Author Topic: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)  (Read 1323 times)

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Offline digger72

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 04:37:24 pm »
Hi TB,

Really appreciate the time and thought you've put in. Plenty for me to chew over. That 3D thing is the one - elevating a flat track in to something which just appears all around you - gives the track energy. I want the songs to sound full, but the instruments/vocal to sound separate at the same time - if that makes sense.
I know Endureth is more clued up on these sort of things, but I still like to get involved.

Be interesting to see how the next track(s) pan out - if you'll pardon the pun.

Thanks again,

Digger
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 07:31:07 pm by digger72 »
"When the music's over - turn out the lights."

Offline Endureth

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2012, 02:58:36 am »
I know Endureth is bettered clued up on these sort of things

I wish.

Offline diademgrove

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 09:10:22 am »
Hi Digger,

As promised my comments on Pariah. I've used sections to make it easier to read.

INTRODUCTION

I don't intend to repeat the advice provided by TB-AV, which you should follow. Anything which gets you listening to music and analysing it is good if you want to learn to mix. However, I will be looking at the mix from the perspective of what you could change in Pariah. My examples are from songs that would be in my top 100 ongs of all time, if I ever did one.

First I look at the role of the drums in the song, then the quality of the drum sound, followed by light and dark, the vocal, some thoughts on the track and a conclusion.

THE DRUMS - MUSICAL QUESTIONS

I get the impression from listening to the song that the drums are an after thought, which may be wrong, but that's what I hear. It sounds like the rhythm guitar or the bass line came first, you then added the drums. This gives the clear impression that the song is driven by the guitars not the drums. In simple terms you don't tap your foot to the drum beat. When you listen to Iron Man what do you tap you foot to? Now try it with Pariah but only tapping your foot in time to the pulse of the drums. You should find yourself fighting against the natural pulse of the song, unless there are other drum beats lost in the mix.

If there isn't a bass drum part buried you would have two diffferent pulses if you brought the drums higher in the mix. Some music does have cross-rhythms but the question you have to answer is, is that what you want?

If you don't want competing pulses then you have to decide whether you want the guitars or the drums to push the song. Here are a couple of examples from Phil Specter's wall of sound where the drums complement and drive the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAllQBDVJw

If the drums are to drive the song you'll need a new drum track.

THE DRUMS - SOUND LIKE BALLOONS?

Again, this is a question of taste and what do you want the song to sound like. For example, I think on Rain there are two drum tracks. The most prominant one contains the bright fills, which sounds like a lead instrument. Behind that is something that sounds similar to your drum sound which keeps the beat. Although the beat is mainly driven by the bass and rhythm guitars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5zmgXoa-wE&feature=related

Another example of a "fuzzy" drum sound. In this case the drums and bass drive the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYsQcIMPOnQ

You can see why TB-AV says mixing is difficult. It's like having hundreds of choices, which way do you turn? The end result is always simple, you either like it or you don't, but its the sweat in between that's hidden. If you and millions of people like it you made the right choices.

In rare cases you get to see behind the choices. The Nirvana box set has three versions of Smells Like Teen Spirit and the 10th Anniversary set of the Holy Bible by the Manics has a UK mix and a US mix.

So, you pay your money and make a choice.

THE DRUMS - WHAT I HEAR

John Bonham at 1.12 kicks down the door and drives the song onward. Or, alternativeley the way the drums, rhythm guitar and bass work  in the song in the next section.

You begin to see why great bands usually have great drummers.

LIGHT AND DARK - SLIP INSIDE MY HOUSE

If you look at the sound wave in Soundcloud you notice that the song is fairly consistent all the way through. TB-AV mentions this in his explanation. TB-AV talks about dynamics, loud and soft pasages etc. So, for example, to allow John Bonham the space he deserves, the song up to 1.12 would have to be a lot softer ensuring the sound of the door being kicked in takes your breath away (unless you use Soundcloud and then you can see it coming). If you like the rhythm part, which I do, you could try following the next example (which to me is close to the feel you've generated).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPPG3ZNJ9LA

If you listen to the song you'll notice that from 2.08 to 3.06 the mood changes twice. However not much happens to the underlining beat of the song. The band achieves this by not playing as much. It introduces shades of light into the darkness. So by altering the rhythm patterns a little you create the impression of different dynamics without changing the nature of the song too much.

There are times when the dynamic in Pariah does change but it goes from dark to darker, for example from 2.20 onwards. A tiny bit of light would help.

