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Everything posted by the_nihilist

  1. Quoted for truth. Doing the same mixdown between hosts will give you phase canceling output. What I think happens is that working in one host compared to another just makes you approach the process of mixing differently. For example, I hardly layer, pan and automate in FL, wheras in Cubase I do those things alot because the things are right there on the timeline. Other sequencers should just copy FL's piano roll. Cubase's works well, but it's still nowhere as easy. Where cubase DOES kickass is it's logical editor and other kinds of midi editing functions. Sonar's MIDI editing is pure hell. You can't even do basic stuff like only adjusting the midi velocity of selected notes. Sure, you can (eventually) do most of the things you need to do with midi, but it's sometimes a long and frustrating process. I disagree here. I've always found that cubase has a rather nice bussing system, and if you get clever with your group/fx and send channels, you can route most anything into anything else. It's not obvious at first, but it's there. Reaper probably has the most flexible routing system out there for a non-modular host. And if you really find you NEED complicated routing, an Energy XT liscense is cheap and you get all sorts of awesome stuff with it, like the EXT sampler, a standalone sequencer, a free upgrade to EXT2 and the best arpeggiator ever. EXT doesn't have rewire support.
  2. Oatmeal is lovely, probably one of my favorite synths to use. Getting a different skin for it is essential if you want to be able to program it easily, though. Have you tried: Drawing your own oscillators? Using the chorus as a flanger? Modulating the PWM of the drawn oscs? Playing around with the mod matrix and XY pad? The RANDOM button, which quite possibly makes the best patch names ever concieved?
  3. 1) Listen to some Amon Tobin 2) Realize you will never, ever be as good at programming drums as he is. Not ever. 3) Curl up into a ball and weep.
  4. Look around for good used stuff. Some of the older roland and korg romplers can be had for great prices and have alot of functionality, especially if you're a decent synth programmer. Maybe a Korg XP-30? A roland JD-800 could go far as well. Lots of options.
  5. The Genesis had a 2 Operator FM synth and 1 PCM channel for voice and stuff. Closest thing for the FM sounds would be the free MDA DX10, which is almost dead-on as far as sound goes.
  6. Practice to a metronome. It will be increadibly frustrating for the first few weeks, but it really, really, really makes things easier in the long run.
  7. two things: 1) A book like the drummers cookbook is pretty useful, as it's just a cheap thing that has all sorts of basic rock beats in it. Great in a pinch. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0871668262/002-6072506-9178420?v=glance&n=283155 2) Alot of the groove in a drum beat is in how you play the cymbols. Pay attention to where the open hat is going.
  8. http://members.aol.com/chang8828/contents.htm Found this link quite a long, fascinating, useful read.
  9. I don't see how compression emphasizes dominant frequencies any more than simply turning up a volume knob would emphasize dominant frequencies, as it's just affecting dynamics. Maybe I'm missing something. This just seems a bit misleading. The loudest frequencies will hit the threshold first, this is why you always add EQ after the compressor in your chain when you compress bass.
  10. You can also really compress a drum track in a sub channel, and then submix it back with the main one, giving things a bit of an edge while still retaining most of the dynamics. The trick is compressing hard (around 10db or more of compression), the boosting around 100hz and 10khz on the submix about 6-10db for both. Blend it back in with the uncompressed signal to the point where you can barely hear it. As for whether to compress seperately or whole... it really depends on your preference. If you're trying for room-heavy drum tracks, like say... "When the Levee Breaks", then of course you're going to compress it all as one track (and compress after the reverb you're using, which should be a nice, big, boomy stairwell IR). If you're going for punchy, tight drums, then you'll probably have a little more luck compressing and EQing each individually. Remember, compression will emphasize the dominant frequencies, so you can get away with alot of tone shaping if you add it some EQ before you compress. This can really help sculpt your drum sound to perfection.
  11. Protip: Overcompressed drums are awesome.
  12. Best $50cdn I've ever spent on a music book. It explains in great detail the methods used by recording engineers to make a great sounding mix. It starts off with explanations of basic things, such as arrangement, compression, EQ, and panning. The real nice thing about this is that it doesn't just go over the "how", but it also goes into quite a bit of depth about the "why" behind things. From there, it has a brief chapter on surround mixing, and then interviews with 20 of the best producers in the world. Anyways, the book is a damn good value, and I'm certain it'll improve mixes.
