Helpful ReplyHot!Production Thread (for old men)

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fonik
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/18 18:19:36 (permalink)
Stamina MC
https://outro.io/

Apparently these lot have a million sounds available for DL on their site, half of which are at no cost and royalty-free. I've not had a proper fish around as yet, but might be of interest to ye olde men here...




noice
MalcolmTucker
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/18 20:13:31 (permalink)
fonik
mixdowns - talk to me
 
basically i have no f-ing idea what im doing here. making a house tune atm and got the tune itself finished but trying to give it that bit of spit and polish it needs but still cant get it sounding that good. eqing bits and pieces, lp/hp filtering bits etc etc but still v muddy and not very 'defined'
 
bearing in mind in not using any of the 'normal' daws, does anyone have any broad tips/advice for this? also wondering how much a good mastering engineer can rescue a shit mixdown? kind of tempted to get this tune mastered just to see what can be done...



I recommend the fabfilter range. I use Pro-L, Pro-MB and Pro-Q2 (also use Saturn but that's for processing). Ultimately the most important thing about mixdowns is using sounds that are good to begin with, when you're writing a track, be happy with every element you have before you move on - no mastering engineer will magically make a muddy tune sound polished - there's only so much you can do with a master.
Stamina MC
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/18 22:34:51 (permalink)
^ Well, that's not entirely true. Sounds that are 'good' in the contemporary sense — bright/full frequency, clear transients, even levels etc — can still sound like arse in a mix/tune without due attention paid to things like balance, purpose and context. Those are the things that (in my view) tools like EQ, reverb, delays et al are used to convey, when in good hands. So in one aspect the FF plugs are a good call from a quality and functionality standpoint, while on another, two of the three names you mentioned will likely do more harm than good without thoughtful application; limiting and multi-band compression can make a good mix that bit better, or turn an otherwise good one to shit, but a good mix can be gotten without their involvement at all.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's about good judgement more than it is good choices, as great work has been done with awful materials, and vice versa. But experience is way more useful than tools to that end, and practice trumps theory.
dazdsb
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/18 23:00:15 (permalink)
I made this about 5 years ago and my mate got it cut to acetate and played it out a few times. Not my favourite tune but he always really liked it. It sounded nice when he played it on an F1 rig at a local night. 
 
This was ripped from the Acetate. 
 

 
 
MalcolmTucker
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/18 23:45:51 (permalink)
I think you've misunderstood me. What I meant was getting a sound right before moving on - that involves processing or balance, purpose and context as you put it. I think people separate the idea of writing a tune and mixing it down too much - if you're not happy with how something is sounding but leave it and think you can solve the problem later in the magical mixdown stage at the end then you're going to run into troubles.
 
And I was just recommending the plug-ins - I wasn't saying that you can't make a good mix without them. It's all very good giving vague advice which could be applied to any technical vocation, but to gain experience you need the tools to practise on and the FF stuff is the cleanest out there - they're not going to automatically solve all your problems, there isn't some magic plug-in that can sort your mix for you (although neutron's track assistance algorithym is attempting to), it's how you apply it, obviously.
dazdsb
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/18 23:50:08 (permalink)
Can vouch for FabFilter - that whole plug-in suite is fucking awesome. 
Stamina MC
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 00:10:04 (permalink)
MalcolmTucker
I think you've misunderstood me. What I meant was getting a sound right before moving on - that involves processing or balance, purpose and context as you put it. I think people separate the idea of writing a tune and mixing it down too much - if you're not happy with how something is sounding but leave it and think you can solve the problem later in the magical mixdown stage at the end then you're going to run into troubles.
 
And I was just recommending the plug-ins - I wasn't saying that you can't make a good mix without them. It's all very good giving vague advice which could be applied to any technical vocation, but to gain experience you need the tools to practise on and the FF stuff is the cleanest out there - they're not going to automatically solve all your problems, there isn't some magic plug-in that can sort your mix for you (although neutron's track assistance algorithym is attempting to), it's how you apply it, obviously.




If I have, I'm not seeing that I have quite yet, as even that statement about "getting a sound right before moving on" is curious to me. Moving on to what exactly? Rather than guess what you might mean, I'll just ask...

Not to be contrary, but I think people link the idea of writing a tune and mixing it down far too much, the result oft being sub-standard results in both departments. Not being happy with how something sounds and not being able to fix it at the "magical mixdown stage" might still be a great track that sounds awful. I'd still encourage that way more than kicks and snares chosen 'cos they peak at specific frequencies, everything musical tuned to F, drenched in L3 and considered a done deal.

