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Musician's Lounge
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Zep Offline
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Post: #251
RE: Musician's Lounge
^ That's a good visual. You're smearing the sound thin when increasing the stereo field then. I wouldn't do the 5 month tour personally, unless I needed the money. That's a gig that would get old after a month and I'd want to be at home doing more relevant work of doing my album personally.

Reaper is an amazing piece of software, and there are tutorials all over youtube, and their forum is open ( unlike Steinbergs ). Ask ANY question there and it'll get answered. It is highly customizable, you can go as simple or as complex as you want with it, it is also very inexpensive. Justin Frankel is the creator ( he created Winamp ).


Quote:The bottom line is, it takes a lot more work to achieve the same degree of 'musical freedom' on guitar as piano, for instance. From a melodic perspective, guitar also presents unique mechanical challenges which make it an equally steep mountain to climb in comparison to much 'faster' instruments like saxophone. Guitar is a hard instrument. If it didn't have such incredible expressive potential, and the ability to entirely change its timbre in radical ways instantaneously, I don't think we'd all love it so much.

Bingo! Ocelot this is what I tell students now. The initial curve for guitar is hard, the mechanical challenges are steep, just going from a G to a D to a C is awkward as hell for a beginner, the guitars action has to be as low as possible also. Some beginners quit because they pick up a cheap guitar with a nut that is too high and they are not only in pain, but they can't make any nice sounds either. The payoff is down the road when you realize that finger on wire can make a crying sound a la Hendrix or SRV, only a guitar can do this.

@General Stalin - good luck with your drummer man. I want every pop/rock/dance drummer to look at this video of Benny Greb and understand .. this is what it's about. Damn he sounds good on all these grooves, all recorded with two mics.



07-30-2017 10:34 AM
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RE: Musician's Lounge
Mega-Post

For the love of god please do not quote this entire post.

So, I recently finished this gem of a book and thought there might be some value in sharing music books, videos or other resources that have been personally helpful with each other, as there's always more to learn. I know there's more than a few books here that I wish someone had introduced me to a decade ago:

[Image: rxwHr3c.jpg]

Absolutely incredible read, and the first book that made the procedures of late 19th century harmony early 20th century scalar practices make sense to me. You'll need a decent grounding in maths and music theory to make head or tail of it though.

So, what are you guys reading?

Here's a list the most helpful or game-changing books (at least for me) I've burned through in the last few years by category:

Piano

The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine. Pretty much the book to get if you want to get into jazz piano, but don't know where to approach something so vast. As long as you understand basic music notation it's very accessible. Accessible as in easy to read and understand; even if you're actually putting in the work it'll take several years to get through. 300 pages might not take long to read...

Probably worth getting a decent real book to accompany it:

The Real Book Volume I C Edition published by Hal Leonard

Guitar

Unfortunately these are all from after I'd studied guitar at college, so I don't know what the best texts teaching the CAGED system, basic chordal and scalar vocabulary and basic technique out there are, maybe someone else can fill the gaps with what helped them the most starting out? There's so much material out there for guitar these days.

Technique

Troy Grady's Cracking the Code series on youtube, and the Masters in Mechanics seminars on his website. Solved all my picking hand troubles... now I have a whole new set to worry about Laugh.

Creative Guitar 1: Cutting-Edge Techniques and
Creative Guitar 2: Advanced Techniques by Guthrie Govan

It's by Guthrie Govan. The guy who played the solo in this.

Eric Johnson did some instructional videos for Hot Licks in the 90s which were pretty great, I think they were called 'Total Electric Guitar' and 'The Fine Art of Guitar'. Pretty inspiring stuff. If the technique list seems a bit short, it's because I spend far more time figuring out what the hell to play than how to play it. Maybe our resident shredders can expand this one?

Chords

The Chord Factory by Jon Damian
Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene

These two monstrous books will take many years to get through. By which I mean the rest of your life. You will become a better guitarist along the way though.

Sight-Reading

Reading Studies for Guitar by William Leavitt
Advanced Reading Studies for Guitar by William Leavitt
Melodic Rhythms for Guitar by William Leavitt

Everyone's favourite, sight reading! Super useful, horridly dull books. The melodic rhythms book is quite a clever idea though: it presents every possible rhythmic permutation of different numbers of note groupings to get you used to reading them all. All I can say is they work, and you'll get a lot better at naming notes on the fretboard as you go.

