Old 11-12-2010, 10:07 AM   #41
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I'm gonna take a left turn a little here for a minute. Seems so far we're talking about guitar/bass and using plug-in amp sims and cabinet impulses loaded on the track FX in the DAW to process the dry, un-amped guitar signal. This is great and most flexible, but not absolutely necessary. Just wanted to clarify this in case some beginners are getting confused. All this can be done with external software (and I'd bet it's more common). I'll mention Podfarm because that's what I use for the most part but there are others. In Podfarm, you don't have to load cabinet IRs and preamps, etc in the DAW. It's all done in a straightforward (and almost transparent) way in Podfarm. Of course you can change amps, amp settings, cabinets, mics, mic placements in Podfarm to get your own sound (and you should because the presets are just starting points) but to me it's easier for the beginner.

Most of us can make sense of all this already but again, I just put this here for that someone just starting out.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:53 PM   #42
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Default High Pass Filtering and EQ example

Attached is an image from ReaEQ I put on a very distorted Jbass track. Shows high pass filter, high boost and some notches to give other sounds some space in this case.

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Old 11-12-2010, 08:19 PM   #43
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Default The Metal & Hard Rock Production Thread Reply to Thread

I would also recommend using free Voxengo SPAN (www.voxengo.com) and Voxengo Boogex. Span is a realtime spectrum analyser that you can see the frequency balance of your stuff. You can also look at others stereo reference tracks as well..... using reference tracks is some thing SOS magazine always mentions.... a very market driven approach.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Just wanted to clarify this in case some beginners are getting confused. All this can be done with external software (and I'd bet it's more common). I'll mention Podfarm because that's what I use for the most part but there are others.
Hi shemp. Your post helped clarify something for me. I'm not new to recording guitars direct (I'm an evangelist for direct recordmaking) but I've had no experience at all using IRs directly, that is, at the "load the file yourself into the plugin" level. So all the initial talk of IRs made me wonder a bit.

I also use POD Farm, which I find gives me good control and quality sound. I'm "activating" POD farm through my X3, so the plugin inherits all of X3's super powers.

I've never really played with its cabinet or mic sim settings, though I tweak like a fiend elsewhere. Question: When I change a cabinet setting, am I in effect changing the "IR" model that's being crunched?

If that's a lot to explain, that's ok, I'm curious, but I don't feel a burning need to know! (Or wanna take the thread off track.)

Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:01 AM   #45
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Default A philosophical question?

I have a question that I suspect might be more philosophical than technical:

What counts as direct? How is it actually defined?

I've always understood "direct" to mean "no mic, no amp, no air" as in the "direct injection" of the electric instrument into the recording path.

So the two classic options are to go direct or not go direct.

But the more I use modeling (and it's ALL I use), the more I see that there are degrees of "direct."

I could plug my guitar directly into my audio interface. But instead I first plug it into my hardware POD and record that. Is that less direct? I suppose it is.

But now, when I do this, I usually use a vanilla patch on the hardware POD and get the actual "sound" through a plugin (usually POD farm.)

But I'll occasionally end up dialing in some hopefully awesome sound "directly" on the POD bean, and recording that. Is that even LESS direct?

The way I see it, the choice (or issue or debate) is no longer between non-direct (= "real" amp) or direct (= pseudo fake imitation crap for wusses and girls), but between different degrees of "direct," chosen based on... the desired end result (which is of course a whole other can of worms.)

I think it's blinkered thinking to see direct recording as a compromised approach taken only when necessary (which always comes down to $$$.) And ya clearly, going direct CAN be that. (And that's good, cos it's better to make music than not to.) But, sorry, no.

Direct recording offers a different sound pallet, and a different way to work with and get your hands on "stringed tonality." (I think I just made that phrase up. I like it.) I call that a good thing.

Recording direct needs to be seen as having a relationship to "electric guitar" comparable to (not exactly!) what "electric guitar" had to "acoustic guitar."

Anyway, rock on... directly.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:30 AM   #46
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Another trick is to use a saturation plugin on your guitar tracks. I actually use Ferric all the time on my guitar tracks. Now, I realize that it sounds kind of stupid to say “add something inorganic to your already inorganic track to make is sound more organic”. That's like saying "2+2 = Chicken", but to me it really does work well. Saturation really helps to smooth out the top end of your guitars and add a fullness that you can't otherwise get from a modeling plugin. Now, you may be saying to yourself “hey, he said he doesn't use compression, that lying a-hole!”. Yes, saturation compresses the signal further, but to me, it's a tone thing, not a dynamics thing. Make sense? Definitely not for everyone, but something to experiment with if you're using an amp modeler.
I don't think it sounds stupid at all. What happens when you turn up a guitar amp? The speakers start to distort as well. When you are using speaker impulses this usually isn't simulated (ok, some ampsims do this, but most/many don't) and adding saturation would in fact create a similar effect.

