How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional

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munmun
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2012/11/27 12:32:21 (permalink)

How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional

Hi guys.  I have worked hard over the years to learn this dark art we all practice.  My stuff is pretty good.  But professional stuff has punchy warmer lows and a perfectly balancing sheen on the highs.  My stuff sounds balanced too but just harsh.  Here is an example.  How do I get that warmth and sheen.  Or this where I would need to get it professionally mastered?

http://soundcloud.com/sun...n-the-name-of-paradise

Not saying that the above is perfect.  In fact it is still a work in progress.  But wondering.
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    batsbrew
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 12:58:18 (permalink)
    rent a day in a pro studio.

    track something simple, and dynamic.

    observe what equipment is used.....
    gain staging....
    mic choices.....
    especially pay attention to the sound of the room.


    ask to sit in on the mix, just to watch and learn.

    listen to the playback, and get a copy.

    take it home and study it.

    compare it to your stuff, to see where the differences are.


    your answers are in that process.


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    #2
    AT
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 13:02:48 (permalink)
    Not a bad recording at all.  But there is a lot of mids in it.  The vocals, guitar (esp. the lead underneath the vocals), even the snare all fighting for the same frequencies.  It could be something as easy as re-EQing.  Once you've learned to use the high/low pass filters often times there is too much mid left, and you have to find the certain frequencies that make a sound stand out, and then cut those on other tracks.

    You might have also reached the limits of your equipment - mics, preamps or convertors.  It sounds a little like your recordings might be straining the limits of your equipment, producing the harshness.  A different mic, or use of different mics can help.  Or a better preamp - most of us only need one.  Most convertors are pretty good these days, unless you drive them too hard.  You might try a cheap (or expensive if you've got the money just lying around) ribbon.  It rolls off the highs but extends the bottom, which might balance out the mids (esp. if you are using one bright mic).  If you are using your interface's preamps and have them pegged at 11, that probably calls for a preamp (and you'll need that too w/ a ribbon probably).

    But try the eq first.  Sometimes I go back to zero and strip everything down to get a mix to come out better.  But like I said, it is still a nice recording and a good song.

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    bapu
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 13:04:54 (permalink)
    I would give Danny Danzi a try at mastering.

    Danny provides a vid when he mixes for you. Maybe he will do the same for mastering, remembering that every master project is as unique as a mixing project.


    My name is Ed but I Am still bapu after all these years.
     
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    bitflipper
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 14:26:03 (permalink)
    IMO if you're not happy with it now, having it professionally mastered probably won't make a night and day difference. The magic really has to happen in the mix. Why not buy time in a professional studio and have it mixed while you watch? Any for-hire engineer should be willing to teach you for the same hourly rate they'd charge to you to do the mix. Seems like a better investment.


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    bapu
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 14:30:30 (permalink)
    bitflipper


    IMO if you're not happy with it now, having it professionally mastered probably won't make a night and day difference. The magic really has to happen in the mix. Why not buy time in a professional studio and have it mixed while you watch? Any for-hire engineer should be willing to teach you for the same hourly rate they'd charge to you to do the mix. Seems like a better investment.

    Or, as I said DFanny will mix and provide a vid of what he did and compare it to what you did. For a fee of course.

    My name is Ed but I Am still bapu after all these years.
     
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    #6
    Truckermusic
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 16:36:21 (permalink)
    Since I am at work I cannot listen to your track....

    However, Bats and Bit and Bapu all have very valuable points.

    they are right on the money. Both are worth their weight in gold.

    My suggestion would be for Danny first because:

    With having him do a video of your mix you can revisit it several times....this way you will catch what you may not of the first time around.......with a day in the studio you only get to do it once and its over with so you could end up missing  or forgetting some finer points........

    Just my two cents...

    Clifford

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    whack
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 17:04:04 (permalink)
    I don't think there is any easy answer to that but go through the motions with your ears. I dont have the same level as some of the guys above but Ive come a long way, and most of it has to do with practice, knowing what Im hearing and knowing what to use to make that change!

    Im at the stage now where Im desperately trying to figure out how to tackle the mids, which are often left (as AP stated) after hi and low pass filtering.

    bitflipper is right too, If the mix is shot, a master will do f all for it, the magic must be in the mix.

    Id recommend Danny too, he's fairly priced and he really likes his job, meaning that he will explain it really well and give you his time of day.

