So I've started writing some

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So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:31 pm

If you have a minute and care to offer some advice I'll take it :-)
http://www.reverbnation.com/dennishunt

Been trying to find my own voice in terms of
Singing and playing.

The first one I recorded was from a request
Of a coworker that is recording a movie project
And wanted an angry song about the call centre
Industry. It's called Say what You Want.
I did everything but lead guitar.
As it's the first real attempt, it's also the one
I'm least pleased with, but it's mine and it's
A step I took.

Next song is called Thankful. I wrote it in a key
I wouldn't normally play in as an attempt to try
Something new for me. I played everything and
Sung. Personally I'm quite pleased with it even
With my vocal flubs and pitchiness.

Next I thought I'd try a country flavored tune
To suit my voice. Karma's a Bitch is the song. Not overly pleased with this
And my guitar pal never came to fly in a solo
And there were drum issues on my part.
I like my lyrics and the vocal part.
Again, I'm learning.

I hate that was an attempt at some thing that
Might have a little funk rock to it.
Not overly happy with my harmonies but it's me
And not a harmony plugin or altered pitch.

Soulshine was my cover of the Warren Haynes / Almans
Tune. I'm pleased with my drumming and kept the
Guitar and bass very simple. Vocal is pitchy.

The other covers I'm happy with for the most part.

This is basically a journal if my attempts, successes and
Falters.

Critiques welcomed

D
The other covers are me trying something
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby macrae11 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:54 pm

So I had a brief listen through the tunes last night. I was going to wait until I had a listen at the studio where I can actually hear things, but something that jumped out at me even just through crappy computer speakers is the reverb you have on your voice. It sounds like a medium room or small hall. Either way to my ear it sounds way to short, and way too much. Maybe try some medium-longer verbs with less of it. Maybe a plate or a chamber. If you want that thickening sound that you're getting from the heavy shorter verb you could either try a reverb with early reflections you can adjust, or try doubling the vocal.

I'll try to chime in some more when I can really listen.
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:33 pm

Thanks guys. I'm an eternal student. :shock:
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:44 pm

Hmmmmm..... Having troubles getting this page to load.... Reverbnation having problems or am I? :-)
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:55 pm

Just checked on my phone and it loaded ok
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:10 pm

Finally got on and gave a quick listen. My first comment is that I'd love to hear what these mixes sound like without so much limiting going on. It would probably be an eye opener about what you have going on in the source material. I know this is the way a lot of stuff is coming out these days, but I'm sooooo tired of it. It's not just you... All novices are guilty of this these days. Huge gain reduction on the two mix = mondo distortion. It just seems to be a recurring comment I make every time someone asks for opinions on recordings. viewtopic.php?p=9823#p9823

Secondly, I know these are not an album release or anything, but since you put stuff up for consumption, take the time and start making cleaner tops and tails of your mixes. A good example is "Say What You Want" where there is well over a second of open channel noise at the beginning, and you cut off what would be a more natural sounding end. It helps separate what sounds like a sketch right off the bat, to sounding more finished.

Now... Let the thread continue...
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:12 pm

Great feedback thank you.
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Scott DeVarenne » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:17 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:but since you put stuff up for consumption, take the time and start making cleaner tops and tails of your mixes.

That ain't nothing. Check this out:
http://soundcloud.com/acodeofsilence-1
I found this through a local kijijijiji ad looking for a singer.
Now... Let the thread continue...
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:23 pm

I can almost taste the salty popcorn
and smell the carpet at the Fish N Brew!
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Wed May 09, 2012 12:59 pm

posted another tune this week. Its called Time Flies By.

Tried a little more subtlety with the vocal tracks and such.

http://www.reverbnation.com/dennishunt
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri May 11, 2012 9:42 am

I moved this topic to "sounds good" since I can see that this will be discussion about audio/production.

I'll have a listen to "Time Flies By" this morning and give you my 3 cents. Thanks for joining our little group. :-D
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

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www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri May 11, 2012 11:52 am

So Dennis, I have to ask about the limiting on the mixes. Is it something you're doing to the tracks after the fact, or is it something you're mixing through? I gotta know. Everything so far that I've checked out has insane amounts of clipping going on, and If the only thing I can do here is help you avoid that kind of thing, I will consider it a job well done here.