I know you didn't say a good mix couldn't be made without the FF plugs, but only now have you said why you recommended them, which was a fairly large omission, I'd say... though to the untrained ear the concept of 'cleanliness' is just another abstract term to get one's head around, moreover a clean mix ≠ a good mix, in any case. So if intuitiveness and ease of use (which FF 100% has in abundance, granted) is of no greater aid to someone unable to differentiate between all those countless tools that do (much the) same job, it's all for nowt... so the FF tools might be better in sound and/or operability than whatever's getting used now, but if the user appreciates/recognises neither of those things there's little point in acting upon the recommendation, IMO. Again, experience is way more useful than tools.



MalcolmTucker
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 00:43:12 (permalink)
Stamina MC
 
If I have, I'm not seeing that I have quite yet, as even that statement about "getting a sound right before moving on" is curious to me. Moving on to what exactly? Rather than guess what you might mean, I'll just ask...

 
I just mean that if there's some issue, let's say you're writing bass but the kick is clashing and it's sounding muddy - don't neglect it and start working on a new synth or whatever and hope you can fix it later. EQ, automate, sidechain it or whatever before you move on.
 

I know you didn't say a good mix couldn't be made without the FF plugs, but only now have you said why you recommended them, which was a fairly large omission, I'd say... though to the untrained ear the concept of 'cleanliness' is just another abstract term to get one's head around, moreover a clean mix ≠ a good mix, in any case. So intuitiveness and ease of use (which FF 100% has in abundance, granted) would be of greater aid to anyone for whom the difference between all those countless tools that do (much the) same job changes nothing... so the FF tools might be better in sound and/or operability than whatever's getting used now, but if the user appreciates/recognises neither of those things there's little point in acting upon the recommendation, IMO. Again, experience is way more useful than tools.




By cleanest - I mean it is the smoothest and performs with less artifacts than other compressors/limiters.
 
Ultimately I agree with what you're saying, I've always subscribed to the idea that it's not the tools but how you use them. I don't really know what you've taken issue with really - I think everyone knows that practise is the most important part of any craft but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't recommend anything.
post edited by MalcolmTucker - 2017/05/19 01:02:29
Stamina MC
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 01:39:42 (permalink)
MalcolmTucker
 
I just mean that if there's some issue, let's say you're writing bass but the kick is clashing and it's sounding muddy - don't neglect it and start working on a new synth or whatever and hope you can fix it later. EQ, automate, sidechain it or whatever before you move on.

 
Okay, but firstly that situation described could matter a great deal or not at all — some of the greatest tunes this genre has ever had are a litany of "donts" by today's technical standards; even if science says 'it's wrong', art might say 'it's right'. In most aspects of life I reckon it's good to know the rules so as to be able to choose to break them rather than do so unwittingly, but discerning advice and good practice from dogma doesn't get much easier as one learns more about all this stuff. Next, what's even so wrong about leaving it until later? What if said producer doesn't know how to automate, side-chain or whatever? Or even that they need to, that it's a viable solution, an option open to them etc? And now they have to swap their producer hat for an engineer hat just for a kick drum... how many times will that happen before the track gets finished? Doesn't sound very conducive to vibes and creativity to me.

By cleanest - I mean it is the smoothest and performs with less artifacts than other compressors/limiters.
 
Ultimately I agree with what you're saying, I've always subscribed to the idea that it's not the tools but how you use them. I don't really know what you've taken issue with really - I think everyone knows that practise is the most important part of any craft but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't recommend anything.


This is why I said "to the untrained ear" — I knew what you meant by 'cleanest', but it's not a given that everyone will, let alone whether it'll make a difference (positive or otherwise) to what they specifically need to do with those tools.
 
I guess I've taken issue with the recommendation of things based on factors that don't much apply to the person seeking advice? If, for example, someone tells me they wanna start making music and need DAW suggestions, if I don't just tell 'em to pick whichever is within budget/looks most appealing etc (because these days it really doesn't matter which), I'd likely say to get whatever most people they know already use, so they're most likely to get answers to the inevitable questions that'll arise once they get started on it all. So to someone wanting to improve their mixes I'd (try to) give suggestions about critical listening, referencing, basic audio principles... stuff that can be taken in and used without a single extra tool being sought out, since better understanding the existing tools will help more than acquisition of yet more tools. Not all software is free — FF sure ain't — and not everyone can get it for free besides that. I wouldn't want anyone to think their progress is incumbent on tools.
fonik
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 08:42:31 (permalink)
dazdsb
I made this about 5 years ago and my mate got it cut to acetate and played it out a few times. Not my favourite tune but he always really liked it. It sounded nice when he played it on an F1 rig at a local night. 
 
