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Stav's "Mixing With Your Mind" Hit Record Formula Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 24th January 2012
  #61
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatflux View Post
Work after the song writing and performance can only do so much.

He already gave this hint: you can write a hit without having to engineer any part of it.
I'm missed the context here, but if I understand you correctly, I have to disagree.

To me the engineering, or sound of the song, is critical to making the whole thing work.

This is why bubblegum songwriting can still be hits - the emotional charge of the music is delivered by the dynamic & frequency content of the mix, irrespective of the greatness of the song itself.

(of course there must still be a decently structured song and compelling artist performance to enhance).
Old 24th January 2012
  #62
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ghostwriter's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Could somebody please post some links to these poorly written Top 10 Hits of the year that were polished by production into being hits?

I'm being serious here, and they have to be Top 10 hits for the year, not just popular songs.
Old 24th January 2012
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
This is why bubblegum songwriting can still be hits
I'm confused as to what you mean by this. Bubblegum songwriting is some of the best writing in terms of hooks. They're written specifically to be hits. It seems weird to say they can "still be hits" as if they're only saved by the engineering.
Old 24th January 2012
  #64
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Hardtoe's Avatar
I looked at some of the top ten charts for the 70's and 80's and you are correct than the songs seem to be of a very high standard of writing, so I agree that the songwriting has to be great to be a top ten hit (not just any old hit which can be made from lesser material).

However, I still hold firm on the fact that all these songs also sound great and have the sonic mojo which is the other part of the hit equation.

For a more in depth analysis of this phenomenon, it is really interesting to read the article, "Hit Factors" about Ernest Cholakis' research into what makes people respond emotionally to music.

You can read the whole thing here:

HIT FACTORS

He has accompanying graphs for the dynamic energy in the bass, mid and high freq bands as they develop throughout various popular songs.

The article is pretty in depth, so you should read the whole thing, but here is a quote to give you the idea:

"He (Earnest) found that the high mid-range and high treble show an increase in dynamics and level over the entire song, while the bass and low mid-range are fairly constant. This is a 'sonic signature' that he's seen on many pop recordings, where the important mid-range is most subject to dynamic range changes, building steadily from beginning to end, while the bass and treble 'anchor' the experience."

I find this to be very true in my own work mixing others songs - the more you can create the type of sonic signature described in the article, the more the attractive the song is to listen to, even though the song is clearly not getting more well written as you nail the mix.

Anyway, I think both song and sound are critical.
Old 24th January 2012
  #65
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
I'm confused as to what you mean by this. Bubblegum songwriting is some of the best writing in terms of hooks. They're written specifically to be hits. It seems weird to say they can "still be hits" as if they're only saved by the engineering.

I actually agree with you - I may have said it poorly, but I meant that songs that are "light" by their nature can still connect just as much with the listener as songs with deep emotional content.

But will bubblegum really make it without the right sound? Poorly written fluff is not saved by the engineering, but neither is it immune to it.

I would argue that a lot of commercial music that people love to rag on these days has the hit sound (viewed through a veil of emotion crushing limiting), without the hit songwriting inside.

On a side note, because the loudness wars have pushed things so far, people are having a harder time connecting emotionally to the mix - this (along with many other reasons) could be partially to blame for commercial music's slump as of late.

Old 24th January 2012
  #66
Dz7
Gear addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I looked at some of the top ten charts for the 70's and 80's and you are correct than the songs seem to be of a very high standard of writing, so I agree that the songwriting has to be great to be a top ten hit (not just any old hit which can be made from lesser material).

However, I still hold firm on the fact that all these songs also sound great and have the sonic mojo which is the other part of the hit equation.

For a more in depth analysis of this phenomenon, it is really interesting to read the article, "Hit Factors" about Ernest Cholakis' research into what makes people respond emotionally to music.

You can read the whole thing here:

HIT FACTORS

He has accompanying graphs for the dynamic energy in the bass, mid and high freq bands as they develop throughout various popular songs.

The article is pretty in depth, so you should read the whole thing, but here is a quote to give you the idea:

"He (Earnest) found that the high mid-range and high treble show an increase in dynamics and level over the entire song, while the bass and low mid-range are fairly constant. This is a 'sonic signature' that he's seen on many pop recordings, where the important mid-range is most subject to dynamic range changes, building steadily from beginning to end, while the bass and treble 'anchor' the experience."

I find this to be very true in my own work mixing others songs - the more you can create the type of sonic signature described in the article, the more the attractive the song is to listen to, even though the song is clearly not getting more well written as you nail the mix.

