My first half decent recording, please devastate it

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by OmegaSlayer, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    So, I purchased a Focusrite Solo 2nd generation and a Line 6 POD XT, and running through my sh tty PC (AMD E1-2100 with 4GB of RAM) I decided to start recording stuff.

    So, I'm using Cubase 5.0...
    The guitar I used is a Schecter DEmon 7 with Duncan Design pick-ups.
    Piano, drums and bass guitar are ripped from Guitar Pro tabs :lol:

    http://youtu.be/RSY7sFe11Js

    With this and the other recordings what immediately comes to my ear is that I struggle to play soulful, so vibratos are almost non existent...I'm still very nervous when I record and I even forget the notes/parts/etc...

    Anyway, I want to listen from all of you what you don't like, what I can improve and eventually how.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Sorry, stupid double posting :(
     
  3. PhilT

    PhilT SS.org Regular

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    I don't feel like I'm really qualified to criticise your mix since I'm a beginner myself as well, but I'll give you my opinion with the hope maybe it'll help somehow.

    First thing I would work on is the overall balance. The guitar on the Right side seems to be a lot louder than everything else.

    Snare and Kick are barely audible and I would try to keep the guitars on both sides at roughly (if not exactly) the same level.

    Also there's a sudden drop in the overall volume around 0:51. I'm not sure if it's an automation gone wrong or some weird side chain in the master bus, but it's a bit distracting.

    Around 2:34 it sounds to my ears like the R guitar is quite behind the beat. If that's something intentional I would try to get both guitars behaving the same way.

    Same thing happens to me, man! I'm playing something well enough to feel kinda proud of it and then as soon as I press Record it's like all my skills are suddenly gone!


    Keep on the good work, man!
     
  4. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    You have ears, so you're able to criticize :)
    I don't know why the Right guitar sounds louder.

    I picked up Stand Ablaze because it has 3 guitars for most of the time.
    A Central one which is mostly rhythm and 2 lead ones in stereo.

    I recorded both the leads with the same set-up and volume, panned them to 90-10, then equalized them a bit differently.
    The right one seems to have more body after the EQ and sounds louder, but the volumes are the same...I don't know yet if there's some tool with which I can measure the balance of stuff.

    I don't have any automation so far, I still don't know how to do them, as I said it's not refined at all.
    I'm trying to learn bit by bit, this is the first time I use some EQ for example

    Don't know what happened on 2:34 and why the guitar sounds behind the beat, as it's a copy/paste of the previous same part.

    I don't know, I noticed that my Asio Bus peaks maybe because my PC is not powerful enough and it add some latency or strange volume shifts here and there.
    At the same time, if I manage to make something out of a weak PC, if I can put my hands on a good one, it will be a walk in the park.

    As for the nervousness while playing, I think I must record loads of stuff and get used to play while recording.

    I won't spend time correcting this song.
    For me it's done like this and I'll move to another song, then eventually in 2-3 months I'll record it again and see how and where I improved.

    Thanks PhilT and good luck to you too :)
     
  5. Nick

    Nick SS.org Regular

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    Firstly you need to get hold of the right tools. If you are serious about getting decent at recording you need to be able to create a mix where all of the parts are of a similar standard. Even a brilliant guitar tone will sound poor if it is paired with sub standard drums/bass etc.

    Get EZ drums 2 and a half decent bass - Squire 70s Jazz basses can be had used for very little and if you stick a set of quarter pounders in it they are great.

    From there on its trial and error. There are millions of resources to read up on online and you will just get better as you learn new tricks/discover new plugins etc

    if your question is about your playing, recording yourself and listening back will help with that as well.
     
  6. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    There comes a point in all of our musical lives where we realize we don't want to rely on spending money to have some other guy do all the recording, mixing, and mastering, so we do it ourselves. :lol:

    It's a completely different skill set than just being able to play well, and it's a difficult skill to do well. The track is overall pretty muddled and could use some volume tweaks, as well as EQ. Perhaps for the moment you could focus on the volume of each track to sit well. I didn't hear the volume dip at :51 like someone mentioned before, and I didn't notice the playing falling behind later on either.

    The drums really need to be more well defined though. I'm not sure what the peaks are, but in general drums tend to be out front. You could bring the lead guitars down in volume and I think it would solve a lot of the issues, because as it is they're a bit too dominating. The rhythm guitar sounds like it's a decent volume, but those leads are just too front of center. They take up audio space that the drums could be taking. The guitar that's panned to the right does sound louder, and might be the main culprit to the loud leads. Perhaps when you EQ'd them you left some of the more dominant frequencies when compared to the left panned guitar. Solo them out and try to EQ them in a way that they sound pretty similar.

