The Wagtunes Corner

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wagtunes
KVRAF
17945 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:52 pm

thecontrolcentre wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:43 pm
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:37 pm
I'm sure they worked very hard to get to where they are. I'm sure they also have a hell of a lot of talent too.
Somebody around here used to have a sig I really liked. It went ...

Hard Work. Talent & Guts!

:)
Well yeah, you can't be afraid to take chances, fail, pick yourself up and try again.

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crimsonwarlock
KVRAF
2291 posts since 18 Apr, 2001 from The Netherlands

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:25 am

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:26 am
I went back and re-read some of the more recent comments on my music, especially the ones from Crimson, which were actually some of the more constructive and helpful comments I've received. I was just too busy being defensive because my feelings were hurt to realize this at the time. So my apologies to Crimson.
No need to apologize. You seem to have picked up on something so it seems my (and others) comments where not wasted on you.

I did read the rest of the replies after the one I quoted, before typing this reply. There are already several great pointers there, however.... the discussion already starts to focus again on 'style' instead of 'quality'. While style is subjective and can manifest in many different but wonderful forms, quality is something that should be objective. And in music production, quality has a lot to do with perception of space. Dynamics can do good and bad in a production, but I'd say your tracks are not lacking a lot there. Yes, you could win something there but it won't magically make your track sound professional. The biggest mistakes that make tracks sound amateurish are to not remove certain frequencies that are 'fighting' (which is an EQ thing) and secondly using different 'spaces' on separate instruments and vocals (which is a reverb thing).

So here are (again :wink: ) some tips to get this under your belt:

EQ: learn to find offending frequencies for each instrument and vocals. It is a pretty simple technique and I think I know you do have the tools to do this (see below for where to find help for this).

Reverb: don't use different reverb on each and every part of your arrangement, start with one reverb buss and add reverb to each part through this buss. It will make everything to 'sit in the same space'. It can be useful to add specific reverb to specific parts, like putting a plate reverb on vocals, but if you do that then make sure you almost don't hear that specific reverb. Don't treat is as a reverb in the sense of adding 'space' but instead use it to give that subtle 'this is something more' effect. The trick here is to set the level so you don't actually hear it but it's obvious when you mute the reverb (this goes for many effects by the way).

To learn these techniques there are great youtube channels that 'teach' these things in detail. The channels I visit frequently are:

- Musician on a Mission: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMLRL8 ... bxjHkHP1tA
- RecordingRevolution: https://www.youtube.com/user/recordingrevolution

Those guys make short, to-the-point videos about specific mixing production techniques. I tend to simply use their channels as a library to find some specific trick or technique. They have both several videos on EQ and Reverb. Don't go and watch everything they have, cherry-pick what you are looking for in regard of ONE specific problem you want to tackle, focus on that and move to the next only when you have a satisfactory result. Works for me :D

Just to get you started, here are a few videos from those channels:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFAifzjSIz8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U40thp61nrE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8VM7ZXHOMs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRTw-H_Ik-I

Have fun :tu:
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin, using Reaper and a fine selection of freeware plugins.

Ragnarök VST-synthesizer co-creator with Full Bucket

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Unaspected
KVRian
1171 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:14 am

crimsonwarlock wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:25 am
The biggest mistakes that make tracks sound amateurish are to not remove certain frequencies that are 'fighting' (which is an EQ thing)
Indeed, sounds that need to be distinct shouldn't be fighting for space.

Successfully stripping resonances also separates amateurs from professionals. Being able to listen into a sound and remove what isn't needed is important. Balance between frequencies is important so it's not a case of removal but proportionate attenuation.

Soothe is great but it won't fix everything. EQs like Pro-Q, Crave, Equalizer 4, etc. are of most use for this task - especially being able to then adjust the depth of your peak filters to be certain the balance is right. Mixing that overall depth control is not unlike mixing reverb levels.

This isn't something you would necessarily just do once in a processing chain either - when you next raise the noisefloor through distortion, compression, etc. you might then want to further clean the audio - especially if you are then adding more distortion.

Balance is key.

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The Noodlist
KVRian
1475 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:21 am

wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:34 pm
Here's another thing. All my songs, for the most part, are piano or guitar based. I hear so many songs that have no piano and no guitar and yet have all this stuff going on filling out the sound and I have no idea what it is.

Can't reverse engineer something if you don't even know what they're using to get the sound they're getting. Again, bad ears don't help.
Why not just work on your own ideas rather than thinking about reverse engineering someone else's?
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

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Unaspected
KVRian
1171 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:02 am

The Noodlist wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:21 am
wagtunes wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:34 pm
Here's another thing. All my songs, for the most part, are piano or guitar based. I hear so many songs that have no piano and no guitar and yet have all this stuff going on filling out the sound and I have no idea what it is.

Can't reverse engineer something if you don't even know what they're using to get the sound they're getting. Again, bad ears don't help.
Why not just work on your own ideas rather than thinking about reverse engineering someone else's?
There is also the point of what we are seeking to assess.

If sound design and recording is the issue then this idea of recreating a track makes sense. But if assessing the mix is the issue then it would be better to find an unmixed song online and then provide both versions for the would-be critics. Otherwise we're potentially compounding issues on top of each other.

