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#1011285 - 11/16/10 02:35 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
ulank Offline
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Maybe cuz I'm not a FREAK \:p , but I've never done the "actor" approach when singing. For me, I'm either into it or I'm not and I tend to have decent control over that - if it's time to "perform" I can usually put on that hat ok. I've been told I seem "possessed" if/when I'm really into a performance - no acting required, just digging deep regardless of the material.

Oh BTW David Bowie > Mick Jagger. \:p


Edited by ulank (11/16/10 02:35 PM)
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#1011359 - 11/17/10 12:39 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: ulank]
DAGtunes Offline
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Holy Crap!

I can't believe I actually read this entire thread...whew. \:o

You get busy in the studio for a few weeks, and the debate rages away, eh!?!

Anyway, interesting thread...which has changed topic several times...as happens with these things sometimes.

I just wanted to add to this latest topic - acting singers.

One of my vocal coaches taught that singing is really acting on pitch. I believe this to an extent. I have found that to be a good vocalist requires the ability to draw deeply on your emotions - like a good actor does.

Do not underestimate the power of a cry. Babies scream and cry piercingly and powerfully all night long without going hoarse, or crossing into falsetto. It is the intense emotions that keep the vocal cords together and the diaphragm/abdominals tight and in control of your air, to deliver the most powerful and rich cries.

Listen to Opera, or any great singer really. Strong emotion is key, and if you can't tap into that directly, you have to be able to fake that sincerity by "acting as if." ;\)

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#1011360 - 11/17/10 01:01 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
DAGtunes Offline
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On the OG topic, the talents I am worst at regarding home recordings are:

1: Compression
2: EQ
3: FX

Pretty much in that order, too...

I'm happy with my songwriting and arrangements, for the most part.

I think I can capture the sounds/instruments I'm using faithfully enough.

I can pan things OK, and balance the levels of a mix OK. (For the most part...)

I think I have good production ideas...though getting them out of my head and into the playback speakers often proves difficult, due to my lack of skills with the above mentioned things.

One area that caught me a little by surprise was a pre-production/production issue. It is proving to be a nuisance, and overall will diminish the quality of my final product...

I recorded (faithfully captured) my acoustic drum set for all the songs on my album. I worked hard to get it sounding as good as possible in the studio before recording. It sounds like I like it to sound, live in the room.

However, after recording it and working on the songs some, I have come to realize that that ONE particular drum sound doesn't neccessarily complement each individual song type. (This album is kind of eclectic...as am I, stylistically.)

IOW - I've got a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal sounding drum set playing "Jazz-ish" material, and "Pop-ish" material, and "Soundtrack-ey" material, etc, etc.

Had I had more foresight, I would have realized that while tracking, and would have changed the sound of the kit per song.

Specifically, I would have used different drum head combinations, and possibly even changed the tuning for some of the tunes. The kit itself is high quality and versatile...I just had it in "RAWK" mode - tight and focused. (Double-ply Aquarian tops, single-ply bottoms, deadening rings, etc.)

I can now understand why producers use drum replacment software...though that isn't a real option for me, as I'm on a VS2480DVD.

And there's no way I'm re-tracking that shiz!!! It just is going to have to suffice...

I set off on this latest recording adventure (album) with a "I'm not going to compromise on anything" attitude...but I've had to grow out of that. There have been comprimises a-plenty...

IIWII...

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#1011363 - 11/17/10 04:58 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
Delso Offline
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"If not, the singer is stuck singing about his own boring life and his own limited window of experiences" -

May not be a problem - it depends on the writing and the insights - the song and the performance need not be in the least boring.

Also, I'm not stipulating that everyone should only write from their own perspective; in my case, my better songs are based on my personal experience and viewpoint.