    Best of luck,

    Cian
    post edited by whack - 2012/11/27 17:05:09



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    #8
    Guitarhacker
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/27 20:01:43 (permalink)
    The most critical thing I believe to getting a good pro sounding mix is to have good monitors and know what you are listening for in the mix.

    If you can not....for example...hear that there is a midrange bump, say....around 500hz, how can you take appropriate action to fix it? 

    Learning to listen properly is the key.

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    #9
    Danny Danzi
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/28 00:04:47 (permalink)
    Thanks Ed, Clifford and Cian! Much appreciated.....tour hugs! :)

    Mun: I think this is a pretty good mix and you're being a little hard on yourself brother. The one thing I hear which is no fault of yours is the mp3 encoding really took a lot from your song in my opinion.

    Great classic rock vibe, loved the song, the vocals were great and there are some really nice things going on here.

    A word about trying to make things super pro: To get pro, you have to think pro, know pro and buy pro. Once you do all that stuff, it's how you use it all that makes it even more pro and of course picking up bits of information from those you admire.

    If you ever hear a recording someone has done that impresses you, by all means email them and ask a few questions. Worst case scenario, they will not share any info...but most times they will to an extent. Your recording habits, how you capture sounds, what gear you have...and of course your ears and know-how all make it into the scheme of things. I think you have a really good grasp on everything, so the things you may not know...aren't out of your reach in my opinion.

    Studio's and booking time: To me, this sort of thing is a lot like going out and buying a book. Though books can be VERY helpful, they can also be incredibly mis-leading and here's why. When you got a pro engineer or producer telling you all these things that he does (which most do NOT show you step by step how to do these things) 8 times out of 10 it doesn't apply to the gear you use.

    So if you went to a pro studio, you would definitely pick up a great deal of knowledge, but there's only so much you can do if you don't have the stuff that studio has. This is one of the cool things about the video's I offer. They are created around what you use, using your songs, your plugs, your DAW (if I have it...I prefer to use Sonar) and we get the best out of YOUR sounds.

    You can go to a studio and watch a guy mic up a snare. You can use the same mics and procedures and not even get close if you don't have the snare he used. This field is difficult in that area which is why I am very cautious about buying audio books. It doesn't help me if the gear they are teaching on is in the millions with a million dollar room to go with it. It doesn't help me if they are using outboard gear that I don't have....so these are the things to keep in mind and they all stem back to "how pro do you want it?"

    I had a guy send me a song to do for him where he wanted me to mix it and turn it into this pro recording. The sounds he used were horrible and my hands would have been tied. I couldn't take the guys money because in certain situations, you just are NOT going to make a bad performance or badly chosen sound sources to sound like a major label. It just ain't gonna happen.

    Instead, I offered him an alternative. I ran video and I resampled as much of his project as possible while keeping the originals archived, and showed him what he could have if different sounds were chosen. I then played guitars using both expensive gear so he could hear what it sounded like in case he wanted to purchase it, and then did it on stuff I had which is much cheaper and easier to afford. So he got nearly 3 different ways to do his project. I turned his badly recorded drums into midi using Audio Snap and then ran different drum modules and ran Drumagog on them as well showing hybridding methods.

    So there are loads of things you can do to make the best use of what you have without spending a bundle really. It's also nice to have a video of your song showing before and after processing so you can see where you may have went wrong...or where you can make things different. And you have it for life without a one-trip studio visit that may not apply to you since they don't have the gear you have or the DAW and plugs you use.

    Not trying to sell you on it, honest...I just figured since the guys mentioned it, I would tell you a little about how it works. As for mastering, I don't do any mastering vids because...well, there are just some things I like to keep to myself. LOL!

    Anyway, I think you did a really good job on this. There are a few things I would do differently within your mix and would do different things via mastering, but to be honest, you did a good enough job in my opinion to where it would be pure subjectivity and not worth me mentioning really. I don't hear anything blatantly wrong other than the encoding really sucking the life out of the tune which is another reason it's not fair for me to comment on the mix more. But it sounds like a really strong demo where the engineer had a clue as to what he was doing. That's really as far as most of us can get anyway without spending a chunk of change that becomes another mortgage. LOL!

    -Danny
    post edited by Danny Danzi - 2012/11/28 00:07:55
    #10
    mattplaysguitar
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/28 05:08:32 (permalink)
    batsbrew


    rent a day in a pro studio.

    track something simple, and dynamic.

    observe what equipment is used.....
    gain staging....
    mic choices.....
    especially pay attention to the sound of the room.


    ask to sit in on the mix, just to watch and learn.

    listen to the playback, and get a copy.

    take it home and study it.

    compare it to your stuff, to see where the differences are.


    your answers are in that process.

