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 tallowwaters » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:36 pm

Not too bad, but first thing I notice is that sibilance can dwell in other places according to mic/singer/pre.

What will help you even more is learning where your fundamentals and first few overtones are with the instruments you like to use. This harder to do with synths, of course, but if you have any acoustic instruments or static sounds you expect to sound a certain way it can make things much easier.

For instance, I have this template for my dub bass sound (which has already passed through a severe LPF)
Low shelf everything below 17 Hz, leave the fundamental (around 60-110) alone, maybe a slight cut if it interferes with bass drum, +2-4 at 400 Hz so you can hear the early order overtones, and +2 at 1.5 kHz for a little more clarity. From here it will still be fairly boomy (what I want) but I can still prune around the 50-80 range if need be.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby MIDI_Thru_Kid » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:00 am

Hmmmm...

I admit, I don't have too much to say, but I do have a few things.

I agree with something somebody already said, and that is, You Don't Need That Much Bass. You really don't. Leave heavy EQ-ing to the listener. If somebody complains that there's not enough bass in the mix, then clearly they don't deserve to listen to well-produced music. If they say something about Mids, listen. Highs, you DEFINATELY gotta listen to their opinions. Too much, too little of anything is BAD BAD BAD!

Also, EQ is a VERY fragile bussiness. You want to EQ something just right, to avoid clipping. I've always noticed, whenever I import a professionally-mixed piece of music into Cubase, if I TOUCH anything at all with EQ, things start clipping and sounding TERRIBLE.

I like to put room reverb and a quick slap-back delay on my tracks to add life. Also, for pads (as somebody else mentioned), I double the tracks and put chorus on the Right or Left. I alternate between songs.

Also, when EQ-ing a straigh Bass Guitar, don't touch anything in the bass range. I only EQ the highs and RARELY Mids. This gives clarity to the notes being played. But watch out. Not too much now.

Ok, so that was more than just a little. :D

Basically, everything you do can't be in excess, unless you want that sound. ;)

Oh yeah, and if you want that "Modern, Magical, Popular Sound," get Logic, and use their presets. Then drop the Midrange out a little bit (JUST A LITTLE BIT). Haha, I may sound like a dick for saying that, but it's true, hahaha. :lol: My friend got a Mac and got Logic Express for it, and tried REALLY hard to get the sound of Metallica's earlier records, and just couldn't do it. Then he loaded in one preset, and all was done for him! It was nuts, I was witness to it. It sounded punchy, ballsy, rich, and modern. Also don't forget panning! So much sound in real life is panned. Just take some moments and close your eyes while outside, and take in all the panning and where sound is coming from, and apply that to music. You'll LOVE the results.

That is all. I'm going to school for becoming a producer. There. THAT is all. 8-) :lol:
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby tallowwaters » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:21 am

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Hmmmm...

I admit, I don't have too much to say, but I do have a few things.


Correction, you seem to have nothing to say but speak a lot

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:I agree with something somebody already said, and that is, You Don't Need That Much Bass. You really don't. Leave heavy EQ-ing to the listener. If somebody complains that there's not enough bass in the mix, then clearly they don't deserve to listen to well-produced music. If they say something about Mids, listen. Highs, you DEFINATELY gotta listen to their opinions. Too much, too little of anything is BAD BAD BAD!


What? So somebody can't have a preference over their mix? If somebody is asking for more high end, they may be deaf.

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Also, EQ is a VERY fragile bussiness. You want to EQ something just right, to avoid clipping. I've always noticed, whenever I import a professionally-mixed piece of music into Cubase, if I TOUCH anything at all with EQ, things start clipping and sounding TERRIBLE.


Sounds more like you don't know what you're doing.

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Also, when EQ-ing a straigh Bass Guitar, don't touch anything in the bass range. I only EQ the highs and RARELY Mids. This gives clarity to the notes being played. But watch out. Not too much now.


Because a stupid blanket rule is obviously the best choice for everybody.

