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MusicianERA |OT| Producers and Artists Welcome

SinkFla

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,697
Pensacola, Fl
Conkersbadfurday
I've been recording, mixing and mastering my own music for 15 years now out of a bedroom lol. Mostly gone by ear with random tutorials along the way. I get complimented on my audio quality but I always fear and anticipate someone with far more knowledge of the trade telling me they suck lol. There are definitely rules on paper but sometimes you just have to ebb and flow with whatever style or production you're seeking. Oneself made some great points. My most recent song has that in and out issue (for now). I feel like you never really stop learning, or at least I don't.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
Any of you guys have some tips on mastering? I'd take tutorials or just ... anything. I'm on that step and Jesus Christ is it hard. I feel like there's a lot of art to mixing, but this feels more like science and I somehow never got the textbook.

I've followed a tutorial to a result that's ... okay. I listen to the song and yeah, it sounds like a song! Then I listen to one of my reference tracks and it's bigger and louder by a noticeable amount. I'm compressing something wrong, but if I go too hard, it starts to chug in and out volumewise. My guess is I'm using the multiband wrong. Or the limiter at the end. One of those two.

Otherwise Chris, I know you mentioned doing a song for me for free a few months ago. I don't really want to hold you to it, buuuuuuuuuuut >_> I'm at the point where I wouldn't be opposed to paying a proffesional. Mixing is fun. This is frustrating. :P
Yeah no worries, I mean offer still stands. You can send over your mix along with the the reference tracks you like. Some useful links:
ADDAC project file submission guidelines PDF Doc

Upload files website

ADDAC price structure PDF Doc

Plus a few other useful bits of information ADDAC Home


The pumping/breathing effect is caused by the compressor/limiter working with attack/release times in relation to tempo and frequency information of a track. You only need a couple of dB of compression before pumping/breathing effect becomes audible depending on the attack/release settings and the track information hitting the compressor/limiter. EDM use it a lot, it's different to sidechain compression though where they use ducking to create the pumping of compression behind other elements like a kick pushing bass in and out.
 

NoirSuede

Member
Oct 25, 2017
209
This is a stupid question but I've had this ever since I was a kid.... Do you guys dislike Vocaloid?


When I was a kid people in the Vocaloid fandom love to tell me that the reason Vocaloid would never be mainstream because "normal" musicians hate them and are turned off by anime.....
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Personally, I pay someone who has analog equipments for mastering. A different pair of ears can (and most probably will) enhance your songs.

- If you do it yourself, make sure to leave enough room in your tracks before exporting your mix. While your goal is around -6db, it shouldn't be obtained by lowering the master volume. Lower all your tracks individually to get -6db overall without touching the master volume.
- Don't compress your tracks before mastering unless compression is used as an audible, wanted effect on a track (let's say you want drums like in Blur's Song 2 etc).
- Make sure you know about "loudness".
Pretty much got this down save maybe "loudness." What I think is loudness and what you think is loudness may differ. I did export to -6db with no major compression on the master fader. I have maybe 2db to glue all the busses together. I'm fairly happy with the mix itself. It's even fairly flat! It's getting it to sound like Amon Amarth that's the bitch :P
The pumping/breathing effect is caused by the compressor/limiter working with attack/release times in relation to tempo and frequency information of a track. You only need a couple of dB of compression before pumping/breathing effect becomes audible depending on the attack/release settings and the track information hitting the compressor/limiter. EDM use it a lot, it's different to sidechain compression though where they use ducking to create the pumping of compression behind other elements like a kick pushing bass in and out.
Hmm. I kinda thought it was the attack release. Had a bit of problems with pumping while mixing and fixed it by sliding the release out. I didn't use any ducking as far as kick/bass are concerned. People who seemed smarter than myself advised against it for heavier metal music.

I'll check your other links after work and get something to send your way.
 

genjiZERO

Banned
Jan 27, 2019
686
Richmond
This is a stupid question but I've had this ever since I was a kid.... Do you guys dislike Vocaloid?


When I was a kid people in the Vocaloid fandom love to tell me that the reason Vocaloid would never be mainstream because "normal" musicians hate them and are turned off by anime.....
Presently Vocaloid still sounds too fakey to me, but I do enjoy playing around with it. V5 is a huge step up from previous iterations.

Note though I'm talking about use of the program as a production technique and not in terms of Vocaloid music scene which I have no opinion about because I don't listen to it.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
This is a stupid question but I've had this ever since I was a kid.... Do you guys dislike Vocaloid?


