Old 08-31-2015, 04:20 PM   #2441
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The biggest problems with your mixes isn't your gear, it's you. You are a little harder to deal with because you can't just make a trip to GC to get another you, but rest assured, you can make quality recordings with your gear in your space. You just need to take the time and effort to do it. While you learn, fix what you can with your gear. If you are a beginner, a Neuman and a fancy pre will just let you make crappy recordings with great gear, and you won't have beer money. Use the gear you have and record and mix everything you can.

Oh, and those "solo" buttons? Forget they exist. 8P
Oh (part deux), the most popular monitors ever made, were "hifi" speakers and pretty much totally inaccurate, and sounded like complete crap.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:11 PM   #2442
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Default Observations After Another Read

I know this is an old thread, and I'm waaay late to the party, but I just have to say, whoever that flmason guy is/was that hijacked the thread midway through seems to be very bitter that a) he bought into the marketing hype that just by opening his wallet he could "be" EVH; b) that despite all his alleged years playing he still doesn't have the chops to sound pro; and c) that 4 guys couldn't walk into Abbey Road studios as George and the boys left it and recreate "Sergeant Peppers" just by analyzing frequency spectrums, which he seems to genuinely believe should be possible.

Wow. Hope I'm never that bitter about music.
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:43 PM   #2443
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I just signed up to give a heartfelt Thanks to yep for the incredible wealth of info in this thread, smurf for compiling the PDFs, and may others for their thoughtful replies. I waited until I'd read it entirely before signing up, and it's been so helpful that I am trying out Reaper now and will purchase a licence in the new year.

It's really too bad people kept feeding the troll(s) - it surprised me people would bother to respond rather than simply ignore outright, or just reiterate or reword what yep said in the very beginning (somewhere in between "once you have the sound you like coming from your instrument/amp (regardless of model or brand), this thread is about what to do if the recording doesn't sound like THAT" and/or "this thread shouldn't be a place to discuss specific gear"). Actually nevermind; many of you said the latter several times.

The flip side of that complaint is that it proved how helpful and awesome this community is, and for that I'm excited to get into Reaper and this forum!

yep: I'd also buy your book Your writing style was captivating and at times hilarious, and that's ever so rare to see coupled with technical knowledge PLUS the skill to explain concepts well through a mix of hypotheticals and real-world examples. Cheers everyone - have a great 2016.
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:40 AM   #2444
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Hi everybody, this is my first post. English is not my first language so be patient with me.

Yep, thank you so much for sharing your Knowledge and experience!!!.

This thread is pretty old and went through a lot of empty chitchatting. But I think we still can bring it to life and get more from it.

I have many questions I would like to ask and share with others.

I would like to ask about frequency masking effect.
Do you spend time to listen and look for problematic freq. Or do they come obvious? How do you manage to identify them? I think Lowering the volume is a way, do you do other things?

I find my self rolling a hpf across the spectrum to evidence them. And I'm not sure if this is a good practice.

Thankyou so much for your time!!!
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:48 AM   #2445
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I would like to ask about frequency masking effect.
Do you spend time to listen and look for problematic freq. Or do they come obvious? How do you manage to identify them? I think Lowering the volume is a way, do you do other things?
The usual way to identify that is when you have a track turned up to a good healthy level in the mix but you still can't hear the stupid thing! You look at the meter (hot level), listen in solo (screaming hot), but it's still buried in the mix.

Time to look for the other track/instrument that is fighting in the same frequency range. Solo a couple tracks till you find it. You'll usually hear the frequency range in question when you start thinking about it and go hunting for it.

What I'm saying is once you identify the other instrument that is fighting/masking the first one, the frequency in question is usually obvious.

It starts with:
"Why can't I hear this track? Even though the level is WAY up!"

Then you find the one clashing with it:
"Oh, when I mute the bass track I can hear that guitar track loud and clear! What the heck?"

Then look for what frequency range is strong in both and fighting for space.

What I'm saying is, it doesn't start with some mysterious "Let's go looking for 'masking frequencies' today" kind of thing. It's more an obvious "Hey, this track is turned way up and I still can't hear the stupid thing!"


Every time this thread pops up I get a mental image from that movie they watched in Idiocracy!
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:15 AM   #2446
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Haha ok, its just that I arrived 8 years late! Dont punish me! I just wantto learn and didn think it was right to open a new thread.

Thankyou very much for your answear. I never had that situation like "Look the meter is showing -3 and still cant hear it well".

Its more like some details on some Instruments are not as present as you would like. Even sometimes in the same instrument.
A Bass with a pronounced mid low may obscure the nice presence that it may have. Then boosting those 800hz may be not that good idea, but would be better to lower 250 hz
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:39 PM   #2447
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Also check the phase relationship of the dissapearing track by flipping the phase and see if that works without using any EQ!
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:53 PM   #2448
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Let me preface this by saying gear doesn't make good music, it doesn't, it won't, it can't. Good musicians and good engineers make good music. That being said, gear is the limitation of the sound beyond your musicianship and engineering skill. Once you have plateaued your equipment, no amount of skill or technique will improve your sound.

