making live sound better?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
cryo
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making live sound better?

Post by cryo » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:08 pm

i have been using strictly hardware for years and am new to using just ableton for my tracks...i like the program but i am not satisfied with the rendered files...they tend to sound a little tinny and not warm.. some ppl have suggested i get protools to do my final mixdown...does any one have any suggestions on improving the sound of live(certain fx on the master channel ect.) to get a more warm club/radio friendly sound?....here is some clips of stuff i rendered in live...the tracks are "flip it out" and "let me c u" http://myspace.com/syntonics

thnks...cryo

j2j
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Post by j2j » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:18 pm

What FX do you have on the master channel? This whole, "Live doesn't have good sound quality, is a bloody myth."

What hardware are you using? Maybe your audio card has bad converters. What is your audio card? This is important if you are using external hardware, you really want a nice card.

Myspace has an audio player, that adds even more compression to Mp3 files. Anything listened to on Myspace, is not a good representation of the sound quality, of any studio.

With an RME Fireface, sound quality from, Live, Logic, Cubase, ProTools, on Mac or PC, will all sound the same.

I'd never put FX of any kind on my master channel, unless I was doing mastering. ( That is personal preference, lots of folks use bus compression. )

Most production problems, imho, are rooted in learning, practice, and imagination.

Very few production problems, imho, relate to the tools of the trade. You still want to be using nice tools. Good plug ins, are essential.

A proper room, card, and monitors, will help a well learned engineer/producer, rival the sound quality of any million dollar studio.
Last edited by j2j on Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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sweetjesus
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Re: making live sound better?

Post by sweetjesus » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:18 pm

cryo wrote:i have been using strictly hardware for years and am new to using just ableton for my tracks...i like the program but i am not satisfied with the rendered files...they tend to sound a little tinny and not warm.. some ppl have suggested i get protools to do my final mixdown...does any one have any suggestions on improving the sound of live(certain fx on the master channel ect.) to get a more warm club/radio friendly sound?....here is some clips of stuff i rendered in live...the tracks are "flip it out" and "let me c u" http://myspace.com/syntonics

thnks...cryo
hi mate
cant check out ur track just yet, but heres some suggestions. . .

1) dont use built in Live FX. . . the Live devices are designed to be low latency solutions and suitable for live performance as a first priority.

Waves/Sonnox/etc for EQs/dynamics/Reverbs/limiter will go a long way in making a bigger sound

2) Sub channels for mixing. Only very recently I've been getting massive projects and subbing them down to 6 or so channels (drums/synths/bass/vox/fx) and then doing a final balance and it seems to have a much better net result for the mixdown.

Also use a nice buss compressor + limiter on ur master channel.

UKRuss
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Post by UKRuss » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:28 pm

Nice bass sounds mate.

They definitely need some mixing and mastering, seems to be a lack of compression bringing all the items together. Some elements make you grab youR phones off you ears and yet the bass isn't deep or loud enough and the kick disappears.

I think it just needs better mixing and masterin IMO, no offence meant.

Tracks themselves are great btw, nice old school feel to them. Love it! :D

Chang
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Re: making live sound better?

Post by Chang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:35 pm

cryo wrote:i have been using strictly hardware for years and am new to using just ableton for my tracks...i like the program but i am not satisfied with the rendered files...they tend to sound a little tinny and not warm.. some ppl have suggested i get protools to do my final mixdown...does any one have any suggestions on improving the sound of live(certain fx on the master channel ect.) to get a more warm club/radio friendly sound?....here is some clips of stuff i rendered in live...the tracks are "flip it out" and "let me c u" http://myspace.com/syntonics

thnks...cryo

As with any DAW, your final song will only be as good as plugs you have and knowledge of mixing. If you are a hardware person as you say you'll notice Lives stock plugin are far from sounding like hardware. As for protools doing the job, this is true because of proper high quality tdm plugins it uses. In the past protools held music industry at ransom by not being able to get good high end plugins without buying way overpriced protools hardware. This isn't true anymore. There are many solutions out there that will warm you sound like you want and make great mix just as good as protools in Live.

Look into high quality plugins from companies like URS, SSL Duende, Tritone digitals Hydratone eq and the rest of their line, UAD, Magix analogue modelling suite, Sony Oxford. Start looking into some of that and post same question at a forum like gearslutz for more information. http://www.gearslutz.com/board/

Moody
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Post by Moody » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:13 am

Does it sound good when you are mixing it?
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cryo
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Post by cryo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:23 am

j2j wrote:What FX do you have on the master channel? This whole, "Live doesn't have good sound quality, is a bloody myth.".

i use a live compressor on the master channel....

so what i am gathering here is don't use a built in live compressor ...get a good plug in compressor or eq to warm up the sound? if so whats the best?

as for my sound card i have a m audio firewire 410...currently i tend to only record the vocals into my sound card but before that i track vocals with a alesis hd24 and run that thru a makie vlz 1642 mixer which i then route into my sound card after the vocals are tracked and finished....is the fire wire 410 shit?