Help me... help you...
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Fri May 11, 2012 12:39 pm

I still haven't had a chance to check these out, and with an exam looming early June, I probably won't get to listen to these until then. However, I did want to jump in and comment about limiting - a lot of my early mixes sounded like I was a proud soldier in the loudness wars, when really, I just hadn't figured out yet where the master volume fader was in my software. I have no idea if that's what's going on here or not, but I wanted to throw it out there just in case. There's a really good discussion about headroom right here from a few months back that's worth a read.
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri May 11, 2012 1:16 pm

Christian LeBlanc wrote:... I did want to jump in and comment about limiting - a lot of my early mixes sounded like I was a proud soldier in the loudness wars, when really, I just hadn't figured out yet where the master volume fader was in my software. I have no idea if that's what's going on here or not, but I wanted to throw it out there just in case...
I always hope it's something like that Christian, but many times it's someone mixing through a "mastering processor" that at first can fool you into believing that it's a good thing, but all it's doing is helping mask the fact that you're crushing your mixes with too much level over all. Too many newbies don't realize how little processing of the two buss is actually going on with many mixes that they love.

That being said, if you are interested in getting that 21st century LOUD thing going on, there's a whole lot more going on there than just slapping a limiter preset on and mixing through it. Guys who get "loud" that good have a whole other science to their mixing and then mastering. Some "loud" masters do sound great, but that treatment just isn't for as much material as people are trying to do it to.
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Sun May 13, 2012 9:04 pm

Hey Guys. To be honest I really haven't done too much with the compression or the limiting.
I'm simply using the presets that are in the tool such and "Acoustic Guitar", ambient vocal
or those types of things.

I figured I'd be reasonably safe to start experimenting using the default settings.
Until I fully understand how to properly adjust the settings, I'd pretty much left it alone.

The only other tool that I use when I'm finalizing my mixes is to use a basic CD Master preset
from Izotope Ozone.

I have read that a usual standard of compression is 2-1 or 4-1.
I still have all of my audio files for the projects so I can remix and bypass and or remove the existing settings.

Feedback appreciated!
Thanks guys.
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Scott DeVarenne » Mon May 14, 2012 1:30 am

Compression ratios between 2:1 and 4:1 are common, but...
If I ate exactly half of the jelly beans that were in the bowl, how many jelly beans have I eaten?
In other words...???
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon May 14, 2012 8:31 am

How much "louder" is that Ozone process making your mixes? Posting something without the "mastering" preset would be an ear opener to what you are doing at that stage.

And as what I thing Scott was getting at, the ratio is only part of what the compression will do. it doesn't really say much about what you are actually doing without more info.

...and yeah. Using "presets" isn't always as safe as you might think. Really depends on who's developing the gear, as well as what you're feeding it. If I have a quiet-ish mix, jamming it through a maximizer isn't going to do as much damage as sending something really dense and already loud through it. Make sense?
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Mon May 14, 2012 1:48 pm

Yep for sure. all Valid.

Heres my setup which is actually pretty sparse

Guitar / Bass 1/4" into ART Tube MP. Image
Set at midnight for gain and output

1/4" from ART Tube MP into channel 1 of the M-Audio Omnistudio.
Image

Input set to midnight and the signal never turns red to clip.
Vocal Mic is Audio Technica AT2020 straight into channel 2 with phantom power for the condenser.Again gain on channel is set low so it never clips.
Drums and Keyboards are triggered via midi sounds and the majority of the sounds are samples from within Logic 9 itself.

None of the channels are ever set to more than infinity (0)

Until I got comfortable with getting good solid sound I had not yet introduced plugins for my recordings so its all stock stuff right now.

I'll take some screen shots for the settings if you'd like. I know you're flying blind without seeing.

Compressor and reverb are 2 things I know that I need to get a good handle on, Compressor more so than reverb.

Thanks
D
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon May 14, 2012 8:54 pm

I'm suspect more of your mixing stage. From what I can tell, tracks all sound pretty cool, but your levels and processing on the two mix are something that being conservative at the recording phase can't entirely prevent.

Your sounds and ideas all seem pretty together to me, it's just the levels on stun mixes that I think would be an easy thing for you to improve on. It's either levels too high at mixdown overloading the mix buss, or too aggressive settings on your "mastering processor"... or both, that is making things uber clipped, or so it sounds to me.

Try printing a mix of something like "Say What You Want" without any limiting on the master and see how it compares with the original. That would be a good place to start with diagnosing where the clipping is happening.
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Mon May 14, 2012 10:56 pm

Cool Malcolm. I'll try that this week.
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Scott DeVarenne » Mon May 14, 2012 11:41 pm

What I was hinting at was threshold. Ratio is nary the whole story. 2:1 may be considered a modest ratio but if the threshold is set at 32db below the level of your peaks then ...well... goodbye life .
Here is an SOS article on the ozone izotope. (*why couldn't they just call it isotope?)
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr02/a ... eozone.asp
This is my favorite paragraph-
"With almost all of the non-commercial tracks used in testing, Ozone was able produce a very noticeable improvement in the finished product. In some cases this was a better tonal balance, in others it was a gentle smoothing of levels. And if you just want to get that 'blimey, this is loud!' sort of sound, Ozone can make sure you squeeze every last dB of level out with a combination of dynamics and limiting -- although it is also possible to squash the life out of a track in doing so!"