General

The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick

Couldn't think where to place this one, so it gets a category on its own. Very dense but worthwhile book for guitarists who want to become better all-round musicians.

Comprehensive Theory

The AB Guide to Music Theory: Part 1 and
The AB Guide to Music Theory: Part 2 by Eric Taylor

I can't comment on the multitude of alternatives to these basic (classical) theory books, but I grew up with these, and when I reread them recently they seemed salient and comprehensive.

The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine

Great book on jazz theory; it'll take you all the way to the top from the very basics. Not too hard to follow as well; highly recommended.

Songwriting and Lyrics

This will end up a list of all the books by Berklee Press... they really are great when it comes to songwriting though.

Melody in Songwriting by Jack Perricone

I can't recommend this one enough. Especially if you come from a pop/rock or even jazz background where the mindset is extremely vertical, this is a great entry into horizontal principles. Not too tough a learning curve, nice examples and exercises to accompany the teaching.

Songwriter's Worshop: Harmony by Jimmy Kachulis

I'm recommending this one with reservations: I didn't actually learn anything from it, but for someone with no musical background it's probably a very good starting point if you want to expand your songwriting's harmonic vocabulary.

Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison

Probably the most thorough book on lyric writing out there. Get it.

Songwriting Without Boundaries by Pat Pattison
Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure by Pat Pattison
Songwriting: Essential Guide to Rhyming by Pat Pattison

That's a lot of Pat Pattison books. What can I say, the man's a genius. I found the last one on rhyming especially useful, and it seems criminal that this stuff isn't on the high school English syllabus instead of all that Critical Theory shite, but what can you do, eh?

Popular Lyric Writing by Andrea Stolpe

Nothing revolutionary in here, but a couple of little ideas made it worth it. It's only a tiny book anyway.

Audio/Production

Understanding Audio by Daniel M. Thompson

You need this book. Well GS, Rigsby, Bosch and Zep probably don't, but you do. Everything about audio, acoustics, signal flow, gain staging, analog and digital recording technology, MIDI, Fletcher-Munson curves. Do yourself, and any producers and sound engineers you will meet a favour and read it.

I've learned a lot about sound design from a youtuber named SeamlessR, so he's worth a mention.

This section's kinda lacking, because my own library has a hole here. Any of you know some good books on sound design, mixing, mastering, and anything else that goes into production? Any good websites?
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WARNING

I'm adding a dividing line here, as all the books listed so far could, at least individually, be manageable to a musical hobbyist if they took them slowly and put in the time over a long period. The books below are not worth attempting to get to grips with if you're not doing this for a living and looking to expand your knowledge and skill in these specific areas. They're all books to do with composition and arranging.

Counterpoint

The Study of Counterpoint translated by Alfred Mann
The Study of Fugue translated by Alfred Mann

[Image: a1FSRXY.jpg][Image: jfuR7WS.jpg]

There now I've got your attention: throw out all the modern textbooks, this is the only place to start counterpoint: Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Berlioz, Rossini, Liszt, Paganini, Hummel, Richard Strauss: the list goes on and on. All of them learned the art of counterpoint from Fux's work, or the later French translation. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Alfred Mann translated the section of Gradus on species counterpoint, which comprises the first book. Now species counterpoint is a bit like sudoku: I could explain the rules to you in under a minute, and the constraints set by the species are very simple, but when you try doing the exercises, it immediately becomes pretty challenging. The entire book is only about 140 pages, and it's a small-size paperback, but honestly it took me months to get through doing a couple of lines a day. The benefits have been immense though.

The second book, The Study of Fugue contains Mann's translation of the part of Gradus that follows species counterpoint: fugal composition. It also contains his translation of treatises on fugue by Marpurg (a close friend of J. S. Bach's, referencing a lot of Bach's work), Albrechtsberger (Beethoven's teacher), and Padre Martini (Mozart's teacher). It's an absolute gem, but dense as a rock. Mastering this stuff is really a lifetime pursuit, and there's no point even attempting to make your way through it unless you have a deep love of contrapuntal music.

