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A few questions for beginners

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

Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby discospring » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:32 pm

1. As a beginning producer, what are the 2 biggest issues you’re dealing with?

Mine are the typical issues that stem from being a
ef37a wrote: Silly S** with a guitar or keyboard and mic
... One is technical ignorance, (eg. not understanding basics like gain-staging, dBVU/dBFS, phase, realising tracks can sound awful on the radio that sounded fine everywhere else) and the other is the consequence of the processes of writing, playing and recording being practiced as a single activity. (eg. I'm so used to them being under my control that I struggle to take up offers of recording in treated rooms through nice outboard, but it's so hard to be disciplined with stages of production, resulting in lots of faffing and left vs right brain tussles).

2. Regarding learning to produce music, what would you wish for more than anything else?

Identical ears - much younger ones. Self-discipline. A treated space solely that activity. A much better computer.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:26 am

It is easy to produce complete cr4p in a treated room (trust me, I'm an expert at this ;) ), it's impossible to produce professional recordings in an untreated one.

Certainly agree with

discospring wrote:Identical ears - much younger ones. Self-discipline. A treated space solely that activity.

but not

A much better computer.

:thumbup:
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Arpangel » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:09 am

Dave B wrote:I mean ... you do mean producer in the truest sense don't you? Not producer as in 'some geek in a bedroom with a copy of fruity loops' ...

Maybe bedrooms and loops made by some geek are the home of most of today's club music and up and coming stuff.
I don't think these people are just geeks either, exactly the opposite, they are extremely serious turned on people, well aware of what's happening, often have little money, and make the most of what they have.
A guy I know who's close to me, he has Traktor, a laptop, and an old 80's music centre to monitor on, but he's making some very interesting music, and his knowledge of music goes way beyond what I expected, I get playlists from him regularly.
He doesn't have much cash, or equipment, never been in a studio, or hired a producer, and I judged him before knowing anything about him or his music.
He's making music a lot of his friends and party goers enjoy, and I'm learning all the time, and things are changing beyond recognition from the world I come from, I waver from a reactionary dismissal, to actually just saying my time was then, and this is now, things move on, and we can't hold on to the past, I'm like a ship dragging its anchor, I have to let go and take it all on board, it's not my music and it's not my culture, I don't pretend it is, but it's there, and it's happening, and I can learn a hell of lot from it, and it's creators.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:01 pm

Just to be clear, 'producer' in the hiphop world has a very specific meaning ie the person who makes the 'beats' that rappers write their words/tunes to. It's not necessarily a producer in the sense that some people here are using — the George Martins etc. And by 'beats' I mean the ready-made, finished tracks, over which the rapper will write and perform. These producers might get involved in recording the vocals etc and mixing/mastering the track, at the more pro end of the marketplace, but very often they'll simply sell their beats as stereo files, stems or individual tracks. Don't know if the OP meant this kind of producer but to young hiphop artists that's what they'll recognise as a producer these days.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Mayonline » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:43 pm

Hello, a couple of things I struggle with is EQ and compression.
When I watch tutorials, I am unable to hear the differences most of the time when they A/B these from being off and on.
Cheers
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:14 pm

Mayonline wrote:Hello, a couple of things I struggle with is EQ and compression.
When I watch tutorials, I am unable to hear the differences most of the time when they A/B these from being off and on.

This is not uncommon, especially when learning and when using online resources due to the inherent audio degradation involved in streaming.

Many of the changes are more obvious if you replicate them in your own environment on good reproduction equipment but even then, they can be really, really subtle. Learning to listen out for these tiny changes is worth perservering with.

Having spent quite a lot of time with a professional mix engineer working on a track of mine in recent months, one big takeaway for me was that a good mix can be the result of a number of tiny tweaks rather than something major. On their own these tweaks may be borderline unnoticeable but when they are all stacked up together they make all the difference.

Mixing in an acoustically treated environment is also a real ear-opener. Things can sound quite different if you move your head as little as a foot or two in one direction or another :)
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby ef37a » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:17 pm

Mayonline wrote:Hello, a couple of things I struggle with is EQ and compression.
When I watch tutorials, I am unable to hear the differences most of the time when they A/B these from being off and on.
Cheers

Rather an obvious point but you can only hear the effect of any EQ when there are frequencies in the signal that come under the setting! Likewise, compression will only be detected when the signal exceeds the threshold. Put 2 minutes of white noise up and have a play with a parametric!

Top guys like Hugh will also tell you that it takes some training and lot of experience to discern subtle changes in a music track.

I have never seen this mentioned in any forum but it might be as well for any budding 'producers' to get their hearing properly check before embarking on a career in sound?

Dave.
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Re: A few questions for beginners

Postby Mayonline » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:19 pm

Thanks for the response. I had thought that poor quality streams may contribute to not noticing the differences but good that you've confirmed this. Cheers
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