And about the other guy who suggested putting a saturator before the amp sim as well, this is no different than putting an overdrive pedal at very low distortion (tube screamer anyone?) in front of your real amp.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:15 AM   #47
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Recording direct needs to be seen as having a relationship to "electric guitar" comparable to (not exactly!) what "electric guitar" had to "acoustic guitar."
The analogy I like more though is between direct and MIDI, where MIDI data is to a VSTi what direct-track gtr is to its processing chain. Obviously, that analogy falls apart simply bec MIDI data literally has no sound of its own, while direct always has at least the raw instrument out. That would be the naked "stringed tonality" of the instrument, shaped by nothing but its pickups and controls. That is the "raw data" of digital or electronic guitar. It's nice to capture that. And then bend it to your own evil ends.

Extending the analogy to MIDI a little further (to the breaking point?), every audio item in a track is like a self-triggering "sample" or sound generator, timestamped to the bpm, vs. a midi event telling a separate noise source what to do NOW. (That's true of non-direct audio as well, but working in a direct framework somehow makes this more explicit and creatively open-ended.)

(And btw I feel like Reaper is way friendlier to this kind of flow than the DAW from whence I deserted.)
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:40 AM   #48
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Question: When I change a cabinet setting, am I in effect changing the "IR" model that's being crunched?
Well, yes and no. If you're doing something like changing the mic position (say, from off axis to on axis) then yes, the IR itself is changing to a different IR. But when adjusting the mic "distance" in PODFarm... all that is, is basically a sort of EQ. So the IR itself isn't altered but an EQ curve of some sort (and/or possibly reverb) is being applied to give it the effect of distance.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:17 AM   #49
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Default Impedance Curve IR

One "trick" is to add an additional IR before the actual cabinet IR, mimicking the impedance curve of a speaker:

Quote:
Originally Posted by redwirez"
But, wait there's more! In the paid version, we've added IRs of the G12M's impedance curve at varying degrees of prominince. These can be used to capture the effect of a tube amp interacting with the speaker. In general, tube amps have a higher output impedance than solid-state amps. As a result the speaker's frequency response is shaped to varying degrees by it's own impedance curve. All of our cabs will be getting this update in the near future.
http://www.redwirez.com/free1960g12m25s.jsp?ref=home
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:10 AM   #50
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What counts as direct? How is it actually defined?
Not sure of the actual and proper definition but I use the term direct in relation to the use of a "direct box". ie. plugging the instrument directly into the sound board (or recording interface in this case) either directly or thru an impedence matcher or maybe even a preamp. Either way, its more or less un-amplified and unprocessed. Then we can use this signal to feed into an amp sim VST and pretty much have unlimited sound options. Maybe a better definition for this is "dry".

Yeah, plugging into podfarm and running it thru an amp sim/speaker cabinet impulse and then plugging into the recording interface is also physically direct (as in there is no mic in the path) but podfarm is simulating the mic and amp so I usually don't call this direct.

I'm sure there are other opinions though


pattonfreak1 answered the cabinet impulse question but in podfarm, it's transparent to the user. You don't actually select and load a new ID, you just click on a new cabinet or a different mic, and voila!
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #51
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One "trick" is to add an additional IR before the actual cabinet IR, mimicking the impedance curve of a speaker:



http://www.redwirez.com/free1960g12m25s.jsp?ref=home
Really...that's interesting. Uma hafta give it a try.
Thx carbon.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:00 AM   #52
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I've been adding an extra IR lately too, though *after* the main cabinet. The idea in my head is that it's simulating (badly, I know) a bit of a room sound. For instance, adding Kefir and setting the "Blend" knob to 10-15% really deepens the sound. Some EQ is usually needed to keep the bass down and put some of the mids back in, but I'm pretty happy with the sound it gives. Be careful about blending in too much, though - I started out in the 30-40% range and heard some complaints that my guitars sounded like they were being played through a metal pipe.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #53
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Good work Chris - can I contribute with a few questions to get the mixing minds churning?

