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.
i found that duplicating your rhythum tracks can add alot more depth to your song, works with leads as well
There are many times when I use additional tracks to place copies of loops into for delay effect. I might use 2-3 tracks for a make shift delay effect. 1 track the main source loop, one track panned to the left and another track panned to the right. I then copy and move the copies of the loops I wish to have the delay effect upon. I'll set the volume envelopes of the loops themselves or the volume envelop of the tracks. I will the volume envelops to fade the offset loop of one track, while bringing up the volume of another offset loop of another track. This allows me to fine tweak delay effect volume. This after all is Delay using any Plug in's. I have found that I can EQ the right track and the EQ of the left track a little different. Basically, sort of a filter effect for control over the delay sound. I'm able to find tweak the delay sounds a lot better and easier compared to slapping some VSTi or Delay plug in.
At times I use Delay Plug-in's but for the sake of adding warmth or depth to a loop. Where the track is slightly wet and mostly dry. I use Plug-in Delays to smooth out transitions between loops. Do whatever tweaks I can do to mask anything from sounding like the sound cuts off out of the blue. Just makes the tracks smooth and more ambient sounding. I try to avoid making the tracks or loops too wet with delay. I'll fine tweak this by ear while going along. Too much delay can make things start to sound muddy. I'll try to work with whatever bandpass filtering (Hi, Low) that is available to the delay plug in as well. This way the delayed signal is not the same tone as the orginal. I think many people don't use bandpass filtering enough with delay plug-in's. The repeated signal starts to fight with the original source sound. A lot of it is having a sense for timing for the delay. Where the delay needs to mesh with the beat or tempo of the track. Think of Delay effects being an instrument or another loop in itself that is getting played or part of the musical performance.
In terms of Mastering a track, I did not even attempt to master "City Line" or "Sinful Pleasures of OZ". I've been trying to do most of the EQing and adjustments to the individual tracks themselves. I'll end up moving or making adjustments to the MAIN volume sliders along the way along with working with track volume. I have been trying to rely upon my ears more then any +/- Db gain rule of thumbs. Perhaps this makes what I'm doing a little hit or miss, but my mixes seem to be getting better using my ears instead of trying to keep levels running at some theory level of how to or not to mix.
I make it a point to crank up my volume to the max during play back to see if the sound breaks up. I'll bump it back down to a lower level. I'll do this with the Volume on my PC speakers. When I have the PC speakers cranked if it's breaking up. I'll bring the main down until things sound good again, make any adjustments to the individual track volumes. At times, I've had to slide the Main back up again and find the tracks that were too hot and make adjustments to them. Be it Removing a little Bass off the EQ's or adjustment to the volume.
Basically, it turns out to be a balancing act of Volume and EQing on the indiviual tracks and the Main. Panning effects the DB's levels between right and left and at times, I have to make adjustments to the EQ of a track when I make changes to the pan.
I really have come to realize that Mixing is not a set in stone science or art. That the best tool somebody has is their own ears. Also, be certain to play it back at different volume levels. Ranging from MAXED out Volume to MID or lower volume levels.
I'm happy if I can play my track at MAX PC speaker volume and it does not sound like my speakers are going to blow up. lol..
I also do something crazy, I'll listen to my mix with speakers, I also slap on a pair of headphones. I'll go back and fourth between my Speakers and Headphones. Trying to make things sound good with both. Dare I say it, my mixes seem to sound better wearing a pair of headphones, mainly because of the stereo mixes I'm shooting for.
Great post and allot of great suggestions! Thanks everyone.
I have 1 suggestion which not allot of people use. Frequency Analyzer.
The tool can be used at any stage of the music creation process. From sample selection to track balance, a frequency analyzer is a great tool when you want to ensure you don't have too much of a specific frequency messing up the entire mix.