    I did that. The guy was a noob. No clue what he was doing. I knew much more than he did. If going down this route, you need to pick your engineer.


    Currently recording my first album, so if you like my music, please follow me on Facebook!
    http://www.facebook.com/mattlyonsmusic

    www.mattlyonsmusic.com 

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    jamesyoyo
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/28 06:36:45 (permalink)
    There ain't a whole lot wrong with this mix. The vocal sound is a bit thick, overpowers the accompaniment slightly. One or two times the guitars stick out unnecessarily, but I think overall this is something that sounds pretty good.
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    batsbrew
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/28 10:20:30 (permalink)
    mattplaysguitar


    batsbrew


    rent a day in a pro studio.

    track something simple, and dynamic.

    observe what equipment is used.....
    gain staging....
    mic choices.....
    especially pay attention to the sound of the room.


    ask to sit in on the mix, just to watch and learn.

    listen to the playback, and get a copy.

    take it home and study it.

    compare it to your stuff, to see where the differences are.


    your answers are in that process.

    I did that. The guy was a noob. No clue what he was doing. I knew much more than he did. If going down this route, you need to pick your engineer.





    yea. you don't want to just go in and say 'record me'


    you gotta do some homework first!



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    #13
    mister happy
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    . 2012/11/28 10:31:44 (permalink)
    .
    post edited by mister happy - 2017/06/29 00:11:08
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    Middleman
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/28 12:01:00 (permalink)
    I think dodgy engineers are why many musicians have pursued learning how to record themselves. Unfortunately, it takes years to be a good tracking engineer and know how to listen and when not to accept a performance. A lot of musicians don't quite get there. That said, if you can find someone who is talented and experienced, going to a studio is the best thing. I have spent years on this endeavor and frankly, when I go to record, I would rather have some else focusing on the engineering side so I can focus on the performance side.

    Here are some comments on your tracks:

    Ambient space is not pleasing around acoustic.
    Reverb is not pleasing around the vocal. It is a bit crisp. Vocal wavers a bit out of tune in places. Bad reverb can take a good song down quick.
    Frequency range of strings is too high; I would have brought this in at a lower range to give body.
    The electric guitar needs to be more rhythm and less lead when it comes in, this to support the song.
    Stereo field is a bit narrow, could take advantage of LCR here. Left side seems Ok, right is not right enough.
     
    Danny called it on the MP3 conversion. There is some weird warbling going on. This happens to many of the soundcloud low-resolution files.
    Kick is all click and not enough bottom. The phase on the drums is a bit dated sounding.

    If you are the singer, you have a very good voice but need someone (producer) to keep you on track pitch wise and possibly getting you to re-perform certain sections for improvement.

    I think you really did a great job here overall it was your choice of ambient spaces either plug ins or low end hardware that moved this away from a pro sound at the start. Poor sounding ambience is a tell tale mark of home recording.
     

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    #15
    Philip
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/28 23:51:56 (permalink)
    +1 all.  I've heard a couple of the Op's songs and believe he has already achieved the goal of being excellent and professional.

    Honestly, mixing and mastering, recording and singing, performing and inspiring, living life to the fullness, etc. ... requires cascading miracles, IMHO.  

    (not trying to sound religious (I'm not pure) ... but miracles and your/my 'utmost emotions' (aka music) oft require a bit of faith and compassion toward humanity and/or God)

    One artist may affirm that honesty and persistence guide his masterpieces.  I agree.

    While I won't deny that Danny Danzi is the dream ME for us; I would probably swear that everyone of us here ... does have a pro-hit story to sing ... someone will love you/I.

    IOWs:  Who knows why?  I dunno.

    Somewhat on topic:

    An icon-rock-star may be just an illusion ... he/she gets 'replaced' by fickle listeners, etc.

    What is pro sounding here might not be so pro sounding there.  

    Have any of you tried skating to Led Zep?  Not very pro-sounding for skating despite being icon-rock.


