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#1 2013-05-27 15:34:43

ronws
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Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
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Another learning experience

One that is probably quite obvious to others but I had to learn the hard way. In describing this, I will relate the experiences and solutions of my second recording of "Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche. And I think, subjectively or objectively, that it is a better recording. Because I treated it more, this time, from the perspective of a recording engineer than a singer.

Too often, I have described myself as a "live" singer, because I am. Put me in front of people with a guitar in my hand and I never fail. I am most relaxed when performing. Because then, it is nothing about technique and all about feel. For others, it's the other way around. Because in live performance, there is no second or third take. Make it happen now, or go home.

But I would often get red-light syndrome. (Some studios display a glowing red light outside the door when a recording is in process.) Because what you do is now preserved for all time, especially in the digital age. But it is exactly the "live" singer thing that informs me how different recording must be. Because recording is not a live performance, even if I am just sitting there playing guitar and singing into one mic. I may call that "live" because it's all in one mic but it is still recording, which is an entirely different venue than the Library Bar and Grill and the Sherman Elks (masonic) Lodge, two public venues I have performed at. The former was with a guitar, warming up the audience while my friends, The Blues-Tones, set up their gear for the gig. The latter was a karaoke night at that club. And that really is live, no turning back, no cut and patch. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, I am in the moment, as much a fan of the song as the people listening to me. And lest everyone think that my wife loves everything I do just because we are married, remember this. When I was singing a song at the Library, I botched a note. And my wife pointed it out for others, just in case they missed it. "Thanks, sweetie, and you are right." And then I moved on to song number next. Because that is what you do, live. The last note is what people remember, so, finish strong.

But here is another reason why recording is different than live performance. Mic's, proximity, room noise, timing. Things that are much looser in a live environment and should be kind of loose (who wants to hear a machine or muzak?) must be tight on a recording. And, I have found, what sounds good live is NOT, I repeat NOT, what sounds good in a recording. From acoustical value of the sound to minor nuances simply swallowed up in the less than ideal listening environment of an open air patio of the Library or the two story open hall of the Elks' Lodge. In fact, what I read from the pros is that the FOH on a tour is not the same guy that who is the recording engineer in the studio. You don't want your recording guy doing FOH and vice versa, you don't want the guy who can mix you in a club being the one that governs your recordings in the studio, whatever your "studio" is.

When singing live, even if the mic placement is off a little, you can still hear me sing. At the library, I was sitting in a chair with a borrowed guitar, no mic. At the lodge, a karaoke machine. And my voice is so loud that the lady host turned the mic volume down a smidge from what was needed for the other whispering crooners. And people could still hear me.

Well, my second recording of SL, I changed to the dynamic mic, the Sennheiser e835. The condenser mic I have is just way to sensitive and clips too much and there is no way to clean up that track or get rid of the soupcan sound. It's great for recording just acoustic guitar and I will always keep it for that. However, for singing, I really need to stick with the dynamic. But the dynamic has a tight field. And in some places, I had too much distance. I pulled the mic away as I went louder.

Now, the vocal track was actually, to start, in two sections. I missed my cue after the guitar solo because I totally getting into it. So, I started a second track just before the end of that and came in with the ending verses and chorus. However, because volume seemed to vary along the track, what I did was chop the tracks into sections. The first half of the first track was okay, the second half of it needed a boost. So, I duped that to another track and then deleted it from the first. Then, I could fix each section with only what it needed. I used very slight compressor, low ratio with a high knee. That way, only the high and loud notes get compressed further.

And, thanks to my kindle book on Audacity, I finally learned how to use noise removal. So, I keep some "quiet" space in a track in order to get a noise sample. The longer sample you can get, the better a job it can do. And choose a higher cut than the default, which is 8 dB. I would choose 16 dB. Caution, dB is a logarithmic function, not a linear one. So, doubling dB results in a greater than doubling change.

And I also began to realize that it does not matter what mic that you use, there is a filtering effect going on. So, you need to play with filter to compensate. It took me probably a year or so to come up with an eq-preset that seems to work with my voice. Kind of blind, really, because I had designed that pre-set when I would record with the condenser mic. Just dumb irish luck that it really works with tracks recorded with the dynamic. And I may refine it even more, or just adjust from the pre-set, based on what I am doing with the song.

So, after using some judicious compressor and eq (no reverb or echo), I would listen through and adjust volume for the different sections until you could not tell volume changes. That is, the object of the process was to return the apparent sound back to what it sounds like, acoustically, in the room. Of the recordings I have made, it is the most like "me" that I have done. And here's a key point. Actual time to sing the song, pretty much just the length of the music (3 - 5 minutes, I don't remember.) 2 hours or more editing.

