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Old 30th April 2019
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AScheps's Avatar

It's a myth that everything I work on is well recorded, that really just isn't the case. I'm very fortunate to work on some records that sound great when they come to me, but a huge percentage of records are tracked in much less than ideal circumstances by people who aren't engineers. It's just a fact of making records these days.

So the good news is that since I often have less than perfect tracks I can give you some thoughts on how to deal with them!

Reverb and room simulators are your friend. Using Trueverb, or UAD Oceanway or any room/mic simulator on drum overheads, bass and guitar tracks (especially acoustics) can get you closer to feeling like the instruments were recorded in a decent room. It takes a lot of experimentation and every song is different but they are really useful tools in the right circumstances.

When I use kick and snare samples it is always to reinforce the original recording. What that means is I don't need to ever hunt for the "perfect" sample that's appropriate for the song, I just have a few samples that give me different things. Attack, low end, length, whatever. They will work on 99% of the tracks I work on without making every song sound the same.

Again, the rear buss. For me this just makes everything sound more energetic and exciting, which makes it less obvious how compromised the recording is.