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Making Electronic Music

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Mauricio
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2220 on: Mar 17th, 2010, 10:31pm »

on Mar 17th, 2010, 8:15pm, Generalife wrote:
okay guys, i don't know where else to turn to. i've read through almost this entire thread from scratch, employed just about every trick in it, and gone to various other forums / help sites, and yet my songs still aren't turning out sounding... "professional" enough. help! here's my newest tune that i just attempted to produce:

http://soundcloud.com/the-transatlantic-trapeze/bee-assassin-demo

Things that I'm especially frustrated about: kick AND snare are WEAK. i keep listening to "fluttery" for comparison and it makes me wince how bad mine sounds. Furthermore, the synths all basically sound mushy and not clear.

Things I've tried ON this track: panning, compressing, eq-ing, put a limiter on the master.... am I just doing it all wrong?


It helps if you make it downloadable so we can listen to a not 128kbps version of it. post the 320 then I'll help you.
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geffin
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2221 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 12:12am »

on Mar 17th, 2010, 8:15pm, Generalife wrote:
okay guys, i don't know where else to turn to. i've read through almost this entire thread from scratch, employed just about every trick in it, and gone to various other forums / help sites, and yet my songs still aren't turning out sounding... "professional" enough. help! here's my newest tune that i just attempted to produce:

http://soundcloud.com/the-transatlantic-trapeze/bee-assassin-demo

Things that I'm especially frustrated about: kick AND snare are WEAK. i keep listening to "fluttery" for comparison and it makes me wince how bad mine sounds. Furthermore, the synths all basically sound mushy and not clear.

Things I've tried ON this track: panning, compressing, eq-ing, put a limiter on the master.... am I just doing it all wrong?


your kick is not the loudest thing in the track as far as i can tell. In the VU your kick should nearly red line and be the loudest thing in the track. From what i can tell, you just have too much going on in all levels. Think of your track at any given moment as a range of frequencies. You don't really want to have two sounds occupying the same frequency range because they muddle each other. Just add a lil bit of sidechain, not2much now.

In your track the melodic bass synth that sounds fairly round just gets drowned out/rolled over by that filthy synth that comes in at 51 seconds. Heres me being critical but...what is that synth adding, it occupies a shit ton of frequency range and its generally dirty but doesn't have much forceful low end to it. The harmonics from it even seem to interfere with those lil high pitch lead hits.

I'd be interested in hearing the track without the crazy filth synth that sounds like a monster. It has potential i think.

Another thing on your snare, i'd suggest turning up the highs with an EQ or adding some white noise cuz the snare feels really organic and woody like a real snare and it doesn't entirely fit. The electro sound you're going for isn't really complimented by the snare you chose.

This song reminds me kinda of 9H20 by Danger, take a listen if you haven't heard it.

In the danger track you'll notice his kick is pretty massive, heavily compressed and definitely takes charge when it hits. The snare to me sounds like a lot of white noise with a slight sampled hit at the beginning.

uh ya. he also has 3 synths going, the little chimes, the arpeggiated lower synth and the noisey stabs.

take what you will from the junk i spew.
« Last Edit: Mar 18th, 2010, 12:20am by geffin » Logged

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Mauricio
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2222 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 12:49am »

Quote:
Another thing on your snare


About adding white noise to your snare and compressing it...

How do you shape the white noise? I've been trying to get a killer snare for a while. I come close...

My goal is to get one that sounds like any of the Midnight Juggernauts - Dystopia album.

They have one of the best drummers. And when I saw them live I noticed that he had all sorts of processing going on on his crazy/awesome drum kit.

I've tried layering white noise behind a snare... but I can't quite get the sound I want.

Does anyone know a really good snare sample pack? I have so many but they're all kinda weak sauce.

If anyone knows of picollo snare sample packs I'd be stoked too.

Also: Does anyone know where I can get ROM samples from Nintendo and Sega? I've found some on PAT but they're in crazy formats I can't unpack.

« Last Edit: Mar 18th, 2010, 12:52am by Mauricio » Logged

michaelhuman
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2223 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 09:36am »

First off your levels should never be anywhere near red lining. It sounds super messy so I suggest a lot of subtractive EQ. Balance all your parts too. Turn everything way down. At least to -7 db. Try soloing different parts to see what frequencies are clashing. It helps a lot sometimes to use a spectrum analyzer.

I usually have my kicks at around 54 Hz I do a lot of eq work on my kicks. And for snares I layer them and put them to a bus then compress.
I then have all my drums Parallel compressed then put to a bus to compress/glue them together.