    To be fair, I never listened to the original track until like two minutes ago, so I had no idea what was being aimed for. Not gonna lie, but the original track sounds to be a bit of a mess, as far as the mix goes.

    It really is a matter of trial and error when it comes to recording. You'll want to work on it for a while, take a break, then come back with fresh ears. You'll notice it sounds much different even to yourself the longer you wait to listen to it again. Listen to it on different stereo systems. Computer speakers, headphones, car stereos, home stereos... Different speakers and systems color the audio in different ways. By listening on different systems, you'll be able to hear certain frequencies that are way too prominent and need to be pulled further down.

    As a quick point of reference, 150hz tends to build up REALLY quickly in mixes. Pretty much every instrument you'll ever use will want some piece of that frequency area, and you need to decide what requires it most. In general, I tend to cut a good chunk of the ~150hz out of my guitars, a little out of my bass, and I allow the kick drum to have most of it since that's where you really feel the kick. Palm mutes on guitars love this area too, so when EQing your guitars, a spot with lots of palm muting is a good place to aim.

    Sorry this post is a bit all over the place. Keep in mind that nothing anyone says is 100%, and your best tool is your own ears. If something sounds wrong to you, then by all means, look for a way to remedy that in your own way. Like I said before, mixing and mastering are completely different skills, and they will take a while to get right. I've been doing it for years, and I wouldn't even call myself intermediate. I'm still very much an amateur at it.
     
  7. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Getting EZ Drums implies that I should learn how to track drums, which I'm very incompetent, when I had a band, the drummer was the only one allowed to come up with his own ideas on the songs I wrote because I had no idea of what a drum must do and when :D

    Thanks Chokey, I'll try to read that in bits and understand it.

    As much as volumes, EQ and stuff concerns me, the important thing is to practice because I'm very annoyed of HOW I play :(
    Those leads are very dead and it pains me a lot.
     
  8. Nick

    Nick SS.org Regular

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    building drum tracks is easy. You literally need to be able to count and work out what is humanly possible and what isn't. You can also import midi from GP to EZ drummer so exactly what you have done apart from it will sound great
     
  9. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    If you ever want a drum midi converted into something a little less dull, PM it to me. No guarantees I'll be able to go through the midi and humanize everything, but we have a heap of decent drum samples I could run the midi through. It'd sound better than standard midi drums, and most (if not all) free/cheap samples at the very least.
     
  10. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Gene Hoglan didn't get where he is today by worrying about what's "humanly possible"

    alright alright I know what you meant
     
  11. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    I think I must take little steps.
    Today I took a different approach.
    Instead of recording a song in 3 hours after having worked all day I decided to stop after having tracked the rhythm guitars and do the leads tomorrow.
    I think that learning to not ask too much from yourself all at one time is a little big lesson.
    I also tracked in a different way, recording the whole track all at once more times, then selecting the better parts....I feel it works better.

    I know that a good recording implies good drums, but at the moment I'm focusing on making what I should know how to play...decent :lol:

    Thanks for the help Chokey, let's see if I manage to record these guitar parts in a way that I like, then if they're ok and I won't waste your time, I'll gladly accept your help with the drums :)
     
  12. Rachmaninoff

    Rachmaninoff Amateur porn actor

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    Okay, so I'm listening to your mix through a pair of KRK VXT4 active monitors, which I use to check all my mixes... :cool:
    1. The overall mix sounds really muddy, try cutting around 100 Hz, maybe an HPF on some instruments, really hard to give an advice without looking deeply;
    2. The drums seem to be off-tempo, slightly ahead of tempo;
    3. You should spend some time checking the drums MIDI notes, some cymbals seem to be hitting the wrong notes, sometimes no note at all;
    4. Drum kicks are too loud and have too much < 50 Hz energy;
    5. Drums and bass are deep buried in the mix, guitars are too loud;
    6. Guitar tone has too much mids and mid/bass, try tweaking EQ from 500 to 1000 Hz;
    7. Guitar at left side is doing some "chugga-chugga" too loud, it's taking the attention away from the solo guitar.
    Uh... that's it so far. Keep going, mixing takes time to learn. :yesway:
     
  13. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    I'm recording Testament - Electric Crown, so if you like, you can help me during the process of equalizing.
    I'll post the raw recording before fiddling with equalization and stuff. :) :D
     
  14. QuantumCybin

    QuantumCybin Lost In Thought

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    Can't listen at the moment but I will when I get home. I'm by no means an expert at recording, but 3 years ago I signed up on SSO and this subforum in particular really blew my mind and showed me it's totally possible to make good quality audio recordings done for cheap.....it just takes a lot of patience and time to learn!

