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 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:09 pm

It's worth doing a bit of study in transients and psychoacoustics, particularly to the area of the spectrum that we are particularly sensitive to, as Heskimo mentions. In those areas you more likely want to cut if something sounds overly harsh and brittle, or boost if it can't really stand out.

For example, both both snare drums and guitars, I'll add a bell shaped peak around 1KHz or sweep around that area with a parametric EQ that uses nodes on a curve for easier adjustments. Live has this, so does Reaper. And Live 9 or 10 even added a built in spectrometer so you can see how the frequency response curve is being adjusted by the EQ. Although, that feature already existed in Reaper for a long time, which goes to show what an amazing piece of software it is considering you can trial it forever and it costs under £100.

One thing to remember though is that when you boost rather than cut in EQ, you're increasing the sum amplitude of the entire waveform. So your sound will clip hard if you don't reduce the output level on either the EQ or the master bus. You can also (and probably should) automate this using volume envelopes during the busiest parts of tracks. To avoid that if you can't be bothered, add a hard limiter as the final processor in your effects chain, but as that's just a compressor with a hard knee, you'll smush the waveform and make it all sound muddy again whenever it would otherwise clip into over 0dB territory (so during the loud sections that you want to pop as that's probably where most your hooks, drops, choruses etc are). Personally I hard limit it to -0.2dB, giving the sound system that little bit of headroom in case itself introduces clipping, whether analogue distortion or some shitty computer or whatever.

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Victor Mildew
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:27 pm

I just put enough reverb on for stuff to sound a bit fuller, then double track everything :lol:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Mafro » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:05 pm

blackoutHERO wrote:Trying to do some mixing for my beats now. God it's hard. Things sound so 'muddy'. If anyone has any feedback it'd be appreciated: https://soundcloud.com/troopah/medicated

Been trying to enjoy making music again. I got very caught up in trying to sound like other artists, looking to see what chords work with each other instead of just playing, worrying about sounding cheesy and all that. That track I just got creative and had most fun I've had with it in a long time.

What did you use to make this?

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by blackoutHERO » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:42 pm

Mafro wrote:What did you use to make this?


Ableton big man.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:14 pm

Has a 90 day free trial at the moment too.

The basic version is £69 if you like the workflow.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Squinty » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:17 pm

Victor Mildew wrote:I just put enough reverb on for stuff to sound a bit fuller, then double track everything :lol:


Same :lol:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by blackoutHERO » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:30 am

Mafro wrote:
blackoutHERO wrote:Trying to do some mixing for my beats now. God it's hard. Things sound so 'muddy'. If anyone has any feedback it'd be appreciated: https://soundcloud.com/troopah/medicated

Been trying to enjoy making music again. I got very caught up in trying to sound like other artists, looking to see what chords work with each other instead of just playing, worrying about sounding cheesy and all that. That track I just got creative and had most fun I've had with it in a long time.

What did you use to make this?


BOHero x Mafro Collab coming 2021

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:21 am

Been recording more music over the past week. I REALLY wish I had a bass now because it's sorely lacking.

I really enjoy the process of writing, laying down some guide parts and then building a song up. It's amazing really that something that just sits in your mind can come to life like that from nothing.

Hexx wrote:Ad7 is older and balder than I thought.
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:25 am

Bonehead from Oasis liked a picture of my guitar yesterday (it's the same model but different colour as the one he used to play inn the band). Probably didn't mean much to most of you but as they were my favourite band, it made my day :toot:



Been recording some more. Playing that accoustic exclusively for song long has made me so much better at electric guitar. Next goong to try some of the vst instruments for my akai keyboard thst you all provided a while back.

Hexx wrote:Ad7 is older and balder than I thought.
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Jenuall » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:28 am

Guest appearance from Bonehead on the new GRcade Christmas song this year then? :lol:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:31 am

Jenuall wrote:Guest appearance from Bonehead on the new GRcade Christmas song this year then? :lol:

Now there's an idea. I actually think he has more hair than me now :lol:

Hexx wrote:Ad7 is older and balder than I thought.
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by more heat than light » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:18 pm

My lad wants to learn guitar, he's 10. I think I'm right in thinking this means he needs a 3/4 size, but because of this I don't want to spend a fortune. What is the absolute minimum I should be spending here to make it worthwhile?

jawafour wrote:You definitely have the biggest one, mhtl - it's strawberry-floatin' massive!
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:28 pm

more heat than light wrote:My lad wants to learn guitar, he's 10. I think I'm right in thinking this means he needs a 3/4 size, but because of this I don't want to spend a fortune. What is the absolute minimum I should be spending here to make it worthwhile?

