Metal Guitarist Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is pretty much the first thing I've ever recorded. I have no clue about mixing, mastering, or how to apply effects to make things sound good. This has no effects applied, no compression, no EQ, no anything, because I don't know how to do that.

And it only took about 4 hours to make this minute and a half song lol.

Advice is appreciated, like how do I make the lead guitar tone sound better?



The original for reference:

 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
As someone who gets off on doing metal versions of video game themes, I think you're off to a fantastic start!

I think I'd want to hear the rhythm guitars be a tad louder (or at least more prominent through EQ) and a bit less gain to start with. The synths and piano sounds are really solid for what you're going for, don't know that I'd mess with those too much.
 

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not bad for a first recording. I'd suggest a bit less gain all around.
Do you mean gain as in distortion or gain as in something else?

As someone who gets off on doing metal versions of video game themes, I think you're off to a fantastic start!
Heck yeah!

I think I'd want to hear the rhythm guitars be a tad louder (or at least more prominent through EQ) and a bit less gain to start with.
This was actually the second rendering I did. In the first one the rhythm guitars were even quieter. I'll see what I can do about making them more prominent. And same gain question to you: do you mean gain as in guitar distortion or like volume/preamp/something else?

The synths and piano sounds are really solid for what you're going for, don't know that I'd mess with those too much.
Cool. That synth sound is from Oatmeal.
 

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I doubletracked the lead using another setting with a bit less distortion along with the original one. It sounds a bit better now.

The setting for the lead guitar I used originally sounds good when I play, but not so good when I record it. A setting with less distortion doesn't sound as good when I'm just playing but seems to sound better when I record it. How bizarre.

I also fixed a couple mistakes and gave the song a legit ending. I'll upload that one tomorrow.
 

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
K here's the final (unmixed) version. I doubletracked the lead guitar with the second track having less distortion, lowered the volume of the keyboard harmony on the second chorus, and added a real ending instead of just having tracks randomly stop.


Once I learn how to mix and use compression and stuff it will probably sound better.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
"Not a bad start"? Heh, you should hear my earliest recordings. :lol:

My feedback... Little squiggle, but you'd be surprised how much this helps - I can hear some string noise on the bass before it comes in. Trim it out until JUST before the first note comes in. Also, the bass kind of disappears after the intro. It probably needs to come up a little, but you should probably try compressing it a bit to even it out some, which I suspect would also help.

Lead tone, IMO, could stand to have a bit more midrange and a slightly smoother high end; this is very subjective, but listen to how the synth sits in the mix vs. how your lead does, it's definitely thicker in the midrange and if you were going to stack them against each other that might be a good quality to have (a brighter lead and a middier synth) but I think a thicker lead tone would be nice here. Sounds like you added either a bit of chorus or flange to the lead in the newest mix - whatever it is helps it sit a little better, but Im a huge fan of stereo delay on lead guitars, not to the point where its obtrusive but where you can hear faint repeats left and right in the mix. Similarly, the synth is bone dry - it's begging for a fairly wet delay in the intro, I think.

Pretty solid for your first recording, though, man.
 

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"Not a bad start"? Heh, you should hear my earliest recordings. :lol:

My feedback... Little squiggle, but you'd be surprised how much this helps - I can hear some string noise on the bass before it comes in. Trim it out until JUST before the first note comes in. Also, the bass kind of disappears after the intro. It probably needs to come up a little, but you should probably try compressing it a bit to even it out some, which I suspect would also help.

Lead tone, IMO, could stand to have a bit more midrange and a slightly smoother high end; this is very subjective, but listen to how the synth sits in the mix vs. how your lead does, it's definitely thicker in the midrange and if you were going to stack them against each other that might be a good quality to have (a brighter lead and a middier synth) but I think a thicker lead tone would be nice here. Sounds like you added either a bit of chorus or flange to the lead in the newest mix - whatever it is helps it sit a little better, but Im a huge fan of stereo delay on lead guitars, not to the point where its obtrusive but where you can hear faint repeats left and right in the mix. Similarly, the synth is bone dry - it's begging for a fairly wet delay in the intro, I think.

Pretty solid for your first recording, though, man.
Whoa thanks for the advice!

The little bit of chorus sound is because I doubletracked the lead guitars and I didn't play it exactly the same each time, so it ended up sounding like a chorus effect.

Yeah man I need to learn how to adjust EQ, use compression, etc. I only have the plugins that come with Reaper. I know there's an EQ one and one or two compressions but I don't know how to use them yet.

