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Re: More money than sense?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:48 pm

And sometimes it's about available funds. I'd love to hand over my mixes for another set of ears and some expertise at the mastering stage - but as I have the basic tools for the job here (and given the *ahem* return on investment) I find it hard to justify that expense.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:20 pm

awjoe wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:Mastering, less so mainly due to environmental constraints (Bob Katz's book is amazing, but really indicates to me I'm better off outsourcing that kind of work) but I hope that getting my mixes better will help a little there too.

FWIW: I got three projects mastered by a pro. It was expensive, but worth it because it improved things so much. But by the time I had the most recent project mastered, I'd narrowed the margin of improvement between my mixes and the mastered mixes considerably. So...

Would my stuff be better off being outsourced at the mastering stage? Definitely, yeah.

But equally, would my stuff be better off being mixed by Greg Wells? Certainly.

And while I'm at it, would I get a better sound if I paid to have a recording engineer track my stuff in a real studio? I would say so, yes.

And how about getting somebody other than myself to play and sing the parts? Depending on the talent, I'm pretty sure it would yield a more exciting or engaging or pleasurable recording.

And what about the songwriting? Could someone write my songs better than I can? Hey, hang on a minute! I gotta draw the line somewhere!

But you see my point. It's ALWAYS going to be the case that someone can be paid to do it better than you. But if the whole point is to have fun and learn how to do it better with each project, then the best thing to do is actually do that. So, how important is it to get the project sounding the best YOU can make it, and how important is it to you to simply get the project sounding the best it can be? That last one's simple - it turns on the size of your pockets.

Long story short, that's why I'm paying money for the SOS training video for Ozone - for me, DIY's more fun.

Well I got into this home recording simply because of empty pockets. I do enjoy it though nd it is fun. But there is a serious side to this. A great question you asked there. Do you want the song to sound as good as you can make it or the best it can be. As someone who love to be able to put songs on the web for sale ie.e. Itunes etc... I need the songs to be the best they can be. Sadly though, my recordings so far are no where near the quality required. Listen to the bands on Reverb nation. Mind you, they may well be using studios. But i have no choice. Im flat broke so studios and professionals are out of the question. Maybe this is where Im getting desperate. There's probably an area of my simple small brain that thinks that courses make you better. I think the advantage of pro help is that they can tell you what youre doing wrong. Simply practicing something wont actually make you better unless you are practicing correctly. I could swing a tennis racket 7 days a week....but Im swinging it wrong. But ah......that means personal one to one coaching...not an online course designed for the masses. OK...Im screwed. Ah whats a boy to do.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:32 pm

Patience is key. No deep skill set is learnt quickly, and knowledge then takes practice before you begin to reach mastery. So keep creating, keep recording, keep analysing, keep learning and keep improving.
Repeat until you're so good that you can make a living from it but simultaneously now utterly hate it. :D
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby Kwackman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:40 pm

TNGator wrote:......that means personal one to one coaching...not an online course designed for the masses. OK...Im screwed. Ah whats a boy to do.

I think the Elf does one to one, if you're reasonably local to him it might be worth sending him a message. And I'm pretty sure Zukan does one to one too.
One of these guys will probably see your strong and weak points and push you in the correct direction.
Send one of them a PM and see what happens.

On a slight tangent, I bought "ADPTR Metric AB" from Plug-in Alliance in a recent sale.
https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/prod ... ricab.html
It's an eye opener as it makes it easy to compare your mix with a reference mix that you're aiming for. It can loudness match so you are not just hearing "loudest is best".
It's normally $199 which IMHO is a bit expensive, but it might appear on sale again- might be worth signing up to their email list.
There's a similar one called "Reference"
https://www.masteringthemix.com/products/reference
It's a more reasonable £49.

Good luck whatever you do!
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby awjoe » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:22 pm

blinddrew wrote:And sometimes it's about available funds. I'd love to hand over my mixes for another set of ears and some expertise at the mastering stage - but as I have the basic tools for the job here (and given the *ahem* return on investment) I find it hard to justify that expense.

Exactly where I'm at with this, too.

