Old 03-15-2012, 10:44 PM   #2161
yep
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,953
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Tune
Also, just for the record, I'm not sure a single phrase beat or bar was repeated in that VU song or that Link Wray one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marah Mag View Post
heroin by the velvets has a very nicely articulated structural development across its 7 minutes , even though it's only 2 chords.
I think that was kind of my point.

Especially with "Heroin", there's only two chords, but there is no way to make a loop-based equivalent. The whole song is just D-G, over and over, but there is no sample that anyone could take, no loop, no "riff"-- you can't even properly "score" it. It's just a guitar alternating two chords, and one drum. (there is also some screechy violin played by someone who can't play violin).

The musical "structure" is not merely simple, but stupid. If a friend of yours asked you what you thought of his "song", and then just played D-G-D-G... well, you might ask him whether everything is okay in his life.

"Heroin" manages to be a massive, epic, and intensely emotional 2-chord song that cannot be transcribed as riffs, samples, or even a score. Virtuosos cannot play it properly. Nobody can play it properly, even though the original was played badly and clumsily, full of half-fretted notes and sloppy-fingered chords. Playing it "correctly" ruins it.

This gets to the core of the artistry of recorded versus scored music. Once upon a time, the only way for a musician to make her voice known was either to do it, without amplification, for whoever was in earshot, or to try to write out her musical vision in a score that someone 1,000 miles away could try to reconstruct.

Modern recording and amplification technology enables a specificity of musical vision that was previously unattainable, except in immediate hearing range. Someone in 1850 might have performed something similar to "Heroin", but there is no way we could know about it, if they did. The written score would certainly not tell us much.
yep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 06:22 AM   #2162
rahul42
Human being with feelings
 
rahul42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Bangalore , India
Posts: 12
Default

Man i thought this thread would never kick off again .... Thanks yep for the reply!!


Recording is happening constantly and i've never been happier with the results .

Everything i've read in this thread is proving to be invaluable.

Cheers
rahul42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2012, 10:52 AM   #2163
brainwreck
Human being with feelings
 
brainwreck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,073
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
Someone in 1850 might have performed something similar to "Heroin", but there is no way we could know about it, if they did. The written score would certainly not tell us much.
Interesting thought.
brainwreck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 03:40 PM   #2164
Razor
Human being with feelings
 
Razor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 90
Default

Wow, thank you Yep for the wealth of information here.

I'm the "recording guy" at my church. I make sure all of the podcasts of our services get up on our website and make sure they sound as good as they can.

We started recording with Cakewalk SONAR a few years ago. The live sound engineers would record the services, then one of the associate Pastors who is also one of our musicians did the editing and uploading of the podcasts.

Eventually he taught me how to edit the recordings and I showed the other sound engineers the process.

Unfortunately in the early days, none of us really had a good understanding of gain structure. So sometimes there would be audible distortion in the recordings caused by the mic preamps in the FOH board overloading, other times the signal would be so quiet that it took quite a bit of added gain during the mixing stage to get the recording to a reasonable level.

Eventually we moved the recording PC to a separate room and I took over all the recording for the church. Over the years I've come to understand proper gain structure, how to use compression and limiting, etc.

Now the recordings are much more consistent. They're all mixed to the same level, there are nice fade ins and fade outs, and the volume is consistent throughout each recording.

The only problem I still face is that I have no control over the source most of the time. If I'm manning the recording PC and someone else is running the FOH board...I can only hope that they set the gain properly. I had to sit down and talk to one of our other sound guys about not ever setting the gain setting above a certain point. When our Pastor is preaching, his gain knob is not to be raised above -10 while recording, or this is a possibility of clipping. Thankfully, the other guy has kept that up and I haven't had distortion in recordings for a long time now.

If we were to ever record the whole band though...he'd need to change the way he mixes. I see clip lights flash on the board when he mixes all the time. It's really frustrating trying to get people to understand proper gain structure. He's a good guy, and when he mixes, it sounds good, but he doesn't realize that in a digital system, that clipping just isn't acceptable.

Anyway, rant over. Thanks again, Yep.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 + Reaper x64
M-Audio FastTrack Pro
Razor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 03:53 PM   #2165
gtrdrt
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor View Post
I see clip lights flash on the board when he mixes all the time.
Are you sure those clip lights aren't triggered by analog clipping that occurs before the signal is converted to digital? It's not uncommon for that to be the case.
gtrdrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 04:29 PM   #2166
Razor
Human being with feelings
 
Razor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 90
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdrt View Post
Are you sure those clip lights aren't triggered by analog clipping that occurs before the signal is converted to digital? It's not uncommon for that to be the case.
Well, maybe you can tell me. I'll tell you how our system setup works:

We have a digital board (Roland M-400) with a pair of digital snakes. The snakes contain the A/D converters and mic preamps. The preamp gain is controlled by the FOH board with the big red gain knob. The meters on the board correspond with the meters on the snakes themselves. So when the clip light flashes on the FOH board meters, it means the mic preamp in the snake is being overloaded. Now, the microphone may also be overloadng, but when that light flashes, I know that the preamp is getting too hot of a signal.

