Old 07-19-2019, 09:23 PM   #1
RDBOIS
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Default Thinking of Compiling my songs into an album -- How to?

Hello friends

I've been busy learning REAPER (ie the best DAW) and recording some of the 50+ songs in my repertoire.

It has been a 2 year fun and educative journey. I managed to record and produce in my home studio(ie a microphone and laptop in my living room) a few songs.

I now wish to make an album.

1) I cannot go back to remix
2) I need a way to make all these independently produced tracks SEEM LIKE they were all produced in a soundscape package
3) What tips and tools in REAPER do i need to know about?

I thank you for helping.

Note: I know that an album should be arrange according to the intensity and "like-a-ability" of the songs. Kind of like how a baseball arranges its lineup, for example.

I think this song should be in 3rd place, because in baseball this a key strategy...

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

Here is a link to the audio material: https://keepingintheflow.com/index.p...cious-grooves/

No need to listen to all the audio; what I want to know is HOW TO MERGE independently recorded song, that are "sonically different" into a cohesive artistic work; an album.

This is a question of MASTERING in REAPER, YES?

Should I import all my songs into one project, line them up with small silence pieces between them, then work on the songs pieces with plug-ins, and track envelops to try to make them all sound more or less a-like?

Seems like the result will make some songs FAKE?

Please name tools and methods (tips tricks...)

Free in-house Reaper tools in possible: I'm not a millionaire

Last edited by RDBOIS; 07-19-2019 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
I now wish to make an album.
Good idea.

Quote:
I need a way to make all these independently produced tracks SEEM LIKE they were all produced in a soundscape package
Why?

And seeing as you cannot "remix" for some reason I am not sure it is possible.

Quote:
I know that an album should be arrange according to the intensity and "like-a-ability" of the songs.
Why?

This is very subjective and what you think are your best songs may not be what others think.

Quote:
what I want to know is HOW TO MERGE independently recorded song, that are "sonically different" into a cohesive artistic work; an album
Again, why?

If you were worried about this then you should of written your material, and tracked/mixed accordingly.

Personally, for a collection of "songs" that are not actually related (just an assumption on my part), I don't think this matters.

Quote:
This is a question of MASTERING in REAPER, YES?
What do you mean by "MASTERING?"

The mastering process requires specific skills and expensive equipment. For many of us the "mastering" process merely means getting the final levels right and applying trims and fades where needed.

Quote:
Should I import all my songs into one project
I do this from time to time and it helps me to check out if there are any "clashes" between certain pieces.

Quote:
then work on the songs pieces with plug-ins, and track envelops to try to make them all sound more or less a-like?
Personally, I would say "no" to this. I prefer to work on individual pieces in their own project, getting the level right before thinking about placing it into a collection of works.

Quote:
Seems like the result will make some songs FAKE?
Why?

Quote:
Please name tools and methods
I would like to suggest that you consider looking into using "Loudness Units Full Scale" (LUFS) when it comes to balancing the levels across your songs. Searching that term on the internet should pull up some good articles on the subject.

If you are strapped for cash then you could try using Youlean's Loudness Meter:-

https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/


You would also need to research the LUFS level for the type of music that you produce and also the media that you wish to distribute your album on. Is it going to be streamed? Each of the streaming services have their own specifications when it comes to loudness.


Also, fifty plus songs is a lot for one album, so I am assuming that you will be making a selection from those for your first album. I would suggest that you keep your album down to around 45 to 60 minutes long.


cheers

andy
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:48 AM   #3
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Hire a professional mastering engineer in an attended session.

Do it at least once, for the first time. The experience will open your eyes, ears and mind. With the money you spent you will get more values, years perhaps decades further than learning and doing it by yourself. Plus you’ll get a good sounding album which guaranteed better than do it by yourself.

If you can’t do a proper mixing just yet, the mastering learning curve would be very steep because it would be very difficult to understand the mindset on how to master an album.

You can’t fix bad sounding production (recording) in the mix. Same wise you can’t fix bad mixing in mastering.

Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:21 PM   #4
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"Loudness Units Full Scale" (LUFS) yes yes! I'll start there. Maybe you're right, I don't need to try to make the songs more "sonically similar". I should of thought about that when I recorded and mixed... :S
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
(ie a microphone and laptop in my living room)
i'm curious why you can't re-record if necessary. if it was a lofi performance to begin with.
this might be considered off topic.

Because I would think that 50 songs, recorded over 2 years, will have quite a variance in levels and quality. Which makes the end job harder. (much more work to force everything to sound consistent)

So I was reminded of the funny story told by dave grohl about recording a foo album where he insisted that no computers would be used, that no edits be used, that each song be completely recorded to tape. and he was so under pressure from everyone else about going back to "fix" things, that he physically cut up the master tapes, so that they could never be overdubbed to fix anything, and the funniest quote: "if you want to fix something, let's just play the song again! play the *** song again."

Thus wouldnt the main thing to do, to make the whole job smooth, would be to get all 50 songs to performance level and record them all in a single day (or 2-3 days max) which would mostly guarantee they're all very consistent in sound and tone quality.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
i'm curious why you can't re-record if necessary. if it was a lofi performance to begin with.
this might be considered off topic.

