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neil (spatialize)

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Everything posted by neil (spatialize)

  1. Love the pump my friend. Love the pump.
  2. i'm referring to a wider perception that cutting the master is something that you should do as a matter of course i thought this was something you "should" do there's a lot of mixing advice around on the internet these days and some of it dodgy (including mine) with ref to eq on the master; i used this the other night as i had a nice little groove set up but it sounded a little dull as I was working on it; so instead of eqing everything there and then, i just did a little smiley curve on the master to get a quick idea of whether the track was sonically on the right lines i find that using eq like that helps you to walk the tight rope between spending too long producing during the creative period / writing part of the track
  3. Since using Bandcamp and self releasing the music income now pays for music gear....software, synths etc. So it has become self supporting which is nice. It's a little bit easier these days to combine creativity with a normal job as music technology is that much more immediate. For a few hundred quid you can stuff a pc with a fully functioning studio in a few hours. Back in the Atari / sampler / synths days putting a studio together was expensive and time consuming. Now you can lob a loop from Ableton into a sequencer and it will time stretch itself instead of spending a good couple of hours lining up a loop in a sampler. My first sampler had 8 mono samples, 30 seconds of mono sampling time and cost me £500 second hand. Do we appreciate this? Probably not, it probably just pushes our expectations up. In general there are very very few people making a living from music nowadays. Even Philip Glass worked as a taxi driver and plumber while he wrote music for 18 musicians. Then within that larger music industry you have to realise that psy chill is a very very small niche. I think part of Ott's success (aside from writing very good stuff) is the fact that dub music has a certain crossover element. Dub and reggae is very popular with a broad range of people beyond the psychill community. He can tour America and play with other dub or dubstep artists as well as the psychedelic festivals. Good formula that. Life did throw up the opportunity a few years ago to work more solidly on music. So I took it. And I can say that immersing yourself in something is a very worthwhile thing to do in life, particularly if it's something that you are really interested in. I definitely took my productions up to another level. Through teaching myself and asking questions on forums and now I know my way around the gear I can easily write good sounding music around a normal job (but then again I don't have children). But in terms of sitting down all day every day to write music, my experience is that it does suck a little bit of the magic or of it. But it also has its own rewards. But that sense of achievement can be achieved in plenty of areas of life. Doesn't have to be music. Plastering, being a waiter, understanding finance... There's a joy in life from applying yourself to something and seeing the rewards. For sure. It makes more sense to throw that type of energy into something that you know will allow you to live well and enjoy your life.. But well...music has a beautiful lure. It may not be the sane or economic choice in life but, well, when that groove finally slots together, you can't beat that feeling. My advice to anyone starting out in creating music is to enjoy the creativity more than the production, and allow the production side to gradually build up as you finish tracks. You can write /arrange good tracks without decent production (you can!) but you can't write decent tracks that connect with people if you've spent 10 years obsessing over compressors and limiters. I hardly ever thought about production for years. I just made music. But when I heard Ott Hallucinogen in Dub I started to look more at that side of things. Ott definitely raised the bar in psychill..and I thought my music was pants in comprison. I had crap monitoring, terrible eq habits and hardly knew how to use a compressor... But you know what? It turned that Ott was listening to my first album (Dryads Bubble) in his car for ten years. For me that was proof that electronic music is still about creativity and expression... and not production values.
  4. try Klanghelm IVGI for soft saturation, particularly on a drum bus. you can almost eq a channel with it in a very organic way. think it was free too. I sometimes use the izoptope ozone exciter on a drum bus. just a little. or BBE D82 Sonic maximiser. That's a pretty sexy plugin.
  5. I guess you can produce a moulded bass sound with frequencies that drops with off a shallow slope under 50hz so you get that rounded sound, rather than a deep lumbering sound, but even under 50hz there will still be some residual sound. If the mastering engineer just cuts all the subs without thinking then the track loses that and on a PA may sound a bit weak. Maybe that's the genius, subtle cuts in that area, leaving just enough sub in the mix so that it gives background body which will sit very nicely on a PA?