That's why the board has a -15dB pad for each channel. The normal gain range is -10 to -65. With the pad engaged, the range goes from +10 to -45. I engage the pad if setting the gain to -10 or higher results in clipping.

Every time that red clip light flashes on the board, I see it clip in SONAR. Since there are no additional gain stages between the FOH board and SONAR...there's nothing I can do to prevent this unless the FOH engineer turns down the gain knob.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 + Reaper x64
M-Audio FastTrack Pro
Razor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 08:05 PM   #2167
gtrdrt
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor View Post
Well, maybe you can tell me. I'll tell you how our system setup works:

We have a digital board (Roland M-400) with a pair of digital snakes. The snakes contain the A/D converters and mic preamps...
I've never heard of them being in snakes before. Nevertheless, don't you have access to a manual that tells you if the clipping is analog or digital?
gtrdrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 07:10 AM   #2168
Razor
Human being with feelings
 
Razor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 90
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdrt View Post
I've never heard of them being in snakes before. Nevertheless, don't you have access to a manual that tells you if the clipping is analog or digital?
The manual doesn't specifically state it but I'm pretty sure the clipping I'm talking about is digital.

"OL (Overload) indicator
This will light red when the output of the preamp exceeds the
OVER Lev setting specified in the METER SETUP popup." I have the meters setup to only red light when the signal is at or over 0dB.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 + Reaper x64
M-Audio FastTrack Pro

Last edited by Razor; 04-01-2012 at 07:16 AM.
Razor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2012, 04:13 PM   #2169
gtrdrt
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor View Post
The manual doesn't specifically state it but I'm pretty sure the clipping I'm talking about is digital.

"OL (Overload) indicator
This will light red when the output of the preamp exceeds the
OVER Lev setting specified in the METER SETUP popup." I have the meters setup to only red light when the signal is at or over 0dB.
If you set them up to red light when the input signal is well under 0dB, can you make them red light without there being corresponding clipping in Sonar?

(p.s. maybe this should be taken to another thread?)
gtrdrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 11:22 AM   #2170
Razor
Human being with feelings
 
Razor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 90
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdrt View Post
If you set them up to red light when the input signal is well under 0dB, can you make them red light without there being corresponding clipping in Sonar?

(p.s. maybe this should be taken to another thread?)
Yeah sorry I didn't mean to derail the thread at all.

I could set the red light to flash before clipping but that wouldn't change anything. When I mix, I just have my gain structure set up so that nothing ever clips. When the other guy mixes, he doesn't worry about clipping. He just sets it as high as he needs to in order to get the volume level he wants.

It's not that important though because he keeps it at an appropriate level when the Pastor is speaking and those recordings are the only ones we publish.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 + Reaper x64
M-Audio FastTrack Pro
Razor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 11:51 PM   #2171
grampazero
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5
Default

I have returned to this thread many times for inspiration and advice and gotten plenty of both. I just wanted to post a link to my first internet release if anybody would like to take a listen. Thanks to all!
http://thelocozeros.bandcamp.com/
grampazero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 03:43 PM   #2172
Cosmic
Human being with feelings
 
Cosmic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Online
Posts: 3,874
Default

This thread is God.
Cosmic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #2173
namooz
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1
Default Thread

This thread must be recognized. Yep's contribution (and others) have made it invaluable to anyone questioning their perfection at capturing and preserving good audio by caring about the results. I've been reading it for months and it never fails to inspire and illuminate. Modern Recording Techniques was my first read years ago, and Yep's motivation/vision/experience falls none shorter in this current days offerings of digital/analog audio mayhem and awesomeness. Thanks so much for the comments and advise-all of it. It's a great, great read!!!!! Right on Brother.
namooz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 05:22 AM   #2174
Cresta
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Italy
Posts: 130
Default

thanks YEP for the awesome thread!
Cresta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 10:23 AM   #2175
Figas
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 12
Default

Greetings everyone!!

I believe it might be a little frustrating for Yep for someone to undig this thread again, but only today I ended up reading the whole thing (including the last massive guitarwise posts n'stuff)

As Mr Joe Blow, I immediatly identified with the actual topic of this thread, and cannot thank Mr Yep enough for sharing such a huge ammount of valuable information!
I intend to put here some of the material I've lattely recorded, following as much of your input as possible, so that i can have some feedback.