    Philip  
    (Isa 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD)

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    #16
    mattplaysguitar
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/11/29 06:06:41 (permalink)
    batsbrew


    mattplaysguitar


    batsbrew


    rent a day in a pro studio.

    track something simple, and dynamic.

    observe what equipment is used.....
    gain staging....
    mic choices.....
    especially pay attention to the sound of the room.


    ask to sit in on the mix, just to watch and learn.

    listen to the playback, and get a copy.

    take it home and study it.

    compare it to your stuff, to see where the differences are.


    your answers are in that process.

    I did that. The guy was a noob. No clue what he was doing. I knew much more than he did. If going down this route, you need to pick your engineer.





    yea. you don't want to just go in and say 'record me'


    you gotta do some homework first!

    It was organised by my singing teacher (for multiple people) so I thought I'd jump in on it hoping to learn something. All I learnt was that a professional studio didn't really offer much in end result that I could get at home after setting up some very simple acoustic treatment! It was definitely much more comfortable, but aside from that..... It did emphasise how small an impact gear really makes in the full scheme of things. I see the main benefit of a nice studio is comfort and convenience.


    When I build my studio (which was going to be 10-15 years away but is now only about 3 years when I renovate my house!!!!!!! I will post build photos) I'll be designing around intimacy and organisation. Considering a control room in the live room set up but professionally treated and designed so make it more relaxing and causal for any client so they perform better. That's where the money shot is (performance). Too many studios use the separate room design and many musicians can feel less comfortable in that situation. Got to differentiate myself somehow!


    As for your song. Not bad. Not bad at all. Something doesn't sound right with that acoustic. What mic did you use? It sounds a little cheap and grainy - like a Behringer... Or the guitar isn't great? Something's not right. Did you use new strings? Are you using harmonic exciters or lots of high boosting? Drums sound very machine-gun ish at the snare fills. What sampler are you using? The drums I feel could use more work. I'm thinking parallel compression or smashing the room mics to big them up a bit. They sound a little whimpy to me. Everything else sounds pretty good though on first listen. I'd put those things out front though as the main things that bugged me. Overall it's great. Sounds a bit old school, maybe 80's, in both style and quality, but that's not a bad thing. Depends if that's what you're going for or not. It did seem to end quickly! A little short! I'd like more singing! Use of compression I think is a little out. Things need dynamic tightening with better use of comps I think. And is the electric guitar out of tune in some of those licks? If you want a bigger, more modern sound, it's all production. You haven't recorded it in that way so not too much you can do. It's recorded in a way that tends to an older style sound. But what you want from that is up to you. I think I'd like it a little fatter at some parts nearer the end, but you could probably mostly get that with mixing. Idealy though some more rhythm electrics would help that out if you wanted it.


    Currently recording my first album, so if you like my music, please follow me on Facebook!
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    #17
    munmun
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/01 22:08:01 (permalink)
    Thank you everyone!  Danny specially you.  Being a stubborn SOB, I remain focused on teaching myself how to get this right.  So I have taken the feedback and created another mix.  I focused on getting a more defined bottom.  It is definitely better than the previous version.  But when I listen to my reference track, there is a sweetness in the highs that I just cannot get.  My snare sounds harsh compared to my reference.  The acoustic guitar as well.  Anyway what do you guys think?  If I am not closer, Danny we need to talk!

    http://soundcloud.com/sun...n-the-name-of-paradise
    #18
    tfbattag
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/01 22:59:51 (permalink)
    Sunny-

    When you are referring to your reference....What is the reference that you are referring to? 

    Also, I'm curious if the harshness exists on your mixing system. If so...as much as what we are geting on SoundCloud? I've noticed personally that a lot of the tunes on SoundCloud are harsher to my ears that from some of the other hosting sources.

    I agree with most of the posters that the song sounds great really. The arrangement is good, but I agree with you that it sounds harsh. 

    I PM-d you another message. Best of luck!

    Thomas Battaglia
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    #19
    Danny Danzi
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/02 01:38:40 (permalink)
    munmun


    Thank you everyone!  Danny specially you.  Being a stubborn SOB, I remain focused on teaching myself how to get this right.  So I have taken the feedback and created another mix.  I focused on getting a more defined bottom.  It is definitely better than the previous version.  But when I listen to my reference track, there is a sweetness in the highs that I just cannot get.  My snare sounds harsh compared to my reference.  The acoustic guitar as well.  Anyway what do you guys think?  If I am not closer, Danny we need to talk!

    http://soundcloud.com/sun...n-the-name-of-paradise

    (Long post ahead Mun....sorry. I tried, but there's no way around it to really explain this the right way.)
     