There's a lot of factors that go into it, but mixing is mostly about balance.
This thread is helpful but I would suggest other places too for insight.
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Mauricio
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2224 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 2:24pm »

on Mar 18th, 2010, 09:36am, michaelhuman wrote:
First off your levels should never be anywhere near red lining. It sounds super messy so I suggest a lot of subtractive EQ. Balance all your parts too. Turn everything way down. At least to -7 db. Try soloing different parts to see what frequencies are clashing. It helps a lot sometimes to use a spectrum analyzer.

I usually have my kicks at around 54 Hz I do a lot of eq work on my kicks. And for snares I layer them and put them to a bus then compress.
I then have all my drums Parallel compressed then put to a bus to compress/glue them together.

There's a lot of factors that go into it, but mixing is mostly about balance.
This thread is helpful but I would suggest other places too for insight.


There's 2 schools on this. There's 1) that says you should mix low, then master... and 2) You should mix loud, sweeten your master bus, and not master/ master is not as needed.

With the later methodology mixing your kick in at 0db makes sense because it's going to be the component in your track. I do it this way.

But keep in mind that everything is routed to a volume bus, before it goes to the master, so you can control the dynamics and make sure it's not pushing too much and causing distortion... this can also be achieved by placing a utility plug first in your master chain and controlling it that way. It works well.

What you gotta keep in mind it's that it's all relative... either way you end up with the same result... really loud techno!

All this advice is good. And I would say if you've read the whole board then you've got many many links to articles you can read about mixing.

But there's not really a right way to do this. But there's definitely a wrong way.

If you're kick lacks bottom end no amount of EQ is gonna give it to the kick... it'll just smear... so make sure you use another kick that's got a little more *umph

And yes, cut unwanted frequencies to all instruments... keep the good ones... Then turn to volume control, and panning... if you still need more room then to other techniques like side chain & dynamic eq... By then your mix should be fine.


`M

« Last Edit: Mar 18th, 2010, 3:22pm by Mauricio » Logged

Generalife
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2225 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 2:59pm »

Thanks a ton for the help already, there was way more feedback here than I've ever gotten on a track in progress before, and it was incredibly useful already!

Mauricio, I made the original 320 available for download, and did a second draft that I just did where I got rid of some of the parts (including that distorted bass, gavinmac... and yeah, i love danger!) and cleaned up a lot of it (both drafts so far can be found here: http://soundcloud.com/the-transatlantic-trapeze/bee-assassin-2nd-draft)

BUT, it still sounds kinda weak. I lowered the volume levels of everything so nothing was in the red, but I feel like the song just doesn't even have power anymore. And especially with those kicks and snares.... I compressed and EQ'd them, but they still sound too muted.
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Mauricio
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2226 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 3:15pm »

on Mar 18th, 2010, 2:59pm, Generalife wrote:
Thanks a ton for the help already, there was way more feedback here than I've ever gotten on a track in progress before, and it was incredibly useful already!

Mauricio, I made the original 320 available for download, and did a second draft that I just did where I got rid of some of the parts (including that distorted bass, gavinmac... and yeah, i love danger!) and cleaned up a lot of it (both drafts so far can be found here: http://soundcloud.com/the-transatlantic-trapeze/bee-assassin-2nd-draft)

BUT, it still sounds kinda weak. I lowered the volume levels of everything so nothing was in the red, but I feel like the song just doesn't even have power anymore. And especially with those kicks and snares.... I compressed and EQ'd them, but they still sound too muted.


cool i'll check it out.

fyi the snare is one of the most complicated sounds to get so don't get down for not having a great snare right away. try this...

take everything off the snare... as in uncompress it and un eq and look at it through a spectrum...

notice the shape of the sound it gives you... it's really wide on the spectrum and it should peak right above the lows around 200 to 400 hz area...

so make sure you don't eq this part out! some people say to do that cause it's the resonance of the snare or something but I think it sounds really good and it's where you get most the smack from...

also maybe your compressor is killing your snare... how does it sound differently when you turn the compressor off?

compression is to control dynamic range... and make things generally louder... but if you don't need it you don't need it... you might be setting your attack and release times improperly... if your release is too slow it'll kill your sound... if you're attack is too quick it'll kill the transient... I usually only apply 4:1 ration on my drums at the most...

« Last Edit: Mar 18th, 2010, 3:16pm by Mauricio » Logged

michaelhuman
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2227 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 7:12pm »

on Mar 18th, 2010, 2:24pm, Mauricio wrote:
There's 2 schools on this. There's 1) that says you should mix low, then master... and 2) You should mix loud, sweeten your master bus, and not master/ master is not as needed.

