Old 10-13-2012, 10:56 PM   #2201
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Originally Posted by serr View Post
...
Why do some professionally made official recordings get hoarded and the record company only releases a reduced CD version?
...
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.)
...
I wouldn't be surprised if they do find suckers who'll buy the "hi res" version. What _would_ surprise me is if someone could demonstrate an audible difference between "hi res" and CD spec. As far as I've been able to determine, no one has ever demonstrated this audible difference.

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Old 10-14-2012, 12:19 AM   #2202
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check out the 'hi-rez' version of Stevie Wonder's 'InnerVision'.

You can actually gaze through the open piano lid and see Stevie singing.

Of course ... then ya have the early releases from CCR, plaining demonstrating that these were 'demo' recordings ... rough sounds to say the least ... yet, still have a few Number #1 on it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:16 AM   #2203
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I wouldn't be surprised if they do find suckers who'll buy the "hi res" version. What _would_ surprise me is if someone could demonstrate an audible difference between "hi res" and CD spec. As far as I've been able to determine, no one has ever demonstrated this audible difference.

Fran
Well, we have an entire industry and products dedicated to it and every small to major recording studio in the world using it. That should maybe prompt you to investigate why you haven't heard the difference rather than assuming everyone else is crazy. Very easy to hear with even modest professional gear or *audiophile consumer gear. This has been demonstrated continually for over 15 years actually. Insist it doesn't exist or investigate and listen to music better. Your choice. If you want, you can even start twisting terms around or the ever popular making the strawman claim that high res is supposed to give you super human hearing or something and then proceed to debate that. People have all kinds of fun with this.

Or, if you enjoy actually listening to music more than doing that you could investigate where the bottleneck in your system is that is preventing you from hearing more. That could be a good day. It was for me!

* And yes I'm aware that people sell snake oil to customers who only pretend they hear the difference. Not talking about that (Monster USB cables and all that).

Speaking of snake oil. Know why many people have never heard higher quality? Seen the watered down consumer electronics they sell at best buy these days? You could drop $4000 there on complete garbage that is actually designed to lower the quality (which goes right along with this 'sell them a lower quality version first' thing).

If you look for the right products though here in 2012, you can get studio sound for probably around $600 where you will readily hear the difference 24 bit makes.


Sorry to hijack the thread but how do we expect beginners to have a clue when the professional industry is putting out really embarrassing work and we have a whole bunch of people who have truly never heard better than CD sound? I actually hear some amateurs and independent labels releasing much better sounding work than some of the 'professionals'. Not sounding like ass.

So again, why are professional record companies releasing recordings that sound like ass?
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:49 AM   #2204
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So again, why are professional record companies releasing recordings that sound like ass?
Because the music buying public is listening to most of their music in a lossy compression format, thru ear buds that suck, and they don't care. Why should anyone put effort into making a good/great product for this type of listener, and spend the extra $$ to make it great?

As for the 16/24 debate, it is like the 44.1/96k debate.....whatever trips your trigger. Anyone can hear the difference on an acoustic recorded, like a solo acoustic, piano, or orchestral side by side, anyone. There is a definite difference in the upper ranges.

What proof? Go listen for yourself!

But with rock-pop-hip hop- most modern popular music, there is no way. It is too over EQ'd & compressed to enjoy, let alone tell small song differences.

And this is an IMHO, YMMV, yada yada post..disagree away. it will not change my mind! LOL
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:35 AM   #2205
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Well, we have an entire industry and products dedicated to it and every small to major recording studio in the world using it. That should maybe prompt you to investigate why you haven't heard the difference rather than assuming everyone else is crazy. Very easy to hear with even modest professional gear or *audiophile consumer gear. This has been demonstrated continually for over 15 years actually. Insist it doesn't exist or investigate and listen to music better. Your choice. If you want, you can even start twisting terms around or the ever popular making the strawman claim that high res is supposed to give you super human hearing or something and then proceed to debate that. People have all kinds of fun with this.

Or, if you enjoy actually listening to music more than doing that you could investigate where the bottleneck in your system is that is preventing you from hearing more. That could be a good day. It was for me!

* And yes I'm aware that people sell snake oil to customers who only pretend they hear the difference. Not talking about that (Monster USB cables and all that).