    Not a problem man. Trust me, I know all about that stubborn thing. The problem with me was....I was so stubborn it took me 15 years to finally throw myself at the mercy of an engineer to teach me what to listen for as well as updating my entire monitor/listening experience. LOL!
     
    The first thing you probably need to do is create a drop box account so you can post a good 320 kb mp3 in there and give us the link so we can hear it without the artifacts Soundcloud is adding. It's definitely affecting your cymbals and snare...and if it's not, we definitely need to talk. :)
     
    Keep in mind, and I mean this sincerely...9 times out of 10 your monitor environment is the culprit. You can't fix the right stuff if you can't hear the right stuff. For example, I'm not hearing any kick drum barely at all on my end. I hear it but I don't feel it when all the music is playing. This tells me 3 things it can possibly be...or all 3 working as a team:
     
    1. Your system is putting out lows, so your curbing them.
     
    2. Your snare is paper thin and a bit harsh with no resonance. It just sounds like a pop...not really a full bodied snare drum. This could be due to #1. Your system is putting out lows, so you feel curbing the snare is the answer...which it is, but if those lows you are hearing in your system really don't exist, you'll never fix this problem and will remain searching for the right low end punch while carving things up to sound harsh where they shouldn't be.
     
    3. Your kick is frequency masking with your bass.
     
    My final advice: I still don't think you're far off, but the distance off that you are is going to involve a little work or you'll never fix this stuff.
     
    First, you may want to do some room correction if at all possible. I use ARC here and absolutely love it in all my rooms. ARC also tunes my monitors. I get a lot of flack for bringing it up on this forum, but if you listen to the songs of those that have went out of their way to attempt to make me feel like I shouldn't brag about ARC, and then would like me to share some of my current works....you'll see that these certain individuals that stalk me about ARC, can't mix their way out of a wet paper bag to be talking such trash.
     
    It's a fantastic tool. Those on this forum that use it seem to always get highly praised for their mixes and there are several. Again I say, it's a wonderful tool that is simple to use and it works for about 95% of the people that try it. Some have had bad luck with it and it failed for them....so there is a chance of failure. But it's never failed me in all the years and rooms I've used it in with every set of monitors other than NS-10's that didn't have a sub on them. As soon as I added a sub and did the correction again, my NS-10's are now as good as any other monitor I use.
     
    Monitor tuning is another thing. You could go out and buy the best monitor rig in the world and be no better than you are now unless you correct the monitors to be flat. If a monitor rig puts out too much low end, this forces you to compensate and cut out the lows when in reality, they don't exist.
     
    The same with monitors that may be mid range based or top endy and bright. This forces you to curb mids and high end when in fact, these mids and highs aren't really there. I mean they ARE, but once you correct your monitors, it balances them so what you hear is what you're supposed to hear. This stuff alone can be the death of you and all you do is waste time trying to compensate if you stay on the course you're on if this is indeed your problem.
     
    There are free tools you can look into on the net that allow you to test your monitors as well as your room to find out where you may be lacking or where you may be putting out too much junk. The problem with it in my opinion is, you have to be selective in the mic you use to take the room snap-shot.
     
    The wrong mic can give you the wrong outcome. If you create a post on monitor correction, the guys will come out and tell you what programs to use as well as how to do it. I just felt better with ARC as the mic that comes with it is made for the software as well as how it analyzes your room and monitors. But you could always hire someone to come out and do it with a scope. You'll need to provide an eq for them so they can remove/add the frequencies to flatten your monitors.
     
    Don't listen to the masses....buy a sub. Anyone, no matter who they are, that comes on here and tells you "you don't need a sub for small rooms" is out of their tree. I have a sub in every room I mix in. The key is how much of the sub you allow when using it. Most near-fields can't get down low enough to those nice frequencies we need in our music.
     
    They claim they can, but you may never hear it. With a sub, there is no mistake and no second guessing. You may need to experiment with how much or how little of the sub you allow, but you should be able to fix that in 3-5 mixes really. If you are mixing bass light, you lower your sub so it forces you to mix more bass in your mixes. If you are mixing bass heavy, you raise your sub so it forces you to mix with less bass.
     
    The only problem with just guessing at it is, you may select the wrong sub frequency to boost on your sub if it has a frequency control. Knowing what sub area is right for your room is something you just have to know really. You can experiment and get a feel for what works best in your room though. For example, at my main studio, it's 85 Hz on my sub. At my new studio, 75 Hz was the best choice.
     
