Mixing audio is extremely difficult for the newcomer.I spent hours/days/weeks/months scurrying the net, watching video tutorials and asking engineers on how to get that glassy and even sounding mix.I am in no way in the leagues of Chris Lord Alge or Andy Johns....but I manage to get some pretty good sounding mixes that have made their way into countless productions...so I must be doing something right:)
My mixes are always simple and quick.Here is a basic list of my rules that I follow.
1.Have a good source tone.If you record crappy uneven sounds it is impossible to make it sound good.
2.Learn to layer instruments properly.If you record sloppy parts tha clash it is also impossible to make it sound good.
3.Use an eq and cut all frequencies below 70-90 hz on all instruments except drums.I usually set the steepness of the highpass filter by about 24...or 36.
4.pan all instruments except drums and bass.Make sure the instruments are panned using the full spectrum in a way that mimics the way you would see them if you were in an audience.
with just these few simple tricks your mixes will start to sound much much better and detailed.
you can hear some of my examples at:
Next time we will discuss reverbs/busses/and compressor uses.
cutting edge stock music
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I often get asked how I can write, record, mix, and master so many strong songs so quickly.
The honest answer to that are a few different components.
1. I put in the time when I was younger practicing sometimes up to 8 hours a day.
2. I also put aside time during those days to write my own music. So many musicians spend so much time learning other people’s stuff and never write their own pieces. One of the best ways to get started is to pick an artist you like, and write something similar to what they have done. Learning song construction and melodic hooks from other artists and twisting it to be your own is something that all songwriters have done for years. This became very apparent to me in my guitar teaching days when I would hear similar chord progressions and grooves by numerous artists. The trick is to take an idea and build upon it.
Get in the habit of writing a song everyday.... don’t worry if it doesn't sound like a hit. Over time your songs will start to consistently good...if not great. Also delve into styles that are foreign to you.... you will learn so much from this. One of my most popular songs was a Hawaiian track that I created. I knew nothing about the style other than you used a Ukulele and a slide guitar.I sat down and listened to various Hawaiian artists and was able to get a feel for the style and painstakingly recorded it bar by bar...but in the end it sounded great and was used on both "Lost" and "Hawaii Five O".You can check it out on my
Cutting edge stock music site http://www.directcomposer.com.It is located in the world/classical category.
In the music production world writing is just one of the important aspects.
In the next article we will discuss my opinion on important music gear and plugins used to create music today.
Cutting-edge stock music
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Writing production music can be a daunting task. Being a versatile musician and a fast worker are a must in this business. As clients often say” I needed it yesterday!"
Production music libraries will typically offer a broad range of musical styles and genres, enabling producers and editors to find much of what they need in the same library. Music libraries vary in size from a few hundred tracks up to many thousands. There are many reputable libraries out there so do your research.
I would steer away from companies that want exclusivity unless they pay you upfront for material. Usually the non-exclusive library is your way to go.
You can find these companies by going in Google and typing in the keyword” Production Music libraries” or “Stock Music Libraries”. When you check out their site they will usually have a faq or submission tab to send them music. Do not…I repeat do not ever pay a company to submit music. This is usually a scam. Remember you are the artist….and you are the one providing them free material to make money off of….not the other way around.
As an example to how a typical production library works, feel free to check out my company http://www.directcomposer.com you will be able to see and preview production music and there is also a little video explaining the licensing process.
The bonus of writing for this medium vs touring/cd sales etc…Is that you don’t sell the rights to your songs…you are just allowing them to license a song for a set amount of time and a set price. This essentially means that you can license the same song over and over again…….great deal for musiciansJ
Some key points to work on are for writing production music are…
1:Learn your sequencer and programs inside and out.
2.accumulate good sounding libraries.
3.Learn how to mix and master
4.Study various styles of music and emulate there tones/arrangements and textures.
5.Don't be discouraged if a song gets rejected.
I have had many songs rejected over the years but that just pushed me to get better. In the 4 years I have delved head first into this business, I have licensed hundreds of songs and had my music on all of the major TV shows.....it can be done.
Learn from your mistakes and write everyday. I once heard that it is better to do something about your goal every day…even if it is poorly done….rather than do nothing at all. This is very true….believe me…I have written more than a few crappy songs…lol!
In further articles I will give my advice on the key points listed above, and hopefully will inspire you to great things!..