Speaking of snake oil. Know why many people have never heard higher quality? Seen the watered down consumer electronics they sell at best buy these days? You could drop $4000 there on complete garbage that is actually designed to lower the quality (which goes right along with this 'sell them a lower quality version first' thing).

If you look for the right products though here in 2012, you can get studio sound for probably around $600 where you will readily hear the difference 24 bit makes.


Sorry to hijack the thread but how do we expect beginners to have a clue when the professional industry is putting out really embarrassing work and we have a whole bunch of people who have truly never heard better than CD sound? I actually hear some amateurs and independent labels releasing much better sounding work than some of the 'professionals'. Not sounding like ass.

So again, why are professional record companies releasing recordings that sound like ass?
So you've successfully ABXed hi-res audio vs CD?

There's this thing called "evidence" and then there's this other thing called "belief." There's a lot more of the latter than the former in the world in general and vastly more of it in the world of audio recording and reproduction. And, as I said, I have yet to find documented evidence of audibility. I certainly wouldn't accept the availability of high sample rate hardware as evidence of audibility, that would be absurd.

And the reason the industry supports it is because:

1. gear manufacturers need "new bigger better" in order to upsell
2. suckers like my brother will spend double or triple on media if you tell them it's amazing and wonderful and you can give them some numbers that are bigger. And once you've found a sucker like that you can sell him "audiophile" ethernet hubs to handle the "stress" of delivering those "hi-res" files. Puuhhhleeeze.

Lessee, I'm listening through an RME UFX, Hafler P3000, and Dynaudio BM6p in a treated room. Which part of this chain is inadequate?

Fran
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #2206
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Just bought a $50 SPL Meter today. I've read SO MANY variations as to room set-up! One says boost to 93dB C weighted on Fast. Another, 78dB A weighted on Slow. I do have Bob Katz's Mastering book, so I'm pretty confident that 83dB is the proper reading to shoot for. However, is that A or C ... Slow or Fast?

Also, proper monitor angle, etc. I did a rough string set-up to get the proper angle / listening position where I get a "true" balance between both monitors. I'm assuming I take my meter levels at the point where the srtings cross.

Thanks
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #2207
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So you've successfully ABXed hi-res audio vs CD?
I know you do a lot of ABX testing on these kinds of things, and I occasionally follow your blog for the laughs it produces. Have you done ABX testing on "hi-res" audio?

It smells like bullshit to me, but I'm a data driven guy and have none to validate or invalidate the olfactory test.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #2208
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I know you do a lot of ABX testing on these kinds of things, and I occasionally follow your blog for the laughs it produces. Have you done ABX testing on "hi-res" audio?

It smells like bullshit to me, but I'm a data driven guy and have none to validate or invalidate the olfactory test.
I'm on the road right now but I've been planning to do a level matched same source comparison of CD spec vs "hi-res" - I have an RME UFX which lets me record simultaneously to a memory stick and the computer, so I can capture different formats. It will be a couple of weeks before I'm home to give this a try.

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Old 10-24-2012, 01:21 PM   #2209
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I'm on the road right now but I've been planning to do a level matched same source comparison of CD spec vs "hi-res" - I have an RME UFX which lets me record simultaneously to a memory stick and the computer, so I can capture different formats. It will be a couple of weeks before I'm home to give this a try.

Fran
Well do please let us know when it's ready. I'd be interested in the results.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:24 PM   #2210
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Still 'waiting' (well not really) to hear a good one...
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #2211
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Just bought a $50 SPL Meter today. I've read SO MANY variations as to room set-up! One says boost to 93dB C weighted on Fast. Another, 78dB A weighted on Slow. I do have Bob Katz's Mastering book, so I'm pretty confident that 83dB is the proper reading to shoot for. However, is that A or C ... Slow or Fast?

Also, proper monitor angle, etc. I did a rough string set-up to get the proper angle / listening position where I get a "true" balance between both monitors. I'm assuming I take my meter levels at the point where the srtings cross.

Thanks
Meters cannot tell you what sounds good, they can only quantify what you are hearing. A-weighting is the most common measure of perceived "loudness", and is what I would recommend as a starting point.

