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Tips and tricks Thread

Crispy Nov 24, 2004

  1. Crispy

    Crispy Fried for too long

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    There are a few things that have really made a difference to my tunes when i found them out and im sure there are a lot that im still missing. So, i thought we could all post our favourite little tricks here to push us all forward a bit!

    Here are some things that do it for me (feel free to correct me if you think these do more harm than good!) :


    - Low cut everything except the kick and bass (unless in a breakdown when you might want big bassy sounds).
    Put the low cut on the bottom rung of the effects under all plugins.
    To find naughty sounds, mute the kick and bass and listen to your tune, lightly touch the side of your speaker (mid port, the large bit) if it vibrates, low cut that sound and turn it up to taste!
    This leaves the kick and bass the low end to fly along in.

    -Distortion on the hi-hats
    gives em bite and crunch.


    -Put reverb on everything except the kick and bass. even if its just the tiniest amount it gives the sound a place to exist in and thus a sense of space to your tune.


    - There are pretty much always some dodgy fequencies around 170 hz (between160-190hz), get rid of them, there fluffy :no:

    -Use drum loops and phatmatic pro/recycle. pro drummers will probably always be better than some dude typing in midi.

    - Think about the placement of your effects.
    e.g. - if you eq a sound and then put a compressor, the eq will no longer be doing its job properly cause the compressor will undo the eq settings by making bits you made quiter in the eq, louder through the comp. if you put the eq after the compressor the final sound will be how you eq'd it.

    - use a limiter to slice off the top of your sounds to get it flat so you can normalise it, thus making it louder (you must be very carefull as this can seriously effect the sound. apply very small amounts of limiting)


    cant think of any more now...

    would love to hear some ideas from you lot!




    :Smile3:
     
  2. Missing-Link

    Missing-Link looking forward

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    i had arengement problems....

    it is a good idea to put a crash with a bit of a roll to introduce new noises...

    if using a build up the new bit needs to have new instruments to create a pay off for the listener...

    an open hh is also good at this point...

    use a keyboard to play yuor parts... i hate loops :Sad: i use to draw everything in but now i have a key board i find im doing stuff i would not normally... and you get a nice groove on...

    this is alll that comes to mind at the mo illl be back as more hit me :Smile3:
     
  3. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    agreed with all of that chris!

    except maybe limiting, i dont limit things as a matter of course. my 'in the mix' dynamics is done with distortion, saturation and compression, limiting tends to be a final-master jobbie.

    but tbh i would & could easily put 0.5-2db of L1 on every channel and get away with it, but just a lot louder. if i were making dancefloor stuff maybe i would. i hardly need worry about it sounding flat, squashed and brittle , given what a lot of MAJOR psytrance albums sound like these days :P

    its just i'm not really interested in loudness these days, only dynamics (comes of moving to the chill side)

    also, i will readily put reverb on my kick and bass if i feel like it, but again.... horses for courses

    rest is all gold tho imho!!
     
  4. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    spose i should add a tip

    well i'll keep it contemporary, this is what i have personally been concentrating on lately (and getting a great deal of pleasing benefit as a result)

    try to build your tracks out of absolutely nothing ... keep it so minimal you can hardly believe it counts as a tune, so bare that all the elements are totally exposed... and get those elements to be absolutely as pure fuckin brilliant as you can. if one element isnt doing enough, dont add another one, just make the first one better and better and better until it does do enough.

    sounds obvious i suppose, but i spent a long time burying shabby things under other things and its so much better to not let yourself add any pads, or synths, or anything, but just MAKE THE DAMN DRUMTRACK SOUND GREAT ON ITS OWN
    :hehe:

    from a technical perspective this is all good ... obviously though you cant do this technically without also doing it musically, at which point it becomes an aesthetic issue. good practice, though, even if you dont really like minimal music .
     
  5. Crispy

    Crispy Fried for too long

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    sorry i should have been more specific about the limiting :rolleyes: . what i shoulda said was if you want to get your tune nice and loud at the end, bounce the kick and bass together and apply a tiny bit of limiting to it which just stops a few of the crescendo kicks from going over the rest of the lines volume, therefor allowing you to normalise to maximum volume!
    i certainly dont put it on many things other than that and its usually right at the end.



    :Grin:
     
  6. soliptic

    soliptic whirling mathematician

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    a ha yes

    sounds just like me then :Grin:

    ps. and make it a look-ahead limiter, eh :Wink3:
     
  7. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Good post :Smile3:

    I'd say that mostly I savegely cut with eq before compression, because that way I'm only compressing the stuff I want, without all the sub energy making the compressor work when you don't want it to...and then sometimes, put another eq after it to polish and remove any unwanted freqs that might be brought out by the compressor.

    Delays - if you're using tempo-synced delays, you might get phasing problems because the repeated sound is falling exactly on the beat. Offset the delay time by a few ms to stop this.
     
  8. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Member

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    I greatly disagree on this one. I have never, nor will ever, use a drumloop. I have a specific idea in my head about the mood I want every track to convey and there is no way I am going to find some loop that follows it exactly.

