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Reggae : gear and techniques
Old 23rd October 2020 | Show parent
  #511
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Heya,


Been gone for a minute. Been writing, doing a little mixing and a lot of production. Currently working on an album for an artist signed to VP and it's been a really fun journey because they are really well connected to a lot of superbly talented Reggae musicians in France and Europe as well as industry veterans in J.A. We took one of my productions and hired a killer band to track it live in France with a horn section and then had Shane Brown mix the tune and it's turning out pretty nice!

Anyway, been doing lots of writing, experimenting and pitching ideas on the side as well. Here is a Riddim I came up with a few months back then revisited recently. I played the fills live again and used samples that I made from my own drumkit. Tried a new signal chain on bass which I quite liked. It's an Ampeg SCRDI going into a patch on my Bass POD. I was going to mic up an amp but got lazy and just kept the DI and POD signal because I really loved how it kept those "Brown" notes, lol on the low-B on my 5 string. Anyway, let's keep this thread alive and hear some more tips and techniques. Thumbs-Up!



.
Attached Files

Vaccine Riddim [2020 Remix].mp3 (9.45 MB, 996 views)


Last edited by Funny Cat; 4 weeks ago at 09:21 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #512
Here for the gear
 

Hi,
Bit new to reggae production. At the moment I'm struggling to get vocals to sit right in the mix. Vocalist is female with an overall mellow, soulful kind of voice, but she can go for it for the big hooks. And overall the tracks sound pretty clean and modern. What I'm having difficulty with is the basic reverbs and delays - I can't quite get the balance right between dry and cavernous, and simply messing with the wet-dry doesn't seem to fix my problems.. So aiming to start from scratch.
What are people's basic reverb and delay (i.e. not for big dubby throws) strategies for a simple lead vocal?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #513
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisd11 View Post
Hi,
Bit new to reggae production. At the moment I'm struggling to get vocals to sit right in the mix. Vocalist is female with an overall mellow, soulful kind of voice, but she can go for it for the big hooks. And overall the tracks sound pretty clean and modern. What I'm having difficulty with is the basic reverbs and delays - I can't quite get the balance right between dry and cavernous, and simply messing with the wet-dry doesn't seem to fix my problems.. So aiming to start from scratch.
What are people's basic reverb and delay (i.e. not for big dubby throws) strategies for a simple lead vocal?

Hey there! Assuming you are ITB, I tend to lean on the EMT-140 by UAD. If you don't have a uad card I'd go out and purchase Valhalla Vintage Verb right away. I use it on all my Reggae mixes extensively. It has a mixture of plates, Chambers, Halls and Ambiences, is highly tweakable and blends really well with the source sound.

For Vox delays I really like H-Delay from Waves but any delay will work. Try using a ping-pong 8th delay for vocals. It will really make the vocal "nestle" into the track if you roll off the highs and lows until you can barely hear the delay. That's more of a modern mixing style though. If you are going for old school just use a mono slapback and a longer decay on the vocal. Good luck!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #514
Here for the gear
 

Nice, thank you! I'd heard some good things about the Valhalla. Will grab it and have a play. Was previously using the R-verb mostly which works great on my rock and metal mixes, but it always seemed wrong in a way for the reggae.
And cheers for the delay suggestion - at the very least I can set it that way and tweak from there. I seem to get stuck in ruts where I'm not too good at throwing everything away and starting again, so this should help.
Will post up some stuff sometime soon!
-Chris
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #515
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Valhalla Reverbs for Reggae = AWESOME!

@ chrisd11 I'll try and dig up a tune I did not too long ago where I used Valhalla Vintage Verb (from now on "VVV") on about 90% of all the tracks so you can get an idea of the type of atmosphere it creates. On this tune I'm referring to the other 10% is all Valhalla Room. The more I use these reverbs the more and more all my other plugin reverbs are sitting in the unused folder. All the delays on the tune are also H-Delay so it'll really give you an idea of some the capability of that plugin too. Give me a day or two and I'll dig it up.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #516
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alibling's Avatar
 

I like Plates very much for Vocals. UAD Lexicon 480 or Lustrous Plate are my favs for Vocal Reverbs. Be more conversativ with Reverbs especially when u want to reach a more modern sound.

Right now I really digging Wavesfactory Echocat for Delays. The Slap & Echo Preset is a good Vocal starting point. But use the Duck and MS Function to let it sit good in the mix.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #517
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Any free no-fuss spring reverb VST for Windows?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #518
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
Any free no-fuss spring reverb VST for Windows?

If you have an IR verb I can send you some half decent spring impulse responses. I only have about 5 or 6 in my IR folder. The problem with those are they are always static and don't really react to the source the way a real spring tank does, so kind of hit and miss. My favorite under-the-radar spring plugin is Necklace Spring Reverb. I think it's made by sknote? It hangs with the uad bx20 and I actually think it sits better in the mix more often than the uad one. I believe Necklace cost around $29USD when I bought it several years ago?