You can't do a good job of audio-processing by "meter" (at least, not as far as I have ever seen). More people succeed with technical ignorance but with good subjective experience and practice than vice-versa.

But most of the best have both skill-sets. Understanding the technicals allows you to make better and more-deliberate subjective decisions, like a cook who understands the chemistry of food, but who endeavors to achieve subjectively great flavor and texture.

Measuring the pressure of sound-waves is a purely technical question. But measuring the impression of "loudness" or "volume" is somehting else entirely.

The human ear is not just a "dumb" SPL meter, it is a far more sophisticated measurement instrument, made to detect the sounds most relevant to human survival. It hears a crying baby even in sleep, but filters out a falling tree unless it is very near.

The reason you want to understand SPL, and to do volume-comparisons, is to make sure you are not deluding yourself. Measurement devices such as SPL meters and so on are handy as "gut-checks" to make sure you are not kidding yourself, but they are no substitute for a practiced and sensitive ear.

When I talk about "level-matched" comparisons, I'm talking about "apparent volume", and that's a subjective thing. Your meters are there to help calibrate your ears. Digital peak meters are the least useful, the least informative meters. But the fact that they are less useful does not mean you should rely on something else.

If it sounds good, it is good.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:32 AM   #2212
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Just bought a $50 SPL Meter today. I've read SO MANY variations as to room set-up! One says boost to 93dB C weighted on Fast. Another, 78dB A weighted on Slow. I do have Bob Katz's Mastering book, so I'm pretty confident that 83dB is the proper reading to shoot for. However, is that A or C ... Slow or Fast?Thanks
Short answer per Mr. Katz' information is "83 dB SPL (per channel, C-Weighted, slow speed)." (for K-14 using "standardized pink noise calibration signal whose amplitude is -20 dB FS RMS").

Before I forget I want to thank everyone who has participated in this thread for it's long life. I'm new to mixing and Reaper and read this thread from end to end, some posts over and over to get the gist. Wonderful effort and the fact that we had someone PDFing and saving it was tremendous!

I sort of got into reading the Bob Katz K-System stuff myself. His points are valid and could lead to suspension of the 'loudness race' if they ever catch on. For me, I found the material useful for setting up my own mixing at reasonable SPL levels. Previously like everyone I bet, 'louder sounded better' and probably convered up poor mix decisions. When I mix I try and use Mr. Katz' K-14 leveling and information I've found on these Reaper forums for adjusting my Master level meter. I also use the "K-Meter" plugin recommded on Mr. Katz' website since it seems a more reliable reference for the K-System.

Search for posts here by user "billybk1" for information on how to adjust the Reaper Master track meter for K-14. The link for the K-Meter plugin if you want to try it is http://code.mzuther.de/kmeter/.

Mr. Katz' website has two articles that are key:
http://www.digido.com/articles-and-d...es-part-1.html
http://www.digido.com/how-to-make-be...gs-part-2.html

One of the Katz article links provides a link to a 'standardized pink noise calibration signal whose amplitude is -20 dB FS RMS' which might help you calibrate your own mixing setup monitors and volume.

And finally... yep is absolutely correct. All that 83dB or K-System does is try and normalize the SPL level that you mix at. It really does nothing by itself to 'make mixes better'. It simply provides a standardized 'volume' reference level that coincidentally has less negative effect on your ears!
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:04 PM   #2213
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Well do please let us know when it's ready. I'd be interested in the results.
Here are the comparison clips - one at 96K, one at 44.1.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1069874

Fran
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:05 AM   #2214
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Earlier yep recommended not mixing with headphones.

I was skeptical, but after tonight I realized why.

I put together a mix that sounded great on my cans. Played them back through my regular computer speakers and the bass sounded like crap. Super muddy.

So I did a little bit of remixing with my speakers, even though they aren't monitors and it's also been recommended not to mix on those...

But after I finished I came up with a mix that sounded great on both speakers and headphones.

Guess there's just something about letting the sound get out in the open air.

