Posted in : Forum : Mixing , Mastering And Production Techniques
Youve created a track but how do you give it that polished edge ? Discuss the art of mixing and mastering and swap production techniques.
The idea behind this thread is to get a bunch of members to post the tricks that we incorporate into our tracks and put it all together so that anyone looking to put a new edge on their work can get some ideas.
Ive learned a lot of cool ideas from just talking with other producers and hope to get the same thing going here.
As we all produce different genres and all have our own flavour in our tracks not all of the things you find in here will necessarily be helpful to you. but i would encourage anyone reading this to please take a couple minutes and drop some knowledge on the thread to help future readers.
ALSO, if you are going to share something please put it inside a couple sets of dashes (ill do it with mine so u can see what i mean) This will help seperate the useful bits from the opinions and other chat that always gets started here in the forums.
REVERSED BASS KICK
This is something any Hard dance producer should def give a try but it is also used in almost every other electronic genre from time to time.
It will give your tracks a lot more energy and make for a more dynamic bassline by filling the gaps between kicks with a very versatile yet simple sound. (this is mostly used with a four-on-the-floor kicker line)
Sample a bass kick that has a long tail end (meaning the bass resonates after the initial kick/punch)
Reverse the sampled kick. It should now sound like a building Whoomp with a weird punch at the end (itll sound exactly like you think a kick would sound backwards lol)
Select the last 1/2 of the sample (where that nasty punch sound is) and fade it out until you are just left with that Whomp sound.
Now place the reversed kick on the beat directly after your original kick. It may need some small tweaking from there but it should still sound about right. just adjust it by ear.
There you have it.
You should have a bass line that sounds like
the reversed kicks are highly adjustable and can be set at different pitches to match the key of your melody. this glues the melody to the bassline very well and makes a very smooth backbone for a track.
PAD STUTTER GATING
This is something that will make your background pads and leads sound a bit more versatile and interesting. i'm sure this can be used with melodies aswell but ive only used it with pads so far.
Take whatever pad/lead you are using and duplicate it.
Lay the duplicate over the original
Gate the duplicate pad (or both pads) at either regular or irregular intervals. If you do this with both pad lines try gating them at different times.
It is very simple but its not easy to make it work in a track but when it does it is well worth it.
Another idea is to lay different effects over the pads for even more dramatic backing.
DO NOT OVER-DO IT! theres a fine line between good and very very bad with this trick so be careful and dont get frustrated cus its sick when it works.
Thats it for now,
ill be throwing more up here as i learn new stuff.
Please add some of your own stuff to this as it can become very useful.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
This is a great idea thanks spektre
spek, i still dont know how to do that gated thingy, i can put a gated effect when using camelspace, wats the jist in simple terms. im adhd so i need simpleton meanings haha
gating is basically switching the volume on an instrument, like a pad, on and off quickly so u get that stutter sound. with progs like camel space it does it for you but u can get a really basic gating going by automating the volume to go on/off/on/off.
Gating = volume on off on off on off on off... etc.
regular gating is when its a steady switching at like every half beat.
irregular is just like chaotic n random but sounds cool sometimes lol.
thats as simple as i can get it bro lol.
You should come up to london Paul! Warehouse rave on NEW YEARS!!!!
Good thread idea.
Here's some ideas I can throw out there for hip-hop producers:
1. USE TRANSITIONS. Reverse crashes, sound fx, dropping the drums out for 1 bar before the hook, all of these techniques make your beats more versatile & interesting. Sometimes they can be as important as the main melody itself.
2. LAYER SOUNDS. If you ever wonder why your beats sound too thin, it's because you need to layer sounds. For example, if you make a melody with one synth, copy that same melody into another synth track and make an octave higher/lower. Mix the two tracks together to make it sound like one tight sound. Also, layer your kicks and snares to beef them up. Layer a clap with a snare to get that 'crunchy sounding' snare.
3. LISTEN. You need to constantly listen to each part of your song/beat before you can call it finished. Always try to find ways to mix your beats better.
Yes i put everthing i do on my ipod and loop repeat it all as to listen to EVERY portion of it... Great point Sweeney!
Something a little more -
()Separating your mix - you should have a well defined space between every instrument in three senses... 1. left right through panning, 2. high and low frequencies 3. Front back through reverb (thats the one people often miss) it gives that crisp, clean professional feel to your mix if you do it right (witch is hard).
good points guys. It's one thing to compose a track and it's another thing altogether to produce it. A lot of people seem to take hardly any time at all between finishing the first draft of a track and the final product. But if you are serious about taking your work to the next level you gotta go back and rework everything until you just can't come up with any new ideas. That's when a track is done. I've just started trying to do this myself and I'll be honest it's a bitch to do but it really makes so much difference.
gotta agree with sweeney, all those techniques work wonders on your project, my main thing is I never start another project without finishing the other, because then I get side tracked and fuck both of them up ha, peace
that is a good point Sweeny, Layering is a great technique to use to make your tunes sound fuller. one particular thing i might add is that you should be careful that you don't 'over' Layer your tune!