  6. I love the idea of group within a group. :-) I use Logic so I wouldn;t say that it does anything in particular that say Cubase or Ableton couldn't do. But I do have a particular set up for my production workflow which I find helpful for that last 30% of the finishing the track.. Basically I try to condense my workflow into 8 main group busses which I set up something like this. To access this I have this window set to a screen/window which I can bring up by pressing a keypad number. Bus 17 - Fx Returns - I output my reverb and delays buses directly into into here Bus 18 - SFX and Upper reg samps bus 19 - Pads Bus 20 - Synths Bus 21 - Rhythmic Samples / audio bus 22 - Percussion Bus 23 - Main Drums Bus 24 Bass In the arrangement page I will stack the tracks from top to bottom so that they reflect this set up. i.e. SFX at the top of the page and Drums an bass at the bottom. I also colour my parts within that arrangement structure to keep things tidy. e.g. pads are yellow, bass is blue, SFX white, Drums orange. Otherwise I have so many parts that it just becomes unworkable and you spend half your time searching for tracks within the arrangement. Btw. Loving chatting with you guys about production.
  7. Yeah you suddenly find yourself at a plus 6 or 7 db and wondering how you got there. On any other software eq your ears would be bleeding probably.
  8. Cutting not boosting. No. Boosting not cutting. No. Cutting AND boosting where appropriate. Yes. But I agree matt there's a lot of advice that should be taken with a pinch of salt. For instance I was talking about mastering on a forum and said that I was cutting below 30hz and Ott asked why are you doing that, and I said, because you're supposed to aren't you? And he said but you might be ruining a perfectly good bass sound. I'm guessing on a pa you might have some exaggerated clutter down there in the mix but you also might be losing quite a lot of depth in the sound if you just blindly cut. Looking at a mastering forum I found that they are quite split as to whether they cut beneath 30hz but there seems to be a received wisdom going round that you should always cut there. Mastering engineers probably have the gear to make that call though, but home producers who master aswell probably don't. So the sub 30hz cut thing has maybe arisen as a safety net? I don't think having an eq on the master matters that much. (but I would try to keep it mostly the same between tracks). It's the same as using a pair of speakers with a different eq curve. Adding,say a slow rising boost from 1khz upwards, is probably quite useful as this sort of boost does tie the sound together, and might speed up the production process as you're not fighting to tie the mix together. I mean if you mix flat you're mostly going to add an eq boost afterwards anyway somewhere and most group channels will get a little upper eq pep. So why not do it on the master? I used to do that but haven't for ages. Also putting a compressor on the main and mixing into it is a common thing that lots of people do but goes against received wisdom. Again the master will end up with a compressor on it anyway. Why not put it on earlier? If a combination of eq and compressor on the output is going to make the track sound finished earlier and, like matt says, save a whole load of individual eq boosts, then why not?
  9. Wow. That sounds pretty complex. Iacchus, would you say it is better for making creative sounds than the full production part of finishing off tracks?
  10. That's a good guide 2-3db. That's what I go for. Also the initial compressor you use in mastering would ideally be working at around a couple of db of reduction. A little bit of limiting helps to maintain the energy of intros and breakdowns and kind of helps the whole track hang together. Beyond this level of limiting gain reduction, sonically the limiter doesn't really make the music sound better, just louder, and often worse. It's tempting to worry about the impact that having your track lower in volume in a mix next to other artists will make your track sound worse (as loudness in the mind is equated with better). But you know you can only worry about so much and you have to let go of this. Do an AB. Heavily limit one version of a track. Softly limit another version of the track. Line those versions up next to each other and reduce the volume of the heavily limited version to the same volume as the softly limited version. Then you will be able to hear whether you have ruined the track with over limiting.