Thanks so much again for this thread, yep.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #2215
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Nearfield close-miking opens up a world of opportunities in this respect. We can zero in on the sharp "thump" of a kick drum and make it feel like a punch in the chest for an uptempo club track, or we can stretch it and compress it to sound like distant thunder for a slow mournful ballad. We can take a poppy, bouncy snare and turn it into a gated, white-noisy industrial explosion or we can subtly lift up the decay to get a sharp, expressive, woody crack. We can flatten out the guitars and shove the Celestion greenbacks right into your ears. We can get the bass to pump the speakers and we can make the piano plunk and plink a whole new backbeat.
I'd like to learn more about how to do this. For instance I have a (live) recording of a snare that has a lot of ring and bounce to it without that "sharp, expressive, woody crack" and would like to learn how to change that.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:27 AM   #2216
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Here are the comparison clips - one at 96K, one at 44.1.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1069874

Fran
In not so distant past there was this failed hi-res CD format called SACD. I haven't heard those personally, but I remember one thing that got mentioned in the CD reviews. Those SACD versions were mastered differently, they kept dynamics much wider in those. So even if that medium itself wasn't better, those recordings surely were. I mostly listen to older music because I can't stand modern sound. Porcupine Tree's Deadwing album was a tipping point to me, while the album is great, it is completely ruined in mastering. Of course it might sound nice in car or on iPod but on good hifi it is laughable. They even distorted a piano ballad!

I remember being in scorn when the SACD reviews of that record were praising how much better that mastering was...

Good or great hifi makes CDs sound absolutely marvellous. So much that it is really easy to hear good and bad mastering on CDs. So if one would like to enjoy sound, hifi is where it's at.

Only thing that makes hi res music essential is the fact that it might be mastered better for quality listening.

BTW my hifi is pretty vintage with 80s KEF reference speakers and old Sony ES amp. Only DAC and player are modern. That is pretty cheap and gorgeous system. With this system the CD versions of quality recordings from 60s and even late 50s sound way better than modern CDs. That was quite a revelation to me. Of course modern albums have more idiotic low end and irritating highs but with good hifi those old albums have plenty of highs themselves. Low end might seem essential to dance and metal music but just listen some ole Perez Prado Mambo stuff, it kicks some serious ass!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:23 AM   #2217
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Of course modern albums have more idiotic low end and irritating highs but with good hifi those old albums have plenty of highs themselves. Low end might seem essential to dance and metal music but just listen some ole Perez Prado Mambo stuff, it kicks some serious ass!
I like the sound of old albums, too, but keep in mind that that old sound is due to the limitations of the technology of the day, not because the bands sounded that way live in the room.

For example, every time you pass a piece of magnetic tape over the recorder's heads for playback or an overdub you loose high frequencies. The highs are the weakest part of the signal and just deteriorate over the course of multiple playbacks. And the sub-bass lows were removed not because they weren't there to begin with, but because they could not be reproduced on vinyl.

So those old albums with that characteristic high- and low- pass filtering were not done that way intentionally. In fact, if they were recorded back then, but with today's technology, they would probably sound like a lot of today's music except that:

- They would be recorded more "live in the room", with less overdubbing than today's music, and

- We would hear more distant and room mics and less of the close micing so prevalent today, and

- We would have much better dynamic range because there was no loudness war at the time.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #2218
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So has anyone put this in a pdf yet?
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #2219
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So has anyone put this in a pdf yet?
I believe they have. Check the Reaper Stash. It may be called something like "WDYRSLA" Part 1,2 and 3.

Or, something like that.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:24 PM   #2220
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Yep:
http://stash.reaper.fm/v/3107/wdyrsla_061709.pdf
Not exactly up to date but the bulk of the good stuff is there.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:31 AM   #2221
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Yeah... been a fair bit of smoke blown in this thread as it ran out of steam and Yep decided he had said enough for the time being.

Gosh - just realised THIS post of mine is just adding to the garbage.....


Sorry.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:09 AM   #2222
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Thanks all.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #2223
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yep 3 year collection
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:27 PM   #2224
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Here are the comparison clips - one at 96K, one at 44.1.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?p=1069874

Fran
You rock. I'll take a listen when I get home and vote accordingly.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #2225
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Default Just read the whole thread

I started in November/ December and just read the whole thread.
Thanks for the info yep- you should look into writing a book.
My recordings aren't overly ass but I'm always trying to improve.
To the member who said playing with a click is like having your mom hold your hand -
That was beautiful. I used to practice with a drum machine all the time and building a good
sense of time is a prerequisite along with playing in tune. Record something out of time or out of
tune if you want to make sure no one listens the whole way through.