THE VOCALS - USING EQ

One way of blending the vocals is to use EQ. This is a very good introduction to EQ and blending. It should give you some tips. He may not look very rock n roll but what he says about mixing is important and in a fairly straightforward way. The rest is up to you, just experiment with your EQ plug in on your recording software until you get something that makes the vocal slightly louder and the rhythm track slightly lower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeOSGGBSvKU&feature=related

You could get a quick glimpse of what effect it would have by using the EQ plug in to find the frequency of your vocal. When you find it the vocal will seem to disappear. Write down the frequency and then drop the rhythm guitar, bass and slightly using the EQ plug in and see if it makes a difference. You need to be careful though, you don't want to affect the rhythm track too much or it will sound strange. Start with a narrow drop (see second video below). You just want to create a small space for the vocal to sit in.

Before doing this you should have a listen to this bloke as well, especially the second video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urgeEBxZ4Y4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0X2qy5o0bg&feature=related

If it works then you follow the advice in the first youtube clip and do it properly.

SOME OTHER THOUGHTS ON THE SONG

I like the song but the fade out at the end is too abrupt. You could either start the fade out earlier, or, a bit more extreme, just stop like he's hit a brick wall.

I think the guitar solo is really good. Although in my head I heard it panning from left to right and back, especially towards the end.

As regards the drums. After finding the basic chord progression I usually make my drum track first and record to that rather than a metronome. That way the song follows the drum pattern rather than the drum pattern following the song.

CONCLUSION

Hope this helps. Remember there is no such thing as good or bad music, just music you like. The same applies to mixing. If you like it, its a good mix, even if you are the only one that does. If you want a more commercial mix then listen to a lot of music, analyse the instruments as TB-AV says, buy some books and experiment with your software. Its a good idea to pick a song and try and recreate a similar sound. But be warned, its not easy, successful mixing engineers get paid a lot of money for a reason.

My health has improved a bit over the past few days. Back to work Tuesday. Its taken me a couple of days to write this, so no worrying about me typing away on a Sunday morning.

Good result yesterday and out of the relegation zone.

Diadem







Offline digger72

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 02:10:41 pm »
Hi Diadem,

What I really like about this forum is the time invested by people in other people's work. I wish I had pearls of wisdom to give to others but I don't - I'm just not technical minded. I am grateful, as always, for your thoughts. You've pretty much nailed how this song was recorded. I sent a basic guitar and vocal track to Endureth. We rearranged it a bit and added bass and drums. The shoddy mixing is down to me

For the new song we are working on we've taken a different approach, prompted by TB and exactly how you have suggested. Again I wrote a guitar demo and sent it to Endureth. We altered things around a bit and Endureth put together a drum and bass track. The difference this time is that we used this as the basis for re-recording the track. Endureth is mixing this one, and I know he's been doing some research in to EQ, etc. It's sounding good - if you don't mind me saying. Still got some vocal work to do, and a little solo, but it's coming along nice.

Really like that "Slip Inside This House Song." Quality.

Interesting stuff about EQ. I've sort of used it in the past, but relied on the presets in the plug-in. e.g. Lead vocal - for vocals, Rhythm guitar for rhythm, etc. I've not tried adjusting things myself. I guess one size doesn't fit all. Illustrates how a great engineer could turn an ordinary track in to something special. That part about blending parts of the song together by adjusting gains on different frequencies was very revealing. I've never considered that interaction. It's always just been a case of does the vocal sound okay? Then altering the volume. Mixing seems harder work than coming up with the songs themselves!

The reds seem to have gained some confidence at last. The midfielder brought in from Wolves has made a difference. If we can pick up another 5 or 6 wins I think we should just about make it. Big ask, but fingers crossed.

Cheers, mate.

Digger




 
"When the music's over - turn out the lights."

Offline Endureth

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 05:01:47 pm »
Mixing sucks.  And I'll tell you why.  I spent a long time just learning to play and now I sometimes feel I'm back and square one because no matter how well we may play, the mix is going to hang over us like a dark cloud unless we invest the time to learn to do it proper.

First, let me say something about Discharge.  I love that song and I like the mix.  I think it feels powerful.  The drums may be a little light but I like it enough that if we went back and messed with it, it might end up sounding worse.  Unlike Pariah, I listen to Discharge from time to time for no other reason than I like listening to it.  So I'm pretty proud of that one.