For now, I wanted to know if you are already able to share some ideas on drum compression, since it's a topic that has been stared at least two times i can recall, but never actually quite discussed.
In order to not sound so vague, my specific question is: I use, as someone else here, Addictive Drums VSTi, which I cannot complain whatsoever. It does what it does, and its ok of me.

My problem is when trying to achieve a wrather.. powerfull drum sound. Not godly like, just not as thin as I'm achieving right now.
I tried to fool a bit around with compression, using the principles that you've taught here, but every time I've done so, I've applied it to the full drum stack, and not individual pieces (i kind of relied on the standard settings their standard kits bring for that), but the result is always the same: it's like the compressor is trying to moderate a discussion between cymbals and toms/kick/snare, making the overall sound an unbearable spl caos...
I can stop doing that, and compress/treat every single piece as one untill i get a good compromise, or is there any info you can lend some on this?

Thanks in advance for your support! More to come latter.

Cheers!
Figas
Figas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #2176
zydeceltico
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carbondale, CO
Posts: 52
Default

30 year songwriter/recordist here. I worked profesionally as a performer/songwriter in the 80s and 90s and owe all of my recording passion to that dear old tascam 4 track a billion years ago. I left the music industry for many years around 1994 and have only in the past 6 months decided that I wanted to be a part of it again.

Needless to say, The World Of DAW has been a huge learning curve for me since as a songwriter/arranger I *hear* the whole song at once and haven't been able to stand *taking my time* to master every little aspect of every single requisite piece of gear or software to record a full song as the technology today is so fra removed from The Ole Days of "burn the tape."

That said, I would like to thank everyone who has so generously taken the time to contribute to this incredible thread - especially Yep. I get it. And by that I mean that I only had a few grand to use to buy what I could to setup a small studio (and a large chunk of that went to a decent piano and monitors) so I have definitely had to "learn-to-listen" and to understand how to use what I have on hand rather than spending any more money and vast amounts of time scouring for the "perfect recipe." And of course - insight of the majority of this thread. To pat myself on the back a little though - and to reiterate something was said here a very long while back - I find that my mixes sound a ton better and basically mix themselves - if I am a songwriter first and an engineer second. In other words, all of the technology in the world cannot repair a poorly constructed song. I have learned over the past few months to ignore my impulsiveness to think that just because the record button is pressed and I am playing that whatever is "going to tape" is worth mixing. Ideas are ideas - not finished songs. I don't mix ideas. If I am writing parts from scratch with the record button on, I conscioulsy remind myself that I am writing - not recording. And for me that is a huge difference in terms of hours wasted/not wasted trying to mix something that is never going to live up to the full potential of a well though out, finished song. I probably do 5 to 10 rewrites before I believe a song is *finished." And even then, weeks later, I'll think - "oh maybe I shoulda......."

I did have a huge "a-ha" moment the other day when I went to record a real guitar through real amps (I have a fender deluxe reverb and my dear old original JCM 800). After attempting for months to wrap my brain around getting a *real* gtr sound with amp sims, and desperately trying to get up to speed with virtual drums, and trying to learn every little secret to compression, side-chains, and every vst, and the inner-workings of REAPER (which I dearly love) - the reality of making music for music's sake became oh so blessedly cler to me when I went to dial in a tone on both of the above mentioned amps - especially the fender. On the clean channel - which I was using - there are only 3 knobs: Volume, Bass, and Treble - -and that is it - period. And like a flood I was whisked back to the glory days in the garage where that was all the knobs you got and if you wanted distortion you threw in a boss pedal and that was truly your choice. And you made it work - in fact, I never even cared as long as it was loud and ripped my head off and made the neighbors call the cops. That was so simple. Believe it or not - - this a-ha - for me - was most definitely inspred by this thread.

I don't know why I decided to run off on a dissertation here cuz all I really wanted to do was to say thank you! Undertsanding the digital approach is far more clear to me now than it was 6 months ago. I am sure this is only going to make my recordings much better going forward.

If you should be interested in hearing my pre-WDYRSLA recordings please feel free to check out www.soundcloud.com/timbrogdon. I have begun applying many of the thoughts and insights I have been absorbing here and hope to post something soon that utilizes hopefully more than a smidgeon of this invaluable approach. The discussion on gain-staging alone was worth it's weight in gold. Still trying to figure out how to best track my Strat though and account for it's "spiky-peakiness." Next thing I'm going to try - since my Strat is very well setup - including pickup height - is slapping a look-ahead peak limiter on the input while tracking. I track at -18 to -12 but still get those wild clipping peaks from time to time due to my inherent playing style (read: aggressive right hand).

In any regard - Thank you again for all of the priceless insight!