I'll give you an example: I had a Focusrite Scarlett, it used chip versions of their pre-amps (digital pre's as opposed to true circuitry) anyhow achieving a clean recording was impossible, if I set the gain too low I'd hear room noise in my recordings but if I brought the gain up I'd get digital hissing from the pre-amp chips because you get what you pay for. Could I record decent stuff? Sure. Was it professional, not even close! It was constantly a noisy mess. When I moved on to my Audient ID22 my whole world changed. Clean, clean sound. Point is, equipment in that instance was a limitation. Now again, that being said, if you still don't really know what you're doing, a 20k console isn't going to help you much.

Here's the real problem, "good" is relative. And here's the thing, in my experience, yes technique is important, it's critical actually, your recording space is also critical, but you won't get a studio sound without high end equipment. That doesn't mean you need a 20,000 dollar console, it does mean you need more than your 100 dollar Mbox. Home studio gear for a professional sound usually averages 600 dollars a piece (that's not a hard rule, just what I've found in general).

You can make solid demo's with any interface, you can make great music that people will listen to with any interface, however at some point if you really want that big, clean "wow!" sound you're going to have to put some money into your equipment. People don't buy these things just for giggles. The way the hardware handles electrical current, and how that interfaces with the "sound" is very, very important. So in that instance, higher quality components, higher fidelity sound (that's just physics).
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:52 PM   #2449
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...
sorry, thats complete BS in all aspects and under all circumstances.

only one point taken out: there is no "true circuit" opposed to "digital" pre. your interface was broken or you didnt read the manual.

"digital hiss" ... what a nonsense.
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:29 AM   #2450
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that´s nothing more than increased noise level from the integrated circuit, and most probably lower quality parts all over the interface and preamps. It´s basically the same as if it was built with discrete components, just packed in one small IC.

However, he´s not wrong regarding the limiting factor. You will definitely notice the effect of higher quality recording gear with quiet sources and within the more relaxed songs, acoustic guitars and stuff, because noise floor is not masked by roaring guitars or cymbals in each measure of the song
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:51 AM   #2451
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Originally Posted by Anthony Locke View Post
Let me preface this by saying gear doesn't make good music, it doesn't, it won't, it can't. Good musicians and good engineers make good music. That being said, gear is the limitation of the sound beyond your musicianship and engineering skill. Once you have plateaued your equipment, no amount of skill or technique will improve your sound.

I'll give you an example: I had a Focusrite Scarlett, it used chip versions of their pre-amps (digital pre's as opposed to true circuitry) anyhow achieving a clean recording was impossible, if I set the gain too low I'd hear room noise in my recordings but if I brought the gain up I'd get digital hissing from the pre-amp chips because you get what you pay for. Could I record decent stuff? Sure. Was it professional, not even close! It was constantly a noisy mess. When I moved on to my Audient ID22 my whole world changed. Clean, clean sound. Point is, equipment in that instance was a limitation. Now again, that being said, if you still don't really know what you're doing, a 20k console isn't going to help you much.

Here's the real problem, "good" is relative. And here's the thing, in my experience, yes technique is important, it's critical actually, your recording space is also critical, but you won't get a studio sound without high end equipment. That doesn't mean you need a 20,000 dollar console, it does mean you need more than your 100 dollar Mbox. Home studio gear for a professional sound usually averages 600 dollars a piece (that's not a hard rule, just what I've found in general).

You can make solid demo's with any interface, you can make great music that people will listen to with any interface, however at some point if you really want that big, clean "wow!" sound you're going to have to put some money into your equipment. People don't buy these things just for giggles. The way the hardware handles electrical current, and how that interfaces with the "sound" is very, very important. So in that instance, higher quality components, higher fidelity sound (that's just physics).
I liked your post. I allways say, your skills have to worth your equipment. The question is do your mixing and hearing skill worth 20k dollars?

I found what serr said of much use. I started lowering volumen of othrr Instruments and ser how they interact to others,it brought light to mixes. And helped in eq dessisions. Thanks again serr
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:59 AM   #2452
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sorry, thats complete BS in all aspects and under all circumstances.

only one point taken out: there is no "true circuit" opposed to "digital" pre. your interface was broken or you didnt read the manual.

"digital hiss" ... what a nonsense.
That's a bit hard, isn't it?

I mean, you're right, he doesn't understand electronics, so he chose the wrong words.

And he's comparing a 150$ interface to one that's three times that price.

But the underlying thought is more or less correct. You can't expect an entry level interface to work with any mic in bad circumstances. The better one will carry you a lot further. It still won't make a bad musician into a good one. And that's something he states too...
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:06 AM   #2453
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Hi there,
this thread has been such an inspiration for my homerecording. I want to show you some track I've played, recorded and mixed with all this stuff in my head. New strings, reliable and trusted equipment and no "overdoing" with plugins. The composition stays a matter of taste ;-):
https://soundcloud.com/pe-simon/just-this-moment
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:18 PM   #2454
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Yes, Yep it will not die. Thank you.

