Self-Taught Home Recording Need Feedback/Advice

mcalldp

Member
Messages
395
So bass should come down or just in parts? The solo string is okay right, you mean the side panned strings throughout? I am going to try to redo those parts and play something different. I think there are a couple drum crashes at end I will volume down and I want the chorus vocals to not get too loud compared to verses, I have a compressor on them but need to figure out bringing down the max volume thresh hold- any other thoughts? Thanks for all the help, I think the mix is getting much better and I am learning a lot- much appreciation for your time everyone!
 

FFTT

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28,385
The strings just don't sound like strings and the string parts could be structured
more like a string ensemble would play their individual parts.

One the bass, try dipping the volume down a bit under the vocal parts.

You might go back and listen to a few of your favorite Floyd tunes to compare
levels and pay attention to how they treat the top end as well as the lows and mids.

One thing about mixing is that everything you change, affects everything else in some way.
 

FFTT

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28,385
For that acoustic washboard rhythm acoustic sound I'm talking about
listen to Tom Petty - Face In The Crowd.
 

scottywompas

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1,592
Screw the pitchy vocals crap. If it's an honest performance and has soul don't fix it with autotune. That's just my opinion.

I agree that the strings sound a little synthetic but that may be because the rest of the song is so organic.

I like it. I like the vibe. I can hear all the instruments. Everything seems to have a place in the mix. I agree that the cymbal hits are a little overbearing though.

Nice work in all. It's a good song. That's the hardest part. The rest is just sprinkles on the cupcake.

Scott
 

FFTT

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28,385
No doubt you're doing just fine for a self starter.

It took me a long time to figure out panning the parts and then how doing
so changed the EQ and then more refining and balancing all along.

Sometimes it helped me to add layers especially on guitars, but it also helped
me to strip away the layers just down to acoustic and voice to get my bearings.

Mad Science for sure, especially solo.
 

FFTT

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28,385
Rhythm bugs me more. The lead strings are fine, not sure about final volume
and placement on the stage.

You gotta watch it going up the neck on the bass during a lead vocal.

The vocal range and the bass mids and higher on the neck can really
compete with the vocalist.

My bass awareness improved considerably, once I started singing the lead vocal while
playing bass. I try to limit those grace notes I'm tempted to play to between vocal phrases .
 

FFTT

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28,385
You may not want your acoustic sound as full as Welcome To The Machine, but I'm kinda
wanting to hear more strummed acoustic establishing the groove.
 

mcalldp

Member
Messages
395
Are you speaking of playing the guitar part different or just getting a softer fuller sound from the current part (nylon pick sound) - that could be a lot of the EQ on the guitar part, I have it pretty high and thin...

I got the NI Komplete package recently and plan to install it today thought I might find a better string/pad sound for those string parts but the available sounds in the package are going to take a lot of time to get familiar with.
 

Ephi82

Member
Messages
2,577
Well, I put up a new version. I think the drums sound better and there is more space around everything, strings are down, guitar is up. The solo strings sound much better when comparing the two files. I am not sure how I am doing on the levels and panning if anyone wants to chime in:
http://mcallister-productions.com/temp/
(Version 10)

I think you can hear the bass drum now, the cymbols don't seem as hard hitting, vocals have more space etc....strings are panned off 50 to both sides and turned down guitar is left 15 bass is right 15 drums and vocals center. Not sure if the bass and acoustic guitar are too loud now or vocals too low? Getting thee? Better than before?

Thanks all!
Wow. Much improved! Now you can really hear the vocals, (well done, no need for autotune!) the bass line (now audible) puts movement into the arrangement and the "strings" are now serving as a pad rather than the lead instrument.