And that is what has been missing from my recordings. And I don't mean just me learning something about editing. But, like many a recording author has said, and like Felipe has said, and Felipe, you could write a book on recording and make money, if you make a good recording, that is most of the battle. I know that includes crafting the actual singing performance and I get that and that is wise. But, just as importantly, the actual mechanics of recording. What mic to use, how to use it, what gear are you using to record. Granted, one can make great recordings with minimal gear, as you, Felipe, are showing in your other thread. If the original sound file is clean and pristine, there's not that much to "fix in the mix." And I am not talking about us singers having a religious objection to autotune on grounds of personal pride, which is important, nonetheless. I mean, the actual sound quality of the recording.

In the books I have read on recording, It can take an hour or so to choose the right mic for the singer for that song and get levels right. It can take even longer to mic a drum kit. More mics and placement is even more crucial. A recording engineer may use a high hat to gate the compressor on a cymbal mic. One book devoted several chapters on mic'ing drums until my eyes glazed over and I dozed off.

And so, in my second attempt at SL, I finally followed the advice of so many of the recording authors. You mix or edit with your ears. But first, in my case, you have to give your ears time and trust them. And if something sounds wrong no matter what you have done, do it over. I have learned that I have to apply the same patience to recording that I do with smoking a brisket.

I can smoke a brisket that will make an omnivore or carnivore out of you, if you are not one, already. In fact, I should retire from the electrical trade and become a barbecue chef. As a barbecue chef, I am a pretty good singer. Here is the process I have for smoking a brisket. Fiesta salt-free brisket rub (I could make my own formula and it would probably taste like theirs.) Mesquite-flavored charcoal to start the fire on my charcoal grill with the side-fire box. Once the fire is started in my starter can, I put it in the side-fire box and from then, cook with chunks of mesquite logs (that I can buy at the grocery store.) And just keep the heat slow and low, and lots of smoke. A foil tin of water in the main chamber for moisture, and ocassionally putting some water on the meat. And here is the key. I smoke no less than 12 hours by the clock. If I put it on at 6 am, I do not pull it off before 6 pm. And often, I put the last log on just 2 hours before the end and it let it wind down, so to speak. There is no rushing a good brisket. And some think I am rushing it at 12 hours.

So, I am learning that I must treat recording like a brisket. And that applies whether I am covering with a karaoke track or my guitar, or writing an original. Though writing songs doesn't take me long, recording does need more of a process, except for song samples. For that, you don't have to do a lot. The idea of a song sample is to pitch it to another artist and the more generic you can make it, the better, because they have to hear how it fits in with their style.

To really take advantage of the digital tools I have, even in Audacity. I came from the days of having a 5 inch reel-to-reel and not really much you could do in the way of sound editing. To having a 4-track analog (which I still have.) To modern recording software that allows you to have as many tracks as you have memory and buss space and chip speed for. And that I can wait longer, instead of record, mix, and post within an hour.

My brother complained about that and I am the worst offender. And what takes a pro recording so long to release is not the time at the mixing board twiddling this and that. It's the time away, giving your ears a rest. A mixing engineer may take a week or more, even longer, to mix an album. Becuase his mind is worn out. So, sleep on it, then he comes in the next day and hears something that he did not hear before and it is a distraction and he gets rid of it. Or hears something that was really cool and escaped his attention previously with the deluge of other stuff, so he boosts that.

Not that, in the forum we are producing recordings for professional release. But we often expect it. The recording becomes as much a part of our professional performance as the actual singing. And, to be fair, how can we expect others to truly hear us if we put up a noisy, crappy recording (and I am the king of that.) So, I can't hide behind the "well, I am a live singer, not a recording engineer and ya'll just have to live with it."

Because you don't. And who is going to listen to a problematic recording? I have said before that a mic was limiting me. Well, time to get a different mic. Reduce the hurdles, one by one.

