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The Non Glamorous Parts of Producing a Song

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by matman14, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    Today is a to do list of all the more tedious parts of production

    Starting out with creating some snare and kick samples from my favorite drum hits in the recorded tracks. Like this
    [​IMG]
    Using the snare top, bottom OHs and room mics to make a snare sample.

    Once I've got two or three really good, punchy, center hit samples made, I can then use Slate Trigger to create a reinforcement track of only punchy, center hits to go underneath and blended with the real, recorded drums.
    So not drum replacement with Slate's samples, just reinforcement of the performance with the same snare played by the actual drummer.
    It's useful for snare verb, or if you need a key for a side chain too, since you can get a snare track with no bleed fron the other drums if you set the trigger sensitivity right.

    Then the same for the kick.

    And then, who knows....
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  2. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    Turns out the first "who knows...." was figuring out what exactly it was about a power chord part that was bothering me.
    Timing was good, levels were good, tone was spot on. Just not exiting.
    In the end, nudging it 1600 samples ahead (left) made it feel like it was driving the song forward, not just sitting in the pocket.

    Little thingso_O
     
  3. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

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    This is exactly why recording is the ultimate dunning-Krueger example. Sounds easy at first, but in the weeds it’s harder than playing the guitar in the first place.
     
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  4. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    Can we hear sound samples of each of these steps? I'm interested to see how it all fits together...
     
  5. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh. Very technical. I thought this was going to be about getting the drummer to show up on time.
     
  6. PoorNoodle

    PoorNoodle Tele-Meister

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    OP said tedious. An on time drummer is an impossible task! :lol:
     
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  7. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i'd like to check out some of those drum replacement vsts. a friend of mine who does good work swears by them. i think he's even done a couple sessions with entirely replaced drums. it's like amp modeling for drums, hahaha. it's a lot more interesting to me than those auto align tools. could be really cool to start messing around with stuff that isn't drum samples as well (the tape head cleaner spray for some of the snares on unknown pleasures comes to mind), without having to get a goofy electronic kit.

    back when i was recording more rock stuff, i used to do something similar the poor man's way by duplicating a kick or snare track and slapping a pitch shifter, EQ, and a gate on the duplicated track to beef things up really low in the mix. not always successful on kick cause of low end phase weirdness, but usually can make your snares sound gigantic.
     
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  8. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    If you have a DAW and a drum track....

    Well I'm cleaning up the studio and waiting for a singer so here you go, raw tracks, no processing, not properly leveled but it'll give you an idea

    few measures of drums:


    snare mic only, third hit (and a couple of others) sounds like she caught more edge and sounds thinner


    single sample triggered by Slate trigger (sounds like New Order in the '90s)


    snare and sample track, hits beefed up, third hit has more consistency but hits still have individual personality.


    and back in with all drums including the kick reinforcement too.


    with some final alignment tweaks (Trigger is not always perfect), level automation it'll be better, and then will be EQd and compressed with the snare.


    What's that saying, if you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for the night. If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    When the vocalist does a zillion rewrites and retakes that it takes months to get a finished product he is satisfied with.

    And he insists on having everything double tracked even though it sounds stupid and amateurish.

    Ah, if only I was paid by the hour and not in friendship.
     
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  10. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    Drumagog used to give you 14 days, unrestricted free demo. take a look see if they still do.
     
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  11. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    It's rare, at least in my world, for vocals not to have some kind of doubling even if it's just felt and not heard. Sometimes it has to be Antares EFX if the singer is not good at doubling themselves, but it's there.

    Last big production song I worked on had 31 tracks of vocals, mains and backups. After comping we were down to 22.
    I think today's song will be more like 11 or 12.
    I think comping is more tedious than recording. Especially when you come back the next day and decide everything you decided yesterday was wrong and you actually want some punch ins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  12. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Ugh, fiiiiiiine. I’ll send him to you when he wants those vocal doubles done.

    I’ll also just add that, unless it’s used as an effect or for some sort of stylization, I think it sounds super corny to have vocals doubled especially for, say, a verse, unless it’s basically imperceptible.
     
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  13. matman14

    matman14 Tele-Meister

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    LOL, I take Venmo, cash or credit. No friendship or bitcoin.
     
  14. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wait a minute!

    The Beatles as an example used variants of vox reinforcement
    in their recordings over the years with much success.

    You can hear straight up singing in unison, doubling, their
    own version of harmonic content..... they reinforced what
    was needed for the song. Mostly with great results even though
    I think sometimes their approach sounded sloppy but they
    were at a point where they could do no wrong in the public's eyes.

    The-Beatles-in-1969-1280x720.jpg
     
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  15. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have the book that details each and every Beatles recording session, and it's a great read. Sure, some parts are rote recounts of what happened on a certain day, but there are many inspiring sections with ideas and techniques that can be applied or adapted to today's recording environment.

    In their later years, The Beatles made frequent use of a technique they called Automatic Double Tracking or ADT, for short.
     
  16. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    Yes... got the same book. It talks about the different signal chains they used and their experiments. Apparently John was insecure about his voice and always wanted to double track it. When the engineers told him about ADT he loved it. I think he always used ADT after that.
     
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  17. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for sharing those, matman14. I'm realizing this is way beyond my technical knowledge at this point, or what I'll realistically be able to invest time-wise for my own recordings. But I'm interested in hearing about the process. I liked being able to hear the "individual personality" of the hits, as you say, something that distinguishes these from the canned drum tracks I'm so tired of hearing in music. Nice!
     
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  18. loudboy

    loudboy Tele-Meister

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    At every basics session, I'll always do clean one-shots of every drum for augmentation/replacement at mix time, and some combo kick/crash hits, just in case there's an arrangement change. It's saved my ass on virtually every project I've done.

    If I'm limited in tracks, I'll also grab a few Snare Bottom hits, and add them in later. Also, way cleaner with no kick bleed.
     
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  19. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I spend endless hours on my drum (machine) parts, only for most of the subtleties to be lost in the mix.

    Why? WHY?
     
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  20. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    This is an interesting thread; thanks @matman14 for starting it. This is a bunch of levels above where I live in recording detail but it gives me some things to think about. Great audio examples and explanation of what you’re up to, and why.

    Sounds like a cool drummer and track to be working with, also. Will there be an opportunity to hear further inspiring unglamorous production details, and maybe the whole track at some point?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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