Last edited by zydeceltico; 05-30-2012 at 04:41 PM.
zydeceltico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #2177
yep
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,953
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figas View Post
...For now, I wanted to know if you are already able to share some ideas on drum compression, since it's a topic that has been stared at least two times i can recall, but never actually quite discussed...

My problem is when trying to achieve a ... powerfull drum sound. Not godly like, just not as thin as I'm achieving right now. ...
For big, explosive, powerful drum compression, try using distortion effects, especially in parallel. Plug a drum track into a guitar distortion pedal or amp sim and play it back with the whole mix going and you'll be amazed how heavily you can distort before the drums sound like they are "distorted" or "lo-fi". They just seem to get huger and sizzlier and more explosive. Play around with it and go nuts, try reverbs, have fun.

This is a big part of why "analog" drums sound so awesome: tape gets that "explosive" saturation when you hit it hard in ways that digital does not. Try tape sims or "saturation" effects.

Once you've spent some time introducing your drum tracks to distortion/saturation effects, create a parallel "clean" track of the un-processed drums. Now turn down the "distorted" track until it is the same AVERAGE signal strength as the "clean" drum track (this will probably be somehting like a 20dB reduction-- this kind of level-matching was dealt with in the early parts of this thread).

Now turn up the volume on your speakers to get your clean drums sounding like a real drum kit, and A-B. Your "explosive", "massive" distorted drum track is now apt to sound flat and trashy and "fake" compared to the ear-spanking, whole-body dynamics and punch of real drums.

This is the problem before us: Take a lifelike recording of a real drumkit and turn it down to living-room TV-watching volume levels, and it sounds tiny, papery, and small. Compress and saturate it until it sounds big, powerful, and explosive at moderate volume. So far, so good. Now play it back at through a high-quality system at something like concert or movie-theater volume, and it sounds flat, ugly, distorted, and cheap precisely where it should sound best.

This is 99% of the art of audio engineering in a nutshell: getting stuff to sound more or less the same whether it is played back loud or quiet, on expensive or cheap equipment, on headphones, a club PA, a car stereo, TV speakers, a boombox, whatever.

One of the cool things about tape was how well it handled "hot" signal. You could find a sweet spot where the very top peaks hit a kind of explosive/airy saturation, and where stuff in-between had a sort of natural, variable-knee compression, and where the quietest stuff faded off into warm, modulated background hiss, just subliminal hints of sound.

Digital is much more accurate and much less forgiving. You can pretty much do anything with digital that you can do with tape, and usually better, but it takes more work, sort of.

Really great drum sounds, in terms of stuff that sounds great on all playback systems at all volumes, almost always requires multiple stages of dynamics on different kit-pieces.

Drum kits are far and away the most difficult instrument to record well, and are really a topic for a thread unto themselves. But the above experiment with distortion and clean sounds should give you a pretty good sense of the extremes of what you can achieve, and the earlier concepts of dynamics, frequency, etc apply to the rest of it.
yep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 07:05 AM   #2178
Figas
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
For big, explosive, powerful drum compression..
Thanks Yep! Actually, Addictive Drums has a "tape saturation" feature. Never quite considered that aproach, since the idea wasn't to make it sound too hot, nor even hot, just present and thick.

The things is that I'm not using compression at all over the whole kit, just some comp piece by piece, and some overall very very light compression, all of it coming from the kit's preset.
Everytime I compress it myself, I can't get a good balance between, let's say, threshold and attack/release. It always come out un-natural somehow, with the compressor being too much noticeable.
Having analised a friend of mine's track, who's actually a sound engineer, I think he uses quite fast attack and very quick release, but heavy threshold, but even that leaves me a bit unsatisfied..

I've lowered the overheads volume, in order to get some more overall headroom, and push the kickdrum a bit harder, balacing it using "average perceived volume" with the bass guitar, which came out fine, but perhaps better even?

Anyway, I'll try the tape sat idea. AND it's ok, you don't have to restate all the previously stated recording awesomeness You've mentioned before, heheheh! I read it all quite recently, and ahve it very fresh and usable.

Thank ou very very much for the whole thread!
Figas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 07:08 AM   #2179
Figas
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
..and are really a topic for a thread unto themselves.
Well?
Figas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 07:41 AM   #2180
Figas
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figas View Post
I intend to put here some of the material I've lattely recorded
Ok, so here it is:

http://soundcloud.com/figasbassplayer/track1

This is the first version of the track. It's incomplete, since I'm still to record a vocal track.
You can realise it's got some "holes" for the verse parts, and clearly a chorus part. Also, average sound level is a bit low, along with a fair amont of headroom still to use, although I'm pretty shure it will need some rearrangment to fit the vocal track.
It's not the "freshest" thing to ear latelly, but most of all, an aproach to sound engineering/production.
Of course this is MY apreciation of it, and I would gladly welcome any valuable feedback.
Figas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 07:33 PM   #2181
dexfx69
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
Level-matching continued...

