GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm

If it's panned it will sound louder on a mono speaker like a mobile phone because the left and right channels are summed so total gain is louder than you perceive through two speakers. It will sound quieter on devices where the stereo separation is greater for example speakers in a room or anything with a virtual surround effect like televisions.

It would be a good idea to listen to your mix in mono (some utilities or effects have a mono switch) to check parts aren't significantly louder than you want them to be and A/B the difference to your ears. It's also possible you're slightly stronger hearing in one ear than the other and so panning too little or too much, so try flipping left and right or listening to the headphones or speakers backwards.

You may also want to apply a little compression to reduce excessive peaks and troughs which will be more noticeable in a mono mix as they can add up to some very loud moments even on devices that are stereo but the speakers really aren't very far apart so there's poor stereo separation.

Also make sure your listening at the intersection of two speakers or you're kind of hearing it wrong, some speakers are a lot more directional than others (monitors are highly directional so you need to listen to them at the right point for example).

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:45 pm

Green Gecko wrote:If it's panned it will sound louder on a mono speaker like a mobile phone because the left and right channels are summed so total gain is louder. It will be quieter on devices where the stereo separation is greater for example speakers in a room or anything with a virtual surround effect like televisions.


Gecko, you are an absolute star :wub:

That makes perfect sense now that you've explained it. I should have realised it already!

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:49 pm

I wrote more stuff :)

No problem part of mixing and mastering isn't about having expensive speakers it's about understanding the characteristics of different audio equipment and trying to achieve a good sound on most of them. In fact it's largely about that.

You can work with crap speakers so long as you understand their EQ curve and pressure level you can compensate in your mix. Actually some engineers deliberately mix on consumer HiFi, preferably both (that's why you see mixing rooms with lots of different speakers, they aren't all the same system lol).

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:39 am

Green Gecko wrote:I wrote more stuff :)

No problem part of mixing and mastering isn't about having expensive speakers it's about understanding the characteristics of different audio equipment and trying to achieve a good sound on most of them. In fact it's largely about that.

You can work with crap speakers so long as you understand their EQ curve and pressure level you can compensate in your mix. Actually some engineers deliberately mix on consumer HiFi, preferably both (that's why you see mixing rooms with lots of different speakers, they aren't all the same system lol).


You touched on something really interesting there. I have diminished hearing in my right ear, and this likely isn't helping. I have had issues with it since childhood. I struggle to hear certain tones.

I did a bit of digging myself and read about engineers mixing in mono as well.

Once again, thanks so much!

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:04 pm

Headphones are very misleading as to how you've mixed something. Most of the music I made sounded 'great' in my headphones but played through normal speakers it was flat and lifeless, with only volume bringing it to life in any way.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:34 am

Yeah there's not really any such thing as studio headphones, they're for monitoring overdubs and that's it.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:24 am

I don't think I've ever tried to mix something with headphones on. I have a crap mic that I record acoustic guitar with, I use headphones for the click track. That's about it.

The annoying thing was, I'd recorded something and I must have been so close to the mic that it picked up the metronome when I was tracking. You can hear it faintly on the recording.

And now I understand the point of noise cancelling headphones. I'm a noob.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:43 am

I only do it because I'm embarrassed about my voice so I don't want my Mrs hearing it while I mix for hours on end

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:24 am

? Noise cancelling headphones just cut out ambient noise with some circuitry and/or acoustic treatment when listening, they don't prevent sound leakage. You probably need closed back headphones.

Yeah you'll often have something leaking into your tracks.. You can try to remove it with EQ or just mask it with other stuff. If you were to break down commercial recordings into tracks you'd hear a lot of things.

A lot of stuff nowadays is just direct recorded with mic effects added. For example reamping clean signals from guitars.

I'm a bit of an advocate of lofi recording anyway. It's more about what you do with it. Ambience can add to a recording not necessarily take it away. I find overproduced rock music a bit unconvincing.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:27 am

I've got stone roses bootleg CD of them recording in the studio for the second coming sessions and it's really interesting for things like that - complaining the zip on someone's jacket is clicking and so on.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:32 am

It depends on what kind of sound it is. Some stuff can really cut through a mix and is hard to remove without producing gaps. Nowadays direct wave editing can patch out a lot of faults. You can easily cue in even single notes or chord strikes. I've done it before. Also there are so many simulated instruments although personally I find it really grating when a band uses something like sampled violins when they could easily afford a violinist.

That said I like a lot of recordings that are just straight takes. It reminds you someone was there. I think there's a difference between a recording and a production. Some of the best albums ever made had a good engineer on them but were recorded back to back. Of course they would have to be good because some musicians have no idea what they're doing at all.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:56 pm

Recording guitar and getting string squeaks all over the place. Also midi not working properly and you trouble shoot the whole thing, only to find out you have a noise gate on your entire project that is strawberry floating up the midi :fp:

Eugh.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:31 am

I ordered a new acoustic guitar this morning after playing the same model in Liverpool a few weeks back and falling in love with it. I've really got back in to song writing recently so I can't wait to get it.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:52 pm

I love acoustic guitar now. Bought my first one last year. A cheap mic, some decent EQing and compression and it can sound really lovely.

What did you go for?

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:32 pm

Squinty wrote:Recording guitar and getting string squeaks all over the place. Also midi not working properly and you trouble shoot the whole thing, only to find out you have a noise gate on your entire project that is strawberry floating up the midi :fp:

Eugh.

Didn't you want the noise gate to reduce the squeaking though?

