HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:09 pm

Dave, you say "It is also a good idea to record relatively hot" That's the absolute opposite of what I read and hear on other shows. Most advice given is to not get above -12db leaving room for EQ, effects etc. This is totally different than normalizing and then adding effects. The record lower makes sense to me even though I have no idea if it is correct :) Stuff like reverb and delay and optionally EQ ADD volume so already being maxed out can't be good ?

Off this topic I bought a Motorola Droid phone on Friday, this allows me to stream live video and works pretty well. It also has an guitar app that lets me strum it play chords :)
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by storpotaten » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:42 pm

tonyoci wrote:2) I never have any track at 0db, I think Reaper defaults them to -6 or something then I'll lower them as necessary.
Actually, the Reaper default level for a new track is "0.00dB", even though the scale puts that somewhere around -10 on whatever unit it shows. I've never taken the time to understand how this dB thing works, so I don't know what that means.
criddlerus wrote:- It is a great idea to mix without hitting 0db on the master fader. Get the mix to sound great WITHOUT a master limiter and try to get the peaks to hit around 0db. You can usually make a mix sound good while slamming into a limiter, but I think it is best to get the mix sounding great without the limiter/mastering software and then throw that on at the very end as Tony does.
Thanks for stepping in, Dave, I was hoping you would. ;) You both make a lot of sense. I think I started in this end when I first began recording with the PS-04 - a dedicated unit kind of forces you to. My current malpractice comes from trying to make my mixes louder. I should step back and change the strategy.

It's interesting how talking and reading about recording can be as worthwhile as practicing. That whole "dancing about architecture" thing is just b-s.
criddlerus wrote:- Save those un-mastered/limited mixes as we said so you can re-master them later for an album project.
Actually, I keep entire projects. I can remix any of my songs from scratch. It's an obsession. ;)
criddlerus wrote:Yes, I bought the R16.
Hurray! Congratulations and good luck. Looking forward to a quick review on the show and future recordings. You will never need to buy another piece of... nah, forget it. ;)
tonyoci wrote:Dave, you say "It is also a good idea to record relatively hot" That's the absolute opposite of what I read and hear on other shows. Most advice given is to not get above -12db leaving room for EQ, effects etc.
I thought recording at a low level meant more noise when you use compression/limiting? At least that's my experience of my less-than-actually-far-from-perfect recordings.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:28 pm

storpotaten wrote:It's interesting how talking and reading about recording can be as worthwhile as practicing. That whole "dancing about architecture" thing is just b-s.
Yup, it is good to take it in from all mediums. I get the most out of demonstrations with audio examples, but it is really good to read up on the theories and such. Particularly to understand reverbs and compressors and such. That said, I have been having fun lately trying to find the simplest plugins possible, like the BetaBugs stuff. They purposefully try to make all of theirs as simple as possible without hurting audio quality.
storpotaten wrote:Hurray! Congratulations and good luck. Looking forward to a quick review on the show and future recordings. You will never need to buy another piece of... nah, forget it. ;)
LOL. I will definitely do a review. I love my H4, so I figure this thing HAS to be great.....right.... I hope... :)
storpotaten wrote:I thought recording at a low level meant more noise when you use compression/limiting? At least that's my experience of my less-than-actually-far-from-perfect recordings.
Well, I did some experiments and you have to record REALLY low to have it make issues. I think having your inputs peak around -10db is pretty good. From what I hear, the bigger potential problem would be to record TOO hot because if you go over 0db, you might get some nasty digital clipping. I wouldn't record with your peaks less than -20. Between -15 and -10 with peaks at -5db is probably best. You avoid digital clipping at 0db and digital disintegration that occurs at -50db or so. This pertains to recording levels only.

You can always turn down the faders and once you get the audio inside of Reaper or whatever you use. Inside the program, it is designed to deal with very low volumes and goes to great length to make sure all the digital summing of signals will leave the audio in great shape. I am not sure Tony's thoughts about leaving headroom for EQ, Reverb, etc hold water. You can just turn the fader down to make more headroom after you have recorded into the DAW. I normalize because I can always turn a track down but sometimes you hit the ceiling where you can't turn up. Then you have as hot a signal as possible to work with.

Dave
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:27 am

Yes, I don't think -12 is considered low :)

My Reaper defaults to -6 so one of us changed the default, could be me since Acid defaulted to -6 so I just copied it.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by storpotaten » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:01 am

criddlerus wrote:Well, I did some experiments and you have to record REALLY low to have it make issues. I think having your inputs peak around -10db is pretty good. From what I hear, the bigger potential problem would be to record TOO hot because if you go over 0db, you might get some nasty digital clipping. I wouldn't record with your peaks less than -20. Between -15 and -10 with peaks at -5db is probably best. You avoid digital clipping at 0db and digital disintegration that occurs at -50db or so. This pertains to recording levels only.
This reminds me, there has been some talk about this on recent EM podcasts. I will have to revisit, now that I have the background.

