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Your Dirty Tricks????
Old 10th July 2005
Lives for gear

Your Dirty Tricks????


this is a thread to share your dirty, cheap sounding tricks, that can improve a mix.
I've some friends, well respected engineers and producers... uhhh
sometimes they use some really ugly sounding tricks, a snare with a eight bit dinosaur cheapo verb... or the vox in an intro through grandma's ol' tuberadio...
I tried to copy their ****ty tricks, but believe it or not, it just sounds like **** dfegad .
If they use it, it sounds like art heh . Maybe I'm just unable to fit it in a mix?

Well, what are your experiences with those lofi tricks? Have you ever used some in a mix?

P.S. sometimes I'm looking for the "odd art" of sound, it is much harder to get an controlled emotion, than of the polished picture-book, radio ready, high end sounds. But I'm still working on this. Maybe this thread can help a bit?

thanx Andreas
Old 10th July 2005
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
Distortion----anywhere you can find it...
Old 10th July 2005
Gear Maniac
Zeppelin4Life's Avatar

crank a headphone up to a walkie talkier transmitting, grab a scanner or anoter walky talky, tune to that frequency and record that receiver with a mic. talk about lo-fi.
Old 10th July 2005
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar

Years ago I had an idea for a song I was producing to have a caller on a talk radio show. What I did was take one phone off the hook and let it sit...and sit...and sit...through all the BAAH BAAH BAAH "IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE A CALL" and all that until it stopped. Then I mic'd up another phone in the joint and had my guy talk through the other.

(nowadays in the age of cell phones you'd probably just reach in your pocket and call...)

Then I took an AM radio and tuned it to nothing, and found a wonderful modulated WHEEOHHWEHOEEWHEEEO sound with some light static, mic'd it up and blended the two.

It was actually pretty close to real sounding, AM station wise.

Old 10th July 2005
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
I produced a song that has a heavy 60ies Kinks/Turtles vibe and the idea of a 'four-to-the-floor' piano part came up. Too much trouble to book the real keyboard player we used on the rest of the project again. I had an extremely cheap, plastic 'kid organ' with a built-in speaker lying around. The direct out (headphone) sounded awful, micing the tiny speaker made it sound..welll....tiny. So I thought: WTF and hooked up a pair of AKG K141 phones to my UA 6176 pre. The 141s acted as mic with one can directly over the speaker. I managed to somehow play the thing on my knees without having the phones fall off.
The sound was amazing, the lack of hi-end from the cans made it sound big. I added some heavy verb/delay/phaser/EQ in PT and was wise enough to just print the first attempt without second thoughts. It works real well in an almost Beach Boys kind of way.
I absolutely hate K141s as phones but strangely enough they sound better than all my other cans when (ab)used as mic. I also tried the same technique on acoustic guitar, very interesting sound when blended with a straight mic, it might even be useable sometimes.....

Sometimes there's radio interference when a guitar amp is fed by a distortion stompbox, especially with my Telecaster. Strangely enough, when this happens, the transmission gets way better when I turn down the volume on the guitar (loading issue?). Anyway, I once got this totally amazing thing where about 30 different radio stations were moving in and out, overlapping,etc. You heard a few seconds of german news that were smoothly fading to some oriental pop,etc.
I just grabbed my MD player and recorded about 15 minutes of this amazing collage. I still have it somewhere and hope to use it in a song one day!

Old 11th July 2005
Check THIS out!

(this only works with digital mutitracks (DAW's) & digital mixdown stuff)

So you are remixing a track.. the band have given you the old mix - halfway through - you realise that while the band dont 100% LIKE the old mix - it DOES have some charm, charm in fact that you may be STRUGGLING to RECAPTURE on your 'improved' version..

So, what the hell, import the old stereo mix into your mix session - line it up to be sample accurate in sync with the session, (you will have to zoom in to do it right & listen out for as little phase BS as possible) AND FADE THAT SUCKER UP INTO YOUR REMIX!


Le 'vibe' from the old mix - but with your 'killer' take on the drums gtrs / vocals etc...

Old 11th July 2005
Lives for gear

Thanks everyone for posting,

...I haven't used walkie talkies and headphone as a mic yet, cool idea... I'll give that a try. I used that phone sound, sometimes a nice color.

Andy interference from about 30 different radio stations tracked through a "Tele" WOW... makes me curious. Is there a chance to hear a little mp3cut? (but I'd understand if you want to protect your work)

Jules ..."the vibe from the old mix" ..oh yes, welcome to the club, how often did that happen to me? Too often! And how many useless diskussions! Yeah, maybe an old track blended with a new will work.

dissolva ...reamping through a speaker is a thing I should use more in the future!

Old 11th July 2005
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
Originally Posted by Andreas G
Thanks everyone for posting,
Andy interference from about 30 different radio stations tracked through a "Tele" WOW... makes me curious. Is there a chance to hear a little mp3cut? (but I'd understand if you want to protect your work)
Hi Andreas,

I'll search for it once this week's 'mixing hell' (4 more songs to do) is over! I have it on Mini Disk somewhere, this was before I took up recording in a serious way and I never listened back to it in a few years.
I don't use the MD much, it's such a drag even to navigate through the menu although it's great for quick band rehearsal recordings.etc.

I'll put it up when I find it.....

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