HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

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HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by tonyoci » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:04 pm

http://www.homemadehitshow.com for the show.

We're back for more of those hi quality distant vocal recordings from Tony Butterworth and Dave Criddle, your self appointed ringmasters of the home songwriting circus.

This week discussions include:
  • Dave's Rondo Bass
    Rewiring a guitar
    Dave's attempts to record from a netbook
    Dave's Shure Beta 52 mic
    Reorganizing your plugins
This weeks, all important, songs
  • Randall Hill - In Between
    Sugarspin (Jim Daly & KV( - There For You
    Exactly What You Need - Hobey Kuhn
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by GeeJay » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:35 pm

Great timing guys, just before I leave work on Friday night - perfect listening for the journey :stick:

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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by The Cracks » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:56 pm

Where do you get the time to put this out with the RPM Challenge under way?

I'll have to come back when I have more time. I have to go start work on song 3.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by criddlerus » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:56 am

Under our new method we recorded and edited this back in January. We will record the next two shows in two weeks. I am liking the new plan. It keeps shows coming out regularly but we only have to record once a month. Not to bad and it keeps me excited about doing the show.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by Polly » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:33 am

Randall Hill - In Between. Great quality recording, nice phases in the edit keeping the song fresh. A really tight band sound. The backing vocals add some nice touches too.

Slimming down the gear - I posted recently on this topic. Its a useful principle to bear in mind, the more options you have the slower your creative process may become. I'm with you on the Variax thing. I have the Variax accoustic 700 and the increase in leads you need stops you using it. :? I reckon out of the dozen or so sounds it offers only 3 have any real use. BUT its great when I'm playing live as it does give some variation, no pun intended, :shock: especially the switch between 6 and 12 string guitars, so I'll keep that. At home it stays in the bag.

Soldering. Ha! I did it for 9 years as an electrical engineer. :cry: There's only one rule really. Do not melt the solder wire onto a cool contact. This can cause what is called a 'dry joint' where a blob of solder sits on the surface but hasn't bonded. Wrap the wire as you want then heat up the contact till it is hot enough to melt any solder you place on it. The only problems could be plastic wire sheathing shrinking back as the contact heats. But it should be manageable; the trick is to keep dabbing the solder wire onto the contact so it melts as soon as the thing is hot enough.

Avoid cliches like the plague. :shock: The advice is spot on, the irony is established artistes can use cliche and write appalling garbage. The worst culprit for this is Robbie Williams, his songs are just lists of cliches. But that originality is hard to achieve. I think the answer lies in writing from real life, reflect on what you actually experience. The imagination may resort to cliche to easily. If I say 'imagine a beautiful sandy beach' you think of the cliche of a an advert. If I say 'imagine Shanklin Beach on the Isle of Wight' then I have specific sights, sounds, emotions to pull into my writing; because I've been there.

Sugarspin (Jim Daly & KV There For You. Nice to have a female vocalist around for a change. Another tight recording and a professional sheen. A strong moody atmosphere pervades, very indie feel. Killer guitar solo, well played.

Gear again. I got my new laptop up and running which pleases me. The solution was to tweak the operating system. Nothing difficult, I just googled some advice. I take the point about organising plug ins. I haven't felt too disorganised. As for presets, I did write them down once. I did it on a word doc and I can open that and check it. I wonder where it is? Truth is I probably don't have that many plug ins. I tend to squander time looking for the right sound on Mixcraft's synths. Actually this discussion has prompted me. I must make a list of plugin sounds I like with a brief description and stick it on the wall. "I must go through this list" "They got a whole ton of these". Do you have a whole ton of time to get to grips with them? A lot of what is available might sound good in a sci fi movie, :esp: but the musical value is probably limited.