It seems like Yep had more to add about drums before the thread was derailed.
What's a good way to get more headroom for drums. It seems like drummers(some not all) check the drums at a certain volume then go apeshit once the red light goes on.
I liked the trick of giving the singer a sm58 to chew on.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:57 PM   #2226
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Earlier yep recommended not mixing with headphones.

I was skeptical, but after tonight I realized why.

I put together a mix that sounded great on my cans. Played them back through my regular computer speakers and the bass sounded like crap. Super muddy.

So I did a little bit of remixing with my speakers, even though they aren't monitors and it's also been recommended not to mix on those...

But after I finished I came up with a mix that sounded great on both speakers and headphones.

Guess there's just something about letting the sound get out in the open air.

Thanks so much again for this thread, yep.
Yes and I always test in MONO as well. Sometimes that can illuminate things in a mix that you can't notice any other way. The more different speakers you can test on the better IMO..
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:53 AM   #2227
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Default Yep : plz something on your motivation and hows for posting this material

Yep, can you elaborate on your motivation to do this teaching work and mental or life obstacles you had to successfully overcome to make it for real here ?

Im' sure some of us have some sort of great knowledge and wisdom related to music or not, that would be immensely beneficial of your inner advices on how and why achieving it in a public form. Thanks !
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:58 PM   #2228
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Yep, can you elaborate on your motivation to do this teaching work and mental or life obstacles you had to successfully overcome to make it for real here ?

Im' sure some of us have some sort of great knowledge and wisdom related to music or not, that would be immensely beneficial of your inner advices on how and why achieving it in a public form. Thanks !
LOL!

I have no great inner guidance, and never set out to do any "teaching work". I'm just a guy who wrote an internet post about recording basics that turned into a really long thread.

If you want life advice, I'm probably not qualified to give it, but here goes:

Do less stuff, and do it better. Whatever you're gonna do, you only have 80 years or so to do it, so focus on what matters.

Also, be wary of trying to explain it on internet forums, it will take up a ton of your time!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:13 PM   #2229
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Also, be wary of trying to explain it on internet forums, it will take up a ton of your time!
...
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #2230
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Also, be wary of trying to explain it on internet forums, it will take up a ton of your time!


Well, thank you for spending a ton of your time sharing your thoughts and approach with us, Yep. We've learned a lot, and you've earned a ton of good karma (if such a thing exists).
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:04 AM   #2231
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Thanks Yep for this amazing thread. I just read pdf. files from this thread (so I haven't read all latest posts) and this feels little like writing to bible or something This has been like kick in the ass in many things like "solve the problem of humming guitar, organize your studio, forget presets, organize your plugins..." things you kind of know but ignore until somebody says it. This thread also talked about acoustics thread, but I couldn't find it. Can somebody send link to it?

However there are some things I would criticize (because you wanted it :P)


1. You said: "Nobody ever falls in love to their music or is compelled to break down and weep or to jump up and dance, it's music for music nerds. And that's fine, in and of itself."

I'm sure that there are lot of people who haven't study any music theory, but they still love complex pieces of classical music. And if you go to gig of progressive metal band, audience is jumping around and headbangin to those 7/8 riffs. Even those songs will probably not be played in parties, it doesn't mean that people are not loving that music. You need to pay more attention to complex music, so that's why it's not best choose for noisy party with drunken people. When you have time to sit down and just listen... you may get much more out of "nerd music" than other people get from simple pop songs. And even if only nerds would love your "nerd music" I don't see any problem. If 10 000 000 nerds will buy your album because it's more complex than anything else, is that bad thing?


You also said: "If music is the product of a methodical series of chores and academic exercises, made by a glassy-eyed technician hunched over a computer, then it's going to show in the results."


You seem to be guy who understand at least something about music theory, but there are lot of people who thinks that music theory is created by scientists and computers and if you study theory, your music starts to sound academic, mathematical and boring (I would like to sometime hear their example of that kind of music).

Most of the music theory is lot older than computers and I believe it's made by people who have discovered that "hey, if I play this notes together, it sounds good!" instead of "I try to calculate ultimate theory that creates perfectly pure music".