Counterpoint by Knud Jeppeson
Counterpoint in Composition by Salzer and Schachter

Unfortunately, what looks like the most intriguing treatise on counterpoint has been out of print since 1962. It's by a Russian composer Sergei Taneyev, and is the only book I can find that discusses invertible counterpoint with more than two simultaneous different themes. I might have found a company that does reprints of out-of-print books, so I'll see if it's worth it (if I can even understand it, by all accounts it's dense even for a book on counterpoint). Taneyev's two books on counterpoint are called Convertible Counterpoint in the Strict Style and Doctrine of Canon—I've only skimmed pdfs of them so perhaps I shouldn't put them on this list, but they seem like they're on another level to most texts... so if you've exhausted species counterpoint and basic fugal procedures, but still wouldn't have a clue how to write something like Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, maybe this is the next stepping stone towards such mastery.

Oh, and if you want to take counterpoint seriously: get yourself a copy of the Riemenschneider and the Well-Tempered Clavier (48 Preludes and Fugues by Bach). There's no point point studying this stuff if you're not studying the works of the great masters alongside it.

Harmony

A Geometry of Music by Dmitri Tymoczko

I mentioned this one at the start of this megapost. It's nothing short of astonishing. He starts the voyage by defining five common features of all tonal music from the middle ages to contemporary popular music and jazz (some of which, at first seemed objectionable, but he proves them all pretty rigorously), and then makes four claims, to which the rest of the book acts as a proof.

It's divided into two parts: the first part creates a set of rigorous mathematical tools and models to investigate the five features outlined at the start, and the second used these tools to investigate the development of Western music, analysing a wide variety of music from the dawn of polyphony to the present. A lot of traditionally accepted models are blown out of the water, first demonstrating that they don't match the empirical reality of what composers actually do, and then replacing them with models that actually do.

What was particularly enlightening was that these models made both the harmonic procedures of the classical and late Romantic and early 20th century composers make sense. Most tonal theory books define a model for the classical era which is only 20% exceptions, and then spend the remaining 2/3s of the book listing all the common ways composers from later eras deviate from the model. AGoM did a great job of showing the number of options available to composers who want to meet the demands of his 'five features' is actually quite limited, and the progression from classical to 20th century harmony is a logical extended exploration of the available space.

Audacious Euphony: Chromatic Harmony and the Triad's Second Nature by Richard Cohn

This one wins a prize for being the single most pretentious sounding title on my bookshelf. Cohn is a Neo-Riemannian theorist with a similar penchant for geometry to Tymoczko, and this in some ways picks up where AGoM finishes. So if you didn't like the last one, you won't like this either Laugh. A lot of people don't respond well to the introduction of mathematics in music, and it's clear musical minds aren't always mathematical or vice versa, but I find myself experimenting like crazy after reading these kinds of books. In any case, they're like marmite.

A Theory of Harmony by Ernst Levy

Everyone's been talking about negative harmony since a Jacob Collier interview went viral a few months back, so I gave it a read. I'm a bit skeptical of dualist theories, because they're so psychologically satisfying, but also don't seem to quite match up with the fundamental science of sound, which is a good recipe for self-deception. But in any case, the concept of major and minor as opposites is pretty ingrained in the collective subconscious: major = happy, minor = sad, major = bright, minor = dark, major = stable, minor = unstable (this one is actually acoustically true, at least). Several of the ideas here receive a more general treatment in Tymoczko's work above, but it has some very unique ideas, mixed with some fluffy ponderings.

One thing that is pretty interesting and amusing is that the whole 'negative harmony' procedure preserves voice leading relationships (they just end up going in the opposite direction), so a lot of people have been making 'negative' covers of well known songs, producing coherent songs that sound unsettlingly like and unlike the original material.

Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony by Tchaikovsky

Pretty short, succinct, very accessible, but also a great reference as it's in the sweet spot between overly vertical and entirely contrapuntal books. And it's written by Tchaikovsky, which alone should be a reason to have it on your shelf.

Structural Functions of Harmony by Arnold Schoenberg

Whodda thought it? Before laying waste to Western music, Schoenberg actually wrote some very good books on harmony, counterpoint and composing in the late 19th century style.

Rhythm

The Geometry of Musical Rhythm by Godfried Toussaint

Very interesting book that subjects rhythm to the same kind of approach Tymoczko subjects tonality to in A Geometry of Music. It's sitting alone in this section because there really aren't enough books dedicated entirely to rhythm out there. Or at least if there are, I've never come across them. Feel free to share any.

