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  #1  
Old 10-19-2021, 06:05 PM
dreemeternal dreemeternal is offline
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Default Back to basics

Hello. I'm new to this forum. I've been recording at home for a few years now. I've been a musician for a long time, and my recordings of my music are very decent, both in writing, performing, and recording, BUT....
There seems to be an ingredient missing to approach professional quality of the recording itself.
I had a Grammy award nominee master a couple of my songs, and they sound better but not quite there yet. I hear tons of artists, on Soundcloud, for example; whose recordings sound excellent, and I refuse to think they all record in a professional studio. I have a fast Mac, pro tools, logic, Focusrite clarett 8pre.
I know it's a very general question, but I'm wondering if any of you with similar equipment are getting professional grade results. What am I doing wrong?
Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2021, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Back to basics

Welcome to the forum. That's a broad question. It's an art & a science. Lots to learn. Hint: it's not all about the gear.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2021, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Back to basics

Welcome to the community.

The general rule is the closer to the source you are, the greater are the benefits when you fix anything.

Meaning if you have a better song, it sounds great with crappy equipment. If you have a crappy song, it sounds crappy with better equipment.

But assuming you have a great song and great artist, I would put my money into one great mic and one great preamp. Southsidemusic could tell you how much it means, but having a great mic connected to a great preamp does the trick.

After AD conversion everything is on the same line and whether you do good or bad decisions in mixing only depends on your room and monitoring.
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Back to basics

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Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
Welcome to the community.

The general rule is the closer to the source you are, the greater are the benefits when you fix anything.

Meaning if you have a better song, it sounds great with crappy equipment. If you have a crappy song, it sounds crappy with better equipment.

But assuming you have a great song and great artist, I would put my money into one great mic and one great preamp. Southsidemusic could tell you how much it means, but having a great mic connected to a great preamp does the trick.

After AD conversion everything is on the same line and whether you do good or bad decisions in mixing only depends on your room and monitoring.
All true! But wait! There's MORE. Things to consider:
1-Monitoring. Even the best speakers can sound like crap in a poorly treated(or untreated) room. Decent speakers can work well in a properly treated room(if you are not able to hear accurately, you can't make good mix choices).
2-I second the need for 1 or 2 premium inputs and highly recommend a pair of API 312 clones, or Neve 1073 clones. Extra points for adding a good compressor(I love my Warm Audio WA2A comps).
3-A perfect recording of crap will always be crap.
4-The skill of the engineer makes a bigger difference than the gear(no song ever became a hit because of a mic, preamp, or converter).
5-The best way to improve(once you have accurate monitoring) is to compare your work to the pro's in your chosen genre(and remember that mp3 format files will NOT give you the truth about your work, or the pro's work).
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2021, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Back to basics

Thank you for basically repeating what I said, but let's focus on the very important point number five.

Once you have treated your listening (treated room and chosen monitors) you need to spend considerable time just listening, listening and listening. You need to get used to what you expect to hear. I love Genelecs and can basically use them anywhere, in untreated room, because I am familiar to how they sound. A real workhorse at least here in Finland. There is no magic wand that lets you skip this step. It is absolutely crucial that you know how your listening environment sounds. Until that all the decisions you make while mixing are 50-50 rolling dice.

Same goes to live gigs. You need to tune your PA with a method that is familiar to you. Untreated PA makes you sound crappy. And in the case of live situations and differently treated PA, the (line level) recording of said gig is going to sound like crap at your treated room so some pseudo mastering is needed to get the recording sound like you heard it in the arena where you tuned the PA in a certain way. It will also help if you have another recording using stereo mic, just to capture the feeling (audience noise can be desirable or disturbing).

Same also holds true when you buy a new pair of headphones. First of all, they need to be "burned in", so out of the box feed dynamic music to them for a week before you start listening. But then you need to be listening with the stuff that is familiar to you. The only way to trust your headphones, again no shortcuts available.
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Old 10-20-2021, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Back to basics

I figure good advice deserves reinforcement I am also a big fan of Genelecs, but they can still be at the mercy of the room and treatments like any other speaker. When I first got my 8050A's, I had a very well-treated room and they were unbelievably great. When I moved to a bigger spot, they sounded absolutely awful in the new CR. After major sound treatments, they got much better, but never as good as in the first room(the new CR was a bad layout, an asymmetrical space and had useless treatments when I moved in). Sadly, I sold those speakers with the rest of the gear and have missed them ever since

Maybe with all the info that you and I have posted, the OP will come back with more detail on their setup
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Old 10-20-2021, 02:32 PM
dreemeternal dreemeternal is offline
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Default Re: Back to basics

Thanks guys. Yeah; I do feel silly with this broad question; and agree with all of you 100%. Hope this is allowed; here's my music:https://dreemeternalmusic.com/music/
considering all of those things; I feel I've hit a wall.
Thank you all!
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2021, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Back to basics

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
I figure good advice deserves reinforcement
dru dat
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Old 10-20-2021, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Back to basics

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Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
When I first got my 8050A's
I got my pair of 8050A's straight from factory before they were available for purchase publicly. They are great, and I still use them as live nearfield reference. But at home I have 7060B sub and five 8040A satellites.
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Old 10-21-2021, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Back to basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreemeternal View Post
Thanks guys. Yeah; I do feel silly with this broad question; and agree with all of you 100%. Hope this is allowed; here's my music:https://dreemeternalmusic.com/music/
considering all of those things; I feel I've hit a wall.
Thank you all!
Just a quick listen on your first few songs, not in a critical listening environment, but my immediate reaction was to your string sound… I would start with improving that and then mix the rest of your sounds around the strings. Even with a good sample library, there are several things you need to consider to make your strings sound convincing.
1. Use quality string samples, and play or program each layer specific to the library you are using. Each library will react to the same MIDI data differently. Simply copying and pasting the same midi track to use with a different library, or even a different patch in the same library isn’t enough… the playing or programming needs to be tailored to get the best out of the library you are using.
2. Every string sound needs its own space. Pan each layer differently, try to set them up the way a live orchestra would be positioned on stage. Send them all to the same reverb using busses, adjust distance front to back with the bus send and fader for that track. I usually roll off everything under around 600Hz on my string reverb so it doesn’t clutter the low end of my mix. Once you have this set up, save it as a template for future string projects.
3. Never double the same sample! This will create a chorusy, fake sound. This means when you play a chord, each note of the chord should be triggering a different sample. While there are some sample libraries that can do divisi under the hood for you, it’s important to understand that they still have limitations.
4. Experiment with blending different libraries, also experiment with blending different section sizes. 4 solo violins from different libraries will probably sound better than a patch that was 4 violins recorded together. There isn’t one end-all string library, they all sound a little bit different and do certain things better.
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