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#1011375 - 11/17/10 08:39 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Delso]
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I think it comes down to professionalism--a pro can probably sing more things convincingly than an amateur can. That doesn't mean an amateur can't knock our socks off, because of course they can. But they are less versatile, and lack the ability to turn in a great performance under less than optimum situations.
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#1011400 - 11/17/10 10:10 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
ulank Offline
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 Originally Posted By: DAGtunes

Do not underestimate the power of a cry. Babies scream and cry piercingly and powerfully all night long without going hoarse, or crossing into falsetto. It is the intense emotions that keep the vocal cords together and the diaphragm/abdominals tight and in control of your air, to deliver the most powerful and rich cries.

Listen to Opera, or any great singer really. Strong emotion is key, and if you can't tap into that directly, you have to be able to fake that sincerity by "acting as if." ;\)


Very interesting point. I've actually come close to that, crying while singing, even when it's just little ole me playin/practicin by meself. Of course, that emotion doesn't fly so well when covering AC/DC's Big Balls, but it comes in handy for certain tunes.
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#1011402 - 11/17/10 10:17 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: ulank]
ulank Offline
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On a related note, another thing I tend to do semi-intentionally when singing really emotively is throw a few mild voice cracks in there. It's a fine line though, because overdoing gets old real quick (I know I've found myself turning the dial on the radio when I hear someone doing that on every damn line), but in doses, I think it can really add a sense of...."yearning" if you will and can up the emotion a bit.
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#1011423 - 11/17/10 11:28 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: ulank]
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Doug, that's an excellent point and I agree with you.

Also, you know, one of the things about home recording too is that it depends on what you're doing. I tend to be pretty good at getting acoustic guitar-based stuff. I struggle more with harder music, for example - I've tried putting together stuff that's heavier than the music I typically write (because I've written stuff that's heavier), and I have a *lot* more trouble mixing it. The EQ curves are different, and it's just not what I seem to naturally gravitate towards. Making good-sounding recordings in idioms outside my usual experience is extremely difficult for me.
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#1011440 - 11/17/10 01:05 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: ulank]
DAGtunes Offline
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 Originally Posted By: ulank

Very interesting point. I've actually come close to that, crying while singing, even when it's just little ole me playin/practicin by meself. Of course, that emotion doesn't fly so well when covering AC/DC's Big Balls, but it comes in handy for certain tunes.


Yeah, that is why I said "to an extent." If one over-emotes it just sounds like whining. As in all things, there is a balance.

But I have found that for that high powerful stuff, the "cry" is essential, for me. You can hear it in the performances of lots of great singers, if you know what to listen for. \:\)

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#1011443 - 11/17/10 01:27 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: flatcat]
DAGtunes Offline
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 Originally Posted By: flatcat
Doug, that's an excellent point and I agree with you.

Also, you know, one of the things about home recording too is that it depends on what you're doing. I tend to be pretty good at getting acoustic guitar-based stuff. I struggle more with harder music, for example - I've tried putting together stuff that's heavier than the music I typically write (because I've written stuff that's heavier), and I have a *lot* more trouble mixing it. The EQ curves are different, and it's just not what I seem to naturally gravitate towards. Making good-sounding recordings in idioms outside my usual experience is extremely difficult for me.


Good point yourself, Flatcat!

As illustrated in my post above (regarding a pre-production mistake) I also struggle with making music outside my "normal" zone. Which I do compose!

I tend to "dabble" in a lot of styles. I've got pretty eclectic listening tastes. At heart though, I am a "Rocker." \m/

So, some of my stuff is a mash-up of sorts. Classical/Rock. Jazz/Rock. Bluegrass/Rock. Country/Rock. Stuff like that.

Occassionally though, I'll compose something that is just totally in a different genre than my usual drivel. That's when the production hat really gets tested, because I've even composed music in styles I don't really listen to. (And as such, they are not "pure," and would probably insult those that are afficianados of that genre... ) Things like "Reggae," or "Calypso," or "Swing Jazz" or "Country."

The purists would likely scoff (and have, actually...) at my endeavors into those things, and they are layman interpretations through a "rock guitarist" filter at best - but I still enjoy them, and think they are worthy of seeing through.

How to record it, what instrumentation to use, how to produce it..? It's a research project, really. Each time I deviate from my norm, I have to aquire and listen to a bunch of stuff that defines that genre, and then try to hone in on what's iconic to me.