Chang
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Post by Chang » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:38 am

cryo wrote:
j2j wrote:What FX do you have on the master channel? This whole, "Live doesn't have good sound quality, is a bloody myth.".

i use a live compressor on the master channel....

so what i am gathering here is don't use a built in live compressor ...get a good plug in compressor or eq to warm up the sound? if so whats the best?
Theres your problem right there. Take that off master channel.

I already list some of the best plugins & companies who make them up above in my other post. If its warmth warmth you want than you cannot go wrong with tritone Hydratone and tritone colortone pro. Colortone pro can make your material sound warmer than tape itself by over exaggeration. Try demo, read manual.





http://www.tritonedigital.com/product_i ... ucts_id=32




.

mdk
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Post by mdk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:41 am

i wouldnt worry about spending money on fancy plugs, to me it sounds like you just need to do some eq'ing and sort out the levels.

probably some compression here and there, but the compressor in live is fine.

if you do think that spending money on something for 'warmth' is going to help then just get PSP Vintage Warmer.

but I would focus on the mix first, i reckon all the vocal stuff is too loud so there is no room for the rest of the track to drive the song along. also it seems like the beats and synths are totally mono but the vocals are often wide stereo. that also makes it sound flat, like the core of the track is contained in the tiny space and totally dominated by the vocals.

i reckon try that first.

eq
levels
sound staging (using the stereo space)
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mdk
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Post by mdk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:42 am

and like chang said, take the compressor off the master.

fix the mix, dont mess with the master :)
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j2j
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Post by j2j » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:58 am

i use a live compressor on the master channel....
I'm going to quickly reiterate what Chang has said, and add my own: "I really wouldn't use compressor on your master channel, while you are rendering a mix." This is like a MAC vs PC argument though, with many who will be for it, and many who will be against it.
live compressor
Live's compressor isn't bad at all. Actually, its quite good. As for eq... I don't think the purpose of EQ is to warm a sound. Although, the UAD Pultec Emulation, and some URS, and Metric Labs products come to mind.

Still, I don't think your specific problems can be solved by, "trying to warm with EQ and or compression.

as for my sound card i have a m audio firewire 410...currently i tend to only record the vocals into my sound card but before that i track vocals with a alesis hd24 and run that thru a makie vlz 1642 mixer which i then route into my sound card after the vocals are tracked and finished....is the fire wire 410 shit?
I'm sorry, but I've got mackie and maudio crap all over my apt, and I've not good things to say about those companies.

Alesis isn't bad though. I've used some of their stuff in studios, they are making better than average gear.

As far as budget concerns go. I wouldn't worry about replacing any gear in your studio right now.

You're myspace takes some time to load, btw, even on a highspeed connect. I see you seem to be all over BeatPort and Trackitdown, I suppose you must be doing something right.

Anyways, I wouldn't worry about Live's sound quality. Its possible what is tripping you up, is the fact that you are new to Live and all....

Cheers Mate
Last edited by j2j on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:03 am

Live 7's compressor is actually very good. The key to using any compressor though, on a track or a master buss, is to know exactly HOW to use it and WHY you're using it!! The correct settings and threshold and attack and release and ratio are extremely important if compressing the master buss and you want to go light, only 2-3 dB MAX compression or you will squeeze the life out of the mix.

Many people do throw some light compression on the master buss a la SSL console style. I personally use the Sonalksis SV315 mkII compressor to do this if I am going this route, but you could use Live's compressor so long as you set it up correctly. Although generally speaking, you want to be very careful about compressing the master buss and if you are having your project mastered, leave it off the version sent for mastering (you could make a mix with buss compression on for clients or for a demo that is louder than a regular mix).

Unless you're recording a lot of miced up instruments and vocals, the FW410 is a reasonable enough card for most applications - I don't personally like it and it's s/n ratios and converters are not as good as MOTU or RME, but still, you should be able to get a reasonable result so long as your mix is good.
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Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:11 am


cryo
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Post by cryo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:38 am

thank you all for your advice....

as for eqs, one thing i notice about live is that there is no eqs built in to the live mixer....i currently don't really use any eqs in live...do you suggest inserting lives eqs on to each channel separately where needed or putting an eq on the master track?most of you have said leave the master channel without fx.... also, of all the eqing fx in live which do you guys feel are the best to use? from what i can see there is 2 folders for eq fx- Eq Eight & Eq Three...i have not been using any of those eqs cus they seem different then what i am used to on hardware mixers....any specific general eqs in live that you suggest?

j2j
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Post by j2j » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:45 am

Is that your music on Beatport? Did you produce that stuff?


Also, Live has a ton of fx, there are two EQ's. EQ 8, and EQ 3... One is a track eq, the other is dj style...

Maybe scope the manual a little bit...

Cheers
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