MusicianERA |OT| Producers and Artists Welcome

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,584
I finally upgraded my recording gear (nothing fancy) and have been trying to get better at rapping, EQ and mixing. Would appreciate any feedback I can get on this stuff.

Here's a song I just did, I am the vocalist/rapper, I did not make the beat, my friend did:

 

SweetVermouth

Member
Mar 5, 2018
3,927
That's pretty good.
I'd say your snare and cymbals could sound better, they're kind of low quality as if they have no frequencies above like 8khz. Then the chorus part "We know we're not alone" could use stereo, try making your voice stay in the middle and the other voices be panned left and right so it creates a wide, spread out sound, maybe some reverb too. I'm not sure if having the whistle through the whole song is a good idea, but that's artistic choice. Sometimes the bass overpowers your voice at certain parts, it's only ever when it plays certain notes. I think your voice could use some EQing too to make it a bit brighter.

Overall I'd say it's already close to a level where listeners won't be bothered by how it sounds. It's just about you being happy with the result.
 

Ovaryactor

Member
Nov 20, 2018
99
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Jellycrackers

Member
Oct 25, 2017
137
I finally upgraded my recording gear (nothing fancy) and have been trying to get better at rapping, EQ and mixing. Would appreciate any feedback I can get on this stuff.

Here's a song I just did, I am the vocalist/rapper, I did not make the beat, my friend did:

I really enjoyed this! You have a good voice for this sort of hip hop. And tell your producer friend I loved the instrumental! Only thing I have to add to what was already said here is that sometimes I felt like the vocal was a little too low. I think it was mostly when that rising synth arp comes in at the end of phrases, it interferes with the frequencies of your voice a little.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,584
That's pretty good.
I'd say your snare and cymbals could sound better, they're kind of low quality as if they have no frequencies above like 8khz. Then the chorus part "We know we're not alone" could use stereo, try making your voice stay in the middle and the other voices be panned left and right so it creates a wide, spread out sound, maybe some reverb too. I'm not sure if having the whistle through the whole song is a good idea, but that's artistic choice. Sometimes the bass overpowers your voice at certain parts, it's only ever when it plays certain notes. I think your voice could use some EQing too to make it a bit brighter.

Overall I'd say it's already close to a level where listeners won't be bothered by how it sounds. It's just about you being happy with the result.
I really enjoyed this! You have a good voice for this sort of hip hop. And tell your producer friend I loved the instrumental! Only thing I have to add to what was already said here is that sometimes I felt like the vocal was a little too low. I think it was mostly when that rising synth arp comes in at the end of phrases, it interferes with the frequencies of your voice a little.
Thanks so much for taking the time to listen. This is all super helpful, doing shit completely by yourself you end up hearing it so many times while working on it that there's no way to tell what sounds good anymore lol. These suggestions are great though and exactly the type of feedback I need.
 

Pomerlaw

Member
Feb 25, 2018
3,146
Vocals ar

How is Choon? (Btw, I really like Sidekick as a name)
Site is top notch, never had a problem with it (pretty stable and fast, nice interface). They are quiet since a few weeks though don't know if they are running into problems or just preparing a major update (like the app or something big). I'd love them to succeed if it means a bit more money for artists from streaming...
 

SBit

Member
Feb 25, 2018
138
Nice tune for a weekend quicky!

I'm allowed to plug my own shit right? My band dropped our first EP just last week, so I'm posting it here.

I imagine it won't be everyone's cuppa, but if you enjoy post-hardcore/punk/skramz etc etc this might be for you.

https://happyvalleywgtn.bandcamp.com/releases
Nice stuff. I would love if there was a second guitar though, at least on the studio recording. It could really spice up the long stretches to add some excitement to the overall sound. I think that's important especially for your type of growling vocals which only provide a rhythmic and not melodic component to the music.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
I have my first live show coming up...

Any advice people can give that’s relatable across genres/venues?
Decide on a monitor mix that works for you/your band if you're in one and maintain it for further shows so you can hear what you want to hear clearly on stage. Discuss with engineer to set it up. A set of in-ears can be good for larger gigs and venues and if you really want an isolated monitor mix.