I encourage you to continue to feature your organic instruments in the mix and de-feature things like those cheesy strings and drums. It's not to say that you didnt play/program the strings and drums well, its just that they dont sound very real. IMO a real drum set, with a real drummer, even if only recorded with one carefully placed mic, would be highly preferred.
 

mcalldp

Member
Messages
395
Thanks! Live instruments are cool but I am often very limited in what I have available. Having the computer allows me to plow forward. Also, I didn't do it in this song but I like the mixture of organic and machine when done right. Bowies 'Earthling' album comes to mind and of course that period was influenced by NIN for him and NIN takes us into industrial pop being influenced by everything from Pink Floyd to Skinny Puppy, computer sounds are cool when done right, 'done right' being the hard part of course.
I am sure learning a lot here though, can't than you all enough for your help!
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,385
This is my one and only attempt working totally ITB in Reason 3

I'm using the mod wheel to bend the steel guitar sounds, Macca Bass,
and I've layered the snare part once in real time, once quantized by accident,
but the result is this very FAT 2 sticks on the snare delay.
Droning strings way back in the mix.

It's all trial and error and continuous learning.
I had no idea what I was doing here technically, I just flew
by the seat of my pants trying to capture the idea in my head.

[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/ogredaddy/hawaiian-spaghetti[/soundcloud]
 

FFTT

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28,385
Just keep at it and keep capturing your ideas any way possible.

The best thing about having your own system is being able to study
your pre-production to get the ideas right, to get the parts right and make it groove.

I could not afford me on studio clock time. :)
I'm too ADD in the way I put stuff together.
 

mcalldp

Member
Messages
395
Yea, letting go of a tune is hard as I get the same way. I have to learn when to stop as I have other songs to record. Like this one, I've got to choose what to fix and what to let go of. It's come a long way with all the help.
 

Audioholic

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Messages
2,574
Cool
Still think you need to lose those strings, the lead parts, they are close enough to a real string sound to not pass as being synthy, but WAY to synthy to pass as a real string parts and in my opinion really cheapen your production value. Just screams fake, and not even good string sounds. I not SUPER picky about string and orchestral sounds but picky enough. Been working with synth orchestras for a bit and just now getting a better handle on how to make them sound more authentic and real. Its tricky. I still think you should just change the patch, if its a synth pad sound, it won't matter as much if it sounds authentic or not. But as is, just screams fake weak strings. Just my critique, you have an organic sound going on and its cool, and the string part in the lead gives it a retro feel, but the programming isn't realistic for a real passage, and the sound of the actual patch is too fake to pass as close enough.

if you want I can share in private some of my string work
 

mcalldp

Member
Messages
395
Talking about changing the rythm strings or the lead passage? At current skill level I probably can't write anything different that would be better for the lead... For the rythm (if thats what you're talking about) do you have any suggestions of patches I could use/download in Kontact?
 

Audioholic

Member
Messages
2,574
Talking about changing the rythm strings or the lead passage? At current skill level I probably can't write anything different that would be better for the lead... For the rythm (if thats what you're talking about) do you have any suggestions of patches I could use/download in Kontact?
Both, both scream fake strings to me and really cheapen the song. I think it would do well without them actually. When putting together string lines, you have to think in terms of the instrument and player. Will the cello, viola, violin etc all be playing the same note? Will overlap actually be realistic for these intruments? Right now all sounds have the same vibrato, same attack etc. Just need better sounds, or a solution would be to just find a NON acoustic string sound.

All of the string libraries I would recommend to you will cost money, some a good deal. I think Kontact has some decent stock Vienna strings that come with it no? what are you using? doesn't sound like the stock strings I have in kontact.

A good string libary will be able to have control over swells, vibrator rate possibly, legato intervals. honestly it takes a good sound set and skill to get a realistic performance. In which case I say just find another sound and that might be easier for you.
 

mcalldp

Member
Messages
395
I'm stuck on the idea of having real string sound on the lead. I have a limited version of contact now and used one of the Violin patches but I have the Komplete bundle now and need to install and get used to using. This song needs to get finished up so I may get outside help and keep expanding on all these lessons as I move to my next recordings.
 




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