Hmmm...this is probably why my listenting collection is so eclectic in the first place! Lot's of past "research projects."

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#1011479 - 11/17/10 05:55 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
Herr Doktor Offline
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 Originally Posted By: DAGtunes
On the OG topic, the talents I am worst at regarding home recordings are:

1: Compression
2: EQ
3: FX



I can understand having problems with EQ, because these all-in-one boxes don't give you very many options for EQ. We're restricted by the platform.

And I can understand having problems with compression, because there are four or five parameters and it's not easy (at first) to hear what the compression is doing.

But I don't understand why you're having problems with FX. Since you can hear when it isn't right, what prevents you from turning the knobs until you get what you like?

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#1011548 - 11/18/10 03:21 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
DAGtunes Offline
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Actually...I guess it's more of a balancing issue that I have with FX. I have trouble blending them in so that they are not noticeable.

Like that really "pro" sound, where the FX are there...but you can't hear them - until they're gone.

I recently got to hear some raw tracks from a known recording, and there was this really nice chorus effect on the lead vocal, that I never realized was there when hearing the song on the radio. Stuff like that.

I mean, I know about timing the delays to the song, and panning the FX returns around, and all that...but I still think there is a certain "zen" I have yet to discover with using FX.

It's the difference between an ameteur recording/mix and a pro mix...

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#1011558 - 11/18/10 09:26 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
flatcat Administrator Offline
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I agree with you about the FX, to a certain degree. The most recent thing I've been working on I feel like is a step up in the quality of the recording, it sounds a lot more like a real record than my other attempts. I've been thinking it's the platform (Reaper). But maybe it isn't.

One thing that's not present is what I was doing - the trying to put everything in the same sonic space with reverb thing. On this one there's some delay on the lead vocal. There's a room drum track. The guitars have whatever effects I put on them when I recorded them. But other than that - they're actually dry.

So maybe that's it, I don't know. Listen to Popmann's recordings, they're so sonically awesome. I don't know how he does that. I *love* how he mixes. I wish I could do that.
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#1011562 - 11/18/10 09:55 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: flatcat]
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One more thing about singing convincingly--I'm playing this weekend with a great drummer who has toured and recorded with Van Morrison and others. A total pro. It's a blues gig, and we rehearsed yesterday.

*I* can play a shuffle, a slow blues, a skiffle beat and so on on drums. I'm pretty good at it, I think.

But this guy OWNS those beats. I've rarely felt so relaxed with another drummer, even ones that I love. He is so deep into the grooves, I am just flying over what is happening. That[s the difference between a good player and a pro, I guess.

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#1011616 - 11/18/10 01:29 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
Herr Doktor Offline
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 Originally Posted By: DAGtunes
Actually...I guess it's more of a balancing issue that I have with FX. I have trouble blending them in so that they are not noticeable.


Ahhh. May I recommend my technique? I start by getting the snare reverb sounding like I want. It always has the most reverb of any instrument (except perhaps similar percussion like bongos or congas or woodblock). The amount of reverb on the snare pretty much defines your sonic space for the song.

Once I'm happy with the snare, then I can hear how much reverb the guitars need. After that, I can sneak in as much reverb as necessary on the vocal. You can give the vocals quite a bit of reverb (without sounding like too much) as long as the snare has more. You can create the illusion that there is no reverb on the vocal by simply giving the snare and guitars way more.

I don't use much reverb on the other instruments, seldom any at all on bass or kick. But sometimes it sounds more like a "real" record if you put just a wee bit of ambience on all those other instruments (including bass and kick). Because when those instruments are recorded live in a real room, there usually IS a bit of ambience on them (and bleed).

Another trick that works for me is to use a bright reverb on everything except the vocal. I may even roll off some of the lows on the reverb. But my vocal sounds better with a warmer reverb (I might even roll off some highs!). Sometimes guitars need a warm verb, too, but snare and percussion need to stay bright. Percussion instruments like bongos, congas, and woodblocks sound great with a plate reverb, too. Listen to the percussion on Pet Sounds. It's drowning in plate, and it's fabulous. (Of course, it didn't hurt that they used a real EMT-140!)