Now here's a worthwhile project I'm on. I just ordered 2 CDs 'Now That's What I Call Country' (1 and 2). So I can hear new music and listen how modern country sounds, is mixed etc. So I can get my head round the genre. I did the same recently with modern UK pop. What I learned surprised me. I came to the view that I need to change my editing style, I got too much pointless fill in my mixes. Also the structure of a 'modern song' is nothing new, it's the edit that provides the change of phases. Chuck in some ear candy and I think I can develop a new and more contemporary sound.

Exactly What You Need - Hobey Kuhn. The points I just made are evident in this mix. It goes places, keeps changing. Less is more. Good work chaps. :applause:
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by Ran » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:52 am

Firstly, thanks for all the kind comments about my tune.

Secondly, I'll talk nerd with you Dave if Tony doesn't want to. My wife says I play music as an excuse to buy loads of gear. She's probably partly correct. Plugin-wise, I have way too many and use only a couple for everything. The UAD stuff is great, particularly the 140 Plate reverb and the Roland Space Echo. The 1176 compressor is magic on bass instruments. I don't even load a preset or change the settings. It just sounds good. That said, all the other stuff I have doesn't really every get used.

Thirdly, I was really impressed with the other songs this week. Fantastic separation and definition. Makes me work harder.

And finally, guys keep up the good work. The show is an inspiration for me to play and finish songs.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by criddlerus » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:09 pm

Polly wrote:Soldering. Ha! I did it for 9 years as an electrical engineer. There's only one rule really. Do not melt the solder wire onto a cool contact.
Thanks for the tip Polly. Makes sense the way you explain it. I will tack that up on my bulletin board as I work. Great!

As you say, I have a lot of useless plugins, but the Favorites in Reaper let me have subfolders of just the useful ones for Strings, or Keys or Pads. Speeds things way up.

Your Country project sounds interesting. It is always good to deeply analyze a style of music. You can learn all kinds of things.
Ran wrote:Secondly, I'll talk nerd with you Dave if Tony doesn't want to. My wife says I play music as an excuse to buy loads of gear.
LOL. Thanks for signing on Randal. It is always great to have new blood.
I bought the Waves Bundle way back when I was single and rich. ha. That is pretty much all I use. I may have to try the UAD stuff some day. Sounds like good stuff. You are right that you really only need a few good plugins.

Great tune!
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by Ran » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:11 pm

I love Waves plugs but I have vowed to stop buying new software. It seems like a waste of money when 5 years down the road, it no longer works with your new OS(i.e Rebirth, Wizzo W2 etc.). I'm getting ready to build a new i7 based 64 bit machine and I won't be reinstalling most of my plugins, mainly the free ones. Probably will stick with the NI stuff(Komplete 7), Korg Legacy Collection, UAD cards and Melodyne. Upgrading to Cubase 6 from 5 with this rebuild. It should rock.
Looking back at my list, that's still a healthy list of stuff. They just make my work a lot quicker. I can't just go cold turkey. Now if could just shake my synth and guitar habit, that would make my wife happy. She doesn't see the software.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by criddlerus » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:21 pm

Hey Ran,

Plus you are just down the road from Cincinnati in Louisville. I can practically see you.. lol. I just re-listened to your tune. It sounds like you have listened to some brit rock. I love that sound. I really want to use a vocoder in a song some day. Great tune! I will have to check out some others from your site.

A lot of people, including myself, have switched over to Reaper. It really is a fantastic program. I started on SAW way back in 1993. Then I switched to Cakewalk right when it switched from Midi Only to Audio. Then I was on Cubase for a long time. I got tired of "re-buying" Cubase at every major release. Reaper is a heck of a program and I dare say I like it better than Cubase. The routing in it is amazing and it does everything I want it to and more. You should look into that.

