The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby rickyd » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:24 am

1. Try to plan ahead of what you want your content to sound like. If you have trouble setting a standard, listen to some content from your favorite producer, artist, or song, and try to emulate how all of the instruments are mixed. This is especially useful if you use the same instruments!

2. Each instrument has it's own dynamic range, so it's important to know that range in order to properly fit in a mix.

3. Not everyone does it this way, but I find this important. It kind of goes back to #1 in a way...........If you use the same instrument in different songs - For instance, a snare drum from the Roland TR-808, you want to make sure that the volume and EQ is the same. You don't want to go back and listen to some of your different songs with the same snare drum, and in one song it sounds muddy, louder, or lower than it did in another song. However, the ambience of each song won't be the same, so you still have to adjust your reverb, delay, chorus, or whatever.

4. If the raw recording/samples/watever doesn't sound right - Like distortion, hiss, or watever, you most likely won't be able to fix it during mixing.

5. Take breaks during your mixing sessions. Sometimes you may think everything sounds alright while you're listening to it at the time, but once you take a break from it and come back later, it sounds totally different than what you thought.

6. Record drums first, basslines, vocals, then whatever instrument(s) you're gonna use. I dunno if there is a set way to do this or not, but when it's mixing time, I usually process the drums first, and fit everything else accordingly.

7. Record all instruments without effects applied. This means even turning off all of the effects on your synth as well - If it has any built in effects that is. A reverb on a pad for instance, may not have the same ambience as your mix does.

8. Work with what you got. Sometimes you really don't need a whole lot of gear in your studio, especially if alot of them give you pretty much the same things.

9. If you have a song or groove playing in your head, put it down as fast as you can. Sometimes those hit songs happen like that.

10. Please don't take your girlfriend to the studio, because you will be doing more @$$ harassing than recording and mixing. No, seriously.
rickyd
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:35 pm

Advertisement:

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby stikygum » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:58 am

The secret for me in the studio is to keep it fun and fresh. Reorganize, even if just a little. Put all the main synths you use closest to you. Make sure the environment is inviting (everyone will have their own idea of what comforts and attracts them). I'm almost thinking about turning my studio into more a club environment, with more lights and also sections of the studio. I use to try and keep everything in one spot, but that didn't work because it was too crowded and I never moved from the center position. I like to have a desk for making beats and sequencing, and my keyboards setup so I can stand and play them, and then my modular station to one side.
"MTV's gaudy overexuberance contributed to the trivialization of the one thing it had been initiated to support, music" - Rik Millhouse
User avatar
stikygum
Active Member
Active Member
 
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:21 pm
Location: SOS - Substance over Style

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby zazaza » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Never boost the bass on a kick drum sound. Just play with its level, and then boost/cut other frequencies to your own taste.

If you compress higher levels you need to bring up the volume somewhat. So don't forget to expand the lower levels to get a normal background noise level. It's also called soft gate.

Best voice sounds are obtain with as little processing as possible (such as compression). Don't set the mouth so close to the mic, and at an appropriate location, and you get a near-perfect sound without any processing. Then, of course, the quality of your room acoustics plays a greater role...

Guessing and messing up with a reverb effect? Don't take that risk ! Use instead a delay with a bit of feedback, or stereo delay, or "early reflections" only. A reverb is never meant to be invading, and a clean clear sound doesn't mean dry neither.
zazaza
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:35 pm

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby Scories » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:36 am

An easy one: If you are working on the final touch of a mix, do it early in the morning or just after you woke up rather than late in the evening. Your ears will be slightly more efficient then.
Scories
Active Member
Active Member
 
Posts: 623
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:57 pm
Location: Québec - CANADA
Gear: Micromoog, JX-3P, Minikorg 700, Z1

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby iProg » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:03 am

Some new tips from iProg:

1. Use a reference track when you've come to the mixing part of an album. It is often, for me, much more inspiring to reassemble a production rather than the actual song. Listen to other producers (trevor horn, peter collins, quincy jones, tony visconti, rupert hine) and image how they would take on your tune.

