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NEOGAF's Official Music Production Thread: calling all producers

vonStirlitz

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Sadsic

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are the vocals in the middle of the song ok? i really feel hyper critical over my own voice
 

vonStirlitz

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R

Rösti

Unconfirmed Member
Can anyone recommend a good vocal/choral plugin with a demo/trial available? I'm interested in Output's [URL="https://output.com/products/exhale]Exhale[/URL], but there's no demo available (as far as I can tell).

And also, the demo must not require iLok.
 
Do you guys usually mix during production or do you prefer to produce, track out stems, and then mix?
Mixing is an integral part of the process for me, it's something that happens simultaneously with composing the track. And I like to start an empty track with a chain of effects on the master output, which I can toggle as I work on the track. So I can hear the unaffected tracks to make sure they sound alright, then enable the master effects to hear how they sound with those on.

So, make each instrument sound awesome alone, then make them fit in with the other instruments, then make all of them sound awesome together, whilst composing.
 

ekim

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Rösti;235907917 said:
Can anyone recommend a good vocal/choral plugin with a demo/trial available? I'm interested in Output's [URL="https://output.com/products/exhale]Exhale[/URL], but there's no demo available (as far as I can tell).

And also, the demo must not require iLok.
Exhale is fantastic. Output has a 14 day return policy. So kind of a trial. The return process is a little bit complicated though. I haven't seen anything similar to it yet. If you want some "normal" choir samples, there are some really basic ones that are free. Can't remember the name atm.
 

ekim

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could really really use feedback on this thingy

https://www.dropbox.com/s/901wtq965qu3ink/From Which the Spirit Hides.mp3?dl=0

also maybe a vocalist thats not me
I like it a lot.

Some things you could improve:
You should adjust the mixing levels, especially the main voice is too low compared to the background vocals later on. The intro pad is coming in too hot and distorts (unless this is wanted)
The mix is coherent in terms of having a certain feel to it but I think it misses some clarity and is too crowded especially in the mid frequency spectrum. But this is also subjective. your voice seems fine but as I said, it could be louder. Do you have a Multiband comp on the master?
 

MadraptorMan

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If there's anyone around who is interested in 90's-style alternative rock, please give my band's attempt at recording and mixing a demo EP a listen and let me know what you think. It took a lot of hours to get this far but I know there are still plenty of problems with it. I'd like some advice especially on the mixing end but also just musically. All the drums were done with an electric set so we only have them in stereo unfortunately. Really flattens the sound I think:

The Worst Case Scenario - Slap a Clown EP

If we can scrounge up enough practice time and money we plan to get some actual studio time this year..
 

Piercedveil

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Mixing is an integral part of the process for me, it's something that happens simultaneously with composing the track. And I like to start an empty track with a chain of effects on the master output, which I can toggle as I work on the track. So I can hear the unaffected tracks to make sure they sound alright, then enable the master effects to hear how they sound with those on.

So, make each instrument sound awesome alone, then make them fit in with the other instruments, then make all of them sound awesome together, whilst composing.
Cool, I also tend to mix while creating. I like to have an idea of how the sounds will fit into the mix before I actually do the final mix at the end of the process. I've seen a lot of people online say that they like to create the piece of music, export the stems, and then mix since it separates the processes. That also makes sense to me.

Good idea with the toggling chain of effects.
 

Sadsic

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I like it a lot.

Some things you could improve:
You should adjust the mixing levels, especially the main voice is too low compared to the background vocals later on. The intro pad is coming in too hot and distorts (unless this is wanted)
The mix is coherent in terms of having a certain feel to it but I think it misses some clarity and is too crowded especially in the mid frequency spectrum. But this is also subjective. your voice seems fine but as I said, it could be louder. Do you have a Multiband comp on the master?
im using a bunch of disparate ozone effects on the master currently

here's an updated version of this song with a bunch of edits amde by all the feedback ive gotten on the song

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xsqzw937f6wdcnc/Spirit%20Will%20Always%20Find%20You.mp3?dl=0
 

Nyx

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Maschine MK2, yay or nay?

I've been producing in Reason since 2008 and besides having an Oxygen V2 midi-controller for it I never used anything else.

Something like the Maschine sounds like a good idea because in Reason I'm always building drum loops by using the Redrum sequencer and I feel this way is limiting me cause everything sounds so obviously like loops. With a touch pad like on the Maschine I think I can create more variation in everything a lot easier.

Thoughts ?
 

ekim

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Maschine MK2, yay or nay?