"finished is better than perfect"

My advice for bands - work quickly, put out as much product as you can, the time you will stay "vital" and/or be able to stand each other is finite and if you sit around waiting for the big deal to make the pristine record all you will do is slow down your creative process. What might be a brilliant initial concept will eventually turn into kitsch if you are successful so enjoy the process while you can, every bit of it. I did, and am also very glad that is not my life anymore.

The recording advice in this thread is solid, grounded, well-explained and fundamental for someone who wants to wear the hat of engineer.

I came from a Tascam 3440 in the 70s into the 1" Otari 8 track world to end up in the A&M and Capitol recording studios. The records I cut on the 4 track sound more like a band actually sounds than any of the 24 track work I did. The less limitations you have the less realistic the result will be.

Exploit that, you are now creating sonic landscapes, not "Kind of Blue".

I do disagree with the assertion that there are only 100 great recordings, if you delve into the classical music world there are hundreds there alone, maybe thousands. Most of the Deutsche Gramophone catalogue was recorded by amazing sound engineers who pioneered many audio principles and microphone techniques that are still used today. The same can be said of BBC, lot's of our recording science came from them. Columbia were no slouches as well. Get rid of Glenn Gould's humming? No plug-ins, just mic technique. Window editing? Sure we can do that.

This post reminded me of a few Boston centric things: I got to work with the great mixer Joe Chicarelli, who I believe was from there. Watching him dial it in was a treat. I also think the mastering engineer I used to work with at Capitol, Eddie Shreyer, was from there as well. I was bringing in a lot of 8 track work at the time and he told me he was rooting for us. Watching him do his thing was really cool, still have a bunch of reference disks (disks that were cut for me to approve the mastering that are 2 vinyl surfaces stuck to an aluminum core) that were cut right there in the mastering room. Bottom line - Boston sent some very good engineers to LA back in the day. Probably still do.

Eddie once took me in the Capitol tape repository which is in the basement (also where the mastering lab was) - 2" 3 track Sinatra masters, Beatles masters, it was like a dream.

Sorry to derail, maybe some can appreciate these tales. Glad I got to live it.

This is a great, demanding, sometimes tedious read. Well worth it. Thanks to Smurf as well for compiling it.

Enjoy the journey - Reaper is the bomb.

Finally I do miss the visceral aspect of a recording studio. Hardware effects that can be seen at all times, tape machine running, non-flying faders, etcetera. That was fun.

Last edited by FriedaCalor; 02-26-2016 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:22 AM   #2455
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Yes, Yep it will not die. Thank you.

"finished is better than perfect"

My advice for bands - work quickly, put out as much product as you can, the time you will stay "vital" and/or be able to stand each other is finite and if you sit around waiting for the big deal to make the pristine record all you will do is slow down your creative process. What might be a brilliant initial concept will eventually turn into kitsch if you are successful so enjoy the process while you can, every bit of it. I did, and am also very glad that is not my life anymore.

The recording advice in this thread is solid, grounded, well-explained and fundamental for someone who wants to wear the hat of engineer.

I came from a Tascam 3440 in the 70s into the 1" Otari 8 track world to end up in the A&M and Capitol recording studios. The records I cut on the 4 track sound more like a band actually sounds than any of the 24 track work I did. The less limitations you have the less realistic the result will be.

Exploit that, you are now creating sonic landscapes, not "Kind of Blue".

I do disagree with the assertion that there are only 100 great recordings, if you delve into the classical music world there are hundreds there alone, maybe thousands. Most of the Deutsche Gramophone catalogue was recorded by amazing sound engineers who pioneered many audio principles and microphone techniques that are still used today. The same can be said of BBC, lot's of our recording science came from them. Columbia were no slouches as well. Get rid of Glenn Gould's humming? No plug-ins, just mic technique. Window editing? Sure we can do that.

This post reminded me of a few Boston centric things: I got to work with the great mixer Joe Chicarelli, who I believe was from there. Watching him dial it in was a treat. I also think the mastering engineer I used to work with at Capitol, Eddie Shreyer, was from there as well. I was bringing in a lot of 8 track work at the time and he told me he was rooting for us. Watching him do his thing was really cool, still have a bunch of reference disks (disks that were cut for me to approve the mastering that are 2 vinyl surfaces stuck to an aluminum core) that were cut right there in the mastering room. Bottom line - Boston sent some very good engineers to LA back in the day. Probably still do.

Eddie once took me in the Capitol tape repository which is in the basement (also where the mastering lab was) - 2" 3 track Sinatra masters, Beatles masters, it was like a dream.

Sorry to derail, maybe some can appreciate these tales. Glad I got to live it.

This is a great, demanding, sometimes tedious read. Well worth it. Thanks to Smurf as well for compiling it.

Enjoy the journey - Reaper is the bomb.

