The Wagtunes Corner

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Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
13470 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Question: Have you ever heard a professionally produced record that may have even been a huge commercial success that you thought was produced poorly? And, if so, can you give an example?
Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

User avatar
JoeCat
KVRian
1386 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm

thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:13 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:40 pm
I remember once seeing that what I thought was an awesome compressor was a guy automating the vocals manually to achieve exactly what he wanted.
That's good advice and something I've always done myself. I think it's far too easy to just reach for a comp or a limiter rather than spending the time get it right in the first place (before mixing). Usually it's only the odd word or phrase that's sticking out.
Yeah I don't do much vocal work (for my band that's done in the studio), but when I have I've noticed a tendency to over-compress to smooth out the odd word or phrase like you said, and ended up with artificial-sounding vocal compression. Better to take care of those things up front, then you can toss on a gentle / character compressor and just adjust to taste.

Wags - one great "trick" for learning how to work with vocals, is to find some vocal-stems only tracks (there are plenty on YouTube, etc.). It's fascinating to hear what the vocals really sound like outside of the mix (though I think sometimes those tracks are still after the master effects, and of course after YouTube's processing). Still, I was always surprised that the spectrum of a lot of vocal tracks is different from what I'm perceiving. Fire up Audacity, record off the your PC audio, and drop a few stems in your DAW. Then get a spectrum analyzer or EQ with graphics, and this guy (this is the legit 64-bit port) to get a feel for the dynamics:
http://armandomontanez.com/smexoscope/
and learn away!

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17906 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm

Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Question: Have you ever heard a professionally produced record that may have even been a huge commercial success that you thought was produced poorly? And, if so, can you give an example?
Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17906 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:31 pm

JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:13 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:40 pm
I remember once seeing that what I thought was an awesome compressor was a guy automating the vocals manually to achieve exactly what he wanted.
That's good advice and something I've always done myself. I think it's far too easy to just reach for a comp or a limiter rather than spending the time get it right in the first place (before mixing). Usually it's only the odd word or phrase that's sticking out.
Yeah I don't do much vocal work (for my band that's done in the studio), but when I have I've noticed a tendency to over-compress to smooth out the odd word or phrase like you said, and ended up with artificial-sounding vocal compression. Better to take care of those things up front, then you can toss on a gentle / character compressor and just adjust to taste.

Wags - one great "trick" for learning how to work with vocals, is to find some vocal-stems only tracks (there are plenty on YouTube, etc.). It's fascinating to hear what the vocals really sound like outside of the mix (though I think sometimes those tracks are still after the master effects, and of course after YouTube's processing). Still, I was always surprised that the spectrum of a lot of vocal tracks is different from what I'm perceiving. Fire up Audacity, record off the your PC audio, and drop a few stems in your DAW. Then get a spectrum analyzer or EQ with graphics, and this guy (this is the legit 64-bit port) to get a feel for the dynamics:
http://armandomontanez.com/smexoscope/
and learn away!
What does this scope thing do?

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
13470 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Question: Have you ever heard a professionally produced record that may have even been a huge commercial success that you thought was produced poorly? And, if so, can you give an example?
Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17906 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm

Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Question: Have you ever heard a professionally produced record that may have even been a huge commercial success that you thought was produced poorly? And, if so, can you give an example?
Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
Well, wasn't quite the answer I was looking for but I'll tell you what it tells me. If this album is so horribly produced and yet it still made #1, then obviously a lot of this stuff is widely subjective.

User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
25644 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:31 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:13 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:40 pm
I remember once seeing that what I thought was an awesome compressor was a guy automating the vocals manually to achieve exactly what he wanted.
That's good advice and something I've always done myself. I think it's far too easy to just reach for a comp or a limiter rather than spending the time get it right in the first place (before mixing). Usually it's only the odd word or phrase that's sticking out.
Yeah I don't do much vocal work (for my band that's done in the studio), but when I have I've noticed a tendency to over-compress to smooth out the odd word or phrase like you said, and ended up with artificial-sounding vocal compression. Better to take care of those things up front, then you can toss on a gentle / character compressor and just adjust to taste.