When I was a kid people in the Vocaloid fandom love to tell me that the reason Vocaloid would never be mainstream because "normal" musicians hate them and are turned off by anime.....
Have no dislike of it. I don't use it but feel there is a place for all these different forms of creative outlets.
 

toku

沢山特別
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,605
Ne Monde
LANDR is not bad but if you've got Ozone a quick trip to youtube and you won't need to use their service again.
 

acheron_xl

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,600
MSN, WI
I've tried LANDR once or twice for free, and I feel like the presets I have do a similar if not better job than the service.
I haven't fully grasped what I'm doing yet, so going for something that presents itself as a simple solution stops me from really making a hash of things until I've figured it out. I already endlessly fuss over my mixes, endlessly iterating. When I have something I think is a finished product, I may approach another human. Who knows.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
I haven't fully grasped what I'm doing yet, so going for something that presents itself as a simple solution stops me from really making a hash of things until I've figured it out. I already endlessly fuss over my mixes, endlessly iterating. When I have something I think is a finished product, I may approach another human. Who knows.
Yeah. I get that. I spent HOURS on my mix trying to get it to sound perfect, and now I have to fuck with it some more via mastering! I did find a nice tutorial for FL studio plugins, and after making a few changes, wound up with a master I like. It's maybe a few percent quieter than professional mixes, but it sounds pretty fine. Snare is a hair tinny now, but man, I'm kind of beyond caring >.<

Can't get good unless I make mistakes, and anyhow, I'm listening to this and it sounds pretty fine.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Question for you guys: LUFS meters. I see some YT videos telling me to master to around -14 LUFS since that's what most streaming services now normalize to. My reference tracks are all to around -6 LUFS. These are all commercial tracks that sound pretty good on everything I've listened to them on, be it spotify or the CD in my car.

I'm starting to worry I'm squishing my dynamics a bit, but also I got my first song to sound pretty good. I don't actually know how because the mastering plugin I'm using is a confusing bastard, but you know, it sounds good :P
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
Question for you guys: LUFS meters. I see some YT videos telling me to master to around -14 LUFS since that's what most streaming services now normalize to. My reference tracks are all to around -6 LUFS. These are all commercial tracks that sound pretty good on everything I've listened to them on, be it spotify or the CD in my car.

I'm starting to worry I'm squishing my dynamics a bit, but also I got my first song to sound pretty good. I don't actually know how because the mastering plugin I'm using is a confusing bastard, but you know, it sounds good :P
Actually streaming services don't universally use LUFS. Only TIDAL does, so if you focused a master solely on LUFS it would be optimised for the former. But it used in general as it's an accurate representation of the average that works for loudness across other streaming services, but still others do give different results and subsequently affect your track differently to lesser or greater degree. Spotify uses ReplayGain for its measurement for example, Apple has Sound Check and the rest like YouTube, Pandora etc don't give out info. It's why your tracks won't sound exactly the same across the board.

A CD release/wav ripped might sometimes have a higher LUFS read than a track dl or one targeting digital streaming services loudness normalisation.

A physical CD/DDP primary master doesn't have to compete online so will read lower negative LUFS(-6). A master to be dynamic and competitive via streaming services is the a secondary master at average higher negative LUFS(-14).
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Actually streaming services don't universally use LUFS. Only TIDAL does, so if you focused a master solely on LUFS it would be optimised for the former. But it used in general as it's an accurate representation of the average that works for loudness across other streaming services, but still others do give different results and subsequently affect your track differently to lesser or greater degree. Spotify uses ReplayGain for its measurement for example, Apple has Sound Check and the rest like YouTube, Pandora etc don't give out info. It's why your tracks won't sound exactly the same across the board.

A CD release/wav ripped might sometimes have a higher LUFS read than a track dl or one targeting digital streaming services loudness normalisation.

A physical CD/DDP primary master doesn't have to compete online so will read lower negative LUFS(-6). A master to be dynamic and competitive via streaming services is the a secondary master at average higher negative LUFS(-14).
I might just aim for -10 and call it good. That's what this indie rap record I recently bought went to and it sounds pretty good. I don't notice that its a bit quieter than my other stuff unless I outright A/B compare.

Regardless I kind of need to start over to some degree, since the best results I have I don't really know how I got them.
 

Sphinx

Member
Nov 29, 2017
1,379
I finally uploaded my video with Chopin's 4th ballade.