I believe one of the things that makes all the modern Nashville recordings sound spectacular (even if you hate the music) is that they are recorded in great rooms, with lots of wood floors and a natural ambience. And every instrument recorded in that room has that natural ambience. Now, if you think Popmann's recordings sound awesome -- which they do -- then we need to pick his brain because he records in a square garage-y basement with concrete! I do know he uses several different reverbs on each song.

-- Yoh, Popmann! Time to spill the beans!

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#1011625 - 11/18/10 01:58 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
ulank Offline
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Great points on the influence of the snare on the overall sonic space, and I would say that goes beyond just reverb. It dawned on me a while back how much the snare influences the entire mix, how it can single-handedly dictate a "vibe" for the whole tune, and that includes what kind of snare it is, how it's tuned, the natural room ambience as well as whatever other mixing tricks we throw at it. It just sits at the core of everything. Of course, this dawned on me after tracking an entire album only to discover I hated how the snare sounded and how it shaped everything else around it...

Also, agreed on adding verb to kick and bass. On a tune I'm currently working on that is very minimalist and "open", I probably have a metric ton's worth of reverb on the kick (actually 2 reverbs). When solo'd with the FX, it even has a little slap back and *almost* sounds drenched - you'd hear it and think: WTF kind of kick sound is that?! - but when brought into the mix, where the vox and guitars are quite airy themselves, it just contributes to more of that natural, open quality. Interestingly enough, this song only has about 4 seconds of snare play, so that's not even a consideration in this mix.

With bass, I too like to put a little verb on there, just to bring a sense of "realism" as you describe, but it can also tend to thicken the hell out of the tone and begin to muffle and muddle things if not careful. My bassist and I are actually going to start doing more mic'd bass recording than DI. Just that hint of naturalness seems to help. Can/will probably actually track a direct signal at the same time to blend if/as necessary, but micing just sounds so nice. \:\)
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#1011637 - 11/18/10 03:15 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Jazzooo]
DAGtunes Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Jazzooo
One more thing about singing convincingly--I'm playing this weekend with a great drummer who has toured and recorded with Van Morrison and others. A total pro. It's a blues gig, and we rehearsed yesterday.

*I* can play a shuffle, a slow blues, a skiffle beat and so on on drums. I'm pretty good at it, I think.

But this guy OWNS those beats. I've rarely felt so relaxed with another drummer, even ones that I love. He is so deep into the grooves, I am just flying over what is happening. That[s the difference between a good player and a pro, I guess.


Absolutely. There is something to be said for style.

It's like when a "rock" guitarist tries to play "blues." They're often pulling from the Jimmy Page/Eric Clapton/Stevie Ray Vaughn lick bag. That's a distilled bag, that's already gone through a filter of sorts...It's often not as authentic sounding as the guy who has spent his life studying the blues - from Robert Johnson through present purveyors of that classic genre.

Or, when a "Jazz" guy tries to play Rock or Metal. It just lacks that authority and authenticity.

Not to say some guys can't play convincingly in several styles...but it's unusual.

Your drummer friend would likely struggle in a metal band. Just as the metal drummer would likely suck as a blues drummer.


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#1011639 - 11/18/10 03:24 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
DAGtunes Offline
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Thanks for the Reverb advice! That is one of the issues for me. Delays too.

I actually don't use much reverb in the "real world." (Live playing) I've always felt that it "muddies" up the sound too much, so I've usually played either completely dry, or with just a touch of it applied.

EQ-ing reverbs is important - I've learned that from experience. Damp the highs if you want it to blend, damp the lows to get rid of mudd, and even to hear the effect working, when that is desired.

I just don't think I'm very good with FX just because people have pointed it out when commenting on my mixes. Comments like "too much reverb on the drums."

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#1011640 - 11/18/10 03:34 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
DAGtunes Offline
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Actually, in the spirit of the original thread question, and upon really thinking about what I've typed here so far, I'm going to just go out on the limb and say that overall the talent I am worst at with regard to home recording is mixing!