Anyway, I think both song and sound are critical.
Awesome - thanks for posting. to you out west!
Old 24th January 2012
  #67
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I'm missed the context here, but if I understand you correctly, I have to disagree.

To me the engineering, or sound of the song, is critical to making the whole thing work.

This is why bubblegum songwriting can still be hits - the emotional charge of the music is delivered by the dynamic & frequency content of the mix, irrespective of the greatness of the song itself.

(of course there must still be a decently structured song and compelling artist performance to enhance).
Beethoven wrote Fur Elise practically deaf, and it is a hit despite the fact he never heard it at all. Do you think he was expecting engineers to polish his song into a hit?
Old 24th January 2012
  #68
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatflux View Post
Beethoven wrote Fur Elise practically deaf, and it is a hit despite the fact he never heard it at all. Do you think he was expecting engineers to polish his song into a hit?

It's not about being "polish".

The performance tone is an essential part of the experience.

In this case the player would provide it via his choice of, and interaction with the piano & score - sonic & performance quality is up to him/her..

Consider - would listening to Fur Elise be the same experience if played by a lower level student musician on an "half-decent" piano?

Obviously, they would lack the feel and tone that master players have developed.

This is why there can be different versions of the same song, but one can be be considered "the" great one/defining version.

I'll repeat myself and add a little more - song and sound & performance are ALL critical to make a hit.
Old 24th January 2012
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
This is why there can be different versions of the same song, but one can be be considered "the" great one/defining version.
That's not quite true though. There have been a few cases, especially in the '60s, where a song became a regional hit in the US or in another country and then another artist covered it and their version became a national hit. The only difference being that one label was exploiting the other label's lack of distribution. For example, Shadows of Knight had a hit with Gloria because the version by Them was censored by some radio stations because Van Morrison said "she comes up to my room, she makes me feel alright."
Old 24th January 2012
  #70
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
That's not quite true though. There have been a few cases, especially in the '60s, where a song became a regional hit in the US or in another country and then another artist covered it and their version became a national hit. The only difference being that one label was exploiting the other label's lack of distribution. For example, Shadows of Knight had a hit with Gloria because the version by Them was censored by some radio stations because Van Morrison said "she comes up to my room, she makes me feel alright."
I would answer that both versions had what it took to make a hit.

Remember, there are lots of terrible covers versions of hit songs.
Old 24th January 2012
  #71
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Arichlsss's Avatar
To understand music is to understand God himself
Old 25th January 2012
  #72
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
It's not about being "polish".

The performance tone is an essential part of the experience.

In this case the player would provide it via his choice of, and interaction with the piano & score - sonic & performance quality is up to him/her..

Consider - would listening to Fur Elise be the same experience if played by a lower level student musician on an "half-decent" piano?

Obviously, they would lack the feel and tone that master players have developed.

This is why there can be different versions of the same song, but one can be be considered "the" great one/defining version.

I'll repeat myself and add a little more - song and sound & performance are ALL critical to make a hit.
Before the song was even performed, it had aspects of a hit song.
Old 25th January 2012
  #73
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatflux View Post
Before the song was even performed, it had aspects of a hit song.
Of course - and the performance / mix seals the deal.
Old 26th January 2012
  #74
Gear Head
 
darkstar's Avatar
Interesting thing.

Don't think about mono compatability, this is not right.
If anyone would give me 1 thing that we hear in EVERY song that sold more than 5 million copies, and that we don't hear on any song that wasn't hit ... I would believe there is something in hit record formula theory.
Old 26th January 2012
  #75
one man, ONE mic pre
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkstar View Post
...
If anyone would give me 1 thing that we hear in EVERY song that sold more than 5 million copies,...
sounds within the range of human hearing.


there, and you don't even have to buy my hugely overpriced book
Old 26th January 2012
  #76
Gear Head
 
darkstar's Avatar
....THAT WE DONT HEAR ON OTHER SONGS THAT WEREN'T HIT....


read better, wise guy
Old 26th January 2012
  #77
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
sounds within the range of human hearing.


there, and you don't even have to buy my hugely overpriced book
It's actually a great book for an aspiring mixer to read.

Stav focuses on the idea that it is the mixer who is the key part of the equation not the gear.

His philosophical overview of the idea of how mixing creates the desired illusion was very helpful for me to get the correct fundamental overview of the process.

If people buy it, then it's not overpriced hey? What about them expensive record producers - who would waste money on their overpriced knowledge .

But yes, you can buy Mixerman's book considerably cheaper if that is your point... (I have both)

Old 26th January 2012
  #78
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
Of course - and the performance / mix seals the deal.
Mixing by composition, baby.
Old 26th January 2012
  #79
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Jose's Avatar
 

Nice looking girls in video clips make hits.

