In need of some guidance

Discussion in 'Production' started by Mr Fletch, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    I'm hoping a few of you veterans may be able to give me some pointers on a small problem I'm having.

    So I'm in the process of producing a new track. Got almost all of it layed out, and I'm onto the mastering side of things. Here's where my problem occurs.

    I do most of my writing, and mastering on headphones, and have never encountered this problem before. But when I listen to the track through the headphones, it sounds pretty banging, but when I play it through speakers it just doesnt have the thump, nor does it seem to gel like it does through the phones. My kicks sound a little echoey, and some melodies seem to dissapear into the mix through the speakers.

    I'm pretty new to the whole thing so apologise if I'm making a noob error, but any tips would be great.
     
  2. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    well, i'm far from being an expert veteran. one thing i always do, from the first few bars through the final track is listen to it on multiple sound systems during multiple points in the production and adjust accordingly. at a minimum, i check progress on my monitors, my headphones, my car (with sub), my laptop speakers (yes! really! very telling. if you can get a track sounding good enough to come across accurately on laptop speakers you are really moving in the right direction), my earbuds my commute, the b&o sound system where i work, and at least one more - a friend's set up maybe.

    i actually think it is very important to listen to your work on as many "sub-standard" systems as you can, since most people listen to music on systems like these (stock car stereo for example). if you can get your track to work on these kinds of setups, it will likely sound good all over.

    i realize none of this helps you right now. thought i should share anyway.
     
  3. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    You're right......none of that helps me lol! just kidding!

    Yeah I usually write most of it on the headphones, then switch between headphones and speakers.

    This is the 1st time I've ever had a problem with it. Usually it sounds ok through both.

    It's strange, I'm loving the tune through the headphones, sounds pretty banging, but it really loses out through the speakers.

    I'm desperate to get it to sound the same through both so I can add the finishing touches and upload it here to show
     
  4. vickvega

    vickvega Mr. Blonde

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    are you using house speakers or monitors?
     
  5. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Unfortunately not monitors. It's all running through my 5.1 surround system, maybe thats the problem?
     
  6. MrWoggles

    MrWoggles Member

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    Shouldn't be the only problem... If it doesn't sound good on speakers then there is an underlying issue.

    Hard to say mate. I'm a rookie myself but I suggest leaving it at least for the night. Working on a song long enough will give you fatigue and now allow you to properly analyze what's wrong.

    Compare your tune to a similar mastered tune to see what they have done differently.
     
  7. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Ive been having this problem for a couple of days now. I've left it on several occasions and gone back to it, but just cant put my finger on the problem.

    I may just upload a sample of it to soundcloud so you can all listen to it for yourselves and see where I've gone wrong!
     
  8. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    that's a pretty good shortcut to listening on a lot of different systems. i'd be happy to listen to it over here and try to help...
     
  9. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Well, here goes. If any of you have any advice, I would really appreciate it. Please be aware, this track is unfinished, and still needs work on the structure. I am trying to get help with the mastering of the drums etc.

    http://soundcloud.com/mr-fletch/shatter-2
     
  10. groelle

    groelle Well-Known Member

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    sounds like you got delay on your bass?! o.o

    snare needs more thumb to it. think it needs compression/distortion. you need some more hats/breaks over the top of it too, theyre lacking hi end atm.

    hope that helps ;)
     
  11. MrWoggles

    MrWoggles Member

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    The actual sound seems fine to me but i'd look for better kick/snare samples.

    However the biggest advice that I right now coul give you is this:

    o Layer Amen breaks and then stick some distortion on your drum track.

    You will thank us.
     
  12. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    @ groelle - nope, no delay on the bass. I'm looking into creating some more hi end on the loops, thanks for that advice.

    @ MrWoggles - I apologise but I'm pretty new to the whole production thing. What do you mean by o layer amen breaks? And I'll try some distortion on the drum track, thanks
     
  13. Josh G

    Josh G New Member

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    This prolly isn't the problem, but could be...with regard to the echoes on your bass, check to be sure that there isn't signal going from the bass channel through an effects loop...sometimes it is unintentionally done and not always extremely apparent (particularly if your effects loop channel is in "hide" mode).