2. Keep the arrangement window clean and name the tracks carefully, just to avoid confusion when mixing.

3. Remember that low end material contains a lot more "energy" then brighter. Keep it on a leash.

4. Don't use to much compressor attack on drum sounds. Find a good sound or sample instead of tweaking it to death.

5. Put some extra cash into your monitors and listening environment. Most rewarding!
User avatar
iProg
Expert Member
Expert Member
 
Posts: 1066
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:28 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Real name: Carl
Gear: Prophet-5, Prophet VS, Pro-One, Moog Prodigy, ARP Axxe, Korg PolySix, Roland D-50
Band: ArtWithHeart

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby Joey » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:38 am

DO HEROIN.
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

http://wearereplicants.com
User avatar
Joey
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2003
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:13 pm
Location: NYC
Gear: Make Noise, Harvestman, WMD, Schippmann, Addac, Doepfer, Wretch Machine, Poly Evolver, Minibrute
Band: BLUSH_RESPONSE

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby kobalt77 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:00 am

1. Try to understand the basic elements of Feng Shui, ALL clutter creates negative energy, be it in your arrangement, your studio or your head.

2. Never use cheapo cables, they will degrade the clarity and colour of the sound severely, but not in a cool lo-fi grungey way .

3. Make a copy of your Song/Project folder, all samples, arrangements etc. to another hard drive and keep it updated. It is the worst feeling ever when you have a killer tune on the go and by error it gets deleted or such.

4. Always save tweaks and settings on VSTs when you make a good "sound" in a project, it is nearly impossible to exactly recreate the original.

5. Good quality headphones can be very usefull for monitoring detailed and intricate sounds like vocals, effects etc., at low to moderate levels for short periods only. But not a good idea for kicks, basses and subs, unless of course you like the idea of permanent ringing in your ears the rest of your life.

6. If you do not understand or appreciate that making music is a highly creative and spiritual process that has the power to touch other people in profound way, then you probably shouldn't be doing it. Of course in this department, ignorance in its purest form can be bliss.


I hope something in this mixed bag can be useful to fellow "artists". :D
kobalt77
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:00 am

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby Ashe37 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:25 pm

Arranging your studio according to Feng Shui principles is incompatible with ergonomics, acoustics and the gear we use.
Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2629
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, Bass Station II
Band: Eridani V

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby pflosi » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:32 pm

you mean you dont have a nice purling fountain in the middle of your studio? :D

Joey wrote:DO HEROIN.


yeah, if you wanna make 60ies jazz you gotta do it
User avatar
pflosi
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 3098
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:14 pm
Location: zürich
Gear: more than 150 characters...

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby tallowwaters » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:19 pm

kobalt77 wrote:1. Try to understand the basic elements of Feng Shui, ALL clutter creates negative energy, be it in your arrangement, your studio or your head.

2. Never use cheapo cables, they will degrade the clarity and colour of the sound severely, but not in a cool lo-fi grungey way .

3. Make a copy of your Song/Project folder, all samples, arrangements etc. to another hard drive and keep it updated. It is the worst feeling ever when you have a killer tune on the go and by error it gets deleted or such.

4. Always save tweaks and settings on VSTs when you make a good "sound" in a project, it is nearly impossible to exactly recreate the original.

5. Good quality headphones can be very usefull for monitoring detailed and intricate sounds like vocals, effects etc., at low to moderate levels for short periods only. But not a good idea for kicks, basses and subs, unless of course you like the idea of permanent ringing in your ears the rest of your life.

6. If you do not understand or appreciate that making music is a highly creative and spiritual process that has the power to touch other people in profound way, then you probably shouldn't be doing it. Of course in this department, ignorance in its purest form can be bliss.


I hope something in this mixed bag can be useful to fellow "artists". :D


1. Wrong. People should keep their studio how they fell comfortable, whether it be bare minimum or cluttered as hell.

2. Pft. Because the audio signal path in your gear is all wired from 100% pure gold, right? I mean, hell, why not go through and replace all the caps too? Good music comes from skill or luck, not righteous cables. Granted, if snake oil tastes great to somebody, they should probably keep drinking it.

