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Production/Engineering Potpurri

 
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Orpheus



Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 697
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Production/Engineering Potpurri Reply with quote

Hails and Salutations!

I noticed that several posters on here appear to be fairly knowledgeable about music production, and I was thinking that a general Q&A would be pretty neat. Idea

This is a good environment, because we are all basically on the same page here (as much as taste and shit allows). I am sick and fucking tired of going on forums looking for tips (not step by step, hold your hand bullshit, just TIPS) on getting a good drum sound and being told "just sample-replace, man . 90% of metal CDs do that". Fuck that, and fuck Andy Sneap and all that garbage. Exclamation
/rant

Exclamation EDIT: We could throw in some technical troubleshooting shit too. I fix/make gear all the time, and Im sure im not the only one.

I'll start with my question: Should I high-pass filter every track at 20hz?
It's below the human range of hearing (supposedly) and you cant really feel it either. Does it make a difference in analog recording?
I guess same goes for LP filtering above 20khz or whatever.

I'm tracking to an 8-track TASCAM 1/2" and envision a scenario where I am recording to all 8 simultaneusly (drums, for instance). If I wish to bounce down to 2 or 1, those extra frequencies will mud it up right?


Last edited by Orpheus on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ADB



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 2335
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really depends on how much energy is being taken up by that sub 20 - 30hz signal in the first place. The main reason to HPF 20hz is because there is a limited amount of energy to work with and this frees a bit a up. Usually there aren't any sonic differences (unless something weird's going on). A lot of the time you might not even need to do it depending on how the original track was recorded and how much information there is below 20hz.

It shouldn't really muddy it up if those frequencies are still present, the reason to HPF on tape is to save energy (which is kind of equivalent to the dynamic range). More energy to work with, especially if you're bouncing down tracks, will result in less noise as you're adding less of the noise floor every time. It's not such a great concern for digital as the dynamic range is quite a bit bigger but it can help.

Late edit: just realised that with tape, a very long wavelength (such as anything below 20-30hz) might be a bit of a problem due to tape limitations. This is something I remember from 10 years ago though so I might be completely off Wink
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ADB



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yeah, ignore sound engineering forums, they're full of fuckheads trying to make the most obnoxious and lifeless math metal shit as an excuse to show off how many plugins they've got and how expensive their microphones are. Not worth trawling through 100 posts to find the one decent one you're looking for.
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Orpheus



Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 697
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, awesome. I only have two LP filters, so now I know that it's worth it to make more.

Great explanation, I appreceate it. Is the wavelength situation why 2" tape has that reputation for crazy low-end?
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ADB



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think that's why.

I haven't used tape in about 10 years though so maybe someone on here who has a bit more recent experience with it can provide more details, I'm just trying to remember from my sound engineering at university days Wink
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Orpheus



Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 697
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ADB wrote:
And yeah, ignore sound engineering forums, they're full of fuckheads trying to make the most obnoxious and lifeless math metal shit as an excuse to show off how many plugins they've got and how expensive their microphones are. Not worth trawling through 100 posts to find the one decent one you're looking for.


LOL. Yep!

TAPEOP forum is pretty cool though, even if you dont record analog. They have some good discussions on there.

On the subject of mics, does anybody have any hidden gems they would recommend beyond the usual suspects?
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ADB



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shure SM7 (not to be confused with an SM57) is an excellent vocal mic that sounds about $1,100 more (at least) than it costs (around $400 depending)
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CS_Funeral



Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 18
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Just scored myself an SM7B on the cheap today. ADB; what preamp do you use with yours, stock interface preamps or something dedicated?
I'm giving a lot of thought to getting a Black Lion Audio 'Auteur'.

Regarding HPF; I think the lame "do whatever works" answer fits, dependent on the instrument, intended tone/feel and also the cutoff frequency's dB/octave curve.
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ADB



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 2335
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using stock interface at the moment, debating whether to get a dedicated vocal preamp but two things are holding me back:

1) I mostly record harsh and massively effected vocals for my solo project, a better pre-amp won't help that much and...

2) For other bands, I've only recorded one but I'm mostly mixing other bands' recordings that they've done themselves but aren't comfortable with mixing

Do whatever works is true 99.999999% of time but not a bad rule for kick drums that blow out those lower frequencies, but even then (like I said), not always necessary
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primalorder



Joined: 15 Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Amsterdam

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also whole heartedly reccomend the shure sm7. Excellent mic, sounds great! It does need a lot of gain, but it will work on stock interface pre's as well.. I use an echo audiofire, which has about 59dB of gain. 10 less than shure reccomends. But seeing as how we are mostly dealing with extremely loud sources (screaming people, 4x12's with high gain stuff) I think I got away with it for now.

Ive been wanting to get a dedicated vocal pre, but those things are expensive! anyone here has any experience with those ART things thomann sells?

Also on the subject of that mic, I saw a local band's pictures of them in a studio somewhere and the producer did not have a plopscreen in front of the mic, and neither did he use the thicker foam thingy that comes with the mic. I hope no one here abuses their good mics that way.

I have never worked with 1/2 inch tape, only cassette, and I never felt the need to hpf everything on that. that being said it is a good habit to cut away the frequencies you don't need in individual tracks, like say 80hz and below of distorted guitar tracks. I usually shelf those instead of HPF though.
The best advice would be like CS_Funeral said and just try it...

Ive been saying the same thing about the sneap and just music production forums as well to my friends. Everything is sample replace this, trigger that, guitar rig, impulse respones. Such bullshit. If I want less sympathetic rings from my toms, I just tune them or maybe stuff a pillow between the bassdrum and the toms stuff like that. Why even record something in the first place if youre going to sample replace later. those people are better off just buying drum machines (or sample vst libraries whatever) I think.

Oh and if anyone needs something recorded in the neighbourhood of amsterdam send me a PM Razz
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Orpheus



Joined: 28 Dec 2011
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Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

primalorder wrote:
But seeing as how we are mostly dealing with extremely loud sources (screaming people, 4x12's with high gain stuff)


On that note, what power amp tubes do people like? I like the harmonics of the EL-34/6CA7 types myself. If you place an EQ between the preamp and power amp you can offset the "disadvantages" of these tubes very well.

Has anyone tried any Vintage 30 clones, like the ones by Eminence? I heard some good things about them but ordering 4 speakers is a pretty big investment.
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Devoured Death



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 1873

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone is working on a particular budget, believe it or not, the Behringer B series microphones are actually really good for growled/screamed vocals. I've since upgraded to a Rode since I had more of a budget to work with, but I took recordings to be mixed in pro studios done with the Behringer and the engineers refused to believe what it was.

Personally in terms of preamps, I wouldn't bother with super cheap stuff. From my experience they tend to get a little messy and don't provide anything a good soundcard preamp wouldn't. From my experience the Focusrite Voicemaster Pro is a pretty good one for a "reasonable" price, though I've always got a good enough result from the preamps in my Firepod.
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goatmolestor



Joined: 15 Aug 2012
Posts: 133
Location: brisbane

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

primalorder wrote:

Ive been wanting to get a dedicated vocal pre, but those things are expensive! anyone here has any experience with those ART things thomann sells?



i had one of the more recent art vocal preamps and honestly it was horrid for vocals but when used for snare hits and bass guitar it was brilliant
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SoundsOfDecay



Joined: 03 Jun 2011
Posts: 1142

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SM58 sounds great on a snare drum if you don't have a 57 (though you probably do), or if you just want to try something different

As for plugins, I kindof do hate them but they have their place, especially if you haven't got 500 to shell out on a killer oldskool synth. With drums it depends on the sound you want. I always try to use as much hardware as possible though.
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