Finally I do miss the visceral aspect of a recording studio. Hardware effects that can be seen at all times, tape machine running, non-flying faders, etcetera. That was fun.

great stuff, FreidaCalor, I for one, enjoy tales of how it used to be. I never got the real studio experience outside of some radio broadcast control rooms and commercial production rooms.

Much like you, I came from the world of tape, and my initial forays involved bouncing tracks from cassette machine to cassette machine. Thanksfully, none of those tracks survived, but I did eventually move up to a Boss Micro BR digital 4 track...that was 5 years ago, and all I could produce was total ass. This link is representative. http://stevedcook.me/music/2011/sixth.mp3 . It's bad. SO bad...

Five years later, after having read this thread, and having undergone some serious rethinking of some musical/engineering/producing philosophies due to Yep's amazingly real-world and honest advice, along with tips and input from some other seriously talented people in this very thread, I've moved to here in my home recordings: http://stevedcook.me/music/theship.mp3 It's not great and there's still some ass-ness around the edges because I'm still learning, but what a great time I'm having doing it!

Just kind of wanted to maybe help some beginners out by reassuring them that, yes, it IS ok to be finished more than perfect. Just create. Keep creating. Never stop. And always enjoy what you're doing. If you don't, you might as well be punching a clock or killing your brain in front of the TV...
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:57 AM   #2456
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Default No, really it doesn't matter...

Been a long time since I checked this thread out and I see now it's got a lot of back and forth about whether gear does, in fact, matter *some*. I think it matters only up to the point where it's either functional or not--does your microphone or preamp emit random crackles or a loud 60-cycle hum? Well, then it matters; you gotta get new gear. From that point up, it's about workflow, durability, and (diminishing returns of) degrees of sonic quality.

Let me just say right now that at this point I own some pretty nice gear. I'm glad I do--it makes everything easier and yes, it sounds "better" with less effort required on my part. But I started out with a couple of SM57s, an NT1, and a Behringer pre. I monitored for years on headphones and after that, a couple of entry-level Samson Resolv nearfields (ca. $150 for the pair, IIRC). Some of my favorite recordings were made with that crap gear--at first through sheer dumb luck and later with intention.

But with what I know now, after 15+ years of recording, I feel confident my recordings would I'd be fine if, gear-wise, I was set back to square one. (And all of that original gear still sees use at one time or another.)

Those who bring up, e.g., horribly noisy pre-WWII recordings are, IMHO, missing the point. The most basic gear today--providing it works--is capable of far surpassing *that* level of sonic quality. There is no reason excessive noise should be an issue with today's entry-level gear, if used correctly.

So will a great song recorded on cheap gear *sound* like a great song recorded on cheap gear? If you're listening to it with that head, perhaps--one might get into an AE head-space with a pair of detailed monitors or headphones and point to things like a lack of dimensionality or detail or what have you. Perhaps the reverb will sound not as realistic as one likes--whatever. But that isn't how one listens to a great song recorded with crap gear, *unless one sets out to listen to a song that way*. What does a great song recorded with crap gear sound like? It sounds like a Milkmen record (and that's a dated example--far better "crap" gear is available these days). It can sound like an energetic production that *maybe*, if recorded with that intention, has a lo-fi, energetic feel. Or it can sound, for that matter, like any number of lush, tripped-out, synth tunes--it can sound like anything.

Nice gear helps things along. It inspires confidence in one's tools. It makes things easier. In the hands of a competent user, it can give a production that last little "something." But, with what's available today, it is *not* what separates a good mix from a bad mix...or even a good gear sound from a "crap" gear sound. That's all on the user.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:21 PM   #2457
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Before we get started, I'm going to make a request the participants try to avoid recommending or debating specific pieces of gear. There a billion threads all over the web for that. What there is less of is specific focus on principles and practical approaches. And at any budget, there are principles that can be used to make good-sounding recordings.
- Yep

12-03-2008, 07:57 AM

It didn't take long for things to go pare shaped. But still one of the go to places on the web for solid info about principles.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:12 PM   #2458
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...I would like to ask about frequency masking effect.
Do you spend time to listen and look for problematic freq. Or do they come obvious? How do you manage to identify them? I think Lowering the volume is a way, do you do other things?

I find my self rolling a hpf across the spectrum to evidence them. And I'm not sure if this is a good practice.

Thankyou so much for your time!!!
I have a few different approaches to eq. It all starts with a gut-level sense of how happy or unhappy I am with the sound. I might spend two minutes or two hours on any given track. Here are some of my starting points:

- Take a relatively narrow-band Q (1.2 or so) and crank it up, then sweep it around, and try to find the worst/ugliest frequency you can. Then invert it, and reduce it by 3-6dB. Repeat as desired.

- A neat trick, especially with tracks that are difficult to sit in the mix, is to solo the track, turn down the speaker volume so that you can barely hear the track, then use EQ to turn down prominent frequencies until the track becomes "invisible". Very often, if you turn the track back up a few dB, it will sound much higher quality after you "disappeared" it in this way.

