappy noisy room and my piece of shit bass etc... and how much is my failure to use my tools correctly. or how far i could get them.

now i know i just need to listen, and i'm not horrible at mixing i don't think. but sometimes certain effects have many settings, and layering plugins can yield certain results, and i don't have the foreknowledge of which sorts of results to expect, and strive for and exactly how to get myself there.

i have to do trial and error. and sometimes i do well at it, and other times less well, but either way it is more time consuming than knowing exactly where i'm going and exactly how to get there.

iow, i don't care what tools one has. just how it is they apply them.

and ya, for sure, there will be cases, for certain types of music, certain scenarios, that someone might really depend on a specific plugin. but i don't think that discussing that is bad. it can be helpful to someone else who might like that specific character of that plugin as well.

i just don't like it when people say one plugin is better than another.

which guitar is better than another? there are so many and so many different styles. in art there is different, different for different things. distortion and metal can be good, clean and crips can be good, smooth and mellow, there are all sorts. and ya, one plugin might one job better than another. and some plugins might suck, or be difficult to use and different people have different preferences. but arguing like children about it, i'll agree is a waste of time.

sharing what one gets out of which plugin in which situation by using it in which way however, this, i find invaluable.

personally, i would hope that my recordings sound leaps and bounds much better than live recordings.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:03 PM   #2098
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ass y'ears go buy...

first of all

HAIL YEP!!!

this must be the most enjoyable thread I ever found on the internet,
including my study in psychology and esoteric science aka magick.

I am a musicjunky and like, I think, 50% of all people nowadays, I too have a homebased studio.

Samson MDR16 as a mixing divice
KRK VXT6 x2 for monitoring
Sennheiser TR115 for my neightbours (wireless headphone)
Behringer PX3000 28 balanced patchbay
Neutrix NYS SPP L 1 48 balanced patchbay
Behringer BCF2000 handy in some cases
Behringer BCD2000 a nice soundcard
and a shitload of cables (No Moster Cables for that matter),
all just to keep my ears happy and hear my sounds

Roland E36 intelligent keyboard my first
Roland Juno D my second
Yamaha DSR thirt and gift
now I loose track...
Yamaha RM1X
Technics sx-KN1400
Technics sx-KN3000
Technics AX3
GEM WS2 keyboard workstation
Casio CT670 Tonebank
Korg MS2000BR
as far as my keys and synths goes

M-Audio MIDIsport 4x4
SM Pro Audio OC8E optical Compressor, which I bought for the optical VU meters
Alesis GuitarFX, bought it in Dubai to go along with my, then, new toy
Ibanez R7321
Samson CO1U, mic, also a gift, from my brother who stop music because of his religion, how stupid can one be... great guy thou, love him dearly
AKG P3 mic

Tama Rockstar drumset
Zildjian ZXT titanium cymball set with 20" ride added, so two rides
Cruz cotted cymball set, incl hi-hats
Roland TD6V electronic drumset.

and a Asus laptop to run any available free DAW downloaded from the internet.

maybe a bit more then the averagde wannabe,
but I had a few good years financial, being crewmember of a dutch royal navy submarine.

the thing that tricked me was 'An evening of magic', recorded live at the Hollywood Bowl, by Chuck Mangione. Being born with parents who played the LP over and over again, I felt in love with music the moment I found out what the hell was pleasing my ears and loving all bodyvibes I had at the time.
Later on I encountered LTJ Bukem, just as jazzy/funky but a whole other thing.

Well that's me for now,
all I wanted to say,

timeless thread Yep.
can I give you a kiss and thank you?
I am starting at post #243 and won't stop till I encounter myself reading this post...


short afterburner:
just type "Yep sounds like ass"
in your google or yahoo

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Old 11-04-2011, 08:58 PM   #2099
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Quote Yep:

I don't think there has been any useful information for the past 5 pages
unquote

indeed the thread is a long one,
so I did not read the whole thing yet, getting there...
but, I know for sure you know music as a complete science.

How about giving this great thread a nice swing and switch to
arranger secrets
or MIDI know-how?

if it's already there, just ignore this one,
but you seem to explain everything very well,
maybe you should just write that book everybody was suggesting years ago.

I myself started to write a book when the X factor hype started,
but got lost in the rules of publishing.
The book however was found great, it was the way I set it up.
Refreshing, new and real easy to read.
My kid sister ask me why in the hell I wrote a book for teenage girls.
Then I knew I reached my goal, I never told her my purpose, and off course she wasn't the one I payed attention to about my writing being good or not,
I let strange people, who know writings judge my piece. The all told me the same story. Go for it!
But then the hype changed in something else, not so related to my intensions. Never the less, it can still be a good product, just because I planned every single word carefully. Just like you shoot when you try to make good music.
Saying that, writing, in dutch!! is a passion of mine, just like music, so I just let it flow, but think about the whole while I'm doing it.
Just like drumming, you should go mad and wave those sticks, but always remember the groove that gives you that ultra natural all time best, and healthy high.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:14 PM   #2100
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Why do my recordings sound like ass?

