why does my stuff sound under-produced?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Jan Holm
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Post by Jan Holm » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:03 pm

May i suggest listening to some work of Trentemoller.
When it comes to sound and mix he's the guy at the
moment. He can really add interest to the most simplistic
sounds.

http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/120 ... entemoller

All his stuff is good, but as a mix reference, Physical Fraction is
the bomb.

markaugust
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Post by markaugust » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:14 pm

Jan Holm wrote:May i suggest listening to some work of Trentemoller.
When it comes to sound and mix he's the guy at the
moment. He can really add interest to the most simplistic
sounds.

http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/120 ... entemoller

All his stuff is good, but as a mix reference, Physical Fraction is
the bomb.
hehe.... yes that sort of contains the whole discussion
just listen to trentemoller.
totally agree.
allthough mixingwise i'd have a listen to "chameleon" and "polar shift" as well

pulsoc
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Post by pulsoc » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:31 pm

Get a copy of Mix magazine or something so you don't have to try to decipher which dude on the forum actually knows anything.

However, I agree with kuschners assessment. Whether right or not, dunno, but it is how I have learned to work. Of course, that advice is a baseline for a "standard" sound, experimental work can move you away from it.



Will

snowtires
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Re: why does my stuff sound under-produced?

Post by snowtires » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:55 pm

radiance wrote:Hello

When I listen to techno records, they sound PHAT even if they contain just a few sounds. When I produce my own music, it sounds under-produced in the end, even when I have plenty of tracks going on.
My equipment is good though, so am I missing something?
more cowbell

forge
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Re: why does my stuff sound under-produced?

Post by forge » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:59 pm

snowtires wrote:
radiance wrote:Hello

When I listen to techno records, they sound PHAT even if they contain just a few sounds. When I produce my own music, it sounds under-produced in the end, even when I have plenty of tracks going on.
My equipment is good though, so am I missing something?
more cowbell
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

too right

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:15 pm

pulsoc wrote:Get a copy of Mix magazine or something so you don't have to try to decipher which dude on the forum actually knows anything.
well, we all know 'something' even if it's only our crappy opinions. I think you'll find that any magazine full of pros is also full of 'opinions'.
I bought a book once on great mixing techniques of the 'pros' only to find that every top engineer did things totally different from the other. So they all cancelled each other out. EG: vocals first/vocals last, Kick first/last, rhythm section first/last.
so it's all subjective.

As for the drum panning thing, personally I hate drums panned "like the drummer heard them". The underlying reasoning appears to be - to emulate some 'perfect real-world drum listening sweet spot'. But physical drums arent separated out for audio reasons, they are separated physically because its not possible to have 3 toms and a kick in one position.
If I stand in the perfect audience position away from a drum kit & band - the toms DO NOT pan around my head with the snare 20% to the left and crash 50% to the right, in fact the kit sounds pretty much mono apart from room 'verb stereo cues.

beats that wander across the stereo field are just annoying, doubts me and I'll upload a Rawk stereo drum solo and make you listen to it on headphones.

raaargh !!!

yep, I dont like panned kits and thats my opinion on them

Pan rhythmic stuff acording to what sounds good, not to emulate some weird idea of what a 'real drumkit' sounds like to a drummer.

mikemc
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Post by mikemc » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:16 pm

angstrom and forge have good advice.

I don't know what I could add-- about roles/panning/placement-- I'd say it helps to place drums/perc like they were coming from an actual drumkit. Imagine you are standing in front of a drumkit, or even sitting behind it. Your bd is in the middle, the hihat is over to one side, and snare in between hihat and bd. Your hi hat sounds semi-intentionally lofi, that is, if you want it lofi, make it a little moreso, if it is supposed to be clean, then it's distorted.

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:22 pm

Jan Holm wrote:May i suggest listening to some work of Trentemoller.
When it comes to sound and mix he's the guy at the
moment. He can really add interest to the most simplistic
sounds.

http://www.juno.co.uk/ppps/products/120 ... entemoller

All his stuff is good, but as a mix reference, Physical Fraction is
the bomb.
to be honest, i dont mind some trentmoller stuff and some if really good in that it can experiment a bit, but overall i think he's shit... seriously his productions are not that AMAZING and his sense of music is too simple for the minimal/glitchy stuff i like.

DKushner
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Post by DKushner » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:42 pm

markaugust wrote:whatever kushner says about discarding;
discard now.
panning tricks are really common in this kind of music..
and putting just chorusses and phasers on top of your sounds will make it muddy and unclear. sounds that move around in the spectrum or little hihats panned hard right or left open up your stereo field, if possible.
sometimes it is not just on the amount of sounds you have.
listen to AME-ENGOLi to hear what I am talking about
why does transitions of richie hawtin sounds so good sound and quality wise???
apparently cauz it mathers that the mix is made for a 5.1 system and allthough richie can't really explain technically why; the stereo 2 way mix sounds way spacier rendered from the 5,1 then when he cut out that whole process.
alright you go have fun panning your kick drum off to the left or you bass off from center.