One trick I discovered when doing really obvious dub "explosion" type FX is to run say a snare hit into a room reverb that's fairly short > then buss that into one of the IR springs and compress it with a medium attack and a long release and gain compensate. This can create some nice spring hits in a Reggae tune that aren't static (if you are using static IR's of course). I've even put flangers after the IR spring to get some subtle movement. Sounds good in the context of a full mix.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #519
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
If you have an IR verb I can send you some half decent spring impulse responses. I only have about 5 or 6 in my IR folder. The problem with those are they are always static and don't really react to the source the way a real spring tank does, so kind of hit and miss. My favorite under-the-radar spring plugin is Necklace Spring Reverb. I think it's made by sknote? It hangs with the uad bx20 and I actually think it sits better in the mix more often than the uad one. I believe Necklace cost around $29USD when I bought it several years ago?

One trick I discovered when doing really obvious dub "explosion" type FX is to run say a snare hit into a room reverb that's fairly short > then buss that into one of the IR springs and compress it with a medium attack and a long release and gain compensate. This can create some nice spring hits in a Reggae tune that aren't static (if you are using static IR's of course). I've even put flangers after the IR spring to get some subtle movement. Sounds good in the context of a full mix.
sknote's plate and EMT250 verbs are really useful as well......
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #520
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
sknote's plate and EMT250 verbs are really useful as well......

Hmmm...might need to check out the emt 250. Was going to get the uad 250 during the last sale but have been having so much luck with the 140 and VVV I kept my wallet in my pocket especially since COVID has slowed business down pretty good. I’ll check that out though. I like their pricing. Thx for the tip!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #521
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Hmmm...might need to check out the emt 250. Was going to get the uad 250 during the last sale but have been having so much luck with the 140 and VVV I kept my wallet in my pocket especially since COVID has slowed business down pretty good. I’ll check that out though. I like their pricing. Thx for the tip!
It's got some sort of 'thing' to the sound which makes it feel a little cheaper than it should in solo to me, but it sits in the mix like a champ nonetheless and it IS cheap, so I guess that is all in order. lol
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #522
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
It's got some sort of 'thing' to the sound which makes it feel a little cheaper than it should in solo to me, but it sits in the mix like a champ nonetheless and it IS cheap, so I guess that is all in order. lol

Ha! Interesting. An engineer friend of mine has the uad 140 and 250 and does some extraordinary mixes. Told me he uses them on vocals primarily. When I asked him if he thought it (the 250) was better than the 140 he said he didn’t think it was but it has “a sound”. Very similar to what you are saying. Of course that comment made me even more curious, lol. So, I think I’d better check out that 250 hehe. Thanks for the suggestion as I wasn’t aware sknote had a 250 plug-in at such an affordable cost. Thumbs up!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #523
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Ha! Interesting. An engineer friend of mine has the uad 140 and 250 and does some extraordinary mixes. Told me he uses them on vocals primarily. When I asked him if he thought it (the 250) was better than the 140 he said he didn’t think it was but it has “a sound”. Very similar to what you are saying. Of course that comment made me even more curious, lol. So, I think I’d better check out that 250 hehe. Thanks for the suggestion as I wasn’t aware sknote had a 250 plug-in at such an affordable cost. Thumbs up!
Oh fcuk yeah does a 250 have a sound, but I was more being specific about what the sknote version sounds like to me. Still tempted to give Uli some money at some point, or better get one second hand...lol, and get the desktop controlled TC Electronic one. Seems to sound very good from audio I have heard, without trying it myself yet.

But yeah, the 250 is a totally classic connotation sound. Not for reggae specifically I wouldn't say. But to me sort of does a 'good feeling part of the 80's' thing, which also can sound good on reggae.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #524
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Here are the Spring IR's if anyone is interested.



.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Spring IR's.zip (13.51 MB, 11 views)
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #525
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Valhalla Verbs ALL over this one!

As I mentioned above in post#513, here is a tune where I used Valhalla Reverbs almost exclusively. It will give an idea of how these verbs sit in the mix and what kind of vibe they have. I used VVV plates on the drums, Valhalla Room on all other instruments except Tenor Sax which I used a VVV Hall preset. H-Delay is the primary delay on this tune and on a few of those "dub hits" I sent H-Delay into Valhalla Shimmer. Oh by the way, on Tenor Sax is none other than fellow GS member @ Progger



Yo progger...



.
Attached Files

The Difference Riddim.RPP.mp3 (8.30 MB, 631 views)

Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #526
Here for the gear
Awesome production. @ Funny Cat
One love for the sax on the track. It just makes everything better.
Huge respect for @ Progger = pure skills,
as well as for the wise the decision to add him on the track.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #527
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Thx @ Unsungwarrior progger has played on 3 or 4 productions of mine in the past month and he really has a way of elevating the music with his tasteful playing. :0) Superbly talented cat and works fast! I highly recommend him if anyone needs some jazzy leads.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #528
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
As I mentioned above in post#513, here is a tune where I used Valhalla Reverbs almost exclusively. It will give an idea of how these verbs sit in the mix and what kind of vibe they have. I used VVV plates on the drums, Valhalla Room on all other instruments except Tenor Sax which I used a VVV Hall preset. H-Delay is the primary delay on this tune and on a few of those "dub hits" I sent H-Delay into Valhalla Shimmer. Oh by the way, on Tenor Sax is none other than fellow GS member @ Progger
Nice tune. Is that you playing on that? Good work!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #529
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwojr View Post
Nice tune. Is that you playing on that? Good work!