Orchestration/Arranging

Treatise on Instrumentation by Hector Berlioz
Principles of Orchestration by Rimsky-Korsakov

If you're going to let anyone teach you about orchestration, you might as well start with Berlioz and Rimsky-Korsakov. Rich in examples but, if like me you're not a score reading wizard, it helps to have recordings of the pieces on hand to follow along. If you have any desire to write for orchestral instruments, even if you're using them in a neo-soul anthem, there's some life-saving (or at least embarrassment-saving) information in here. There's also some amusing anecdotes about rather well known, but unnamed composers writing simple but unplayable lines for trombones because they had no idea the limitations of the instrument. The trombone section didn't tell them, and tried splitting the line up into one note each and trying to time it right, to the amusement of the author.

There's a lot of highly-recommended textbooks they use in universities these days, but I can't comment on them as a) I tend to prefer books written by the legends themselves when they're available, and b) I'm not paying £100 for a 300 page textbook, when I can get a 500 page text written by the man who wrote Scheherazade for £18.

Arranging: Reharmonization Techniques by Randy Felts

Another Berklee Press book. It would be equally at home in the 'harmony' section above, but very interesting book from a composition/songwriting standpoint. Various procedures to bring new life to existing melodies or chord progressions. Definitely recommended.

Arranging: Modern Jazz Voicings

Essential Dictionary of Orchestration

Super-dense and super-tiny. I like this as a quick reference, like a dictionary of instrument capabilities (and ranges, which I'm always forgetting).

Composition and Form

Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Shoenberg

I know, I know, Schoenberg again. His books on classical composition are surprisingly good.

Modulation by Max Reger

Handy little book showing all kinds of modulations between different keys from close to far away using a variety of tricks. Great 'explain by doing' book.

The Classical Style by Mark Rosen
Sonata Forms by Mark Rosen

Very in-depth analysis of the music of the classical period. Hard reading, but Rosen has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the entire classical repertoire.
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Phew. I've tried to remember them all over the past few days, but there may be other gems that didn't make the list.

But there we have it, some light reading for the weekend Laugh. I hope that at least some of this material can be of help. I know it's a metric fucktonne of information, but it turns out music is a big subject.

Ocelot

Ocelot's reading list for those interested in musical composition
Ocelot's older, less focused list of books on music in general
To anyone who's leaving, my inbox is open.
07-30-2017 01:22 PM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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Post: #253
RE: Musician's Lounge
(07-30-2017 01:22 PM)Ocelot Wrote:  You need this book. Well GS, Rigsby, Bosch and Zep probably don't, but you do. Everything about audio, acoustics, signal flow, gain staging, analog and digital recording technology, MIDI, Fletcher-Munson curves. Do yourself, and any producers and sound engineers you will meet a favour and read it.

Nah, I'd never assume I don't need help. It'll check that one out.
07-30-2017 05:04 PM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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Post: #254
RE: Musician's Lounge
Zep:

I tried the Reaper Dual Pot Panning. Interesting changes, but I have a lot of work to get done quickly with other life matters to take care of, so I'm going to stick with Live for now.

There's various True Stereo panning plugins available. Many people mentioned Altiverb, which I may look into. However, I gave Auburn Sound's 'Panagement' a go: the free version has true Binaural Panning, tilting, a built-in spectral visualiser so you can see where the panning is registering, and it looks like you can also adjust distance in the mix.

I just did a rough test, thinking "I had this mix absolutely perfect. It'd want to sound bloody amazing for me to want to start again."

It sounded bloody-amazing. I'll start again.

I was frustrated that, for a Live String Octet, it still sounded 'sample-ish'. Not anymore. It's now full-on Eleanor Rigby chugging, and really brought out that heartbreaking richness that violins possess.

---

I'm also having trouble working out panning strings for rock tracks as opposed to orchestral sounding tracks, where instruments generally match their natural place in 'stage'. As in this 'Philly Soul' style of mix: the violins are on the left where I'd expect, the cellos and violas (and tubas) are chugging along in the right.





What about something like this though, when the low instruments are taking over the function of the bass?





The cello sounds still to the right, but much closer to centre. They'd need to be more centred to keep the bass sounds 'mono-ish', would they?