Wags - one great "trick" for learning how to work with vocals, is to find some vocal-stems only tracks (there are plenty on YouTube, etc.). It's fascinating to hear what the vocals really sound like outside of the mix (though I think sometimes those tracks are still after the master effects, and of course after YouTube's processing). Still, I was always surprised that the spectrum of a lot of vocal tracks is different from what I'm perceiving. Fire up Audacity, record off the your PC audio, and drop a few stems in your DAW. Then get a spectrum analyzer or EQ with graphics, and this guy (this is the legit 64-bit port) to get a feel for the dynamics:
http://armandomontanez.com/smexoscope/
and learn away!
What does this scope thing do?
It's a spectrum analyzer. Gives you a visual of a tracks frequency content.

User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
25644 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:43 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Question: Have you ever heard a professionally produced record that may have even been a huge commercial success that you thought was produced poorly? And, if so, can you give an example?
Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
Well, wasn't quite the answer I was looking for but I'll tell you what it tells me. If this album is so horribly produced and yet it still made #1, then obviously a lot of this stuff is widely subjective.

Metallica were one of the biggest selling bands in the world. Most fans probably bought it unheard, and many wouldn't know the difference anyway (imho).
Last edited by thecontrolcentre on Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17906 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:44 pm

thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:31 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:13 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:40 pm
I remember once seeing that what I thought was an awesome compressor was a guy automating the vocals manually to achieve exactly what he wanted.
That's good advice and something I've always done myself. I think it's far too easy to just reach for a comp or a limiter rather than spending the time get it right in the first place (before mixing). Usually it's only the odd word or phrase that's sticking out.
Yeah I don't do much vocal work (for my band that's done in the studio), but when I have I've noticed a tendency to over-compress to smooth out the odd word or phrase like you said, and ended up with artificial-sounding vocal compression. Better to take care of those things up front, then you can toss on a gentle / character compressor and just adjust to taste.

Wags - one great "trick" for learning how to work with vocals, is to find some vocal-stems only tracks (there are plenty on YouTube, etc.). It's fascinating to hear what the vocals really sound like outside of the mix (though I think sometimes those tracks are still after the master effects, and of course after YouTube's processing). Still, I was always surprised that the spectrum of a lot of vocal tracks is different from what I'm perceiving. Fire up Audacity, record off the your PC audio, and drop a few stems in your DAW. Then get a spectrum analyzer or EQ with graphics, and this guy (this is the legit 64-bit port) to get a feel for the dynamics:
http://armandomontanez.com/smexoscope/
and learn away!
What does this scope thing do?
It's a spectrum analyzer. Gives you a visual of a tracks frequency content.
So then it's similar to Voxengo's Span.

User avatar
JoeCat
KVRian
1386 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:45 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:31 pm
What does this scope thing do?
Like an oscilloscope (see waveforms) but runs for longer time so you can trigger and view a single drum hit or a section of a track:

Image

Especially good for visualizing the results of limiting, compression, dynamic range, and for drum hit decays, etc.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17906 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:45 pm

thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:43 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:21 pm
Question: Have you ever heard a professionally produced record that may have even been a huge commercial success that you thought was produced poorly? And, if so, can you give an example?
Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
Well, wasn't quite the answer I was looking for but I'll tell you what it tells me. If this album is so horribly produced and yet it still made #1, then obviously a lot of this stuff is widely subjective.

Metallica were one of the biggest selling bands in the world. Most fans probably bought it unheard, and many wouldn't know the difference anyway (imho).
So then if you have a name and make crap, people will buy it anyway?