Because I am lacking, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest etc), these basics. Here's a run-down:

1. Room acoustics and measures to fix it 1/10
2. Guitar playing skill (I'm a "guitarist" lol) 3/10
3. Ability to record a take/ 'when the red light is on skill' 1/10
4. Singing 0.5/10
5. General gear 6/10 (oh I have some good stuff, don't worry about that)
6. Mixing skill...kind of relates to No. 1 3/10
7. General recording skill 2/10
8. Musical understanding (e.g. 16ths, bars etc) 1/10
9. Drum programming skills (even with EZdrummer and the fool proof midi loops) 2/10
10. Ability to generate feel and nuance despite midi looped drums 1/10
11. Faithful monitoring (again related to No. 1) 0/10
12. Creativity...ability to arrange songs that actually depart from forcing the rhythm guitar to be the front man the whole way through 1/10
13. Motivation amidst the rest of my tacky/ meandering/ aimless life 0.5/10
14. Motivation - the weight of points 1-13 to kill the ball before it starts rolling 9/10
15. Quality of 'songs' I think I 'write' 2/10
16. Ability to bludgeon on despite obstacles...and get 'something'...'anything' done 3/10
17. General noise levels and peace in my 'studio' environment and surrounds 1/10
18. Comfort of studio area 2/10
19. Free from distractions...you name it...1/10
20. General physical energy levels 3/10

Oh yes...my recordings do indeed sound like ass.

And I know exactly why.

Even being generous...that's about 34/200. (bearing in mind point 14) Am I in the right hobby? I think I need at least 100/200 to carry on. I'm a long, long way off.

But...I'm not giving up yet. I believe I can fix many of those points...when I am more stable...for example...when I own my own home. Tough to do in a rented unit...not that I'm making excuses...it's just the simple fact. To catch a fish you need the right conditions. Well not if you use a huge net and drag a massive area I suppose. etc

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Old 11-13-2011, 09:53 AM   #2101
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To re-phrase the questions in your post, the point was not "how to make a starter violin sound like a Stradivarius", it was "how to make a recording of a violin sound as good as it actually sounds", with a dose of "how to then flatter that sound or sit it favorably in a mix of other sounds."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem in a nutshell. Allan Holdsworth once said pretty much the same thing - "the most difficult thing about recording is getting the sound in the room onto the tape" or something to that effect. And he's exactly right. The first time I recorded drums, the sound was so shitty I wondered if maybe all this time when we were rehearsing I was too busy listening to myself that maybe I couldn't hear how shitty the drums sounded. So the next time we recorded I sat listening closely to the sound of the drums and the skill of my drummer. Guess what? Both were awesome. So I was hearing things just fine. Now the next time we recorded we spent a lot of time (like 3 or 4 hours) making sure the drums were well tuned, moving mics around and really listening to how things sounded on the recording, making mic adjustments as necessary.

You know how this story is going to end. When I got the tracks home to mix them, they already sounded good, and only needed a little work to sound great. Don't get me wrong, the drums don't sound like Mike Portnoy or Neil Peart, but they certainly sound 'professional'. And I'm pretty confident that the shortfall between our drum sound and either of the aforementioned killer drum sounds is mostly the fault of our not-so-great-sounding room, combined with the absence of a $20000 drum kit. Sure there's probably a gear shortfall too (better mics and mic pres, for example) that would improve the sound, but the point is we took the trouble to find the best sound we could with what we have, combined that with the best performance we could get, and came out smiling.

And that's all anybody who gets good sound does.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:59 PM   #2102
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I am new to this forum. In fact I registered just to say thank you to Yep for starting this thread and for taking the time to give your valuable advice and for answering other members questions. I started out as a drummer twenty years ago, taught myself to play guitar and bass starting about ten years ago (one thing I realize is that no matter how much one knows about something one can always learn more) and about three months ago bought a Focusrite Scarlett with the intent of recording some songs I have written but never recorded. I am blessed in the sense that I have a basement full of musical equipment and I won't bore anyone with a detailed list, but I have limited recording skills. I have found the information in this thread posted by Yep as an invaluable road map to guide me on my way. I have read only about half of this whole thread thus far and from reading Yep's last comment somewhere along the way the info seems to become less about what he started this thread about. I intend to finish reading it regardless. Your advice that I have read so far has probably saved me invaluable time from making errors that people like me will make when trying to do this without any guidance. Before I started reading this thread I had recorded two songs and have since gone back and re recorded both using the advice given here where applicable to my situation and the difference in results is night and day! I don't profess to having anything sounding like a major label recording but what I have recorded sounds better than any other recording that I have participated in previously. I am glad that this post is where it is because immediately it caught my eye. At first glance one thinks "who is this guy to tell anyone that their recordings sound like ass?" but I began to read and I am glad I did because my first recordings really DID sound like ass! Now, at least I think I am a few tiers above sounding like ass! And as I forge further on I know they will get better. I view undertaking home recording as like a driver having a destination in mind but not having the slightest clue on how to get there. After reading this I can see that there is a way to reach my destination because I have a basic road map. For this I am ever grateful! Thank you, Yep!
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #2103
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To the degree that you are asking this question fairly, and in a true, open-ended, "can it be done?" sense, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Def Leppard's biggest records were made with a Rockman, which is about the crappiest amp-emulator money can buy by any sane measure. If you are hell-bent on proving that point of whether a cheap amp sim can produce decades worth of hit-song revenue, the answer is yes, and the coffin is nailed shut by that example alone. If a series of categorical multi-platinum classic guitar-rock albums can be made with a Rockman, then anyone with a POD has no excuses. Of course, they had Mutt Lange producing.