In this one, it sounds like it goes between orchestral panning and pulled in towards the centre as needed. From about 2:00 on it seems to spread out again, and there's some obvious hard panning of instruments. At 2:58, when the vocals stop and the strings are isolated, the cello and viola now sound full-centred, and the violins are spread out across the stereo field.





Cello is full centre here:



07-31-2017 07:51 PM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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RE: Musician's Lounge
and here:





and here:





But it sounds like both speakers here:





Between centre and right:





My girlfriend was arguing with me black and blue there was no cello in that mix last night, even though I was tapping out the part that it's playing for her. She finally picked it up about 1:18 when it's highlighted a little more in the mix, but it took me finding a live video of it first so she could a) see there was a cello player and b) see the strokes he was making, then we came back to this one and she finally picked it up.

"How did you ever hear that?"

I said it's a form of mechanics, like how some guys could know how to pull apart a complicated engine, or how she could tell when a friend saying 'it's nothing' means it's something, where most men couldn't.

The conversation that followed was interesting, because she basically admitted the moment anything gets too hard for her, she can recognise that it's too difficult for her, and so she'll lost all interest in trying, and that this is pretty much how every woman she knows, except for the women who 'refuse to realise they'll never get it'. Whereas, "Men just keep going, and banging their heads against it, until they figure it out."

I said, "It's the only way to find out what you're truly capable of doing, instead of sabotaging yourself before you start and never doing anything."

My girl still wasn't hearing it.

"Then you spend your entire life trying to become a boy. I'll leave that to the Lesbians."

Laugh2

I've got to admit, she has a point.

I kind of know this line of reasoning is a waste of time with women. The 4-track recorder I used through most of the 90's originally was bought by an old girlfriend, who dumped it in my lap, rather than read the instruction book. "You figure it out." Two of the guitars I used growing up also belonged to girls who thought it would be easy, but then just couldn't be bothered.

Anyway - back to the Cellos. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about this, but I can't seem to get any suggestions from the type of Golden Ear Producers and Mixers I'd consider Authorities. Anyone have experience?
(This post was last modified: 07-31-2017 07:54 PM by AnonymousBosch.)
07-31-2017 07:52 PM
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Post: #256
RE: Musician's Lounge
I should first say, I've only mixed three tunes in my life !! so Ocelot, I have a boat-load of learning to do, i'm flying by the seat of my pants over here.

Bosch: I'll just react to these tunes quickly, as a guy who doesn't really listen to this kind of pop music, so I'll be honest as I can and remind you that I'm listening on cheap earbuds and I think I have some damage in my right ear around 4k ( the usual area ). I don't know much about string arrangements, but "I know what I like, and I like what I know" - Genesis.

Elton John: the main things I notice are the strings and the snare, and Eltons voice is kind of on the same level as the snare. I'd say the strings and snare are the main things pushing this along, Eltons voice is there, but it's not really 'there'. If I didn't know the tune, I'm not sure I would really care about this, but I do, and it's a great tune. What I miss from the original to bring the really upbeat spirit here are the backups 'yes i do' 'freedom'. That for me is a big contribution. The rest is intelligent filler, regale!

The Pumpkins - I don't know this tune, but the mix sounds claustrophobic, no air, maybe it's a bad version or something ? the cellos seem bassy on the left and trebly on the right, is this intentional? which reminds me of something in Ozone now, if you go into the stereo expander section, click around and a menu of presets should come up, within those you can find one that'll center the bass , but spread the top, that could work nicely in a context like The Pumpkins.

Panic at the Disco - don't know this song either, but this sounds amazing, ( except for some distortion, is this a result of the volume wars? ). This sounds really really good. Cello center, violins panned as you said. Everything sounds great.

Trace Adkins - everything makes sense here, the cello doesn't have to compete with much, so this works fine.

Bob Mould - ooof, don't know this tune, and don't wanna know. Boring voice, boring mix, snare sounds like it's from the 80's. This will sound a bit nasty, but this is so meh to me, I'd scrap the strings and replace them with brass, just to bring some light and life into this. It's got this Celtic thing in it, maybe mandolins to bring it to life some more? Not to keen on this one.