A while back I had to prepare a mix of one of my tunes for possible inclusion in a movie soundtrack. (Indie film)

The tune was outside of my usual style. I listened/studied some music I thought was in a similar veign as the tune, so I could get some mix/production ideas.

Now, granted, the reference recordings I was listening to were also mastered, but regardless, I just could not believe the clarity of the recordings, as well as how "present" EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT of the mixes were!

Total eye-opener to the fact that my mixes weren't even in the same league...by a long shot!

My analysis was that these mixes were HEAVILY compressed, and EQ'd so that each instrument popped. The FX were definitely there, but were so subtle in comparrison to the overall mix...definitely blending in well.

My conclusion at that time was that I *suck* as a mixing engineer. Though I have hope that I can improve with practice/experience...

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#1011653 - 11/18/10 04:32 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
Herr Doktor Offline
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 Originally Posted By: DAGtunes
My analysis was that these mixes were... EQ'd so that each instrument popped.


That's what I want to do. But my all-in-one box (Akai DPS24) just doesn't have the capability. Neither does the Roland stuff. This is the biggest thing I yearn for in my mixes. Now that my ears are developed enough to hear the difference.

When the money starts coming in again, the very next piece of outboard gear I buy will be a really good stereo parametric equalizer.

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#1011659 - 11/18/10 04:41 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
Popmann Offline
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 Quote:
And every instrument recorded in that room has that natural ambience. Now, if you think Popmann's recordings sound awesome -- which they do -- then we need to pick his brain because he records in a square garage-y basement with concrete! I do know he uses several different reverbs on each song.

-- Yoh, Popmann! Time to spill the beans!



wait, but how will I make a living mixing your (collective) songs then? \:\)

...about reverb? You'd be surprised how little I use. But, it's simple to state:

vocal&lead gtr: varying amounts of the same (usually) plate...along with an accompanying mono tape delay.

reverb2: "the band room". This is what my drums, acoustic guitars, pianos, Egtrs(other than solos), organs--all of the above are sent to this TRUE stereo reverb...usually sending panned opposite it's actual panning. Meaning, if the piano is panned hard right, I ONLY send it to this reverb's left channel. So, if you solo the track and FX, it travels across the field. It's an exaggeration of what would naturally happen in a room, where it would also get reverb from it's side--but, it would be wholely different than what you get from the far wall. But, I digress.

All mixes will have those two verbs. Others would be used for special effect--if I need the snare/toms to have more 80s ambience than they do...or a super lush hall for a sax solo...a spring reverb for a clean Egtr track (because it was recorded prior to my having a nice long spring reverb based amp)...stuff like that.

That's why I've been so adamant over the years about stereo reverb implementation--many do not allow you to pan the send differently than the track itself is panned.

Other than the way I treat that "band room" verb...nothing fancy.

I recently gave someone at Studio Forums a raw vocal track of mine to play with...and I think the gist of what he learned was there was no magic pixie dust in the mix...and he has the same mic/pre...it's about what comes out of your throat. I think the degree to which we can make things sound "better" than they do in real life is greatly exaggerrated in people's minds. If anything, I've been so picky about the mics I use on my voice because, IMO, tone is the strongest element. For better or worse. And so it was important to me that get translated to the track/mix.

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#1011661 - 11/18/10 04:47 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Popmann]
Popmann Offline
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As to the EQ'd so each instrument "pops"...uhh...I generally roll off low end and/or low mids...that's the EQ'ing I do come mix time.

I think one element I do differently than MANY home mixes that no one seems to ask about is my use of panning....and that is actually related to the low end removal...further out is it, the tighter the low end needs to be. That's probably the biggest difference I hear. I think people are uncomfortable with hard panning because of how exposed it makes the part...but, that's again--if it doesn't stand up to being exposed, it doesn't need to be there. You can have clarity AND hide your flubs, you know? It's either or...