This is the 4th piece I recorder and mixed myself and I learn a lot each time I begin a new project, I have a lot more methods to improve quality than before, which should save me a ton of money in the long run... if there's anyone here who knows about classical piano, I'd appreciate construcitve criticism. I am considering advertising the recording but I am not sure It has the super high quality I'd need to. There's a weird cut in the middle of the video I couldn't get rid of it so that's staying there. Thanks in advance for any comments.

 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Aye another question for you fine people. I've mastered three songs. One of them I have pushed into the limiter to as far as I want to go and it hits around 9lufs or -.5db. I've mastered the other two to that same loudness but I can go louder with them and not have them distort. They're at like -.7db.

I really don't know what the hell is up with that first song, because I'm using digital instruments and they're basically all the same. I don't mind keeping them where they're at, but it's strange.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
A track at -5dB is not necessarily louder than one at -7dB. These are just your peak levels. So a singular transient could cause a spike to throw your whole peak level off of -5dB, you'll then make unnecessary adjustments pushing everything to distort. Also LUFS is an average, so outlier peak transients will affect readings measurement. Try to figure out what the cause of the extreme peaks are and adjust to fix.
Remember, Mastering isn't just about reading meters but using ears.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
A track at -5dB is not necessarily louder than one at -7dB. These are just your peak levels. So a singular transient could cause a spike to throw your whole peak level off of -5dB, you'll then make unnecessary adjustments pushing everything to distort. Also LUFS is an average, so outlier peak transients will affect readings measurement. Try to figure out what the cause of the extreme peaks are and adjust to fix.
Remember, Mastering isn't just about reading meters but using ears.
I'm just worried that I'll finish up and one song will be louder than another and it won't sound like a cohesive album.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
I'm just worried that I'll finish up and one song will be louder than another and it won't sound like a cohesive album.
Well you can sort a dB or two via automated post master fader or an assigned VCA if it's minor. Just jump between tracks and check things aren't jarring and flows. I'm assuming you're working on all the tracks at the same time.

If it's in a normal DAW should be laid out thus (___ as tracks) so you can deal with crossfades/edits then you bounce to a single WAV for a CD Burn, alternatively DDP export if you have to option or each one individually rendered/bounced if you wish, with dither .
___​
___​
___​
___
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Well you can sort a dB or two via automated post master fader or an assigned VCA if it's minor. Just jump between tracks and check things aren't jarring and flows. I'm assuming you're working on all the tracks at the same time.

If it's in a normal DAW should be laid out thus (___ as tracks) so you can deal with crossfades/edits then you bounce to a single WAV for a CD Burn, alternatively DDP export if you have to option or each one individually rendered/bounced if you wish, with dither .
___​
___​
___​
___​
Yeah, doing it all at once right now. Currently rendering each one individually with automated fades. I'll be honest, I don't really know what dithering is, so I have that at the default :P if it's even on at all.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
Yeah, doing it all at once right now. Currently rendering each one individually with automated fades. I'll be honest, I don't really know what dithering is, so I have that at the default :P if it's even on at all.
It's when your final bit depth is rendered at a lower amount to the original source, you need to apply dither(noise) to mask/prevent truncation distortion errors in the conversion process from higher bit depths to lower, 24 - 16bit for example when bouncing. Most apply dither just at the end of mastering, but really should use at any stage of a process where the bit depth is converted lower...32 float to 24 bit etc...
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
It's when your final bit depth is rendered at a lower amount to the original source, you need to apply dither(noise) to mask/prevent truncation distortion errors in the conversion process from higher bit depths to lower, 24 - 16bit for example when bouncing. Most apply dither just at the end of mastering, but really should use at any stage of a process where the bit depth is converted lower...32 float to 24 bit etc...
Ah. I think everything is in 24 right now. I imagine I'd want to do this when exporting to make the file sizes smaller? Though I'm kinda tempted to not mess with it and let the .wavs stay what they are.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
Ah. I think everything is in 24 right now. I imagine I'd want to do this when exporting to make the file sizes smaller? Though I'm kinda tempted to not mess with it and let the .wavs stay what they are.
I mean if you're focused on digital distribution services. Keeping it at 24 bit, same as source and bypassing dither, is fine, but sometimes it's good practice to use it incase you have any plugins that are downsampling in bit depth internally.

I did a quick master on a practice track (This isn't part of my portfolio) as an example on the level stuff for LUFS and how it's not always the best indicator... I believe the master ended up around -12 ish LUFS for better dynamics... compared to the premaster at -17.8 though it tightens things up mildly while allows for a moderate boost without over crushing. True peak though hits around the -2.8dB mark due to a couple of freq boosts.. so quite a quiet one but across streaming service it'll get turned up or but not down much on something like apple.