Repeat until 2am, go to bed, and wake up to find that the "improved" recording sounds like a vortex of shit.

Now replace every instance of "better" above with "louder" and see if you get the idea
Your 2 posts here are excellent knowledge. Thank you for taking the time to post this information.
dexfx69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 07:45 PM   #2182
dexfx69
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post


So there is a really good case to be made for monitoring at very quiet levels as much as possible. In fact, I think it is safe to say that a majority of commercial mix engineers do a majority of their work at conversation-level or below, occasionally turning up the volume to check the lows and the balances at higher playback volume.
.
Simple, yet revolutionary thought for most people, including me. Thanks for sharing.
dexfx69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #2183
Rizuntaki
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Default hi

Just registered to say this

thanks for your info yep

you are god
Rizuntaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 04:05 AM   #2184
pauldude
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: behind a smile
Posts: 190
Default

Many thanks for all this info, YEP! I'm up to post #149 and have learned so much already....way to go, and can hardly wait.

There is so much more than recording help here. As I go through your posts, I am learning how to actually play better, to think more about my timing and exactly what I hope to achieve musically.

What a great find!
pauldude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #2185
OpIvy
Human being with feelings
 
OpIvy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Between the reef and the rainforest
Posts: 722
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figas View Post
Thanks Yep! Actually, Addictive Drums has a "tape saturation" feature. Never quite considered that aproach, since the idea wasn't to make it sound too hot, nor even hot, just present and thick.

The things is that I'm not using compression at all over the whole kit, just some comp piece by piece, and some overall very very light compression, all of it coming from the kit's preset.
I had the exact same problem as you with mixing drums.
I use AD and find it's much better to process the tracks/folders themselves rather than within AD. The distortion, reverb and eq suck balls imo.

What I found that's working quite well, whether its a good method or not....
is to send the kick, bass and snare to a compression buss (recomp) and compress the shit outta it, then use the fader as sort of a master and blend it in with the rest of the kit for punch.

Then there's also the kick beater trick. Send kick to a bus where it's eq'd (chop all bottom and top end out and boost the beater freq's), big compression and faded in to where you start getting the bang in the kick drum.

Also put all drums in a folder with saturation/ compression. PSP Vintage Warmer is not cheap but fucking awesome. I just slap it on the whole kit and adjust one of the presets. But there's plenty of good free alternatives.

Send the snare to a gated reverb buss and clamp down the snare hits on the track ie. gclip, comp.
But it often the room and overheads that can do most to give presence
....and don't forget to eq the bottom end of your kick and bass.
oh and that distortion trick mentioned previously has worked for me sometimes

I'm only just getting a grasp on this stuff myself but I know this definitely helped my drum sound. Be interested in hearing anyone elses take on it
OpIvy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 06:24 AM   #2186
FKAB
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
Sidebar...

Trivia question: what band recorded more number 1 hits than any other? More than the Beatles, Elvis, The Stones, and the Beach Boys combined?

A: The Funk Brothers, the then-anonymous house band/songwriting/arranging team behind Motown.

Home recordists take heart: all of the Detroit-era Motown records were made in the small (originally dirt floor) basement of Berry Gordy's humble Detroit home. I am paraphrasing from the film "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" when I say: "people always wanted to know where that 'Motown Sound' came from. They thought it was the wood, the microphones, the floor, the food, but they never asked about the musicians."

I am paraphrasing again when I say that it was widely thought that it didn't matter who the singer was, anything that came out of "Hitsville USA" (namely, that dirt-floor basement) was made of "hit." Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, the Temptations, The Four Tops, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, and so on were basically just rotating front people for the greatest band in popular music history.

I don't care what kind of party you're throwing or what the crowd is like, if you put on "Bernadette" or "Uptight Everything's Alright" or "standing in the shadows of love" or "WAR" or any of those old Motown numbers, people will get out of their seats and start dancing and clapping (maybe on the wrong beats, but whatever). Nobody knows the lyrics, nobody can hum the guitar riff, and it has nothing to with the production. The music bypasses the higher cognition functions and directly communicates with the hips and the hairs on the back of your neck.

The guitars are indistinct, the keys are hard to make out, the horns and winds vanish into the background, James Jamerson's incomparable bass symphonies are the definition of "muddy," but the unified whole is impossible not to respond to. One cannot be human and not react to "Heard it through the grapevine," "Heatwave," "Tracks of my Tears," "Shotgun," and so on.

This is American-style popular music at its apex, and unlike nostalgic hippie music or punk purists, all you have to do is to throw it in the CD changer to hear its real power and musical accomplishment. No explanation or cultural context required.