    If you have some spare change, I'd take a look at buying "The Systematic Mixing Guide"; of course nothing is law in recording, but I'm sure I'm not the only person on here who loves that book. I still refer to it frequently.
     
  15. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

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    Dude, there's no need to be nervous when you're recording. No one is sitting there counting how many takes you need to do in order to nail it, or looking at how many plugins you're using, or looking at what gear you're using. Just relax! This is al just for you. :)

    I think rather than give you a lot of individual bits of info I'll just say pull up a track you really like and use it as a reference. It's going to be really discouraging at first but don't worry about nailing the track. I still can't get close to my reference tracks for the life of me, but you don't need to copy them for it to help you with your mix.

    Pull up a track you dig and listen to the levels of the drums and guitars, I think you'll find that your guitars can come way down, while your snare and kick can come up quite a bit. After that, start looking at the actual EQ curves and listen to what's getting in the way. The guitars definitely have something nasally in the low mids that needs to come out, as a starting point.

    Great job man, keep up the good work!
     
  16. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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  17. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Some will argue with taking tips from this guy but I think Death Culture on youtube has some good tips.

    One thing I learned about guitar EQ is that you want to filter lows and highs to leave room for other things like the kick drum and cymbals.

    Also a very good tip to me was the eq sweeping. Is where you set the bandwidth very low to where it is just a sharp line, Boost it way up and then slowly sweep the frequency across the entire spectrum. You will eventually hear some god awful noises and when you do you want to drop the gain way down on those to get rid of them.

    It is something you can't hear in the mix but if you single it out and sweep you will hear it.

    He tends to do this sweep method alot, like after everything he adds. So if he adds compression, he will then sweep. If he adds saturation or something else, sweep again. (not sure if that is good or bad) but he will have quite a few eq's on the guitars by the time he is done.
     
  18. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    OK, I learnt a BIG lesson today.
    Record a song.
    Thrash it.
    Record it again a couple of days later.
    Having it tracked down "someway" even if not perfect is a confidence boost.
    It kinda says...dude, you've done it already, you can keep quiet...and magically a few days later you can record it in one take.
    Big big big lesson.
    Still I can't get my head over the equalizing stuff.
    And I decided to purchase EZDrummers 2 down the line, that program is pure magic, especially if you want to record your stuff.
     
  19. Crescendo

    Crescendo Surgical

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    That guitar tone is actually good in the YouTube video. You can do interesting stuff with it, but first you need to high-pass the guitars; I hear some low frequency rumble you should get rid of. Those two YT links are identical by the way. I'm sure you didn't intend it.

    The cymbal (I suppose it is a ride cymbal) seems hilariously robotic. What do you use for drums? The drums lack power too. You definitely need to compress and EQ them. Use a compressor that doesn't have a super fast attack, for both kick and snare, since you don't want to compress the transient (initial pop) of those drums. Try 15-20ms. Experiment with thresholds and ratios, but try 3:1 first.

    Is there no dirt/distortion in the bass track? Just the low end track? I suggest you copy the existing bass track and process the new track differently: eliminate sub 500Hz and add distortion (maybe TSE BOD etc) and EQ to your liking. Compress the devil out of it.

    The rule of thumb about EQing could be that you should subtract, rather than add. For instance the first thing you want to do to guitars and drums alike, is taking away the boxiness which lies around 300-500Hz.
     
  20. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Drums are...ta-dan...the drums ripped from the Guitar Pro converted in .Wav :lol:
    I read your stuff and something else around and trashed Electric Crown as it was, I'll record it once again in the next days paying attention to other stuff, like recording all the guitars and not just copy/paste them
    And most of all I had been patient, took my time and recorded it in 3 takes over 3 days instead of rushing it in 3 hours after 13 hours of work :D

    I've done 10 guitars for this one, it seems to sound good, except for the Drum which is incredibly awful :lol:
    Maybe I'll need Chokey Chicken help to make it good :) :D

    But I'm overall satisfied with this one...except for Dave Murray's solo, but as much as I love Adrian Smith's solo on the song...I hate Dave Murray's one...it's inorganic, seems a patch of ideas and it's played over an imho uninteresting progression.

    Anyway...



    EDIT: Edited with 2.0 version with improved drums.
     

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