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Desc:Learn to get that 'Christian rock ca. 2002' sound.
Category:Educational, Science & Technology
Tags:smooth, what hells elevator sounds like, Mac users, plugins, music school
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Comment count is 24
Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2013-12-29
Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
That's the unofficial motto of the place I freelance for but it's just audiobooks - I don't think anyone but me actually cares what they sound like.

jangbones - 2013-12-29
is his name "Rub"?
infinite zest - 2013-12-29
Yeah I knew him when he used to be "Wipe"

StanleyPain - 2013-12-29
Fucktards like this are who we have to thank for DAW software having been turned from useful, user-friendly, end-production tools into over-complicated, over-priced bullshit intended to fix every tiny thing about your tracks to turn them into homogenized garbage.
Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
Can we talk about how shit Pro Tools is here? Because my god what a buggy, archaic piece of crap. I use it all the time for work but as soon as I'm doing anything of my own it's Reaper + Wavelab (+ Usine if I'm feeling like a futurist that day).

The sad thing is that because I do so much editing in it I'm now faster with Pro Tools than I am with any of the software I actually like.

Leviathant - 2013-12-30
I got started fiddling around with Screamtracker, then Impulse Tracker, on to Sound Forge, mucked around with Cubase, before settling on Vegas - although I'm forcing myself to work with Reaper now, as Vegas' focus is video editing, and I never liked Acid. (And Reaper is basically Vegas, if it stuck to audio, even according to Justin Frankel) The common denominator here is that I'm a cheapskate - although as soon as I made money from stuff I made in Vegas, I went legitimate, and even bought a few upgrades along the way. Pro Tools was just this thing I read about on the internet, and figured must be some kind of magic.

Then, a handful of years ago, I finally got to play around with a proper Pro Tools setup, and I was astonished at how horrible it is. I forget if this was before or after seeing that "Now you can use Pro Tools on your laptop without dedicated hardware!" Avid commercial. I understand that workflow is different from DAW to DAW, and the learning curve when switching is usually pretty steep (I can't imagine trying to relearn all I know in Photoshop in some other program that's mostly like Photoshop) but ProTools was beyond the pale. The only reason to do stuff in Pro Tools is because studios use Pro Tools.

I had a similar "Wow, really?" epiphany about Final Cut once I finally got to use that, but I did my laughing and pointing about that when Final Cut Pro X came out.

Having said all that ... I'm a developer by trade. While I have made enough money from video and audio I've created using Vegas to actually pay for what I'm using, it is by no means my bread and butter.

StanleyPain - 2013-12-30
I am by no means an expert on music production, but frankly, I think DAW software is a complete waste of fucking time these days. On the occasions me or my friends mess around with music, we just do everything old-school style by playing individual instruments or components into a mixer, into a digital recorder, then putting it into Audacity just to edit or fix whatever. All this production software nowadays is shit: its totally designed for people to just take crap and make it sound like it was top 40 produced and that's about it.

Boomer The Dog - 2013-12-30
When he says you can take your track from this, to THIS, the THIS track sounds distorted by comparison.

I'm with Stanley Pain, and I think that audio processing hardware and software companies have listeners locked in a closed loop. Radio processor companies sell radio stations loudness, being louder than the competition, and offer costly boxes to do it.

Listeners assume that clipped-not-clean is the way all music should sound, so processor companies can sell a box to push average levels even higher, because listeners' brains are used to the sound.

I mostly use Cool Edit 2.0 for radio production, with some plugins, I'm not mastering music tracks, though I do eq and other repair rarely when needed, and it does all that I could imagine. Cool does have a multitrack and you can master with it.

I don't want to gripe too much, but what bothers me is how we have tools to record amazingly clean and high quality sound like never before, but the music software and hardware companies are urging us to record grunge. From their perspective, what if we didn't need half of their tools tomorrow?

I did think that Rub's mic sounded good though, decent job at processing that, it's clean and not too breathy. Really, they should get a presenter who screams the tutorial, his easygoing voice doesn't fit someone who is advertising Loud, fat and in your face.

exy - 2013-12-30
Is increased compression the reason newer albums tend to play louder than older albums?

Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
Sort of, that's the goal but it's more complicated than that. If you actually match your playback levels (which is what happens at the start of an FM broadcast processing chain), the older, less compressed tracks will generally be perceived as fuller and punchier than the overcompressed modern tracks that are "louder" in the meters.

Google "loudness war" and you'll have 20+ years worth of good mastering engineers venting about it.

Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
Also, most of the math behind the choices made during the invention of modern digital audio are starting to be debunked, and we're a the beginning of a time when people who use math instead of ears will finally have to confront the fact that (high end - i.e. more than k per channel) converters are only starting to even approach the fidelity of a properly set up, high quality half inch mastering deck (but without any form of archival quality storage, since there is still no such thing as an archival quality digital medium).

I could go on about this all day but I won't.

Boomer The Dog - 2013-12-30
Compression would be one of the reasons that albums sound louder now, mainly multiband limiting and clipping done in mastering. By getting rid of the peaks in the sound, it allows the average level to be closer to the top, without going over the level that the recording medium or equipment can take.

I'm not against the tools themselves, I think multiband has been very good for broadcasting, but with the level it's being pushed, it sounds like all effect, and not as natural and musical to me.

I have Dog ears though, maybe that's the thing.. :)


chumbucket - 2013-12-30
I disagree on the consistency item. He seems to indicate you want every track to "sound the same". Hey, if the artist wants a hissy, uncompressed analog track on a finished album, why the hell not?
HarrietTubmanPI - 2013-12-30
When did every idiot refer to every piece of music as a song? I don't remember it happening growing up. I get really tired of listening to Ligeti or Brahms or Stravinsky and some idiot asking me 'WHAT SONG IS THAYUT'?

News flash, if nobody is singing, it isn't a song.
Even if someone is singing, it doesn't make it a song.
Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
Better than people who call everything a "piece," though.

EvilHomer - 2013-12-30
You listen to Stravinsky, huh? I think my great-grandpa saw him on tour or something. What's your favorite album?

Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
Ignorance > pretentiousness.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2013-12-30
EvilHomer, Ligeti is pretty modern stuff.

Old Zircon,
Every time I bring up my argument I get someone like you who thinks learning about music written before 1950 is being pretentious. It's not. It's called researching what else is out there and realizing that some amazing things have already been done in the world of music and it's best to learn from the best who already figured out interesting ways of structuring chords, or composing music, or who knew how to combine words with music.

That's not musical snobbery. That's not elitism. That's wanting to LEARN.

Frankly, ignorance isn't and shouldn't be celebrated especially if it's willing ignorance. Most of the time for those who think music was invented in 1950, it is willing ignorance. They don't want to bother with the 1,000+ years of music that was written before because it doesn't 'move their booty' (yes someone actually told me this). I guess they also weren't aware that many compositions that Bach wrote were actually dances. Go figure.

Is it musical elitism to be interested in what Ligeti did, or Elliot Carter, or even Philip Glass? It's called being open to non-traditional music. It's expanding your auditory palate.

It's odd how if this conversation were about literature, you wouldn't think anyone 'elitist' if they were promoting Oscar Wilde over pop culture drivel like Twilight. Or, even if they promoted Neil Gaiman over E. L. James.

It's as if in music, people like you don't even want to expose themselves to the 'other word' because it's somehow icky or because there might be dissonance there. Or if they do, they might become 'pretentious'. I mean, really? Would you be pretentious for enjoying Vonnegut or F. Scott Fitzgerald, too? Would you be a snob if you enjoyed Hemingway or Keats?

I enjoy rock and classic rock, and progressive rock, too. But I also enjoy neo-classical music, serialism, minimalism, avante guard, and chance music.

Knowledge > Ignorance.

BorrowedSolution - 2013-12-30
"That's not musical snobbery. That's not elitism. That's wanting to LEARN."

You're right, but pretty much everything you said *after* that line was definitely elitist. Just because other people lack the interest to delve into a subject that's unimportant in the grand scheme of things doesn't make them lesser people; it just makes them uninformed about that topic. Nobody's getting hurt (except, I guess, you) by people mangling musical terminology, or lacking a musical education; it's not like hucksters misusing scientific terminology to make a profit or something.

Also, people are more likely to become aware of your musical tastes because, well, they're audible. It's a lot easier to ignore which books a person reads because it's easier to ignore a book than a song. If one of the idiots I know asks me what I'm reading, and I say "Crime and Punishment", it's not as if that immediately dates it and sets it into a cultural perspective the same way a few bars of a piece from the 19th century does. Maybe you should take things like this into account before you start venting your frustrations.

Or, you know, just keep throwing tantrums over trivial bullshit. Your call.

Consideration > A tantrum

Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
Anyone looking for some actually decent, mainstream-style mixing tutorials should look here:

Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30
(the music he demonstrates with is still pretty crappy but in this case it's a matter of taste not technique; I haven't seen a single video of his that I didn't learn something from, even if it's as simple as him using the word "authority" to describe bass).

Old_Zircon - 2013-12-30

BorrowedSolution - 2013-12-30
Thanks! Might come in handy if I get my ass into gear and start recording again.

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