I think that music's a great way to spend money, but a lousy way to make it. People tend to expect their music for free these days, no? Or they expect it to be streamed, and nobody's making much there, right? It's really hard to make money from music if all you're doing is recording and distributing it. So if you're not playing live or selling merchandise or mixing other people's stuff, that 'available funds' issue will factor large in your operation. You play live, don't you? Does what you make go beyond costs and provide a return on your investment?
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:36 pm

awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote: You play live, don't you? Does what you make go beyond costs and provide a return on your investment?
Ha! Not even remotely close. If I wanted to make any money playing live I'd join a covers band - that's where the cash is round here. As an originals act you're lucky if you cover petrol. And mostly you don't get that.

EDIT - correction, I've made reasonably sums busking. I'm currently trying to twist the band's arms to come out and do that but it's the usual challenge of trying to get compatible days (with good weather) and I've got a bit of a huge project on at the moment.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:50 pm

awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote:And sometimes it's about available funds. I'd love to hand over my mixes for another set of ears and some expertise at the mastering stage - but as I have the basic tools for the job here (and given the *ahem* return on investment) I find it hard to justify that expense.

Exactly where I'm at with this, too.

I think that music's a great way to spend money, but a lousy way to make it. People tend to expect their music for free these days, no? Or they expect it to be streamed, and nobody's making much there, right? It's really hard to make money from music if all you're doing is recording and distributing it. So if you're not playing live or selling merchandise or mixing other people's stuff, that 'available funds' issue will factor large in your operation. You play live, don't you? Does what you make go beyond costs and provide a return on your investment?
I know Im going off the subject here a tad but there is no live scene here anymore. Its mostly piped music and not only that...my wheelhouse is American country (modern contemporary that is). no market at all for it here. so no..Im not actually out playing. But that of course is a different discussion altogether.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:52 pm

Kwackman wrote:
TNGator wrote:......that means personal one to one coaching...not an online course designed for the masses. OK...Im screwed. Ah whats a boy to do.

I think the Elf does one to one, if you're reasonably local to him it might be worth sending him a message. And I'm pretty sure Zukan does one to one too.
One of these guys will probably see your strong and weak points and push you in the correct direction.
Send one of them a PM and see what happens.

On a slight tangent, I bought "ADPTR Metric AB" from Plug-in Alliance in a recent sale.
https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/prod ... ricab.html
It's an eye opener as it makes it easy to compare your mix with a reference mix that you're aiming for. It can loudness match so you are not just hearing "loudest is best".
It's normally $199 which IMHO is a bit expensive, but it might appear on sale again- might be worth signing up to their email list.
There's a similar one called "Reference"
https://www.masteringthemix.com/products/reference
It's a more reasonable £49.

Good luck whatever you do!

Thanks man. The guy I did courses with in Nashville also does one to ones but its expensive. I'll keep those guys in mind.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:06 pm

TNGator wrote:But i have no choice. Im flat broke so studios and professionals are out of the question. Maybe this is where Im getting desperate. There's probably an area of my simple small brain that thinks that courses make you better. I think the advantage of pro help is that they can tell you what youre doing wrong.

When I started there was really little alternative to hiring a studio and I found my early studio visits to be really useful although as I became more knowledgeable I started feeling that I could do better. Once we opened our own studio I still enjoyed working with other engineers and picking up new tips and tricks.

I would have to say that I'm not totally convinced by generic online courses - I'm possibly biased but I'd say that half a day's one to one tuition will give you far more relevant knowledge than a weeks worth of online courses. The reason I say that is that a good tutor will be able to spot the gaps in your knowledge that you may not be aware of and then tailor the tuition session to exactly match your needs.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:14 pm

James Perrett wrote:
TNGator wrote:But i have no choice. Im flat broke so studios and professionals are out of the question. Maybe this is where Im getting desperate. There's probably an area of my simple small brain that thinks that courses make you better. I think the advantage of pro help is that they can tell you what youre doing wrong.

When I started there was really little alternative to hiring a studio and I found my early studio visits to be really useful although as I became more knowledgeable I started feeling that I could do better. Once we opened our own studio I still enjoyed working with other engineers and picking up new tips and tricks.

I would have to say that I'm not totally convinced by generic online courses - I'm possibly biased but I'd say that half a day's one to one tuition will give you far more relevant knowledge than a weeks worth of online courses. The reason I say that is that a good tutor will be able to spot the gaps in your knowledge that you may not be aware of and then tailor the tuition session to exactly match your needs.