Nobody brags about using a POD, nobody puts that in their liner notes, but plenty of people have done it.

If you want proof-of-concept, there it is. End of story.
OK, point accepted.

Begs the questions... OK what does one do with a Rockman or POD a la studio methods to make them sound "commercial", "pro" or whatever adjective.

Probably not for this thread, as you've pointed out, this thread is about why your *recordings* sound like ass, not your *sounds*... except that they seem linked.

Yes, I'm asking it in an open ended and fair way. I simply want to know how the master "turd polishers" (humor intended) polish turds, LOL! At least where "tone", "timbre" whatever is concerned. As has been beaten to death, the performance still has to be there. (Though I maintain equipment response affects that greatly.)

I'm not hell bent on proving anything, but rather finding the truth. About the only "crusade" I'm on is to debunk some of the bumper sticker slogans. Especially the "It's all in the fingers" one, since decades of careful listening and A/B-ing, when time has permitted, tells me it just ain't so.

On the other hand, if someone can show me it *is* so, great, I'd be irrational not to change my belief. Given the genre's I chase after though, I don't think it can be shown.

Heck as reading what Tom Sholz had to say the other day. He mention there were up to eight guitar tracks at a time going on in some of his songs. Boston ain't got a "guitar section" so's it has to be in the studio. And we all know he designed his own stuff, such as said Rockman.

The belief coming into this thread was, guys like Mutt Lange, et. al. know how to morph the racquet that comes out of the gear we get at guitar center and make it sound like what's in the FM radio, and that said morphing occurs in the studio, in the tracking, mixing, and mastering phases.

Peace folks.

P.S. - The Sholz article/interview for reference:

http://www.rockmancentral.com/Rockma...um_Guitar.html

Here's a revealing snippet for me:

"Back on those old recordings, there were a few times when I was able to get a rhythm sound that I liked, but, most of the time, I was going crazy with equalizers after the track had been recorded. I didn't get that under control until Walk On, when I used the Rockman system combined with Marshalls."

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Old 11-18-2011, 01:34 AM   #2104
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My first post here
a HUGE thanks to Yep/Smurf and co for an excellent thread, lots of GREAT stuff here.

A quicky, any tips for how to beat the demo/scratch track, ie. keep the performance fresh after analising everything, I got the bit about bricklaying, which works fine for the set parts, but any improvisations (solos etc.) get stale after whilst (performance wise) .... does this mean there should be NO improvisation on recordings, but keep them for live ?

flmason : I understand your frustration and sympathise, but you really should have started your own thread and left this one to go where Yep wanted ... but as what's done is done

IMHO you've had lots of good advise so far (I'm a "it's in the fingers guy" ) but here's a couple of experiments you can try.

1) You've had some success with SoundFonts for other instruments so why not sit with Vienna for a bit and sample the guitar tones you like (Eruption is full of them ) then use those ?

2) Downgrade : choose a (singular) sound (it doesn't matter if you don't like it) and then WORK it, make it useable find what it's strengths are:
Does it sustain well, if so bend strings on it, if not try tapping.
Is it dynamic with your Vol control
Is it articulate for chords or just single lead runs.
Does it sound better near the nut, or middle of neck, or higher up.
Do pickup choices make a difference.
Is it dynamic with your Vol control (again )
(I suggest you only use one guitar for this exersize)

W O R K it, use only this sound everyday for at least week get the most you can from it, find it's strengths and learn to like it FOR WHAT IT IS, be creative and see what riffs/songs etc. it may inspire (don't shoot for covers ... be creative with it).

Once you've found it's personality (ie. guitar -> etc. -> ears) and can work (with) it, it should be easier for you to find tones you DO like and to be able to work them.
(Think of it as training with weights rather than as a dum waste of time )

Hope this Helps.

As an aside : In my 20's (we're about the same age) I stayed in a commune/squat in London and just about every room had a guitar of some description:
Kitchen was a "toy" accoustic with a 3" action, and dodgy tuning keys always in some weird tunning depending who used it last ... great for slide using the back of a spoon whilst bowing with a bread knife.(lots of burnt toast happened)
Bathroom/toilet was also an accoustic guitar but with bass strings on it.
Lounge was a strat-a-like converted to a V-a-like with an ax no less, plugged into the playback head of hi-fi tapedeck, awesome to do a dive bomb till strings are slack then let go trem so it SMACKS into the body for your power chord, or see/feel how far you can bend a string 'till it snaps etc. I learnt a LOT from these cast offs.