  11. Check out Jade Warrior - Waves from the early seventies. it has that beautiful "you're standing on a beautiful planet and this music will make you realize it" vibe
  12. yes.. also a pair of open back headphones too for studio use. I recently bought a pair of beyerdynamic dt770's and am wondering how I ever managed without them. good thing is you can listen to your Walkman with them and habituate yourself to how the music sounds on your headphones, something I don't do a lot of in my own studio room. talking of rooms....rooms are strange beasts with their lumpy reflections. If I put the gear along the long wall in my room the bass reflections are unworkable. so the gear goes along the short wall in my room and if you sit 3 cm further back than half way in the room you get a gigantic bass multiplication swell and you start to doubt your own sanity. I often like to stand by the window and have a pipe and look out at the garden whilst listening through to the arrangement of a track. problem is the bass sounds stupid at the back of the room, so you have to momentarily turn off your eq production brain and go into creative / arrangement mode. play some decent reference material in your room and move around and find the sweet spot (x marks the spot) in the room where everything sounds balanced. you can always go and sit there momentarily if you want to check the balance of the mix. In terms of basic volume balancing, I often find that the old listening from outside the room trick is the best.
  13. Astralasia - Wind on Water Reeeeaaaally good.
  14. i do agree with HPF cutting the low bass on the majority of tracks, however i think it depends on how many layers your track has. if you have multiple parts all shouting for space then yes, which is quite common in psychill, psy trance etc and cutting most of the bass of those multiple tracks may well be the best option. It's also quite useful if you are recording a lot of live instruments as the micing up procedure can introduce a lot of noise in the lower registers. however as iacchus says, in intros and breakdowns (using automation if you need to, (or bounce an audio un-eq'd copy), yes it's often better to leave the full spectrum of the sound. or in drone ambient music, let the fullness of the sound flow out. (Although with highly reverberated sounds you have to get very surgical with the eq's on the reverbs). But consider a moment a track that is somewhere in between pure atmospherics and a full on complicated track with multiple parts. A simple track structure i.e. a drum part and bass line with only a few elements on top at any one time. In such instances sometimes you can be better off sometimes leaving the fullness of the sound on the musical parts or only doing a minor HPF cut on the subs up to 30hz. If you cut unnessarily you might end up thinning out the sound a little too much and then you feel like you need to keep adding elements to fill the track out, which ruins your nice simple track structure. Sometimes the lower freqs only muddy up the mix, sometimes they add body. Depends on the sound and the track I find. So I try to work out what the core elements of any track are and mix that part of the track first. ie there might be a recurring pad or rythmic sample and I get those parts all sorted and eq'ed in tandem with the drums and bass.... then kind of fit everything else around that. My advice would be to hold all the advice you receive and to apply it according to your track. Like Iacchus said, you can;t be too specific about what eq to use on what instrument and where....as it really is a case by case basis. If I was going to add any eq to the master I would would probably do a very small bump at 80hz and a very slow rise from 1khz upwards. This might be useful to help you get a vibe going on a track as it will add a little zing to the proceedings, and the eq on the master does tie the sound together. However I think you're really better off doing this type of eq'ing on your groups bus, the drum bus being perhaps the most important part. I can recommend Pultec Eq's for adding a very nice crisp but warm upper range and deep warm low end. UAD do a version but there is also a free version on the Computer Music magazine DVD which is also very good. I would also add to be careful of using presets on some synths as they are designed to sound impressive and sell the synth (i.e. a very big broad spectrum sound with tones of distortion and eq boosts and delay that try to draw your attention towhat a wonderfully clever synth you are using). These sounds can sometimes eat up your mix and you have to get very tough with the eq-ing. So check within the sound structure of the preset to see if you can cut eq or distortion anywhere.