I've been producing in Reason since 2008 and besides having an Oxygen V2 midi-controller for it I never used anything else.

Something like the Maschine sounds like a good idea because in Reason I'm always building drum loops by using the Redrum sequencer and I feel this way is limiting me cause everything sounds so obviously like loops. With a touch pad like on the Maschine I think I can create more variation in everything a lot easier.

Thoughts ?
Maschine is pretty much useless without the plugin it comes with and Reason doesn't support VST yet (but I think they announced VST support for one of the next versions)
 

Nyx

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Maschine is pretty much useless without the plugin it comes with and Reason doesn't support VST yet (but I think they announced VST support for one of the next versions)
This month I get 7 expansions with it if I buy it from a certain shop. Also I don't intend to use it to control Reason, I want to use it to create beats and melodies which I can save as WAV and load in Reason afterwards to make it in complete tracks.

So, as a separate tool to make music with. :)
 

Aomber

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Screw it, I occasionally lurk this thread but have never contributed, I usually spend my time making music so I avoid posting a lot but thought I'd drop in, say hi and sub. Mostly come from EDMGAF.

Long time Ableton user here (6 years now) but I've been experimenting lately with iPad production for outside of my main studio. Anyone else produce either partly or fully on one and got any app suggestions? So far I've just been using Korg Gadget, Garage Band, and Moog Model 15. Really digging Korg Gadget as a main platform since you can export directly to Live, still need to pick up Audiobus

Maschine MK2, yay or nay?

I've been producing in Reason since 2008 and besides having an Oxygen V2 midi-controller for it I never used anything else.

Something like the Maschine sounds like a good idea because in Reason I'm always building drum loops by using the Redrum sequencer and I feel this way is limiting me cause everything sounds so obviously like loops. With a touch pad like on the Maschine I think I can create more variation in everything a lot easier.

Thoughts ?
The one thing I always ask people when they're considering buying a piece of gear like this: Are you going to use it for performance?

Keep in mind this is a $600 investment. If you're going to only be using it for production, that's a lot of money for something that honestly you can do with any MIDI controller and drum plugin. Don't get me wrong, Maschine is a solid product, but think about what you want to use it for. I got an APC 40 a long time ago thinking I was gonna use it for production and I absolutely didn't.

As far as your drums sounding like loops... First of all, if you use the Redrum sequencer, it's going to sound like that because all the drums are being quantized perfectly by a computer. There's a couple ways around that - either play the drums yourself on any MIDI controller, or offset the drums very slightly in a piano roll, not only will it sound more human but the transients between drum samples will be separated. Velocity also does wonders.

Do you guys usually mix during production or do you prefer to produce, track out stems, and then mix?
I come from the stance of an electronic producer so I naturally mix while producing, but I do a good chunk of mixing once it's all done as well. I leave mastering for the very end, occasionally making final mixing decisions in the process.
 

Nyx

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I don't perform (bedroom producer) so I would use it only for production yes. I've watched some tutorials and creating beats and sounds on the Maschine looks fun and easy. It also looks like something that I can be more creative with than with Reason.
 

Aomber

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I don't perform (bedroom producer) so I would use it only for production yes. I've watched some tutorials and creating beats and sounds on the Maschine looks fun and easy. It also looks like something that I can be more creative with than with Reason.
Go for it then, if you have the cash to plop and you think it'll help your creativity then it's a good tool. Native instruments tend to include a lot of great sounds with their software too so as far as that goes you can't go wrong. I will add that if you wanna try it usually stores like guitar center have a demo.
 

vonStirlitz

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[Redacted as the member no longer wishes to be associated with this website, and the reputational damage and distress caused by association with this website. In addition, the user considers that the action of the management, and the nature of the site and members of its community, renders the original terms and conditions of this site void, and it unconscionable for either side to be bound to them. The user reasserts their IP rights in all content and does not give any authority for its continued usage on this website. Despite requesting that the user's account be deleted, in accordance with data protection rules which apply to this website over multiple jurisdictions, the admin team have failed to delete this account, requiring the user to take its own steps to ensure the valid deletion of data.]
 

Aomber

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You need audiobus. It is so simple and yet so effective.

I mainly use iPad and hardware. I dont have the time or desire to master a complex DAW, although credit to those who use them. The pad works for me as it is a good supplement to hardware, tactlie and i see it more as an instrument.

Korg Gadget is good, but it sounds very samey. I prefer Thor and iSymphonic Orchestra. For samples, I use Beat Time, Samplr, Sampletank and iMPC.