Use/abuse what you got 'till you KNOW it, shoot for the stars and when the ceiling gets in the way you at least KNOW what you need to go through the roof

Keep on Groovin'
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:35 PM   #2105
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@hiphophippy - Good advice, no doubt. Perfect if one is looking to be completely original. If I follow you, you're basically saying find something that works and use it.

Problem is, we've got a huge catalog out there of music that has defined how folks now here the various pop/rock genres. Ain't sayin' there's no new sounds to be found. Surely that's not true. But things that used to be new have now become golden oldies and are accepted standards of "tone" for lack of a better word.

So there's a bit of a conundrum that goes, "Ya wanna be original, but it has to sound 'pro'", LOL!

And the guys that know how to take a band from "sounds like down at the club" to "Sounds like FM radio" are of course the folks in demand, speaking from an engineering/producer standpoint, no? (E.g Mutt Lange et. al.)

I don't think there's any doubt that even the "brand names" often don't sound like thier recordings, live. The exceptions being bands with recordings that really were aimed at catching thier live sound (AC/DC and The Who come to mind), and those bands that blow lots on things like offstage engineers, and even offstage musicians (U2 comes to mind).

At some point a divirgence happened between "performing artists" and "recording artists". And studio craft (seems to me) is what largely separates that two. And hence my argument that said discussion does belong herein. (However, it's clearly pissing against the tide of opinion herein, LOL! Yep would like to separate the recording and the "sound", but I'm not sure that's possible. Many "name brand" artists have made statements that some of thier sounds wouldn't exist but for the studio. And with amp sims and the like being plugins in the DAW, the two are now more fused that ever, I'd think.)

Considering that most of us fell in love with music from a recording on a radio, and that it was likely a studio recording, that studio craft is part and parcel of shaping the tone many shoot for. I think it is fewer that say, "ah I heard SRV live and had to sound like that". More is the number that say, "I heard Led Zep IV...".

Oh BTW, we're not the same age, I'll be 50 this year. For me this isn't about becoming a "star" or even getting into the biz. It's just wanting to get the sounds I'm after, reliably, cost effectively, on demand for personal projects. No delusions about joining the guitar or songwriter glitterati in this lifetime.

As to the fingers thing. Heck, I'll never deny that it's important. But geez, when the examples I trying to cite are not from the virtuoso crowd, that falls on it's face.

I mean really, consider this track I use as an example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ht5RZpzPqw&ob=av2e

(My apologies for the Vevo ads.)

There's no super-duper playing mastery in there. Just competent playing and pro production, or so it seems to me. No guitar/amp combo I've ever heard live sounds like those sounds.

Heck consider same band live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwGIfGPoO6Q

In this case it *is* close, because it's essentially pop/punk. But, screw guitar... even more telling... the vocals aren't there, nor are the drums.

In this case, seems one difference is that "crystalizer" effect or perhaps it's a keyboard pad, isn't present.

When I dis the fingers thing, it's because I'm talking about the actual *sound*... one lousy quarter note or chord splash, not performance gestures, not composition... The soundwave, the overtones present... what the equipment produces in response to input X.

As to Eruption... I've analyzed it with a spectrum analyzer and matched it. as best is possible with what I have and my tooling. Doesn't quite match, but I know the EQ curve in my sleep, LOL! Flat with about a 45 degree cutoff at 5.2khz, LOL!

So to the extent that my instrumentation let's me analyze, I learn. Analysis of the tracks of Dave Lee Roth out there taught me a bit about vocal EQ to be sure.

But let's face it, even EVH says he can't get his sound from that era anymore. (Though seems a number of cloners out there come pretty close.)

Here's a dude that certainly has the talent in his fingers... but he can't overcome this guitar... LOL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L25yZ...eature=related

What would be telling, would be for Landee to take the sound track from that video or close mic the guy and work it over and see what the difference is. At ther every least the sound of the pick hitting the strings would likely be gone.

Clearly the guitar one side, delay/verb other side isn't going on as well.

In any event though, since it's an EVH track, it *is* one of the one's that relies more heavily in virtuosity, unlike some power pop tune. EVH after all, brought "show off level" virtuosity to the masses, LOL!

Aside from being thick headed, I think my biggest problem is that I expect the same sort of knowledge and tolerances some of my other hobbies involve. (Measurments to 0.001 inch, weights to 1/10 of a grain, etc. "Real" engineering. When I consider that electronic parts back in the day have tolerances in the 5% range, I guess it's nutz to expect reproducibility in something so art oriented.

True story, lived in SoCal for a number of years... good players are around... was in Guitar Center one day. Young guy, great blues player... using a Laguna Guitar and Fender Cyber Twin... we took the very next Laguna off the rack... set the second Cyber twin to same settings... the sound wasn't there...)

So on some level I'm making the mistake of expecting reference level specs in something that back in the heydey was probably being done inebriated, LOL! I 'spose more than one classic recording was really a happy accident. (In a gadda da vida comes to mind, LOL!)

So ya, have to go with a plea of "guilty of expecting too much" I guess.

P.S. Some eye candy for thought...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH0d1oRvN7s

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Old 11-21-2011, 07:33 AM   #2106
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When I dis the fingers thing, it's because I'm talking about the actual *sound*... one lousy quarter note or chord splash, not performance gestures, not composition... The soundwave, the overtones present... what the equipment produces in response to input X.

