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Simplicity, less CPU, better sound?

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Omegeist
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Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 05:27 PM Reply

Does Mastering simplicity really pay off? I see it all the time and it seams to work fairly well for most people like this DBM- Coma (original mix) but whenever i try it things just fall apart. But when i try to make my mastering more complex like Trancecrafter (who uses around all 99 mixer tracks in FL btw) Trancecrafter Mixing tutorial it just ends up with me burning to much CPU and making FL lag. I always end up in the middle with a mediocre sound that is not enjoyable to listen too. I'd much rather be spending more time on the music itself but the mastering and CPU issue is always just pissing me off. Help please D: !

Simplicity, less CPU, better sound?

BrokenDeck
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 05:31 PM Reply

First of all, who says that you HAVE to mix like trancecrafter?

Second of all, have you considered upgrading to a different CPU?

The-iMortal
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 05:39 PM Reply

Don't put effects on the master. When your mix is done, export that as a .wav, and bring that into a new FL Studio file, then do your mastering. Much, much more CPU savvy. Plus, with all the automations and everything, each mixdown will have subtle differences. When you're mastering, you can hear EXACTLY what you're dealing with.

Also, put a limiter at the very end of the FX chain.

Rampant
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 07:12 PM Reply

At 11/6/12 05:39 PM, The-iMortal wrote: Also, put a limiter at the very end of the FX chain.

If you're mixing well, you won't need a limiter. Having one there is just a crutch to lean on to make sure your tracks aren't clipping: it's a bad habit to get into, and doesn't help you become a better mix engineer over time.

The-iMortal
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 07:29 PM Reply

At 11/6/12 07:12 PM, RampantMusik wrote: If you're mixing well, you won't need a limiter. Having one there is just a crutch to lean on to make sure your tracks aren't clipping: it's a bad habit to get into, and doesn't help you become a better mix engineer over time.

I'm talking about the master. The only time I put a limiter on my mix is when:

1. I want to bring up the track to a certain loudness if I want to show friends my WIP.
2. I want to hear if anything in my mix sounds noticeably bad when a limiter is bringing up the volume.

When actually working on the mix, I never use a limiter. Hell, I even leave a bus compressor for the mastering stage, usually.

Nav
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 6th, 2012 @ 10:42 PM Reply

At 11/6/12 05:27 PM, Omegeist wrote: Does Mastering simplicity really pay off?

Yep, at least in my experience. I've been producing for a while, and I can safely say that precise/measured and specific fx application is better than smothering the track to make it sound right. Sometimes you do need a lot of effects, but not often.

I rarely will use more than 2/3 plugins on an insert, often 1 or none, depending on what I need. Plus, I rarely use effects outside of FL defaults and some specific 3rd party ones that I know are high quality and that I've relied on for a while (though I'm always open to trying new ones out here and there!).

Think about it this way: If you need so many effects to make it fit, perhaps the sound you started with is wrong? The more I produce, the more I realize that the samples, synths and riffs/midi data you choose/create are far more important than how you process them.

However, this is just me learning through experience (and being forced to go light on the effects due to a suboptimal processor back when I was learning 3-5 years ago).

Do what works for you. As you produce more and more, you'll start learning what does and doesn't sound good. Then, you'll be able to decide for yourself :)

The-iMortal
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 12:36 AM Reply

At 11/6/12 10:42 PM, Nav wrote:
At 11/6/12 05:27 PM, Omegeist wrote: Does Mastering simplicity really pay off?
Yep, at least in my experience.

Assuming that OP meant mixing, rather than mastering, then here's my say.

In agreeance with Nav, as you get more experienced with mixing, you begin to understand your tools better. I remember I used to add so many effects onto tracks, it was almost useless because I could achieve better/similar results with just 1 or 2 plugins. When I started to know my tools better, my mentality changed from let's smother all intrument tracks in effects in hope they'll sound better to this instrument needs a little *insert effect here* to achieve the sound I'm looking for.

joshhunsaker
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 02:55 PM Reply

At 11/6/12 05:39 PM, The-iMortal wrote: Don't put effects on the master. When your mix is done, export that as a .wav, and bring that into a new FL Studio file, then do your mastering. Much, much more CPU savvy. Plus, with all the automations and everything, each mixdown will have subtle differences. When you're mastering, you can hear EXACTLY what you're dealing with.

Also, put a limiter at the very end of the FX chain.

Usually I ascribe to this but I've found (on occasion) for some pieces putting FerricTDS on the master bus with a slight amount of saturation/dynamics boost during the final mixing stages can be really helpful to getting an idea about how the final tweaks will work with the particular instrumentation I have going on.