Id have to I agree completely with whether you want to learn to swim or record. There is a very definite budget problem however. Im not as terrible as Im making out but I do need to improve though. Im always envious of the recordings I hear on Reverb nation and such. But those are quite possibly pro recordings.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby awjoe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:27 am

blinddrew wrote:
awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote: You play live, don't you? Does what you make go beyond costs and provide a return on your investment?
Ha! Not even remotely close. If I wanted to make any money playing live I'd join a covers band - that's where the cash is round here. As an originals act you're lucky if you cover petrol. And mostly you don't get that.

Conversational Starter 1: What would you cover in a case like that?

blinddrew wrote:EDIT - correction, I've made reasonably sums busking. I'm currently trying to twist the band's arms to come out and do that but it's the usual challenge of trying to get compatible days (with good weather) and I've got a bit of a huge project on at the moment.

Conversational Starter 2: Compatible days and a good location. Location, location, location. The rest is just PR.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:11 am

awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote:
awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote: You play live, don't you? Does what you make go beyond costs and provide a return on your investment?
Ha! Not even remotely close. If I wanted to make any money playing live I'd join a covers band - that's where the cash is round here. As an originals act you're lucky if you cover petrol. And mostly you don't get that.

Conversational Starter 1: What would you cover in a case like that?
Classic rock with some more recent pop stuff lobbed in as well. Could be playing 5 nights a week for a reasonable fee without needing to travel more than 30 miles.

awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote:EDIT - correction, I've made reasonably sums busking. I'm currently trying to twist the band's arms to come out and do that but it's the usual challenge of trying to get compatible days (with good weather) and I've got a bit of a huge project on at the moment.

Conversational Starter 2: Compatible days and a good location. Location, location, location. The rest is just PR.
One of our band works alternate weekends (so that limits times straight away), but on the positive side, the centre of York is largely pedestrianised so there are lots of good spots to play.
Though as we rush towards a cashless society I do wonder how long we'll have before busking just becomes promotion rather than income.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:19 am

TNGator wrote:[Id have to I agree completely with whether you want to learn to swim or record. There is a very definite budget problem however. Im not as terrible as Im making out but I do need to improve though. Im always envious of the recordings I hear on Reverb nation and such. But those are quite possibly pro recordings.
It's always good to compare yourself to the best stuff, it gives you a bar to aim for, but a) make sure you're giving yourself a fair challenge - so make sure that you're referencing at equal loudness levels, and b) remember that this stuff has probably been produced by people with several years headstart on you - so don't beat yourself up if you're not getting there straight away.
Also, if you're recording, producing and mastering your own stuff, it's really, really, really difficult to distance yourself properly when you're working on it. You're so close to the music that you can't be properly objective.
There's stuff I did a couple of years back, which I listen to now and think, "How didn't I spot that? Why did I do that? Why didn't I try this?" But it's taken a couple of years to get the distance to listen objectively.
In an ideal world I'd do a bit of work, get it as far as I can, and then leave it at least 6 months before coming back to it.
But I'm impatient! :)
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:12 pm

TNGator wrote: Im always envious of the recordings I hear on Reverb nation and such. But those are quite possibly pro recordings.

That's where this forum can be invaluable.. maybe worth another thread, but what you aren't satisfied with your productions, with respect to these? What's different? Exploring that difference and even acquiring the vocabulary to describe it can be really useful :)
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby hobbyist » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:50 pm

awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote:And sometimes it's about available funds....

I think that music's a great way to spend money, but a lousy way to make it. ..........?


The internet and digital have made it very hard for musicians artists photographers and writers to get paid enough to live on.

For me this music stuff is a hobby and I do not throw money around when I can DIY. Besides the fun is doing the mixing and mastering myself. Spending money is painful. More so when you dont have any to waste.

Ditto for writing. I do not spends thousands for some alleged cover artiste to do a cover on a book I write. I always say if you are smart enough to write a book then you are smart enough to dl a template and do your own cover.

Covers are meant to sell books not win awards for some artiste you paid to do a cover that does not sell enough MORE books to pay for their work.

Amazon is free to publish if you do not pay for all the extra services they push.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby awjoe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:27 pm

blinddrew wrote:There's stuff I did a couple of years back, which I listen to now and think, "How didn't I spot that? Why did I do that? Why didn't I try this?" But it's taken a couple of years to get the distance to listen objectively.
In an ideal world I'd do a bit of work, get it as far as I can, and then leave it at least 6 months before coming back to it.