This was ripped from the Acetate. 
 

 




 
this is cool man. loving the drums, mala-esque!
Nearly 50 FFS
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 09:30:09 (permalink)
^^ Interesting stuff above. 
 
My tuppence-worth - try not to overthink it, as with all creative endeavours. If you're happy adding a new layer, drums, bass, synth, vocal whatever - and you mute everything except where the freqs may clash - and eq etc as you are adding the layer, that's all good - using your ears primarily.
 
Also, if you prefer to get the blocks into the sequencer first, and get the mixdown the way you like it afterward, that's good too - either way, ideally you need to get to the stage where it becomes automatic imo, like driving a car - you just get it done without thinking almost. 
 
The more you have to think about it, the harder it is to enjoy the process/let go of the 'logical' part of the brain/let the creative juices flowing imo.
 
Also - as mentioned above, practice makes perfect - like in most things, getting ideas down are way more important in the early days, giving yourself confidence in actually finishing a tune that you like the sound of. 
 
No need to beat yourself up cos it doesn't sound a 'pro' as you'd like, that will come in time if you keep at at.
 
 
dazdsb
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 09:41:24 (permalink)
fonik
dazdsb
I made this about 5 years ago and my mate got it cut to acetate and played it out a few times. Not my favourite tune but he always really liked it. It sounded nice when he played it on an F1 rig at a local night. 
 
This was ripped from the Acetate. 
 

 




 
this is cool man. loving the drums, mala-esque!




Thanks man, appreciate it. 
MalcolmTucker
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 12:09:05 (permalink)
Stamina MC
Okay, but firstly that situation described could matter a great deal or not at all — some of the greatest tunes this genre has ever had are a litany of "donts" by today's technical standards; even if science says 'it's wrong', art might say 'it's right'. In most aspects of life I reckon it's good to know the rules so as to be able to choose to break them rather than do so unwittingly, but discerning advice and good practice from dogma doesn't get much easier as one learns more about all this stuff. Next, what's even so wrong about leaving it until later? What if said producer doesn't know how to automate, side-chain or whatever? Or even that they need to, that it's a viable solution, an option open to them etc? And now they have to swap their producer hat for an engineer hat just for a kick drum... how many times will that happen before the track gets finished? Doesn't sound very conducive to vibes and creativity to me.

 
Well obviously if someone doesn't think it's a problem then they should leave it. If they do think it's a problem then it's a lot easier to amend at the time the problem occurs, when there are less elements in the mix so you can pinpoint what's causing the problem(s) and it won't affect anything else.
 
The person I was originally advising was talking about getting a mastering engineer on his track, so my advice was bespoke to him - for a very beginner, or someone who is just doing it for fun, I agree that the most important thing is to finish a track (the hardest part for any producer no matter what level). A good bit of advice that helps workflow is to have a template project file - I have 18 channels all assigned to a particular particular element (13 is snare, 3 is shallow reverb, 4 is >150hz etc).


I guess I've taken issue with the recommendation of things based on factors that don't much apply to the person seeking advice? If, for example, someone tells me they wanna start making music and need DAW suggestions, if I don't just tell 'em to pick whichever is within budget/looks most appealing etc (because these days it really doesn't matter which), I'd likely say to get whatever most people they know already use, so they're most likely to get answers to the inevitable questions that'll arise once they get started on it all. So to someone wanting to improve their mixes I'd (try to) give suggestions about critical listening, referencing, basic audio principles... stuff that can be taken in and used without a single extra tool being sought out, since better understanding the existing tools will help more than acquisition of yet more tools. Not all software is free — FF sure ain't — and not everyone can get it for free besides that. I wouldn't want anyone to think their progress is incumbent on tools.

 
Yeah I agree with all that, but once you've understood the principles then I recommend the FF range - you can still make a great mix without them (or any third-party plug-ins, all DAWs have decent native plug-ins nowadays) but they are the best out there for my money.
darkmatter
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 12:37:18 (permalink)
You're all talking rubbish. What you need is a little boost at 80hz, little boost at 2.2khz and a touch taken out at 300hz.