I dont care what style you work in, rock techno country rap jazz whatever, thats a bad idea. And as far as panning off the rest of your drums to simulate a real drum kit- NOT IN TECHNO. No techno artist does this and there's a good reason for it. Because it doesn't lend itself to the style.
I am Iron man.

snowtires
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Post by snowtires » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:58 pm

DKushner wrote:
markaugust wrote:whatever kushner says about discarding;
discard now.
panning tricks are really common in this kind of music..
and putting just chorusses and phasers on top of your sounds will make it muddy and unclear. sounds that move around in the spectrum or little hihats panned hard right or left open up your stereo field, if possible.
sometimes it is not just on the amount of sounds you have.
listen to AME-ENGOLi to hear what I am talking about
why does transitions of richie hawtin sounds so good sound and quality wise???
apparently cauz it mathers that the mix is made for a 5.1 system and allthough richie can't really explain technically why; the stereo 2 way mix sounds way spacier rendered from the 5,1 then when he cut out that whole process.
alright you go have fun panning your kick drum off to the left or you bass off from center.

I dont care what style you work in, rock techno country rap jazz whatever, thats a bad idea. And as far as panning off the rest of your drums to simulate a real drum kit- NOT IN TECHNO. No techno artist does this and there's a good reason for it. Because it doesn't lend itself to the style.
yeah i've heard hi-hats panned before, kick and snare?

leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:32 pm

theres nothing "wrong" about panning kick and bass.

It's just that human ears don't localize bass frequencies in a stereo field very well so there's really no point in doing it.


.lm.
TimeableFloat ???S?e?n?d?I?n?f?o

markaugust
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Post by markaugust » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:09 pm

did I say bass or snare?
i said hihats and such

hihats
and
such

create space
some sounds left
some right
and the richiehawtin thing to back the theory up
and not all techno is the same
fast hard stuff different then deep detroit stuff
yes?
ok
good
now I am gonna pan the kick hard right and the bass hard left and see if I can leave the middle completely empty

o no

there comes the cowbell offcourse

Jackal and Hyde
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Post by Jackal and Hyde » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:15 pm

Spikee wrote:
radiance wrote:I'm glad I posted a MP3...thanks for the advice, very constructive. :idea:
I'll try all of that right away.

Angstrom, what plugins do you think I should add to Live? All my sound sources are hardware, but regarding effects I use software, but never really found what I wanted...

Think of your mix as a 10 pound bag. You have 15 pounds of food but you have to get it all in the bag, right? Equalization with help you lose the 4.99 pounds of that food you don't need and it's up to you to figure out what to do with a .01 pounds leftover. Look at your tracks and prioritize them. Your bass has to cut all of the way through to the top so what's the first thing you should be looking at? Well, that is determining that none of your pads or other instruments are throwing crap into your low spectrum. Chop off their low shelf. Then you have to look at mid-range, your 1k and 2-2.5k... how many of your instruments are pushing signal in that range? get them all to balance and there's another total signal increase. Do you sing on the track? Chop everything off at 500hz -- that's where your vox are going to reside. Eventually though when everything starts to sit pretty, you can just turn it all up with the faders and there you go -- a song with a ton of prescence, but has an enormous sound.

Good luck!


And the correct answer is........ ^^^^^ Ding* Nice analogy

Yes, cut the fat away and add when you have to only. An amp can only drive a certain amount of sound. If your track is an overstuffed pig of unwanted frequencies, the amp will be red-lining yet your track will sound low and like muddy shit. To put it simply, thats one of the reasons why in your car, a NIN or Prodigy track (for instance) sounds huge with the amp lights green/yawning and without adjusting the volume at all, one might put in their track (Maximized to death even) and it sounds like a mouse to your ears yet the amp is Red-lining to death because its having to push all this shit you can't even hear. Trim the fat, create seperation and get a handle on your mix with eq #1 priority. Then move on to fx, comp and subbing/grouping to further blow your music up. Because after trimming, you'll actually be hearing what your truly going to be comping/effecting working with.


2 cents

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:17 pm

markaugust wrote: there comes the cowbell offcourse
panned which way?@



actually i tend to use stereo samples of most of my percussive sounds and these files have natural space, i do sometimes pan, but find for creating the right width for certain elements in a mix all i need to do is invert the phase.

markaugust
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Post by markaugust » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:28 pm

sweetjesus wrote:
markaugust wrote: there comes the cowbell offcourse
panned which way?@



actually i tend to use stereo samples of most of my percussive sounds and these files have natural space, i do sometimes pan, but find for creating the right width for certain elements in a mix all i need to do is invert the phase.
sorry my bad english

not panned; in the now empty middle
the mighty cowbell
alone on his throne
laughing at the hard panned kick and bass


:wink:

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