6. Wrong. Same as number one. Songwriting isn't a spiritual or grand thing for all. Ignorance can help in some instances and can be an absolute bear in others.




Step one: there are no tricks and no rules for making music. Plenty of tips for how to EQ a bass, or how to add warmth to a signal, or how to arrange sound reinforcement to a room - these are all sciences. Everything outside that realm comes from you.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.
User avatar
tallowwaters
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 5050
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:11 am
Location: snake's belly in a wagon rut
Gear: synesthesia, venereal disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, manic depressive disorder, and sensitive skin.

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby rharris07 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:30 pm

tallowwaters wrote:Step one: there are no tricks and no rules for making music. Plenty of tips for how to EQ a bass, or how to add warmth to a signal, or how to arrange sound reinforcement to a room - these are all sciences. Everything outside that realm comes from you.



wow - very, very well said.

a definite +1 !


MEK | SixTrak | DrumTraks | Motif 8 | DW8000 | MicroKorg | EMX1 & ESX1 | Soviet TOM | Arp Quartet | SD-1 32V | Elka 490 | Indigo 2 | E6400 | Morpheus | SQ2 | DotCom Modular
User avatar
rharris07
Expert Member
Expert Member
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:41 am
Location: Austin, TX
Real name: Ryan
Band: Ghost Fires, The Witch Family

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby nvbrkr » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:53 pm

When playing ROMpler pianos use earplugs for a more realistic una corda / soft pedal -tone.
nvbrkr
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:14 pm
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Gear: An electric piano and analog synths.

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby Zamise » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:53 pm

A decent restroom nearby with an operational toilet. Nada worse than a diarrhea attack while at a studio, going to the bathroom, letting loose, and toilet don't flush or overflows. It can really hurt the production process when you are flowing. Don't laugh too hard, just wait until it happens, it always does for some reason, I speak from experience. People have $100k in their studio but they can't get a $2.50 chain for a working float regulator dealybob inside the tank bowl.
User avatar
Zamise
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
 
Posts: 2089
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:41 am
Location: DenverMetroUSA, Quantum-Source.com
Gear: P00
Band: Quantum-Source

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:58 pm

tallowwaters wrote:
2. Pft. Because the audio signal path in your gear is all wired from 100% pure gold, right?


Excellent point. I've quoted this several times.
bonne chance
User avatar
sequentialsoftshock
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2360
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:57 am
Location: Paris / Philadelphia
Real name: Zayne
Gear: Pro~One, MS20, MPC60, Aalto, Volca Beats, Volca Keys, Beatstep, Casio MT18, BitOne (sorta), Circle, Orbit 3, K5, Stylos, Univox Hi Flier, iPad
Band: Echo & Liora

Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby ninja6485 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:46 am

how about some tips on eqing a mix?
i found this chart that seems like a helpful guideline:

____________________________________________________________________________________________
For those of you who have an easier time visualizing the audio spectrum in one-octave increments (like those found on a graphic equalizer), here’s an octave look at the same chart.
Easy-To-Remember Golden Rules Of EQ

1. If it sounds muddy, cut some at 250Hz.

2. If it sounds honky, cut some at 500Hz.

3. Cut if you’re trying to make things sound
better.

4. Boost if you’re trying to make things sound
different.

5. You can’t boost something that’s not there
in the first place.


31Hz Rumble, "chest"

63 Hz Bottom
125Hz Boom, thump, warmth
250Hz Fullness or mud
500Hz Honk
1KHz Whack
2KHz Crunch
4KHz Edge
8KHz Sibilance, definition, "ouch!"
16 KHz Air
_______________________________________________________
1&2 seem a little more subjective than the rest...the approach i've taken with this is when something jumps out at me as sounding off, i'll quize myself as to how it sounds off, so like if it sounds too airy, i'll fiddle arround with the 16khz range to try and fix it, too muddy, the 250-300 range, etc. seems to work well so far, but i've only just begun to use it. any thoughts on this?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
 
Posts: 2058
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Location: Exton/ westchester
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, esi4k,M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Lyra, The Sun Worshipers

PreviousNext

Return to Sound Production

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests