First attempt, please give me pointers

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soultwist
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First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by soultwist » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:03 am

Hey there. Well, here is a work in progress...I've been reading these forums and jamming away and putting all kinds of advice and techniques to use in this track. I'm a guitar player so this electronic stuff is still pretty new to me. Be nice! :)

More importantly though, I don't want to continue without you guys giving me some tips. What needs to be turned down? What's out of place, what's clashing, etc. The whole thing tends to blend together after hearing it 20X times.

Thank you in advance!

http://soundcloud.com/soultwist

ScudMan
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by ScudMan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:39 am

Sounds really good. Mix is nice, dynamics sound very good. Ending is a bit abrupt and the melody is captivating, but leaves you wanting to go somewhere with it. All in all, if this is your first try with Ableton, very nice...keep going and sharing.
-
ScudMan

kamih
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by kamih » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:18 am

It sounds good!
Mixing is always a bit subjective but I would maybe decrease the level of the piano notes and give them a bit more depth with some reverb. They kinda stand out right now.
Also the build up before 0:49 is nice (maybe lengthen it a bit?), but I was expecting something more to change after that. If it was my track I would add some sort of percussion there :).
Let us know when you finish it. It'll be cool to see where this goes :).
cheers,
kamih

som
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by som » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:34 am

Very good beat repeat effects in the second part.
http://www.soundcloud.com/s_o_m

I have written a book (Sci-Fi Thriller, only German): https://der-kristall.de

soultwist
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by soultwist » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:35 pm

Thank you very much for your comments (here and soundcloud). Made my day. :D
I get a bit obsessive over mixing, trying to set the levels just right, and applying the right effects (like compression, eq, etc). Then I wonder if I should add a compressor at all or if I cut out the 'right' frequencies. Makes my head hurt sometimes :x

I think I will make the build up a little longer. I'd love to add percussion but personally am useless with programming anything other than house beats :lol:

I'm pretty sure I added reverb to most tracks, and hesitated last minute to add any noticeable reverb to piano for that reason. Is there a way to avoid making the mix sound muddy with so much reverb? Can compression on the master channel fix that?

Anyway I'll keep working on it!
Thanks again.

som
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by som » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:51 pm

A little tip here: If you sidechain compress the reverb of a given instrument, it will be less muddy.
http://www.soundcloud.com/s_o_m

I have written a book (Sci-Fi Thriller, only German): https://der-kristall.de

GrooveNinja
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by GrooveNinja » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:48 pm

I think that the synth is too loud and too compressed. It drowns out the piano. Actually, I couldn't even tell that it was a piano until the very end. At first I thought that it was a nylon string guitar, but it was hard to tell because of the synth sound. It is an interesting melody and arrangement, though! I agree that it needs a more gentle ending, too.

soultwist
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by soultwist » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:41 pm

Thanks a ton Ninja.:D Do you mean the main part (one that fades in) or the one that has beat repeat?

Or the bass? (that's the only synth)

Yea the end kind of falls apart, I'll definitely clean it up.
Thanks!

kamih
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by kamih » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:39 pm

Side compressing reverbs is a good tip (you can use the instrument itself as the side-chain input), that way you don't hear them too much until the main instrument sound starts decaying. Another thing you can try is to use different reverb settings for different instruments (you probably do this already). I find this helps giving different depth and space to each instrument.
For the drum programming, just give it a go, I'm sure you'll be surprised at the effect that a nice little beat can have on this type of music :).
cheers,
kamih

GrooveNinja
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by GrooveNinja » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:06 pm

soultwist wrote:Thanks a ton Ninja.:D Do you mean the main part (one that fades in) or the one that has beat repeat?

Or the bass? (that's the only synth)

Yea the end kind of falls apart, I'll definitely clean it up.
Thanks!
Actually, all of the instruments that are playing until the piano or guitar or whatever that instrument is are too compressed and too loud. It is hard to describe, but I have difficulty distinguishing the individual parts because they are all over-compressed. Are you using a loudness maximizer of some sort? A limiter on the master?

GrooveNinja
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by GrooveNinja » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:11 pm

soultwist wrote: I'm pretty sure I added reverb to most tracks, and hesitated last minute to add any noticeable reverb to piano for that reason. Is there a way to avoid making the mix sound muddy with so much reverb? Can compression on the master channel fix that?
I did not notice any problems with too much reverb. There is definitely too much compression, though. Also, remember that compression can actually increase reverb and ambience if the release is short enough.

tlennon
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by tlennon » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:02 am

Hello Soultwist. Everyone here has given some great tips and I hope you will improve with your mixes in short order. Very well done for your first. Thanks for sharing.
Terrence Lennon
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soultwist
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by soultwist » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:19 pm

GrooveNinja wrote:
soultwist wrote:Thanks a ton Ninja.:D Do you mean the main part (one that fades in) or the one that has beat repeat?

Or the bass? (that's the only synth)

Yea the end kind of falls apart, I'll definitely clean it up.
Thanks!
Actually, all of the instruments that are playing until the piano or guitar or whatever that instrument is are too compressed and too loud. It is hard to describe, but I have difficulty distinguishing the individual parts because they are all over-compressed. Are you using a loudness maximizer of some sort? A limiter on the master?
I do have a limiter on the master. I don't know if that's common practice or not. I also read and watched a few tutorials on compression and took it easy with the settings. It sounds a lot better now in my opinion and you can hear the piano coming in. I'll post a full version when it's done.

GrooveNinja
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Re: First attempt, please give me pointers

Post by GrooveNinja » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:29 pm

soultwist wrote: I do have a limiter on the master. I don't know if that's common practice or not. I also read and watched a few tutorials on compression and took it easy with the settings. It sounds a lot better now in my opinion and you can hear the piano coming in. I'll post a full version when it's done.
I think that it is normal to use a limiter on the master. I do, after I have finished mixing the track. I think that you have the limiter applying too much compression. It is a matter of taste, of course, but I would turn up the threshold until it was applying 4 or 5 dB's or so.

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