So theory is after all stuff that people have noticed that sounds good. We copy things like "bass plays the lowest notes", "song starts with intro", "drummer plays ride in chorus and hi-hat in verse", "in metal band there is distortion in electric guitar", "song usually has one solo"... not because we are told to do so, or because they are the "correct academic way", but because those things SOUND good. So if we are copying all those things and lot more, why don't we want to use good sounding things from music theory too? Maybe C-major scale is invented because it sounds good, not because some math genius once calculated it?

And to my experience... those musicians who have studied theory can make music that makes me think "wow, amazing, how the hell she can invent something like that?" and music created by people who have not studied music makes me more often think like "oh, just another typical, and boring C Am F G chord progression in 4/4".

Those people who are most against theory, will usually make the most boring songs that follow theory. No key changes, no notes outside the scale, only 3/4 and 4/4 time measures... only the "right" notes in simple major or minor scale. They may think they are making original and genius music, but are actually doing some basic stuff that has been invented hundreds of years ago. "Rules are made to be broken" but if you don't know the rules, it's lot harder to broke them.

I know that your point wasn't "music theory sucks" but speaking about "glassy-eyed technicians" may give impression to somebody that music theory is evil and should be avoid any ways.

Of course we all are individuals, but to me theory can be source of inspiration, it helps communicating with other musicians, it makes me work faster, it makes me invent new stuff, it makes me understand stuff that other people make... "All you need is ears" but if you have now clue at all what you are doing, it's quite hard to compose two hour long symphony to live orchestra. I'm not saying that "composing under inspiration" is bad, I like to do basic structure of song without thinking much about theory, but it gets me just to one point. To get further and get the "next step" I need help of theory.

Btw. here is song composed by guy who studied in Sibelius academy. Doesn't sound too academic to me... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVifw7Atg2Y


2. One thing I think that is quite important, but not mentioned here is that "don't listen with your eyes". I have seen this specially when somebody is trying to find good guitar tone from plugins. "I choose this amp because it looks like Marshall. Then I choose this cabinet, because it is called xxxx. I use this mic simulation because my favorite guitar player uses that mic too...". Maybe that other crappy looking amp plugin actually sounds more Marshall than the one you use, maybe the programmer accidentally gave wrong name to that cabinet simulation, maybe some other mic simulation sounds closer to the sound your looking for...

I'm little surprised that you sent those frequency analyzer pictures, because it will easily lead to people staring those lines "oh, that's how my music should LOOK like!" and then they tweak their eq to get the look similar to their favorite album. There is danger that you start to "listen with your eyes" and forget your ears. It's good to remember that the audience won't see what you are seeing in your studio. They don't see what preset did you use, they don't see that your reverb is supposed to sound like church, they don't see how you adjusted your compressor, they don't see that you had huge condensator mic in front of singer like in professional studios... but they can HEAR what your recording sounds like and that is only thing that matters.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:53 AM   #2232
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...I'm sure that there are lot of people who haven't study any music theory, but they still love complex pieces of classical music. And if you go to gig of progressive metal band, audience is jumping around and headbangin to those 7/8 riffs. Even those songs will probably not be played in parties...
There are two components to making good music: the ghost and the machine.

The ghost in the machine cannot make better music than the machine is capable of. A three-chord genius will be forever limited. Mozart's Requiem or Beethoven's Ninth or Coltrane's "Love Supreme" or Bach's Crab Canon could not have been made by a person whose only musical knowledge was barre-chords and box-scales on guitar. The ghost can only express what the machine can produce, and the machine must be capable enough to produce it.

The machine itself is of little value, except to express what the ghost has to offer. Player-pianos have existed for over a hundred years, and MIDI has been around for 30. If listening to fast scale-runs and technically complicated music were intrinsically enjoyable for its own sake, people would have been listening to high-speed player-piano rolls for the past 100 years.

It is, I think, worse than a false dichotomy to draw a distinction between "technically good" music and "artistically good" music. I submit that there is no such thing as "technically good" music, unless it is also artistically good.

Music is good if it is artistically good. Whether it is technically difficult or complex is irrelevant. Technical proficiency or complexity for its own sake is, at best, a sort of parlor trick, like saying limericks backwards or adding big numbers in your head.

