Old 03-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #81
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Are vocals recorded clipping or is it only in your mix ? I guess its in the mix?
No, I'm not that much of a noob haha. Been doing this for years remember :P (Also not sure if you read one of my previous post's, but the reason why my first mix sounded thin to you guys is because someone had turned my sub way up at home so I was overcompensating for the extra low mids, did not realize until I listened to a commercial song!)

Its actually on the recording, Its not a bad clip, but its still a clip none the less. You can hear on the vocal mix I uploaded if you listen carefully. Can usually be heard on the S's.

I think it can be heard on these lines "but I'm just saving two" "there's hardly room for seconds" and "watch as I work my gypsy magic"
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #82
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Actually there is one thing we could discuss, the vocal has some very light clipping in two or three places on the recording, anything worth while I can do about that?
Yes, you can hunt the engineer down, and kill him. Otherwise, no.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:52 PM   #83
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Yes, you can hunt the engineer down, and kill him. Otherwise, no.
To be honest, the vocal has been recorded fairly well (besides the clipping obviously). I can not work out why, but there is practically no sibilance on any of the usual culprit letters yet the vocal is still fairly detailed (Or the bugger edited it before he provided me with it!). I guess I have to assume the mic was fairly decent and was recorded with some De-esser hardware... But why you would use a De-esser then not use compression is a mystery to me.

Something else I should point out... The client provided all the audio files in stereo with their original pan positions in place -__-

Spent about two hours just converting most of them to mono and balancing the channels as he has no mono copies! Why the hell would I want a bass guitar in stereo?!

As for the actual clipping, I heard somewhere that samples can be replaced with waveforms e.g. Sine, sqaure etc... Is this true?

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Old 03-07-2012, 09:34 PM   #84
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We have a reply!

"The bass kick is definitely more refined and pronounced, although pretty much every other aspect of the song sounded the same. There is a sort of clicking that goes along with the bass kick too, especially in the final chorus.

The bass instrument at :40 is too quiet, it's supposed to be really deep. The snare drum is in the middle of the song is now all the same volume, that's wrong. They're supposed to be slightly louder during the first 4 hits. Also, the whistle instrumental I sent you has two notes that shouldn't be there (my fault). During the two symbol crashes, you should not be able to hear the whistler.

Perhaps I just don't know enough about "sound spaces" but I really don't hear any notable differences in professionalism between the old mix and the new mix. I could just open Logic myself and choose a better bass kick. Perhaps I need to hear it with words first."

First of all I understand that an every day person is not going to immediately notice the improvement of the bass and drum clarity or tweaks on individual instruments with EQ and compression, that's fine. But to turn around and say he could just choose a better kick in logic and get the same results overall is insulting. Besides my kick rocks and I didn't even have to choose another one, I made his sound better... Bitch!

And I don't think he understands that the song is still going to sound similar until I master it and unless he lets me change things its not going to sound different or much more professional. There are actually a few (subtle) changes I want to make using reverbs and modulation to make it more exciting to the listener, but it's getting him to agree that is the problem.

This is a small part of what I replied with (the rest was me explaining what I did):

"At the end of the day, this is your song and I am considering you as a client. So, you tell me what you want and I'll get it done. To be fair you did not give me much to go by to begin with so I was kinda working in the dark. One other thing I'm still considering some slight changes in the sounds of the synth lead. I really feel it could use a VERY short reverb as it does not sound exciting in its current dry state. A good example would be "cupcakes" listen to the synths on that song and hopefully you;ll get what I mean?

Just remember I'm doing this free of charge so you don't need to worry about the time it takes or the the negative feedback. It's a good experience for both of us at the end of the day "

What are your thoughts guys?
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #85
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"professionalism" ?
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:43 PM   #86
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"professionalism" ?
You tell me....

I also pointed out that the least he could do is listen to it on a lot of different speakers and systems like I have before giving a final verdict.

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Old 03-07-2012, 10:49 PM   #87
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I thought I may as well tell you all what I did to the mix as well (just the main differences). This is what I explained to him in the message too.

"First of all I removed most of the low frequency content from the instruments that didn't require it e.g. the guitar, pizzacato, clarinet etc... as these don't really produce anything worthwhile below 150-200hz. This frees up a lot of room for the bass and drums to breath in the mix, which in turn means they can sound more powerful or fuller without getting in the way.

I noticed that the guitar and pizzacto more or less play the same thing through out the song so I decided to treat them as one instrument and processed them on a bus (separate track that both audio signals get sent to). I used some light compression on them to keep their dynamics almost identical so one did not suddenly pop out in front of the other, the compression also increased the perceived volume of the natural reverb which helps to keep them out of the vocals space.

The oboe was quite harsh on the ears at loud volumes so I cut it down a few decibles around 3000khz which gave it a more mellow tone without loosing its presence. On the original the bass/ kick bass was very heavy and muddy which caused it to get in the way of the other instruments (mainly the chorus) so I cleaned that up by compressing the sub frequencies of the bass and kick so the thump and boomyness are still prominent while removing a lot of unneeded weight on the bass and drums by lowering the low mid range around 200-350hz.

