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Can’t get that “Record” sound.

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Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:41 pm
by pillorygem
For a good while now I have not been able to get a “record” sound similar to some of the
Albums I look up to (The Cure, Beatles, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, etc.).

I don’t claim to be an amazing musician or engineer, but I’ve been doing both for a while
with a little success, but I want that extra push.

I go into a Scarlett 2i4 (which isn’t amazing, but hey.) I Eq, compress, add reverb, delay, and whatever other tricks and sparkles I can and it always just ends up sounding like I did it in my home; it has an amateurish sound.

I’m not really sure what I’m really missing here other than analog outboard and better pre’s, and I’m not so sure that that’s the main issue here either.

What am I not doing correctly?

I don’t have an example to give just yet since I’m not home.

Thank you!

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:55 pm
by desmond
I know it sounds glib, but if it sounds amateurish, it's because it was done by amateurs.

If you want to sound like it was done by professionals, do what everyone else does - hire professionals!

For all the rest of us, it means a lifelong quest of listening, learning, trying, analysing and improving by a few per cent each time. The tuition/learning resources available to everyone these days are staggering, but if you want something more hands on, there are good folks on this forum who can do you some one-on-one sessions, look at your material, and give you a head start to improving things.

There really isn't a magic bullet to this stuff - it's a long amount of hard work until you get the skills and experience necessary, or buying the skills in from people who already have the skills and experience.

Of course, you're welcome to share tracks and get feedback on them here as well, for more specific advice... :thumbup:

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:26 pm
by blinddrew
As Desmond says, pop a track up here and ask for some feedback. There's some very knowledgable folks here who are happy to share their experience.
If you want something a bit more in depth, drop a line to the folks at SOS about doing a mix-rescue feature. (links in this thread here: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 16&t=40570)
Depending on where you are there may be folks who can help you out with some 1:1 tuition as well (at very reasonable rates).

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:29 pm
by pillorygem
desmond wrote:I know it sounds glib, but if it sounds amateurish, it's because it was done by amateurs.

If you want to sound like it was done by professionals, do what everyone else does - hire professionals!

For all the rest of us, it means a lifelong quest of listening, learning, trying, analysing and improving by a few per cent each time. The tuition/learning resources available to everyone these days are staggering, but if you want something more hands on, there are good folks on this forum who can do you some one-on-one sessions, look at your material, and give you a head start to improving things.

There really isn't a magic bullet to this stuff - it's a long amount of hard work until you get the skills and experience necessary, or buying the skills in from people who already have the skills and experience.

Of course, you're welcome to share tracks and get feedback on them here as well, for more specific advice... :thumbup:

Thank you for the advice. I definitely come from the camp of studios aren’t dead, so I agree with the “hire professionals” talk.

I’m in Louisiana and the studios I’ve reached out to either aren’t booking or are MORE expensive than the high end facilities in Los Angeles and the likes.

Thank you again!

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:37 pm
by Wonks
You don't need outboard gear or better pre-amps to get a good sound. They are all nice-to-haves, but 90% is a good tune/song and a great performance.

The main thing you physically need is a decent recording and listening environment. Which means room treatment. Loads of threads on here about it, but a description of your current room arrangement would be useful.

Are you mixing on speakers or headphones?

After that it's down to practice and getting to really know what your plug-ins do.

If you want some well recorded tracks to practice mixing on (to take the recording part out of the equation), then there are sample tracks available here. https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=26779

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:34 pm
by CS70
Well, the others said it all - forget the kit, it's most often not that at all. Songrwriting and performing skills, recording skills, mixing skills are what makes the difference. Good kit makes things easier but that's about it.

The good news is that you already are a musician so you surely have lots of stuff already, and probably it's a few "gotcha" points that need to be cleared out of the way.

Agree also with Drew, tell more of what you feel is missing, or simply put out some track.
Also keep in mind that sometimes your stuff can be up to scratch and you may not know it, you need others opinions... sometimes not, of course, but you don't know until you try. :)

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:51 am
by pillorygem
I want to thank you all for the help and advice. I’m going to finish a few of these tracks up and post them if I’m still having trouble. I really appreciate it everyone!

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:30 am
by Jack Ruston
All those classic recordings you're referencing are very performance driven. Those records are made a certain way. They may have a lot of overdubs and production tricks, but they're built around a band in a studio. You can't substitute that. I have this conversation with clients often. We can make a certain kind of record by 'producing' it, and another by playing. Both can be amazing. It's Def Leppard Vs Fleetwood Mac. If you've got one when you wanted the other, it's disappointing.

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:27 am
by The Elf
If you can perform to a professional level, and you have at least the basic gear to make a good recording, then these days getting a decent mix is as simple as whisking it across the internet to a good mix engineer. It's simply no longer necessary to hire an expensive studio.

If your mix engineer is up to scratch he will advise on tracking (and re-tracking, if he feels it is necessary), and he will only undertake the mix when he feels that you have provided material that can achieve your aims. 80% of the mix work I do is handled this way.

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:54 am
by Zukan
Hire someone like Elf for the day and let him mix your track and you observe closely and ask relevant questions. That will get you much further than 'winging' it.

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:59 am
by Alba
There's an enormous difference between the sounds of records. It might be that your sound is the 'record' sound but its just not had enough time to propagate around enough ears yet.

There are also plenty or crap sounding records, wouldn't want to stoop to those levels....

Every great breakthrough in musical art has brought us a new sound. Not just individual sounds, but the overall delivery of the whole, the colour from a distance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd60nI4sa9A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll37rY-yiQQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdlWUQedW9I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqUkPzFmfxo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP1kZLGG5gw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLV4_xaYynY

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:40 pm
by OneWorld
Jack Ruston wrote:All those classic recordings you're referencing are very performance driven. Those records are made a certain way. They may have a lot of overdubs and production tricks, but they're built around a band in a studio. You can't substitute that. I have this conversation with clients often. We can make a certain kind of record by 'producing' it, and another by playing. Both can be amazing. It's Def Leppard Vs Fleetwood Mac. If you've got one when you wanted the other, it's disappointing.

At one time I would have tended to disagree, but I once listened to one of those stem tracks made available and it was 'Bohemian Rhapsody' where you can hear Freddie Mercury and piano in isolation, and it was absolutely stunning, even if it were recorded on a portable cassette recorder found in a charity shop - it would have been a world wide hit.

That being said, if one has a half decent tune written, might as well give it the best chance to invest in decent gear and learn the techniques to produce a 'commercial' recording. I think one of the problems we have is that one is both writer/performer/arranger/producer/mixer/engineer/mastering expert - hard to be an expert in all of those, but on the other hand, a great learning opportunity.

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:34 pm
by G-Doubleyou
My greatest improvement happened after I added minimal room treatment to my small space.

Having good monitors doesn't hurt, room treatment helped me to make better decisions.

:thumbup:

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:05 am
by Martin Walker
G-Doubleyou wrote:My greatest improvement happened after I added minimal room treatment to my small space.

Having good monitors doesn't hurt, room treatment helped me to make better decisions.

:thumbup:

We regularly get comments like these, and most of us have experienced the gob-smacking benefits of acoustic treatment at some point.

It really does make EVERYTHING in your studio sound more expensive! :shh: ;)


Martin

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:40 am
by Sam Spoons
And many who don't have acoustic treatment yet struggle to reconcile spending £300 on a few panels when they could spend it on a sexy new mic or other studio hardware. They make excuses like "I can't fit acoustic treatment 'cos it's a bedroom" or "I rent so can't fix anything to the walls". Then, eventually, they do stick a few panels up and have that 'lightbulb moment' :D