    Next, and this is last because without the above, you'll never get it right. But the last on the list is knowing what and how to listen for something. Just about always, we need to be taught how to listen for this stuff. Some guys are naturals, others need to be taught things like when, where, how and why to choose a certain low end push for a kick drum or a bass guitar. What makes up the harshness in a guitar tone...when is it too warm, when is it too bright and what frequencies need to be adjusted for the best results? How much to high pass, how much to low pass...when to high pass and low pass as well as when to use shelving.
     
    When is there enough vocal brightness in a take to where it's bright but not producing sibilence? When should a bass be boomy and when should it have a little more high end clack so we let the kick drum lead the charge? When should a piano be thinned out, or a orchestra patch and how do you go about it? How to make a vocal choir sit in a mix with other instrumentation....all this stuff is something you can sit around and experiment with, or you can have someone show you the good and the bad. Even when someone shows you, you still will need to hone your skills...but at least you have starting points and that comes from learning how to identify frequencies and almost speak "frequency".
     
    What's a good sound that can be used in a recording...what is a bad sound that shouldn't even be kept to where you waste loads of time. Choosing the right sounds will always be the most important at the tracking stage as well as knowing what and how to listen for something. But without the right monitor environment with at the least, having your monitors correctly tuned, you're a fish out of water. Rooms can come into play with messing up the sound of a monitor system, but trust me when I tell you, the room is the least of your worries of the monitors themselves are giving you false representation.
     
    Most home studio study rooms, bed rooms and office type rooms do not need room correction unless you are really experiencing problems. A corrected monitor system should be enough and HAS been enough for me when I've worked in those types of rooms. People give rooms a bit too much credit. When you are on top of your monitors with them being corrected monitors, as long as they are not up against a wall a basic office/bed room/small studio room is not going to be a problem.
     
    But un-corrected monitors without a sub, will just about always be a thorn in your side. That's just my experience if you value anything I have to say. I don't listen to the people that get all scientific about how they correct their rooms and then show you examples of their audio work that sounds like an amateur. Yes, it can be important...but if you're just a home recordist looking for good, accurate sound, you don't need all that ugly crap degrading the look of your home.
     
    So keep some of this in mind and see if you can look into any of it. The day you feel you've had enough to where you're tired of taking CD's out to your car, listening to them while writing stuff down that you will change once you get back in to your studio to where you can't hear what to change once you're back there because you don't hear what you heard in your car, is the day you'll submit and make a difference for the better.
     
    Just don't waste 15 years like I did brother. The day I went for help was the day the clouds parted and I actually enjoyed this field without the frustration and actually make a great living at this now. Sometimes we just need help from the right people while doing the right procedures. To me, you can't put a price on that if you love this field and are as frustrated as I was. :)
     
    I know I probably come off as a know-it-all or some sort of super engineer. I am NOT. However, I get good results without blatant artifacts. People like my stuff or they don't...but it's rare they would say "too much low end rumble" or "too piercing" or "you have frequency masking going on." I'm a good balanced type of engineer that gets better than demo quality and I've had my rare moments where I've hung with big boy production as well. That's all we can strive for really unless we have million dollar facilities with millions in gear and the technical know-how for it. :) Good luck, hope some of this helps.
     
    -Danny
    post edited by Danny Danzi - 2012/12/02 01:47:46
    #20
    FastBikerBoy
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/02 04:02:15 (permalink)
    Another great post Danny.

    Does position of a sub make any difference? Is there a preferred position? I'm a little limited as to where I can place stuff so I'm wondering whether it's worth it if I can't get it into the 'right' position. I'm going to be pretty much limited to floor level center just in front of my normal sitting position.

    Based on all the good things I hear (mix wise as well as advice on here) I'm going to treat myself to ARC and figure I might as well get a sub at the same time to save setting ARC up and then have to (presumably) do it again when I get a sub.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.
    #21
    mister happy
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    . 2012/12/02 06:12:37 (permalink)
    .
    post edited by mister happy - 2017/06/29 00:11:31
    #22
    Danny Danzi
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/02 08:07:32 (permalink)
    FastBikerBoy


    Another great post Danny.

    Does position of a sub make any difference? Is there a preferred position? I'm a little limited as to where I can place stuff so I'm wondering whether it's worth it if I can't get it into the 'right' position. I'm going to be pretty much limited to floor level center just in front of my normal sitting position.