George Harrison - obviously a well-written tune and great arrangement, but, it's pretty average sounding to me. I'm not sure about male voices and strings in a 4/4 rock context so far. This is the first time I've been presented with so much to listen to. I'll notice a high violin riff like most people, but strings acting as a pad can sound slightly undefined with a bass, kick and snare going also. ( just my opinion, you and others may love it!) Maybe I'm just not used to being tuned into string arrangements and so am not as emotionally responsive, like some people could care less about a Jimmy Page or Van Halen riff, they can hear it's good, but won't go and buy the album.

Kate Bush - this is great. I knew it would work, a female vocal against strings, this seems like the ideal context, she can float above it all and the string parts can be heard and mean something rather than being an elaborate sort of pad.
Psychedelic Furs, yes, centre and right, I would have turned it up personally. : )

Strings i remember are "I am the Walrus"... they are so morose, I dig it, and they're almost recorded harshly ( if i remember correctly), but, it works! they act as a strong counterpoint to the vocal and have a ton of character, and ELO I thought sounded good too - see how the vocal is dry here, that's what I would have done with George Harrisons vocal, have him smallish, dry, centre, and have the strings acting like a blanket around him, this works for me:





Your girlfriend is like all girls - technical stuff? "you figure this out". Yup. Laugh

Anyways, Panic At the Disco for the win! I like the way that was done.

Hope this helps.
07-31-2017 10:35 PM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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Post: #257
RE: Musician's Lounge
(07-31-2017 10:35 PM)Zep Wrote:  Elton John: the main things I notice are the strings and the snare, and Eltons voice is kind of on the same level as the snare. I'd say the strings and snare are the main things pushing this along

The bass guitar is quite prominent, and since it's massed cellos, I think the orchestral panning might work for them, since they're part of a wash, rather than a rhythmic focus.

Quote:The Pumpkins - I don't know this tune, but the mix sounds claustrophobic, no air, maybe it's a bad version or something ?

Nah, Welcome to Grunge. I never thought much of Butch Vig's productions for the same reason you described: compressed airlessness. Andy Wallace is why 'Nevermind' sounds like 'Nevermind'.


Quote:if you go into the stereo expander section, click around and a menu of presets should come up, within those you can find one that'll center the bass , but spread the top, that could work nicely in a context like The Pumpkins.

Thanks, I'll give it a go. I was reading on the mono/stereo mixing a lot of people saying that ALL of each track's low frequencies should be turned in mono and centered, and to leave the stereo information spread above, so that could be the tool.

Quote:Panic at the Disco - don't know this song either, but this sounds amazing, ( except for some distortion, is this a result of the volume wars? ). This sounds really really good.

They had a big hit album in the days when that wasn't happening as much, so worked at Abbey Road for this one. If it sounds good, it's because it was a very, very expensive production, of the type you don't hear anymore just nine years later. Even the big pop artists are making very cheap sounding records.

Quote:Bob Mould - ooof, don't know this tune, and don't wanna know. Boring voice, boring mix, snare sounds like it's from the 80's.

That's your standard Scott Litt production. A band I knew back in the day spent quite a lot of label money to get him to remix their work, and I was pointing at the hideous drum sound on the REM albums. Either way, it didn't make the songs a hit.

Quote:George Harrison - obviously a well-written tune and great arrangement, but, it's pretty average sounding to me.

That's Jeff Lynne of ELO producing. He has his style. I find it flat, and his cardboard drum sound is a bit of a muso joke. Very intense cello sound: wonder how he got it. He's always chasing 'I Am The Walrus', and I want to avoid that. I get enough Beatles comparisons as it is. (Personally, I think I sound more like mid-80's The Saints).

Quote:Anyways, Panic At the Disco for the win! I like the way that was done.

Yeah, unfortunately, that's beyond my budget.

After all this, I think the trick to cellos to keep them centred if they're rhythmic and solo / paired, and pull them out to the side if they're more of a thick pad. I'll look into the mono bottom / spreaded top idea you mention.

Thanks, man. Sometimes it helps to bounce things of others. Problem is, I'm doing what most people don't do anymore: very thick, busy mixes.
(This post was last modified: 08-02-2017 01:02 AM by AnonymousBosch.)
08-02-2017 01:01 AM
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Post: #258
RE: Musician's Lounge
@Ocelot - your post would be great as an ROK article.
08-06-2017 06:52 AM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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Post: #259
RE: Musician's Lounge
A follow up for Zep:

I've spent four days on and off remixing that song I was talking about from scratch whenever I could find an hour here and there. 33 bloody tracks, re-eq'd with the new speakers.