The next major thing I did was to the "pinkies parents" section. I removed everything below 200hz from the audio and everything above 8000khz (basically pulling bass and treble down to leave more mid range like a radio or phone would sound) as I felt this helped make it stand out more from the rest of the song without having to be louder or quieter.

I did a few other things like replace the kick on the chorus with the verse kick so I could keep the kicks level consistent through out the song without affecting the drums as a whole, but I wont get into it as it was quite a complicated task."
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #88
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There is a sort of clicking that goes along with the bass kick too
Clicking? That's a poor description, which had me listening for a non-existent error. There is a higher frequency element to the kick, and that is not a bad thing; engineers have been known to glue coins to kick beaters to achieve that. A kick without any high end will be inaudible on small speakers.
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especially in the final chorus.
I don't hear any difference between the kick in the final chorus and the kick elsewhere.
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The snare drum is in the middle of the song is now all the same volume, that's wrong. They're supposed to be slightly louder during the first 4 hits.
That could be annoying. If you use the same snare at two different volumes, it will sound fake - well, in this case, it will sound more fake - since velocity has a substantial influence on every aspect of a snare sound. If you use a snare with velocity layers, this client will probably complain that the snare sounds are different. The snare sounds fine as it is.
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Also, the whistle instrumental I sent you has two notes that shouldn't be there
That would probably work.... it's a minor matter, though, IMO, and it's a bit petty to make an issue of it. In fairness, I'm quite capable of being that picky myself. However....
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(my fault).
Well, GIGO.
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Perhaps I just don't know enough about "sound spaces" but I really don't hear any notable differences in professionalism between the old mix and the new mix.
Oh, I do. One of the differences in professionalism I noted was, not being completely crap.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:44 AM   #89
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Clicking? That's a poor description, which had me listening for a non-existent error. There is a higher frequency element to the kick, and that is not a bad thing; engineers have been known to glue coins to kick beaters to achieve that. A kick without any high end will be inaudible on small speakers.I don't hear any difference between the kick in the final chorus and the kick elsewhere.
I thought the exact same thing and left it in there for that same reason, although there is a pop on the last chorus and I know that's just were the automation is too steep. Easily fixed.

Quote:
That could be annoying. If you use the same snare at two different volumes, it will sound fake - well, in this case, it will sound more fake - since velocity has a substantial influence on every aspect of a snare sound. If you use a snare with velocity layers, this client will probably complain that the snare sounds are different. The snare sounds fine as it is.
I did not think it was a problem to be honest, but I can see where he is going with it artistically. I just thought I would lower it 2db and lower the compression with automation to make it sound like a lighter hit to solve this.

Quote:
That would probably work.... it's a minor matter, though, IMO, and it's a bit petty to make an issue of it. In fairness, I'm quite capable of being that picky myself. However....Well, GIGO.
Yeah very picky, at least he admitted fault, nothing hard to fix though, a few splices and fades.


Quote:
Oh, I do. One of the differences in professionalism I noted was, not being completely crap.
Haha! I know right, I think he expects the differences to blow his mind and completely change how the song sounds. like I said he has not even heard the vocals or a mastered version yet...

He also seems shy when it comes to answering my questions. I replied with a message that took 15 minutes to type... He can't even reply since 5 hours ago now -__-

This is wall of text I sent him and everything contained in it is relevant and explains a good deal to him about the mix as well as past subjects and things to come:

http://screensnapr.com/v/4MN9wc.png

And he takes soooo long to reply... MY TIME IS RARELY FREE MATE, USE IT WISELY!

Last edited by fealow; 03-08-2012 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #90
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Here is the latest vocal mix for anyone who would like to listen:

http://www.mediafire.com/?1mlwmttnyh4b41w

I got the vocal sitting comfortably then notched it up by about 1.5 db so it really stood out in front of the mix (however, The clipping on the original recording is proving difficult to work around). The reverb is perhaps a little too apparent on the first verse, but seems fine everywhere else, nothing a little automation can't fix though

Could someone do me a favour and listen to the line "make some time sorbet" (its part of the first verse) in the original and the new vocal mix, he's adamant that the note on "sorbet" is too sharp by a half step (and that's its my doing) I'm really not hearing it, I tuned that particular note, but why would I tune it that sharp? It may be a tiny bit sharp though.

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Old 03-08-2012, 07:42 PM   #91
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I'm with PITA on this one.
"Sor" is the same note as "bet." Wait, that's not right.... I'll start again....
"Saw" is the same note as "bay." It should be the same note as "time".
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:57 PM   #92
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I'm with PITA on this one.
"Sor" is the same note as "bet." Wait, that's not right.... I'll start again....
"Saw" is the same note as "bay." It should be the same note as "time".
I see, my ears must be having a bad day. They been worked hard the past few days though. I know "bay" should be a C, but I know "time" is not a C. The problem is, that segment contains accidentals. The key is Ab Major and "some time" is a B (which is not in Ab Major) so its a little difficult trying to work out the in-between notes as they are sung quite fast.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:23 PM   #93
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After some rather nice conversation with the client (we're communicating better now) He has expressed a desire to change the direction of the songs sound, there are still boundaries he would like me to stay in and general dynamics between different parts of the song etc... but he has given me a reference album to use... Anybody heard of "Caravan Palace". I can see the influences that album had on his composition but I don't think I can recreate their sound fully due to the arrangement, but I guess this means I can make it sound a bit cooky and fun which is going to be really interesting

I think I'm going to be using a fair amount of mono reverbs for this mix with lots of low and high pass filters.