    Most drum loops I've heard are pretty damn boring. I like my percussion to be at least a little bit original. I always have a huge :rolleyes: moment when I hear a perc track in a song that is clearly a prepackaged loop.
     
  9. Reconstructed

    Reconstructed Member

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    The only technique I have used before that I have never heard anyone else do is (I posted this up here a while back):

    Record yourself beatboxing the rhythm you want with a microphone. In Cubase, take the M-points of this and convert it to groove. By beatboxing it yourself, you can get all those extremely subtle nuances of groove that you typically only find in a live drum set.
     
  10. Crispy

    Crispy Fried for too long

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    The thing i like about using drum loops is that you get a real groove out of it as all the different volumes of the hits are human like. i tend to load a loop then in phatmatic, then you can select each hit and apply effect or reverse it etc. then bounce the loop and chop up that audio. then rearange the loop into a longer section out of your snippets and then youve got a loop thats longer and sounds much more original than it did in the first place! :Smile3:
    I also use midi programmed drums as well, but i find the combination of the two types works nicely.

    will try the beatboxing thing later :Grin:


    Forgot to mention earlier, how important i feel it is to work with audio. It really opens up the possibilities as you can, for example, chop out a certain bit of a delay and then make use of it on its own (which you couldnt do if it was still running through the delay and depending on another sound to make it)

    :Smile3:
     
  11. Marc

    Marc Scratchadelica

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    top thread peeps :Smile3: ...

    good man... from a psychoaccoustics point of view too much loudness just results in fatigue for the listener and a need for increased volume to achieve the same awareness.

    I think the same can be achieved by spending more time on drum programming - modulating velocities and other parameters yourself to give more of a 'human' feel .. if thats what ur talking about ? [although not that my drum progrmming is any cop..]



    peace,
    marc
     
  12. Ott^

    Ott^ Guesticles

    Disagree.

    Agree.
     
  13. evilwill

    evilwill definitely

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    good thread indeed, some interesting stuff...

    i'll add a few things that work for me:

    1. layer your kiks, especially using hp & lp filters to 'mix and match' high and low ends. this has the advantage that you can add reverb / distortion etc to just one part of the kik. (eg reverb on the high end clicky part, not on the rest works quite well). i'm quite lazy with compression / limiting etc, i tend to have just a couple compressing either the high or the low end of my percussion. with this setup, i've often found that having a kik layer that bypasses all compression can work quite well...

    2. go to www.soundonsound.com, join the forum and post your new track for critiscm. nothing wrong with psyforum except you never get people listening to your tunes! i've got loads of constructive feedback from people who know what they're talking about on that forum, and its definitely helped my music

    3. beware of gear lust! my new year's resolution this year was 'don't buy any audio equipment' and i've pretty much stuck to it (only things i've bought are a few really nice vst plugins). its paid off too, this year i've really got to know my synths and software, i'm making better noises and being more productive cos i know how to use everything properly. also, i've got a much better idea of what i want / don't want in terms of new hardware. (its a new year soon, and the v-synth is looking very niiiiice :o )

    sure there's loads more, but can't think of any right now...
     
  14. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guesticles

    this is probably the most important trick & tip of all if you wish to continue producing yerselves some music.

    DO NOT HAVE KIDS!!!!!!


    i learnt this the hard way!! as all of your precious spare time will now be redirected towards the other noisy thing, y'know the one that pukes on you & smells of poo!!

    gawd bless tho, i wouldnt change a thing now, he's the light of my life. Now he's 3 1/2 you kinda get your life back a little, but for the first year or two...forget it. Down your tools as i can guarantee you will prob be too knackered to even pick them up!
     
  15. psyfi

    psyfi Pie Fly

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    3 1/2 that sounds like an interesting time signature to try out. tee hee.
    Sorry bad joke.
    Kids are the best things you could be distracted by. Plus you are still writing killer tunes anyway so best of both worlds really
    :dancey:
     
  16. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guesticles

    YEAH your right mate, but he came along when i was just the right side of the learning curve..GGrrrrrr!!, now he is pure inspiration especially when he was going through his "psychedelic trance is rubbish!!" at the top of his voice stage!!!
     
  17. jamez_23

    jamez_23 Blah

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    we need to make some psy nursery rhyme tunes - that would cunfuzzle the little fella !!!
     
  18. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guesticles

    yeah....three little men in a flying saucer fllew round the earth one day...

    anyone know that one? my boy has it on cd and its has distorted 909 kick drums in it...boommmm!...boommmmm
     
  19. andrew

    andrew open your mind

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    reverse a sound ... add reverb... and then reverse it again... much about with reversed fx - it's cool!..
     
  20. makdaddy

    makdaddy Guesticles

    good blag for the missus too....

    "but tracy, im doing for the children...its all about the children!!"

    although im sure she wouldnt buy it!!

    *heheh iains glad tracy doesnt log onto the psy-forum!!** she thinks were all a bunch of nerds BTW
     
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