If you like exotic stuff, try Borderlands for granular synthesis. It looks simple but it is really deep once you get into it. Fieldscaper is good for experimental soundscapes. Fugue Machine is amazing for developing little riffs and complex melodies. There are many others, but those are my top three.

Turnado for FX. It is fantastic. Easy to glitch your samples in a horrific way, but it can also be subtle if used cautiously.

Blocs Wave is a really sweet sample/loop editor. Simple and fast to use. Easy to change sample keys and get several running at once, either as an idea generator or in order to make more complex loops. You can import so dont have to rely on presets.

Obviously, Cubasis, Garageband and Hokusai for workstation purposes.
Awesome thanks for the detailed post! Will check these out

Somebody recommended me Pro Tunes. Do y'all like it?
I'm guessing you meant pro tools? Couldn't find anything about pro tunes lol

Anyway yeah it's a good daw, been the industry standard for a number of years... That said it depends what you're doing, if you're working with audio mostly then it's good, midi not so much. I don't usually recommend it to home producers because it's also really expensive compared to competitors that are just as capable.
 
Somebody recommended me Pro Tunes. Do y'all like it?
I haven't used Pro Tools in probably 12 or 13 years, but I wasn't a fan. Of the software or the hardware. But who knows how it's changed since then, maybe it's awesome now. Even if it's improved though, the free version looks incredibly limited and above that it's an expensive yearly upgrade or a monthly subscription plan. I'd just go with any other DAW at that point, no limits and a one time purchase.

http://www.reaper.fm/
 

Aomber

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Obviously, Cubasis, Garageband and Hokusai for workstation purposes.
Quoting again cause I have one question about this in regards to Audiobus.

I noticed that audiobus supports midi output to cubasis, but garage band only supports audio output. When audiobus uses midi input/output, does that mean like, if I have a melody or set of chords in midi in cubasis, and my midi input is an app like model 15 or Thor, that the midi from cubasis will play the audio from the input app?

Just wondering if that's correct because that'll mean I have to buy Cubasis. Garage band won't cut it since it doesn't support that, neither does gadget unfortunately.

EDIT: Now reading that this can get complicated, not sure I wanna go far down this rabbit hole. Hmm
 

Aomber

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I can't figure out how people get their songs on SoundCloud so loud. I'm assuming I'm just terrible at mixing? Basically, I mixed the best I could and did a quick master by referencing this guide on Reddit.

Is there anything else I should be aware of aside from becoming better at these processes?
There is some truth to a better mix leading to a louder natural master. That being said, a lot of the reason tracks on SoundCloud are loud is because of a thing called the loudness war. Google it, its a pretty complicated subject, but basically people master loudly to get the listeners attention. The downside is that you end up with the dynamic range being squashed, which in some genres doesn't matter as much as others, but... I wouldn't encourage it. It's a bad practice because it doesn't encourage a good mix and should you ever distribute music to other platforms, the volume gets evened out across all songs making the loudness war mostly negligible.

I'd also encourage you to learn a bit more about self mastering. Watch some videos, do some reading, etc. A good place to start would be to learn about RMS specifically when it comes to limiting. Mastering is an entire career field, you don't have to know it all but a Reddit 101 guide will only get you so far.
 

Piercedveil

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I'd also encourage you to learn a bit more about self mastering. Watch some videos, do some reading, etc. A good place to start would be to learn about RMS specifically when it comes to limiting. Mastering is an entire career field, you don't have to know it all but a Reddit 101 guide will only get you so far.
I have been doing so and plan to continue. I am still very focused on the production side since that is my main priority, however, I realize how important other aspects can be in actually making the piece of music sound good.

I will look into the loudness war. I have definitely heard that phrase before.
 

Chris Metal

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I can't figure out how people get their songs on SoundCloud so loud. I'm assuming I'm just terrible at mixing? Basically, I mixed the best I could and did a quick master by referencing this guide on Reddit.

Is there anything else I should be aware of aside from becoming better at these processes?
Anything which called itself the 5 Minute master just ignore...

I stopped reading when I saw professional monitors can't reproduce 20-30hz... Yes they can... I've used plenty that do. That's what Farfield's are for and Sub's if you don't have Nierfield that produce frequencies down to that range. Human ears can hear 20Hz-20KHz average dependant on hearing loss and genetics. Lower frequencies isn't just "rumble" it's felt a lot of the time. just cutting those is fucking stupid. Pisses me off seeing guides like this trying to generalise processes in mixing/mastering.

