Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Discussion of anything not related to audio or music production
leedsquietman
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Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:18 am

The Link Your Music section has unofficially become the noob kingdom of dubstep and minimal tech. Nothing else is getting listens or feedback there including several long time Live users who really know how to produce and mix !

I have listened to about a dozen different tracks today by several artists and without wanting to sound like a shit, frankly some of you have been a little over enthusiastic to get your material out there. Whoa Nelly, back up a bit. This is a bit like trying to drive an 18 wheel semi-truck (artic if you're British) by yourself fast when you have only had one driving lesson in a small car like a Nissan Sentra ...

These are common things I've noticed.

1) clipping and lack of headroom, meaning your mixes are not clear and punchy like you would want.
2) lack of EQing skills, especially muddy low end - think about using hipass (locut) filters especially on non bass instruments. Too much sub and low mids robs bandwidth and clarity, many tracks had this problem.
3) very repetitious music with intros that are too long and tracks which are long without much variation - if you can't get the listeners attention within about 30 seconds, your track is toast - no one will want to play it and once you have their attention, you have to keep it - more bridges, breakdowns, key changes, and other variations help.
4) poor seperation of kick drum and bass - again, EQing skills needed, or read up on tutorials on sidechaining the bass from the kick drum.

Rome wasn't built in a day - before you post your tracks, consider this - Is this track the best it can be ? Does it have dark and light. How does it sound compared to your favourite tracks? Have you done what you can to make your monitoring environment as good as it can be, i.e. have reasonable monitor speakers and some rudimentary acoustic treatment? Are you running it through compressors/limiters/volume maximizers/Ozone/TRacks or whatever, without really knowing how to use them. Knowledge is power.

As someone who has been recording for 25 years, I still am learning things and getting better - I still cringe when I listen back to some of my earlier material. No-one is too big to learn.

Here are some good resources -
Bobby Owsinski - The Mixing Engineer's Handbook

Mixing With Your Mind - http://www.mixingwithyourmind.com/

Tarekith's venerable mixing guides are free and helpful

http://tarekith.com/assets/mixdowns.html
http://tarekith.com/assets/dynamics.html
http://tarekith.com/assets/arranging.html
http://tarekith.com/assets/DigitalLevels.html

Last thing - don't be in so much of a hurry to release your material - take your time, be careful and get it sounding as good as you possibly can, and your reputation will be enhanced when you do post. Good Luck.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

flippo
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by flippo » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:51 am

leedsquietman wrote: 3) very repetitious music with intros that are too long and tracks which are long without much variation - if you can't get the listeners attention within about 30 seconds, your track is toast - no one will want to play it and once you have their attention, you have to keep it - more bridges, breakdowns, key changes, and other variations help.
that's an entirely subjective and personal thing man. Those rules usually apply to most people who listen to the radio and lean towards pop music and traditional songwriting, but sometimes some artists and listeners are after a very different aesthetic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uphhtm1fWVY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8jJfDFbQa4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-greoySwow

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srsRNrtw ... r_embedded

sometimes people find repetition and restraint to be hypnotic and deeply moving. Sometimes people find key changes impersonal, contrived and even comical.

2c :wink:

leedsquietman
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:12 am

Something with the same copied and pasted verse and chorus for 10 minutes with no variation can use ANY kind of variation. You don't have to key change, it's just one idea.

Yes repetition is part of dance music, I get that, but not endless repetitions with no change ups of any kind ... this is the point.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

Rave
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by Rave » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:28 am

Phew, glad u didn't include deep house :o

flippo
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by flippo » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:32 am

well yes I get what you're saying, many people cannot pull of such restraint, but that's a bit different to what you said is all.

The tracks I posted are very repetitious, are very long, and are without much variation. And they don't necessarily get tour attention within 30 seconds. some of my favourite tunes didn't even get my attention after an entire listen through - some of them only reveal their charm after multiple listens. Ricardo's remix of blood on my hands doesn't really take hold of me until a few minuets in, and in it's entirety it's over 17 minuets long. Driving down a highway @ 4 am it absolutely slays me till the last kick.

I'm certain most people would not appreciate it, and that's completely fine, but the point is it's deliberate and subjective, and it's not really anyone place to broadly discourage those aesthetics as a rule.

Surely you must concede that?

leedsquietman
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:34 am

Rave - The Ravemonster :P You're neither a noob nor someone who just copies and pastes 10 minutes of the same material ;) You sir are an experienced producer and engineer with a solid rep.

Deep House can be great. I've nothing against dubstep or minimal tech when done well. Some of the material I heard was good, some was a reasonable WIP, but a lot of it was, to be honest, in need of improvement. Subjective opinion - yes, although certainly, substandard mixes for example, are something less contentious than arrangement.