I followed the advice of those (respected old school) producers, and mixed in mono to get my flat basic levels that I can add volume automation to later.

It's a bastard of a process. It involves really close listening, and hearing how one small volume change impacts all the other instruments. It took much longer than usual, and I realised just how much I've previously 'cheated' by finding room for things in the mix with panning.

However, when I was finally happy, I jumped back to stereo and started using Panagement to place things in the soundstage, and it was a remarkably-easy process. Everything had its perfect spot in the mix, nothing was clashing or drowning anything else out, and I didn't have to change any volume levels. Mono revealed the perfect places for everything.

I made some minor automation adjustments to highlight a moment here and there, but the stereo mix wouldn't haven't taken me more than ten minutes. I'm still amazed, since this is an incredibly-busy song. I tested the results by increasing the volume, which revealed the intricacy of the mix even more, as it should. I wasn't struck by the urge to turn it down, so I must have avoided the clipping issues hot mastering brings that tends to make me bump up the volume, then instinctively turn it down again a minute later, never able to find the right spot where it sounds good.

The true pot panning makes a huge difference. I thought the previous final mix was good, but now I'm shocked at just how powerful and dynamic a song this now is, for something that isn't traditionally-rock.

I'll go back in the morning and re-adjust some of the pannings, and highlight a couple of other moments in the mix, but it shouldn't take too long.

As such, I'm going to start every mix I do from here in Mono..
08-08-2017 07:34 AM
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Tex Cruise
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Post: #260
RE: Musician's Lounge
Thanks for sharing that Bosch. I too will mix in Mono from now on, and really think about that True Pot_panning stuff and learn about it.

Also, I picked something up from all those videos with strings you posted above. Remember that Indie tune I sent you a couple of years ago? well I hauled it out for a listen two days ago and heard strings filling in large gaps that needed to be taken care of, also, thinking about where things go in a mix, I realized something is just not right with it, I have to redo the whole thing, just as you have with your song, and it will be a LOT of work also. But it is worth it isn't it!

I took the Smashing Pumpkins tune up above there, and applied the Centerd Bottom, Spread Top ( something like this ) preset in Ozone to it. Bingo! The "claustraphobic" element was significantly reduced, the strings were panned left and right and the effect was far more dramatic on the whole song.

Also, Panic at the Disco, the excellence of the sound being too expensive considering it was done at Abbey Road, well ... maybe. Hiring the talent may be expensive, but getting the sound, I'm not so sure after watching the following video. I like this dude, he shoots from the hip, and I find myself agreeing with much of his 'controversial' views. Listen to what he accomplishes here, mixing at home! his voice is too loud, but that's easily fixed, everything else is really really good.



08-09-2017 08:05 AM
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AnonymousBosch Away
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Post: #261
RE: Musician's Lounge
(08-09-2017 08:05 AM)Zep Wrote:  Also, I picked something up from all those videos with strings you posted above. Remember that Indie tune I sent you a couple of years ago? well I hauled it out for a listen two days ago and heard strings filling in large gaps that needed to be taken care of, also, thinking about where things go in a mix, I realized something is just not right with it, I have to redo the whole thing, just as you have with your song, and it will be a LOT of work also. But it is worth it isn't it!

A mate and one of his friends were visiting me from Tasmania yesterday arvo, and saw all the instruments out and the computers set up, and I explained I was finishing a 'four-day' mix off. One of them had heard the last mix, and said "Why would you do that again? It sounded perfect!"

So, I sat him in the sweet spot, then loaded a volume matched A-B comparison up of the two mixes, and switched between them on the fly.

He got it instantly. Whilst it's very easy to pick out the individual instruments in the Balance Panned Version, he said the True Pot version was a lot more powerful and 'leaps out of the speakers'

I'd explained how, at first was worried about the lack of obvious separation, until I realised I could still hear everything, but they were just better integrated as a unit, and he picked up on that aspect to. "Everything sounds more together, but still clear."

That's what the mono mixing does well - all the 'musicians' are functioning as a unit, rather than working in their own isolated spaces.

I then explained that I think I've finally gotten it, so feel confident enough to produce the rest of the album myself, because there's nothing more complicated than that song, so if I can make that work I should be able to bang my head against the other tracks until they all break.