My point is not that everyone should aspire to sound like Motown. In fact I do not think it is possible or desirable to re-capture such a sound with any kind of production techniques. And my point is definitely not to argue that they were "good for their time" or anything like that. Throw it in the CD changer and see if it isn't just as good today. If you think it sounds "old" or doesn't hold up, ignore what I'm saying.

My point is that you could not MAKE a bad recording of this band. The recordings ARE bad-- they are muddy, overloaded, indistinct, midrangey, all of it. And you could put those recordings into a cassette player and record the output of an old 6x9 car speaker through a cheap mic and then replay it at a wedding and it would STILL get more people dancing than anything on the top 40 from any era.

The production does not make the song. The preamps DEFINITELY don't make the song. Hell, the SONG doesn't even make the song, in modern popular music. It's the performance.

The rest is just flash and sizzle.

End sidebar. More to follow.
While reading this thread again, and I have the PDF, I flipped over to Youtube and found "Bernadette", I opened my eyes...[listening to the mix] and the kids are jumping around the living room! No shit! Sorry about the complete quote, I couldn't decide where to edit it!

The more you know about Mixing, the less you know!

Last edited by FKAB; 08-04-2012 at 06:33 AM.
FKAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 08:16 AM   #2187
ivansc
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Somewhere between one and two
Posts: 7,529
Default

Class acts being recorded sound like class acts usually unless the recordist is deaf or stupid.
Those guys and others like them, all you really needed to do as stick mics in front of their instruments and let them loose.

So much of the magic was about seasoned pros knowing how to get a good, blended sound in the room without any help from the engineers for the most part.
That is what is missing in a lot of todays music.
If you read the books etc written about the funk brothers and various other studio house bands from hat era, these guys not only spent a LOT of time playing together in the studio, mostly they did outside gigs or jammed together as well.

The band that stays together plays together, to paraphrase.
ivansc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #2188
Evan
Human being with feelings
 
Evan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Greece
Posts: 3,359
Default

What is the URL for the latest PDF for this thread?
__________________
Consider voting: Fixed grid spacing | Improve pooled items
Disengage the tempo map
Evan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #2189
Smurf
Human being with feelings
 
Smurf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,151
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan View Post
What is the URL for the latest PDF for this thread?
http://stash.reaper.fm/browse.php?q=...=th&o=nd&pp=24
__________________
Yep's First 3 Years in PDF's
Smurf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 12:44 PM   #2190
Timothy Lawler
Human being with feelings
 
Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,030
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
Sidebar...

Trivia question: what band recorded more number 1 hits than any other? More than the Beatles, Elvis, The Stones, and the Beach Boys combined?

A: The Funk Brothers, the then-anonymous house band/songwriting/arranging team behind Motown.

Home recordists take heart: all of the Detroit-era Motown records were made in the small (originally dirt floor) basement of Berry Gordy's humble Detroit home. I am paraphrasing from the film "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" when I say: "people always wanted to know where that 'Motown Sound' came from. They thought it was the wood, the microphones, the floor, the food, but they never asked about the musicians."

I am paraphrasing again when I say that it was widely thought that it didn't matter who the singer was, anything that came out of "Hitsville USA" (namely, that dirt-floor basement) was made of "hit." Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, the Temptations, The Four Tops, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, and so on were basically just rotating front people for the greatest band in popular music history.

I don't care what kind of party you're throwing or what the crowd is like, if you put on "Bernadette" or "Uptight Everything's Alright" or "standing in the shadows of love" or "WAR" or any of those old Motown numbers, people will get out of their seats and start dancing and clapping (maybe on the wrong beats, but whatever). Nobody knows the lyrics, nobody can hum the guitar riff, and it has nothing to with the production. The music bypasses the higher cognition functions and directly communicates with the hips and the hairs on the back of your neck.

The guitars are indistinct, the keys are hard to make out, the horns and winds vanish into the background, James Jamerson's incomparable bass symphonies are the definition of "muddy," but the unified whole is impossible not to respond to. One cannot be human and not react to "Heard it through the grapevine," "Heatwave," "Tracks of my Tears," "Shotgun," and so on.

This is American-style popular music at its apex, and unlike nostalgic hippie music or punk purists, all you have to do is to throw it in the CD changer to hear its real power and musical accomplishment. No explanation or cultural context required.

My point is not that everyone should aspire to sound like Motown. In fact I do not think it is possible or desirable to re-capture such a sound with any kind of production techniques. And my point is definitely not to argue that they were "good for their time" or anything like that. Throw it in the CD changer and see if it isn't just as good today. If you think it sounds "old" or doesn't hold up, ignore what I'm saying.