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Oh yeah, and if you want that "Modern, Magical, Popular Sound," get Logic, and use their presets. Then drop the Midrange out a little bit (JUST A LITTLE BIT). Haha, I may sound like a dick for saying that, but it's true, hahaha. :lol: My friend got a Mac and got Logic Express for it, and tried REALLY hard to get the sound of Metallica's earlier records, and just couldn't do it. Then he loaded in one preset, and all was done for him! It was nuts, I was witness to it. It sounded punchy, ballsy, rich, and modern.


What? Ride The Lightning and Kill 'em All and pretty much all old school thrash sound like shit. Early Metallica is anything but modern and 'pop' sounding.

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:That is all. I'm going to school for becoming a producer. There. THAT is all. 8-) :lol:


I suggest going to class more often or going back to Buyer's Guide and asking the same questions about the same samplers over and over.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:10 am

ninja6485 wrote:how about some tips on eqing a mix?

That's not a bad starter guide, but people might not know exactly what each of those words really sounds like. The best thing that helped me learn the sounds of frequencies was doing a lot of live engineering, and spending a lot of time working a graphic EQ to tune a room. I think everyone should spend some time playing around with EQs just cutting and boosting different things to see what it sounds like.

There's no substitute for doing stuff and listening.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby pflosi » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:36 am

I find it particularly useful to cut the 500 hz range a little bit to get more clarity. works well for me on synth and drum stuff.

basically, I follow the rule to first try to get the sound I want with cutting things, and boost as little as possible.

tallowwaters wrote:
MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Also, EQ is a VERY fragile bussiness. You want to EQ something just right, to avoid clipping. I've always noticed, whenever I import a professionally-mixed piece of music into Cubase, if I TOUCH anything at all with EQ, things start clipping and sounding TERRIBLE.


Sounds more like you don't know what you're doing.


:) these "professionally" mixed tracks are very likely to be "professionally" mastered too - pushed to the very maximum loudness that is. obviously it clips if you start boosting stuff in a mastered file.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby ninja6485 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:11 am

pflosi wrote:I find it particularly useful to cut the 500 hz range a little bit to get more clarity.
clarity is my main goal at the moment. i just spent a wile getting my super low frequencies in check, so now i'd like to get better at getting rid of muddyness, and then working with higher frequencies. something else that helped me out greatly that i "figured out" a wile back: recording each drum sound as a different track as upposed to a stereo drum track, or stereo drum loop. i could never figure out why my songs never sounded as full and strong as others untill i started doing that. i guess i never thought of it since i diddn't have a drum machine with individual outs!
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:52 pm

I agree with tallow, it doesn't sound like you know what you're saying. I don't really come here to give tips, but instead to listen. Maybe you should try doing the same. If there's not enough bass, don't listen to them, but if there's too much mid or high, do listen?! Is that supposed to be some kind of attack against rap music? And yes, most modern music sounds like shit because it gets pushed louder and louder.

Have a look- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_wars
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby ninja6485 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:39 am

sequentialsoftshock wrote:I agree with tallow, it doesn't sound like you know what you're saying. I don't really come here to give tips, but instead to listen. Maybe you should try doing the same. If there's not enough bass, don't listen to them, but if there's too much mid or high, do listen?! Is that supposed to be some kind of attack against rap music? And yes, most modern music sounds like shit because it gets pushed louder and louder.

Have a look- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_wars
at first i thought you were talking to me...i was like ":?: " but then i saw midi thru's posts, and all is clear.(well maybe not for midithru :lol: ok sry, i'll keep it in off topic)
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby tekkentool » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:36 am

Sorry i really don't agree with what you're saying about bass mastering whatsoever, i'm a bass player who likes to noodle and wank wherever possible and i don't agree about cutting treble. There's no reason a bass needs that much treble.