Every time I want to buy more gear, I just go find some new free plugins. Or I get out my Native Instruments plugins and re-discover them. Ha. If you don't want to have to upgrade your software, then just keep the same PC for 10 years like I did. :^:

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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by Ran » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:25 pm

Dave,
I think I have accepted the fact that I have to update Cubase and Komplete every 2 to 3 years. I've used Reaper and I guess I just too lazy to get my head around how it works(mind you, I started using Cubase in 1990 on an Atari ST!). I recently bought a copy of Presonus Studio One Artist for $20.11(NAMM special) to see what I'm missing. It ok. Considering that I know most of the key commands on Cubase and don't have to think too much about what I'm doing, work flow is very fast. I'm sure that if I'd been using Performer, Logic or Sonor the same would apply. Over the last 3 years, I started buying hardware synths again after, at one point, having only plugs. What a huge difference they make. I wouldn't trade my Roland JX-8P, Novation KS4, or Moog Voyager for any plugin made. Software, it seems to me, are just tools. Hardware, (nice guitars, amps, synths, mics), for me at least, are where it's at. Funny, I never thought I'd become a hardware snob. How did that happen?
You're right, Cincy isn't that far down the road. My wife and I have family in the Dayton area. We drive thru quite often. We love spending the night there, watching a Reds game and eating downtown. Fun, fun, fun.
Last edited by Ran on Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by lucas » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:57 am

Rewiring a guitar
I usually put a bit of solder on both parts before soldering them together.

Dave's attempts to record from a netbook
they're just not built for more than Websurfing and mild Word/Excel use.

Reorganizing your plugins
less is more
saving presets in Reaper depends on the plugin, but usually you can click on little button to right of the preset drop drown list and get a the menu to save, delete import & export presets.
again, it only works if the plugin allows this.

songs:
Randall Hill - In Between
oh yeah, liked this :)

Sugarspin (Jim Daly & KV( - There For You
as in 'Spin Spin Sugar'?
liked the trem guitar
another nicely balanced mix that I wish I was able to achieve.

Exactly What You Need - Hobey Kuhn
very cool
good breakdown & rebuild



Good Show, Thanks ! :D
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by Zoetrope » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:37 am

Wait, there's a new show out? Where's my HMHS email? I demand a refund!
And now I just realize there was a January show. WTF?
  • Randall Hill - In Between
    I thought this was Tony at first. Very cool and polished song with some great EEeeeeoooooOOoooww synth sounds. Reminds me a little of The Cardigans during the chorus.
  • Sugarspin (Jim Daly & KV( - There For You
    Wow, great vocal, reminds me of Chrissie Hynde. Cool song.
  • Dave's attempts to record from a netbook
    I wouldn't even think this is possible. Not enough power. My netbook can't even handle YouTube videos without the sound breaking up. Multi-track recording would kill it.
  • Reorganizing your plugins
    Reaper, Reaper, Reaper. I wish I didn't love Mixcraft so much so I could drink the Reaper Koolaid.
  • Dave talks about his diaphragm.
  • Exactly What You Need - Hobey Kuhn
    Another tight, well mixed performed and produced song. The quality on HMHS is amazing. My hat's off to you all.
Another great show, guess I'll have to get caught up on past shows. Start those HMHS emails again so I don't miss any. :nono:
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by soupd » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:13 pm

Wow - it was great to hear our tune (There for You) on the Home Made Hit Show! Thanks to Tony and Dave for playing it!

I really appreciate the feedback - KV and I have been kind of shy sharing our music so far, waiting for the songs to be 'perfect'. I think I'm learning that you can tweak forever and never be completely satisfied.

Thanks again for the comments; any suggestions/critiques are appreciated.

I guess this means I'll have to submit more often :).