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#1011662 - 11/18/10 04:50 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Popmann]
virtualan Offline
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I'm a big fan of using verb. It's the mix of the verb I can't quite master. I can visualise the space but can't dial it in.

Someone else said it here (forgive me for not knowing who for the sake of loosing my train of thought)

to paraphrase

"I hear and see it in my head but can't get it out"

That's what we are all worst at....end of story.

Imagine no gear....a world where we could 'jack up' like in the matrix and simply share our musical thoughts from brain to speaker - someone in the room would still say "If I were you I would be thinking the snare should be louder!"
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#1011664 - 11/18/10 04:57 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Popmann]
Herr Doktor Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Popmann
vocal&lead gtr: varying amounts of the same (usually) plate...along with an accompanying mono tape delay.


Can you describe how you typically set the delay time?

Do you ever use the delay as a doubler or thickener? I try to do this sometimes, but it always sounds phasey to me, and it never makes it to the final mix.

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#1011679 - 11/18/10 06:16 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
Popmann Offline
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I never use it as a thickener/doubler, as I kinda havea personal hatered for the sound of real doubled vocals-let alone electronically doubled-yuck (but that's a me thing)...I usually set it to whatever tempo the song is...either 8th or 16th notes. The tape delay thing is mainly about having no discernible high end to the repeat. That's what makes delays sound awful--when it actually has the transient content from the original signal...

I do use kind of faster slap/tape echos--but, it's usually on guitars. with the slap panned away from the original. Again...creating motion in the spectrum.

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#1011768 - 11/19/10 08:03 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Popmann]
Herr Doktor Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Popmann
I never use it as a thickener/doubler, as I kinda havea personal hatered for the sound of real doubled vocals-let alone electronically doubled-yuck (but that's a me thing)


Do doubled vocals bother you when they're background vocals? Because almost everybody sings background vocals twice. Some even three times.

I love the early to mid Beatles, where almost every lead vocal was doubled (sang twice). When they switched to electronic doubling, I thought there was a big loss in excitement.

As for thickening, in almost every article I've read about Nashville engineers, they say they use it. I wish I could figure out how to thicken my vox that way. But if I set my delay time fast enough so I don't hear a distinct echo, it just turns phasey (to my ears), I'm wondering if their thickening technique also involves other differences between the lead and double -- like changes in pitch, reverb, and panning.

I wonder if there's anybody here at the Planet who is successfully using this technique.

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#1011795 - 11/19/10 09:27 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
Popmann Offline
Loquacious Planeteer


Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 27875
Loc: Twangville, TN
Harmonies don't bother me. They're buried and more of an instrument than a voice. I mean if it were a single voice, say under a woman, doubling THAT would bother me...but, no...gang vocals are the way to go. We used to sing them as a group of say 4 like 4 or 5 times. You want the sloppy slur of that much...at least you did in th era of Mutt Lange. ;\)

 Quote:
As for thickening, in almost every article I've read about Nashville engineers, they say they use it.


Ehh...as of when...and on whom? I lost interest in most of what Nashvegas is doing some years ago...actually maps exactly to the rise of Autotune.

Long ago, when I was singing heavy rock stuff, I had an algorithm that was like a HPF set super high--say 1k...and a pitch shift algortihm to thicken the high frequencies and blend that back in--it would get kicked in and out, depending on range. Listen to a david coverdale record from the time. Rich, traditionally produced chest during a verse, then it would get electronically "thickened" when he started that supported false scream end of his range. Anyway, the HPF was to keep the effect from having an effect on the fundamental. And you kick it on and off because it's odd sounding to sing low with that kind of swirly pitch shift going. Too many overtones for it to screw up.

Do you think you need to thicken your voice? What was my one comment when I took a listen about the vocal production? You're adding too much high end. And it's weird high end. You're not going to get that old school air without a M269 (or similar) and a great analog shelf EQ (like Pultec) after it. So, boosting the high end of a 4050 is just going to sound odd and electronic. So, rather than doing that, which is going to thin it, and then trying to thicken, too...maybe just leave the high end alone--compress it to bring out the detail you want...which will also "thicken" at the same time. I mean--you have an 1176 over there and the La610...borrow my La3a if you want...remove any unwanted freq with EQ, then into the compressor...than see if there's a need to do anything else.