If it's more of a question of performing first time just try and remain engaged with the audience... Keep them attentive. Stage Lighting directed at your face/stage can help as you tend not to see the audience if you're nervous. If you're playing acoustic guitar/keys with DI, make sure you use a DI box with ground lift to prevent hums/feedback loops. Ear plugs! Not sure exactly what you're asking advice on though :P... I've done plenty of gigs both as a performer and foh engineer.
 

maxxpower

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,900
California
I've lost the ability to compose songs. I did short hip hop beats for too long and now all I'm good at is coming up with hooks and can't compose verses and bridges.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
I've lost the ability to compose songs. I did short hip hop beats for too long and now all I'm good at is coming up with hooks and can't compose verses and bridges.
Try installing an audio recorder app on your phone. Hum/sing some tunes that come to mind, often vocal tunes are easier to make up than on a different instrument, record them and see what you can come up with.
 

hypercard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
351
Hey all, I'm back with another newb question. I bought an eventide space on craigslist for 200 bucks and want to use it for jammin' around on my super cheap korg synth and sampler. What's the best way to go about hooking this gear up? I'd imagine I need a mixer, but all the cheap ones seem to only have mono aux send... which I'm assuming would kill the eventide quite a bit, right? I don't want to get a giant board for 2 inputs :( I guess I don't understand the effects chain at all... any help or insight is appreciated.
 

MadraptorMan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
279
Niigata, Japan
I forgot this thread even existed!

I produced and released my band's album last September. I am really not happy with the production, but I started from scratch knowing almost nothing about mixing and mastering so I guess it's not a total failure...but I can't go back and listen to it now without hearing loads of mistakes and things I could've improved.

Anyway, I put a big chunk of the songs on Choon if anyone cares to listen (it's basically 90s style alt/indie rock). I always love to hear feedback about the production and composition:

The Slow Claps

Also on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music thanks to publishing through the Amuse app. We haven't had any luck getting exposure even though I tried submithub for quite a while. It's just not possible to do proper promotion with full time jobs I guess.
 

Nyx

User-Requested Ban
Banned
Oct 27, 2017
842
Utrecht, The Netherlands
I forgot this thread even existed!

I produced and released my band's album last September. I am really not happy with the production, but I started from scratch knowing almost nothing about mixing and mastering so I guess it's not a total failure...but I can't go back and listen to it now without hearing loads of mistakes and things I could've improved.

Anyway, I put a big chunk of the songs on Choon if anyone cares to listen (it's basically 90s style alt/indie rock). I always love to hear feedback about the production and composition:

The Slow Claps

Also on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music thanks to publishing through the Amuse app. We haven't had any luck getting exposure even though I tried submithub for quite a while. It's just not possible to do proper promotion with full time jobs I guess.
Thanks for mentioning Amuse, I’m going to release some of my tracks now! :)
 

MadraptorMan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
279
Niigata, Japan
Thanks for mentioning Amuse, I’m going to release some of my tracks now! :)
Amuse was really easy to work with—I recommend it to anyone who wants to get their produced work on all the major streaming platforms without fees or much hassle. To this day I don’t really get what the catch is, but...my band’s music got out there with no hitch.
 

Ovaryactor

Member
Nov 20, 2018
99
Decide on a monitor mix that works for you/your band if you're in one and maintain it for further shows so you can hear what you want to hear clearly on stage. Discuss with engineer to set it up. A set of in-ears can be good for larger gigs and venues and if you really want an isolated monitor mix.

If it's more of a question of performing first time just try and remain engaged with the audience... Keep them attentive. Stage Lighting directed at your face/stage can help as you tend not to see the audience if you're nervous. If you're playing acoustic guitar/keys with DI, make sure you use a DI box with ground lift to prevent hums/feedback loops. Ear plugs! Not sure exactly what you're asking advice on though :P... I've done plenty of gigs both as a performer and foh engineer.
This sort of things exactly, actually. Like, I was looking at DI boxes and decided to not buy one but then I find this place I’m playing doesn’t have much gear...
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
This sort of things exactly, actually. Like, I was looking at DI boxes and decided to not buy one but then I find this place I’m playing doesn’t have much gear...
If you're looking for DI, go for passive if used with active source, instruments like keyboards, active>passive DI. Same for opposite if using passive source, example an electric guitar with passive pickups, opt for active DI, passive>active DI. Though with acoustics it's common to use active DI. Below are some I recommend ranging from higher quality/more expensive to cheaper/still good:
Radial J48 active
Radial JDI passive

Radial StageBug SB-1 active (no ground lift)
Radial StageBug SB-2 passive
Radial StageBug SB-4 active for piezo pickups

BSS AR-133 Active DI
 

spookyghost

Member
Oct 28, 2017
996
Yeah can't recommend Radial equipment enough for a live environment, rock solid, superbly built, fantastic quality.
 

Waveset

Member
Oct 30, 2017
275
Been eyeing up a Fender Champion 100 guitar amp, wondered if anyone had opinions on it? I'm mainly after clean funk sounds but versatility is important.
Also, do you guys have a trusted source for amp/ guitar equipment reviews?