As to Eruption... I've analyzed it with a spectrum analyzer and matched it. as best is possible with what I have and my tooling. Doesn't quite match, but I know the EQ curve in my sleep, LOL! Flat with about a 45 degree cutoff at 5.2khz, LOL!

So to the extent that my instrumentation let's me analyze, I learn. Analysis of the tracks of Dave Lee Roth out there taught me a bit about vocal EQ to be sure.
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Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Aside from being thick headed, I think my biggest problem is that I expect the same sort of knowledge and tolerances some of my other hobbies involve. (Measurments to 0.001 inch, weights to 1/10 of a grain, etc. "Real" engineering. When I consider that electronic parts back in the day have tolerances in the 5% range, I guess it's nutz to expect reproducibility in something so art oriented.
There is one singular difference when it comes to sound engineering: Your main source of information is not visual, its sound. If you keep up this approach of using a certain cut at a precise frequency, trying to measure stuff to match results, etc, the tool will work against you.

You see(lol), when Yep tell us to use our ears, he doesnt mean to only listen for things that sound bad and then try to fix it somehow. You need to hear and understand what is wrong, what it lacks and what it has too much and then use the right tool to get it like you want it. The things that you cant detect and fix like this, are, for now, out of your ability to do.

Lets say that you want to paint a canvas. You did your masterpiece, but there is something wrong with it. It doesnt look like you think it should. You believe that the problem is on the color used to paint the water, somehow it doesnt look right. You cant hope to fix the problem using a photometer or trying to decompose the spectral components of the colors. Maybe there is a brush technique that can do it, or another color that needs to be blended in some parts... Looking at wikipaedia and trying to do what another painter did to fix his river may or may not work, since chances are that his river was on a completely different scene and thus required different colors to make it look good.

You will only be able to decide with precision when your vision can see the problem, compare it to the mental projection of what you want and conclude what kind of interference will do it.

When it comes to audio, its just the same, but instead of our eyes, we use our ears.

Do you believe that the painter can learn how to do this just by reading books? Of course, information on colors and perspective will help the learning curve, a LOT. But what he needs to learn is not theoretical info, he needs to develop his vision. He will do it by painting in different ways, mixing colors, analising other painters works, always using his eyes.

Humans do not use hearing as the main source of sensorial information. We use our eyes. We tend to look into analyser tools, spectrographs, osciloscopes and presets. Thats why the simple rule Yep proposes of using the ear is not as simple as it looks.

It simply requires trainning. For exemple: The 5.2khz thing you just said. Great, you match the curve, but you say yourself that it doesnt sound quite right, so what is the use of that? Do you hope that someone who will listen to the recording will put the thing into an analiser and look for the eq curve?

The information that you need to learn is not the eq curve itself. You can write it down anywhere, or make a preset with it, doesnt matter. What you need to learn is how it changes what you hear by trying it out on many different situations. Simple trial and error. And there is no way to write this down in a book.

Sure, I can tell you: 5 Khz is the presence range, boosting or cutting will make the sound sorce seem to be near of far. It can be used to bring something out in the mix while keeping the overall volume level. But it will only be usefull when you actually tamper with it, and become familiar on how it changes the sound, so that when you listen to something that lacks or has too much it, you know right away what to do.

BTW: If cutting it on this range send the sound source far away, like hiding it from you, why do you think Van Halen uses it like this? The answer is quite "Van Halenish" :P
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:01 PM   #2107
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There is one singular difference when it comes to sound engineering: Your main source of information is not visual, its sound. If you keep up this approach of using a certain cut at a precise frequency, trying to measure stuff to match results, etc, the tool will work against you.

You see(lol), when Yep tell us to use our ears, he doesnt mean to only listen for things that sound bad and then try to fix it somehow. You need to hear and understand what is wrong, what it lacks and what it has too much and then use the right tool to get it like you want it. The things that you cant detect and fix like this, are, for now, out of your ability to do.

Lets say that you want to paint a canvas. You did your masterpiece, but there is something wrong with it. It doesnt look like you think it should. You believe that the problem is on the color used to paint the water, somehow it doesnt look right. You cant hope to fix the problem using a photometer or trying to decompose the spectral components of the colors. Maybe there is a brush technique that can do it, or another color that needs to be blended in some parts... Looking at wikipaedia and trying to do what another painter did to fix his river may or may not work, since chances are that his river was on a completely different scene and thus required different colors to make it look good.

You will only be able to decide with precision when your vision can see the problem, compare it to the mental projection of what you want and conclude what kind of interference will do it.

When it comes to audio, its just the same, but instead of our eyes, we use our ears.

Do you believe that the painter can learn how to do this just by reading books? Of course, information on colors and perspective will help the learning curve, a LOT. But what he needs to learn is not theoretical info, he needs to develop his vision. He will do it by painting in different ways, mixing colors, analising other painters works, always using his eyes.

Humans do not use hearing as the main source of sensorial information. We use our eyes. We tend to look into analyser tools, spectrographs, osciloscopes and presets. Thats why the simple rule Yep proposes of using the ear is not as simple as it looks.