one thing you must realize, is that when layering anything you are playing 2 or more sounds through similar if not the same sequence. therefore, be careful you don't over do it to the extent that you tune peaks to high (i.e over 0dB)
to counter this i like to pull my tune apart (i.e beats, melody 1, melody 2 etc) and pass them through a frequency analyzer (there is one in FL called spectroman). then i write down all my different frequency ranges and determine if and where my frequencies are conflicting (i.e 2 or more parts playing at similar frequencies and peaking!)
once you know where they are conflicting, it is a simple task to EQ these parts to prevent them from peaking. i like to use the FL plugin called Parametric EQ to do this!
mastering, as we all know is a crucial part in finishing your tune, because it boosts the quality making it sound a lot cleaner, crisper and obviously BETTER ;)
really happy with the feedback you guys are giving. alot of really good points here and i've even picked up some new stuff in the short time this threads been up.
Keep it coming!!
Jus addin in ma 5 cents to this...
What a lot of people tend to do when mixing en mastering is to ignore the cuttin of the bass and drum...it is very important to channel the frequency of the drum and bass to different frequencyz...because if you dont you end up with an ugly finishing - things like this can be the very henderance of making that tight beat that you want turn ugly....
Anyone hav an ideal cut off frequency for high soundz? for when you hav like high synthz...
well there isn't really an ideal high freq cutoff point, coz the human ear pretty much cuts out anything over about 20 kHz. in other words we can't hear anything over this limit (it's an automatic cutoff point LOL). anything under this level is ok!
the thing is, when two synth for example overlap at a specific frequency it can peak (as i mentioned before). thats when you have to cut certain frequencies to prevent peaking!
hope that answers your question!
Rawk on mate. I'm diggin this thread & concept. Maybe if more people contribute to this it'll earn a place on the Ones To Watch section on the right of the screen. I'll add a little today and possibly again later on. For now let's begin...
Easy Pointers & Tricks- Just do a search for the program or instrument you use + whatever thing you are trying to do (like effects, for example) and go to the places where they have tutorials (preferably video clips).
I recently had to do the same thing for the last exercise in my Intro Video... class. Where the prof wanted us to all find 3 unique effects for Final Cut Pro. I ended up with like 7 results, plus one extra ("Calling The Yak"). It was awesome and really easy to copy what was demonstrated (save for the Smallville effect, yet that strays from the subject). Moving on...
DVs Sure-fired Stereo Mastering (high quality) Technique- I will lay this out numerically in steps so that you can do it in stages.
Now this is something I save for the end of my project. Right before I send it to be encoded to MP3 format. Once done with the project file do the following...
1.) Ensure the start and end markers encompass the whole song.
2.) Ensure all the channels are on (unmuted or solo'd) and that any extra stuff is off (if any).
3.) Go to Export or whatever it is on your program (under File, for example) and select it to be exported as a Wav file type.
4.) Now do a final save of the song project and close it out however you want (e.g., by selecting New under the File menu).
5.) Now load the wav file you just made.
There are three ways you can set this up and they are...
Basic Stereo, type A-
I.) Take the first Wav copy it, and paste it to channel 2.
II.) Edit the Wav to isolate the sound to left only on channel 1.
III.) Do the same for channel 2, but isolate the right.
IV.) Now adjust the volume levels in your program's Mixer or similar and encode as an MP3.
Type B- Is the same as above, but there are 3 channels of the same Wav. With 1 being left-isolated, 2 being unchanged, and 3 being right-isolated. I will note however, that the volume levels of 1 & 3 should be dropped down to about 5 less than channel 2's level.
Advanced Stereo, 5.1 Surround-like Pyramid- This is similar to BS, Type B-, but there are 2 additional channels. It's done like this...
I.) Take the Wav file, copy it, and paste it to channels 2-5.
II.) For channels 1 & 5 (in the mixer), make it 100% isolated, e.g., Left-Iso(1)/Right-Iso(5).
III.) For channels 2 & 4 (in the mixer, make it 50% isolated, e.g., Left-Iso(2)/Right-Iso(4)
IV.) Now it's time to stagger the volume levels by multiples of 3 (1/5= negative 15, 2/4= negative 10, 3= negative 5, for example)
V.) Take the master volume in the mixer and adjust it to peak output.
*VI.) Optional Take channels 1 & 5 and add a spacing effect to them (like Hall, Room 1, Stadium, etc). You can even do the same for channels 2 & 4 by half to make the spacing effect seem more dynamic.
Depending on the sound you are going for this can be reversed to include all channels to pan the spacing effect out. Make the effect's intensity- C3=90, C2/4=60, C1/5=30.
Export and your done. Well all, hope yall have fun with that and I look forward to the expansion of this thread. Off for now. Lates mates.
OMG THIS IS THE BEST.
Ummm hmmm... Damnit.. I am at a loss...
I would say dual recording stuff, and then panning it straight left and right.
Especially live instrumentation. There is nothing soo silky smooth as two guitars, played just the same.. then panned to each speaker.
I guess you could do that midi wise as well..