    With regard to layering amens...I've mentioned this like 3 times in the last couple days, but here's what works for me.

    1. Find a good breakbeat sample (like an amen) that works with the rest of your chewn.
    2. Loop it with a high-pass filter (the filter is something I do, but am not sure if it works decently without it...I use the layered amen in order to achieve a bit of "fill" and "well-roundedness" as well as a slightly off-beat human-drummer type touch).
    3. It's not a bad idea entirely to add a bit of reverb (not too much though) to this amen break too as it's supposed to "shimmer" and add room to some degree.
    4. Turn the sample down to 0 volume. Slowly, slowly turn it up until you can barely hear it (and maybe just slightly more than that). The goal is to fill out the sound...it shouldn't be obvious that there's an amen break layered in with the drums. Like I said, just turn it up until it sits right with the rest of the track.

    Hope that helps. If you're wondering more about this, hit me back.

    EZ.
    Josh
     
  14. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    I'm really new to this, and have no musical background, so when you say "layering amen breaks" I really have no idea what you mean. Sorry if I'm sounding really dumb.

    Do you mean that it's slightly offbeat, and really quiet?
     
  15. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    layering breaks is really easy. find or make a loop (breakbeat) and put this beat into it's own channel in your arrange screen. the part that takes practice is narrowing down the "right" breakbeat for a track. trust your ears.
     
  16. Josh G

    Josh G New Member

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    Bingo! Find some breakbeats (there are tons and tons of breakbeat bundles on the web...of course, higher quality is better). Like msmith222 says, pop the beat into a channel. If the break is trimmed to the proper length and is looped properly, it should follow the same tempo/general beat structure.

    In order to find the right breakbeat, find a lot of breakbeats and just start trying them with your chewn...you'll know when you find the right one because it'll make your head nod and everyone else around will look like this -> :gang_bang

    Anyways...look back to my prior post because I've found it helpful to use a high-pass filter on this channel, the right amount/quality of reverb, and then in terms of volume make it audible but subtle.

    Give it a try and private message a link to it. I can let you know if you're getting close.

    EZ
     
  17. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Thanks for the time and effort you guys have taken to point me in the right direction. I really appreciate it. Makes me want to get this right even more now so I can pleasure your ear drums with the finished product!

    Do you know of any good sites where I can grab some breaks from?
     
  18. krease

    krease Member

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    its because headphones have "sweeteners" in them which maked the sound level out, play it on a system and it will sound horrendous........ always master on monitors!
     
  19. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    most appropriate smiley ever!

    now you have hit one of the walls of learning to produce: building your sample banks. you really have to start with good samples to get good tracks. there are a lot of different ways to get good samples, friends are typically a wise place to look.

    first, you can sample breaks from old records. this is probably the best way, since you can control the process and get good sound. you can use your software to adjust the bpm to the bpm of your track.

    you can also buy commercially produced samples. this makes it easier to get good sound, but it has two drawbacks: it costs money and everyone has the same sounds. (raise your hand if you have the david carbone sample pack. see?)

    you can write your own breaks in another window, bounce them down into one sample, and put that into its own channel in your track. then just effect it as explained above.

    finally, the internet. just like you can't believe everything you read on here, you can't use every sample you find. lots and lots of garbage. however, if you look hard enough, you can find some nice ones. i have used some of these sites in the past, but not much recently, so i can't say they are great. i can just say that i bookmarked them in the past for one reason or another. some are free and some are commercial (you can often find free samples at the commercial ones).

    http://www.breakbeat-paradise.com/bb_samples.php
    http://www.looperman.com/
    http://www.djmixsource.com/index.html
    http://www.primeloops.com/
    http://www.bigfishaudio.com/
    http://www.junglebreaks.co.uk/
     
  20. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Wow! Thank you very much, some of those sites have been bookmarked and will come in great use for the future! I cant stress how grateful I am!