Last edited by yep; 06-24-2016 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #2459
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Okey wow, I'm plowing through this thread at high speed (currently at page 25) and I can't begin to say how helpful alot of it has been. I'm also amazed that this thread has been alive for 8(!!!) years! Thank you so much Yep, It's all most appreciated!

Anyways, since I still haven't read half the thread, I apologise in advance if this is brough up between p. 25 and here. =)

I would like to say that I realize why my recordings sound like ass, and it's not really the way I point my microphones, or whether or not I can spot the mud that is hidden somewhere in the mix. For me it's the source... Or the material. I sure can bash out pretty cool song structures on my acoustic and a nice vocal to go with it. But I can't for the love of god write the arrangement. My creative vision is screaming for more than a strummed acoustic and vocals, but I can't turn my strummed chord progression into a full arrangement.

On page 24 I came across this little nugget of gold, written by Yep:

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Let's say you have a mix where there is a real cool bass part, and a piano part with a great left-hand riff happening. It is going to be very difficult to feature both of them throughout the song. In fact, if there is also an electric guitar, it might be hard to feature either one of them without burying the guitar (which tends to suck up the whole frequency spectrum). '

So a solution might be to introduce the first verse of the song with just the bass, drums and vocals, and then to bring in the guitar and piano halfway through the verse, or at the chorus. Now the listener has already heard how awesome the bassline is, and will continue to "hear" it, even if it gets pushed back in the mix. Second verse might be a "straight-ahead" mix conspicuously featuring the guitar. Third verse, we might mute the bassline, or just have some root-note hits on the downbeat of every measure, and pull back the guitar (or similarly pare down the part) to feature the cool left-hand piano. Then bring everything back in the chorus.

The above makes a fluid, varied arrangement from a completely static song, and it showcases each instrument one step at a time, even if every verse is just a copy of the same tracks.
Information, inspiration and ideas like this is exactly what I'm looking for, and I can't find it anywhere. I wouldn't go so far as to request a spinoff thread "Why do your arrangement sound like ass?" (:P), but I sure would like to ask if Yep or somebody else could evolve on this, share some more tips&tricks, or point to books, sites, videos or anything with this kind of information.

I try to analyze music I listen to, but I guess my ears are not well trained enough to be able to focus on how parts come and go in alot of music, or how it's panned to create interest etc. so I need some concrete examples.

Anyways, I've lost myself! I hope I make sense and if not, the point is: Please help me turn my chord progression & song structure into a full song.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:59 PM   #2460
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i was going nuts a few days ago trying to figure out why my music sounded so muffled and wouldn't respond to massive EQ changes...

...long story short, 40 minutes later i realised somehow a steep lowpass filter ended up on my master track

after i took that off, the mix bounced back to normal and i was able to finish the tune without going insane

never give up hope.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:51 AM   #2461
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yep was actually back last month and i missed him? damn!!!!
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:09 PM   #2462
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Well written and hilariously accurate post, thank you! In all my years of recording - mixing - and ping-ponging (the lost art of bouncing sub mixed tracks into permanent oblivion) if I learned anything it was / is the EQ, or lack thereof. Saying roll-off frequencies to a newbie is far too dismissive and probably the most totally overlooked aspect of recording, especially in home studios.

Frequency rolloff is the diminishing of one end of the spectrum or the other, and in most cases it applies to every instrument on your track. For example, the guitar track probably should have a low end fade at the bottom end of the frequency curve all the way up to 150-200mhz. This means there should be no EQ at all under 150 MHz. Some people call this a high pass filter. But essentially means that all frequencies below 150 MHz are removed from the track.

Competing low frequencies exist in almost all instruments in the recording scenario.

Professionals invariably remove these frequencies in all tracks except for the bass drum, and the bass itself.

This is basic stuff for pros but virtually unknown at the project studio level. Thereby becoming in my opinion the number one reason that project studios sound like ass.

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Old 08-16-2016, 09:21 PM   #2463
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I try to analyze music I listen to, but I guess my ears are not well trained enough to be able to focus on how parts come and go in alot of music, or how it's panned to create interest etc. so I need some concrete examples.

Anyways, I've lost myself! I hope I make sense and if not, the point is: Please help me turn my chord progression & song structure into a full song.
If for instance you have a good verse or verse + chorus, look for the very next chord but rewind the song far enough back while auditioning ideas that the big picture context will suggest the continuation.

Sometimes I make the mistake of writing one bar based only what happened in the last bar, rarely works out that way, need to go back a few bars and continue from there, maybe put it on a loop, when you find something that's good, use that as starting point for some adventures that sooner or later lead back to the main theme. Having said that, I've made more money in one night performing cover songs than all the original stuff I've done.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:54 AM   #2464
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But essentially means that all frequencies below 150 MHz are removed from the track.
Sorry Mr Genius, but if you remove all frequencies below 150 MHz you're going to hear absolutely nothing.

Human hearing extends to approx 20 KHz, if you're lucky.