Omegeist
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 03:48 PM Reply

At 11/6/12 05:39 PM, The-iMortal wrote: Don't put effects on the master. When your mix is done, export that as a .wav, and bring that into a new FL Studio file, then do your mastering. Much, much more CPU savvy. Plus, with all the automations and everything, each mixdown will have subtle differences. When you're mastering, you can hear EXACTLY what you're dealing with.

Also, put a limiter at the very end of the FX chain.

Do you mean send it out as a wav with the split mixer tracks option? I've actualy never tried what your suggesting, sounds like it might work fairly well

The-iMortal
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 04:47 PM Reply

At 11/7/12 02:55 PM, joshhunsaker wrote: Usually I ascribe to this but I've found (on occasion) for some pieces putting FerricTDS on the master bus with a slight amount of saturation/dynamics boost during the final mixing stages

I gotta try this. I've got FerricTDS - it's free.

At 11/7/12 03:48 PM, Omegeist wrote: Do you mean send it out as a wav with the split mixer tracks option? I've actualy never tried what your suggesting, sounds like it might work fairly well

I don't know what option you're talking about there, but what I meant was:

1. Export mixdown (not mastered) as a .wav.
2. Open new project file.
3. Import mix .wav.
4. Master the mix.

guitarmandan
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 06:40 PM Reply

I think it all goes back to using Occam's Razor ... the simplistic way is usually the best...

joshhunsaker
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 07:04 PM Reply

At 11/7/12 06:40 PM, guitarmandan wrote: I think it all goes back to using Occam's Razor ... the simplistic way is usually the best...

Uh, this really doesn't hold true for most mixing/mastering duties... which can involved a pretty extensive array of equipment and software. The sound design for Inception for instance was no small feat but the immense time and effort poured into the most intricate ways of developing the signature sounds that were employed paid off.

Also, I just picked up a new mobo (AM3+) and the latest FX-6300 chip from AMD, which is really pretty cheap for the processing power it affords you. I'll let you know how much better it is than my current q6600 (i'm expecting a ton and I've seen people very happy with the particular upgrade).

Omegeist
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 07:22 PM Reply

At 11/6/12 05:31 PM, BrokenDeck wrote: First of all, who says that you HAVE to mix like trancecrafter?

Second of all, have you considered upgrading to a different CPU?

Everyone can spit in my face and say I'm stupid for asking this but to boost my CPU beside ending unnecessary processes does it mean I have to get a new chip or computer or is there a program like rocket booster that does it?

The-iMortal
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 07:34 PM Reply

At 11/7/12 07:22 PM, Omegeist wrote: Everyone can spit in my face and say I'm stupid for asking this but to boost my CPU beside ending unnecessary processes does it mean I have to get a new chip or computer or is there a program like rocket booster that does it?

You can try free programs that disable unnecessary processes and can boost performance a litt,e, but upgrading your CPU will provide much better results. Download a program called CPU-Z, and take a screenshot of your specs and post it here. If your computer is recent enough, you will only need to buy a new CPU. If not, you may need to buy a new motherboard that supports the recent CPUs.

Omegeist
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 08:57 PM Reply

At 11/7/12 07:34 PM, The-iMortal wrote:
At 11/7/12 07:22 PM, Omegeist wrote: Everyone can spit in my face and say I'm stupid for asking this but to boost my CPU beside ending unnecessary processes does it mean I have to get a new chip or computer or is there a program like rocket booster that does it?
You can try free programs that disable unnecessary processes and can boost performance a litt,e, but upgrading your CPU will provide much better results. Download a program called CPU-Z, and take a screenshot of your specs and post it here. If your computer is recent enough, you will only need to buy a new CPU. If not, you may need to buy a new motherboard that supports the recent CPUs.

I've heard eliminateing old ActiveX controllers can also significantly raise your CPU but I'm not sure how to do that. So I take a screenshot of my processes? I dont have Internet at my house right now and I'm currently writing this on my iPad so I'll have to wait until I get Internet for my PC.

Nav
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Response to Simplicity, less CPU, better sound? Nov. 7th, 2012 @ 09:05 PM Reply

At 11/7/12 06:40 PM, guitarmandan wrote: I think it all goes back to using Occam's Razor ... the simplistic way is usually the best...

Occam's Razor most certainly does not apply here. It doesn't imply that simplistic = best. Read about it on Wikipedia. There is no "truth" or "correctness" in music (at this level).

Additionally, simplistic definitely isn't always best: there are lots of cases when you might want a complex plugin chain, as Josh said above. However, if you're just starting out, you'll end up using far more plugins than you need because you wont best understand how to manipulate the tools at your disposal. Your plugin use will go down over time simply because you've learnt an easier way (and faster) to do it - not because simplicity is always better. If you want to call it something (instead of Occam's Razor), call it laziness.