Hey all, I'm back with another newb question. I bought an eventide space on craigslist for 200 bucks and want to use it for jammin' around on my super cheap korg synth and sampler. What's the best way to go about hooking this gear up? I'd imagine I need a mixer, but all the cheap ones seem to only have mono aux send... which I'm assuming would kill the eventide quite a bit, right? I don't want to get a giant board for 2 inputs :( I guess I don't understand the effects chain at all... any help or insight is appreciated.
I dont know what your budget is but this has stereo send and returns. I think what you'd mainly be after is stereo returns so you get the lovely stereo effects from the Eventide.
https://www.dawsons.co.uk/alto-zmx122fx-zephyr-compact-mixer

To help your understanding have a read of this:
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-what-are-auxes-sends-and-returns
 
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MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,584
Hey guys, just made a new track. Still new to vocal mixing and whatnot, lookin for some feedback on the mix/eq on the vocals, not sure if they're too loud or not. I do not have stems for the beat, so I'm just doing my best here lol.
 

Pomerlaw

Member
Feb 25, 2018
3,146
Huh...

Spotify, Google, Pandora, Amazon Go to U.S. Appeals Court to Overturn Royalty Increase (EXCLUSIVE)
https://variety.com/2019/music/news/spotify-google-and-pandora-go-to-u-s-appeals-court-to-overturn-royalty-increase-exclusive-1203157697/

Guess who will get fucked again?
I've lost the ability to compose songs. I did short hip hop beats for too long and now all I'm good at is coming up with hooks and can't compose verses and bridges.
The chorus is always the easiest part for me too! I start with it because if it's not good, then rarely will the song be. But damn those verses and transitions can be a pain in the neck sometimes :)
 
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Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
Hey guys, wondering if any of y'all know of some free plugins for jazzing up screams/growls. It seems like whenever I try to find a nice tutorial on how to mix them, some guy pulls up this one-stop-shop plugin, cranks a knob labeled "Drive" and then is like "and now we're done!"

I'd like me some one-stop shops >_> Be easier than throwing waveshaper and blood overdrive on everything. Not to mention all the compression. God I don't know what I'm doing.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
Hey guys, wondering if any of y'all know of some free plugins for jazzing up screams/growls. It seems like whenever I try to find a nice tutorial on how to mix them, some guy pulls up this one-stop-shop plugin, cranks a knob labeled "Drive" and then is like "and now we're done!"

I'd like me some one-stop shops >_> Be easier than throwing waveshaper and blood overdrive on everything. Not to mention all the compression. God I don't know what I'm doing.
Honestly saturation plugs are your friend to enhance harmonics, comp and eq to manage dynamics and some tone, with separate fx sends of plate reverb alongside short and long delays. Parallel processing can do some pretty cool things too. No plugin is a magic fix/jazz it tool.

Saturation Knob by Softube is a decent free plugin.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
Honestly saturation plugs are your friend to enhance harmonics, comp and eq to manage dynamics and some tone, with separate fx sends of plate reverb alongside short and long delays. Parallel processing can do some pretty cool things too. No plugin is a magic fix/jazz it tool.

Saturation Knob by Softube is a decent free plugin.
I'll give it a look, thanks! I found a comment today that said "if you're using a lot of EQ, you might not have compressed it enough" so I'm gonna crank the compressors on my vocal tracks a bit more and see how that treats them. Tempted to copy them, pitch shift, and then hard pan left/right with a big reduction in volume for a cheap way to increase thickness.

Though to be honest, I think my biggest problem is getting them to play well with everything else. Lot of low end fighting to be heard, and I have to make some cuts.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
I'll give it a look, thanks! I found a comment today that said "if you're using a lot of EQ, you might not have compressed it enough" so I'm gonna crank the compressors on my vocal tracks a bit more and see how that treats them. Tempted to copy them, pitch shift, and then hard pan left/right with a big reduction in volume for a cheap way to increase thickness.

Though to be honest, I think my biggest problem is getting them to play well with everything else. Lot of low end fighting to be heard, and I have to make some cuts.
You shouldn't have to compress it a lot though, compression is a tool to tame the peaks in the dynamic range a bit otherwise a vocal performance can sound unexciting, however there's no wrong way to do it if you want to give that effect of over compressed vocals then no wrong in doing that either as its taste and the creative goal.

I advise the use of volume automation first... Then parallel compression to give it some thickness. Use an EQ to take out maybe low end rumble, 50-65 Hz and below. Mild boost around 2 and 6 kHz points for clarity and presence ranges and cut the honk in the 100Hz. De-esser around the 7.5 kHz range also.

