"Sleigh Bells" in Christmas Tunes
Old 24th December 2012
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"Sleigh Bells" in Christmas Tunes

Every year from November onwards I get a fair share of Christmas tunes to master. One thing that a lot of songs have in common is the liberal use of "sleigh bells" for that Christmas feel.

I was wondering whether the mastering community has developed any special techniques for dealing with this seasonal instrument?

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Old 24th December 2012
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Other than telling them "You know, you generally want to record jingle bells from across the room - Not from 6 inches away..." it's a bit of a crapshoot.

When you have 36 almost simultaneous 100+dBSPL transients going off every second (something that analog meters won't even notice and few digital meters react to properly) I think a lot of people don't understand the importance of space and distance anymore with such instruments. Glockenspiel, triangle, slapstick, bells, etc.

You can try knocking down certain "irritants" with a FFT EQ, some of the "grating" noise can be softened with a good de-esser, but it's really program-dependent.
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