  15. Good advice above. Particularly about cutting the lower eq IF it conflicts with the kik and bass. Only if. I try to think about sound as filling a whole spectrum and the various components of the track as occupying particular layers within that overall sound. And using eq to make those layers fit together. First job before you reach for your eq is to create sounds that naturally fit within the sonic spectrum so that less eq and compression is required for the track to work. Creates a more natural sounding mix that people will want to come back to. If you choose your sounds well and sequence them well then you can go a long way into a track without reaching for the eq. I usually get well into the arrangement stage of a track before thinking much about eq and compression. At a track level, which is where you start eq'ing, I would say that I mostly use subtractive eq'ing. I.e. Cutting frequencies instead of boosting (though sometimes a healthy boost is just what is needed). To explain subtractive eq a little... Imagine you want a synth pad that fits between a rhythmic mid frequency part at 1khz and an upper synth at 10khz so You create a pad sound that broadly fits but, let's say the pad conflicts with the mid frequency rhythmic part at1khz. What I used to do when started off was to boost the area between 3-8khz. While the pad may well sound better initially this keeps those lower mids of your pad sound fairly high in the mix and still conflicting with that rhythmic part at 1khz. If you just cut the pad where it is conflicting with the rhythm at 1khz... and then raise the volume of the pad track... then you are effectively filling that same gap on the sonic spectrum but you are creating more space in your mix and this can help maintain headroom. If you still feel the need to make a eq boost then it can be a very minimal boost just to bring it a bit of flavour in the pad sound. This may not seemingly make a big difference on just one track but if you apply this technique cumulatively across a whole mix you will start to notice that your mixes sound more natural. Don't know if that makes sense or not. But that's a big part of my process. Another way to look at it is this... Put your eq spectrum analyser on. See where the lumps in the sound are. If you can cut those lumps without changing the character of the sound, then it's probably safe to cut. Also at a track level, if you do have to do severe cuts or boosts on a sound I normally do that before a compressor, as the first eq is working to balance out the sound... otherwise the compressor is working on parts of the spectrum that it doesn't need to. You can always put another eq after a compressor if you need to add a little spice back to the sound, as compression can often dullen sounds. I.usually find that more severe cuts and boosts are required on the more experimental sounds which are undergoing multiple plug in processes. More workaday sounds in the mix like hi hats etc often require only mild eq'ing. When it comes to eq on a group bus I will use very gentle slopes, mostly boosts at that point. I put that after very gentle bus compression. Generally 80hz is a good spot for depth on bass. 200hz a good spot for adding punch to bass. 500hz to 1khz can be a muddy area and I don't boost much in this area. Boosts around 1khz add a bit of rhythmic bite. Anything from 10khz upwards adds fresh air. Boosts to sounds anywhere in the mid range often initially sound good but you can easily overdo it if you have a lot of sounds going on. Also I tend to use the channel eq in logic for normal cuts. But if I want to boost eq, particularly on a bus, I will use the nicest eq I have as boosting colours the sound more than cutting. Eq is mainly about knowing the sound of your monitoring system really and working at sane volume levels. Don't eq with your music loud. Eq at a quiet level first and then see how it translates when you turn it up.
  16. Alexandru has a unique sound i think. Very smooth synth parts and very evocative atmospheres.
  17. you could write a whole track on maschine? or is more like a good ideas generator, after which you switch to a daw to finish off?
  18. Hmmm...yeah. Nice. I really should use my blofeld more. Reduce the strain on the laptop.
  19. the only live box that rivals a laptop is an Elektron Octatrack. I was really disappointed when the new Korg electribes came out and they didn;t have large enough memory to play a few full length tracks.
  20. you still need a laptop hooked up to it though? it's not completely "in the box" is it? that would be amazing if it was. pity there isn;t a reduced function (non laptop) role where you could take it out live and it had audio outputs.
  21. on downtempo part one - here are some thoughts / suggestions - please feel free to ignore :-) i think the drums and bass sound pretty good (you could maybe double up with a simple drum sample loop to add some swing or add a percussion loop like a djembe or talking drum in some parts) ; there's plenty of variation there in the drums; instead of the slow volume fade in at the start maybe consider a rising filter on the whole drum group / bus? about the synth sounds, i think with some of the early parts (up until the fast arpeggio part) you could perhaps close the filter a little (and maybe up the res) or change the oscillator type on these, they are a little bright with that open filter saw sound; maybe a small amount of chorus on them to give them a little width, a little compression and a touch more delay/reverb perhaps too also consider doubling some of those slower synth parts with another part, maybe with a part an octave lower the fast pitched organ sound at 4mins i think could do with volume leveling a little / compressing and maybe recessing with a little reverb like andorra said above -lots of good elements here
  22. back in the atari days you had to recall loads of patches across a range of synths and effects every time you turned a computer on. now, with all the instant recall of a daw, i've got into the habit of not really saving patches on my external gear. i make the sound quickly, send it some midi and then record down a long take straight away. with a little analogue monosytnh in particular it;s quite quick to program the sound you want (particularly the bass station 2).
  23. have you tried the electronic music mall Geoglyph? the guy there writes very well.
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