That's part of the timbre of guitar. If you pay attention to recordings, it's rarely removed. You can remove it by using a noise gate plus EQ and then compressing the signal after that to bring all the levels higher, although it might be better to use a multi-band compressor if there's a lot of dynamic range across the range of the instrumentation. Add a limiter to prevent clipping, but you should check the levels in between each processor and reduce gain where needed to prevent that. Then you should (in theory) be able to add a limiter just on the master chain, "just in case" of peaks over say -0.2dB. I find analogue modelling plug-ins much nicer on guitar and other string instruments than, say, a synthesiser.

Of course the only way to totally eliminate squeaks and slides etc. is to adjust your technique with palm muting and less sliding chord changes, or you can try playing at 50-70% tempo, editing the waveform, and then speeding it up to the tempo of your other tracks. You'll never finish your track though.

Those sounds should become insignificant in the presence of other things in the mix that are louder in those areas of the frequency spectrum. So add something with a wide range like piano or some ambient sounds or cymbals for example and it'll be less noticeable. A small amount of reverb or a stereo-iser/widening processor is also a good idea.

You can also try fret dressing or wax on your strings. New strings will always sound like that until they break in, although old strings can sound just as bad. Calcification from the sweat in your palms makes the strings rough and sandpapery, you don't actually need to change your strings (or at least the top 4), wipe it off with a j-cloth and some solvent like white spirit or methylated spirit.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:47 pm

An Epiphone EJ-200SCE Jumbo in vintage sunburst.

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I love Epiphones, but you have to be selective as they also have some real cheap feeling shite. The one of these I played was beautiful, it sounded so crisp and the neck played like an electric.

I've got an electro acoustic I bought about 18 (:dread:) years ago in australia, which has been my main one, and i've always fancied something a big step up from it. I've also got a cheap (but quite nice to play) electro acoustic that dad had, which i need to donate to someone whos learning.

I've got a Fender Tele and an Epiphone riviera, which is my favourite guitar, it just sounds phenomenal no matter what you play on it. FUnny thing is a mate of mine bought an identical one because he loved mine so much, and it was pretty gooseberry fool, really didnt sound right and played like a cheap guitar (he got rid of it in the end). Everyone who plays the Riviera comments on how nice it is, it's just so beautiful (one of those things you'd run in to a burning building to save)

(not my one, but it's identical to this, with regular humbuckers rather than mini ones as were common at that time):
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:01 pm

Green Gecko wrote:
Squinty wrote:Recording guitar and getting string squeaks all over the place. Also midi not working properly and you trouble shoot the whole thing, only to find out you have a noise gate on your entire project that is strawberry floating up the midi :fp:

Eugh.

Didn't you want the noise gate to reduce the squeaking though?

That's part of the timbre of guitar. If you pay attention to recordings, it's rarely removed. You can remove it by using a noise gate plus EQ and then compressing the signal after that to bring all the levels higher, although it might be better to use a multi-band compressor if there's a lot of dynamic range across the range of the instrumentation. Add a limiter to prevent clipping, but you should check the levels in between each processor and reduce gain where needed to prevent that. Then you should (in theory) be able to add a limiter just on the master chain, "just in case" of peaks over say -0.2dB. I find analogue modelling plug-ins much nicer on guitar and other string instruments than, say, a synthesiser.

Of course the only way to totally eliminate squeaks and slides etc. is to adjust your technique with palm muting and less sliding chord changes, or you can try playing at 50-70% tempo, editing the waveform, and then speeding it up to the tempo of your other tracks. You'll never finish your track though.

Those sounds should become insignificant in the presence of other things in the mix that are louder in those areas of the frequency spectrum. So add something with a wide range like piano or some ambient sounds or cymbals for example and it'll be less noticeable. A small amount of reverb or a stereo-iser/widening processor is also a good idea.

You can also try fret dressing or wax on your strings. New strings will always sound like that until they break in, although old strings can sound just as bad. Calcification from the sweat in your palms makes the strings rough and sandpapery, you don't actually need to change your strings (or at least the top 4), wipe it off with a j-cloth and some solvent like white spirit or methylated spirit.


Thanks for your advice. Already started using a limiter a few months ago for this very purpose. Plus it increases volume in Reaper, which is quite useful.

I've gotten better in terms of technique since January, that is the only way I've found to truly reduce it. I actually like it on acoustic guitar, but on electric guitar, it used to really irritate me. I have noticed most of my favourite music has little squeaks, so I'm a bit more relaxed about it now. You are right, you don't really notice it unless you are really listening.

Those are beautiful guitars Ad7. I played one of those a few years ago, really liked how it sounded. Gibson/Epiphone quality control is a bit bizarre, but then I've found most guitar manufacturers are all over the place now. Hope you end up with a good one!

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:52 pm

A limiter that increases volume is technically a compressor/limiter - all a limiter should do is take the amplitude on that channel and if it peaks beyond a certain threshold implement a very sudden, simple compression (so high compression ratio with a tight knee like /‾ and fast attack) to quickly reduce the amplitude below 0db or whatever so it doesn't clip the written audio file / whatever the speaker output is.

So try not to use a limiter as a compressor as it's not very musical, put it at the end of the chain after a compressor with more controls. It's the very last thing you put in any processing chain.

You should first increase gain (the quickest way to do that is normalise a track, that will simply increase the volume but not enough to make it peak) and use volume envelopes to manage overall levels on a track and then let a compressor "thicken" or "widen" the sound to make it sound deeper and louder (which is generally considered good but not always), there's other effects that compression has that might be desirable but generally it's for "focusing" a sound. You can EQ before or after compression but I tend to do it first to avoid amplifying unwanted frequencies. Limit that at the end as a safeguard.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Ad7 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:02 pm

Guitar arrived today, it's so beautiful. :wub:

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Sounds fantastic too, really warm with bright mid tones. Can't wait to spend the evening playing it some more.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Kezzer » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:44 pm

That is lovely mate :wub:

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