- does dynamic range exist in metal?
One of the most influential metal/hardcore/punk albums of all time used dynamics extremely to create power. Check out Dayglo Abortions - Stupid Songs. Turn it up enough to hear the "1 2 3 4" at the beginning and feel what dynamics can mean and how much we lose with bricked albums

Quote:
- can your kick drum sound like something other than the lid of a 44gallon drum?
It depends, on a lot of double kick stuff the kick drum tone is a lot more mid and high and a lot less bass than you would suspect. The kick and Fight- War of Words doesn't resonate at all, neither do the toms, but those drums sound HUGE in context

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- does metal come in any colour other than black?
You need to get out more

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- are you allowed to use a splash cymbal in metal?
see above

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- are you allowed play metal on concert pitch instruments?
It happens, Deep Purple and the Scorpions did some amazing stuff in this vein

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- are you allowed to sing anywhere between soprano and sub-baritone in metal?
see Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Sacred Reich

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- how fast is it possible to play?
I dont know but the hokey japanamation varispeed stuff lately is getting pretty hokey
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:24 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Chris_P_Critter View Post
Another trick is to use a saturation plugin on your guitar tracks. I actually use Ferric all the time on my guitar tracks. Now, I realize that it sounds kind of stupid to say “add something inorganic to your already inorganic track to make is sound more organic”. That's like saying "2+2 = Chicken", but to me it really does work well. Saturation really helps to smooth out the top end of your guitars and add a fullness that you can't otherwise get from a modeling plugin. Now, you may be saying to yourself “hey, he said he doesn't use compression, that lying a-hole!”. Yes, saturation compresses the signal further, but to me, it's a tone thing, not a dynamics thing. Make sense? Definitely not for everyone, but something to experiment with if you're using an amp modeler.
I tried this today (using Liteon/nonlinear) and I really added some fullness to my tone. Great tip.

I've read folks saying that they like to put a compressor before the amp sim, then the saturation after. If you were to do that, what would be a recommended starting point for settings?
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:17 PM   #55
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This how I hear and mix metal. My son Michael's metal band Discidium. Michael Buvoltz on lead guitar and vocals. If you want to ask me specifics on how I do it, I will have to give advice from a Logic Pro reference point since up until this point in time, all my metal recordings have been done with it. I started remixing in Reaper but have not used it to record metal yet. Most techniques are common to all recording software though. Discidium sounds very much like this recording live so it really isn't hard to dial them in. One thing done on this almost all live recording was to put heavy blankets over the half stacks to eliminate bleed on the mics. Bass was a direct line in.

Steve

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Old 11-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #56
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This thread needed a bump.


Tip for extreme sounds:

- when the lead guitar is playing a single note lead break add delays at 4ms, 7.5ms, 12ms, 15ms etc etc. Then add cavernous reverb swallowing up the fading delays. The guitarist will love you for it.

:-)
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:20 PM   #57
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Hi. I'd be interested in hearing what others are actually tracking as their 'direct' signal, pre all processing.

I was just playing with a part for a new song, still in early development. Recorded direct (as always), it's a droney part for a post-bridge section that leads, first time around, into a sung verse, and second time around (which lasts twice as long), into some kind of solo/no vox section over the same vrs chords.

I thought I'd toss this out as one example of direct. So here's a rpp that contains a loop of that section, just those tracks.

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/437737/marah-loop.rar

Recorded through a very vanilla POD patch with just a bit of compression (mostly for level; the part is not very dynamic), through (IIRC) the active neck pickup on my guitar. (Not that I'm a real guitarist... I only pretend to be....)

The main track has two lanes of audio, each different, that could end up being distributed to different tracks, but haven't yet been, just because I haven't bothered, and it's still early.) This track is muted to the master, with no processing of its own. It then sends to two other tracks sans items of their own, each with its own fx chain -- all freebie and Reaper plugs. (The non-Reaper plugs were found via a link to chains in Tedwood's sig -- thanks Tedwood, the LePou plugins were a nice discovery!)

Anyone else care to share some examples of their direct wavs?
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #58
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One "trick" is to add an additional IR before the actual cabinet IR, mimicking the impedance curve of a speaker:



http://www.redwirez.com/free1960g12m25s.jsp?ref=home
I'm not sure I understand correctly...

So is it like guitar->head->cab loader (10/15% wet)->cab loader (100% wet)?