Pariah.  Yes the drums suck.  I wouldn't call them an afterthought so much as I would call them incomplete.  Listening back, I realize there are just a lot of hits missing and there are obvious holes where drums belong.  The groove isn't really consistent.  When we go back to it, which we intend to do, I plan to fill those drums out more.  Also, they do sound flat.  In mixing this newest song I've learned some things about how to get power out of the drums that I didn't know last time around.  I suspect this is how it's going to be for every future recording, we'll always be learning new techniques that we can apply to future songs.  If all goes well, they should just get better and better.

In this newest song we're working on I programmed the drums, played the bass them listened to them together, without the other instruments.  I noticed they weren't always meshing, and I know that they should.  So I added more drums, added more bass, took away some drums, cut back on the bass and back and forth until they meshed and sounded good by themselves.  Well, it paid off (I hope anyway because they sound pretty tight to me).  That in turn has given us a pretty solid foundation for everything else.  We'll see how it sounds in the end, but I have high hopes.  The pie in the sky kind.

I also don't know whether to be happy or confused that no one ever has anything to say about the bass guitar, mixing or playing.  I thought it was too loud in the last two songs, Digger thought it was too low.  I guess because no one ever mentions it, it must be ok, which I'm fine with.

All the suggestions/criticisms we get here are valuable.  I'm often surprised how much advice someone will give, how much of their personal time they're freely give to someone else's work.  For that reason I pay attention to everything everyone says.  I'm also grateful.

In appreciation I promise we'll just keep making sure the songs get better and better.  I figure by the time we get to the last song on the "album" we'll have a hit on our hands.  :)  

Offline digger72

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2012, 06:47:28 pm »


In appreciation I promise we'll just keep making sure the songs get better and better.  I figure by the time we get to the last song on the "album" we'll have a hit on our hands.  :)   

 :D Yes - and I'm going to win the lottery!
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Offline diademgrove

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2012, 01:20:56 pm »
Hi Endureth,

just a couple of points. When I listened the first time I wasn't well. I heard Pariah and the beginning of Discharge. I turned it off, I wasn't in the mood to listen any more nor to make any comments. I suffer from chronic fatigue and on some days I just say "No, I'm not doing that". It helps me survive.

I read TB-AV comments and listened to his examples and thought he provided some great advice but seemed to point you in one direction only. The songs he choose all sounded bright and modern with most of the instruments easily identified. But not all music is like that and I tried to find some songs I really like which offered an alternative. Although if you take Iron Man, it didn't always sound like that, which may come as a surprise to people much younger then me. If you listen to a vinyl copy of the album on a cheap stereo with the bass turned up and the treble turned down you'll hear a completely different mix. One I grew up with in the early 70s.

When you say mixing sucks, most musicians agree with you, which is why they and record labels get somebody else to do it. Mixing is both an art and a science. For example there is a scientific reason why Digger's vocals are not prominant. I never liked science at school and don't fully understand the reasons why, but in crude terms, the frequency of the vocal competes for the same space with the rhythm guitar. If Digger could sing an octive higher it would be less of a problem. If you take away the rhythm track like TB-AV suggests then the problem is solved. If you pan the vocal hard left and the rhythm track hard right the problem also disappears. However these are musical choices which affect the balance of the song. As musicians you have to decide how you want the song to sound? If you like the rhythm track, the panning and just want to push the vocal up in the mix you could reduce the volume of the rhythm track and increase the volume of the vocal but this may sound strange and upset the balance of the song. Alternatively you can mess about with the EQ frequencies to make a small hole for the vocals without removing too much of the rhythm tracks quality. Getting that balance right is where the art of mixing comes in. It is why good mixers earn good money.

If you are interested in mixing I'd find a copy of the Nirvana box set and listen to the mixes of Teen Spirit. Also the Manic Srteet Preachers 10th anniversary copy of the Holy Bible and the original mixes to the Clash's Combat Rock (available on bootleg) are worth listening to and comparing the different mixes.

I don't think the drums suck. To me the drums are like a Greek chrous commenting on the song. The problem is that in most rock n roll the drums drive the song. If you are expecting a traditional rock n roll sound then you will notice the lack of drums. You then move onto their sound and the fact is they don't sound like modern rock drums. Which I think is the way TB-AV approached it (apologies to TB-AV if I'm mistaken). I tried to show that there are examples of songs where the sound of the drums is similar, and in the case of Rain don't drive the song, if you exclude the fills. These are musical questions and have little to do with mixing. Do you want the drums to drive the song? Are you happy with the bass and guitar to drive the song?