I hope you do not think I am disagreeing with anything you have said. I don't, I'd say the same to anyone to anyone who said that "all you need is inspiration, it's all just sounds..."

The machine puts a cap on what can be expressed. It's up to the ghost, to give the machine something worth expressing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:07 AM   #2233
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The ghost in the machine cannot make better music than the machine is capable of. A three-chord genius will be forever limited. Mozart's Requiem or Beethoven's Ninth or Coltrane's "Love Supreme" or Bach's Crab Canon could not have been made by a person whose only musical knowledge was barre-chords and box-scales on guitar. The ghost can only express what the machine can produce, and the machine must be capable enough to produce it.

The machine itself is of little value, except to express what the ghost has to offer. Player-pianos have existed for over a hundred years, and MIDI has been around for 30. If listening to fast scale-runs and technically complicated music were intrinsically enjoyable for its own sake, people would have been listening to high-speed player-piano rolls for the past 100 years.
Nice.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:37 AM   #2234
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"Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second." - Maurice Ravel
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #2235
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"Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second." - Maurice Ravel
I believe in this, strongly.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:12 AM   #2236
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Originally Posted by yep View Post
Player-pianos have existed for over a hundred years, and MIDI has been around for 30. If listening to fast scale-runs and technically complicated music were intrinsically enjoyable for its own sake, people would have been listening to high-speed player-piano rolls for the past 100 years.
Well, people HAVE BEEN listening high speed shredding over 100 years. Here is one example (and I'm quite sure it is composed under inspiration, not with calculator):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-OwaHZ1cIg

There are people who like more simple stuff and there are people who like more complicated stuff. It's good to remember who is your audience when you are doing music. Are you doing it to yourself or trying to get it to radio, or are your fans expecting even more complicated stuff than your last recordings...

I'm not saying that complicated stuff is better than two chord songs (Lady In Black is great song to my opinion) and I can't even explain theory behind of all my compositions, but some of your advice gave me image that you are saying something like "only nerds will listen too complicated music, but if you want to make REAL music that sounds GOOD, then make really simple songs, because everything else sucks..." with little culminatively said :P
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #2237
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Well, people HAVE BEEN listening high speed shredding over 100 years. Here is one example (and I'm quite sure it is composed under inspiration, not with calculator):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-OwaHZ1cIg...
I can't believe I'm even responding to this, and what this thread has turned into, but here goes...

- To the point, and even discounting outright stupid or "bad" pop music, how many people are actually listening to that?

- Would that be a better piece of music if it were played twice as fast? four times as fast?

- Isn't there a point at which speed becomes a kind of novelty-act, like watching someone multiply big numbers in his head, or bend over to kiss his own belly-button from between his legs?

Please understand, I am not dismissing the value of virtuosity. But I submit that the piece you linked is artistically inferior to Beethoven's Ninth, Simon+Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and The Temptations "Can't Get Next To You", all of which are easier to play.

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some of your advice gave me image that you are saying something like "only nerds will listen too complicated music, but if you want to make REAL music that sounds GOOD, then make really simple songs, because everything else sucks..." with little culminatively said :P
Yeah, you're totally reading that wrong. Moreover, if you think that Paganini's Caprice 1 is more musically, melodically, or harmonically "complicated" than a typical Simon+Garfunkel or Motown track, then you are sorely mistaken. The Paganini piece is fast and difficult to play, but there is nothing complicated about it, you just follow the dots, and most of them are in-key.

Meanwhile, a typical Motown bassline has as many "out" notes as root notes, and "I Can't Get Next to You" is musically all over the map, it's not only changing keys, it's changing scales within the key-changes predictively, to achieve a mostly simple and pentatonic-sounding melody, over multiple rhythmic and key changes.

I would re-phrase your criticism as: "guitar-nerds are the only people who will care about bad music purely because is difficult to play on guitar."

