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How does Mr.Fingers create this depth?
Old 24th February 2017
  #1
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How does Mr.Fingers create this depth?

So the legend Mr.Fingers had this EP out last year and I love it, especially Nod Ya Head.
I love the tribal loop and I'd love to create a similar vibe but when I try it just doesn't have the lively depth to it?!

I know there's a mixture of dry/dryer/wet elements panned around etc but I just cant get close!

I've tried a master drum bus with a live sounding verb(Waves True Verb) but still nothing close! I know the looseness is also contributing to the vibe but how would one go about doing this from scratch(I can record all the percussion myself obvs)



Thanks!
Old 25th February 2017
  #2
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Thread Starter
Anybody?
Old 25th February 2017
  #3
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Cornish1999's Avatar
Interesting that no one has joined in. Lot of good knowledge on this group, give it time. I'm interested in the answers too
Old 25th February 2017
  #4
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Larry Heard is a master when is comes to mixing house, listen to the album On Top of the world, same mixing skills, same depth, and that was released in 1990, before the VST revolution, before ITB mixing etc etc. So given that these were released eons apart you can be sure it's technique rather than gear. In a way that's heartwarming because it means you don't need money to do this, just practice and skill. i think the trick here is attention to balance, loads of headroom and NO compression on the master buss, controlled dynamics for each sound.

He may have a couple of go to boxes for that reverb though but i'd say most of this is technique which can be learned not bought.

This is his equipment list from 1992 if you feel otherwise

larry heard equipment from 1992

Even off that youtube stream my meters a bouncing up and down joyously so pay attentions to dynamics, control the ambients but let the pulse come through, notice how there's a really quiet snare pushed right back in the mix, and how soft and pillowy that kick is yet its still acts as the main pulse along with the bass.
Old 25th February 2017
  #5
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Cornish1999's Avatar
^this is why GS is great. Thanks @suspect1
Old 25th February 2017
  #6
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Yep Larry's had over 30 years practice, agree with @suspect11,
The perfect mix (if there is such a thing) wouldn't need mastering.
Choose the right sounds, if you reduced headroom of each individual sound via EQ/compression/limiters the master will look after it self.
Get busy with a hi-pass filter on just about everything to give the bass/kick plenty of room.
Old 25th February 2017
  #7
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Yoozer's Avatar
Pay attention to the pitches of the woodblocks in that tribal loop. (the track's in E minor, the woodblocks are at C and Eb). Now, as a homework exercise - find out which scale those are in. It works because they're not chosen at random.
Old 25th February 2017
  #8
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Another bit of wisdom i'd like to impart was from a spitfire audio talk with Castle Sound studios. One of things the guy says is that when you mix analogue you make eq sweeps and cuts with just your ears, you don't really care where the knobs are positioned, you set it how you hear it. Sometimes when he goes back to a mix looks at what he's done he would never have done that mixing in the box because your left brain would be saying no you are not allowed 15Db of cut that's too much. Which is interesting becuase its important to feel rather than think
Old 25th February 2017
  #9
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Barilla's Avatar
 

Not much wisdom to offer here, but what an amazing track. Mr Fingers never disappoints!
Old 25th February 2017
  #10
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Check out this vid on youtube. His entire series is the best on youtube i think and he has a number of videos explaining how to create depth with early reflections, reverb, compression etc. Give it a go:

Quote:
Mixing With Mike Mixing Tip: Creating Depth With Early Reflections - YouTube



This video is from the "Mixing With Mike" live online classes every Wednesday evening @ 7PM US Eastern time. All live classes may be attended for FREE! Go to...
Old 25th February 2017
  #11
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ImNotDedyet's Avatar
The thing that jumps out at me from a depth perspective on that track is not so much mixing, but arrangement. There aren't too many elements at any given time and the multiple items playing at the same time mostly all play in different frequency ranges (or some nice panning as well) where they can stand out from the others.