The thing we failed to communicate on is that this version of the song is not going to be used for video, it actually has such a big fan base it will most likely be available for download as the full remastered version (as the video version is shortened) which means it can be more song like and less musical like... Yay!

Seriously though, this has been a strange project! A good experience I guess!
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:33 PM   #94
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Is this song from a children's show or something? It's awful.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #95
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Is this song from a children's show or something? It's awful.
It's actually from a parody of My little pony: Friendship is magic.

So I guess it would sound awful to you out of context, but the the actual composition is quite good in my opinion... for what it is, otherwise I would not be working on it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:37 PM   #96
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Anyone got some techniques for getting that Lo-fi vibe for individual instruments? I know roughly where to start from, but would be up for hearing some of your own techniques please.

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Old 03-09-2012, 04:39 AM   #97
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The key is Ab Major and "some time" is a B (which is not in Ab Major) so its a little difficult trying to work out the in-between notes as they are sung quite fast.
So, change the playback rate.

Here's what I hear. Your first note, and the "walk" in "cakewalk", don't sound quite right to me.
I'd be careful correcting this stuff from the original - its loose pitching is part of its character. Is this an adult pony? Can many children sing to this standard?

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Originally Posted by Guncho View Post
Is this song from a children's show or something? It's awful.
Or brilliant, depending on your frame of reference. Mine is NSFW.

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Originally Posted by fealow View Post
Anyone got some techniques for getting that Lo-fi vibe for individual instruments? I know roughly where to start from, but would be up for hearing some of your own techniques please.
Off the top of my head:
# bit crushing
# soft distortion
# detuning
# crappy fake sound sets
# 80s puter chip sounds.

I don't know whether any of this would be appropriate here.

Last edited by Fex; 03-09-2012 at 05:40 AM. Reason: I wrote completely the wrong worm!
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:16 AM   #98
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The first note of the verse... I don't even think its a note to be fair. the original does not sound much different on that note, its kind of a sliding groan with the word "I'll" in there somewhere. So I'll probably just remove that from waves tune and leave it natural.

As for the piano melody you provided... o.O thanks! that's quite helpful. It is pretty much what I hear myself. I think I just made a few mistakes, still getting used to waves tune... I'm a melodyne person myself. And your right about the sounds character I should leave it as intact as possible.

Haha Avenue Q, brilliant stuff! I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I'm somewhat impressed with the composition in question because I'm familiar with its background and where it came from.

Not really sure why I asked about the lo-fi stuff to be fair, I know most of it all ready when I think about it...

Thanks though, that post was a great help.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:38 AM   #99
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The first note of the verse... I don't even think its a note to be fair. the original does not sound much different on that note, its kind of a sliding groan with the word "I'll" in there somewhere. So I'll probably just remove that from waves tune and leave it natural.
I think that's the best policy for the first note of all the verses which start with an anacrusis (ie all but the parents' verse, IIRC). All singers hit the occasional 'almost' note, and forcing all those notes to a true pitch is part of what makes pitch-corrected vocals sound unnatural.
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I'm a melodyne person myself.
Me too. So, why aren't you using Melodyne?
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:56 AM   #100
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I think that's the best policy for the first note of all the verses which start with an anacrusis (ie all but the parents' verse, IIRC).
I guess you learn something new everyday, can't say I'm familiar with the term "anacrusis" and yeah the parents verse starts on beat. The main note I'm having problems with is the first note on the middle section "crude". waves tune detects it as C then half way through the note it thinks its an octave lower o.O

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Me too. So, why aren't you using Melodyne?
Waves just seems to work better with reaper and I've had performance problems/ crashes with previous versions of melodyne. Plus the pitch work is not very taxing and waves tune uses less resources.

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:33 AM   #101
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I've had performance problems/ crashes with previous versions of melodyne.
Me too, but I'm finding both the first Melodyne Editor and the earlier Melodyne plugin to be much more stable with Reaper 4, for some reason.
Or it might just be that my new puter has more resources.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:16 AM   #102
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Me too, but I'm finding both the first Melodyne Editor and the earlier Melodyne plugin to be much more stable with Reaper 4, for some reason.
Or it might just be that my new puter has more resources.
Resources are not really a problem on my pc as I it's not very often my mixes go over 32 tracks with multiple plugins on each track (I'm sure it could handle more though). But I'm trying to get into the habit of being more resourceful with my CPU as I have some bad habits haha.
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