Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Beach Boy Vocal Session

It's often overlooked just how spectacular The Beach Boys were as a vocal group. This clip should prove that these guys were second to none as you hear them pull off some complex harmonies with nary a hitch on the song "Let Me Wonder." They're soloed at 1:46 where you can really hear what they can do. By the way, the audio stops at 3:46 even though the clip goes to 7:22.

1. Remember that they're all singing at the same time. There's no layering going on here like we'd do today.

2. Check out the sound of the tape rewind at the beginning of the clip, something hated back in the day, especially if you were wearing headphones. The next generation of tape machines alleviated the problem by lifting the tape away from the heads during rewind so you didn't get that noise.


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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Deep Purple's Ian Paice Drum Insights

One of the most respected and influential drummers around is Deep Purple's Ian Paice. After 40+ years in the music business, Ian has experienced the evolution of rock drumming first-hand and has some interesting insights as a result. Here he is talking about his left-handed drum kit and his 14 inch deep kick drum.


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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

6 Tips For Tweaking Track Timing

Timing Releases image from The Mixing Engineer's Handbook
Mix engineers are called on to do so much more than ever before. Tweaking the track timing used to be done way before the mixing stage, but mixers find themselves doing it more and more. Here are some tips for tweaking track timing in you DAW from the new Advanced chapter in the 3rd edition of The Mixing Engineer's Handbook.
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"No matter how great the players on the session are, there’s always some portion of a recording that doesn’t feel quite right. Usually, the timing of the basic tracks will be tweaked right after your tracking session so you have a solid rhythm section to overdub against, but if you’re just now discovering some sections of an overdub that don’t feel right (which happens more than you might think), prepare for the joys of slipping and sliding time.

Here’s a list of some of the do’s and don’ts for tweaking the track timing:
  • Don’t edit by eye. In most music (electronic music being the exception), you can’t successfully edit by just trying to line everything up to the kick and snare or the grid and still have it sound natural and human. Often times, tracks that look perfectly lined up don’t sound or feel right, which is why listening is more important than looking. Turn your head away from the monitor or close your eyes and just listen before and after you move anything.
  • Every beat doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, if it’s too perfect, you’ll suck the life out of the performance. Unless something really jumps out as being out of time, you might get away with leaving it as is. Another way is to just line up downbeats and any major accents, which gives you the best of both worlds; a loose feel that still sounds tight.
  • Copy and paste another section if you can. If you have to make too many edits to a particular section, chances are it won’t sound as good when you’re finished as just finding a similar section in another part of the song and pasting it in over the area that’s suspect. It’s a lot faster and easier to do, and will probably sound cleaner and groove better as well.
  • Everything doesn't have to line up exactly. Many times the bass will speak better if it’s a few milliseconds behind the kick drum rather than right with it. It still sounds tight, but both the kick and bass will be more distinct and the sound may even be fuller.
  • Listen against the drums. If you listen to the track that you’re editing all by itself, you can be fooled into thinking that the timing is correct when it’s not, especially if you’re editing to a grid. The real proof is when you listen against the drums. If the instrument sounds great by itself and great with the drums, you’re home free.
  • Trim the releases. This is one of the best things you can do to tighten up a track. Everyone is hip to tightening up the attacks, but it’s the releases that really make the difference. Regardless if it’s an accent played by the full band, the song ending, or a vocal or guitar phrase, make sure that the releases are pretty much the same length. If one is longer than the rest, trim it back and fade it so it sounds natural. If one is a lot shorter than the rest, use a time correction plug-in the lengthen it a bit (see the graphic on the left).

Of course, if you’re using loops or MIDI instruments, you’ve probably quantized things to the track by now. If you haven’t, remember that if it’s too perfect to the grid it may not sound natural."

To read additional excerpts from The Mixing Engineer's Handbook and other books, go to bobbyowsinski.com.
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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Office Turntable: The Perfect Analog And Digital Hybrid

Here's something brilliant on so many levels. The Office Turntable is a great marketing device, but it's also an interesting hybrid of new and old, and analog and digital. Check this video out to see how vinyl and an smartphone app can work in today's world.



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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Music Gear Monday: The EV RE320 Mic

If you were to look into any large studio's mic cabinet, chances are that you'd see at least one Electro-Voice RE20 mic inside. The RE20 has been a workhorse in the industry for a long time, and up until recently, was one of the few large diaphragm dynamic mics.

While EV continues to manufacture the RE20, it recently introduced the RE320, which isn't the same even though it shares the same package. Here's a great video that explains the differences.

Suffice it to say that EV designed the 320 partially as a kick drum mic, but it works in other applications, such as broadcast (where the RE20 has always excelled), as well. The RE320 has a street price of around $300 while the RE20 is around $450.


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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

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