Thanks
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by chckn8r » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:34 am

criddlerus wrote:You can always turn down the faders and once you get the audio inside of Reaper or whatever you use. Inside the program, it is designed to deal with very low volumes and goes to great length to make sure all the digital summing of signals will leave the audio in great shape. I am not sure Tony's thoughts about leaving headroom for EQ, Reverb, etc hold water. You can just turn the fader down to make more headroom after you have recorded into the DAW. I normalize because I can always turn a track down but sometimes you hit the ceiling where you can't turn up. Then you have as hot a signal as possible to work with.
I do what Tony does - record at an average level of around -12 and don't normalize anything except the on the mix bus on the final bounce (and it usually doesn't even need it at that point). Keeping some headroom on the raw tracks is good for signals that you are sending to aux buses - keeping them from clipping with effects, parallel compression, and such as you usually send those signals pre-fader.

I don't really see a reason for normalizing individual tracks - compression and other effects will have virtually the same effect whether you apply the gain through normalization on the initial waveform or adjust the threshold on the compressor to trigger squishing.

Anyway, it's late, and I'm off to Hawaii tomorrow. Talk to you all later!

D
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:14 am

Hawaii ? Cool :)

I think us old PS04 users know why we normalized, those files were always too low in volume.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:27 pm

tonyoci wrote:Hawaii ? Cool :)
Yes. Hawaii? Wow! Tell us more!

Normalizing - I only do it when I am not getting enough signal. I do it on vocals a lot. However, you do have to be careful you don't overdrive your plugins as both Tony and Dave indicated. Sometimes when you get everything linked up your plugins can definitely distort, particularly if you do a lot of heavy eq or compression. You have to watch that signal chain as always, even inside the computer! The problem is, a lot of the plugins don't have meters so it might happen without your knowing.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by chckn8r » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:41 pm

criddlerus wrote:Yes. Hawaii? Wow! Tell us more!
Gotta love the Apple store. I'm in the one at UVillage in Seattle now - total open internet. Getting my geek-fix in before heading to the hotel.

Yeah, we're off to Hawaii for my wife's 40th birthday. Should be quite cool.

Yeah, even though your signal does get converted to 32-bit (or 64 if you're using Sonar), inside the DAW, it has to get resolved back down to your D/A converter's state before leaving your computer (that could be 24 bit or 16 bit. So, yeah, you've got to keep your gain structure chain in mind as you add effects - like Dave said - especially EQ if you're doing some drastic carving or adjusting...

Aloha!!!

D
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Joe Mac » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:50 pm

Yet another great show!

All three home recorded tracks this week were first class, and all stand up really well when compared to the Pros. If you heard any of them on the Radio the only thing that would make them stand out is they are really good songs.

Bryan Eddy - A Tree Falls In The Forest - On first listen this one was my least favourite, but it's a grower as when I listened to the songs again it really caught me and turned into my favourite. Love the lyrics and after a few listens a great tune to sing a long with.

Dwight Engen - Terrible Secret - Another great song. Guitar playing and sound are awesome.
Really like how Dwight lets the song cook for a while before bringings the vocals in.
Another one that gets better with each listen.

Brian Plamondon - This is Love - Very Radio friendly song, most immediate of this weeks tracks, lovely Mandolin parts nicely panned,
Brian mentioned he wasn't a lead Guitar player - well the guitar sounded great to me (see below).

Tony mentioned again that he doesn't consider himself a good guitar player. Well I think he is - everyone of Tony's songs I've heard with guitar in them sound great. His guitar parts always fit and support the important thing "THE SONG" I believe that a good guitar player does just that, supports the song. It's not about how many notes or how fast the lick is, it's about the right notes and the right part. It's not unusual for me to come up with what I think is maybe a good part that makes me sound like a good Guitar Player(I'm Not :D ) but then after trying to shoe horn it into the song, I end up deleting it as it spoils the balance of the song.

Really enjoyed the discussion on the show and the Forum about recording levels and Mastering. A Broom Cupboard recordist like myself really appreciates how you guys (Tony, Dave and the Forum) explain things in a down to earth way.

Off to check out this Playlist now!
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by storpotaten » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:53 pm

chckn8r wrote:Yeah, even though your signal does get converted to 32-bit (or 64 if you're using Sonar), inside the DAW, it has to get resolved back down to your D/A converter's state before leaving your computer (that could be 24 bit or 16 bit. So, yeah, you've got to keep your gain structure chain in mind as you add effects - like Dave said - especially EQ if you're doing some drastic carving or adjusting...
Whooosh! That one passed way above my head. It will take a while until I can follow that kind of reasoning. I've just learned how to subtract dBs; not ready to count bits yet. ;)

I know I linked to this somewhere else in the Zoom forum, but it is actually quite relevant for this discussion: EM podcast October, 2009. It's an interview with what is apparently a renowned pro mixer, Chris Lord-Alge. Towards the end of the interview (about half-way through the MP3), he talks about this topic and, if I remember correctly, he says he leaves "four to eight dB" to the mastering guy. There is more interesting stuff in there, for anyone who enjoys this particular discussion.

