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Old 27th January 2007
  #1
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Unclenny's Avatar
Here's to all you professionals

I've read a ton of stuff on this most excellent forum....enough to turn a lowly, home-studio newbie like me into a full fledged ME overnight, right?
Wrong.
I'm 55 years old and I made my first recording in a tiny bathroom in Richmond, Vermont on a TEAC 2 track casette recorder. I wasn't good enough to play professionally but I still NEEDED to play my songs....so I recorded.
Now, 30 years later, I live in the Protools age and I can really do something. Hell, I can record, mix and master my songs just like a pro.
Wrong again.
That is the point of this ramble........All you pros out there...Mastering Engineers, Mix Masters and Recording Artists alike.......here you are on these pages freely dispensing incredibly valuable tips and information to guys like me so that we can go out and do YOUR job, a job that obviously takes years and ears to master.

So...here's to all you pros out there.....when I get ready to go commercial I'll be looking one of you guys up.
Meanwhile....while I have you...why is it that when I play back my stereo electric guitar track that I tracked with four mics on four amps I feel like my brain is being sucked out out my head?


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/song...songID=4887920
Old 27th January 2007
  #2
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Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
...why is it that when I play back my stereo electric guitar track that I tracked with four mics on four amps I feel like my brain is being sucked out out my head?
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Sounds to me like your doing just fine.
Old 27th January 2007
  #3
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masteringhouse's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
So...here's to all you pros out there.....when I get ready to go commercial I'll be looking one of you guys up.
Meanwhile....while I have you...why is it that when I play back my stereo electric guitar track that I tracked with four mics on four amps I feel like my brain is being sucked out out my head?
Sometimes you can be too close to a project, that's when a trusted, objective set of ears becomes valuable.

One critique I would have is that the guitars are too compressed for my tastes. Cool music though, reminds me of a bluesy Dire Straits.
Old 27th January 2007
  #4
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Unclenny's Avatar
Hey Tom....thanks.

All the best
Old 28th January 2007
  #5
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Unclenny's Avatar
I appreciate you guys commenting.
Mike...you've been on this board a long time. You must have seen a whole bunch of guys like me come and go. Not to press ...but, you guys seem to be in a tough profession in this age of home studios. I've been doing my thing in a vaccuum for all these years but from what I hear in all of the samples posted and in my own valiant attempts at post-production processing, Pro Mastering will always be the only real way for professional players to make it commercially.
I'm reminded of a current hit TV show where they all REALLY THINK they can sing.
Old 28th January 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I agree with what Tom said... a little less compression, but nice DS feel. Good vibe.

And an added bonus: my 5 year old came into my office dancing, and said that "she heard the music upstairs, and it made her want to come down and dance".
Old 28th January 2007
  #7
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Meanwhile....while I have you...why is it that when I play back my stereo electric guitar track that I tracked with four mics on four amps I feel like my brain is being sucked out out my head?


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/song...songID=4887920
four mics and four amps could lead to phasing (that sucking sound you may be hearing) and as was said the compression is very heavy. do a search on testing phase and what mic phase is all about. note: mics and phase is not phase shift from eqs, that's another topic.

but this is really more of a post for the mp3s forum, where you can get mix critiques that are often very useful.
Old 28th January 2007
  #8
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Unclenny's Avatar
Ah yes......dancing children. Now that is what this is really all about.
Thanks for the comments, Gents.
I fixed my phasing problem by switching the phase on one side of the stereo channel. Amazing difference....could see it on the phase scope.
Compression......also quite a difference when I backed off on the C4. How many years does it take to really HEAR compression?

I deeply appreciate all of your time spent and I will be reading and digesting a great deal as time goes by.
Old 28th January 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

While the groove is cool there's a lot of frequency fighting going on in this track. The musicians fight to get attention, that never works. Playing riffs needs to be done with taste. The mix has too much high frequency energy making the electric guitar a bit stingy, it bites. That's why you want it out of your head. Keep it more simple. Mute a track when necessary, spread the frequencies such that each instrument has its own frequency space. Make the whole mix less aggressive by limiting less.
Old 28th January 2007
  #10
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punisher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
How many years does it take to really HEAR compression?
Pick a number. I'd have to say that compression is like the blues in that the fundamentals are simple to pick up and run with but by the same token it can take a long time to master.
Old 28th January 2007
  #11
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by punisher View Post
it can take a long time to master.
So we return to the crux of the issue.
An old instructor once told me that success depended on a combination of three things: natural ability, a good teacher, and time. Less of any one would, of course neccesitate the application of more of the others.
I am fortunate to have a great deal of time and I have learned to accept a lesson whenever I can come across one (thanks to you all).
No shortcuts.
Old 30th January 2007
  #12
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Unclenny's Avatar
So....for all of you who were so gracious as to comment on my tunes.........
I dove into the tracks and backed off compression. I tweaked the feq's with some low pass filters and found a few other phasing problems.
And now I have the makings of an album.
And I learned something else. Get things right in the mix and you can make it loud with the volume knob.
Life in the studio is good.
Old 30th January 2007
  #13
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Old 2nd February 2007
  #14
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
do a search on testing phase and what mic phase is all about. note: mics and phase is not phase shift from eqs
So...just in case you guys think that none of us feed on those informative tidbits you drop........
I took a stereo vox track that was.......displeasing to the ear (my vocals have been compared to a cross between Tom Waits and Kermit The Frog) and looked for phasing issues. The track was a comp of two exact mono tracks, one of which had a healthy dose of compression and delay, the other being dry. Instead of panning the stereo track right down the middle like I usually do I panned wide....all the way.
I then put up a phase scope and made a deep cut with RenEQ. As I swept the cut I watched the phase changes and listened to how the vox sat differently in the stereo field settling on a position that sounded......more pleasant.

So......we do listen, and some of us even hear.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #15
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Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 

Just an observation, prefaced by: cool tune, gives me a sense of familiarity while knowing this is fresh, adult oriented, and well performed music...and FWIW a keeper on my VERY mp3 list I keep on the peecee...

The observatonal part: from what you posted, it appears that you laid everything down, then went to great lengths to get the sound a certain way AFTER the fact...maybe its just me, but wouldn't it have been easier, less time consuming in the long run, and actually more organic (the sound I think you're seeking) by capturing it like you want it, and reduce all the interference of comp, EQ, etc post facto?

Age is a factor, for sure...(I'm 50 my own damn self)....and try to put the 30 some odd years of experience behind the fretboard to use when behind the mixing board (or screen...however you do it)...get it 90% there on the way in, then you won't have to brow beat every single passage and note with compression, EQ, etc...just pan, add whatever reverb/delay you want, and have a great song.

There is something very cool about the song, so whatever you did and however you did it, it worked...I agree about the lead gtr being a bit squashed, but what the hey...didn't change my digging the tune.

Just my opinion.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan View Post
...get it 90% there on the way in, then you won't have to brow beat every single passage and note with compression, EQ, etc...
Now there is some sage advise!

Sometimes I think I get to tracking just so I can spend more time staring at the screen.
Maybe I'll shut down the power for a while...pick up the Martin and play a few tunes.

By the way...thanks, Ken.


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/song...songID=4953871
Old 2nd February 2007
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
madcowvt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
I'm 55 years old and I made my first recording in a tiny bathroom in Richmond, Vermont on a TEAC 2 track casette recorder.
I can almost see Richmond from my window

Sounds good man!!
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