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ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

This is the place to discuss production techniques, hints and tips. Software related questions about Ableton, Reason, Cubase, Pro-Tools, Logic Audio Pro, FruityLoops, Acid. We also cover questions on hardware issues, soundcards, latency, discuss it all here. Oh, not forgetting vsti and plugins.

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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby transc3nd on Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:06 pm

Injekt wrote:Any tips on getting rid of interference from instrumentals in the mid range and get them to come through clearer? (i.e. between a synth and a piano) Any EQing techniques you would recommend? Also any tips for filling up more space in my mix if it's a bit empty?


Heya Injekt. I'm not sure I fully understand the context of your question... are you saying you've made your own instrumentals, and are having some problems balancing the midrange instruments?

Re your second question, that's a really good q. As I mentioned in a previous reply, it is soooo tempting to just keep filling up your mix with sounds. I used to spend almost as much time producing tracks as I did removing them at the end! As what you've made is an instrum, am I right to assume it's going to have some form of lyrical content in the future? If that's the case and your mix feels 'a bit empty', then good! I would make that decision of whether or not it needs an extra element after you put the vocal in. If however it's supposed to stay instrum, I would listen to the mix, if I couldn't 'feel' where the emptyness was, I'd use something like Voxengo Span (which is free and incredible) to see if there were any weak areas. The next thing you should do imo, is think very carefully (or google if you're stuck) about what instruments naturally occupy that range and use something on that tip. Otherwise, you could think "hmmm mix feels a bit empty, I'll whack this sound in see how it goes, yeah I like the new sound" and actually you've just cluttered your mix, taking attention away from another elemenent that occupies the same or similar frequencies.

Good luck, and let me know when you get a min what you meant in your first q.
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby transc3nd on Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:16 pm

Melantemusic wrote:How do I get the greatest possible dynamics in my productions?


Greetings Melante.

I like you, I like you a lot. It's very rare to see amongst the gazillions of clamours for loudness, bigger, louder, phatter, bassier etc, someone wanting more dynamics! I find myself continually having to redo masters for people because "it feels a bit quieter than other tracks", people genuinely make me destroy their hard work by smashing the granny out of it (because apparently no-one these days is capable of operating a volume control on their mixer haha).

In an earlier question, someone asked a limiter question, and I replied saying that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. So, the first thing you can do to increase dynamics in your track? Stop limiting 'just because'. Or to 'save a db of headroom'. I recently had the good fortune to view a project file from a top trance producer. Guess what? He didn't use ANY limiters. And guess what x2? His tracks sound amazing. He of course used a limiter to master. Back in the FL days, I would put a compressor and limiter on every. Single. Channel. lol. When people asked me why, I would just say "because you compress stuff, that's what you do". I had no idea why I was actually doing these things. The day I turned them all off (as I'd run out of processor) was the day I went "WOW".

Since then I kinda went back to using limiters a lot, especially when I found some very transparent ones. Ultimately though you're still trading dynamics for loudness.

So on that tip, if you are trying to write music that is commercialised in any way, then you need to be very careful that your track doesn't have too little dynamics. Everyone does have a vol control on their stereo / mixer, but if you have to crank something to 11 to get it to sound halfway loud then that's as bad a problem as having it overloud imo. But you can ensure your tracks stand out from the crowd simply by not smashing the life out of everything with compressors and limiters. If you have to compress, do it gently and using Cytomic The Glue (if you know of another compressor that does its job of correcting peaks without any colouring, please let me know!). If you have to limit, do it gently and using A.O.M Invisible Limiter. To that end though, of the last 5 trance tracks I wrote, I used zero limiting in the mix (just for master). Applying across other styles I write, while I'm finding I do need to use limiting occasionally, again it's very sparing.

It would actually be really helpful to know what style(s) you're trying to write!
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby AdvisoryRequired on Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:05 pm

Alright iv got one. How on Fl studio 10, do you record with a microphone do you need a built in mic on your computer or do you have go to a store and get one there? cause im trying to add my own vocals in with the songs i create but i haven't really been able to get that far.
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby transc3nd on Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:22 pm

My spidey-sense is telling me this isn't a serious question. How else would you get your vocals into your track, via the power of thought?!

On the off chance you genuinely have no idea how to get your vocals into your track, if that's the case I'm guessing you are quite a new FL user. Unless you're using a newish laptop you won't have an 'inbuilt mic'. Once you get a mic you'll then need a decent soundcard to record it with, otherwise you'll get a crap recording. The instruction manual for FL 10 will tell you how to setup a channel for recording.