    Based on all the good things I hear (mix wise as well as advice on here) I'm going to treat myself to ARC and figure I might as well get a sub at the same time to save setting ARC up and then have to (presumably) do it again when I get a sub.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

    Thanks Karl. Well, it's strange. I've been in rooms where they were off to the side a bit and to be honest, though you might think it would be a problem, I didn't have any problems working/mixing in the room. I personally like mine in the center in between my monitors completely in line and even with the monitors. Not in front, not behind...straight on and even on the floor.
     
    A few aritcles I've read mention "experiment with the best position for your room". Though I would disagree with this, when I've been in a room that's had one off to the side, you don't hear it coming from the side so that article may have been correct. Supposedly we can't perceive where the low end is coming from...and in my experience that has been exactly the case. I really don't know the right answer to that question brother...but I like mine dead on.
     
    Yeah I think you'll like ARC. Definitely grab a sub with it if you can and do the correction with the sub so you don't have to do it again. The toughest thing is deciding on what low end to use for it. But with a little experimenting, you'll figure it out. What I did was, I played a few reference CD's before I corrected with ARC. I killed all eq adjustments on the back of my monitors and adjusted my sub so that it just gave me a little extra kick. You don't want to hear rumble...you just want a little extra kick in those lows. ARC will curb it if you use too little or too much, no worries there. Most of the time, it will remove a little too much low end after the correction which will make you mix a little bass heavy.
     
    At least that's what happened to me. From there, I just brought the sub up an increment or so which feeds a little more low into the mix and you wind up mixing a little bass lighter. You may have to experiment with this but I was able to nail it on the first try. I contacted IK and asked them about that just to make sure and they said "yeah, you may have to experiment with your sub a bit after the correction." So you just bring your sub up a few notches after the correction if need be and you'll be fine. In my new studio, I didn't have to touch a thing after the correction and just about always, I never touch a sub. Just in my main studio I had to do it. Even there...it wasn't any problem really. You just need to fine tune it a bit to your personal needs.
     
    I wasn't exactly mixing bass heavy before adding a little more sub on my end. It was just a little more bass than I felt I needed. Definitely passable for sure...but on that border of "ah, I think it's just a little too much." :)
     
    -Danny
    #23
    Middleman
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/02 12:01:34 (permalink)
    Danny, great feedback in the last two posts. The monitoring is everything. Without it you can tweak all day and not get translatable results.


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    #24
    munmun
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/02 12:04:12 (permalink)
    His point on listening is key as well.  I have ARC.  But it has not helped as much.  My critical listening skills need to be honed.  NOw that Danny has mentioned that the kick drum is lost, I cam hear that.  My fatigued ears missed the point yesterday.
    #25
    Eddie TX
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/05 11:40:30 (permalink)
    Danny Danzi

    Yeah I think you'll like ARC ...
     
    Kudos to Mr. Danzi for some of the most helpful, informative postings I've seen here.  Great work, Danny ... may you continue to find success with your music career.
     
    Speaking of ARC, I was curious if you decided to go back to the original or if you kept the upgrade to ARC 2.  I think I remember you were having some issues with the new version.
     
    Cheers,
    Eddie
     



    Sonar X3 Producer / Win 10 
    The future exists in all directions.
    #26
    Danny Danzi
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/05 16:54:47 (permalink)
    Eddie TX


    Danny Danzi

    Yeah I think you'll like ARC ...
     
    Kudos to Mr. Danzi for some of the most helpful, informative postings I've seen here.  Great work, Danny ... may you continue to find success with your music career.
     
    Speaking of ARC, I was curious if you decided to go back to the original or if you kept the upgrade to ARC 2.  I think I remember you were having some issues with the new version.
     
    Cheers,
    Eddie
     

    That's very kind of you Mr. Eddie, thanks! :) I wish the same for you!
     
    As for ARC, I've been toying with ARC 2 for a bit now and though it's good, to me it sounds nearly identical to ARC 1. I notice a bit more high end in ARC 2 which sort of scared me. I don't think my mixes come out bright right now, but if I used ARC 2 and trusted it, I believe my mixes would be a bit darker.
     
    I tried to use the built in EQ to make it sound like ARC 1 by curbing the highs it seems to be adding. At the end of the day, why use a newer version that you tweak to sound like the old version, know what I mean? LOL! So ARC 2 doesn't get much action from me. I've yet to really mix something using it though. I should give it a try to see how I fair really. But from running it side by side with ARC 1, I just seem to like what ARC 1 is doing and I totally trust it.
     