Cutting should be done at the recording stage to prevent low frequency hum and noise that are not needed or will cause problem issues later. The low/high frequencies get built up during mixing with multiple tracks/instruments in the music space but slapping a high pass filter during mastering is not the way to go all the time. Same way you don't cut 30Khz above everything. Instruments have harmonics in upper ranges and certain instruments need treatment for different EQ ranges to make room for others and different EQ ranges. Just slapping a cut on a stereo interleaved file and calling it a day is wrong wrong wrong and a bad practice.
 
I can't figure out how people get their songs on SoundCloud so loud. I'm assuming I'm just terrible at mixing? Basically, I mixed the best I could and did a quick master by referencing this guide on Reddit.

Is there anything else I should be aware of aside from becoming better at these processes?
If you export your song as individual tracks I could take a look at it and see what's up, give you suggestions, as well as a quick mix.
 

panthapanda

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I'm transitioning to Apple products so I'd like to know what are some of the least buggy DAWs to work with. It's more a hobby but I'm most familiar with FL Studio for just ease of use. I feel like Ableton is where I want to go if I ever do decide to get serious but the little time I've worked with it definitely overwhelmed me lol.
 

NotSelf

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I'm transitioning to Apple products so I'd like to know what are some of the least buggy DAWs to work with. It's more a hobby but I'm most familiar with FL Studio for just ease of use. I feel like Ableton is where I want to go if I ever do decide to get serious but the little time I've worked with it definitely overwhelmed me lol.

I found Reason the easiest to use it has a virtual rack with cables that you can plug in like real world hardware oh and reason will soon be getting vst support it's probably the best time anyone new to this DAW to get into it.
 

lazygecko

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Vally

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I found Reason the easiest to use it has a virtual rack with cables that you can plug in like real world hardware oh and reason will soon be getting vst support it's probably the best time anyone new to this DAW to get into it.
^ Yep, Reason is my favorite too. I tried FL Studio but didn't find it that intuitive
 

RedRum

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How many of you guys have said my name in this thread. Stahp! I keep checking my replies and this keeps coming up!
 

vonStirlitz

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[Redacted as the member no longer wishes to be associated with this website, and the reputational damage and distress caused by association with this website. In addition, the user considers that the action of the management, and the nature of the site and members of its community, renders the original terms and conditions of this site void, and it unconscionable for either side to be bound to them. The user reasserts their IP rights in all content and does not give any authority for its continued usage on this website. Despite requesting that the user's account be deleted, in accordance with data protection rules which apply to this website over multiple jurisdictions, the admin team have failed to delete this account, requiring the user to take its own steps to ensure the valid deletion of data.]
 

neurochasm

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While we're introducing ourselves I'll hop in and say hello. I'm getting back into music creation after a really long hiatus, like well over a decade. I used to make hokey-ass psytrance songs with a cracked version of Fruity Loops 3. I primarily used the TS404 and step sequencer, didn't know shit about mixing, let alone mastering. Eventually I got into it enough to buy a hardware synth but it mostly gathered dust because it was hard to find documentation and doing any kind of recording with it was beyond my abilities.

Anyway, I caught the bug again recently and bought FL studio 12. Holy shit. It's insane how far VSTs and DAWs have progressed since the early/mid 2000s. I feel like someone installed a fully fledged recording studio into my living room and said "have at it". I'm actually having a hard time regulating my time because all I want to do is read up and experiment. Youtube tutorials are a fucking treasure. Wish it had existed back then.


Speaking of plugins, what are some of you guys favorite free ones?
Diffuse Delay is delay/reverb plugin that sounds really damn cool. I just picked it up yesterday and have been playing around with it. It's free until June 8th, usually 50 bucks.

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2017/05/19/surreal-machines-diffuse-delay-free/
 

ekim

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I can't figure out how people get their songs on SoundCloud so loud. I'm assuming I'm just terrible at mixing? Basically, I mixed the best I could and did a quick master by referencing this guide on Reddit.

Is there anything else I should be aware of aside from becoming better at these processes?
Some short thoughts about this from my own experience:
- keep your frequencies "gated", especially distribute the low end to bass and bass drum and keep the rest out of the low frequencies.
- listen to the song in different volumes. Monitoring too loud can trick you into false assumptions. Best is to get a good mix at a lower than average headphone/monitor volume
- shoot for between -3db and -5db on the 2bus (so no clipping anytime)
- raise the volume with a multiband compressor and/or exciter on the 2bus at the end of the mix to between 0 and 3db (depends on how much dynamics are left)