Do you use the same IR in both the loaders?
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:05 AM   #59
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I'm not sure I understand correctly...

So is it like guitar->head->cab loader (10/15% wet)->cab loader (100% wet)?

Do you use the same IR in both the loaders?
No. As mentioned in the link, redwire offers separate impulses, corresponding to the effect of the speaker impedance curve. This will be different from the speakers frequency response.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:09 AM   #60
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Hi. I'd be interested in hearing what others are actually tracking as their 'direct' signal, pre all processing.....
I thought I'd toss this out as one example of direct. So here's a rpp that contains a loop of that section, just those tracks.

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/437737/marah-loop.rar

Recorded through a very vanilla POD patch with just a bit of compression (mostly for level; the part is not very dynamic), through (IIRC) the active neck pickup on my guitar. ......

Anyone else care to share some examples of their direct wavs?
That's not a bad idea. I'm certainly not used to hearing my "direct" signal since I've always played through an amp before. This would be helpful in getting a sense of the "before and after" of successful mixes. Having said that - I'm at work so I can't contribute at the moment!
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:04 PM   #61
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I am going to bump this - glad that others are posting here as well.

While I am certain that some recorded DI's (i.e. guitar -> interface -> Reaper) sound better than others, I know for a fact that the DI's I can capture with my gear are very weak in comparison - they are what they are, and there is really nothing I can do about it, short of spending hundreds of dollars on better gear.

This is where the "it is what it is" factor comes into play - this is one area where you really are limited by your gear in my opion. My beat to death Schecter C1 Elite with noisy, stock Seymour Duncan pickups, plus my Line 6 UX1 isn't going to capture any where near the quality of DI that would be considered "great", but - it's definitely passable to me. That said, as long as I can get a tone I'm happy with, I am not that concerned about it.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:09 PM   #62
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Here's a super-important tip that I promptly forget every month or two - NEW FUCKING STRINGS. I've regularly spent hours trying to get my guitars to sound tighter and clearer only to finally remember that I'm using six month old strings.

At one point I made myself a quick DI clip with a brand new set just to be able to compare if I felt something about my tone wasn't working... damned if I can remember where I saved it though.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:26 PM   #63
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Here's a super-important tip that I promptly forget every month or two - NEW FUCKING STRINGS. I've regularly spent hours trying to get my guitars to sound tighter and clearer only to finally remember that I'm using six month old strings.

At one point I made myself a quick DI clip with a brand new set just to be able to compare if I felt something about my tone wasn't working... damned if I can remember where I saved it though.
6 MONTHS MAN!!!!

Were you hoping that they'd change themselves?!?
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #64
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My apologies if this isn't the appropriate place to post this. I'll gladly re-post in a new thread if need be. A band down the street from me has asked me to mix one of their songs so they can solicit a lead vocalist. Lyrics have been written but the band has agreed that none of the 4 current members are the lead singer they are looking for. If they like my mix I could make some money so naturally I want them to like it a lot. Any advice anyone could provide me would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a mix of the raw tracks as they gave them to me...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Raw.mp3

Here is the current mix (brickwalled, as requested by the band)...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Mix%201.3.mp3

Please point out any glaring flaws and point me in the right direction!
Colin_D
PS- I hope this stuff is heavy enough for the thread!
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:18 AM   #65
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My apologies if this isn't the appropriate place to post this. I'll gladly re-post in a new thread if need be. A band down the street from me has asked me to mix one of their songs so they can solicit a lead vocalist. Lyrics have been written but the band has agreed that none of the 4 current members are the lead singer they are looking for. If they like my mix I could make some money so naturally I want them to like it a lot. Any advice anyone could provide me would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a mix of the raw tracks as they gave them to me...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Raw.mp3

Here is the current mix (brickwalled, as requested by the band)...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Mix%201.3.mp3

Please point out any glaring flaws and point me in the right direction!
Colin_D
PS- I hope this stuff is heavy enough for the thread!
Did a quick listen. Those raw tracks sound good!
Do I hear added reverb on the guitars in that mix version?

That's kind of a no-no. It's often not used on distorted rhythm guitars in metal so as to keep the guitars more defined and "in your face".

That said, I think Devin Townsend uses quite a bit of verb on rhythms and yet it sounds great. Don't know many others who do that in modern metal.

I'd keep the rhythm guitars dry. And I think the bass is a bit too much up front... I'd turn it down a bit.