It simply requires trainning. For exemple: The 5.2khz thing you just said. Great, you match the curve, but you say yourself that it doesnt sound quite right, so what is the use of that? Do you hope that someone who will listen to the recording will put the thing into an analiser and look for the eq curve?

The information that you need to learn is not the eq curve itself. You can write it down anywhere, or make a preset with it, doesnt matter. What you need to learn is how it changes what you hear by trying it out on many different situations. Simple trial and error. And there is no way to write this down in a book.

Sure, I can tell you: 5 Khz is the presence range, boosting or cutting will make the sound sorce seem to be near of far. It can be used to bring something out in the mix while keeping the overall volume level. But it will only be usefull when you actually tamper with it, and become familiar on how it changes the sound, so that when you listen to something that lacks or has too much it, you know right away what to do.

BTW: If cutting it on this range send the sound source far away, like hiding it from you, why do you think Van Halen uses it like this? The answer is quite "Van Halenish" :P
Hi Shoyoninja, I'd simply argue that my analytical tooling doesn't have sufficient resolution to tell me the full story. If you can precisely define every charactaristic of a paint or a sound and then reconstruct to those parms, the results have to be identical.

Seems artists in particular like to reject the idea of "recipe" or "formula"... yet they are everywhere. Consider cooking, right? Loads of recipies out there that get reasonably close. Same for painting really. There's all kinds of techniques, paint formulas, projections, and so on. Even moreso in engineering.

If you can't reproduce results, it simply means you haven't figured out the formula accurately enough yet.

Would you accept such variation in production goods like cars, etc.? How about drug formulations? Or say explosives composition or other things with high risk. Of course not.

Geez, it's almost the definition of professionalism or production grade output of anything that the formulas are known and executed well enough to have consistent results.

Of course that's in the direction of creating from scratch. Trying to reverse engineer anything can be a little tougher, for the reason we are discussing. Accurate enough analytical tooling may not be available.

As an aside, here's an interesting "Rig Review" of Billy Gibbons live rig. (Granted that's not recording.) At time 08:43 you see that he's using a fancy equalizer to make a Tele sound like a Les Paul as much as is possible... now Billy has the fingers, if it was only about that, he'd not need that equalizer. The guitar tech states... "The secret its... we take a G-chord from Pearly Gates... and make all the other guitars have that same EQ curve on a G-chord... we correct it with this equalizer..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6DrxfrbbF8

In any event, I do hear where you are coming from. Since the reverse engineering tooling isn't there yet(probably why amps sims aren't perfect yet, perhaps) one must use one's built in tooling (ears) and do best one can.

However, that doesn't mean that the industry doesn't or shouldn't have "formulas" or recipes. In fact it's full of them. 4/4 is a formula. A major scale is a formula and so on.

As to the final EQ curve of Eruption... who knows why the final curve is that... it may have been Donn Landee, right? Ed wasn't the only one who worked on that recording.

In this one at 03:27, Satriani says outright... "You can't play the song without this device..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaO0y...feature=relmfu

This is part of my whole arguement. My experiece tells me that most combinations of equipment don't sound in the room like famous recordings. Some do on occasion, but rarely. Therefore the difference would seem to lie in what the producer/engineer did afterwards. Clearly moreso in some genres that others. I'd say it had *alot* to do with the high period of pop rock, say starting with the Beatles (or even Sam Phillips and slap back echo) and peaking around U2-ish, time wise.

Bottom line would seem to be, it ain't a science yet. But I'd argue those who are closest to it do have techniques they repeatedly use.

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Old 11-24-2011, 10:06 PM   #2108
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Consider cooking, right? Loads of recipies out there that get reasonably close. Same for painting really. There's all kinds of techniques, paint formulas, projections, and so on. Even moreso in engineering.
yes, but there are followers of recipes and inventors of recipes. and if you always follow the same recipe, you always make the same meal.

me, as an artist, i try to make as much variety as possible. there's some similar things i like as well. but i like to do as much different as possible.

for me, i can see how trends are recognized, when you want to achieve x, do y. and i could see how you could notice that a cut at some frequency is often useful in certain cases.

but ya, on the other side of the coin, is that there are different cases and different situations, and every tune is slightly different.

so, you don't mix with your eyes, you need your ears, but the equipment is there and the visual aid is there, because the eye is a useful tool as well since when your ear recognizes a situation, or even if you have the foreknowledge that it will, your eye will help you get in the neighbourhood of what you want, and your ear takes you the rest of the way.

but me personally i never know the specific hz cause i never pay attention. i just know the visual neighbourhoods.

but i think that going visual is an indication that one has learn his tool well.

if i hear something, and i know, ok, i want x ratio and y attack, with z compressor, this means you know what your thing sounds like and you know numbers wise how to get it there. this means you know your tool. but the ear needs to be the final judge of course.

if not, we could have mixing software that would make mixes for us, but that can't happen. because that wouldn't be art. in order for it to be art there needs to be a mind that hears and decides a result. so following a recipe is not art. writing the recipe is. and knowing what peas and carrots taste like, and how blending them together will taste, and knowing when you want that taste, that's art. and in mixing that's knowing what a given effect will sound like with given settings, and then fine tuning to taste.

personally i'm still not fully at that stage, where i know all my stuff perfectly well, but i'm getting there.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:59 PM   #2109
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I found this thread a few months ago and have finally reached the end of it. It has been immensely useful to me. I mostly make my own music in an indie band but apart from that i produce other artists as well. And a bizarre chain of events got me into live sound too. Although live sound is a totally different scenario from a recording environment I've managed to apply a lot of what i learnt here during live sessions and they work exceedingly well.