I think Beethoven's Hammerclav Sonata 106, which is almost unplayable, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. Not because of the fact that mistake-free recordings and performances are essentially nonexistent, nor because it is so physically difficult to play, but because it it just so perfectly-realized, that even the mistakes sound good. It makes the piano do things that pianos were never meant to do, it goes from formalized baroque chamber-music to explosions of sound that would make Jimi Hendrix shit his pants, to sparse, post-modern textures straight out of the avant-garde.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #2238
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- To the point, and even discounting outright stupid or "bad" pop music, how many people are actually listening to that?
If there is any way to measure what music is good and what is bad, I would say it is how long people are listening it. One hit wonders that sell just because the singer is beautiful are soon forgotten, but it will take long time until we will forget Beetles. I don't know how many people listens Paganini, but if this piece is over 100 years old and it is still performed to full concert halls it can't be totally awful composition.

I take another example. This album was second most sold album in Finland when it was released, so you can't say that only few nerds like it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMbFu457jGs

Quote:
- Isn't there a point at which speed becomes a kind of novelty-act, like watching someone multiply big numbers in his head, or bend over to kiss his own belly-button from between his legs?
Yes, but is that problem? Some people like to listen beautiful piano ballads, some people like to listen disco, some people like to listen fast flute shredding... Saying that other is better than other is pointless arguing.

Quote:
Please understand, I am not dismissing the value of virtuosity. But I submit that the piece you linked is artistically inferior to Beethoven's Ninth, Simon+Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and The Temptations "Can't Get Next To You", all of which are easier to play.
Well, it's hard to say that something is artistically inferior than other. Personally I listen more AC/DC than Paganini, but it doesn't mean that nobody loves complicated stuff.

Quote:
Yeah, you're totally reading that wrong. Moreover, if you think that Paganini's Caprice 1 is more musically, melodically, or harmonically "complicated" than a typical Simon+Garfunkel or Motown track, then you are sorely mistaken. The Paganini piece is fast and difficult to play, but there is nothing complicated about it, you just follow the dots, and most of them are in-key.
Actually I just linked first youtube video I found, I have never heard that song before. However based on the quick look at the score of Caprice 1 I would say there is more than just fast arpeggios of typical chord progressions, not many measures without off key notes. If I would start to analyze this song there would be lot of "what the hell did he do here?" moments. If it would be easy to compose songs like that, why wouldn't everybody compose fast shredding stuff that will be performed even hundreds of years after your dead? Easy way to get famous composer.

I'm not saying that Simon+Garfunkel or Motown tracks are any worse, but I wouldn't also say that Caprice is just random notes without any sense of musicality, melody, or harmony.

Quote:
Meanwhile, a typical Motown bassline has as many "out" notes as root notes, and "I Can't Get Next to You" is musically all over the map, it's not only changing keys, it's changing scales within the key-changes predictively, to achieve a mostly simple and pentatonic-sounding melody, over multiple rhythmic and key changes.
You can use this song as an example why I criticized your comments:
"If music is the product of a methodical series of chores and academic exercises, made by a glassy-eyed technician hunched over a computer, then it's going to show in the results."
and
"Nobody ever falls in love to their music or is compelled to break down and weep or to jump up and dance, it's music for music nerds. And that's fine, in and of itself."

Somebody did put hes "nerd glasses" on and thought "now we are going to change key here and scale within the key-change..." and people still love the song.

Quote:
I would re-phrase your criticism as: "guitar-nerds are the only people who will care about bad music purely because is difficult to play on guitar."
Again, is that problem? If ten million fans are expecting artist to make more complicated and technical stuff than anything they have ever heard before, then you probably get better result if you put your "nerd glasses" on and people will love the result. On next day when you are going to record that pretty looking boy band you probably want to take those glasses off.

I think things like "how technical and complex your material is" are purely artistical chooses. To me saying "don't do nerd music, because only nerds will listen it" is like saying "don't do rap, because only rappers will listen it". There are fans of nerd music, there are fans of rap, there are fans of pop... what works in one genre doesn't work in other.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:30 PM   #2239
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Why recording/mixing skills aren't so bad these days, but my writing/composition skills are another story.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #2240
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Yes, but is that problem? Some people like to listen beautiful piano ballads, some people like to listen disco, some people like to listen fast flute shredding... Saying that other is better than other is pointless arguing.
Well you did say that good/bad for a song is relative to how many people like it and how long it is around. The same applies to the novelty type playing. There is a point where it becomes "look what I can do" such as a guy juggling live chickens while riding a unicycle. It's completely valid but novelty exists in everything, music is no exception.
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