User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
25644 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:47 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:44 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:31 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:28 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:13 pm
JoeCat wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:40 pm
I remember once seeing that what I thought was an awesome compressor was a guy automating the vocals manually to achieve exactly what he wanted.
That's good advice and something I've always done myself. I think it's far too easy to just reach for a comp or a limiter rather than spending the time get it right in the first place (before mixing). Usually it's only the odd word or phrase that's sticking out.
Yeah I don't do much vocal work (for my band that's done in the studio), but when I have I've noticed a tendency to over-compress to smooth out the odd word or phrase like you said, and ended up with artificial-sounding vocal compression. Better to take care of those things up front, then you can toss on a gentle / character compressor and just adjust to taste.

Wags - one great "trick" for learning how to work with vocals, is to find some vocal-stems only tracks (there are plenty on YouTube, etc.). It's fascinating to hear what the vocals really sound like outside of the mix (though I think sometimes those tracks are still after the master effects, and of course after YouTube's processing). Still, I was always surprised that the spectrum of a lot of vocal tracks is different from what I'm perceiving. Fire up Audacity, record off the your PC audio, and drop a few stems in your DAW. Then get a spectrum analyzer or EQ with graphics, and this guy (this is the legit 64-bit port) to get a feel for the dynamics:
http://armandomontanez.com/smexoscope/
and learn away!
What does this scope thing do?
It's a spectrum analyzer. Gives you a visual of a tracks frequency content.
So then it's similar to Voxengo's Span.
Actually, I think it does a bit more than I thought (just clicked the link). It's 64 bit now, so Im gonna check it out myself. :tu:

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
13470 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:49 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:45 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:43 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm


Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
Well, wasn't quite the answer I was looking for but I'll tell you what it tells me. If this album is so horribly produced and yet it still made #1, then obviously a lot of this stuff is widely subjective.

Metallica were one of the biggest selling bands in the world. Most fans probably bought it unheard, and many wouldn't know the difference anyway (imho).
So then if you have a name and make crap, people will buy it anyway?
Well I don’t agree with the term crap to summarise the album but I understand your point. Yes if Coldplay released a horribly produced album it would still be no 1 for months and months.

If B grade band did the same it would be regarded as an artistic decision. If C grade band did it, who knows?
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
17906 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:49 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:45 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:43 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm


Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
Well, wasn't quite the answer I was looking for but I'll tell you what it tells me. If this album is so horribly produced and yet it still made #1, then obviously a lot of this stuff is widely subjective.

Metallica were one of the biggest selling bands in the world. Most fans probably bought it unheard, and many wouldn't know the difference anyway (imho).
So then if you have a name and make crap, people will buy it anyway?
Well I don’t agree with the term crap to summarise the album but I understand your point. Yes if Coldplay released a horribly produced album it would still be no 1 for months and months.

If B grade band did the same it would be regarded as an artist decision. If C grade band did it, who knows?
So a lot has to do with who you are. Thus, I would assume that to at least get to that point, your initial efforts would have to be well produced, like Boston's first album.

User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
25644 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:51 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:45 pm
thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:43 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:41 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:30 pm
Mushy Mushy wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:24 pm


Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Even the mastering engineer distanced himself from it.
Okay, I just looked it up. It was a number 1 album across the board.

What does that tell you? Seriously.
I bought it and listened to it on repeat for 2 years, completely ignoring the horrendous clipping. I’m still annoyed by it to this day TBH.
Well, wasn't quite the answer I was looking for but I'll tell you what it tells me. If this album is so horribly produced and yet it still made #1, then obviously a lot of this stuff is widely subjective.

Metallica were one of the biggest selling bands in the world. Most fans probably bought it unheard, and many wouldn't know the difference anyway (imho).
So then if you have a name and make crap, people will buy it anyway?
It's not crap ... but it's been over compressed (apparently during mixing) to the point where it hurts your ears if you listen to more than one song. It's completely maxed out all the way through. Victims of the loudness war ...

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