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Old 08-21-2016, 07:16 AM   #2465
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Frequency rolloff is the diminishing of one end of the spectrum or the other, and in most cases it applies to every instrument on your track. For example, the guitar track probably should have a low end fade at the bottom end of the frequency curve all the way up to 150-200mhz. This means there should be no EQ at all under 150 MHz. Some people call this a high pass filter. But essentially means that all frequencies below 150 MHz are removed from the track.

Competing low frequencies exist in almost all instruments in the recording scenario.

Professionals invariably remove these frequencies in all tracks except for the bass drum, and the bass itself.

This is basic stuff for pros but virtually unknown at the project studio level. Thereby becoming in my opinion the number one reason that project studios sound like ass.
This is exactly the type of blanket fix solution that Yep is trying to disgourage in this thread. You can't just low pass all the guitar under 150Hz and expect that to solve your problems. First, listen to the track. If it's muddy or things sound like their competing in the bass, try rolling off a track other than the bass or kick (e.g., the guitar), and roll off as little as you need to get rid of the mud. Don't just automatically remove everything below 150 on every track.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:48 AM   #2466
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This is exactly the type of blanket fix solution that Yep is trying to disgourage in this thread. You can't just low pass all the guitar under 150Hz and expect that to solve your problems.
+1000

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First, listen to the track.
Such a lost art, listening then deciding what, if anything is needed, instead of looking for 'tricks' to blindly apply and expect a mix to suddenly sound good.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #2467
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+1000



Such a lost art, listening then deciding what, if anything is needed, instead of looking for 'tricks' to blindly apply and expect a mix to suddenly sound good.
I'll add to Karbo... just to clarify:
Listen in context of the mix, rather than listening in solo to the identified track.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:26 PM   #2468
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Listen in context of the mix, rather than listening in solo to the identified track.
Big advice, just huge. It's a mix NOT a track inspection.

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Old 08-31-2016, 06:58 AM   #2469
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Another new registrant here, posting to express many thanks to Yep and others...much improvement all around for me. Hasn't helped my singing much but now I can see where I made mistakes in previous projects ( which had real time constraints, so actually were "finished rather than perfect").

One topic I did not see mentioned, or i missed...physical well-being and how it relates to the end result. I had a recent experience where I "hit the wall";* end result being I went deaf in one ear and half in the other ( my body sometimes over produces ear wax ) for a number of days.

I will admit I enjoyed the silence and I slept better, but I started wondering what productive people in this vocation do to maintain good health; aurally, physically, mentally. It would seem to me, being overly focused on reaching the next level ( as I am wont to do ) is not really part of a healthy lifestyle.* How do you know when to stop?? Do you have timers set that you don't ignore? Do you force yourself to leave it alone for a day? Or are you like me, and find yourself deaf, blind and hungry at an unspeakable hour?
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:47 PM   #2470
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However, he´s not wrong regarding the limiting factor. You will definitely notice the effect of higher quality recording gear with quiet sources and within the more relaxed songs, acoustic guitars and stuff, because noise floor is not masked by roaring guitars or cymbals in each measure of the song
Its true to a point, but nowadays, even some of the REALLY cheap "junk" has noise floors SSL and Neve wouldn't even dare to dream about back when I was using that stuff
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:43 AM   #2471
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Default Great post, thanks Yep

This is probably the greatest forum post I've ever read. Thanks a ton Yep, I guess I'll read the whole thing little by little.
Great writing style and lots of thought gems, really!
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:11 AM   #2472
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Well, long time since I last posted something here, but I think it's at least fair enough for me to share this experience, since it's mainly WDYRSLA related:

I can't even recall when I first found this thread, but ever since I started reading YEP's posts, I've been working my profoundly amateur recordist/producer skills in whatever I had the chance to, being it demos for my band, then soundtracks, and latelly, this:

https://www.youtube.com/Porta253video

It's my girlfriend's video project, in which we record small showcases of bands playing in the most awkward places we can find in our hometown, then Youtube it.
My job here is audio recording, using the same non-pro audio interface, sub-standard mics, and mainly, all that I've learned here.
Also, some soundtracks I've done:

https://soundcloud.com/joaofigueiredo_musicproduction

I even got to do some soundtech jobs!

The bittersweet part of this is that I never had the chance to show any of this to him, let alone thank him, so I hope this post serves some of this purpose.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:24 AM   #2473
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If you can strip a song back to its basics like a vocal and one acoutic guitar or piano and its gets you...

Thats all thats needed for the foundation of a good song,

If the song is bad no amount of polishing will make it sound any better.

People forget this.

And plough forward adding track after track after track of stuff just because they can.

In the words of Ringo Starr...The Beatles were great because of not what they played.But what they left out.
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:30 AM   #2474
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Default yet another extremely happy camper!

will be brief
First and only post on thread unless something happens that involves me directly.

I am a Blind coputer user, in love with reaper, even bought reaMix as suggested, responsible for the updating and maintenance of the www.reaperaccessibility.com site, a musician by conviction and discipline, trying to improve everyday.
I love contributing and helping others and that is precisely why I decided to bring reaper documentation for the blind on the www.reaperaccessibility.com site at no cost-its a way of giving back. And probably the OP of this thread resonates with the thought that there is a bit of living in giving and sharing with others.

Regarding the thread
read this ALL, of course plan to go back over and over. Laughed, had a blast, thought for a while, everything in between, what a great community tthe outstanding 40% of posters who managed to stay on point and contributed with the pdf's... that 40% counts with all of my suppport and admiration (not being excludng but hey, sometimes you gotta give deserved recognition). This truly inspires. Too bad the amazing discussion ended up so abruptly and in such a missleading way from page 45 or so onwards.
One thin missing from the pdf, which I got a kick out of and even though I understood what it was before reading the post but its essential to include it, please please.
https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=247
if its too late for it to be added, its understandable but its nice, and I'm just trying to save newcomers to this thread some time here. Searching the reaper stash for "yep" is satisfactory, as well as for an acronym made with the title of this thread, "wdyrsla"

Conclussion
a friend who is a sound engineer with a finished career and I (a blockhead who has finished his degree in jazz piano performance and a master in unniversity education) thank you sincerely and forever, and will re-read this ALL of the time. We usually hang out to share and learn from each other (I teach him musical harmony,mostly--he teaches me mixing and recording and concepts are so intertwined its almost pure bliss) and this is a tremendous companion. All of you can envy us with rage all you want from this moment on.
May you, yep and all of the wonderful contributors find success, delight and a bit of life in every single of your upcoming endeavours! I wish nothing more.
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:26 PM   #2475
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If you can strip a song back to its basics like a vocal and one acoutic guitar or piano and its gets you...

Thats all thats needed for the foundation of a good song,

If the song is bad no amount of polishing will make it sound any better.

People forget this.
Sometimes I think people look for polish BECAUSE they don't actually have the skills to write a good song. It seems to me, at least, like there are many amazing productions with lots of ear candy, but not so many good songs?

If I wanted to make money I would create as much ear candy as possible, make a video with as much eye candy as possible - hire a young Mk-Ultra Beta kitten, brainwash an entire generation that this music is GREAT by handing out music awards (e.g. Grammies)- try to fit every song into a predefined genre using the same recipes, and have my buddies play the songs over and over again on the radio (music is OCD).

Ohhh I forgot, I would also have Tavistock folks (and/or other occult magicians) influence the process to culturally engineer some weird, perverted, and degenerated reality - morally bankrupt people are easier to influence.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:14 PM   #2476
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Default Stick(y) it!

Wow, I can't believe this hasn't been cleaned out and stickied. Seriously, if not this, what does deserve a sticky?

Since it hasn't, I at least owe it a bump and my appreciation. Bumpreciation?

I recently was struck by inspiration and set out to record a song for the first time in too long. Remembering this thread, I returned for advice, inspiration, and just plain help.

With "Finished is better than perfect" as my mantra, I finished the lyrics, finished the arrangement, finished scratch tracks, finished basic tracks, finished screwing around with the guitar sounds, finished a vocal track I can live with, and... finished it! I've by no means stopped screwing around with it, but I have a "finished" track I'm reasonably happy with, I've played it for people and they declared it to not suck. Hoo-rah.

Keeping in mind the lesson on gain staging, I carefully made sure to have no overs and plenty of signal on everything. Actually, I record most things much hotter than yep recommends, tape habits die hard. But no overs and appropriate preamp use. Other semi-pro "experts" have declared that gain staging is irrelevant now as there is so much headroom available in current tech. They are wrong. Yep is right. Maybe next time I'll leave a lil mo headroom, I am sure it will sound better. Just not ready for all the lesson yet I guess.

Finding that my mixes were hazy and mushy, I topped and tailed and highpassed my tracks, remixed and marvelled as the fog blew away and something almost like punch emerged.

I did stray from the true path here and there. Running out of patience with my limited vocal skills, I went looking for software fixes... and found them! GSnap and Bittersweet are a-ma-zing and free. It's great advice to invest in classic high resale value gear but Mic Room took my 57 and made it sound, well, different and better. And I over-limited. It's just so easy to do, so much easier than explaining why your song is so quiet and you have to turn the volume up so high and it's actually better, really, and make sure to turn it back down QUICK or the next song -will- destroy your speakers... sigh oh well. I don't hear any phones ringing in it.

So thanks a bunch, yep. I coulda done it without ya, but it just woulda sounded like ass.

Um ok I'm lazy, but this thread is soooo long and I know that at some point it got hijacked and basically abandoned and I know that people have cleaned and archived it. Can someone point me to the final cut? And maybe anyone with some pull around here could lobby to get -that- put on a sticky, with maybe a few sample pages for an intro? Cuz it -would- be kinda silly to archive the 20(?) pages of that uh, difficult and inconsiderate person who jacked the thread complaining that he bought a EVH amp sim but still doesn't sound like EVH or w/e his problem was, but there's sooo much good stuff in here besides that.

Thanks again man, and also to the other participants who helped make this such a great thread.

