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How do I get that sound?

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Mau5
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How do I get that sound? 2010-03-21 19:09:37 Reply

Greetings everyone!

I am desperately seeking advice on how to get my music to sound professional. You probably get this question a lot and I know there's not a 'guide' to follow to get there, however I figured you could give me some good pointers in the right direction.

I am getting quite comfortable with my production software now (reason). I know my way around the various features it offers (at least that's what I think). However my music has a tendency to sound 'flat' and dull. I've had lots of people telling me that proper mastering can do wonders for a track but I can hardly believe it will make -that- big a difference. I've tried to master my tracks for ages and nothing good really came out of it so far.

I want my basses to be powerful and my kickdrum to kick!

This is the sound I want:

www.numeroduo.com
Go to the musicplayer and scroll down to number 34. Discotronic vs. Tevin - To The Moon And Back (Paramond Radio Mix)
Then go to about 1:35 in that track and be sure to have your speakers turned up.

It's just so awesome sounding. I'm sorry I didn't provide a youtube link, but the quality of this track needs to be the highest possible.

So, any suggestions? Possibly from anyone using reason?

Mystery-Moon-Pie-Aud
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-21 19:32:38 Reply

Proper mastering does WONDERS to a track, and makes all the difference. There are so many things to consider in making your song, that no one thing makes it good. But a big integral part is mastering and mixing. What I suggest to make your music pop out more is make your sounds stereo, use panning, master without boosting bass or anything, and separate each sounds frequencies so they are set in their own frequency range. It definitely helps a lot. A person just starting doesn't see the true effect of beautiful mastering, but it makes all the best songs what they are.


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Mystery-Moon-Pie-Aud
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-21 20:12:58 Reply

At 3/21/10 08:02 PM, LaForge wrote: You have to make the pilgrimage to see the great Audio Master in northern Tibet. After 3 grueling years of audio training, he'll bestow upon you the knowledge of "that sound".

Seriously though, it takes practice. You can't expect to just ask someone to tell you the secret of making good music.

The latter part of this response is true. It all depends on how you make it. It's not like we decided we wanna make good music and the genie of music came and granted our wish. Unless you consider the genie a dedication to your passion about making music.


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B0UNC3
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 03:32:10 Reply

I'll ask him since I know/have worked with one of the guys behind Paramond before.
Maybe he'll say, maybe not.

But if he does I'll PM you.

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Back-From-Purgatory
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 04:07:16 Reply

Practice practice practice... and A LOT of trial and error.


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nathanallenpinard
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 05:50:59 Reply

At 3/22/10 04:07 AM, Back-From-Purgatory wrote: Practice practice practice... and A LOT of trial and error.

The #1 factor is what makes a track pro sounding vs amateur is compression on a track by track basis. The second I'd say is EQ.

Those two are so important and apply to almost every genre of music.

Compression = keeping the dynamic range in check, and also using it for effects

EQ = cutting a spot in the spectrum for that instrument.

Orchestral is a slightly different ball game though.

blackduckie
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 06:33:48 Reply

I listened to your song "sage sage sage" and I mainly thought it could use a little variation in the tune and drum arrangement towards the middle/end, to keep it interesting. Also, instead of just playing your drum pattern suddenly, you might use a fancy snare riff/reverse crash/whatever buildup, and then have a loud crash cymbal as the drums enter.

Also, mastering doesn't mean you have to pile on a shitload of compression. I've heard otherwise good songs ruined by their maximiser/compressor/limiter on the master channel, making many of the would-be louder bits sound horribly suppressed. I'd rather hear no mastering than a bad master.

In dance or house music, though, most of the "heaviness" is created by the compression, particularly on the kick drum. But if it's making the other instruments sound bad, it's not a good idea.


...

B0UNC3
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 12:04:32 Reply

At 3/22/10 06:33 AM, blackduckie wrote: In dance or house music, though, most of the "heaviness" is created by the compression, particularly on the kick drum.

Everything with music depends on the sounds you have to work with. Compression for one is an effect that shouldn't be taken lightly, but I've been finding that it is't always necessary at all.

I'd say proper EQ goes before compression.

and since I'm b0unc3 I'm right.....right?

