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Thread: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

  1. #21
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by justFred View Post
    nearly had a nervous breakdown...this isn't much...but crud....this trying to record stuff is really really hard...
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    trying to keep the Mesa Studio 22 from clipping when recording is almost impossible...it sounds fine, no clips until you try and record it...what's up with that????
    Sometimes the recording as a whole can clip due to the multitude of ďnear clippingĒ tracks combined together.
    In the digital recording world you donít need the needle to be teetering on the edge of clipping. That was a trick used in the analog recording era. Try backing down fairly significantly on the input signal.
    Remember, the overall volume of the recording will be boosted during the mastering process, thatís not something to worry about during the recording process.

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    Mojo's Minions Powdered Toast Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    The other mistake a lot of guys make is bass. As in way too much bass dialed in on the amp itself. I get that you want it to sound "huge" but it doesn't come through that way through the mics. That's why generally speaking, small amps sound massive in the studio. Too much bass and too much volume are not good studio techniques.
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  3. #23
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by Powdered Toast Man View Post
    The other mistake a lot of guys make is bass. As in way too much bass dialed in on the amp itself. I get that you want it to sound "huge" but it doesn't come through that way through the mics. That's why generally speaking, small amps sound massive in the studio. Too much bass and too much volume are not good studio techniques.
    Agreed...most of the time Iíll eq some highs and lows out of the guitar so it sits in the mix better.
    Another trick I like to do is double the bass track (cut and paste) and hard pan it R/L. Add some compression and it sounds huge.

    Even though itís an identical track, to my ears it sounds a lot bigger...I canít explain in any technical way why that is though.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Agreed...most of the time I’ll eq some highs and lows out of the guitar so it sits in the mix better.
    Another trick I like to do is double the bass track (cut and paste) and hard pan it R/L. Add some compression and it sounds huge.

    Even though it’s an identical track, to my ears it sounds a lot bigger...I can’t explain in any technical way why that is though.
    True doubling (whereupon you play and record two different tracks of the same part and pan L/R) goes even further due to tiny differences
    in timing and sometimes pitch between the two different tracks. A very mild chorus, if you will.
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    True doubling (whereupon you play and record two different tracks of the same part and pan L/R) goes even further due to tiny differences
    in timing and sometimes pitch between the two different tracks. A very mild chorus, if you will.
    It does, but I donít have the patience for that!! In the past Iíve used the ďslight delay trickĒ on the 2nd track to make them sound like imperfect takes.

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Another trick I like to do is double the bass track (cut and paste) and hard pan it R/L. Add some compression and it sounds huge.

    Even though it’s an identical track, to my ears it sounds a lot bigger...I can’t explain in any technical way why that is though.
    It’s a psychoacoustic trick. You are still getting a phantom center but the bass tracks are allowing center-panned instruments space. It’s a subtle but noticeable effect that’s not really en vogue these days due to the issues it presents to mastering engineers; a modern mastering engineer takes a m/s EQ to the mix first thing and removes 150-250 Hz as a matter of course. (Bye bye, bass!) and for analog mastering, all bass is summed to mono anyway, effectively re panning the bass you panned.

    A similar trick I have heard is to mult the bass like you are doing, but have three copies, and band pass all three. Two have high pass filters and are panned hard left and right; the third is low pass filtered and kept in the center.

    Getting the low end right in a mix is probably the second hardest thing to get right, after knowing how to properly use compression.

    If the mix is muddy, it usually indicates a buildup in 300-500 Hz. Rule One of mixing is HIGH PASS FILTER EVERY TRACK. That is still the tried and true way of controlling unwanted or unneeded low freqs.
    Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 09-19-2018 at 04:30 AM.
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    It does, but I don’t have the patience for that!! In the past I’ve used the “slight delay trick” on the 2nd track to make them sound like imperfect takes.
    The only issue with that (>30mS delays) is it can introduce phase problems. Depends on what kind of sound you are going for, though!
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Sometimes the recording as a whole can clip due to the multitude of “near clipping” tracks combined together.
    In the digital recording world you don’t need the needle to be teetering on the edge of clipping. That was a trick used in the analog recording era. Try backing down fairly significantly on the input signal.
    Remember, the overall volume of the recording will be boosted during the mastering process, that’s not something to worry about during the recording process.
    If you are recording in 24 bit digital, the standard is to have peaking at -18dBFS on all tracks.
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  9. #29
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Itís a psychoacoustic trick. You are still getting a phantom center but the bass tracks are allowing center-panned instruments space. Itís a subtle but noticeable effect thatís not really en vogue these days due to the issues it presents to mastering engineers; a modern mastering engineer takes a m/s EQ to the mix first thing and removes 150-250 Hz as a matter of course. (Bye bye, bass!) and for analog mastering, all bass is summed to mono anyway, effectively re panning the bass you panned.

    A similar trick I have heard is to mult the bass like you are doing, but have three copies, and band pass all three. Two have high pass filters and are panned hard left and right; the third is low pass filtered and kept in the center.

    Getting the low end right in a mix is probably the second hardest thing to get right, after knowing how to properly use compression.

    If the mix is muddy, it usually indicates a buildup in 300-500 Hz. Rule One of mixing is HIGH PASS FILTER EVERY TRACK. That is still the tried and true way of controlling unwanted or unneeded low freqs.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    The only issue with that (>30mS delays) is it can introduce phase problems. Depends on what kind of sound you are going for, though!
    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    If you are recording in 24 bit digital, the standard is to have peaking at -18dBFS on all tracks.
    Good tips!
    Iím definitely still a beginner at all of this. Iíve just either stumbled on to things that seem to work or somebody has told me to try something that has worked.

    Youíre 100% correct when you say that compression and eq are the hardest part of mixing/engineering. They way we hear something isnít really something that is easy to teach (or learn for that matter).

    Luckily, I havenít run into the phase issues you spoke of yet!! But truth be told, I donít use that trick when tracking guitar parts but have been known to use it once or twice on bass!

  10. #30
    Super Toneologist justFred's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Whoa...yuz guys is talkin' quantum physics stuff...just trying to direct record one guitar thru two amps and not get clipping from the mesa high notes...

  11. #31
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Quote Originally Posted by justFred View Post
    Whoa...yuz guys is talkin' quantum physics stuff...just trying to direct record one guitar thru two amps and not get clipping from the mesa high notes...
    Simple answer. Record two separate guitar tracks and turn your input gain staging way down.

  12. #32
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Swampy's Avatar
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    As for levels, shoot for -12db on each track. That should keep you well below clipping. I sometimes go to -6db but it doesn’t leave a whole lot of headroom to work with later.

    If you go beyond just recording guitars, one tip on the bass (not bass guitar specifically), is you should really high pass/low cut everything except the actual bass guitar. Even if you can’t hear a lot of bass in the other instruments, it’ll all add up in the final mix and could get muddy.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: help pleas...why did this turn to mush?

    Multi-tracking and micing multiple speakers don't create the same effect. That said, if you're micing two different amps entirely (rather than just micing a V30 and a K100 in the same cab, for instance, to fatten the V30 up a touch), you're probably just setting yourself up for a nightmare. Phasing issues are a pain when using multiple mics at the best of times, but with two amps in the room creating destructive interference in the waves... yeah.

    Also, read LLL's tips on mic placement. That stuff is absolutely crucial. If you're looking for a good starting point, try an SM57 one-finger back from the grille cloth, placed at the point where the dustcap meets the cone, angled dead-ahead.

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