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#1011904 - 11/19/10 06:26 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Popmann]
DAGtunes Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 7584
Loc: San Clemente, CA
 Originally Posted By: Popmann
As to the EQ'd so each instrument "pops"...uhh...I generally roll off low end and/or low mids...that's the EQ'ing I do come mix time...


I also do use the HPF on a lot of stuff. Low mids can be troublesome for me though...

I guess what I actually meant is more how a lot of folks refer to "carving out frequencies" for certain instruments to shine through.

This is a tough concept for me, as a lot of the instrumentation I use inhabits the same frequency range. Yes, I've seen the frequency charts and all, but they all seem to point to the same frequency areas to attenuate.

Perhaps the deficiency is in my hearing or something, but I really like to hear the mids in my instruments. To me that is where the character of the chords live - the 3rds and all the little alterations. (6th, 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, etc...)

I really struggle with the relationship between the bass guitar and the kick, most of all. Everything you read seems to point to the 400-800Hz range as the problem area, and also HPF-ing to eliminate "rumble." They also suggest boosting 2-6KHz for the "click" of the kick drum, or the "string noise" of the bass.

But what if I want to hear ALL of that?!?

It's just a "zen" I've yet to master. It seems to come naturally to a lot of folks... \:\(

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#1011905 - 11/19/10 06:32 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
DAGtunes Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 7584
Loc: San Clemente, CA
 Originally Posted By: Herr Doktor

Do doubled vocals bother you when they're background vocals? Because almost everybody sings background vocals twice. Some even three times...


How big are their track counts?!? They must be submixing those vocals...

 Originally Posted By: Herr Doktor
...I love the early to mid Beatles, where almost every lead vocal was doubled (sang twice). When they switched to electronic doubling, I thought there was a big loss in excitement...


Weren't they using just 4-tracks? How were they able to do all that doubling? Where did you hear that is how they recorded?

Forgive my ignorance...I have not read a whole lot about the Beatles recording methods. As much as I love their music, I just figured their recordings and techniques are kind of ancient history, in comparrison to what we have today...not that we can't learn from it though.

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#1011908 - 11/19/10 07:17 PM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
rhythmace47 Offline
Planeteer/Artist 208
Planeteer


Registered: 05/17/02
Posts: 10437
Loc: Southern Wisconsin
Wow, this is getting to be quite the interesting thread...now that its gone from stuff you're bad at to stuff you're good at. As far as recording technique I'll pass as I have read all I can and still just fly strictly by the seat of my pants. I've gone from record wet to record dry to record wet, record wet/dry, dry/wet, put the same reverb on everything, don't dare put the same reverb on everything...it goes on forever. But I still love all the ideas.
If I've learned anything it's that I wish I had the money to pay someone else to engineer.
_________________________
Imagine your lyrics on the horizon written by a skywriter.

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#1011958 - 11/20/10 07:48 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Popmann]
Herr Doktor Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 6061
 Originally Posted By: Popmann
Do you think you need to thicken your voice?

The high notes in my range need to be thickened to have the same amount of body as the rest of my vocal range.

 Originally Posted By: Popmann
What was my one comment when I took a listen about the vocal production?

I don't remember you making any criticisms. I left scratching my head, thinking you must have really hated everything I did and were too nice and too polite to offer any criticism. We talked a bit about how my mixes sounded brighter -- a bit too edgey -- in those nice speakers of yours.

 Originally Posted By: Popmann
You're adding too much high end. And it's weird high end.

I don't know where you got the idea that I added any high end to my vocals. Other than cutting the low end, I don't EQ my vocal at all. The only time I've ever added high end was when using my dearly departed ribbon mic. The LA-610's shelf boost at 4.5k did make it sound more contemporary, but even then, I only added the least amount of lift possible on the LA.