    That little extra high end just scared me off. Like I said, I DID fix that though....I just haven't tried to mix anything. I really only bought it because it was so cheap for me and thought maybe the additional options it has would be cool to have. But, those options are really not to my liking other than some of the custom stuff you can do. But even there, you're altering what it created and I don't think we should have to do that. Then again, sometimes you DO have to tweak things a little and it's good those options are there.
     
    I don't know man....I'm one of those guys that tries as hard as possible not to change something when you have a well-oiled machine, know what I mean? I get everything I could ever need out of ARC 1 without messing with any custom settings or tweaking it. I raised my sub one increment after my ARC 1 corrections and never did anything else since. My clients are completely happy with my work, the people I do consultations for are happy, I'm happy that my stuff sounds good on every system I play it on...there's just no need for anything else in MY realm to be honest. But I can probably work with ARC 2 and hav good results. It really does sound super close to ARC 1...I'm just afraid it will make me mix a little darker and right now I'm extremely happy with my high end. :) Thanks again for the kind words brother, glad some of the stuff I've posted has been helpful to you.
     
    -Danny 
    #27
    munmun
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/08 05:23:23 (permalink)
    The dog is still on the bone!  This thread has been amazing in terms of pushing me!  Thank you!  Am I closer?  I have worked hard on the low end

    https://soundcloud.com/su...n-the-name-of-paradise
    #28
    munmun
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/08 05:24:33 (permalink)
    Danny Danzi


    Eddie TX


    Danny Danzi

    Yeah I think you'll like ARC ...
     
    Kudos to Mr. Danzi for some of the most helpful, informative postings I've seen here.  Great work, Danny ... may you continue to find success with your music career.
     
    Speaking of ARC, I was curious if you decided to go back to the original or if you kept the upgrade to ARC 2.  I think I remember you were having some issues with the new version.
     
    Cheers,
    Eddie
     

    That's very kind of you Mr. Eddie, thanks! :) I wish the same for you!
     
    As for ARC, I've been toying with ARC 2 for a bit now and though it's good, to me it sounds nearly identical to ARC 1. I notice a bit more high end in ARC 2 which sort of scared me. I don't think my mixes come out bright right now, but if I used ARC 2 and trusted it, I believe my mixes would be a bit darker.
     
    I tried to use the built in EQ to make it sound like ARC 1 by curbing the highs it seems to be adding. At the end of the day, why use a newer version that you tweak to sound like the old version, know what I mean? LOL! So ARC 2 doesn't get much action from me. I've yet to really mix something using it though. I should give it a try to see how I fair really. But from running it side by side with ARC 1, I just seem to like what ARC 1 is doing and I totally trust it.
     
    That little extra high end just scared me off. Like I said, I DID fix that though....I just haven't tried to mix anything. I really only bought it because it was so cheap for me and thought maybe the additional options it has would be cool to have. But, those options are really not to my liking other than some of the custom stuff you can do. But even there, you're altering what it created and I don't think we should have to do that. Then again, sometimes you DO have to tweak things a little and it's good those options are there.
     
    I don't know man....I'm one of those guys that tries as hard as possible not to change something when you have a well-oiled machine, know what I mean? I get everything I could ever need out of ARC 1 without messing with any custom settings or tweaking it. I raised my sub one increment after my ARC 1 corrections and never did anything else since. My clients are completely happy with my work, the people I do consultations for are happy, I'm happy that my stuff sounds good on every system I play it on...there's just no need for anything else in MY realm to be honest. But I can probably work with ARC 2 and hav good results. It really does sound super close to ARC 1...I'm just afraid it will make me mix a little darker and right now I'm extremely happy with my high end. :) Thanks again for the kind words brother, glad some of the stuff I've posted has been helpful to you.
     
    -Danny 

    I never got Arc2 to work.  Truth is I need to get IK multimedia on the phone.  Just have not had time.
    #29
    offnote
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    Re:How do I get my recordings to sound closer to professional 2012/12/08 10:22:19 (permalink)
    Great topic and posts here. I have same problems with my recordings because sometimes even if technically it's all good and sounds good - the recording like e.g. OP's still has that specific homemade smell. How to get rid of that smell it's a million $ question I guess 
    post edited by offnote - 2012/12/09 17:39:19
    #30
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