I like the song, I like the way the bass and rhythm guitar push the song and whilst I noticed the missing drum beats I could live without the drum track becoming more prominant, especially if it competes with the guitar and bass. Personally I'd have put a similar drum pattern to the guitars as on Slip Inside The House. I also hear a similar feel in the song Sister Ray, which has a driving drum beat the feel of which could be copied. But that has nothing to do with mixing but is a musical choice.

When I said the drums were an afterthought I meant that they came after the rhythm track was more or less complete, not that little or no thought was put into the drum pattern, sorry for any confusion. I don't think you wanted the drums to act as Greek chorus when you came up with the broad themes of the song. It just happened because it was done near the end of the recording. Something I think you recognise by changing the order for the song you're currently recording and by how pleased you are with the initial results.

I look at music in terms of what I like. I have difficulty transcribing and tend not to comment on the chord sequences, scales used, what the bass is doing, etc. So sorry not to mention your bass playing. I do like what you and Digger have done with the rhythm track (excluding drums) on Pariah. To me it sounds good.

Finally I have often been told my musical taste is wierd. I can understand why a band wouldn't want to sound like the 13th Floor Elevators or even the Velvet Underground, after all, compared to Kiss they were not that financially successful. The age old question in music is do I want to be great and poor or do I sell out to mammon? Sometimes you can achieve both. Remember mixing is about realising musical ideas. To me a good mixer should put a band in its best light and not completely change its musical vision.   

Mixing can be hard work but whilst you do it, have fun,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9mbzBTMP_k&feature=related

Diadem

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2012, 02:28:16 pm »
Quote
You can see why TB-AV says mixing is difficult. It's like having hundreds of choices, which way do you turn? The end result is always simple, you either like it or you don't, but its the sweat in between that's hidden. If you and millions of people like it you made the right choices.

Will have to finish reading diademgrove's post later but made it that far. that's a good point. There will ALWAYS be something or everything that people don't like.  ALWAYS - especially on the Internet. So be aware that if you try to "fix" everything by Internet input it will never be finished and it will never be "right".

There are pretty well definable technical issues that can be resolved if needed / desired   but it all boils down to the final product and is it what you you want to deliver to the masses. There are lots of hit songs with "issues".

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Offline mumbles

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2012, 03:18:01 pm »
More power on 'the one' will help to drive the songs along more - get that anticipation going from bar to bar :)

Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2012, 03:54:23 pm »
@ Endureth:

I haven't used it, but ToonTrak emailed me an ad for a new product and I thought about you when I saw it. I'm skeptical, but it might be kinda kewl:
http://www.toontrack.com/tv.asp?channel=tutorials&sort=addeddate&way=DESC&item=185#3
http://www.toontrack.com/tv.asp?channel=tutorials&sort=addeddate&way=DESC&item=184#3
I'm thinking about using it myself because I use a lot of plug-ins and they use up my system resources and create latency issues.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2012, 11:51:35 pm »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ7z_bqci5E&feature=related

this is a good one to watch too.

CUT CUT CUT.... three is usually a LOT you can carve out. Can you imagine if every meal you ate had every spice and condiment you owned? Well that's pretty much what most people start with.

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Offline Endureth

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #26 on: February 29, 2012, 11:56:46 pm »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ7z_bqci5E&feature=related

this is a good one to watch too.


How ironic is it that the sound on that video is hard to understand?

Offline NJDizzle

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2012, 03:52:24 pm »
lads that is some serious music... thats going to make it somewhere!! if i had anything tosay about any of it that mayer if digger had a slight phaser sound to the lyrical part of the song to give it a bit of an edge because there is some quite heavy stuff in there but thats just my opinion anyway lads, keep them coming this xx--xx rocks!
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Lost World Demolition (Collaboration project)
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2012, 05:04:39 pm »
Quote
How ironic is it that the sound on that video is hard to understand?

You mean in concepts presented? or the fact he has a deep voice? To be honest I didn't find it hard to understand but on these instructional videos I want to hear the examples and see the settings foremost. The speakers voice is less important and they often have to deal with monitoring and getting it to you on the instructional.

But if you mean the concepts and sound of the examples... again, I can hear them.... but there are many.... especially on Pensado's Place for instance where things are very subtle and often times you have to do it locally to really hear any differences.

...and some peoples systems are simply not going to reproduce the subtle tweakings that some of these instructions demonstrate.
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