My point is that you could not MAKE a bad recording of this band. The recordings ARE bad-- they are muddy, overloaded, indistinct, midrangey, all of it. And you could put those recordings into a cassette player and record the output of an old 6x9 car speaker through a cheap mic and then replay it at a wedding and it would STILL get more people dancing than anything on the top 40 from any era.

The production does not make the song. The preamps DEFINITELY don't make the song. Hell, the SONG doesn't even make the song, in modern popular music. It's the performance.

The rest is just flash and sizzle.

End sidebar. More to follow.
I saw this post recently when quoted by YesImBrian. It's a brilliant statement. Thanks for the post and the thread, yep.
Timothy Lawler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 09:11 PM   #2191
yep
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,953
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YesImBrian View Post
While reading this thread again, and I have the PDF, I flipped over to Youtube and found "Bernadette", I opened my eyes...[listening to the mix] and the kids are jumping around the living room! No shit! Sorry about the complete quote, I couldn't decide where to edit it!

The more you know about Mixing, the less you know!
As I get older and more disillusioned with music, that's one of the the songs I put on when I start to think that popular music is all boring, formulaic, over-produced, conceptual-gimmick claptrap.

It's the sound of life, of human experience. To hear it is to remember what it is to be human.
yep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 11:06 PM   #2192
Smurf
Human being with feelings
 
Smurf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,151
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by yep View Post
As I get older and more disillusioned with music, that's one of the the songs I put on when I start to think that popular music is all boring, formulaic, over-produced, conceptual-gimmick claptrap.
I feel the same way about early Steppenwolf, James Gang, and The Rockets....
__________________
Yep's First 3 Years in PDF's
Smurf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #2193
Studiodawg
Human being with feelings
 
Studiodawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 49
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizuntaki View Post
Just registered to say this

thanks for your info yep

you are god
... registered to make one single post! That's funny...this thread is Studiogawd.
Studiodawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 05:06 PM   #2194
infinitenexus
Human being with feelings
 
infinitenexus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 91
Default

Yep, I'd like to thank you again for all the info in here. I went from not knowing what I was doing, to recording something that sounds great in my barracks room while stationed overseas. It's gotten great reviews so far, and each review has commented on it having great production. It's death metal, but if anyone would like to hear it, here's a song:

http://youtu.be/_jVm7tlpMXQ

The basics that I learned here - turn down the gain, add some mids, cut the bass, etc - helped more than I can say. Thanks again!
infinitenexus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 10:00 PM   #2195
yep
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,953
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitenexus View Post
Yep, I'd like to thank you again for all the info in here. I went from not knowing what I was doing, to recording something that sounds great in my barracks room while stationed overseas. It's gotten great reviews so far, and each review has commented on it having great production. It's death metal, but if anyone would like to hear it, here's a song:

http://youtu.be/_jVm7tlpMXQ

The basics that I learned here - turn down the gain, add some mids, cut the bass, etc - helped more than I can say. Thanks again!
Wow. This sounds AWESOME, especially for something recorded in a barracks room. The genre is obviously not going to be to everyone's taste, but it mostly sounds exactly how it is supposed to sound, which is what good recording is all about.

If I were the producer, I might have some minor tweaks here and there to suggest, but they would be mostly subjective matters of opinion, and I'd be working outside area of expertise to critique this genre.

From a more strictly "engineering" POV, the one thing I would like to hear a little more of is low-end "punch" on the drums, and just a dB or two less upper-mid "click": fast double-kick like this is extremely hard to manage and I will frankly confess to using triggered samples to supplement or replace on fast-metal. I'd like to get a bit more "chest punch" from the kick, at sub-deafening guitar volumes, then I am getting from this mix. That's a tall order, but not impossible. The drums might be 2-3dB too quiet.

There is a mechanical-sounding percussion that I can't quite place on the recurring riff between vocal passages, almost like a super-rigid, heavily-distorted electronic hi-hat or "machine gun" sound. It's not bad, but it makes the actual drums sound too quiet by comparison.

The vocals are brilliant. Excellent performance, excellent capture, very well-mixed. This is a hard vocal style to get right, and both the singer and engineer did a great job here, for the most part. I might have cranked up the upper-midrange a little more to really crush the "throat" sound. There is one passage in I think the third verse towards the end that sounds a bit cookie-monster at around 2:30 and 2:40. I don't want over-state this or over-coach it so that it messes up your swing, so to speak, because this is an extremely difficult vocal style to perform and capture well, and you've done it extraordinarily well. It's the kind of thing that has to be pushed right up to the bleeding edge of sounding "silly", forced, or fake, and the difference between getting it right and getting it wrong is excruciatingly narrow. One sounds cinematic and other-worldly and hyper-intense, and a millimeter away is fake and cheesy and silly.