Nearly 50 FFS
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 12:39:18 (permalink)
darkmatter
You're all talking rubbish. What you need is a little boost at 80hz, little boost at 2.2khz and a touch taken out at 300hz.


That's for neuro, 40hz for jungle.
Geordie007
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 12:42:09 (permalink)
Ive opened the wrong thread
Sheriff Lobo
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 15:01:19 (permalink)
I once got a free copy of CuBase, opened it, had a quick look at all the menus and after staring at it blankly for a few minutes, I decided that it all looked too much of a ballache.
 
The last couple of pages have confirmed that was probably the best decision I ever made. 
 
Big up to all the bedroom producers, it sounds like a right bastard.
Nearly 50 FFS
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 15:16:06 (permalink)
Isn't Cubase a bit like Quark for designers though, a bit ol skool? There are loads more up to date, recent things that are more user friendly, intuitive and so on.
Sheriff Lobo
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 15:43:25 (permalink)
_binar_
Isn't Cubase a bit like Quark for designers though, a bit ol skool? There are loads more up to date, recent things that are more user friendly, intuitive and so on.




Yeah, my 10 minute glance at CuBase was about 10 years ago tbf.
 
I have been thinking about having another crack tho (not right now, Little Lobo is only 11 months and still a time consuming little bugger). Once I have a bit more money (and time) I may chance my arm at Ableton ... although you lot are doing a pretty good job of putting me off all together 
 
 
Nearly 50 FFS
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 15:54:12 (permalink)
Sheriff Lobo
you lot are doing a pretty good job of putting me off all together 
 

 
That's the best way mate, once you have kids the rest of your life is over, your Mrs should have made that plain by now.
 
MalcolmTucker
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 16:09:30 (permalink)
I think the technical nomenclature puts people off a bit - I can reel off loads of technical spiel and theory but usually the best results are just by tweaking knobs and experimenting with different things without a precise theory behind them - the key is to use your ears and if it sounds good, it is good.
 
There's so many tutorials on youtube - people offering private lessons for peanuts, that if you want to learn up on stuff there really is no excuse. It's daunting to begin with but it gets easier, the first track you make will definitely be the hardest.
 
 
Law
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 16:23:01 (permalink)
Ableton just launched a new site aimed at complete novices
 
https://learningmusic.ableton.com/ 
Stamina MC
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/19 17:04:48 (permalink)
Malcolm, you're not getting what I'm saying at this point, but since I'm guilty of trying so hard to address everything in the response that I lose the overall thread, I'm-a close on this — if we go back to what was said first:
 
MalcolmTucker
fonik
mixdowns - talk to me
 
basically i have no f-ing idea what im doing here. making a house tune atm and got the tune itself finished but trying to give it that bit of spit and polish it needs but still cant get it sounding that good. eqing bits and pieces, lp/hp filtering bits etc etc but still v muddy and not very 'defined'
 
bearing in mind in not using any of the 'normal' daws, does anyone have any broad tips/advice for this? also wondering how much a good mastering engineer can rescue a shit mixdown? kind of tempted to get this tune mastered just to see what can be done...


I recommend the fabfilter range. I use Pro-L, Pro-MB and Pro-Q2 (also use Saturn but that's for processing). Ultimately the most important thing about mixdowns is using sounds that are good to begin with, when you're writing a track, be happy with every element you have before you move on - no mastering engineer will magically make a muddy tune sound polished - there's only so much you can do with a master.


...a man asked for mixdown advice, said he had no idea what he's doing, wanted broad tips/advice. You offered up the name of a plugin manufacturer you like and touched upon what you do with a few of them. At what point do you think you answered any of the actual question(s) asked? A man that has "no idea what he's doing" should go get more plugins, maybe even spend money on them, according to you? I swear that's the least helpful slash most off-topic response anyone coulda given — not turning a channel down 3dB or failing to boost/notch at, say, 6K (from having no inkling to do so) is gonna result in a less-than-ideal mix, whether via stock plugs or FF ones.

If you can't see the fuck up now then I worry for you, ta raas.
fonik
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/23 15:25:37 (permalink)
edit. nm actually
post edited by fonik - 2017/05/23 19:59:07
Instinkt
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Re: Production Thread (for old men) 2017/05/25 22:49:05 (permalink)
Optical surprised me quite abit in his talk. He hate’s EQ’s, plugin EQ’s used positively destroy your signal, compressors are all bollox, inconsistent... just draw in the volume automation instead etc etc… 
 
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