I wouldn't say it's a minimum, but I started at 7 on something fairly decent from a local violin shop but can't remember as I sold it, I went up to a 3/4 size Joan Cashimira around the same age from my neighbour was (and still is) a world class guitar maker. They are still mostly handmade from fine woods in Spain. I think it was around £300 but as that was around 2000 it's probably closer to £450 now. Start on an acoustic nylon string because it will develop strength and dexterity in the left hand from a young age without being too hard to fret with young muscles. I gooseberry fool you not, all of my fingers are longer on my left hand, and some of them as much as 7-8mm longer (especially my little finger).

I still have the guitar and it still has all the strengths it had. It's never even had any work done on it and it plays fine.

I'd have a look around online for something second hand, around the £300 mark. They crop up now and then. I can't say for certain but a smaller model seems to be a model 56. Example: https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/114262037964

You do get what you pay for with an acoustic instrument. I can't really advise you better because you really need to have someone knowledgeable look at the guitar you're considering.

I would have to say that starting on an electric at that age isn't such a great idea because the skill level (child not the guitar style) is fairly limited and so you can't really get a satisfying sound out of a cheap electric/amp and will probably wind up playing riffs and chords endlessly whereas if you expand the repertoire a bit to classical/jazz/blues/world as well as rock then it's just a more versatile way to go, which is a good thing, developing a wide range of skills and chord shapes before progressing into a specific genre based on whatever takes their fancy. You can add a decent starter electric like a Yamaha Pacifica or Epiphone guitar to the mix after 2-3 years.

If they want to go straight to electric guitar it might be fun for a bit but can quickly become a fad and then the interest dies off, not only do I think that will happen, I've seen it happen many many times. The skill just doesn't happen beyond a limited extent and it doesn't as much develop that both left and right hand dexterity that pays off dividends in the long term. I say that having never stopped playing for 24 years. I got my first electric guitar after 6 or 7 years. I'm talking about playing notes clearly, achieving sustain, really focusing on the basics.

Recently actually, my teacher gave up teaching electric guitar completely because he seemingly didn't enjoy it. :lol:

I know people don't always want to spend a lot of money on an instrument but as both a form of entertainment and personal growth is it much different to a games console for example? People spend £200-£300 easily on a video games console or a bicycle or something similar. If it doesn't take then just sell it, it's no big deal. It's the lessons that are probably going to need more budgeting unless you go down the YouTube/apps sort of route. I'd still try to get a couple of lessons for the encouragement though. My brother gave them up after a couple of months but never stopped playing, he makes guitars now but is a fantastic blues guitarist. If you check that site he actually makes a little mention of me as he gave me his first instrument, and you can see a tiny picture of the guitar shop I grew up next to, where I went and changed out the water in the dehumidifier, swept and tuned all the guitars for my secondary school work experience. :wub:

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:41 pm

To add to GG's points, there really is no substitute for a decent acoustic guitar. I've had 3 of them now, and my newest is such a good guitar that my playing has improved immeasurably in the year I've been using it, and I've been playing guitar solidly for 22 years now. The beauty of a decent instrument is that unless you buy a crap make, they hold a lot of their value, so if he doesn't get on with it, you can always sell it and get a good chunk of thst value back.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:57 pm

A second hand guitar also is NOT a bad thing, sure it might need new strings, or even fret dressing/setup (which costs about £50 at any good guitar shop), but the wood "breaks in", and the tone of a guitar actually improves over time. Actually, I'd go as far to say that a poor guitar will never sound great and probably get much worse (fret buzz etc, unplayable notes, twisted neck etc), whereas a good guitar will carry on sounding good. If it's been knocking about a bit, and it still sounds good, well there you go, there's most of your test of quality as to how it's been made. Because wood literally moves and changes shape very subtlety over time. A well constructed guitar won't have problems like this.