Blue Cat Audio's FreqAnalyst is by far the best out there. Highly recommended.
ahh nice Soundvidion,
i mentioned using a freq analyzer before, but i haven't heard of Blue Cat Audio's FreqAnalyst... i must check it out, thanks heaps bro ;)
yeah this i a one too watch, he will just have to be logged on to do so,,
Could you maybe message me these tips so that I can structure them like I did mine (I find that it's easier to learn and do things that way... and easier to read/follow). Then I'll either post 'em here (crediting who's tutorial it is) or some place elsewhere (like the blog of my super dusty Mock-Talk Myspace page) or both.
And maybe this thread'll even land on the site's Tutorial section. Anyways, I just wanted to throw that out there. Thanks for all the tips yall. Keep 'em comin! Later on.
I think most of this thread consist valuable information and should be one of to watch
yeh @ Spektre.. the hum ear can only hear from 20 - (approx) 20,000....but'll try tht 18000 cut....
@ alividlife...what do u do with the penicl? en what effect does that hav on the recording process?? en bout the headphones and in the car thing...i didnt get tht...en i got major probz wit dat atm....
How do you guyz fix that? hearing differently in the car to wat you hear in your headphonez....
the human*...instead on hum
i'm still trying to figure out how to get the sound right in my car and on my headphones. but the thing is, as i understand it, all the effects that we use on our tracks are only going over the sounds (synths, drums, whatever) and arent actually changing the sound directly, if u see what i mean? the original sound is still there and its just being modified. so on your monitor in whatever program u use it will play properly cus its being done in real time. but when you start to play your track on a different system it breaks apart a bit and youll get a slightly off sound.
one thing that is working pretty well is rendering the song (in FL cus thats what i use), and then remastering it in FL again so it cakes the effects to the sound. and when you remaster and tweak it again it puts another layer over it. so DONT do anything too major on the remaster cus then that will become out of sync. you might be able to just reload the wav file of your track in your sequencer and then just re-render it without changing it at all but i havent tried it yet.
did that make sense?
if not lemme know n ill try n break it down a bit simpler. im just havin some probs explainin it cus i dont really understand it very well myself. my bad lol.
If what im sayin is all wrong someone PLEASE correct me!!!
Glad its on "ones to watch"! great thread! thanks guys for helping us n00bs out. I appreciate all the tips! Keep em coming! Maybe someday I'll be able to make a decent mix!
stumbled into something kinda cool that i've never heard mentioned.
using reverb for a pad effect.
the new track im working on has a lot of fast paced synth work in it. and as i was playing with the reverb on the synths i noticed that in the background i could hear a weird pad-like noise following the melody. i'm not sure how to do it intentionally, sorry =/ but it is something you guys should keep an eye out for.
kill two birds with one stone and all that.
REVERB for a pad effect.
listen to my new track and youll see what i mean.
wow... I posted an epic thing on music theory that is gone forever..
sigh... stupid log out shi..........t
@ chemist, i only use the pencil to do effects really. although i do try and fix just Loud frequencies to the overall level... just little things that might have clipped (like effects going on and off, or loud cymbals, kicks or snares...)
I usually use it to pan out a delay or reverb so the synth or loop will hang in the mix at the end of a part. Great for sounding smooth.
@falter and chemist, get a freq analyzer, like soundvisionz mentioned, or I especially like the stereo field ones. those are fantastic for mixing...
Also, getting your tracks to sound better in the car is usually just practice... I dunno.. If I can pin-point something I will let you know... but watch your freqs, bass, mid and treble, and notice what is out of wack in the car, and then try and remix,...
practice practice practice....
MUSIC THEORY FOR A LOOPER....
A loop is typically named with what Key it is in. Hopefully lol...
This Note at the end.. is usually how this loop will fit in a key.
Sooo... like "Awesome loop in the key of C", and
"awesome loop in the key of Bb"... might not mix well..
This is due to musical alphabet.. the theory behind it all..
I really recommend this stuff. It makes music soo much more tangible.
aww sigh, i had written this all out, and it logged me out lol...
anyways. take a loop.. in the key of C.