In the meantime if you want to add spoken / cool-sounding / robot vocals, the voice synth in FL is pretty sweet.
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Listen and critique

Postby mrhughes229 on Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:40 am

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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby gary.balian.31 on Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:15 am

transc3nd
hi my name is Gary i am new to this, any kind of help or tutorial will be helpfull, i am trying to create music but am having a hard time on understanding what i am doing, i am using fl studio, i know music and i do basic mixing, i ment re-mixing, but never created music from scrach, now my ain thing is to seporate music from vocals, (kids put me up to it for their school thiingi, but idk how to do that) i like some kind of help pls, i can basically create few notes and stuff on fl studio, but i am a noob plz hel
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby nothinup on Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:20 am

heres a question. I want to remix a song, and a lot of people told me to go here. but I am getting real frustrated with the search. I search just about anything dubstep, house (e.t.c) related and nothing has ever shown up. NOTHING. I searched skrillix and I got nothing. is this a bug or does this site not have very much on it? or am I searching in the wrong place? cause I have searched on both forums and the acapella menus themselves. :smt013 :smt013 :smt013 thanks for reading
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby twodimpact on Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:44 am

any help I am after an acapella of 'PRINCE' 'WHEN DOVES CRY'
Thanks
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby johanisu on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:35 pm

Any tips on how to send vocals "to the back" sonically speaking in a mix
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby transc3nd on Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:19 pm

johanisu wrote:Any tips on how to send vocals "to the back" sonically speaking in a mix


Heya johanisu.

Can I ask, what are you trying to achieve by sending vocals 'to the back'? Are you finding that vocals are making your master dip as you're struggling to get them heard, without overpowering the mix?

There's a whole gaggle of techniques for vocals, for achieving different objectives. Here's a few things that either bring forward, or put back elements...

1) Reverb. The less delay / reverb you put on your vocals, the more 'forward' they will appear. If you already have a hall verb on the vox, try adding a subtle room-length verb via send. Sometimes putting reverb on as an insert can have a 'calming' or dulling effect on a sound so it's worth trying this both as insert and send

2) use the haas effect to alter the perceived spacing, see here for an excellent guide on what that is and how to use it: http://mixcoach.com/creating-depth-the-haas-effect-2

3) If it's particular sections that you want to do this for, look at the other elements playing at the same time (eg mid- and high-end occupying instruments such as strings, synths, pianos etc), use something like voxengo span (it's free) to note each elements' respective dominant freq ranges, and automate an eq to dip the vocal subtly in those regions.

Hope this helps :)
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby Danos256 on Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:21 pm

transc3nd wrote:
gloombot wrote:How do you usually go about structuring a track initially? Or rather; what's your process for initially creating a track? What do you use as the "foundation"?

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, it's been a long day.


Your question makes perfect sense!

This probably isn't going to be the answer you want, but for me, there's no real set process. Sometimes I start with a main melody; in this instance I'd make a killer melody, then build all the kicks / bass / percussion under it, then work backwards from there making the breakdown, and then maybe go all the way back to the bassdrop, build up the intro from there and fit it all together.
Sometimes I start the opposite way; ie from the kick, build the bass, then percussion, then intro, then main riff. Almost always though I make the main melody BEFORE the breakdown. The reason for this is; it's all too easy to make an out-there chord sequence that you think is the mutts nuts, only to find out that the amazing bass you've made on the intro sounds utter pants when being pitched up and down onto other notes away from the root. So by making the main melo and ensuring it works with your bassline, you're saving yourself a lot of potential ballache and even worse the old classic of "I can't get it to work, I'll move on to a new track for now until I figure it out" and of course the uncomplete track sits there gathering digital dust.

A few things to think about when starting your track;

- I prefer to have the vocal (whether it's a one-shot, spoken movie dialogue or sung vocal) ready to roll before the project, although obviously that's not possible sometimes. It's a very good idea to have a clear idea from the start what key you are working in, so you can tune the kick drum to the root note of your track. Otherwise you run the risk of having to repitch everything you've already made to suit the amazing vocal you've found. I'd rather spend 3 hours searching for a decent vocal than spend 6 hours shoe-horning one in to a track it wasn't designed for. However there have been those occasional "haha" moments when a (seemingly) randomly selected vocal just slots perfectly into place!
- having a track template is an AWESOME idea. Let me explain; I don't mean use the same kick bass and perc in every track! However if you think about it, everytime you start a new track you will have a channel for crash cymbal; channels for kick; channels for perc, fx, bass, synths, snares, endless channels. It's a fantastic idea to create a template with all your channels linked to the relevant mixer channels, all named, coloured and organised in a manner which is pleasing to the eye and which you can look at 'at a glance' and know where you are in the inevitable huge amount of tracks you'll end up with writing most dance music styles. You'll also tend to settle on a 'go-to' reverb for your main send reverb, I try to use the most powerful (in terms of cpu) reverb I can handle for my main reverb as if many things are being bussed to it, you want them all to sound as good as poss. So you can see that by setting up a template in this manner you're saving yourself from having to do mundane repetitive tasks evyer damn time you start a track! Thereby freeing up more time to be creative and concentrate on the fun (hopefully) part... the music!

If anything I've said doesn't make sense (I too have had a long weekend haha) feel free to hit me up for clarification.


Pretty much this for me too :)
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby SPEEDAN on Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:57 pm

Hi!

First of all thank you for taking time to help us not so experienced producers!:)
I have a question about layering, I have watched alot of guides on youtube and searched on forums etc but I am still having some issues on how much layers I should have to fill frequencies and making the song sound wide.
Any specifik plugin aswell?
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Re: ASK ME ANYTHING (production related)

Postby gloombot on Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:27 am

Totally forgot about this site for a while. Cool to see this thread getting posts after so long even, it's an absolute goldmine. Thanks transc3nd!
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