  13. Good mastering compressor settings to start with: Threshold -6.0 Ratio 2:1 Attack around 200ish ms And release about the same Listen for audio that sounds squashed, and adjust to taste. Depending on your preferences, you might want to end up using a compressor that can color things a bit, I find that this can really "glue" a track together. Then just run that into your limiter. The output ceiling should be around -0.3 to avoid clipping. Again, listen for stuff sounding squashed, and try to avoid it.
  14. There's lots of interesting stuff based on these kinds of drum sounds. Antigen Shift, Muslimgauze, Gridlock, Detritus, Stendeck... It's a style that works really well when contrasted against ambient sounding pads, or ethnic instrumentation. EDIT: some clips of a couple of the above-mentioned artists. http://www.5-25.com/gridlock/playlists/formless/return.m3u http://www.adnoiseam.net/label/catalog/51/sounds/detritus-dead_daffodils-excerpt.mp3 http://www.adnoiseam.net/label/catalog/26/sounds/detritus-atone-excerpt.mp3
  15. Okay, I read the brief mastering overview from gamedev.net linked in an earlier post, and I just want to say that it's almost all very bad advice. I'll take it part by part... Wrong. Utterly wrong. Mixing does. Opinionated meaninglessness. Good songs sell, quality has just become cheaper and easier to attain. Tracker music will always be awesome. And the Prodigy used Cubase and a Roland W-30. Liam was a keyboardist, and he played those beats in by hand, dammit! More crap. There are lots of ways to ensure quality sound. Using good samples and synths is a start, but a decent microphone and a quiet room, along with a quality mic pre, is far from impossible to aqquire. NO! You use a formant shifter! And then you get the problem that plagues beginner mixers... way too much reverb on your song. Reverb is a condiment, and this method is like drowning a meal in ketchup. Combine this with any type of mastering compression, and it sounds unbelievably ugly. Turn the reverb off. Mix your stuff dry. Add a tiny little bit of reverb on only the stuff that needs it; you should barely even notice it. Using a compressor on every track can flatten an entire mix. A much better technique is just turning the fader down and EQing a track to taste. I'm mostly of the opinion that compressors should be used to tame peaks and keep volume levels from getting out of hand... Except on drums, where compression is best abused. This whole section is a recipie for phase cancellation problems. If you want "phat stereo effects", pan your instruments. Detune your oscillators. Just about anything will sound better than stereo enhancement. There are tons now, but most of them are pretty useless. Good compressor plugins will do all the work for you in this respect, and harmonic exciters tend to give a very harsh sound to everything. I'd avoid them. These all sound awful. The drums distort on the 2nd mp3. The third one just detuned the osc's on the synth and added delay. The ones titled "premastered" and "postmastered" just add more distortion to the drums, and plainly haven't had any thought behind them. The unfortunate conclusion I have to give you, is that this is all bad advice from someone who doesn't know what they're doing.
  16. Some general tips: Get a quality compressor and EQ. Roll off frequencies not used by instruments. Learn to turn stuff down, things don't need to be as loud as you think. Turn the reverb OFF. Don't be afraid to really carve stuff up with the EQ to make it fit in a mix. Remember to pan stuff. Don't overcompress... except for drums. Ratio's low, threshold a couple db below where it's peaking. And most importantly, use your ears.