Just my 2c. I'm sure the more experienced people can give more/better/different feedback.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:24 AM   #66
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the thing i've always hated about using amp simulation software is the amount of time spent dicking around with different heads, cabs and mics and then halfway through mixing it i'd want to change it again. I'm fortunate enough to be able to mic up a real amp and once i've recorded the tracks i know there's no going back, which is how i prefer it. on occasion if i'm short on time or the situation won't allow i'll record solo's with amp sims but i limit myself to 5 minutes when dialing in the tone, once 5 minutes is up whatever I have is what i go with. after a while i've found the sound i prefer which is an orange and a vox (usually called citrus and classic 30 or something like that) panned left and right with a tad of stereo delay on it. i use pod farm and/or guitar rig.

on another note metronomes are you friend. pick up a cheap one at the local music store and practice pretty well everything to it. start out slow and gradually increase the speed. this great jazz player showed me his practice regimen and this is what he did.

set metronome tempo to 40 bpm, play one note every 2 beats. the purpose behind the long pause is to pay attention to what your body is doing physically. remain relaxed at all times and remember to breath! relaxing is very important because when you stiffen up you compromise speed. then what he would do is play on different beats so instead of playing on the 1st beat play on the 3rd beat etc. one other thing he did was learn his scales every possible way, on a piano you can play either right or left on a guitar you can play across the neck (from 6th to 1st string) ascending or descending and up and down the neck (towards the nut or towards the bridge) knowing a scale is good but knowing how to play it every way is very very powerful.

also when practicing set a schedule for what you want to achieve in each practice session. work in the key of G this lesson C# minor the next and Abbb the next. (if you do come across a song in the key of Abbb avert your eyes and back away slowly!) and take breaks every 15 minutes. not many people can focus for hours at a time so take a break every now and then and come back with a clear head and renewed focus.

Chris P Critter: some good theory books to start with would be the royal conservatory or mark sarnecki books or possilby the canadian conservatory books which is what i started with and for a beginner it's very well laid out and easy to understand, it got me into college so it must have taught me well enough! I guess i'd have the equivalent of a grade 4 in theory now so you can direct your theory questions my way and i'll try and help out


as far as scales for metal I usually stick with major and minor pentatonic as well as a bit of a cocktail of phrygian and dorian. my solo's are also pretty bluesy which seems to go well with the heavy riffage

and another thing to think about when writing songs is slow the fuck down! i used to think i had to play everything at 200bpm and the most eye opening experience for me was to have a far more experienced player, albeit a non metal player, tell me to slow the tempo down. i tried it and it was even heavier and a million times easier to play. heaving slow parts is also a great way to create impact. when a fast part comes in right after a slow part it seems way faster by comparison and has a greater impact on the audience.

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Old 11-18-2010, 04:47 AM   #67
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Here is a mix of the raw tracks as they gave them to me...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Raw.mp3

Here is the current mix (brickwalled, as requested by the band)...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Mix%201.3.mp3

How interesting to hear those two mixes. The raw tracks sound good and also nicely workable, production-ready. Though I have no idea how genre-correct they are.

Maybe this is a dumb question: How were those guitars recorded?

Also, are you mixing these to a reference vocal?
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:57 AM   #68
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6 MONTHS MAN!!!!

Were you hoping that they'd change themselves?!?
I usually wait so long that they DO change themselves.

But I changed mine about a month ago. It was nice.

You don't really notice it slipping away.

(I get attached to a set of strings, like I wrote this or that song on them. I change them, but keep them around in coiled sets. I find them from time to time. I'll do something with them one day. Like maybe auction them off on eBay! )

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:46 AM   #69
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6 MONTHS MAN!!!!

Were you hoping that they'd change themselves?!?
I had my last set of bass strings on my bass for.. uhm... 2 years? I don't like the "new string" sound, 2 weeks old is better imo, and also a little more stable tuning. But I'll admit the 2 years were a bit long.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:42 AM   #70
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Here's a super-important tip that I promptly forget every month or two - NEW FUCKING STRINGS. I've regularly spent hours trying to get my guitars to sound tighter and clearer only to finally remember that I'm using six month old strings.

At one point I made myself a quick DI clip with a brand new set just to be able to compare if I felt something about my tone wasn't working... damned if I can remember where I saved it though.
+1. New strings is a must if you're going to record guitars. I usually change my strings before each song so they're fresh, but I'll play the guitar for about an hour or so to get them to settle before actually tracking, so it stays in tune better.

