Picking sounds that fit together

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
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Markku
KVRist
287 posts since 3 Mar, 2014

Post Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:50 am

Sometimes I wonder if it's just my strange taste, but there seems to be something odd in the way how different sounds fit in my mixes.

It's not only frequency (no clashes) or key/tone (musical harmony). It's not only rhytmical (fitting tempo and notes around). Sometimes some sound is just wrong for some mix. Not even a genre thing, mostly because I do not much care about genres (or even understand what they are).

I think I'm missing something here.

Any opinions or wisecracks about this? :D

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jancivil
KVRAF
15785 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Picking sounds that fit together

Post Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Let me give you an example of how this works for me.

Last thing I finished, I knew I wanted electric piano, or specifically Rhodes.
Here is why I like a large palette. This time, thru my experience with this particularly library, I was already pretty close via a particular preset. Here there is a line-in, a microphone, and a contact pickup to choose from. And there is a drive, and on top of that a warmth potentiometer in the FX. All of this is automatable. That's before we get into filter, envelope, and filter envelope or even its vibrato speed or depth, or anything else.

So the decisions in the one library can make a huge difference.

Then in this mix, I dealt with its EQ; it had to cut and it had to have a pretty good bass presence. Fortunately I didn't even have to automate that throughout, which I have done. I did deal in the reverb send level here. (Then, I set several parameters to automate in the convolution reverb, to begin with (I tend to use a template like a preset to start with and subtract or add as needed), and in the delay etc. Just in case. Degree of early reflections to the tail, amount of diffusion once reflected; levels of early and late reflections at least.)

So, in any project of mine, I'm automating dozens, or if a little larger sound a couple, three hundred parameters.

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2847 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Picking sounds that fit together

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:59 am

It's a matter of taste. It's also a matter of knowing what do you want to achieve.

Sometimes I want to use real-world samples, sometimes I only pick digital synths. Sometimes they are weird-ass psy noises, another day it's all about gentle and soft progressive ambience. Samples can be "cold" or "hot", clean or buzzy. Just make decisions beforehand and everything will be easy. If something doesn't match the concept of your track, just drop it and look for something else.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

lfm
KVRAF
4623 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Picking sounds that fit together

Post Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:33 am

Watching a lot of episodes on www.pensadosplace.tv I started to realize how much work is involved in getting a mix as you purchase some artist's album.

So it's just spending enough time with a mix - and try different things, and each mix will go quicker later on as you get experienced in having done one really well.

Superproducer Max Martin mentioned he spent like a month for a track with Britney Spears. Then you realize a couple of days or a week is nothing - each song/track or what you will call it.

I have yet to get one really well, so much to learn.

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jancivil
KVRAF
15785 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Picking sounds that fit together

Post Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:17 pm

I don't think you can expect much from sounds right out of the box as far as a blend, unless maybe if they're all out of the same box. Even then, you're going to sound like the box demands. If it's real sounds, in a studio you're going to be doing preparation for the mix while setting up: expect the same for digital 'ITB' bought sounds. Set up, think long and hard about the choices beyond 'I like this sound'.

There's an old adage regarding mixing: There is no finished mix, there are only abandoned mixes.

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