You are here

Can’t get that “Record” sound.

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby pillorygem » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:41 pm

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!
pillorygem
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:34 pm

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby desmond » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:55 pm

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:
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9201
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby blinddrew » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:26 pm

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).
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9435
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby pillorygem » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:29 pm

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!
pillorygem
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:34 pm

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby Wonks » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:37 pm

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
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10685
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby CS70 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:34 pm

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. :)
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4933
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby pillorygem » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:51 am

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!
pillorygem
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:34 pm

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:30 am

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.
Jack Ruston
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3790
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:00 am

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:27 am

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.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13711
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby Zukan » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:54 am

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.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8492
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby Alba » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:59 am

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
Alba
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1275
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Airstrip 1, Eurasia

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby OneWorld » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:40 pm

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.
OneWorld
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2715
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:00 am

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby G-Doubleyou » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:34 pm

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:
User avatar
G-Doubleyou
Frequent Poster
Posts: 956
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:00 am
G-Dub Studio G-fx 2011 15inch 2.0GHz quad-core i7 Macbook Pro, LPX 10.3.2
2.3 GHz quad-core i7 Mini

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:05 am

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
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 15130
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Can’t get that “Record” sound.

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:40 am

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
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11506
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Next