production quality still doesn't sound as good as I feel it should

Discussion in 'Production' started by Outway, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Outway

    Outway Member

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    Hi all,

    So I'm feeling at a bit of a loss in terms of recent tracks I'm producing and the sound quality. Whilst I know that the overall quality of my tracks has improved, still don't feel it is up to scratch after final mixdown.

    I use FL Studio 10.

    Here's an example of a remix I did (more for fun as I liked the original track):



    I listened back after about a week or so and can't say I was too impressed by the quality.

    There's few things to point out.

    - I always have the master volume on the Mixer set to at least -3.0db, more in some cases.
    - I used EQUO to monitor levels and don't let anything peak too high (although I do use my ears to judge this primarily)
    - I'm comparing my tracks on soundcloud to mastered tracks I hear on YouTube, and I find there's too much of a noticeable difference. Or am I being too harsh?
    - Maybe I'm just becoming more Anal as a producer?

    Any thoughts lol?

    Thanks,

    M
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  2. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    I definitely understand this. Although I can't say alot more then: keep haing in there.
    Don't worry too much that it doesn't sound as good as other, professional tracks.
    As long you feel that you are still learning and getting better, everything is just fine.

    I've been producing for quite a while now, and only now I'm getting to think my productions are actually getting pretty decent.

    Keep using good samples, make good patches, challenge yourself and it'll be all fine.

    And a tip: tutorials. Seriously
    Not the kind of 'we are going to make this patch today', but more like how they approach production, and some insight on how to think. One must see: Nu:tone, giving a tour on his track tides with in a Steinberg Studio Session. Seriously. I've watched this one a few days ago, and it helped me ALOT.
     
  3. Outway

    Outway Member

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    I do often watch tutorials so I'll give that one a look in. Thanks mate.
     
  4. Neojunk

    Neojunk New Member

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    ok man, i know how that feels.

    here are some action steps:
    -print out the 'Masterclass Collection thread' post & watch 1 each day or every 2nd day; then strike it trough on the list
    (make sure to take detailed notes alongside it; my favorites: Noisia, Neonlight, Reso & Hamilton; these provide good recipies for
    tracks, although you should find your own style...)
    -analyse, e.g. 1 professional track a week - listen to it on different systems/headphones, take a look at the specrum w/ SPAN, the
    stereo-image (e.g. Flux StereoTool) and the Waveform. Check how loud it is (e.g. w/ TT Dynamic Range Meter)
    also check it's arrangement, how often the track features drum-fills, earcandy, background elements etc. (the last bits are important as i feel like you could add more varaiety/ear candy & more layers in your tracks)
    -I feel like your stuff is lacking some epic sounddesign, so work through SeamlessR's How To Bass Playlist on YouTube
    (recreate his sounds using FL Studio along the way)
    -buy some high quality music - don't A/B with youtube stuff... ;)
    -get yourself into mastering: read: 'mastering - the art & the science' by bob katz & watch
    the black octopus sound mastering q&a webinar
    -when you feel like your mixing needs some beef-up you could mix some of the tracks on the
    'mixing secrets' free multitrack library (check the book that goes along w/ it as well)
    at the latest of a few dozen of those you'll sound badass
    -Room Treatment!! read up about it, because you can make a big difference in sound with just
    rearragning you speakers & your desk in the room - you can use well placed shelfs and old mattresses if you can't afford the real deal - how do you want to mix something when you don't know what it sounds like?

    also try these quicktips:
    -harmonic EQ + mostly subtractive instead of additive EQing (also consider M/S EQing)
    -drum programm fine inaccuracies (volume, shuffle, try pitch as well...)
    -add a bite of ear cand each ~3-5 seconds (e.g. background foley)
    -not only sidechain kick & bass but also plucks, reeses, cymbals, vocals etc. among each other
    -sidechain different elements with different 'sidechain amount'
    -try some Reverb & preverb on Snare Drums
    -replace heavy distortion with stacked subtle distortion
    -fill out the track w/ background elements like roomtones, pads (some ppl even use white noise)
    -try mixing each song section on its own (intro, drop...)

    maybe bassgorillas free podcast series has some gems for you...
    since you're an FL user you can check out seamlessR more in depth:
    he also has some 'track from scratch' and track reviews of newby-tracks, where he listens
    to tracks like yours and tells pll. what he thinks needs some more work...

    when you keep yourself busy,
    you'll get where you want to be, i'm sure ;)

    good luck & have fun
    neojunk
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
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  5. IV4

    IV4 Currently a newt.

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    I think we all feel this way most of the time, your not alone and welcome to the club.
     
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  6. Meiosis

    Meiosis Member

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    story of my life... make something today, sounds awesome... listen a few days later.. it sounds shit. no on par with the big guys

    keep struggling on :p
     
  7. Neojunk

    Neojunk New Member

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    now with so many ppl around the web (even pros) telling you it comes with experience, i want
    to tell you what can set you apart: don't wait for the experience to come to you!
    reach out for it!

    I always wanted to throw some cool soundin' wisdom into a forum ;)
     
  8. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    you're not far off at all it's just kinda mixdown tings now i recon, best advice I can give to you is reference a similar track and keep going back and forth until yours sounds close. Everything is a bit soft if you know what I mean, get layering up you synths and snares etc.
     
  9. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    How loud do you have your monitors? Believe it or not, I find the key to getting a big sound is eqing at low levels.

    When your monitors are turned up too loud, you don't really notice how tinny or thin some sounds are in the mix.

    Get the mix sounding good at low levels and your mix will benefit
     
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