Let's face it, for the vast majority of music, the vocals are a make or break. A killer vocal performance with powerful lyrics can take a song from a mediocre soundscape to a top 10 hit. So how do we get that vocal just right? There's more to it than just putting a fancy mic in front of a talented singer. Let's dive into some details.
Ok, you've saved up/earned enough money to get yourself into a pro recording studio. You definitely don't want to waste any time while you're there, as you'll end up paying for it. Hard. I've seen lots of bands come into the studio and start off on the wrong foot. However, it's my job to make sure that bands know how to prepare for the studio. Here's a few ways:
Alright, let's face it. Studio's are damn expensive and sometimes are just out of the budget. But what do you do if you want to get an idea out into the world? In comes home recording. I'll be honest, you can make some pretty incredible stuff at with todays technology. Also, it's probably a good idea for every musician to atleast have a rudimentary understanding of how recording works. It will help you when you get into the studio. So, today we're going to give you 5 home recording hacks that can help you get the most out of your home recording.
Alright, today we're going to talk about one of my favourite topics, Automation. Oh I just love this stage of the mix. This is the stage where the song starts to come alive, at least in my process. For myself, I rely a lot more heavily on automation than EQ to fit things together. This of course depends on the project, but generally speaking. So today we're just going to list a bunch of automation tips. Here we go!
Mixing is no different than any other art form, it takes years of experience and intense practice to really get great at it. And let's face it, you're going to suck at it in the beginning. So, how can we improve faster? How do we shorten the time it takes to master your craft? Deliberate practice. Here are some ways you can deliberately practice mixing and get better faster.
Now before I even start this one, I'm just going to say that these are starting points, and they are just personal starting points. Every drummer, drum kit, microphone setup, room, etc., requires a slightly different approach. But regardless, try these out as a place to start, and then tweak from there.
Getting a great vocal is the cornerstone of almost every song ever written. So we need to focus on really making sure that it sounds killer and cuts through the mix. My vocal chain is always evolving, but I thought I would describe the way it is currently working. And of course, every vocalist requires a slightly different setup, but this is a go-to for me that generally gets the job done.
Making your own drum samples is a great way to get a punchy, natural sound in the mix. By adding in samples of the same kit you’re recording, it allows you to lower the close mics and the cymbal bleed that is captured by them, leading to a cleaner drum sound. Not all bleed is bad, but typically I don’t like a lot of over-compressed hi-hat in my snare track and gates can be tough to dial in.
The easiest way to describe fast and slow is to picture a sound wave in terms of a timeline. It goes up and down repeatedly. Now picture a device that is to capture that sound wave. How well does it capture the true waveform? And how quickly does it do that? How big is the lag? That is what is meant by fast and slow.
Delay is definitely my favourite effect to use on a mix. I'll use it on, guitars, vocals, synths, and depending no the style of music, sometimes even crashes, snares. I find it really adds a lot of character and vibe to the sound. As with most things, this one can easily be overdone. Here's some tips on using delays.
Part of our jobs as engineers is to make sure that we make when the song hits the chorus, the listener knows it. Of course, this is also part of the songwriting, but the producer and engineer have to add to that effect. Sometimes, it can be tough to really get it to hit home. So if you're ever stuck, here's a few ideas to help give you that satisfying feeling a chorus should have.
Yeah we use Pro Tools (actually I use Logic as well). To be honest, I don't really care too much about what DAW I use. I am comfortable using Pro Tools because I've been using it for 15 years, that's about the only reason. So get over it all you naysayers! This post is for the Pro Tools users out there :)
I'm just going take it easy on this one and list a bunch of essential Pro Tools Keyboard Shortcuts. Make these second nature, and your workflow will drastically improve.
In the summer of 2015, I'm pretty sure I heard the song "Lean On" by Major Lazer and DJ Snake atleast 400 times. Good thing I love that tune, such a killer pop song. Unfortunately, every dang producer on the planet has decided to use that vocal sound (or a close replica) in the chorus of their songs. But regardless, it's super fun to play around with. So let's dive in and learn how to create the sound in "Lean On"
Oh how I love miking guitar amps and getting a great guitar sound. It's one of the most satisfying things to do in the studio. As a guitar player, I'm probably biased, but for me it's also one of the most important techniques to know. I'm not going to try to cover every way of doing it, I'm just going to discuss my approach. Hopefully it can help you!