(this tip lol.. pertains to the key of C, tho, I do not see a problem with this working in ANY key, because we aren't talking about guitar, or piano here, we are talking about your program and how it changes the tone of your loops!)
the musical alphabet contains 12 notes, that go from C0 to C8 and infinity in BOTH directions. you just can't hear it.
In your daw, you should have the ability to change the tone of your loop... this changes the steps that it is in relation to itself in its key, and in the musical alphabet....
1 step up is going to be an inharmonic tone to the melodic quality of your loop. although it works in a progressive way, at the same time, it sounds like a fart noise. and i like that.
soo... for the sake of this discussion, i am omitting the off inharmonic stuff (minor 2nd,flatted3rd,flatted7th), that is USEFUL, but not easy to master, again... learn music theory.
2 steps up OR down, is going to be a 2nd, great to sound soaring, although you should go, 14 steps up, because that is a ninth lol... and that sounds better..
Notes withing the same octave, USUALLY just sound muddy, except the 3rd 4th 5th and 7th.
4 steps up or down is MINOR! great for sounding Ominous and sad...
5 steps up or down is Major! Great for sounding happy!
7 steps up or down is a fifth, the most primal sound in music, great for baselines.
9 steps is a sixth, good for off note stuff, but very jazzy... hard to mix, but good in a progression
11 steps is a seventh... GREAT FOR CHANGES! like verse to whatever... etc, etc...
12 is an octave... (like sweeney said, makes your stuff sound HEAVIER and more full)
going like 14 steps or 15 steps up on a loop can cause great harmonizing occasionally.. shrug... just try and see if it works.
I hope someone learnt something.. from my... tip. lol..
You should have seen the first post that i lost, it was pages lmao... sigh...
@falter, apologize, i did not read your post fully..
Yah mixing for the car sucks... but, a good mix, it sounds good on ANYTHING, and EVERYWHERE.
One thing to notice is again... PERHAPS, mono-capability, and the chance that something is PHASING out. Watch out, you can't hear it until you are in a situation that is off of the stereo... It's hard to explain...
All the white keys are the KEY OF C!!!
the black ones are the flats/sharps... or the weird C#/Db thing you saw above.. I forget to mention that.
Lol... screw theory.. but you NEED SOME UNDERSTANDING!
BEWARE THE ALGO-RYTHIMS! Sometimes your program will have a hard time with changing the tone of a loop! this is due to a lot of factors, but is noticeable by a "waaaaaaoom waaaaaoaommmfffff" sound. Your loops is just being stretched to much... In ableton there is a complex analyzer that fix's this, and I am pretty sure FL has one too...
You might also try INCREASING the bit rate of a loop, if you can, so it can be stretched more....
just a warning heh..
WOW, this post has become FIRE!!!..LOL
Anyway, these are all amazing suggestions. Personally, over the years i've gathered knowledge that after a few years has become part of my usual production flow. I believe I have allot of details on creating a pretty cool track with basic knowledge. I thought about this from the perspective of a tutorial.
I recall a few years back that I needed good tutorials and didn't quite find any. Well, I thought about this and started to make a very basic track using only FLStudio and FLstudio samples.
Well, I started this but after a while I figured it would take more than just a few lines to describe the whole process from start to completion. Well, honestly after a while I didn't quite feel like this would be useful since we have allot of artists that don't need basics.
Anyway, I was wondering if people would feel this is a good and useful thing for the site, potentially for new artists?
Anyway, I was thinking of covering things like: Sample Selection, Sequences, Fills, Drums, Synthwork (creating a lead), Basses, Percs, Loops, Balance, Panning, EQ, Mixing and Mastering. Also effect processing and putting it all together. I think it would be almost like the ultimate guide to making a basic track with techniques that can be used for any project.
Here is a sample of the file I created with each step of the process...just needs all the sections separated and elaborated, started to write and by the 2nd page, I thought maybe this is not needed.
Soundvisionz I know it's gonna be Tiiiiight... but you could throw it on youtube..? or is it too big?
I am assuming it is too big and you have a gigantic heart. that is really cool, I really respect that sir.