 
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Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Chris Metal Really appreciate the advice you've given so far! Very helpful. I'm def bouncing between the meter and my ears more, and I think I like what my ears are telling me more.

I got another question for you though. So I"m working on this melodeath album but I have a piano interlude. I'm not sure how to master that, since it's just the one instrument with not a lot of bass. I'm half tempted to just throw a limiter on it and boost it to around a bit quieter than the rest of the tracks since I want it to be a "calmer" piece before the more death-core inspired song kicks in. That a good idea, or should I be doing more to it you think?
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
Well I would say, you'll want EQ (however keep tweaking to minimum if you like the sound) and minimal compression as you'll want to aim to keep a lot of the dynamics in piano, so any limiting try to aim to keep it for colour and prevent any clipping and to boost loudness without squashing transients/dynamic range too much.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
22 days in and I'm going to basically start the mastering over. I've dicked with the songs too much--gone back to the mixes too, though thankfully I have backups--and I just don't know anything anymore.

Part of it feels like volume. I like my mixes and have tested them on a variety of speaker systems, but if I crank them at the end, the hot spots really poke through. Trying to figure out where the unpleasant parts are and I guess remove them. It's a blow because I thought I knew what I was doing and got pretty far in. I actually worked on every song until I liked it, but when I began testing on other speaker systems, they sounded pretty bad yet.

Like, around the 5khz range seems pretty hot. I actually have the guitars boosted there, and I'm wondering if I should not do that.

Odds are it's actually a problem with the mixes themselves. I really don't have the right equipment for this.
 

Chris Metal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
United Kingdom
22 days in and I'm going to basically start the mastering over. I've dicked with the songs too much--gone back to the mixes too, though thankfully I have backups--and I just don't know anything anymore.

Part of it feels like volume. I like my mixes and have tested them on a variety of speaker systems, but if I crank them at the end, the hot spots really poke through. Trying to figure out where the unpleasant parts are and I guess remove them. It's a blow because I thought I knew what I was doing and got pretty far in. I actually worked on every song until I liked it, but when I began testing on other speaker systems, they sounded pretty bad yet.

Like, around the 5khz range seems pretty hot. I actually have the guitars boosted there, and I'm wondering if I should not do that.

Odds are it's actually a problem with the mixes themselves. I really don't have the right equipment for this.
Bud, send 3 tracks over to me in a Zip via wetransfer I linked... an unmastered mixed track, mastered version by you and a reference you're using. If it's Amon Amarth I own a few of their CD's so I can use them so just send a mix and master version.

I'll do a mastered version myself and, as mentioned, won't cost you but I'll go through my process for your track if you like the result and you can use it as a general guide for other mixes you have if they're similar in tone/dynamics/volume etc.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Bud, send 3 tracks over to me in a Zip via wetransfer I linked... an unmastered mixed track, mastered version by you and a reference you're using. If it's Amon Amarth I own a few of their CD's so I can use them so just send a mix and master version.

I'll do a mastered version myself and, as mentioned, won't cost you but I'll go through my process for your track if you like the result and you can use it as a general guide for other mixes you have if they're similar in tone/dynamics/volume etc.
You know what, I'll take you up on this <3 Give me today and maybe tomorrow to go through the mixes again and redo a few changes that I know i need to make--largely de-essing on a few songs and some extra volume automation on another--and I'll do that. If you can get these fuckers sounding right, I'll gladly pay you to do the rest of the album.

My friend finished the album artwork and it's so fucking cool that I really can't have his good art associated with bad songs, and this might just be beyond my abilities.

And yeah, my main reference track has been "Guardians of Asgard" by Amon Amarth. I tried a Ne Obliviscarius one too, but that shit is unattainable :P
 
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Oct 26, 2017
78
any advice to overcome writer's block when arranging someone else's compositions?
my band's singer sent us some ideas and I've been miserably failing at getting anything out of them. I'll listen to one, have some vague idea pop up, but as soon as I open my DAW everything just vanishes. It's incredibly frustrating.
 

TRCK

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,224
Hi guys, doo we have like an OT for artists/producers where we can share our stuff?


any advice to overcome writer's block when arranging someone else's compositions?
my band's singer sent us some ideas and I've been miserably failing at getting anything out of them. I'll listen to one, have some vague idea pop up, but as soon as I open my DAW everything just vanishes. It's incredibly frustrating.
I suggest for you to have a reference track or a track with a similar style.
 