What i enjoy most of all is of course making my own music and producing it. I Live in Bangalore, India and hiring a studio here is expensive and while there are good studios here there are NO producers or engineers who have any experience recording a band . And no i'm not kidding about that not even ONE and the music scene for that kinda stuff is really small and although i've only been doing this for 4 years i already know almost everyone in the scene its really THAT small .

As a result i'm going to have to do all the recording for our next album myself . We did the first one at home and we've made some money since and would like to record the next one in a studio but the problem is that i have very little experience recording live drums and whatever live drums i've recorded has mostly ended up sounding like ass despite the fact that i've had excellent drummers and fairly decent kits all times.

I specifically need some advise on tuning the drum kit to the song . I've tried this with plugins like addictive drums and have realized that just making adjustments to the pitch of the drums can get them to sit really well in a track without having to reach for an eq .

I do not over analyse this process
i just do it by ear .

However i'm not sure how i would achieve this under actual studio conditions . Assuming there's a nice kit that's set up well and my drummer has his parts down. How would i tune the kit to better fit the song ? Could i record the drum kit and then use something like reapitch to find a nice pitch for the kick drum and then later physically adjust the kit to that ? Or is there a way i can determine that tuning the kit differently is in fact required to begin with. I have even found that certain cymbals can be problematic not in terms of timbre but simply because they resonate at frequencies that i find are unsuitable for a given song . I experience this especially with the ride cymbal my drummer uses it just doesn't fit into ANY song . I just whacked it with a drum stick one day and listened to the sustain and i heard a C# and the tritone or G above it . Its a really cheap Planet Z ride but that's just plain weird . What can you really do in such situation when you don't have a large collection of cymbals or drums to choose from ?

I'd love to just sit in a studio for months and experiment but unfortunately i'm just not in a position to do that. Please help .

it looks like this thread is pretty much finished but i really hope i can get some answers to this!

But either way its been a FANTASTIC read ! Thank you YEP , Smurf and everyone else who's contributed to this thread . Recording has just gotten way more fun over the past few months thanks to all I've read here .
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:14 PM   #2110
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Default The reason recordings sound....

less "well" (you read, "like ass") than they could, is usually nothing more than:

1. Lack of patience
2. Lack of good old, constant trial, error and experimentation with whatever tools are at hand.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:34 AM   #2111
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Hi Shoyoninja, I'd simply argue that my analytical tooling doesn't have sufficient resolution to tell me the full story. If you can precisely define every charactaristic of a paint or a sound and then reconstruct to those parms, the results have to be identical.
I just told you they dont have the info you need, and also told you that the only thing that can do such task is the human hearing.

Its not about resolution, its about pattern recognition and psychoacoustics.

Reverse engineering this process is the first step into strong AI. What we have now isnt even close to the human perception capabilities.

You can follow a recipe if you have the all the ingredients. But what to do when one of them is not avaiable or is somewhat different? You have to adapt, and thats when a chief will taste it to know what to do next. His perception will be the tool, doing a chemical analysis of the stew will not let him know if it tastes as he planned.

In music, the human factor comes as an ingredient all the time. And thats what the "its on the fingers" thing means.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:21 AM   #2112
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First off, your very welcome rahul42 & hiphophippy! All I did was create an archive of the thread, all the hard work goes to yep & all the other pros on here...

shoyoninja, I feel that your wasting your time here IMHO...it is this type of posting by flmason that killed this thread....no matter what ya say he will argue from the opposite direction...
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:15 PM   #2113
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First off, your very welcome rahul42 & hiphophippy! All I did was create an archive of the thread, all the hard work goes to yep & all the other pros on here...

shoyoninja, I feel that your wasting your time here IMHO...it is this type of posting by flmason that killed this thread....no matter what ya say he will argue from the opposite direction...
that's ok, anyone that behaves in such a manner can easily be twisted into arguing against themselves. once you have done that, and shown it to them, then they usually see they may have made an error.

discussions can almost always lead to increased wisdom, even if some involved are in it only for the argument factor.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:32 PM   #2114
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shoyoninja, I feel that your wasting your time here IMHO...it is this type of posting by flmason that killed this thread....no matter what ya say he will argue from the opposite direction...
You are probably right. But maybe this can prevent others from entering the self-defeating search for secrets syndrome. :P
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:45 AM   #2115
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I keep checking back on this thread every few weeks or so, and keep feeling like it should be locked and un-stickied.