Do take notice that if you have any desire for music, you should learn the codes and conducts and respect the guidelines of all...
but as a punk ass i think you should push the boundaries too. No one can tell you what to do, they can just ban you. lol...
But that goes in general.
another site I haunt personally is www.gearslutz.com which was shown to me by bosonhavoc! much respect. check out www.anticon.com too.. you are more likely to meet open arms on these sites then others...
I agree with DV.. there are soo many tips... we need to organize.
I am willing to do more research for anyone that needs help, if you have questions, ask me, and I will ask soundvisionz, who will ask somebody lol.
Just click on my avatar and ask me a question, I will help you.
Just quickly, heard the 128K version, sucks, so I uploaded a 256K version here:
true that my dear friend Alivid!, how u livin? send me an email.
great thread good info nice work. just b4 i give a few tips out i would like to say that later on today when my hangover has worn off im gonna post a link to a a free book of synthisis not a couple of pages worth, and in laymans terms from the begining no astral science going on lol. also the problem FALTER might be facing may come down to his system set up with moniter may be cool and if the end sound great on flat response moniters, then when you put it on a commercial system that all have varied
eq systems within hence if youre mix sound muddy and slighly distorted tone it down on your main system. good luck.
1) google a search for frequency to note conversations, observe your midi riff and automate each note to its relative frequency, say your first note is an a3 wite down from the table all the frequencies that relate to it through all octaves now using them setting only experiment same for your second note, you will find real movement within your track and create interesting sub rythms, i usually use this for bass really. a good vst instrument to do this is reaktor junotek, the beuty on the side page bit it tells you which feature has which midi cc to control it easy very effective. i also use this method sometimes when using the filter cut off.
2) writing dont always go for the easy option and turn the aprregiater on (when doing leads really some detailed sound have to have it but...) write the line if you write it you can drop bits add bits, i hear and read about lot of people struggling to create variation and life in there tracks.
3) the theory is that if you add a delay at 40 ms or less it doesnt delay as in echo it alters and boasts the sounds, doesnt always work effectively but when i does can have you hoping around the room. particularly good for leaads with that hi pass squelch sound.
4) if youre looking to beef up a bass sound (can work with other) or make it nastier, convert it to wav then duplicate it, on the copy apply an eq or hi/lo pass filter, tend to go really high or upper mid. remember that you might like the sound you get but you would be better to very the original wav and then bring in the distortion the n back out good for sound build ups and variation.
5) I always open up my tune by putting a stereo enhancer on my master make the most of the space from the start
6) routing options is something i think every has to investigate, infinate options but as an example route your cymbals and hats to a channell and you main riff, whilst on anouther chanell hook in a couple of your bass lines and a snare and so forth, then on your group channel apply camel space audio. rob papins predater or psp nitro as effects then experiment, various filtering swithchin going on. you make some very interesting changes and progressions to your tunes. there are many more techniques and i would love to hear your suggestions.
7) to help give your bass drum definition from your bass line, i use battery 3, so i trim the end of the wave of make the bass punchier, as well as this i use an amount of attack on my b line thus allowing the 2 to defined within its space.
8) i find that when trying to use big saw lead or traditional scratchy hoover that one sound wont make this its a combination of maybe 2 or 3 tracks eq different maybe one an octave lower and one higher, i also usually group them and then apply flange or phase assisting the overall nastyness of it all, it also assists it to come through the mix.
9) when doing drums i take a snare samlpe and duplicate 3 time after messin eq and wat not i apply a distortion plug to one and a distortion and flanger to another when writting use to of these at any one time b4 changing the combo, good for electro and dnb. after selecting and writting my cymbal lines i duplicate them then send the duplicate section through to a group section on my master mixer and apply camel audio phat or some sort of effects processor then i have the option to switch from normal hats to effected hats with out to much fuss. this process can be repeated with percussion bongos claves ect.