Because I would think that 50 songs, recorded over 2 years, will have quite a variance in levels and quality. Which makes the end job harder. (much more work to force everything to sound consistent)

So I was reminded of the funny story told by dave grohl about recording a foo album where he insisted that no computers would be used, that no edits be used, that each song be completely recorded to tape. and he was so under pressure from everyone else about going back to "fix" things, that he physically cut up the master tapes, so that they could never be overdubbed to fix anything, and the funniest quote: "if you want to fix something, let's just play the song again! play the *** song again."

Thus wouldnt the main thing to do, to make the whole job smooth, would be to get all 50 songs to performance level and record them all in a single day (or 2-3 days max) which would mostly guarantee they're all very consistent in sound and tone quality.
I actually started tracking my songs with a proper microphone and digital setting. I've got 12 of them done!!!

I takes a while, I have other obligations. I wish I could do this full time, but I can't (-$). My first album will be with these 12 songs, or maybe 10 or so, not sure yet, my songs are rather long.

I will eventually record all the other songs, but I also have to deal with new songs coming in. I seem to have a connection to SOURCE; songs come to me like I've got an radar plugged into the astral world of a musical creative band of spirit beings pumping them out like a flood. I simply do not have enough earthly seconds to deal with all the information.

It sucks!!! Too much musical information for what I can handle... Where are the millionaire benefactors when you need them? Ohhh wait... I'm not a young girl flaunting Illuminati sexual innuendoes with a simple pop-synth beat and cheesy melody; nobody would ever fund a big hairy older white guy with songs that deal with consciousness and spiritual emancipation. The system is not geared for such a thing, it's all superficial fluff and degenerating the morals of the masses into full blown wicked perversion. (end of rant)

You have no idea the amount of bits and pieces of lyrics, melodies, song ideas, arrangements, I have... I would need a team of dedicated professionals to process and pump that out of the creative flow of the ether. LOL

Meanwhile, I have to water the garden, because them cantaloupes, butternut squashes, and okra are frying up in the 100+ degree heat!!!

Last edited by RDBOIS; 07-21-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:25 PM   #7
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I listened to the track and the guitar and shaker sounds great to me. the vocal does not. the vocal tone and recording quality is ok. The pitch is not good. I'd say work on getting the vocals on the right pitches before seriously recording. unless you're going to autotune the vocals (which I doubt you want to do) or are even able to correct them (with a clean vocal-only track). I would guess, if you continue as-is, you'll end up with an album of vocals which sound "off", and regardless of mastering, it's still going to sound "off".

You can do a vocal test in reaper. this is how I do it:
I record vocal-only as a practice track. then I load reaper ReaTune on the track, but not to autotune it, but just to zoom into the curve. Then I can see where my vocal is going flat or not hitting where I want. I repeat this multiple times over many days. ReaTune takes some playing around with, to use it as a diagnostic tool like this.

I could be completely wrong about the vocal being off, so get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
I listened to the track and the guitar and shaker sounds great to me. the vocal does not. the vocal tone and recording quality is ok. The pitch is not good. I'd say work on getting the vocals on the right pitches before seriously recording. unless you're going to autotune the vocals (which I doubt you want to do) or are even able to correct them (with a clean vocal-only track). I would guess, if you continue as-is, you'll end up with an album of vocals which sound "off", and regardless of mastering, it's still going to sound "off".

You can do a vocal test in reaper. this is how I do it:
I record vocal-only as a practice track. then I load reaper ReaTune on the track, but not to autotune it, but just to zoom into the curve. Then I can see where my vocal is going flat or not hitting where I want. I repeat this multiple times over many days. ReaTune takes some playing around with, to use it as a diagnostic tool like this.

I could be completely wrong about the vocal being off, so get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion.
Thanks for you input. Yeah, I know I'm not always 100% on pitch when I sing. Sheeeshhh, I do try?! LOL

I do use ReaTune, when possible, but sometimes it creates artifacts. Heck, maybe I just need to try harder, sing better, do more takes, etc. Trust me, I do try... Perhaps I'm not as gifted as I would like to be?

Take that all you listening people! Deal with my imperfections! HAAAA. Well, not that anyone is really listening; I have at the most 10-80 people. LOL

Sometimes I wonder why I do this? Ohhh yeah, because it is fun and also because the songs keep coming to me, nagging me to birth them; the astral stream of musical consciousness is passing through my body... What's up with that spiritual stuff hey? I even have dreams where songs come into my mind. I try to express the melodies as best I can. Do I fail? YES!!!

Last edited by RDBOIS; 07-21-2019 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:51 AM   #9
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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i'm not suggesting to use reatune to correct the vocals. autotune will not sound human. i'm saying use reatune to monitor your vocal practice to see when you are off pitch and then practice those notes. sing scales, use reatune to check your pitch. the voice tone is great, just get the pitch.

another way to go is to simply make an instrumental album.
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