Or, I sight-sang this song, never heard it before, just recorded and let fly, which I have done with some songs. Well, that's great for a karaoke dare in a bar with half-way inebriated electricians. But a good singer, pro or amateur, is going to have more prep than that. Rather than just take whatever performance one did that day and call it the best that one can do, instead, really apply the best of what one can do. I have applied myself in my career. In fact, one of my bragging points is that while a task might take me 30 minutes more than some speed demon, when my work was done, it did not need to be changed or fixed, making the use of my time and materials far more cost-effective. In business, you bid to do the job once, not two or three times. In fact, that is why I became the "expert" at building 3,000 amp switchgear in the schools we did. Becuase, in electrical work, it is the most visible thing. So, the pipes need to by perfect. Clean. The sections (7' x 3' , 1,000 lbs a piece) must be aligned. Buss bar spilces must be installed and torqued to factory spec and a log must be kept of that. And there is no rushing it. But none of "my" switchgear had a problem on the first energization.

So, recording and the craft of singing needs to be "my switchgear."

I know, for others, this seems to be painfully obvious. And so whoever you are, are more advanced than I am, in that respect. I learn things the hard way. But I do learn, eventually.


So, I have learned that I need to approach recording a song the same way I approach electrical work and smoking a brisket. So, I already have the tools I need, I just had to learn the hard way that I need to use what it is that I have.

Last edited by ronws (2013-05-27 23:45:48)


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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2013-05-27 15:34:43

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#2 2013-05-27 15:45:53

ronws
TMV Forum Member
Registered: 2010-05-23
Posts: 11731
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Re: Another learning experience

In doing SL a second time and really paying attention to what I did with the recording and the editing and producing a quieter track that fits better in the music really made it hit home for me. And that it was really worth the time, even if I just played with this or that value. To really mix by ear, not just click some pre-sets that worked okay on other recordings. In recording and editing the recording, you cannot phone it in, just as you cannot phone in the actual singing performance. I did not sing it all that different from the first recording, though I did pay better attention to what I was doing. Mostly, it was about making a better recording and then being willing to work at the recording, rather than just rest on being a "live" singer. All singing is live, anyway. So, trying to draw a distinction may have limited value.

Now, at the same time, I wonder how advisable it is for a singer to mix his own stuff. In pro settings, an independent engineer is often chosen to produce the recording. Here, in the forum, we get some recordings that are quite vocal prominent, and that's okay, this being a singer's forum rather than a recording forum. And I would imagine in a guitarist's forum that the guitar would be more prominent in their recordings. A bunch of Malmsteen's running around. LOL

As opposed to us singer prima donnas pulling our Axl stunts, n'est pas?  LOL

So, how advisable is it to mix and edit your own recordings? My brother does quite well, perhaps since he plays so many instruments. He can't be just prima donna in one thing. And so his mixes are so balanced, they are often a wall of sound, which totally fits with his prog vision. To me, prog is vary much modern classical composition and singing, regardless of effects and timbres.

Then, again, I think we singers can learn from editing and mixing, if only to find how important it is to have the voice fit the music and vice versa. One bit of wisdom I learned and that has stuck with me is that the singer actually sings in reference to the bass guitar, which is a harmony and rhythm instrument. In essence, the voice should compete with the lead guitar. So, the best songs have a trade off. The vocal a little more prominent during verses, a little backed off as the guitar takes over for a few, and on and on.

Edited to add:

And that different instruments can carry different parts. In SL, to me, the voice is carrying the low end in the beginning. The bass guitar takes over the low end, later, when the rest of the arrangement kicks in, and the voice goes higher.

Last edited by ronws (2013-05-27 23:50:33)


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#3 2013-06-13 03:43:08

Owen Korzec
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Registered: 2011-09-18
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Re: Another learning experience

TL;DR. :lol:

Just kidding I'm not a fed up lazy reader. If you are too old, tl; dr is internet slang for "Too long, didn't read". I prefer to think of it as "too lazy, didn't read"

I think I can make it through this. Might have to grab myself ANOTHER snack though...to make the reading experience a little more tasty

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#4 2013-06-13 04:25:04

Owen Korzec
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Re: Another learning experience

I'm gonna oldschool quote ya. We both know who the speaker was.

"And what takes a pro recording so long to release is not the time at the mixing board twiddling this and that. It's the time away, giving your ears a rest. A mixing engineer may take a week or more, even longer, to mix an album. Becuase his mind is worn out. So, sleep on it, then he comes in the next day and hears something that he did not hear before and it is a distraction and he gets rid of it. Or hears something that was really cool and escaped his attention previously with the deluge of other stuff, so he boosts that."

Absolutely true.