I have picked up random guitars in flea markets, I know most all the brands, the cheap Spanish/Mexican ones, the ones that are made in China (not always bad at all), Japan, places I've never heard of before or just Europe generally. Some of them can be made to sound fantastic, but that has to be some credit to me, to be fair. I know how to get the most out of an average sounding guitar. But I know when I pick one up, what's a "good" guitar and what is, well, a dust trap. The dust trap ones probably retail for under £100. They have cheap lacquers and dull looking wood. But that's not to say a dirty guitar can't clean up very well!

You might have a £300 guitar kicking about that's simply forgotten and depreciated, or just one that happens to have come from a shop far away somewhere where there were real craftspeople, employed to make them. Have a real good look at the guitar. If it looks cheap, it is cheap. There should be visible grain in the wood, the parts should be close fitting with no gaps at all, there should literally be colour and depth to it, as well as in the sound. If it looks dull, ask if you can rub some oil into it. Any natural oil will do. The wood should glisten. Indeed, the guitars you find knocking around that don't that that horrible cheap lacquer slapped on (I mean this can be done well, but still), those were probably French polished once, and can have a much better tone. Those things aren't a coincidence - it's an integral part of the guitar that it's contructed in such a way, with care, and of certain woods that it will resonate well. Perhaps surprisingly, although perhaps less important, the same is true for any electric guitar (but that brings in the subject of multi part construction, truss rods, pick-up mounting, bridges/tremolos and pick up types which is a whole other story. You have less of this to think about with an acoustic because it is ultimately all glued together to form one single part. Most people can assess with a reasonable degree of scrutiny when comparing acoustic guitars, which one is probably better than the other. But it's much much harder to do that with an electric guitar because so much depends on the amplifier as well).

If your kid complains that acoustic guitars are not cool. Just show them some of their favourite musicians playing acoustic guitars. Show them some amazing blues/jazz music on YouTube. A lot of classic rock and pop songs were written on acoustic guitars. You can play them as hard or as soft as you like and get a huge range of tones.

And since it's a "lad", perhaps mention that some decent melodic guitar music goes down VERY well in certain social settings. You might get a lot more than your bargained for investing time in musicianship than whatever your first guitar cost :shifty:

Hell you can probably find a wife learning the 3 chords in Wonderwall, even if I refuse to play it.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by more heat than light » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:30 pm

Cheers guys, but that's loads more than I was looking at spending. Thanks anyway.

jawafour wrote:You definitely have the biggest one, mhtl - it's strawberry-floatin' massive!
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:33 pm

more heat than light wrote:Cheers guys, but that's loads more than I was looking at spending. Thanks anyway.


I'm choking back the vomit to say it, but there are starter packs you can buy from places like Argos :dread:

They're not very good, but if you want to spend sub £100 on something to suss it out, then it might be an option. They normally consist of a guitar, bag and a strap or something.

Edit: something like this (the first hit on gak, not necessarily this guitar)
https://www.gak.co.uk/en/ibanez-vc50njp ... gLvLvD_BwE

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Green Gecko » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:34 pm

I did say it's not a minimum, but do have a look around second hand. Some of those guitars I was talking about, sounding quite good, were around £40-70 in flea markets. It's more about what to look for than the price really.

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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by more heat than light » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:35 pm

Victor Mildew wrote:
more heat than light wrote:Cheers guys, but that's loads more than I was looking at spending. Thanks anyway.


I'm choking back the vomit to say it, but there are starter packs you can buy from places like Argos :dread:

They're not very good, but if you want to spend sub £100 on something to suss it out, then it might be an option. They normally consist of a guitar, bag and a strap or something.


That's kind of what I was getting at, but didn't want to drop £100 on something that sounded like absolute ass. If that's not an option it might be something we do in a couple of years instead.

jawafour wrote:You definitely have the biggest one, mhtl - it's strawberry-floatin' massive!
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PostRe: GRcade Musician's Club - Do You "Do" Music?
by Victor Mildew » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:37 pm

Can you borrow one from someone to test out?

I might have some absolute beginner guitar books I'll never use (I gave a guitar and some to a friend so maybe not). I'll look later and if I've still got them, you can have them for nothing if you end up getting a guitar.

Hexx wrote:Ad7 is older and balder than I thought.

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