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the thing i've always hated about using amp simulation software is the amount of time spent dicking around with different heads, cabs and mics and then halfway through mixing it i'd want to change it again. I'm fortunate enough to be able to mic up a real amp and once i've recorded the tracks i know there's no going back, which is how i prefer it. on occasion if i'm short on time or the situation won't allow i'll record solo's with amp sims but i limit myself to 5 minutes when dialing in the tone, once 5 minutes is up whatever I have is what i go with. after a while i've found the sound i prefer which is an orange and a vox (usually called citrus and classic 30 or something like that) panned left and right with a tad of stereo delay on it. i use pod farm and/or guitar rig.

on another note metronomes are you friend. pick up a cheap one at the local music store and practice pretty well everything to it. start out slow and gradually increase the speed. this great jazz player showed me his practice regimen and this is what he did.

set metronome tempo to 40 bpm, play one note every 2 beats. the purpose behind the long pause is to pay attention to what your body is doing physically. remain relaxed at all times and remember to breath! relaxing is very important because when you stiffen up you compromise speed. then what he would do is play on different beats so instead of playing on the 1st beat play on the 3rd beat etc. one other thing he did was learn his scales every possible way, on a piano you can play either right or left on a guitar you can play across the neck (from 6th to 1st string) ascending or descending and up and down the neck (towards the nut or towards the bridge) knowing a scale is good but knowing how to play it every way is very very powerful.

also when practicing set a schedule for what you want to achieve in each practice session. work in the key of G this lesson C# minor the next and Abbb the next. (if you do come across a song in the key of Abbb avert your eyes and back away slowly!) and take breaks every 15 minutes. not many people can focus for hours at a time so take a break every now and then and come back with a clear head and renewed focus.

Chris P Critter: some good theory books to start with would be the royal conservatory or mark sarnecki books or possilby the canadian conservatory books which is what i started with and for a beginner it's very well laid out and easy to understand, it got me into college so it must have taught me well enough! I guess i'd have the equivalent of a grade 4 in theory now so you can direct your theory questions my way and i'll try and help out


as far as scales for metal I usually stick with major and minor pentatonic as well as a bit of a cocktail of phrygian and dorian. my solo's are also pretty bluesy which seems to go well with the heavy riffage

and another thing to think about when writing songs is slow the fuck down! i used to think i had to play everything at 200bpm and the most eye opening experience for me was to have a far more experienced player, albeit a non metal player, tell me to slow the tempo down. i tried it and it was even heavier and a million times easier to play. heaving slow parts is also a great way to create impact. when a fast part comes in right after a slow part it seems way faster by comparison and has a greater impact on the audience.
I've just recently started practicing again - I load up EZDrummer and play a standard rock beat at 110 to start, then gradually increase the bpms (you can actually do this in reaper if you want - just copy the midi file out for however long you want to practive, then every once in a while throw in a tempo change marker - you can even save this as a project file specifically for practice purposes).

And dude - I shall check out those books! Thanks!

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I had my last set of bass strings on my bass for.. uhm... 2 years? I don't like the "new string" sound, 2 weeks old is better imo, and also a little more stable tuning. But I'll admit the 2 years were a bit long.
I've been told that if you're in a pinch, you can take the strings off the bass and boil them in hot water for 10 minutes - this will dislodge some of the crud and give the strings a bit more life. But, I've never tried it. I usually keep bass strings on for at least 2-4 months. I like them better that way for the music I write. But then again, it depends on the style I think.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:43 AM   #71
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My apologies if this isn't the appropriate place to post this. I'll gladly re-post in a new thread if need be. A band down the street from me has asked me to mix one of their songs so they can solicit a lead vocalist. Lyrics have been written but the band has agreed that none of the 4 current members are the lead singer they are looking for. If they like my mix I could make some money so naturally I want them to like it a lot. Any advice anyone could provide me would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a mix of the raw tracks as they gave them to me...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Raw.mp3

Here is the current mix (brickwalled, as requested by the band)...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2362342/Colour%20Mix%201.3.mp3

Please point out any glaring flaws and point me in the right direction!
Colin_D
PS- I hope this stuff is heavy enough for the thread!
Cant check this out right now, but I will a little later when I can get into my mix room.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:46 AM   #72
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Did a quick listen. Those raw tracks sound good!
Do I hear added reverb on the guitars in that mix version?

That's kind of a no-no. It's often not used on distorted rhythm guitars in metal so as to keep the guitars more defined and "in your face".

