Reveal your dirty production secrets...

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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spkey
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Reveal your dirty production secrets...

Post by spkey » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:12 am

I thought it might be a good idea to discuss our secrets of success :)
A bit like the "tips+tricks" category but more informal and not necessarily specific to Live. I'll start with a couple of my own secrets and if more come to mind I'll note them as well.

First one is on recording an electric guitar through an amp.

1. Select your favourite settings without plugging your guitar to the amp yet.
2. Put a really high volume and place your mic in front of your amp in a stand.
3. Now listen very carefully through your headphones the return.
4. Scan with your mic the horizontal axis and lock your stand at the point where the amp has the highest "hiss" in pitch.
5. Now do the same on the vertical axis. Finally lock your mic at the position where your amp produces the highest (in frequency) hiss. This is the sweat spot of your amp :) so record there.


Second one is a simple one.

1. Group all your drums (kick, snare, hats, percussion) in a subgroup and compress lightly using your favourite compressor. (Really low ratio such as 1.4:1 or 2:1)
2. Now mix your compressed drums with the uncompressed subgroup. (This trick can even be used at your final mix).

C'mon people, your turn!

UKRuss
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Post by UKRuss » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:19 am

No offense, but aren't these just good practice?

1) Finding the sweet spot of the amp
2) Parallel compression technique

A dirty production secret would be:

1) I always record trumpet parts naked.

Khazul
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Re: Reveal your dirty production secrets...

Post by Khazul » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:23 am

spkey wrote:I thought it might be a good idea to discuss our secrets of success :)
A bit like the "tips+tricks" category but more informal and not necessarily specific to Live. I'll start with a couple of my own secrets and if more come to mind I'll note them as well.

First one is on recording an electric guitar through an amp.
...

My favoured appraoch is simply shoot the guitarist...
spkey wrote: Second one is a simple one.

1. Group all your drums (kick, snare, hats, percussion) in a subgroup and compress lightly using your favourite compressor. (Really low ratio such as 1.4:1 or 2:1)
2. Now mix your compressed drums with the uncompressed subgroup. (This trick can even be used at your final mix).
I often do opposite - bus the drums to really brutal compressions then mix them back in. Sometimes do it twice - once to accentuate transients if I need more punch, the other is to bring up tails.

Works well on vocals too if you want punchy vocals that cut through a mix and dont want to do the usual horrible in-yr-face-radio-edit vocals.

Acually it pretty much works on anything - we get alot of audiotory information from initial tranients - so often in a busy mix, if you want to bring focus to something, bring out the transients a little without bring up the whole level of something.
Nothing to see here - move along!

pepezabala
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Post by pepezabala » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:54 am

dirty production secrets:

create a cozy atmosphere.

record lots of stuff multiple times and layer it.

save your first takes, often enough there aren't any better ones than the first takes.

listen to your recordings in the morning, with fresh ears.
listen to your recordings stoned.
listen to your recordings together with your loved one.
If it sounds ok in all three occasions, it must be good.


If you work a lot with other people you can apply the rule-set of the family (as per anti-psychiatry)

1st rule: No
2nd rule: The first rule doesn't exist.
3rd rule: It is not allowed to discuss about the first two rules

roach808
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Post by roach808 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:07 pm

Never EQ any part of your mix if your pissed drunk. Its never a good idea, and normally in the morning it sounds like hammered ass.
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logic_user99
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Post by logic_user99 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:10 pm

Gated. Reverb. (or 'an oldie but a goodie!')

To get those old-school, ripped-up 808 claps and snares, I whap some lovely samples (from an original machine if anyone wants them!) into a drum rack and load in compressor -> reverb -> gate. There's always time for a little BitCrusher or DynamicTube, too.

I always set the envelope of the sample to 'as wide as it will go', and the reverb to around 1.2sec. Then gate the fu** out of it untill you get that nice attack + serious tail sound going on. Put a compressor at the end of your drum group (everything...kicks, hats, snares) just to bring it all together.