Jimmie D
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by ornaith » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:50 pm

Lots of food for thought this week....
Randall Hill-- I loved, loved, loved this. A bit of Squeeze, a bit of Franz Ferdinand... definitely my cup of tea. Very dynamic.
Rondo guitars: +1 on that. I have an Agile LP (in lovely silverburst finish) with which I am very happy. Mind you, I haven't played a Gibson LP but the Agile compares well with the other LP copies I've played. I just got a Valencia mandolin from Rondo as well and am very pleased. It's the one with the pickup and while the pup isn't that strong, the pup was just an added extra. My go-to guitar these days is my Danelectro U2. It has a lot of charm.
Rewiring guitar-- something that, as a guitarist, I've often felt I should be able to do; it just gets pushed down the list of priorities.... some day.
Oh... have to go look after something in the kitchen. Back for more later....
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by ornaith » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:25 pm

..and I'm back.
Sugarspin "There for You"-- I liked this a lot. Kind of took me back to my teenage years in the 90s. At first I thought "Hmm.. I would put a bit more reverb on the vocal" but then I realized I was importing my own prejudices from listening to way too much My Bloody Valentine, Curve, Ride, Lush, and similar shoegaze groups (also back in the 90s). I have always by default mixed my vocals low with lots of reverb and am trying to change but it is hard.... Anyway, back to the tune: I can hear the Chrissie Hynde comparison. (I am a huge fan of Hynde's voice-- unmistakeable and full of character and attitude.)

Simplifying, downsizing: Over the summer I did a downsize from my tiny set-up to an almost invisible one. My guitars are on a rack just outside the room; the keyboard is in the closet until needed; mic stand + solitary mic (a 58-- if it's good enough for Joe Strummer, it's good enough for me) crammed behind the desk; toneport+laptop on the same desk as all my work stuff (I'm writing a dissertation at the same desk so.. a lot of papers and books). It'll do for the moment. In the laptop, there is also competition between dissertation stuff and music stuff so I am trying to keep things minimal. I have a few soft synths but don't have time to do much noodling around. I've tried to avoid having a million different reverbs, etc-- just one (or maybe a handful) of each things I use. Because of severe time constraints these days, I am trying to just get a fairly consistent sound (i.e. certain go-to bass sounds, guitar sounds, etc) and avoid tweaking. But I do think that playing with sounds themselves can be a spur to creativity so at some point I want to get back to that.

Writing songs in character: This is something I have been thinking about lately. I find that I want to move away from writing about myself. So on this album I'm working on at the moment, I've tried some different approaches. One song built from this awful cliche that members of the Irish government have used to try to slither out of responsibility for having, well, flushed my native country down the toilet: "we are where we are"-- after that repeated line, the song wrote itself. Another song was written in the character of someone featured in one of those human interest stories the New York Times runs from time to time to show its readers how the other half live. It was an interesting challenge. It's the kind of thing, though, that could easily go very wrong (I think of that awful Phil Collins number about homelessness... bleughhhh).

Hobey Kuhn "Exactly What You Need"-- Liked this a whole lot, too. Lovely, loose (in a good way), warm'n'crunchy indieish rock that also takes me back somewhat to 90sville. Great stuff-- enjoyed it very much.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by storpotaten » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:49 am

Listening and writing on the way to work...

First song - really liked this. The first few seconds I thought it was The Tones, but then I realised it was too good. :twisted:

Interesting to hear Tony's comments about the Variax - these where my concerns too back when I looked at buying one; in the end you want a good instrument that is fun to play, not one thing with lots of sounds.

Clichés is a difficult matter, especially when not using your mother tongue. In contrast, The Potatoes don't care at all about using clichés and that can in itself be quite relieving.

Writing in character - in a way that's what I always do, but I pick a character which is close to myself. It allows me to mix and match with (ouch, feedback! No wait, it's Dave) my own experience and complete fiction.

Second song - Pro sounding. I really like the voice and the singing.

Dave recording on his netbook - you should look up the product mentioned in the last Audionow Cast (episode 99.5); it is a Linux based light weight environment optimised for music apps.

Third song - I really like the vocals on this one. Good playing too, great melody. Is this a one man band? A bit long, but a great song.

Thanks for another good show, guys. I hope your RPM work has given you additional energy for future shows.
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Re: HMHS 208 - The Return Of the Plugin (2/4/11)

Post by criddlerus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:16 am

Wow, I had never heard of the AudioNowCast. I will have to give 'er a listen.
http://nowcastnetwork.com/
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