 Originally Posted By: Popmann
boosting the high end of a 4050 is just going to sound odd and electronic.
All the songs you heard had vocals recorded by the TLM-103, except for the Elvis song, which was done with an SM-58. That TLM must be awful bright if you think I was boosting any highs with EQ.

 Originally Posted By: Popmann
remove any unwanted freq with EQ

This is exactly what I want to do, but can't. The EQ on the DPS only lets me trim one mid-range frequency. When I watch the engineers at County Q do their vocal EQ, they often have three, four, or five points that are given very tiny and precise cuts.

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#1011960 - 11/20/10 08:04 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: DAGtunes]
Herr Doktor Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 6061
 Originally Posted By: DAGtunes
 Originally Posted By: Herr Doktor
...I love the early to mid Beatles, where almost every lead vocal was doubled (sang twice). When they switched to electronic doubling, I thought there was a big loss in excitement...


Weren't they using just 4-tracks? How were they able to do all that doubling? Where did you hear that is how they recorded?


Their very earliest recordings used only one 4-track machine. The band's basic tracks -- drums, bass, guitars, and lead vocal -- would be recorded to one track. Track two might have the vocal double and lead guitar recorded simultaneously. Their further overdubs would include J,P, and G singing harmony while also playing percussion along with Ringo -- all recorded simultaneously to one track. Keyboards were also overdubbed.

Very early on, they began using two 4-track machines. After the first 4-track was full, it was bounced down to one track on a second 4-track machine and then they had three more tracks to fill up, which were filled with the lead vocal double, harmony and doubles, percussion (tambourine, maraccas, bongos, hand-claps). As time went on, they began putting the bass guitar down last, in order to get the best bass tone (avoiding any bouncing). So, from their second album until Abbey Road, they actually used seven tracks -- using two four-track machines.

I've read every book available on the Beatles recording techniques. This stuff is common knowledge. But if you want to hear the lead vocal double, you need only listen closely to the records.

But Lennon got tired of having to sing every vocal twice. So he bitched until one of the engineers created what he called "ADT" -- automatic double tracking. When the Beatles switched to that, there was a noticeable drop in excitement in the lead vocals on their records.

DAG, there is still plenty to be learned from the Beatles recordings.

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#1011961 - 11/20/10 08:06 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
havlicek Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 05/26/02
Posts: 6738
Loc: East Hampton, NY
 Quote:
The EQ on the DPS only lets me trim one mid-range frequency.


Nope. That swept/parametric band can be anywhere in the spectrum. It's placed in the "mid" position visually on the GUI, but it can be centered anywhere and there is a fully paramteric in the effects section as well that can easily be sourced if you want to get more surgical. Having said that, better to try and get things a close as you can going in.

Regarding the stuff above by Flat about it being harder to get a convincing harder rock recording than an acoustic thing, at least some of that is because rock recordings are a lot bigger deal than acoustic/vocal recordings. People "expect" to hear things that are the result of some pretty heavy-handed production techniques.

-john
_________________________
"anyone who believes that what they think is so important they will post political messages in a no-politics forum, only highlights their assholiness"

-John Havlicek (from "How To Spot An Internet Idiot", 2012)

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#1011964 - 11/20/10 08:13 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: havlicek]
Herr Doktor Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/15/99
Posts: 6061
John, you can sweep those mid frequencies all you want, but you still have to choose only one frequency to adjust.

But I really should look into the parametric in the FX section that you mentioned. I've never tried it because all four FX channels are usually spoken for with reverbs and delays.

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#1011966 - 11/20/10 08:59 AM Re: Of all the talents it takes to make home recordings, what are you worst at? [Re: Herr Doktor]
Popmann Offline
Loquacious Planeteer


Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 27875
Loc: Twangville, TN
color me wrong...elenor rigby--no high bump on the vocal? that was the one i remember clearly sounding to me like a large electronic high lift.

you can bring a track over-put it in cubase with as much eq as you want. what mics are they using at the studio you see all this eq being done? I've never done a lot there...

btw...you can also use the dps24 effect boards to expand on the channel eq...or borrow my speck asct. digital eq is less effective,imo.

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