I will play around with it some more and see what I can come up with.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
Trial and error is a great way to start - you can actually do a LOT with the stock Reaper plugs - I'm not wild about the reverb, but ReaVerb has support for external impulses, and there are a ton of good free impulses on the net (I've been using the Bricasti samples). ReaEQ is excellent and pretty CPU-efficient, and the compressor is totally serviceable, too.

There's a whole bunch of good reading on how to approachEQing a mix - the Slipperman thread stickied is great, as is the Systematic Mixing/Ermz stuff up there as well.

Eqing a mix is, in a sentence, figuring out what doesn't work and what clashes, and getting rid of it. A pretty good tip I picked up from the Ermz stuff is that if you want to really hone in on problems in your ghuitar sound, it can help by initially turning the guitar sup a little TOO loud in the mix, as this can kind of help your ear immediate;y hone in on the problem frequencies so you can then start cutting them away. This works well enough for other instruments, as well.

Compression's a whole different beast - what you're doing is adjusting the dynamic range of instruments, and that's a little harder to hear (especially at first) than how bright or dark or midrangey something is. I guess that the obvious application of compression is using it to even out the dynamic range of something and making it "swing" less and therefore be more stable in the mix, but much more than that it's worth thinking about the range of control a compressor gives you over a sound - by varying the threshold (the point at which the compressor kicks in), the attack (how quickly it kicks in once the threshold has been breached) and the release (how long after the attack it stays engaged) as well as the ratio (the amound of gain reduction - 4:1 means that a signal that exceeds the threshold by 4db will only exceed by 1db in the compressor's output), you have a tremendous amount of avility to reshape a sound. For example, a low threshold and a slow attack coupled with a relatively high ratio will actually bring out the attack of a sound by clamping down on the body and sustain, if dialed in right.

But, just play around a lot, and listen to what happens. Developing your ear is the most important thing you can do here.
 

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Trial and error is a great way to start - you can actually do a LOT with the stock Reaper plugs - I'm not wild about the reverb, but ReaVerb has support for external impulses, and there are a ton of good free impulses on the net (I've been using the Bricasti samples). ReaEQ is excellent and pretty CPU-efficient, and the compressor is totally serviceable, too.

There's a whole bunch of good reading on how to approachEQing a mix - the Slipperman thread stickied is great, as is the Systematic Mixing/Ermz stuff up there as well.

Eqing a mix is, in a sentence, figuring out what doesn't work and what clashes, and getting rid of it. A pretty good tip I picked up from the Ermz stuff is that if you want to really hone in on problems in your ghuitar sound, it can help by initially turning the guitar sup a little TOO loud in the mix, as this can kind of help your ear immediate;y hone in on the problem frequencies so you can then start cutting them away. This works well enough for other instruments, as well.

Compression's a whole different beast - what you're doing is adjusting the dynamic range of instruments, and that's a little harder to hear (especially at first) than how bright or dark or midrangey something is. I guess that the obvious application of compression is using it to even out the dynamic range of something and making it "swing" less and therefore be more stable in the mix, but much more than that it's worth thinking about the range of control a compressor gives you over a sound - by varying the threshold (the point at which the compressor kicks in), the attack (how quickly it kicks in once the threshold has been breached) and the release (how long after the attack it stays engaged) as well as the ratio (the amound of gain reduction - 4:1 means that a signal that exceeds the threshold by 4db will only exceed by 1db in the compressor's output), you have a tremendous amount of avility to reshape a sound. For example, a low threshold and a slow attack coupled with a relatively high ratio will actually bring out the attack of a sound by clamping down on the body and sustain, if dialed in right.

But, just play around a lot, and listen to what happens. Developing your ear is the most important thing you can do here.
Do people use compressor on individual tracks, or on the master track, or both?

Also, question about compression:

I have SampleTank and Miroslav Philharmonik, and I noticed that a lot of the string ensemble sounds are slow to kick in, like they take a second to come to full volume. Now this is cool for slower stuff but not for playing something fast because the note doesn't get loud enough in time. I was playing around with some of the SampleTank plugins and I noticed that for some of the slower string sounds, using compression made the attack much faster. Why? Is that because as it equalizes the output of the sound, the quieter beginning gets made louder?
 

·
Black Metal Bunny
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
Is that because as it equalizes the output of the sound, the quieter beginning gets made louder?
Yes.

You apply compression to anything you want to change the dynamic range of - individual tracks, to get them to have a more even, consistent dynamic range within the mix (or, to accentuate or smooth out the attack, whichever). So, really, both 0 definitely on individual tracks, but compression is also a huge part of mastering a mix, and a lot of engineers will throw a compressor on the master bus towards the end of mixing just to get a sense of how the compression from mastering will change it (though, take it off for your final mixdown).
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top