That said, I think Devin Townsend uses quite a bit of verb on rhythms and yet it sounds great. Don't know many others who do that in modern metal.

I'd keep the rhythm guitars dry. And I think the bass is a bit too much up front... I'd turn it down a bit.

Just my 2c. I'm sure the more experienced people can give more/better/different feedback.
I loooooooove Devin's productions - everything is swimming in reverb and that makes the productions so smooth and warm to my ears. A good example is his song "Deadhead" (youtube it - there is a video where the whole band does a live take in the studio - pretty cool) - seriously awesome song.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:09 AM   #73
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I've been told that if you're in a pinch, you can take the strings off the bass and boil them in hot water for 10 minutes - this will dislodge some of the crud and give the strings a bit more life. But, I've never tried it. I usually keep bass strings on for at least 2-4 months. I like them better that way for the music I write. But then again, it depends on the style I think.
Methylhydrate. Fill a 2L pop bottle with it and keep a set in there & one on your bass.
Wouldn't do it for guitars tho.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #74
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Methylhydrate. Fill a 2L pop bottle with it and keep a set in there & one on your bass.
Wouldn't do it for guitars tho.
I'll have to try that. I always boiled my rotosounds when I was touring and sweating all over the bass every night. Where can I get Methylhydrate? Hardware store?

Steve
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:49 AM   #75
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While I am certain that some recorded DI's (i.e. guitar -> interface -> Reaper) sound better than others, I know for a fact that the DI's I can capture with my gear are very weak in comparison - they are what they are, and there is really nothing I can do about it, short of spending hundreds of dollars on better gear.

This is where the "it is what it is" factor comes into play - this is one area where you really are limited by your gear in my opion. My beat to death Schecter C1 Elite with noisy, stock Seymour Duncan pickups, plus my Line 6 UX1 isn't going to capture any where near the quality of DI that would be considered "great", but - it's definitely passable to me. That said, as long as I can get a tone I'm happy with, I am not that concerned about it.
Well - If I can get the punch and polish of your stuff, I'll be satisfied!

I realize I do need to get my guitar set up and some new strings, but in the meantime, I've experimented with my DI and my FX and I'm getting some sounds that make me happy. I'm running through my Powerblock with the bass turned way down, the mids turned to around 6 or 7 for body, and the highs around 7 for some sparkle. The gain is at about 4 so it has just a bit of breakup when I hit it hard. This comes in as a nice full clean sound, and makes Guitar Rig come alive a bit more. I throw on the HPLP filter and the Reaper Saturator, and it sounds pretty nice.

Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #76
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I'll have to try that. I always boiled my rotosounds when I was touring and sweating all over the bass every night. Where can I get Methylhydrate? Hardware store?

Steve
Hardware store should have it. Had a couple bass players that swore by this trick.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:48 PM   #77
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Hardware store should have it. Had a couple bass players that swore by this trick.
Thanks...Billy Sheehan tutored me on bass when I was 17 - 19 and he got me on the boiling method.

Steve
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:59 PM   #78
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I loooooooove Devin's productions - everything is swimming in reverb and that makes the productions so smooth and warm to my ears. A good example is his song "Deadhead" (youtube it - there is a video where the whole band does a live take in the studio - pretty cool) - seriously awesome song.
Holy crap, that song is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Just the kind of stuff I've been after. DT is relatively new acquaintance to me so I have a lot to catch up on. Now I know where to put my money when I happen to get some.

I still think Devin is more of an exception to the rule than a norm regarding the reverb thing. I don't know how he does it. I wish I did, though.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:08 PM   #79
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Thanks...Billy Sheehan tutored me on bass when I was 17 - 19 and he got me on the boiling method.

Steve
I saw Billy on the Eat em and Smile tour with David Lee Roth (and Steve Vai )...amazing.

Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand...sorry Chris.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:21 PM   #80
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How interesting to hear those two mixes. The raw tracks sound good and also nicely workable, production-ready. Though I have no idea how genre-correct they are.

Maybe this is a dumb question: How were those guitars recorded?

Also, are you mixing these to a reference vocal?
Marah- All the guitars were miked cabs. Sepcifically a tele tuned to DADGAD played through an Orange Rocker 30 combo, and a Les Paul in drop D through a Marshall. As for vocals, they were too embarassed to let me hear anything they had tracked so I had nothing to work with. I have told them that adding vocals will definitely change things.
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