TRCK

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,224
Oh okay, I hope artists here get a lot more exposure from the other members.

Anyways, I'll share here my latest release. I've been so much into chillhop vibes lately since it's really raining a lot for like days.

Any comments and criticism will be appreciated, especially with mastering. I'm not good at it but I don't want to compress the shit out of it either just to make it louder.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Alright doublepost. Also ignore the above song as I was fucking with the low end and did a stupid. Problem fixed. Song sounds much better.

Anyhow: Metadata I believe I've asked this before, but I watn to add it to my .wav files. Thinking of using audacity. It won't mess with the quality to take what I have, put in teh data, and re-export, will it? .Wavs are supposed to be lossless, but I'm worried all the same. I believe bandcamp will NOT take .mp3s, and I'd like to put some metadata in the files prior to uploading to bandcamp.
 

collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,054
Alright doublepost. Also ignore the above song as I was fucking with the low end and did a stupid. Problem fixed. Song sounds much better.

Anyhow: Metadata I believe I've asked this before, but I watn to add it to my .wav files. Thinking of using audacity. It won't mess with the quality to take what I have, put in teh data, and re-export, will it? .Wavs are supposed to be lossless, but I'm worried all the same. I believe bandcamp will NOT take .mp3s, and I'd like to put some metadata in the files prior to uploading to bandcamp.
Wavs are lossless, but they're also bad at handling metadata. Try using AIFF
 

Metalmucil

Member
Aug 17, 2019
45
So it looks like this is the place to share our love of music production. It's cool to see so many people sharing great knowledge and not being jerks about it!
So, here is my first contribution I guess. I just finished this remix for an industrial metal band called Promidal. It's crazy heavy, and the only thing I kept from the original song are the vocals. Everything is played by, recorded, mixed, and mastered by me. I'm rather happy with how it turned out. Check it out if you feel like it, feedback appreciated!

 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
400
Made another dumb guitar/looping video yesterday. Really like how this one turned out. CW: dorky white guy, cute pups, cool guitar gear.

It's such a feat of willpower and focus to produce music, even this slapdash, sloppy video took forever lol. Seeing everyone's stuff in here is always very impressive and inspiring.

Oh okay, I hope artists here get a lot more exposure from the other members.

Anyways, I'll share here my latest release. I've been so much into chillhop vibes lately since it's really raining a lot for like days.

Any comments and criticism will be appreciated, especially with mastering. I'm not good at it but I don't want to compress the shit out of it either just to make it louder.
Love this one, great progression/flow in it for being such a chill song.
 

acheron_xl

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,600
MSN, WI
In the spirit of sharing, here’s a track I made around some really dumb classic Doctor Who samples. Still not 100% satisfied with the mix, but that the problem of learning as I go.
 

Metalmucil

Member
Aug 17, 2019
45
So I've decided to pull the plug and call my album done. If I keep making small changes I'll lose what little sanity I have left


Album art is the best part of the album :X
Hey MN Metal! I called Minneapolis home for 17 years. Though I moved to Korea 3 years ago, I still think of myself as Minnesotan. This is your first recording? Dang man. We've come a long way from people buying Tascam 4 trackers and making demos in their garages. Those are some deep growls my friend.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,924
Minnesota
Hey MN Metal! I called Minneapolis home for 17 years. Though I moved to Korea 3 years ago, I still think of myself as Minnesotan. This is your first recording? Dang man. We've come a long way from people buying Tascam 4 trackers and making demos in their garages. Those are some deep growls my friend.
Thank you! I've been in Minnesota for 30 years now, and there's something so wonderfully cozy about this state. It helps that my town is just covered in giant trees.

It took me about two years of solid practice to learn how to growl well, though the recordings are all dual tracked in two slightly different styles. The "main" vocal is me actually trying to pronounce words, and then the underlayer track is me just going for a lower register which ruins my ability to speak like a human. Then I compressed the absolute shit out of it all to squeeze it together. Thickened the entire thing up pretty well though, I think.
 

AL_

Member
Oct 25, 2017
82
Havent shared much here since the last site and recently got back into producing. Been listening to a lot of Boris Brejcha recently so I wanted to copy his style and try my hand at it. Such a fun genre to make and it's so groovy, will def be making more. I can tell my synths are kinda cheesy and not as interesting in comparison but that battle is half the fun for me. It's very minimal but there's something about getting the perfect sound to fill out the situation. Also I took the time and setup sends/returns for once which ended up saving me a ton of time during the automation process. Would appreciate any feedback as well :P