When i master bass, I give it slight compression. Cut everything around 400-600. Slight boost the upper mids and get rid of a lot of the useless treble. It cuts through without being obnoxious like joey demaio's tone. As soon as you do this you'll notice the difference, it fills out the sound without getting muddy in the low end. If you only fuck around with the high end your bass will get fucking buried. Mids are paramount for bass tone.
But i agree with tallow, no rule covers them all. But i don't think your rule covers anything particularly well. :?

Edit: i suppose the only "trick" i'd like to share is to have a light touch, you don't need THAT much reverb, you don't need to go nuts on the EQ like pantera do ( seriously can't stand their rhythm tone) subtle differences.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby th0mas » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:16 am

One thing I like to do that definitely helps me solve problems when mixing is temporarily modify the master output to look for problems. I figure a each register (low, mid, high) in a song should sound good on their own. So I check them while filtering the other registers with a filter. This usually finds things like a mid-register lead sound that has unwanted presence in the bass register clashing with the bass.

To tie this into the cutting treble on bass yes/no conversation Id say highpass filter your mix and if the bass's top end sounds good in the mix, keep it. if it just is unwanted noise then cut it.

Also if you make the song sound good in each register then you are instantly supporting a wide variety of stereo systems.

another temporary effect I make on the master bus is to use live's utility to go stereo->mono and make sure it sounds good still. picked that one up from watching Foamo on a producers master class DVD from computer music magazine which was useful to watch, I recommend it.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby k5k » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:53 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
ninja6485 wrote:how about some tips on eqing a mix?

That's not a bad starter guide, but people might not know exactly what each of those words really sounds like. The best thing that helped me learn the sounds of frequencies was doing a lot of live engineering, and spending a lot of time working a graphic EQ to tune a room. I think everyone should spend some time playing around with EQs just cutting and boosting different things to see what it sounds like.

There's no substitute for doing stuff and listening.


ditto!
Live mixing and learning to trust yr ears is great for improving eq skills.
also knowing yr environment helps, no point eqing something out only to find that it was accentuated by the room, and having a gaping hole in the mix.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby Richard Gear » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:52 pm

One handy thing is to use insert cables rather than regular cables with synths that has an input filter. Then you can easily send the output of one to the input filter of an other by using the regular 'in' and the 'insert in' from the mixer.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby rickyd » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:29 am

tekkentool wrote:Sorry i really don't agree with what you're saying about bass mastering whatsoever, i'm a bass player who likes to noodle and wank wherever possible and i don't agree about cutting treble. There's no reason a bass needs that much treble.

When i master bass, I give it slight compression. Cut everything around 400-600. Slight boost the upper mids and get rid of a lot of the useless treble. It cuts through without being obnoxious like joey demaio's tone. As soon as you do this you'll notice the difference, it fills out the sound without getting muddy in the low end. If you only fuck around with the high end your bass will get fucking buried. Mids are paramount for bass tone.
But i agree with tallow, no rule covers them all. But i don't think your rule covers anything particularly well. :?

Edit: i suppose the only "trick" i'd like to share is to have a light touch, you don't need THAT much reverb, you don't need to go nuts on the EQ like pantera do ( seriously can't stand their rhythm tone) subtle differences.



I agree with this. I also would like to add that EQ-ing isn't necessary for all bass tracks, because it really depends on the instrument. For instance, I use a yamaha cs-01 (well....the unofficial software version anyway)and I made a bass patch with it that I use for all of my music. I found that I don't have to EQ the track at all to fit it in the mixes. All I do is adjust the volume to a certain level.

The same can be said about other instruments in your mix as well. Not all of them may require EQ or compression at all, just simple volume adjustment.
Last edited by rickyd on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby yamaha22 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:36 am

i haven't read this entire thread, BUT>

if you have a loop or phrase that sounds bad, try reversing it. often works
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Re: The Official 'Secrets of the Studio' Thread!

Postby th0mas » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:32 am

yamaha22 wrote:if you have a loop or phrase that sounds bad, try reversing it. often works


Agree that it's sometimes random things like this get surprising results. Another is to write a riff and then scroll patches on your synth. Despite writing the sequence with one patch it may sound a lot better on another.
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