The guitar sound is spot-on, engineering wise. Big, beefy, and crunchy, without turning into nasal fizz. Gain-restraint is helping you massively. There is a kind of "boingy" delay/modulation effect that I can't quite place in the single-note main riff. I don't dislike it, but I might have tried a "screamier" sound between vocals, maybe root-octave power chords with a muted middle string, and less obvious "effects". Once again, a purely subjective question of taste and preference, not a right/wrong thing.

Again, awesome work. Nobody anywhere is ever going to not buy this record for production/engineering reasons, and you've done a killer job of showcasing the material. 100 engineers would all probably do it 100 slightly-different ways, and my way might be slightly different from yours, but I definitely cannot say it would be better. In fact, I'm not even sure I would give myself a 50% chance of having done this in a way that I would prefer.

If you want armchair-quarterbacking, I can provide it, and the whole internet can give you tons of it, but you scored an absolute game-winning touchdown here, production-wise. Talk is talk, and results are results. I could talk about this recording for a long time, but could I score more points? Maybe, maybe not, but it's always easier to say what someone else should do, than to do it yourself. You did it and did it well. All I can offer is talk.

Well done.
yep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 11:42 PM   #2196
infinitenexus
Human being with feelings
 
infinitenexus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 91
Default

Wow, thanks! I read all your posts in this thread and tried to learn everything I could, and I'm glad it came out well.

On the kick drums - I don't have proper monitors yet (next month's paycheck) so I mixed that down on some 30 dollar computer speakers. Since I know they suck, I tried my best to use reference albums (metallicas self-titled, especially) and a/b it to fix sound issues. I was always worried about the kick drums being too loud actually, glad to know they aren't. I'll put them back up a db, and the drums overall up a db. Thanks for the tips.

It means a lot to get production compliments from you, so I really appreciate that. I'll be moving back to the states in less than 2 months, and I'll be able to finish up my next album in much better situations. And with real monitors!
__________________
http://musicforthedead.com
My musical projects, all recorded with Reaper.
infinitenexus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 11:59 PM   #2197
infinitenexus
Human being with feelings
 
infinitenexus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 91
Default

Oh, and I am the singer and engineer (and guitarist, bassist...) I did everything on this album except play the drums - I just used EZDrummer for those. I literally recorded, mixed, and mastered this entire thing sitting in front of my computer. It takes a little bit of the "soul" out of the music, but hey, I worked with what I had.
__________________
http://musicforthedead.com
My musical projects, all recorded with Reaper.
infinitenexus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #2198
yep
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,953
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitenexus View Post
Oh, and I am the singer and engineer (and guitarist, bassist...) I did everything on this album except play the drums - I just used EZDrummer for those. I literally recorded, mixed, and mastered this entire thing sitting in front of my computer. It takes a little bit of the "soul" out of the music, but hey, I worked with what I had.
For a one-man band especially, this kicks all kinds of ass, production-wise.

Really, outstanding work. Single-person self-production is extremely difficult to do well.

Do good work, and get home safe from wherever you're at. The world needs a lot of things more than it needs good metal, but it needs good metal, too.
yep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 10:31 AM   #2199
serr
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,613
Default

Better question:
Why do some 'professionally' made officially released recordings sound like ass?

Even better question:
Why do some professionally made official recordings get hoarded and the record company only releases a reduced CD version?

Some examples:
Pink Floyd. Some of you may have heard of them.
Why is the 'Directors cut' DVD for Live At Pompeii reduced to bootleg sound from noise reduction artifacts and running at the wrong speed to boot.? (and missing the quad soundtrack)

The Beatles. A couple of you may have heard of these guys.
EMI made a huge deal of remastering their whole catalog. They bragged endlessly about using Prism converters and transferring the tapes at 24 bit 192k. Why haven't they released a single note?! Just lossy CD reductions to tease everyone. (Marketing 101: They want to get everyone to buy them twice. Now in reduced quality and again later when they finally liberate the masters.)


At least when an amateur makes a mistake it's honest!
__________________
Mac Pro 8x3.33GHz i7, 16GB, 256GB SSD(OS, apps), 3x2TB 7200 HD(data); MacBook Pro 2.8GHz, 6GB, 128GB SSD HD(OS, apps), 750GB 7200 HD(data); 2xTrue Precision 8; Apogee AD-16; 2xMOTU 828mk3, Evolution UC-33e; Faderport; WiRanger, iPad & the analog mixer has retired
serr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #2200
Sigilus
Human being with feelings
 
Sigilus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Global
Posts: 2,687
Default

And would the average listener have a system which could reproduce such a recording to sufficient accuracy for it to even matter?
__________________
F.R.::Render as Wave_Extensible
The greatest story leaves you at the black doors of possibility.
Sigilus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.