also got a new module today, nice lil digital fx unit from Erica Synths, had some fun with it after work
Tried my hand at the “overdone” lofi-hiphop-with-some-old-school-documentary-vocals thing:
sample selection bro. more important than EQing or any other processing.
you shouldn’t be EQing +/- more than a few dB really. if you’ve not got the money for a DAW then i’m guessing you don’t have good monitors either so trying to do clinical EQing will be painful or pointless cos you’re not hearing the actual signal accurately to begin with.
i’m not a good producer basically because of the sample selection problem. i like to use shit samples for whatever reason. SISO - shit in, shit out. every time i’ve sat in on actual good producers i get bored as fuck watching them flick through 500 snare samples. but the end result speaks for itself.
I’ve been using free sample packs that have been shared on this forum in production threads so I’m thinking they’ll be ok… it’s a very steep learning curve but I’m enjoying so it ain’t all bad. Not giving up yet.
If I’m cutting bass out of kicks then won’t I be cutting more than a few db?
that’s a good point. i guess there’s multiple ways to approach it but the root of it all is still sample selection imo, you can’t really get past SISO.
like kryptic minds clearly go for kicks without much low end in them to begin with, or they EQ out a lot of the low end. but their kicks don’t sound PHAT like a loefah kick does. you can definitely feel the kick on a system but they don’t go BANG and vibrate the whole room.
then there’s producers like cess (who’s name i always invoke) who isn’t doing any clinical EQing or sidechaining, just relying on samples that fit
maybe the kick in that tune could be made to sit “better” with the sub if some of the low end were EQ’d out, or if some sidechaining was going on, but i dunno. is it needed? does the tune sound bad? it’s kinda raw but maybe dubstep should be kinda raw?
edit: tbf i just checked a few loefah tunes. goat stare actually does have a pretty weak, bass-less kick. but then disko rekah has a big fat one. someone should properly analyse how loefah does his low end mixing.
i feel like dubstep sits in a happy mid-point between grime’s under-produced, raw as fuck sound, and drum and bass’ over-produced wankathon.
back to the original problem though, you may just be trying to squeeze too much out of your mixdown too early. don’t max the limiter out. max your monitors out and keep your DAW levels sensible.
Man trying to make stuff on a laptop sucks. The screens so small + I don’t have a mouse so it’s clunky. Makes me not want to fuck with automation too much among a couple other things. Just makes my typical workflow clunky so I’m gonna have to figure something else out
Meaning - crank up the amp/speakers/stereo/monitors etc to hear everything but keep the DAW in the green so I’m not redlining my output?
Could be worse. Could be an iPhone.
You need some mini MIDI controllers. I have a little Korg NanoKontrol and an Akai LPK25 keyboard. They are small enough to fit in my laptop bag. They have traveled with me to Europe.
Yeah, don’t redline your output anywhere in your DAW. If you are working in 24 bit you should have plenty of headroom. Digital distortion is bad.
And yellow is not ideal either?
Everything sounds too quiet in the green but I guess that’s where compression comes in?
No, that is where you should just turn up your monitors rather than turning up your faders. Your master fader should stay at 0 and your track faders ideally will be around -6db.
Awesome cheers that’s super helpful! Been stressing why everything sounds quiet and then boosting individual track Db until im touching red and distorting everything.
Sounds so simple when some breaks it down for you haha
study this thread for solid gain structure advice…(macc’s posts mainly)
Thanks for that. Solid gold advice in there.
Just getting my head round the fact that I need to be turning things DOWN!
lol yeah I still use that thread when I forget stuff…and with EQ i very rarely boost any frequencies…mainly cutting things out
One thing that I like to do is once I have a balance that I like but notice that the levels are getting pretty high, is to select all of the channels so I only need to move one fader down and all of the rest move relative to that one. Then check your master to see what level all of your channels are peaking at.
That way your balance is maintained and I see that I still have -8 or -9db of peak level on the master you can make further fine adjustments on the channels an not be anywhere near to peaking and have plenty of headroom.
This technique will vary from DAW to DAW.
Sadly don’t have room. My backpacks full already