With the later methodology mixing your kick in at 0db makes sense because it's going to be the component in your track. I do it this way.

But keep in mind that everything is routed to a volume bus, before it goes to the master, so you can control the dynamics and make sure it's not pushing too much and causing distortion... this can also be achieved by placing a utility plug first in your master chain and controlling it that way. It works well.

What you gotta keep in mind it's that it's all relative... either way you end up with the same result... really loud techno!

All this advice is good. And I would say if you've read the whole board then you've got many many links to articles you can read about mixing.

But there's not really a right way to do this. But there's definitely a wrong way.

If you're kick lacks bottom end no amount of EQ is gonna give it to the kick... it'll just smear... so make sure you use another kick that's got a little more *umph

And yes, cut unwanted frequencies to all instruments... keep the good ones... Then turn to volume control, and panning... if you still need more room then to other techniques like side chain & dynamic eq... By then your mix should be fine.


`M



What I'm saying is If your levels are weak use limiters and balance your levels. You'll find it a lot easier to get stuff sounding louder. Turn up your monitors if it's too quiet for you.

And yes firstly find a good kick. I've had pretty good results with EQ'ing a decent kick.

And I know the kick is important but everything should be well below 0db. Digital distortion is badddddddddd. But ya try different things and see how they go.
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2228 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 7:17pm »

Another good tip to go by is to not listen to each individual track by itself and make them sound great. You want each instrument/sound to bring out the best frequencies of itself that fit into the mix (Filtering and EQ). Otherwise you get the muddy. So make sure youre keeping track of the entire layout at once, rather than individuals sounding good.
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Mauricio
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2229 on: Mar 20th, 2010, 10:44pm »

Does anyone have the CD from Computer Music 149? I want to hear the song from their Make Fidget Now tutorial. If anyone can hook me up it would be awesome. Thanks guys.
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Generalife
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2230 on: Mar 21st, 2010, 1:43pm »

Update: I think i've made major progress on this tune, but it's still not quite there, whenever it drops it sounds kinda weird.... maybe a little muddled? Tips / feedback please? http://soundcloud.com/the-transatlantic-trapeze/bee-assassin-3rd-draft

Note: I actually got my snare where I want it to be, but the kick is still the issue now. It just doesn't have that straight power that like "towel swinger" or "fluttery" have.... those are my two reference tracks right now.
« Last Edit: Mar 21st, 2010, 2:06pm by Generalife » Logged

Taylor
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2231 on: Mar 21st, 2010, 3:07pm »

you need a better sample (try an acoustic snare) to begin with, and put a hump in that bitch at around 250.
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Generalife
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2232 on: Mar 21st, 2010, 5:21pm »

on Mar 21st, 2010, 3:07pm, Taylor wrote:
you need a better sample (try an acoustic snare) to begin with, and put a hump in that bitch at around 250.


Haha I was told just a few posts ago to use a less acoustic sounding snare..... conflicting.

and the one thing that is most frustrating to me is that my songs don't sound 'professional'. What qualities of a song lend itself to that sound. I mean my brother will walk by my room when i'm working on a song and go 'is that one of yours? i can just tell, it sounds different than a regular song'.
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lukas.
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2233 on: Mar 21st, 2010, 8:02pm »

on Mar 21st, 2010, 5:21pm, Generalife wrote:
Haha I was told just a few posts ago to use a less acoustic sounding snare..... conflicting.

and the one thing that is most frustrating to me is that my songs don't sound 'professional'. What qualities of a song lend itself to that sound. I mean my brother will walk by my room when i'm working on a song and go 'is that one of yours? i can just tell, it sounds different than a regular song'.


theres a lot of things to take into account. the dynamics of your sound, the stereo imaging, then theres mastering. you basically want to fill space on the spectrum. you also have to add ambience and layers to the background. stuff like that usually goes unnoticed, but if you listen to a lot of the tracks out there, try to focus on the the smallest elements and you'll see what makes a track sound "professional".
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Generalife
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Re: Making Electronic Music
« Reply #2234 on: Mar 21st, 2010, 8:46pm »

on Mar 21st, 2010, 8:02pm, LukeSwits wrote:
theres a lot of things to take into account. the dynamics of your sound, the stereo imaging, then theres mastering. you basically want to fill space on the spectrum. you also have to add ambience and layers to the background. stuff like that usually goes unnoticed, but if you listen to a lot of the tracks out there, try to focus on the the smallest elements and you'll see what makes a track sound "professional".


Yeah, i actually JUST read an article that said as much just a few minutes ago, so i'm going to work on that for a while.
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