I don't think there has been any useful information for the past 5 pages, maybe ten, and usable content was thinning out rapidly long before that. It's become a picayune debate over the bottomless philosophy of guitar-tone. Nobody is even pretending to discuss anything like "how-to" anymore. The occasionally insightful posts are increasingly abstract things that deserve their own threads. The overwhelming majority of recent posts are a waste of time to even read through.

Nobody on the internet ever concedes a point. They either keep arguing or stop posting. I don't think anyone in the history of internet ever admitted they were wrong, they just move the goalposts or nit-pick at details or accuse each other of personal shortcomings or whatever. IRL, you have to do things, or people just stop listening to you. On the internet, you can always have the top post and get a response just by finding something wrong with the previous one.

This was a good thread for a while. People asked good questions, contributed good insights and useful info, and I am proud to have started the discussion and to have had some part in keeping it going. But the last half of it is really just an uninformative, dead-horse-beating, low-level internet-feud. It's like the same five people posting ever-more wordy and picayune re-statements of the same un-resolvable arguments. The best that can said for it is that people haven't started calling each other "ampfags" nor posting racist pictures with lolcats meme-writing.

This was never a thread about how to make a starter violin sound like a Stradivarius, nor about how to make a garage-sale piano sound like a Steinway, nor about how to make an untrained singer with a reedy voice sound like an operatic mezzo-soprano.

There are topics that have been discussed and debated for thousands of years and that will likely be debated for a thousand more. And some of them are interesting and important.

But in the meantime, somebody has to grow the cotton that makes our underpants, and somebody has to dig up the stuff that makes our computers and iphones, and somebody has to harvest and refine the rubber that makes our tires, and somebody has to record the music that people are actually making. That's what this thread was originally about, how to make better recordings.
Hi Yep,
Havent been here for months, only because i've been busy trying to put your great work to good use. i must have read through this thread 4 or five times. Then I went out and got a pad of paper and never looked back. I'm very excited because, as I get ready to mix this song I spent so much time on, I am finally saying it out loud....finished is better than perfect. It's late now, but I can't wait to go back and read the stuff you wrote about mixing...and put that to use. I'm grateful for all your help. Thank you.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:14 AM   #2116
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You can go here...

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...postcount=2093

and grab the PDF's I made that cover all of yep's posts over the last 3 years, with only a few others tossed in when he is answering a specific question...might save some writing...
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #2117
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thank you very much
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:20 AM   #2118
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Your Very Welcome grampazero!
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:30 PM   #2119
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...I specifically need some advise on tuning the drum kit to the song . I've tried this with plugins like addictive drums and have realized that just making adjustments to the pitch of the drums can get them to sit really well in a track without having to reach for an eq .

I do not over analyse this process
i just do it by ear .

However i'm not sure how i would achieve this under actual studio conditions . Assuming there's a nice kit that's set up well and my drummer has his parts down. How would i tune the kit to better fit the song ?...
Everything you said/asked but that I truncated is 100% relevant, I just wanted to narrow it down to the core question.

First off, I agree 100% with "doing it by ear". Drums and pitch are funny things.

It's not always possible to precisely "tune" a drum to a specific note. The shell of a drum has at least two intrinsic "notes" (in the sense of resonant frequencies): the length of the "tube", and the diameter of the "circle". Plus the resonance of the wood and the variable pitch of the drum head. So you can tune the head(s) up or down, but there's only so much you can do with the diameter and construction of the drum. (note that there are similar issues with piano/guitar/violin designs, but the sustained and isolated resonance of string tends to overpower the resonance of the "box", but it's part of why some guitars or pianos seem to sound better in particular keys or registers).

Let's address this backwards:

Assume you have a great drum kit, with well-matched kit pieces (so the "notes" of the drums complement each other even just as pure tubes of wood). Now you "tune" the drum heads not to match any particular key, note, or song, but just to sound good with the intrinsic resonance of the drum (like finding the best-sounding note on a particular guitar). Now, that is something that you can re-tune digitally to pretty good effect, within reason, just slide the pitch around while playing the bassline and find something that seems to complement it. The trick is that you have to re-tune all your room mics and other kit pieces and so on to match (like BFD etc), or it will sound weird. This not something that I would do with a "tuner", just something to slide around until it sounds good, trying to keep the drums as close to center as possible. (Cymbals are a whole nother story).

Now, tuning "real" drums is the same deal, except more work. You get the drums sounding about as good as they can, and then pitch them up or down a bit until they "settle in" to the bass/rhythm parts. It's not so much a matter of tuning them to precise "notes", but getting them to not sound boingy or weird, just vaguely aligned with intervals that have some connection to the key of the song, or whatever. This is art, not science. Digital tuners are basically useless and as likely to steer you wrong as right. Think of drum-tuning more as an eq than a tuning peg.

Cymbals are a whole nother thing. The only real "tuning" on cymbals is playing technique (or using a different cymbal or digital pitch-manipulation).
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #2120
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I've made the experience that, if drummers are able to tune their kit "right" (whatever that may be) by long years of studying the genre or just by intuition, it's way more easy to get the right sound tracked down. Unless the musical style demands it, all bending of the sound with technical devices is only a crook and should be used as sparingly as possible, IMO.


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