Noobs should be like a sponge, soaking up all the positive and constructive advice they can to improve. I couldn't get enough feedback and practice when I was first starting out and still am learning things regularly 2 and a half decades in.

If I wanted to be a c*nt about it, I would just diss and offer no advice

flippo - I'm not trying to discourage people, only encourage. Not everything I heard was in need of big improvements arrangement or mixwise, SOME of it was (IMO)!
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

tlennon
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by tlennon » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:39 am

LQM makes a solid point but I'm in the opinion that forums like Live, Props, NI, Avid, FL and the like are meant for beginners and amataurs to demonstrate their progress and get opinions from the more learned and experienced users of the respective software. Understandedly, they are not skillfull of a lot of the fundamental tools of the trade and may show impatience to gain the experience needed. I still beleive it could be a benefit for them to post and hope that others help them to achieve what they aspire. Picture a teacher where every year there is a new bunch of students all asking the same questions that's been anwsered the years previous. Sounds pretty frustrating.
Terrence Lennon
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leedsquietman
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:59 am

Yes T. I agree with you, although some forums, such as the cubase.net forum tend to be more geared to experienced producers picking over your bones with very critical commentary.

All I'm suggesting is that real novices put a little extra thought into making something as good as they can before posting their links, they will establish a better rep for themselves from the off.

Learning a few fundamentals helps A LOT - a bit like driving, knowing how to brake is as important as knowing how to accelerate, but some of those tracks I heard, it was apparent that some of the posters can not brake and are pressing the gas pedal too hard - I am trying to help the person to not crash into the wall ;)

Guaranteed these guys will look back in a year or two and think 'Yikes, that really is not my best work'.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

dum
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by dum » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:13 pm

Those who can't do, teach.

Those who teach by making shit up as they go along, are unemployed.

Noobs: Say hi! to leedsunemloyedbullshiter


:D
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

leedsquietman
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:23 pm

Talking of those who can't do, I've yet to hear you give any advice regarding music production, or see any links to your music.

Put up or shut up.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

SubFunk
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by SubFunk » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:39 pm

dum wrote:Those who can't do, teach.

Those who teach by making shit up as they go along, are unemployed.

Noobs: Say hi! to leedsunemloyedbullshiter


:D
:roll: what's your problem?
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UKRuss
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by UKRuss » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:09 pm

SubFunk wrote:
dum wrote:Those who can't do, teach.

Those who teach by making shit up as they go along, are unemployed.

Noobs: Say hi! to leedsunemloyedbullshiter


:D
:roll: what's your problem?
You need to ask Dum, what his problem is? :lol:

Much easier to ask about the issues he doesn't have.

The fucking little Irish cunt arse mangler.

dhilsabeck
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by dhilsabeck » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:44 pm

flippo wrote: I'm certain most people would not appreciate it, and that's completely fine, but the point is it's deliberate and subjective, and it's not really anyone place to broadly discourage those aesthetics as a rule.

Surely you must concede that?

I agree.

It' a big step for beginners to post their music, especially when they know other people's stuff undoubtedly sounds more refined. Keep in mind, many aspiring musicians are doing everything themselves and many professionals have the luxury of sound designers and mixing engineers to help out with the technical aspect of kick drums, bass and side-chaining.

I would never read a book to learn how to mix better and I'm sure there's quite a few more people that fall into this camp. People's brains are wired differently and some get better by simply doing whereas some do better by reading and applying theory. There are lots of ways to skin a cat.

Kudos to those who are brave enough to post their music and accept constructive criticism. This may be a an integral part of your creative process and you may learn a lot and it can take your music to a higher level of finish. However it is important that your own judgement trumps any other advice that you don't deem as sound, especially with subjective elements.

leedsquietman
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Re: Noobs posting dubstep and minimal tech - some pointers

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:55 pm

So your advice is stay a noob and don't worry about improving your skills and learning to be self-sufficient ?

That it's OK for everyone else to think you're substandard (or assume you're lazy or untalented), so long as you like your own music and remain blissfully ignorant of other's opinion ?

Confused. :?

In these days, even many signed acts do not have a plethora of 'professionals' to do all the donkey work for them and are expected to do a certain *and ever increasing* amount themselves, so it only makes sense to want to learn. There are other resources than books, you could take a course, do online tutorials, watch DVDs etc, maybe you know someone with skills who can come around and advise you, etc.

Or you can remain insular, ignorant and keep foisting less than optimal tracks on Link Your Music, it's your choice ...
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

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