NEVER EVER cut or boost more than 5 dbs in a mastering freq... if soo you have issues with your mix. (just my opinion.)
AND! I leave that rumble (20-18,000) and high end! I can hear that stuff and I LIKE IT!
BUMP!...This should definitely be featured under Ones To Watch...don't want this juicy little number getting lost in the matrix...
I like to add a few seconds before and after a measure to fade into the next part..
Like 16 beat measure verse, into 16 beat chorus right?
well at the end of the 15'th beat of the verse I add the chorus but fade it in..
I also do a lot of what sweeney does. heheh, and he rocks so listen to him...
Effects I go crazy.. I do reverse stuff add reverb or .. shoot ANY effect, and then unreverse.. A LOT of what you hear on my tracks and think that's a cool pad is not. It's actually me tearing live guitar or synth lines to pieces.
GET REALLY GOOD AT LABELING YOUR STUFF.
Like get a good date time, mix, and part thing going on... that will increase your workflow.. I had to go thru 2 gigs of track01's one time.... NEVER AGAIN! heh..
I like using pencils instead of the pop filter.. but i havent recorded vocals in ages. I will just put a pencil in front of the condenser and it takes out some of the breathing and sibilance's but it leaves enough to still sound pretty intimate.
i do a lot of stuff with effects... But i do it soo the effect changes over the piece... I will record a part.
But then I will add an effect. WHATEVER EFFECT. then while recording the mix, I will do multiple takes of the effect being edited, and then I will pile more effects on and do all types of really weird stuff.. I will change tempos of parts but then fit them back in.. heh... I dunno if that will help anybody.
BUT, you should check and make sure that your program does or doesn't have the ability to transparently use effects on a recorded part, BUT in the mix! You can really sound professional doing this.
I always leave AT LEAST -6 db when I master, Never have anything at like -2 when you start leveling and adding the shine on like compression and limiters (WHICH i don't recommend in a master, but are usually necessary) and eq and phasing.
ANOTHER THING, watch out for your mono-capability. But that can make a huge difference. (I AM TERRIBLE ABOUT THIS, and I DON'T care) But if your song sucks in a car, but it sounds AWESOME on headphones (like about 80 percent of my songs) then your EQ , notice the freq range, and your stuff is actually phasing out. Like, You can have a bass drum and a bassline that can sound great with headphones but will actually make each other disappear. ... I don't know how this is a tip.. ahem.. anywayyyys.
One trick i really recommend is sitting outside of yourself, and trying to get sounds that don't ... necessarily... well.. they aren't sounds! Like, I will think of a child crying if I was writing something sad and try and... Say that.
Or... Like... I wrote a song about telephones.. I hate telephones.. so the drum beat was angry, but it had a ... dialing process that I was thinking in my head.
I like looking at art when I am writing music too. And I like trying to say that in my music.
I like this thread. If I remember any more I will post.
Need a layer or fill for your track? Try your voice. It's more versatile than you think.
Long winded Movie dialogue at ~-25 db is another goldmine for layering tracks, especially if you mess around with filters.
If you're in a rut, try listening to something different. Ask a friend for a recommendation or just chance it yourself. How far out of your comfort zone you go is up to you. If you get into it, you will begin soaking in obsevations of production techniques without knowing it. I highly recommend this when your old standbys aren't working.
hahah for you guitarist with acoustics...
you should try soaking your fingers in water a couple minutes before recording.. that will cut your fret noise a bunch..
I know cyryus used hand lotion, but I don't know what that will do to your strings...
Also, Polish your guitar with wood cleaner, or like orangeglo or whatever ( i forget the name ).. It smells bad, but playibility goes up 100 percent. It's like lube.
hmmm any more .. lol...
Cool..thread!...hehe I'm a bit like Phil Spector without the gun fetish...I like a big wall of sound to start off with without too much stereo separation....then start moving elements back and forwards in the mix with different reverb strengths and types and then grab some particular facet and pan it left or right..so things get a bit of three dimension....but I gotta admit...I'm a sucker for the "Wall"
I hear that planet! I like brick walling stuff too! but that can get icky sometimes..
I will try that tho..
TAKE NOTES! I will come up with ideas and forget like at the recording moment.
I have notebooks filled with chicken scratch.
SERIOUSLY DO THIS! TAKE NOTES! EVEN IF YOU KNOW YOU WON'T FORGET!
You will see your development too, which is actually very cool
Like a musical diary.
Another thing that may help is if your tip is genre specific type it out somewhere in your post so readers can index the three with the browsers find function. Again thanks for all the contributions this will definitely become a useful tool in no time
wow this is a great idea!
i could explain a bit about the side chaining Ive used in some of my songs, but it will be limited to FL users.
Thread not three. Damn iPhone keyboard from hell.
I like that journal idea. I'm gonna start one right away!
ohh and one more.....
GET SUBSCRIBED NOW!!!!!
IT'S FREE IN AMERICA and EUROPE!
I learn 20 things every issue.
Think we can get this on the ones to watch loopermaster?
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Looper Time : 2019-01-16 08:48:38 | Version l-318