They'd been on a rough boat most of the night, so I left them to have an afternoon nap on the couches in the lounge and went for a hike for an hour.
When I got back, the guys were stirring and my mate's friend ducked out to get petrol. I asked my mate if he felt better for the nap, and he said "Yeah, once [his friend] shut the fuck up about you."

I raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"He went on and on. Said, 'It's like your mate has no idea he's a Genius. Saying he'll just 'figure it out' and then it sounds like that after a couple of weeks of 'just figuring it out'. Who can do that, especially with no training?'"

I was laughing to myself, once again having that familiar feeling Rigsby spoke of - "You're damn right, I am pretty Godlike". But, realistically, I was also thinking:

[Image: i-have-no-idea-what-Im-doing-meme-19.jpg]

Look, whilst I can see the use in self-confidence, particularly with women, I'm convinced in the artistic field you get further with a combination of confidence and insecurity, which creates a cycle of initial satisfaction then dissatisfaction with your own work, which creates a motivational cycle of constant improvement, as long as you know how to put a track 'to rest' and put your new ideas into a fresh one.

As such, though I want to say "Sure, I'm a genius", I'll say, "I'm aiming to be one, and maybe one day I'll get there, but it's not this day."

So, there you go Zep, try the Mono mixing thing, and - if it works for you - then, like me, listeners might think you're more far more professional than you actually are.

Quote:I took the Smashing Pumpkins tune up above there, and applied the Centerd Bottom, Spread Top ( something like this ) preset in Ozone to it. Bingo! The "claustraphobic" element was significantly reduced, the strings were panned left and right and the effect was far more dramatic on the whole song.

Great to hear it worked! I went with violins panned midway left, and kept the cello panned close left and the viola panned close right, since they're very rhythmic parts, providing lower end motion. I think First Cello was 5 %, Second 8%, and same with violas. Now the track had a definite (dual) bass presence. Interestingly, I noticed viola can 'steal' power from a mid-range piano track if it grows too loud. Given the piano was just doing a rhythm part, rather than being a feature instrument, I removed all piano frequencies under 200, which really let the Kick, the Cellos and Violas pump along.

I thought about the 'mono bottom, spread top' thing you suggested, but I was reading an article on the mixing of 'Philadelphia Freedom' and the original mixer suggested, particularly with a large section, to pan some lessened elements of each section into the opposite speakers, so as to create 'smears' rather a sense of fixed positioning. I'll experiment with that on another track that has 16 tracks of live strings. This one works, and that's all I'm ever after: does this work, or not?

Quote:Also, Panic at the Disco, the excellence of the sound being too expensive considering it was done at Abbey Road, well ... maybe. Hiring the talent may be expensive, but getting the sound, I'm not so sure after watching the following video. I like this dude, he shoots from the hip, and I find myself agreeing with much of his 'controversial' views. Listen to what he accomplishes here, mixing at home! his voice is too loud, but that's easily fixed, everything else is really really good.

I see what you're getting it, but I can hear the difference there, particularly with the subtly of the tones and mic-work on the lead vocal. It's hard to explain, but it's more than it just being too loud. Really though, it all depends on what you're chasing. A lot of people obviously loved the sound of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', but not me. Not everyone wants or needs the most professional sound. Better to chase your own style.
(This post was last modified: 08-09-2017 06:38 PM by AnonymousBosch.)
08-09-2017 06:38 PM
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YoungBlade
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Post: #262
RE: Musician's Lounge
Started getting more serious about my studio and getting clients in here to record.

Recently purchased a bunch of new equipment to increase my studio's capacity. Increased my input count by 8, got a bunch of new microphones, and a shitload of XLR cables. Now I can record a full live band with fully mic'd drumset and all.

Been networking with other local engineers in the area, and gave myself a swift kick in the ass to finish up a couple of projects I've been dragging my feet on. Next step is to register an LLC for my studio and start treating it as something real.

Looking forward to the road ahead.
09-20-2017 11:25 AM
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Post: #263
RE: Musician's Lounge
Are there any confident singers here on the forum? I have a fun little idea I'm working on; it's a parody song (taken from a disney tune) that will be dedicated to Roosh and the forum. I can play guitar for it no problem, but I can't sing to save my life. If anyone is interested PM me or post. This will be a fun project.
11-06-2017 09:21 PM
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