Duplicating a vocal track won't benefit you much as all you're effectively doing is doubling the amplitude of the waveform in mono up the middle, when you pan left and right you'll still end up with same vocal, but the two vocal tracks L+R will still appear mono at the original volume level of a single vocal track in mono. pitch shifting one up a few cents the other down a few cents will essentially give you a chorus effect, but won't thicken your vocal track, might as well use a chorus plugin. Just record your vocal tracks a couple of times and use the second/third as doubles/harmonies to thicken up you main vocal and pan them slightly to the left and right of you center main vocal lead.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
You shouldn't have to compress it a lot though, compression is a tool to tame the peaks in the dynamic range a bit otherwise a vocal performance can sound unexciting, however there's no wrong way to do it if you want to give that effect of over compressed vocals then no wrong in doing that either as its taste and the creative goal.
Huh. For screams everyone on youtube seems to say I need to compress the shit out of them, which I have no problems doing. My performance isn't exactly amazing which is why I'm looking for all of these helpful plugins. I'm def a studio man.

Looking into saturation knobs now. Wish that one you recommended didn't demand I install a bunch of apps or whatever first. Might bite the bullet on it though.

Edit: the frustrating part is it all sounds pretty good on my Seinhesser headphones. I bought them for recording and they're kinda flat but not all the way, and I don't have mixing moniters so I'm handicapping myself pretty hard. But if everyone had these headphones, they'd be like "this sounds pretty good!"
 
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Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
Huh. For screams everyone on youtube seems to say I need to compress the shit out of them, which I have no problems doing. My performance isn't exactly amazing which is why I'm looking for all of these helpful plugins. I'm def a studio man.

Looking into saturation knobs now. Wish that one you recommended didn't demand I install a bunch of apps or whatever first. Might bite the bullet on it though.

Edit: the frustrating part is it all sounds pretty good on my Seinhesser headphones. I bought them for recording and they're kinda flat but not all the way, and I don't have mixing moniters so I'm handicapping myself pretty hard. But if everyone had these headphones, they'd be like "this sounds pretty good!"
There's compress the s*** out of vocals or there's other techniques you can use, like dual compressors eg. VCA/Opto into a FET with each comp doing a different job, to control levels and then peaks, or do some parallel comp and be a bit more aggressive.

Try this plugin also, may help with getting a good starting point sound with a preset (in your face). https://www.voxengo.com/product/voxformer/ there's a trial you can get.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
There's compress the s*** out of vocals or there's other techniques you can use, like dual compressors eg. VCA/Opto into a FET with each comp doing a different job, to control levels and then peaks, or do some parallel comp and be a bit more aggressive.

Try this plugin also, may help with getting a good starting point sound with a preset (in your face). https://www.voxengo.com/product/voxformer/ there's a trial you can get.
That's one I've seen people use, I think. I did end up downloading a free saturation plugin called Temper that's doing a nice job of adding some size to my voice without a lot of effort. I do think a big part of it is just trying to balance out the 300hz range. Well that and I was maybe overcompressing in a few places and just muddying things up.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
710
United Kingdom
That's one I've seen people use, I think. I did end up downloading a free saturation plugin called Temper that's doing a nice job of adding some size to my voice without a lot of effort. I do think a big part of it is just trying to balance out the 300hz range. Well that and I was maybe overcompressing in a few places and just muddying things up.
Try bell cutting 500Hz ish mild Q on your drum bus by a couple of dB combined with a high shelf boost on the drum bus in around 8-9kHz range by a couple of dB also to free up some of that mid muddyness on the drums.

Just with the shelf boost make sure you're not adding too much high end frequency boost to certain drum parts, this sort of move can be applied to individual tracks also to be more precise.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
Try bell cutting 500Hz ish mild Q on your drum bus by a couple of dB combined with a high shelf boost on the drum bus in around 8-9kHz range by a couple of dB also to free up some of that mid muddyness on the drums.

Just with the shelf boost make sure you're not adding too much high end frequency boost to certain drum parts, this sort of move can be applied to individual tracks also to be more precise.
Sounds like a plan!
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
So I'm slowly getting better at this. Wouldn't mind if someone took a listen and gave me some pointers. There are still pockets of mud, and for some reason the kick is being a right pain to work with. It's the same kick as all the other songs, but those never gave me this many problems. I have it compressed a bit without boosting to try and lesson the big spikes, but they're still pretty well there.

https://soundcloud.com/chad-waller-513060169/the-eighth-circlev4
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,972
Minnesota
Here's a question:

I decided to open one of my reference tracks in FL studio and just throw an EQ on it to see what it looks like. Fucker is pretty flat across the board between like 300hz and I dunno, 2khz. Super high end dips a bit.

My song is flat-ish. Like if you did an average on it, it would be close to right, but as it stands, looks more like a seismograph. Is this something to do with mastering, or is my EQing still kinda fucked up?