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ocean7
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 12:41:08 Reply

I'd say proper EQ goes before compression.

and since I'm b0unc3 I'm right.....right?

Ha, I dare to protest :P
I'd say that it depends how/what your using the compression for. If its used more as an effect, than to bring out or emphasize certain sounds or effects, then generally I'd EQ after, although it's not like there's any set rules...

Box-Killa
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 12:42:16 Reply

ah bounce what vst did you use for that main synth in your song
"Here we go" 0:44

B0UNC3
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 13:17:47 Reply

At 3/22/10 12:42 PM, Box-Killa wrote: ah bounce what vst did you use for that main synth in your song
"Here we go" 0:44

That should have been a PM :P, I used sylenth 1 for that


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Breed
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 13:23:21 Reply

At 3/22/10 12:41 PM, ocean7 wrote:
I'd say proper EQ goes before compression.

and since I'm b0unc3 I'm right.....right?
Ha, I dare to protest :P
I'd say that it depends how/what your using the compression for. If its used more as an effect, than to bring out or emphasize certain sounds or effects, then generally I'd EQ after, although it's not like there's any set rules...

I'm fairly certain mister bounc3 meant that EQ's go before compression on the "whats-important-to-sound-pro" priority list; not in a signal chain, and I agree with sir bounc3 on said subject.

Precise timbre shaping and mix clarity via EQing definitely give that sharp edge. The pro's who sound REALLY good are also getting their songs mastered in a special facility with lots of very very expensive monitoring and effects shwag

Mau5
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 13:33:37 Reply

Hey all,

Thanks for the replies. I understand that there's not a secret recipe on how to achieve perfection. I never asked for it, though. I merely wanted some pointers in the right direction.

So I have to play some more with the 'spacing' of my songs. I somewhat understand the compressor unit but I don't really know how to EQ. You're telling me I have to devide the ranges of the frequencies, but I have no idea on how to do that?

Breed
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 13:43:27 Reply

At 3/22/10 01:33 PM, Mau5 wrote: Hey all,

Thanks for the replies. I understand that there's not a secret recipe on how to achieve perfection. I never asked for it, though. I merely wanted some pointers in the right direction.

So I have to play some more with the 'spacing' of my songs. I somewhat understand the compressor unit but I don't really know how to EQ. You're telling me I have to devide the ranges of the frequencies, but I have no idea on how to do that?

You're going to want to look up EQing basics and techniques for that knowledge.

As for compressors or other important effects processing you can try checking out this thread as a start.

DJHomeless
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 14:01:53 Reply

At 3/22/10 01:33 PM, Mau5 wrote: Hey all,

Thanks for the replies. I understand that there's not a secret recipe on how to achieve perfection. I never asked for it, though. I merely wanted some pointers in the right direction.

So I have to play some more with the 'spacing' of my songs. I somewhat understand the compressor unit but I don't really know how to EQ. You're telling me I have to devide the ranges of the frequencies, but I have no idea on how to do that?

Just wanted to say that IMO, EQing is much easier than compressing...
You just need to understand it.
For example:
A bass sound will play on the low frequencies, a bell sound will play fairly high up there, and a synth will probably play through the whole range. You want to boost the frequencies of the sound that it will sound "Full" or "Rich".

Darren-M
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 14:19:01 Reply

At 3/22/10 04:07 AM, Back-From-Purgatory wrote: Practice practice practice... and A LOT of trial and error.

amen

Box-Killa
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 14:38:08 Reply

They are both useful, but Equing is useful for any style of music. if you were making ambient or classical or jazz, you may not necesarrily use compression but you would sure as hell use equalization.

BADAUM

Breed
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 18:09:51 Reply

Compression is bleh. Harder to understand, but no where near as difficult techniquewise as EQ. Especially with a good compressor like the izotope one.

EQing technique is like an art form...in fact it IS part of an art form haha

Chris-V2
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Response to How do I get that sound? 2010-03-22 19:42:48 Reply

For the record, it's very easy to over-compress music. It's like reverb, once you can notice it you turn it back.

I think good EQ's are vital, I've been told that ducking instead of boosting is a far more natural sounding way to do it.

But if you just want your music to pump, just sidechain some compression on the kick and some ducking so it pushes through the mix without remorse. Just, take it easy will ya? :P