Thx dwojr! Yes me playing bass and keys + drum programming. Lead and Rhythm guitars by the gitsy from the French band Roots Heritage and progger on sax. I drum also but usually prefer to do that if I'm tracking with other musicians. Thx for listening!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #530
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Funny Cat's Avatar
@ chrisd11 I realize you were specifically asking about delays and reverbs for vocal mixing techniques and I didn't post anything with vocals above. I hope the tips I wrote are helpful though. Unfortunately I can't post anything I'm producing for other artists right now. I can only post my own pre-production work that isn't spoken for. Good luck!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #531
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
As I mentioned above in post#513, here is a tune where I used Valhalla Reverbs almost exclusively. It will give an idea of how these verbs sit in the mix and what kind of vibe they have. I used VVV plates on the drums, Valhalla Room on all other instruments except Tenor Sax which I used a VVV Hall preset. H-Delay is the primary delay on this tune and on a few of those "dub hits" I sent H-Delay into Valhalla Shimmer. Oh by the way, on Tenor Sax is none other than fellow GS member @ Progger



Yo progger...



.
Nice everything, besides the timing, the energy.
I am hating to say that, really, but it "hears". I have been to Jamaica once, and I have to tell you, bands playing for tourists in Negril still have that "original" feel as all those records we know and love.
It can be argued and ignored, but it is as I hear it and big men like Bob Ohllson say: 99% of the "sound" is in the guys' playing.
I think I can make remarks that because I love reggae and dub and am guilty of "producing" it a bit myself.
Nice vibe, nevertheless!
PS: try putting everything at least 1 tick (midi timing, ya know!)behind the drums. Light up one to verify!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #532
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Funny Cat's Avatar
@ DAH no worries. To each their own. We all favor different styles and vibes. However, I would like to point out that it isn’t necessarily a fair comparison to compare the “original feel” of live bands playing on the beaches of Negril thru a P.A. to an online remote collaboration featuring entirely sequenced drums. Perhaps you didn’t realize the drums were programmed and thought they were real? If that’s the case then I feel very comforted and secure that I did a pretty good job!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #533
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
@ DAH no worries. To each their own. We all favor different styles and vibes. However, I would like to point out that it isn’t necessarily a fair comparison to compare the “original feel” of live bands playing on the beaches of Negril thru a P.A. to an online remote collaboration featuring entirely sequenced drums. Perhaps you didn’t realize the drums were programmed and thought they were real? If that’s the case then I feel very comforted and secure that I did a pretty good job!
I did realize the drums were programmed and I know how difficult if not impossible it is to emulate real drumming. Great job done still!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #534
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
I did realize the drums were programmed and I know how difficult if not impossible it is to emulate real drumming. Great job done still!

No worries DAH. Spaciba!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #535
Here for the gear
 

That sounds awesome. The sax!!

Playing with the valhalla plates at the moment. You're right, somehow it just seems way easier to find a good sound than it was with the R-verb for this kind of thing...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #536
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Paging the OP @ David1085


Just checking in to make sure you are OK and doing well. I think I get worried about my Reggae bredren due to this virus. When we didn't hear from SamC for a while RIP and then discovered he had passed it really caught me by surprise. Anyway, just checking in on ya David. Hope your doing well!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #537
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Paging the OP @ David1085


Just checking in to make sure you are OK and doing well. I think I get worried about my Reggae bredren due to this virus. When we didn't hear from SamC for a while RIP and then discovered he had passed it really caught me by surprise. Anyway, just checking in on ya David. Hope your doing well!
****!
Did Sam Clayton leave us? That is a sad thing to read, rest in peace! The brother may have been harsh at times like phillysoulman but they both been dropping knowledge non-stop.
Old 1 week ago
  #538
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I miss their posts too. Hopefully Bobby Eli (PSM) will return eventually...
Chris
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #539
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Paging the OP @ David1085


Just checking in to make sure you are OK and doing well. I think I get worried about my Reggae bredren due to this virus. When we didn't hear from SamC for a while RIP and then discovered he had passed it really caught me by surprise. Anyway, just checking in on ya David. Hope your doing well!
Hello, Thanks for your concern, thats very kind of you. I m doing well. But I m not doing any music now, cause I m having some weird ear problems (sort of a hyperacousia related disorder), but as long as I m not intensively doing/hearing music music I m ok.

Blessed love, and keep on doing the good works!
Old 1 week ago
  #540
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We all hope that gets better soon.
Chris
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