If a musical item doesn't have to fight with other elements to be heard, you can really have a lot more dynamic difference between the elements.
Old 26th February 2017
  #12
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Thread Starter
Hey guys, thanks for the overwhelming contributions! I messaged the guy I use for mastering and he made a good point about it having depth is a lot to do with taking the top end off certain elements which makes it sit further back in the mix eg brighter sounds feel closer/duller further back. With this in mind I tried it by having a master drum bus and having a master drum reverb and tried sending different elements at different volumes to the verb then feed that into the master bus with a glue compression, but STILL not getting the vibe, the reverb that creates the live sound is wonderful, wonder what it is? I think the loop is also in Closer is some shape?!
Old 26th February 2017
  #13
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I've been working on a track that would benefit this type of depth of field so it's great to pool resources into the hive mind. Had quite a few listens to that nodyahead now and part of me thinks there might be post production voodoo going on like what the UAD k-Stereo can do, i could well be wrong tho. I also have tried to get that same depth but it falls quite short. If you discover anything i'd be interested to hear back from you
Old 26th February 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suspect1 View Post
I've been working on a track that would benefit this type of depth of field so it's great to pool resources into the hive mind. Had quite a few listens to that nodyahead now and part of me thinks there might be post production voodoo going on like what the UAD k-Stereo can do, i could well be wrong tho. I also have tried to get that same depth but it falls quite short. If you discover anything i'd be interested to hear back from you
You too! I've been at my studio this morning recording various instruments in the mix room and out in a live room to get a different vibe off the instruments but I can't tie it all together and when I mix only dry elements I just can't capture the live sound. My next idea is to play my mixed drum bus in the room and record and layer the ambience of the room, but that's not how he achieved him mix I know that!
Old 27th February 2017
  #15
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Gawd - remember when house could be NOT ALWAYS SHOUTING LOUD
Old 27th February 2017
  #16
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Fay Smearing's Avatar
 

Pay attention to the YouTube link above about early reflections.

It is a major aspect of sound that rarely gets mentioned or discussed.

If you want a more '3D' sound, and also just when it comes to mixing/recording/arranging in general, understanding acoustic principles like this as well as how our brains interpret them is essential.

The collection of cues that our audio processing relies on consists of way more than panning, basic EQ, relative volume and a dash of reverb/chorus.
Old 27th February 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fay Smearing View Post
Pay attention to the YouTube link above about early reflections.

It is a major aspect of sound that rarely gets mentioned or discussed.

If you want a more '3D' sound, and also just when it comes to mixing/recording/arranging in general, understanding acoustic principles like this as well as how our brains interpret them is essential.

The collection of cues that our audio processing relies on consists of way more than panning, basic EQ, relative volume and a dash of reverb/chorus.
I had an hour of trying out early reflections with UAD's Realverb Pro on Saturday, it worked but not to the same extent as the fingers mix, it just sounded like a panned stick with a bit of ambience :-)
Old 27th March 2017
  #18
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audslu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by suspect1 View Post
I had an hour of trying out early reflections with UAD's Realverb Pro on Saturday, it worked but not to the same extent as the fingers mix, it just sounded like a panned stick with a bit of ambience :-)
Why bother with realverb, i never really found a use for it.

Try these:

verberate
tverb
tc vss3 - its gone native for those who 've missed that
reverberate
vsr s24 - new from relab
b2
tc nonlin2 (in the ballpark but rather experimental)
Old 27th March 2017
  #19
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One suggestion, not a master, but switch up your FX/processing chain. Record a sample of the dry sound with the reverb with high and low shelves -4.0dB to -2.3dB and then take the sampled loops and add some LFO amp and/or pan modulation tuned opposite (so one + and the other - for a triangle or sine shape at the same rate) to give a little movement and room for the final mixing.
Just a suggestion <]:D
Old 27th March 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
It works because they're not chosen at random.
Or they were chosen at random, or rather without overthinking it before hand, just choosing what sounded good.
Old 4th April 2017
  #21
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Mike Konopka here. I cut the vintage Larry Heard and Fingers stuff. Don't recall exactly as I did so much mixing work with Larry. Many many 12" remixes and albums. We always worked really fast too.