Just today, I'd spend maybe 20 minutes at a time tweaking a newly recorded piano part to one of my original songs in progress. Then have to take a break because I'd lose perspective. I'd think, okay this piano is really eq'd nice and bright and cutting through the dense mix now. But deep down I know that I was unknowingly focusing only on the clarity of the piano, at the compromise of the other instrumentation. Which brings me to another point you made:

"Now, at the same time, I wonder how advisable it is for a singer to mix his own stuff. In pro settings, an independent engineer is often chosen to produce the recording. Here, in the forum, we get some recordings that are quite vocal prominent, and that's okay, this being a singer's forum rather than a recording forum. And I would imagine in a guitarist's forum that the guitar would be more prominent in their recordings. A bunch of Malmsteen's running around. LOL

As opposed to us singer prima donnas pulling our Axl stunts, n'est pas?  LOL

So, how advisable is it to mix and edit your own recordings? My brother does quite well, perhaps since he plays so many instruments. He can't be just prima donna in one thing. And so his mixes are so balanced, they are often a wall of sound, which totally fits with his prog vision. To me, prog is vary much modern classical composition and singing, regardless of effects and timbres."

As a multi-instrumentalist I think I get that benefit too. No longer showing preference to a particular instrument. And here's something I was thinking about today while mixing in that piano part into that super dense mix:

A great mixing engineer must change perspectives many many times throughout the process.

You can't just listen to the big picture because then you miss the details of which instruments are more clear than others. But the human brain also cannot focus on 15 instruments at the same time. So a mix engineer may have to listen to a mix all the way through just listening to the piano. Then the same, just listening to the guitar. Then the same, just listening to the vocals. The drums. The bass. Etc.

It's never quite that tedious and systematic, but you get the point. We must constantly change our perspective and adjust the mix accordingly until...and here's how I would define the technically ideal mix:

Every single instrument is audible at a point where one could transcribe every single part of the song without having to guess on anything. At the same time, there is enough "glue" that the listener can step back and FEEL the big picture, the emotional impact of a full song made by X number of instruments, not just listening to X number of instruments playing different and interesting parts with no sense of connection between them. Finally, the full frequency range of each instrument should be at least adequately captured. (By the way this is all a big oversimplification)

You have no idea how much of a ridiculously unattainable ideal that is for some arrangements, particularly the super densely arranged song I just added that piano part too. But you make compromises and get as close as you can.

I'm going to let you in on a little bit of the proccess of this group a capella cover I'm working on. Personnel: Owen Korzec doing everything.

The vocals are actually pretty darn easy. Did all of it in one session with no real practice beforehand (I was basically reading the lyrics off my iphone), got a bunch of good takes. Did some punch ins to fix some lyrical and timing screw ups here and there or edited them after the fact, sometimes copy pasting a line to a different spot if necessary, but always far away enough for the original that the listener wouldn't pick up on the fact that it was a copy paste. I don't copy paste just for hyperconsistent sound, that's not my thing. Anyways, then thought I was pretty much done with the vocal editing. Kept gradually picking at the mix for about a week. Eventually decided the low harmony at the end was horribly out of tune. Especially after checking it with autotune and hearing it tuning the melody to the wrong notes. Went back, retracked it. Decided to do it in full takes so as to challenge myself as a singer to get the pitch right in real time and not cheat by editing it. Got that done successfully. Mixed it a bit and it's still not done yet. I have to work in the mix for this weird kyrgryaa-esque (sp) sound I recorded for the outro, which is supposed to cross fade with the backing vocals and foot stomps/hand claps. Something really difficult to do since those alone took up a good 30 or so tracks.
Meanwhile the vocalist in me is annoyed at how I didn't tune enough formants on the lead vocal. So I may retrack that whole thing as well and sing it all with better vowel shades. By the way, every vocal part on this was triple tracked. Just to get it more polish and thickness, the song calls for it in a way since it's otherwise a very sparse arrangement. The song also calls for a lot of reverb to fill up that space, like how it is on the original. So I must have spent a day or two just dialing in the reverb sound. Which ended up being a mix of two different reverb plugins.

Yea, not as simple as just tracking, a quick mix, and post to the internet. I think the total time of this lousy cover is going to take over two weeks. At the same time, I'm also in no hurry. When someone's paying me bills to record them, I work much quicker, often finishing a demo in one or two days, but actually at not much compromise in quality. Cause I just tune out the rest of my life and do that. And I also think my efficiency as a paid engineer is partly due to the fact that, at that point, I am no longer doing everything. I can focus solely on being a recording engineer and producer. I could even just focus only on being a recording engineer but then I think my clients wouldn't come back. I want to make them sound more awesome than they are. Not to the point of robotic perfection, but just to the point of not sounding like total amateurs...if I make them sound good by necessary editing out of their bum notes and whatnot, they'll think I did a good job at recording. I'm pretty sure they aren't marveling at how I chose a beta 57 instead of an audix i5 on the snare drum.