There's a belting DJ Shadow track that uses this snare sound. It's awesome.

Another one is 'don't over compress your guitars'! There's always room for a little compression, just to bring out the 'woody' sound of a mic'd acoustic; but for pete's sake don't go overboard with it! Leave some room for dynamics.
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ollyb303
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Post by ollyb303 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:27 pm

roach808 wrote:Never EQ any part of your mix if your pissed drunk. Its never a good idea, and normally in the morning it sounds like hammered ass.
+1

Too many times I've screwed up sets by doing this. Now I try to remember, "have a jam when you're pissed/stoned/high, sure, but FFS don't hit save!"
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spkey
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Post by spkey » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:39 pm

UKRuss wrote:No offense, but aren't these just good practice?

1) Finding the sweet spot of the amp
Good practice? I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't even know their amp has a "sweet spot". Besides, all my production skills are based on the tiny detail.
logic_user99 wrote:Gated. Reverb. (or 'an oldie but a goodie!')

To get those old-school, ripped-up 808 claps and snares, I whap some lovely samples (from an original machine if anyone wants them!) into a drum rack and load in compressor -> reverb -> gate. There's always time for a little BitCrusher or DynamicTube, too.

I always set the envelope of the sample to 'as wide as it will go', and the reverb to around 1.2sec. Then gate the fu** out of it untill you get that nice attack + serious tail sound going on. Put a compressor at the end of your drum group (everything...kicks, hats, snares) just to bring it all together.

There's a belting DJ Shadow track that uses this snare sound. It's awesome.
Awesome! Coming from a more "rock" environment I 've never thought of doing this but now that "fusion" is so trendy I'll definitely give it a go!

sp

funky shit
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Post by funky shit » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:56 pm

logic_user99 wrote:Gated. Reverb. (or 'an oldie but a goodie!')

To get those old-school, ripped-up 808 claps and snares, I whap some lovely samples (from an original machine if anyone wants them!) into a drum rack and load in compressor -> reverb -> gate. There's always time for a little BitCrusher or DynamicTube, too.

I always set the envelope of the sample to 'as wide as it will go', and the reverb to around 1.2sec. Then gate the fu** out of it untill you get that nice attack + serious tail sound going on. Put a compressor at the end of your drum group (everything...kicks, hats, snares) just to bring it all together.

There's a belting DJ Shadow track that uses this snare sound. It's awesome.

Another one is 'don't over compress your guitars'! There's always room for a little compression, just to bring out the 'woody' sound of a mic'd acoustic; but for pete's sake don't go overboard with it! Leave some room for dynamics.
How about those samples then man?
Maby even a live doc with that effect :wink:
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logic_user99
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Post by logic_user99 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:24 pm

funky shit wrote: How about those samples then man?
Maby even a live doc with that effect :wink:
No probs, no probs. I'll try and put something together later on tonight (more likely this week... it'll come, though!). I'm expecting shipment of a shiny, new MacBook this week so hopefully it'll be done on that!

I really love the effect, though. Have been having mui fun with it, coupled with the Nocturn that I picked up the other day!
Macbook | Live 7.0.18 |

zakary
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Post by zakary » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:30 pm

pepezabala wrote:dirty production secrets:

record lots of stuff multiple times and layer it.

save your first takes, often enough there aren't any better ones than the first takes.
yep i agree with the above, first take always captures what you got in your mind.
also
- experiment, experiment, experiment and always record what you do. You reach places you never would.
- compose stoned
- arange, master & eq sober
- play your track to friends but don't tell them it's yours.
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Low Frequency Obstinator
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Post by Low Frequency Obstinator » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:39 pm

"Find yourself four kids. Make sure they hate each other. Make sure they can't play."
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djsynchro
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Post by djsynchro » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:43 pm

Never use any guitars.

Aequitas123
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Post by Aequitas123 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:02 pm

Always use every guitar.

ollyb303
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Post by ollyb303 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:26 pm

Occasionally use some guitars?
.:O:B:1:.
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