The ambience with these works are likely combination of a several elements. A nice old Series II Neotek Console, a 1/2" Otatri MTR10 analog 2 track, Lexicon PCM 60, & 200 verbs, and a Yamaha 1st gen SPX 90.

I also got those early reflections you folks are deeply speculating about by setting up two Neumann U-87s in figure eight Blumlein array. The mic array was placed midway between two Marshall 4x12" speaker cabinets spaced about 13' feet apart. The headphone cue amp at Seagrape Studios in Chicago was hefty enough to power the Marshall cabinets. Two stereo Neotek busses fed the Marshall cabs and I would route percussion elements out into the studio where the Blumlein array would re-mic the elements back into the mix with some John Hardy mic pre amps that I had built. If I didn't like what was coming off the mics, I would walk out to the wood floored studio and move the Marshalls this way and that. I would even sit between theses speakers and listen to what I was sending to them. Then I would place the Blumlein pair where it sounded best. This added the lo-fi depth you might be after nowadays.

Last edited by Mike Konopka; 5th April 2017 at 03:43 PM..
Old 4th April 2017
  #22
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superb.
Old 4th April 2017
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Konopka View Post
Mike Konopka here. I cut the vintage Larry Heard and Fingers stuff.
And threads like this is why I still love GS
Old 4th April 2017
  #24
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Forbidden Planet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muskman View Post
So the legend Mr.Fingers had this EP out last year and I love it, especially Nod Ya Head.
I love the tribal loop and I'd love to create a similar vibe but when I try it just doesn't have the lively depth to it?!

I know there's a mixture of dry/dryer/wet elements panned around etc but I just cant get close!

I've tried a master drum bus with a live sounding verb(Waves True Verb) but still nothing close! I know the looseness is also contributing to the vibe but how would one go about doing this from scratch(I can record all the percussion myself obvs)



Thanks!
There is no way to recreate that sampled loop by recording each instrument separately. I am pretty sure that it was all originally played in a studio with the performers carefully arranged at different lengths from a few microphone depending on the volume of their instrument. That is what creates the depth you are looking for, standard time-saving and track-saving procedure back in the days of 4-track and 8-track tape machines and expensive studio rental rates. No reverb or effect can replicate this satisfactorily. The tape adds to the vibe also.
Old 6th April 2017
  #25
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Konopka View Post
Mike Konopka here. I cut the vintage Larry Heard and Fingers stuff. Don't recall exactly as I did so much mixing work with Larry. Many many 12" remixes and albums. We always worked really fast too.

The ambience with these works are likely combination of a several elements. A nice old Series II Neotek Console, a 1/2" Otatri MTR10 analog 2 track, Lexicon PCM 60, & 200 verbs, and a Yamaha 1st gen SPX 90.

I also got those early reflections you folks are deeply speculating about by setting up two Neumann U-87s in figure eight Blumlein array. The mic array was placed midway between two Marshall 4x12" speaker cabinets spaced about 13' feet apart. The headphone cue amp at Seagrape Studios in Chicago was hefty enough to power the Marshall cabinets. Two stereo Neotek busses fed the Marshall cabs and I would route percussion elements out into the studio where the Blumlein array would re-mic the elements back into the mix with some John Hardy mic pre amps that I had built. If I didn't like what was coming off the mics, I would walk out to the wood floored studio and move the Marshalls this way and that. I would even sit between theses speakers and listen to what I was sending to them. Then I would place the Blumlein pair where it sounded best. This added the lo-fi depth you might be after nowadays.
Hi Mike,
Firstly thanks for taking time to respond. Secondly your very privileged to have been in this situation and thirdly....
So to get this right you were using the original drums(he provided were dry?) which he provided and to add depth and a live feel you then re-miced and recorded the space and blended the live and dry to together?
Did you also re-record a master drum bus or each individual element and mix it all together into a master drum bus?

Thanks!
Old 6th April 2017
  #26
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Thread Starter
Before the recent replies I'd taken on board some of your replies for a remix I was asked to do, here's now it turned out:-
https://soundcloud.com/itsyarni/alum...-draft/s-8fSOg

Now I have a little more insight I'm going to use the new techniques going forward :-)
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