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The Noodlist
KVRian
1475 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:51 am

Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

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wagtunes
KVRAF
17945 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:05 am

Woke up to some really great stuff this morning. Wasn't expecting all this. Thanks guys. Really appreciate it. Crimson, I'm going to follow your advice to the letter and watch all those videos. I think the EQ thing, as far as being to identify the bad frequencies, is a problem for me. I know the technique (taking the EQ and running it above the line to hear what's bad) but the problem is, I don't think I really understand what bad is. Is it the frequency that has the most resonance? Is it the frequency that has the most mud? Is it both? Is it something else? It's hard to fix something when you're not exactly sure what it is you're supposed to fix, especially when the frequency at 700 sounds about the same to me as the frequency at 800.

Anyway, I've obviously got a lot to work to do. Still haven't decided if I'm going to ultimately do a song that's a "copy" of another song or just do my own thing. I'm discovering that finding a song where I can tell what's actually going on in it, unless it's ridiculously sparse in arrangement, is not easy for me, again because of my bad ears.

Either way, I don't think I'm going to be starting my next song for quite a while. Too much for me to learn before then.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
17945 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:48 am

Okay, didn't take long but we've gotten to the crux of the problem.

Watched this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFAifzjSIz8

The part where he determines where to cut by sweeping the frequencies, I did not hear anything so horrible in that frequency that he cut. The part where he decided to increase the "good" frequency, I thought the frequency just to the left of it sounded better.

So my ears are crap. I don't hear what he's hearing. Yes, when he did bypass and then went back to the EQ'd settings, I heard the difference. But I could have never gotten there on my own based on the steps he did.

Game over. If I can't hear this stuff, I can't fix this stuff. And at age 62, my ears aren't going to get better.

So here's the $64,000 question. What the hell do I do? Again, I'm just going to be going back to EQing by guesswork. I obviously can't hear the offending and good frequencies.

I suspected this was the problem all along but watching this video confirms it.

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Unaspected
KVRian
1171 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:06 am

EQing by guesswork definitely isn't the way to go.

We've just returned to the point which was brought up previously by a few other members: You can't expect to wear all the hats required to produce audio. Most people specialise in one or two areas - even though the core skills and knowledge is transferable. Focus on your strengths and the elements of production which are fun to you and outsource those that are least fun - or for which, you are less capable.

Not having good ears that were previously trained prior to hearing loss is a major hurdle.

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The Noodlist
KVRian
1475 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:07 am

You mentioned Neutron earlier, doesn't this have a collision unmasking feature?
There's also visual applications to help with making decisions.
Trackspacer and similar are also available.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

Kongru
KVRian
803 posts since 23 Feb, 2017

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:11 am

The good news is that you're not deaf. With that said, Beethoven was deaf...

If it's true that your ears are less sensitive to certain frequencies, I don't think that's the end of the road. Since that only really becomes an issue at the mix and master stage you could always get someone else to mix and master, or use an online platform or something like Ozone.

I'm pretty sure Pro-Q3 visually shows you where problem frequencies are, so you could do it by eye.

I also don't think EQing out harsh frequencies is the number one way to make your music sound better, it just helps.
Signatures are so early 2000s.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
17945 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:34 am

Well, Crimson says EQ is my main problem and I kind of trust what he says. And yes, I could outsource the mixing and mastering. But nobody is going to do that for free and I'm broke. So paying for a service is not an option. I do the things I do on my own because that's my only option. As for Pro Q, I own 2 but not 3. Does 2 also have this ability or do I have to upgrade to 3? If so, I don't have the money to do that.

In short, I'm doing the best I can with what I have and the abilities that I have.

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Unaspected
KVRian
1171 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:40 am

wagtunes wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:34 am
Well, Crimson says EQ is my main problem and I kind of trust what he says. And yes, I could outsource the mixing and mastering. But nobody is going to do that for free and I'm broke. So paying for a service is not an option. I do the things I do on my own because that's my only option. As for Pro Q, I own 2 but not 3. Does 2 also have this ability or do I have to upgrade to 3? If so, I don't have the money to do that.

In short, I'm doing the best I can with what I have and the abilities that I have.
I wouldn't rely on AI to solve these issues. It will get some or even most of the issues but when it comes down to context or artistic choice, it's not going to help. I was solving issues with a cymbal recording recently, I strapped Soothe over it and whilst it certainly helps to tame things, it didn't get anywhere near the problem frequencies - and Soothe is usually excellent for cleaning things up.

As you suggested earlier, Wags, you couldn't hear the offending frequencies that required removal. Now, I haven't watched that video but it could be for subjective reasons - and that's where AI can fail.

You can find people willing to mix for free - you just need to start a thread stipulating what you want. They get experience from it and then you can both promote each other as payment. It's unlikely that you'll find anyone taking time out from mixing professional pop acts but you're likely to find someone with good enough ears.

I would definitely focus on what you enjoy rather than your frustrations, especially when they seem to be based around factors which are very difficult to remedy. Not that you shouldn't apply yourself to develop other skills but definitely don't let that endeavour detract from your love of composition.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
57007 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:58 am

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.
that they had a massive (outrageously so for a metal band really) following. for any metal band to hit the top ten would be notable, for possibly one of the worst production jobs, even more so.
although st anger was bad too.
in fact, post justice, metallica were pointless.

Passing Bye
KVRian
967 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Re: The Wagtunes Corner

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:01 am

Nvmnd, you already answered.
Last edited by Passing Bye on Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Googly Smythe wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:39 am
Somedays it seems like we're not allowed to dislike anything.

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