Make each mixing session as short as you can, and come back to it on as many different occasions as you can, building in as many sleeps as you can. And switching to a second project for a while helps my ears recalibrate more quickly for the first mix. 'A change is as good as a rest.'
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:26 pm

Kwackman wrote:On a slight tangent, I bought "ADPTR Metric AB" from Plug-in Alliance in a recent sale.
https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/prod ... ricab.html
It's an eye opener as it makes it easy to compare your mix with a reference mix that you're aiming for. It can loudness match so you are not just hearing "loudest is best".
It's normally $199 which IMHO is a bit expensive, but it might appear on sale again- might be worth signing up to their email list.

I can add a heartfelt +1 to this recommendation - I bought ADAPTR Metric AB in a sale a few months before Kwackman, and it's already lifted my mix skills a couple of levels. Apart from comparisons to various reference mixes at the same perceived volume, you can also use its filters to hear (for instance) just the bass end of your project compared with that of your references, or the midrange, high end, and so on. This makes it so much easier to hear how different aspects of your mix compare with others.

Of course there's still an element of personal taste and genre-specific trends to bear in mind, but even so this is a great way to home in on aspects of your mix as compared to others, whether they are world-class mixing/mastering professionals or just favourite artists you roll their own.


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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:05 pm

awjoe wrote:
blinddrew wrote:There's stuff I did a couple of years back, which I listen to now and think, "How didn't I spot that? Why did I do that? Why didn't I try this?" But it's taken a couple of years to get the distance to listen objectively.
In an ideal world I'd do a bit of work, get it as far as I can, and then leave it at least 6 months before coming back to it.

Make each mixing session as short as you can, and come back to it on as many different occasions as you can, building in as many sleeps as you can. And switching to a second project for a while helps my ears recalibrate more quickly for the first mix. 'A change is as good as a rest.'

Sounds like a good idea bro. Certainly worth a shot. I probably do try to do much in a single sitting. And listening to your song over and over and over has to have a fatigue factor.
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:09 pm

CS70 wrote:
TNGator wrote: Im always envious of the recordings I hear on Reverb nation and such. But those are quite possibly pro recordings.

That's where this forum can be invaluable.. maybe worth another thread, but what you aren't satisfied with your productions, with respect to these? What's different? Exploring that difference and even acquiring the vocabulary to describe it can be really useful :)

Yeah I listen to these mixes but its very hard to describe a sound in words. Theirs just sounds "better". Maybe the guitar has a better tone. Maybe its the vocals. Maybe the whole production sounds bigger, warmer, not light and tinny. It can range from any of those things. A fella can always use one of his fave pro songs as a ref. But then you're not comparing apples with apples. The latest Taylor S cut was most likely not done on an old Dell laptop with a hanging duvet LOL ..... but ya never know :) :headbang:
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Re: More money than sense?

Postby TNGator » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:13 pm

blinddrew wrote:
TNGator wrote:[Id have to I agree completely with whether you want to learn to swim or record. There is a very definite budget problem however. Im not as terrible as Im making out but I do need to improve though. Im always envious of the recordings I hear on Reverb nation and such. But those are quite possibly pro recordings.
It's always good to compare yourself to the best stuff, it gives you a bar to aim for, but a) make sure you're giving yourself a fair challenge - so make sure that you're referencing at equal loudness levels, and b) remember that this stuff has probably been produced by people with several years headstart on you - so don't beat yourself up if you're not getting there straight away.
Also, if you're recording, producing and mastering your own stuff, it's really, really, really difficult to distance yourself properly when you're working on it. You're so close to the music that you can't be properly objective.
There's stuff I did a couple of years back, which I listen to now and think, "How didn't I spot that? Why did I do that? Why didn't I try this?" But it's taken a couple of years to get the distance to listen objectively.
In an ideal world I'd do a bit of work, get it as far as I can, and then leave it at least 6 months before coming back to it.
But I'm impatient! :)

Thanks bro. Yes i take your point. It is hard to keep that distance. But i think AWJOE made a very good suggestion below when saying try keep your sessions short. Maybe by doing that and keep going to a reference track it might help in that regard. I've a tendency to try and too much in one sitting. Thats probably not a good thing.
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