10) i cant stress this enough but when u come to arranging your track you have to bear in mind the d.j and if you work your track so its d.j friendly you will have a better chance of having your tunes played, you know 4 bar beat intro for them to mix into, build up, solos all relative.
will post some more hope this is some use to someone cheers kris
A quick note...when recording (vocalz) in small rooms you want your microphone in the middle of the room....the smaller the room the more in the middle you want your mic to be....
en thankz falter en alividlife ...ill try find this freq analyzer...but do you knw any that work well with sony acid 6??
just a few more thoughts.
1) build up genre or type specific presets save in various folders once it is full 128, copy an existing pre set bank so u have 2 copies and then load one, load up each of your favorite presets or patches into it and then when its complete save the bank as something else. you may think time consuming an boring but a little preperation can really be benificial to your creative moments.
2) if you have a lead riff pattern copy each note to wave remembering to mute the next midi notes in the sequence. once you have each note seperated into wav load it up into battery 3 and assign each wav with its own channels, u know have quick fexibilty to add single effects to each sound, eq each individuely, could maybe route to 2 seperate groups also you can duplicate the sequence in batterry as in reload every thing and using the filter cut alter lenghts slighlty. you may ask why all this bother i could just import the wavs and have the same but doing it this way firstly gives you more options and secondly once you have done the ground work having everything set up there in one area is so much easier, than applying all the different effects, eq seperate,panning and all different audio editers it makes sense.
3) a good exercise i regulalry do is at the end of my seshion i save my project then i go back to it and reverse my effect change just experimenting with various parameters, this exercise you may not learn anything straight away but after a while you will start to notice certain rules within the sounds and what does what to the sound, you might think you crazt english dick, but i shit you not it works, and the best thing no textbook can teach you your own interpretation of it....
4. when you have your drum beats playing, select a vst with drum patches and select hats or cymbals, then create an effex channel, send the hats through to the effects channel, now turn down the volume of the vst and raise the effect, apply a flanger with a touch of delay. now when you play your drum beat you have a flange sound in time(but just very slightly behind due to attack), it sound like the flange is projecting the hats, at this stage dont get me wrong it sound alright but when it really sound pro is when the hats have a panning pattern left to right for example and then the flange follows your pattern across the stereo spectrum mint touch.
same trick different application try doing this with your lead then drop in the song with out the lead, then raise the volume of the lead just to become slighly audible teasing the listeners, the obvious one is build the track up to the point where your gonna drop your lead proper drop it full with out the flange and then drop it all back in.
5) little trick tell your midi instrument learn sound but turn the volume totally down so it actually learns silence, at some point in your track usuall at the end of the bar where u change insert silence trick the whole song totally cuts out bang like that no delays or feedback or shit, u only have to cut out for the shortest of times but when you bring it in it adds energy, plus it sounds really small but its dead pro and i you utilise as many of these things one day gonna sit there fuck sound like being at a rave man lol.
6) I use my main set up but have an internet connected laptop beside me, i have arranged a folder with all my vst manuels in it and put the midi cc pages at the start of each manual hence when im in the middle of something and need to know a parameter cc click click job done, no rumaging through folders that are full of shit lol, i also keep my note to frquency convertion, my bpm to mm calculater for delays and stuff, souround yourself with the info you need at hand.
7) im not looking to vere off the subject but i feel there is a certain community spirit amongst this group which is cool, i hope that its acceptable to recomend other learning resourses. i find the kvr site and serious sounds sites very informative, although i have quite a vast arsenal of vsts there are some very good free vsts on kvr, and lots of free pre set banks. the computer music (as in the magazine) has an internet site with lots of free tutorials straight from the mag some good stuff worth checkin out
this is the link to cm tutorials real top class not a couple of paragraphs, take the time n check it out, let me know what you think, check i aint got me head up my arse lol
this is the link as promised FREE BOOK ON SYTHSIS TECHNIQUE when you go onto it you may think it looks like they are trying to charge you but nope it does come through, 180 odd pages
laymans terms from the begining very nice touch
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Looper Time : 2019-01-18 12:33:04 | Version l-318