BTW I didn't like that book.
Old 26th January 2012
  #80
one man, ONE mic pre
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
What about them expensive record producers - who would waste money on their overpriced knowledge .
people with an expectation of selling a lot of records, to make that worthwhile

also, until records stopped selling (due to theft) producers weren't generally "expensive" at all in front... they took a percentage of sales.

if Stavrou will do this, I shall whole heartedly endorse his endeavour.
Old 26th January 2012
  #81
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Jose's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
It's actually a great book for an aspiring mixer to read.

Stav focuses on the idea that it is the mixer who is the key part of the equation not the gear.

His philosophical overview of the idea of how mixing creates the desired illusion was very helpful for me to get the correct fundamental overview of the process.

If people buy it, then it's not overpriced hey? What about them expensive record producers - who would waste money on their overpriced knowledge .

But yes, you can buy Mixerman's book considerably cheaper if that is your point... (I have both)

I sold both mixerman's books, I think both are a well marketed hoax.
Old 26th January 2012
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
I sold both mixerman's books, I think both are a well marketed hoax.
Really? I thought Zen and the Art of Mixing was pretty sensible. What did you find dissatisfying / hoaxy about it?
Old 26th January 2012
  #83
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Hardtoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
people with an expectation of selling a lot of records, to make that worthwhile

also, until records stopped selling (due to theft) producers weren't generally "expensive" at all in front... they took a percentage of sales.

if Stavrou will do this, I shall whole heartedly endorse his endeavour.
Believe me, I get it - the producer part was a joke - I see the value 100%

My point is that in a free market, people can ask what they want for any given product or service - if people buy, then it is priced appropriately.

No one is forced to buy Stav's book, so why complain about what is clearly working for him?

(BTW - Mixing with Your Mind is a self-published book of very high quality - the paper is great, the binding is sewn, it's hard cover - this would not be a cheap book to produce.)
Old 27th January 2012
  #84
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Jose's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
Really? I thought Zen and the Art of Mixing was pretty sensible. What did you find dissatisfying / hoaxy about it?
For him everybody sucks, keeps telling you all the people's flaws.

What a Zen!
Old 28th January 2012
  #85
restpause
Guest
I'm interested in the compare A|B sides bit. However I grew up collecting 12" vinyl remixes which featured multiple versions of the same tune and a few rare extra tunes.

Most of the best sounding tunes to my ears were the ones where multiple people were involved in the crafting of the tune, every step of the way, on every level, including the editing/arranging/mixing.

Remixes are of particular interest because after the tune was already a hit, it was often enhanced to sound even better by other pros or successful people with musical and/or engineering background.

And in some subgenres/trends, the remixes were done whether or not the original tune was a hit or not. Often the remixes were the hit and the original sucked in comparison. (Push It by Salt N Pepa, Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega/remixed by DNA, etc)
Old 29th January 2012
  #86
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
Yeah, comparing the A&B sides is usually pretty useless since B sides were often just filler that's dramatically inferior to the A side in every conceivable way. The idea that the A sides and B sides had an equal chance at being a hit is a pretty silly premise.
agree on that!
i was producing house/club music back when vinyl singles were still big. i was releasing on few popular labels in Holland and UK. when the label was interested in track they were always asking for extra track for 'B side'. when i gave them track that they really liked they would never used it for 'B side'. instead they would released it as 'A side' track on new signle.
Old 29th January 2012
  #87
one man, ONE mic pre
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post

No one is forced to buy Stav's book, so why complain about what is clearly working for him?
I'm not "complaining".
just expressing my opinion as to its relative value.
Old 29th January 2012
  #88
Every time there's a big downturn in the music/recording biz -- I've seen a few in the 30 years since I first started working in studios -- you see an explosion of people doing seminars, giving 'master classes' in their studios, organizing recording "dream camps" and learning retreats, and, of course, writing books and creating various video lesson series, etc.

Basically, when everyone wants you to pay them to teach you something -- you can pretty much be assured that legit, real studio work is getting hard to come by. Again.
Old 30th January 2012
  #89
Gear interested
 

I saw a news segment where the journalist was with a current successful pop producer and he 'abletoned' a drum and synth track, got the journo to sing mundane dance lyrics, slapped in the four chord chorus progression and autotuned the vocals and was pretty much done within a and hour or so. But that's only one style of pop- I think he was one of lady gaga's producers. But the journo wasn't hot, dressed weird, wasn't dating someone famous, no nipple slips or in rehab. For that style of pop- it's the singer, not the song.
Old 30th January 2012
  #90
How about the ability to get the song heard... money, airplay, promotion, etc.?
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