  17. Small mixing/mastering pseudo-tutorial. First off, get some decent studio monitors. You're going to be wasting your time if you don't have a pair. Second, find yourself a good set of compressors and EQ's. The ones built into most hosts aren't very good, and there are even some good freeware ones out there. You're also going to need a good hard limiter, like the W1 or BuzzMaxi3. Now, where you probably want to start is with the bass, since it kind of centers the whole song, and in my experience makes everything easier to mix around. Your general setting for every channel is going to be the EQ going into the compressor, so set that up now. With bass, one needs to roll off the sub-bass frequencies that most speaker systems aren't able to produce, so I generally take a high pass filter to around 40 hz, with a steep slope. This keeps things from getting muddy. Next, you have to tweak the upper frequencies of the bass... think around 800hz and 2000hz for this part, and use your ears. It shouldn't take too much adjusting to get things sounding pretty good. So the bass is EQ'd, and now it goes into the compressor. For bass, you don't need to compress very heavily... set your threshold so it's just 3-4 db deep into the peaks, and experiment with a compression ratio of around 3. Attack doesn't have to be too fast, and release can be slow. It helps to think of the waveform an instrument makes when you compress. You don't need as much compression as you think, and relatively low ratio's and thresholds can work wonders. The rest of the song is mixed much like the bass part. Here's a few tips: Keep the faders down, stuff doesn't need to be as loud as you would think at first. Listen to professionally produced albums to get a feel for what I mean. Roll off ALL frequencies an instrument isn't using. This will keep your mix from becoming muddied or cluttered. You can free up a nice amount of space by cutting a few db from an instrument in the 1000-2000hz range. You can't polish a turd. If a part sucks, re-record it, because no amount of engineering is going to save something that's badly recorded. And most importantly use your ears! If it sounds good, pay attention to why. If it doesn't sound good, keep tweaking. Mastering is pretty simple. Just load your limiter up into your master effects chain, and smash everything into it. Tweak things until the clipping isn't too noticable, but it's still loud. Okay, really, mastering isn't that simple. You should never smash things into a limiter. Put your EQ before the limiter, adjust everything so that it sounds peachy. Use the limiter to add a bit of gain, and then adjust to taste. Adjust the EQ and volume of everything that seems out of place from the limiting, and then you're ready to go. You might also want to try putting Colortone Free or something before the limiter to get that PHAT TUBE SIGNAL PATH EMULATION (through convolution no less!), but if you've gone through the effort of EQing every instrument, your mix issues should have pretty much solved themselves and you shouldn't need something like that. Finally, I want to say that there is no "secret" to good mixing and mastering. The difference between a good mix and a bad one is simply down to two things: 1) Turn that goddamn reverb off. 2) Taking the time and effort to compress and EQ every channel carefully. That's it. It's not putting a mastering plug-in on the end of your chain and loading up a preset. It takes time, and it can be frustrating. Keep with it, and eventually you'll be able to develop a feel for things. LINKS: http://www.x-buz.com/Products.html BuzzComp plugin bundle and BuzzMaxi 3. http://www.savioursofsoul.de/Christian/Plugins.htm Posihfopit EQ. http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/ NyquistEQ, MJCompressor. http://www.betabugsaudio.com/plugs.php W1 Limiter (exact clone of waves L1 limiter).
  18. If you use what's included with it, FL is very limited. However, if you expand and augment the capabilities of the sequencer, you get something that's pretty comparable to anything else out there. I would really recommend finding a decent set of compressors and a better EQ than what FL offers, though. Luckily there are quite a few really great free ones availible. Also, there are alot of free instruments out there that are of quite high quality. My main problem with FL is that I find it imposes too much of itself on my workflow. The pattern based workflow makes me want to think in patterns, which results in anything I make with it being a bunch of patterns piled on top of eachother rather than a song.
  19. One thing to note about the ion is that it can take some EQing to sit well in a track.
  20. You might want to hunt down an ESQ-1. It's pretty damn easy to program, has a very nice sound, and you can probably find one for cheap if you look. Also might wanna try hunting down an Akai AX-60, which is very similar to a Juno 106, though the filter has alot more balls.
  21. Screw all the stuff that's been posted in this thread... I'm saving up for one of THESE: http://www.metasonix.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=30&Itemid=61 Listen to that bastard SCREAM.
  22. Man, the SH-201 is ugly. The thing does look like a toy, and it's unfortunate that Roland had to choose that kind of design for it. I'll withold judging it until I hear some sound from the thing, but I really don't see how it's going to be better than your average 2xOsc softsynth with detune. Juno G will suck, you have my word on this. The Juno D was an absolute failiure in every regard, and this looks like it's only a slight improvement. MicroX and X-50's are basically the Triton LE in smaller form, from what I hear. I have to applaud korg for going after the prosumer market like this, although I've never been a fan of the sounds in the Triton line. Still, if the price is right, I think you'll be hearing alot of these sounds in OCR soon enough. I'm pretty excited about the Radias though. It looks like an update to the MS2000, and fixes almost all of the problems (low polyphony, bugs), while adding a hell of alot... Formants, it's own effects section, two filters, the step sequencer, multitimbral. Quite awesome, really. I want to hear what this thing sounds like. EDIT: Price for the Radias sucks though. $1899 US. Pity, Korg should've priced this thing to compete with the ION.
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