Last edited by Owen Korzec (2013-06-13 04:36:15)

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#5 2013-06-15 08:12:36

derek_r
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Registered: 2012-08-05
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Re: Another learning experience

This book on Audacity - worth the outlay then? I just bought a USB mic - nothing super, but a little better than what I had. It comes bundled with Sonar X1 LE. Having fooled with this for a few hours I've pretty much torn all my hair out. I open up Audacity and it's feels (to a technophobe like me) a hundred times more intuititive. But I could still do with improving things - especially my use of effects, compression, eq envelopes, etc etc.

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#6 2013-06-15 12:37:41

ronws
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Registered: 2010-05-23
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Re: Another learning experience

Yes, derek, get the book. I have mine on my Kindle. It was written for all thumbs guys like me. Kind of a "audacity for dummies," if you will. And I am a dummy when it comes to recording. Most important things, how to deal with latency and noise removal. To me, that was 90 percent of my editing for the second version of "Silent Lucidity," as well as choice of mic, though choice of mic is probably secondary. And I used to blame audacity for my problems, not a lot, publically, but again, a facade to hide my own failings.

And so, taking my own words at face value of it being an equipment problem and a recording strategy problem, fix those one at a time. Prove myself right, so to speak.

Owen, I never thought of using autotune to check the tuning but it makes sense. Because Autotune does not move a sound to the correct pitch one was intending, it moves the sound to the nearest whole pitch, which could be in the opposite direction you wanted, meaning that the sound was flatter or sharper than you initially thought.

And one thing I have learned from the books on recording is that a balanced sound is not necessarily all instruments at the same fader levels all the time, or even to one's own ear, "balanced." A good mix can have different instruments or pieces in different levels of prominence at different times. So, vocal only comes forward during singing and really, only at certain times of the song. It's not like you move the vocal fader all the way forward (using analogy) every time the lyrics come around.

For example, the recited part in SL during the bridge. The idea behind that was barely there, like the hazy remembrance of a dream upon waking, a voice whispering in your head and fading to left ear. Which means the volume is low, clean mix, pan left.

I'm happy not just because I found a war for my voice to sing this song, but it has been a lesson in recording, as well.

I think each person can hear different things they value more when editing. If I send my file to someone else for editing, they may prefer lower overtones, they may prefer wetter reverb, more negative echo, just as a general rule. And the hard part is to realize that not every voice eq's the same. I may tend to favor more squillo in a voice.

One time, I mixed someone else's vocal track to some music. And I balanced the way I thought it should be, based on what I could hear in that voice, making the track cleaner and little more resonant. And the person rejected it and so that version never got posted. And it was not that I did a crap job. The vocal track was good, the music was good. But the person did not appreciate what I could hear in his voice and what I valued in it or how my mind thought it should fit with the music.

Which doesn't hurt my feelings at all and I am still friends with the guy. I just ain't gonna be mixin' his tracks. Maybe a person can only think of their voice one way, maybe I stink at mixing other people's voices.

But definitely the most valuable lesson is the most basic lesson because you have to trust your instincts and value them over time. Mix by ear. If it doesn't sound right, fix it, whatever the fix is. Either re-track if the first one is totally beyond hope.  Or start fresh on the mix. The book suggests saving all original tracks as wav's. That way, if a mix gets so totally bloated and unsavable, you can always start from scratch without have to re-record a part.

And this happens to pros, too. They record and it seems, as long as it takes to record, it takes a lot longer to make that recording usable. So, I think, perhaps, it's not always a matter of just record a good sound and everything else falls into place. Every bit of it takes attention. Make a good recorded sound, sure. But it will also take time to edit the recording into an acceptable level of quality, even if only to played in this forum for diagnosis of this, that, and the other thing.

So much more took place just to make a recorded sound in the books I have read. A relatively dead room for vocals. A relatively live room for drums. Kind of a neutral room for guitars with way more attention paid to the amp and pre-amp set-up.

The advantage of the old days of tape was there was no latency problem. A studio using a 16 or 24 track tape never had a problem. On the mastering tape, one track would hold the click track. And there was absolutely no slippage on live in studio recordings. For example, "Come on Feel the Noise" as covered by Quiet Riot. The only overdub was a few of the guitar solo bits. Everything else was recorded as a live band rehearsal and this was the only take, no do-overs, as Kevin Dubrow did not like Slade and resented having to cover this song as an obligation of the contract. Seriously, what you hear on the radio or the album of that song is a first and only take in the studio, all band members playing and recording at once.

