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The short tips thread

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Arsenu,, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Arsenu,

    Arsenu, Member

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    no need to fuck around too much, just write the one thing that pops in your head regarding recording/mixing/music production. keep it short, and eventually i'll gather everything and try to put some sort of tip compendium together.
    EDIT 26.4.2013:

    Production:

    1. Use your ears.

    2. If it sounds good it is good

    3. There are no rules, at least no unbreakable ones.

    4. Always aspire to improve and learn as much as possible.

    5. Try and edit and tune as little as possible. be careful not to overlook the times when the timing or tuning being slightly off MAKES the part what it is. if the drummer has a nice groove with a section of the song, why fuck with it? and often with singers you can have times where it just sounds better leaving the tuning as it is. -> this goes back to use your ears. use your judgement to decide whether a section needs fixing/tightening up/etc.

    6. I'll add one of my own: Always walk to extra mile. ALWAYS. a mix that is 99% done is not done. take your time and make sure that the mix is 100% done before it's released.

    Recording:

    1. Get it right on the source.

    2. Tune your fucking instrument and use new strings, ALWAYS.

    3. Make sure the musician is as comfortable and familiar as possible. have them play through the song a few times before tracking and make sure they are really chilled out before recording. its SO easy to forget what its like being in their shoes, especially when you feel in a rush and just want to steam through things.

    4. Aim for performances that have character. any old robot can edit a riff together so its "perfect", its way more interesting to hear HOW something is played rather than WHAT.

    5. Don't let anything slip past you during the tracking phase just because you/your ears are tired. Get up, take a break, go for a walk if need. This works really well for the musician tracking as well.

    6. Get your gain staging right.

    7. Not everything has to be grid-tight. When tracking violin or vocals you don't have to use a click, but make sure the rhythm instruments are edited first.

    Mixing:

    1. When using compression, use it because you have a reason. Nowadays everybody throws compressors everywhere, even if they dont have a clue why.

    2. Don't mix too loudly. You can get free or cheap SPL meter apps for your smart phone to give you an idea of the levels you are working at. 75dBSPL works best for me, find what works for you.

    3. Learn about compression before you use it, and don't just put it on everything, learn when and where it needs to be used, and be conscious of what you're doing and why you're doing it

    4. Cut before boost!

    5. Seek and destroy resonant frequencies on all tracks with narrow cuts before starting a mix.

    6. Learning mixing takes much time and frustration.

    7. BUY/READ ERMZ'S SYSTEMATIC MIXING GUIDE ($20) ;)

    8. LISTEN to what the song needs rather than what you were told it would need.


    Sorry for the delay guys! my internet was down for about a week. let this be a tip for you: always pay your internet bills on time. always!
    Iv'e gathered some of the more useful and insightful tips, trying not to delve into the subtleties of what do to but rather how to approach it.

    It seems that the last 2 pages of the thread had drifted away from the point, so put your pity arguments aside and keep firing.
    Try to be less specific about freq. and plug-ins and give guidance rather than preach.
     
  2. Axell Strad

    Axell Strad Member

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    There are many things that seems to be invalid or sort of terrible sounding when you mixing. But month after you don't even notice those parts that seemed terrible.
    So don't fuck your mind too hard for now.
     
  3. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    Recording: Tune your fucking instrument and use new strings, ALWAYS.

    Mixing: When using compression, use it because you have a reason. Nowadays everybody throws compressors everywhere, even if they dont have a clue why.
     
  4. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    USE. YOUR. EARS.

    It's way to easy to get wrapped up in "I don't normally set the attack time this fast" or "this guitar isn't exactly on the grid" or "Ohhhh this plug in is pretty." I do it all the time. Turn off your monitor and just listen to what the track needs. I'm convinced this is a HUGE part of why people thing analog recording is "better," whether they realize it or not - they're making better decisions because they're relying on their ears much more.

    Also,

    Make the initial sound the best it can be. Don't rely on processing to "fix" your guitar sound, tune your vocals, or make your broken cymbals listenable. Get it right going in, and treat processing as a tool, not a crutch.

    These two tips are SO often ignored, but they would have saved me years of smacking my head on the desk in frustration.
     
  5. thefalloftheheretic

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    Get it right at the fucking source.

    Also, go easy on the EQ. You can lose a lot of power through over EQing.
     
  6. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    Get it right at the source.

    This is 90% of the work here, if not more. If you watch studio documentaries of famous albums you'll see that it sounds amazing in the tracking rooms and during the tracking stage in the mix room. Same should go for when you're recording, do a great take through good gear with time and care given to the set up and you'll yield good results.
     
  7. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    Hopefully the message is getting across, ha ha.
     
  8. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    Sound at source.
     
  9. Jaymz

    Jaymz Stymphalian Productions

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  10. if6was9

    if6was9 Ireland

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    It's amazing how much this is ignored though. I see bands using the worst gear with terrible tones dialled in recording and then expecting it to sound like the black album on the other side. It just flat out doesn't work like that
     
  11. He's Dead, Jim

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    How good, though? I'm using a great guitar but a mediocre bass and POD Farm. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I wonder if all my mixes are by definition going to sound same-y and mediocre because "the source" isn't going to improve unless I invest in a new bass/DI box/sims.
     
  12. thefalloftheheretic

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    Okay, thing one: get rid of POD Farm. Like, run. Grab yourself a copy of X50 (it's freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee), it will outdo everything that POD Farm can crank out.

    Thing two: your mixes are always going to be as bad as your weakest link. So if your weak link is the bass, it's most likely going to lack a little something in the low end, even if perfectly tracked.
     
  13. He's Dead, Jim

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    I have a Mac (I'm a grad student and a newbie basement "engineer," and the former takes precedent over the latter haha), so I'm waiting for the OSX port to come out soon. I already have all the LePou sims and I tend to mix them with the POD ones. But I will follow your advice once it exists hahah.
     
  14. thefalloftheheretic

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    Ahh. Le456 is another amazing amp sim, as is LeGion.
     
  15. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    Don't herp the derp.
     
  16. thefalloftheheretic

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    What about herping the derp? :D
     
  17. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. Genius Gone Insane

    Genius Gone Insane http://www.¯\(°_o)/¯.com

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    I have a short tip... huh... huh
     
  19. abt

    abt BT

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    The lion loses no sleep over the opinions of sheep

    If it sounds good it is good
     
  20. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    My favourite from Mixerman..

    "If the mix doesn't somehow, and in someway,annoy someone in the room,the mix likely isn't done."
     

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