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Old 05-29-2018, 01:16 AM   #2477
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... Running out of patience with my limited vocal skills, I went looking for software fixes... and found them! GSnap and Bittersweet are a-ma-zing and free. It's great advice to invest in classic high resale value gear but Mic Room took my 57 and made it sound, well, different and better. And I over-limited.
Hmmm... Software fixes hey?

Auto-tune, transient and EQ fixes only go so far, at least in my case.

---> I'm having difficulties with expression (e.g. emotional communication), ideal tone (e.g. the product of breath control, vocal function, adequate use of resonance, color, quality, registration, etc.), and figuring the best melody lines to fit the music. I've only begun to consciously work on these things, and also how and why to purposefully chose certain words, not only for their meaning, but for the arrangement of consonances and vowels. Never mind the struggle with proper microphone technique and all the times I fail to properly warm up my vocal cords.

Eq- ssshmEQ

I just need to sing better, on top of writing better songs.

Three memories just popped in my head: 1) this guy I met in a park in Cotati, California - sat beside me with his guitar and sang a song about Snow Cones and I was in shock - it was perfect in every way possible, and 2) a homeless guy in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, borrowed my guitar and sang a country song he wrote about a girl and lost love - it was so much better than anything I'd ever heard on the radio, 3) in a Rainbow gathering in the middle of forest, by the fire pit, a woman picked up a guitar and starting singing a song while walking around the fire. Everyone stopped talking an listened as she belted out what can be described as a punchy, rhythmic, reggae-folk type of song. She didn't have the greatest voice, but sang with confidence, energy, and life, and the guitar was just about right.

What these songs have in common was how simple they were and how they were sung with so much real and raw emotions -- how the melody lines and words were working perfectly with the whole sum of everything else. It was synergy at it's best. I'm almost 100% sure that what I heard in these three occasions could probably never be fully captured on tape or digital tracks.

I'm not too sure where I'm going with these stories, besides for the fact that --- I need to write better songs and stop worrying so much about EQ, compression, saturation, transients, etc. Perhaps it is easier to fork out money $, turn knobs, and slide sliders, than it is to create and express something original and great?
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:14 AM   #2478
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Hmmm... Software fixes hey?

Auto-tune, transient and EQ fixes only go so far, at least in my case
... and a bunch of other good thoughtful stuff...

Oh, I agree, laying down a great track is always the best way to go. If you can , lol. I think of myself as a drummer who also plays guitar, writes songs, and sings a little, in that order; great vocal takes don't just pour out of me. I was actually probably going to live with the vocal take I had as is because I did like the feel and expression of the take as compared to my previous attempts.

I suppose I mentioned the software at all for two reasons. 1. It made a notable contribution to the true goal of being "finished". 2. I got way better results than I expected. Prior to this experience, I might well have dismissed the idea of using automatic pitch correction freeware. But I gave it a shot, and I'm glad I did, and I'm willing to admit it.

To be fair to myself and the sofware, I think I used it pretty much as intended. It was an ok take, through a harsh-ish mic with a couple annoying flat spots and some soft consonants. I wanted some help with those issues and got it; miracles weren't needed or received. I think what impresses me the most is the quality or transparency. It is a -lot- of processing, and there's more; compression, eq... all live, haven't had to print or freeze anything yet, but to me it still sounds like me, just better.

I wish you luck with your challenges. Your music is more ambitious than mine. Maybe take it a little easier on yourself?
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:49 AM   #2479
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Hi everyone, my username here is a direct result of something YEP said in one of the earlier parts of the thread...

He said that some songs suffer from a 'ringing phone' sound effect kind of buried in the mix due to over-compression of high frequencies...or similar high frequency ranges all being over-compressed together. Wait. I'll try to find the exact post. Hang on.

Here is what yep says: (it's post #189)

The effect comes from having really saturated highs that get rapidly modulated (pumped up and down in level) by aggressive digital look-ahead limiters and multiband compression. This is an ugly process in a lot of ways, but when it starts tracking really fast-moving signal such as the individual cycles of low-frequency content (yes, this happens), then it starts to modulate more delicate and sensitive parts of the sound.

So anyway...in the first 45 seconds or so of this song I mixed...I believe I am actually getting this effect. Can anyone hear it?

https://soundcloud.com/user-186908625/half-price-gold

Can anyone tell me how to get rid of it? I'm guessing the 9:1 compression on the bass guitar is doing some funky stuff, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, if anyone out there stumbles on this post in this giant of a thread and can offer any advice that'd be great.

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:29 AM   #2480
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I think were too easily distracted these days. Also too saturated.

Gear-syndrome is another issue that blocks a lot of people. They think that somehow a new piece of gear will magically make their music better. It doesn't. It simply adds a new layer of distraction and leads to more convolution.

Less is more. When I owned a tape recorder back in the day, I was far more creative with it then I am now with thousands of plugins and a room full of gear. I used to cut my own tape, making mixes by slicing real tape. It required much concentration. But it was extremely rewarding to hear the final mix, oh, about two weeks later.

Some of the best records were made with low tech analogue gear.
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