But often what is expected here is a higher quality of production, regardless of what your recording tech is. How is someone going to diagnose your voice if it is buried in a muddy mix?

Or, if you are not looking for help and only want applause, then it should be an applause worthy recording. That is, if you want people listening and saying "wow, that sounds pro," well, then, by golly, make it pro. And I have no excuse not to make Audacity work better for me. The Beatles recorded their first album on a 4-track recording machine and had to "bounce down" tracks to a single, to fit more stuff on. What's the difference between the Beatles and myself, other than the accent?

Time and attention to detail.

And I have been bad about putting up messed up recordings. I get excited about doing the song and want to share it. On the other hand, I am not going to go through and re-record everything I have posted so far. I don't have the interest or time. I would rather move forward from here.

In so many words and not to discount the technical ins and outs of recording and mixing, recording and mixing is about listening. And listening is mental. The longest part, I firmly believe, about making a recording is the time spent letting the recording sit for a while. This does nothing for the actual recording or the arrangement of electrons holding the info in digital form. It has everything to do with one's perspective. And how your perspective guides your editing process.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#7 2013-06-15 13:01:23

ronws
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Registered: 2010-05-23
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Re: Another learning experience

Which leads to my next thought. And it can also have an effect in recording.

How to handle the reviews. You could legitimately spend a month with one song and I am not criticizing that. You could sing the song 3 or 4 times on different days. You could do this pro and old school and take the best tracks and comp the best version, just like the pros do. You could do a couple of basic mix-downs, let's say 3. After a while, you pick one and give that one your final touches, give a day or so rest in between to re-visit, even if you only tweak one thing and either keep the change or discard it. After a month, the mix is "finished" because no further adjustments improve anything.

And post it. And others will not like it, for several reasons.

1.) You don't sound like the original. And for some people, they cannot enjoy the song or a cover of the song without comparing to the original. This is totally human and we (I) might as well accept it. And this goes back to choice of material. Be prepared that others may not applaud as much because you don't sound like the original. Just for argument's sake, let's say that is really a small percentage and the least likely reason for someone to not like what you did. And I am assuming that pitch was good, diction was good, etc.

2) Some may not like the sound of your voice. I think there are some who are just not fans of my voice, for example. And that is bound to happen. I like strawberry ice cream, others like rocky road. Life is like that. Or, some are not fans of your voice on just any ole's song you are going to sing. Which leads back to choice of material. Someone once asked why it is some singing superstar sounds good all the time. And my reply was that the singer has a manager and record producer who make sure that only the songs that fit voice are presented. What if Justin Bieber happens to like "Californication" by the RHCP but his manager, "lovely, but you are NOT recording that song."? What if the manager says "You should do "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg."? And JB replies, "lovely, but I am NOT recording that song."

There have been times when I thought someone's voice would be good for a song and they refuse to even try, as is their right. Whereas I have tried songs on a dare, mainly because I have no shame.


Anyway, so you did all this work at recording and editing, and giving it time to coalesce and re-visit and you provide what really is a pro-quality recording? And others may not like it. One just has to accept that will happen. And keep on recording.

And what is our end goal, here? To be students forever? To become singing teachers and singing experts? To become recording engineers? Some of that is already required just to provide a recording others will hear. Such as Felipe's thread on recording with relatively low tech.

For you could practice with a live teacher, a good one, and still have problems with people hearing your recording. I am reminded of Felipe's cover of "Iris." Both he and his teacher sing well and he had personal lessons, not just over the phone or over skype. And the biggest complaint was the editing strategy. And yet, Felipe states that he has produced recordings for others. Which means that a funky mix can happen to anyone, not just ignorant rednecks from Texas. :D

And that is the danger of mixing one's own voice, but you can be just as much at the mercy of another person mixing your voice from their own perspective.

In fact, the producer's ear is often his calling card. That's why Mutt Lange can write his own check. Because albums produced by him are often multi-platinum and usually are the break-out album for that band. It is conservatively true to say that the recording careers of Def Leppard, Metallica, and AC/DC are due to the albums Lange mixed for them. Because he has a certain perspective.

As we all do.

And so all of this may affect one's perspective when editing a recording.

But the most important thing I learned is to mix by ear. And since Audacity does not do real-time changes of effects, it takes patience to apply an effect to a track and listen to it in playback. If it's not right, click "undo" and start over again.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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