* I'm not rippin on your software. I'm sure it can yield great results. For years I recorded and mixed in Vegas. Hell... I've never even been to Vegas- neither the city nor the constellation nor a large plain or valley, typically a fertile and grassy one.
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon May 14, 2012 11:56 pm

Scott DeVarenne wrote:* I'm not rippin on your software. I'm sure it can yield great results. For years I recorded and mixed in Vegas. Hell... I've never even been to Vegas- neither the city nor the constellation nor a large plain or valley, typically a fertile and grassy one.
I've used an Izotope "mastering limiter" with great results many times. It really is all about what you're feeding it as to what you get out.

Threshold as a number is one thing, but another way to think about it is how high of a level you are sending in. A limiter with a threshold of -6dbfs might be conservative on a mix of mine, but someone pounding the mix buss with super hot levels may completely crush something set like that.
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Tue May 15, 2012 7:18 pm

Oh and Scott haha I know you weren't ripping
On Logic. All good. I used to use Vegas for some
Videos I'd edit. It was a good program.

We all work with the tool we have :)
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby dennisthemenace » Wed May 16, 2012 4:50 pm

All good advice guys.

Ok so this morning before work, I opened a couple of my projects and for the hell of it,
if there was a compressor or limiter in the mix for either the instrument track or the output, I bypassed it
and then just modified the mix levels for each channel, again keeping everything under infinity (0).

Its interesting how much air it opens up in the life of the track.
May sound so elementary. Now I know not to trust the default settings.

At the same time, while I'm at it, I'll redo some vocal parts and other things that are pissing me off. Haha.

When it comes time for me to finalize the mixes that's when I'll be looking for best practices or preferences for
mastering, eq'ing and such.

When I played guitar, I never had patience enough for multi-effect units or pedals because every room I'd play in
would sound different and I'd have to re-adjust to compensate for the room differences.
I hated that, so I'd be straight into the amp guy. Thats said, is the reason i figured I could trust Logic's own settings.

lesson learned :)
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Re: So I've started writing some

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Fri May 18, 2012 4:16 pm

I got home early today, so me and the cat are chillin' in the backyard. Time to check out some tunes!

Time flies by: I see what people were saying about loudness. To me, it sounds like all parts of the song are at the same volume, so that there's no dynamics between sections: instead of loud/quiet/loud you just get loud/loud/loud. Also make sure you're silencing your vocal tracks for when you aren't singing, as I think I'm hearing some extra mouth noises here and there (just heard a spare sniff in Always on my Mind, for example).

Always on my Mind: same comment about limiting hurting your dynamics; you guitar isn't allowed to be quiet when it wants to be, for example.

Around 3:30 or so would be a good spot for a little piano melody?

She's Got A Way: how would a little bit of slap-back delay on the vocals sound? A second layer of acoustic guitar, playing the same chords but with a different rhythm, may work to add some subtle pulsing underneath the track; I could be way off base on that, though. Maybe just double-tracking the acoustic would add something? Or a subtle chorus effect?

SoulShine: Aw c'mon, rain's awesome! ;) The bit starting around 2:12 or so would sound good with some guitar noodling when the vox are quiet, leading into a nice raunchy guitar solo before the final chorus.

Ring of Fire: Same comments as above, so far.

Karma's a bitch: the reverb on your voice works better for this one than the others, to me. Needs a guitar solo!

I Hate That: the lead guitar is fighting with the crunchy rhythm guitar; pan the lead more to the left like it is on the solo.

There's something silly about the chorus that I really dig :) Try screaming the final words of this song out-of-control metal style just for fun, see what that does. I'm thinking of the lead singer in Blue October when I make this suggestion.

Thankful: I really like how the lead guitar opens the song; a little delay on it would make it sound even better. Try putting some reverb on that organ sound, too. Right after the guitar solo, the organ gets its own little solo, but doesn't do as much as the guitar was doing. Try writing its solo on the guitar and transposing it.

Lots of jamming at the end; would work good live, but should be reigned in and tightened up here. Or, fake some background chatter to simulate that live environment?

Say What You Want: the 'telephone' effect on your voice sounds cool at first, but it's hard to make out what you're saying; the effect sounds too dark to me. The "talk to my manager" bit might be more fun desperately screamining it, instead :)

Anyway, those are just my thoughts, which only reflect how I would do things, not necessarily how they should be done ;) Keep at it!
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