My method is going to change drastically from now on. I never saw it this way. Thanks again for everyone's help.
Joe Mac wrote:I believe that a good guitar player does just that, supports the song.
Amen. In fact, I said almost exactly the same thing to a friend over lunch today.

However, that particular part Tony commented on really was pretty bad... :roll: ;)
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:10 pm

But that's my point. All of my guitar playing is really bad. However I am saying technically bad, I believe how I use the guitar (and my limited skills) would best be called "Effective" I think I know how to use what I have in an effective way within a song.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by Joe Mac » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:45 am

I've tried out what you guys suggested - Mixing without a master limiter until song sounds good without hitting 0db in the master fader. I (very) carefully pulled all my tracks down by the same amount and then made a few slight adjustments before bringing the Limiter back in. :P Eureka what a difference :!: . Sounds like a different (better)song.

I had been putting a limiter on the master track at the very start of each project - I'm sure I heard or read that some top producer (Charles Dye :?: ) did this, so it must be the proper method .

However now I know I should have listened to Tony & Dave, as you guys explain things like this so well.

Only bad thing about this is it's going to take ages applying this to all the songs I've recorded, as I really want to hear how this method will make them sound
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by The Cracks » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:25 am

tonyoci wrote:But that's my point. All of my guitar playing is really bad. However I am saying technically bad, I believe how I use the guitar (and my limited skills) would best be called "Effective" I think I know how to use what I have in an effective way within a song.
Right, but an effective use of effective talents often time results in a distinguished sound. I'll move the conversation off of you as I don't want to be accused of trying to score brownie points, and I'll lead the topic to my favorite guitar player, Keith Richards. I'd say Keith Richards is probably one of the most respected guitar players in the business. But even he has said he is no guitarslinger, solo madman, type. No, as he has said, he's got something more valuable - rhythm. For all his mastery over the instrument, I don't think Eric Clapton comes close to having as many recognizable sounds or songs as Keith does. Sure, he's got some great ones, but I'd bet even the casusal listener can name you five or so classic Stones riff based songs.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by tonyoci » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:19 am

Cracks, you hurt my feelings, I had always imagined I was your favorite guitar play 8)

Joe Mac, posts like yours make us feel so good, I have no idea if what we say is "correct' but it works. For every Charles Dye there are dozens of other professionals doing it a different way. I am sure that his method has many other aspects that are difficult to apply and simply applying the "limiter first" one alone might not be so good.

I'm always interested in different mastering techniques so if anyone wants to send an unmastered WAV then Dave and I could master it with out various tools to see what the difference is. Send your own master also (as a 256 mp3) to homemadehitshow@gmail.com
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by davecooper » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:09 pm

:lol:

A tree falls in the forest

Sounds like the Eagles which can’t be bad.

Good solid vocals. Overall a very good song – like the guitar sounds.


I’ve always tried top monitor and mix a low volume as I normally play my songs on a CD player and it seems to work well for this.

I always normalise when burning songs onto a CD.


Terrible Secret

Excellent guitar playing and sounds – very good song with nice gravel vocals.


Avett Bros, I and Love and You - this is a really nice simple song.

This is love

Nice gentle song – liked the backing instrumentation and the chorus.
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Re: HMHS 180 - Voicemail (11/6/09)

Post by criddlerus » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:35 am

tonyoci wrote: Joe Mac, posts like yours make us feel so good, I have no idea if what we say is "correct' but it works. For every Charles Dye there are dozens of other professionals doing it a different way. I am sure that his method has many other aspects that are difficult to apply and simply applying the "limiter first" one alone might not be so good.
Yes, we have to remember that Charles Dye is one person. Plus he is working in a pro studio and has years of experience. He has great ideas but everything doesn't need to be taken as gospel. I bought his DVD thingy and it is good but many of his techniques either don't apply to the way I work or just went over my head. That said, I did glean a lot of good information from it especially in the philosophy of trying to do something bold with every mix.
tonyoci wrote: I'm always interested in different mastering techniques so if anyone wants to send an unmastered WAV then Dave and I could master it with out various tools to see what the difference is. Send your own master also (as a 256 mp3) to homemadehitshow@gmail.com
Yes, this sound fun. I would be glad to master someones song and see how it comes out. I do not profess that I am good at mastering however. I think Tony might be better. :)
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