You can play all day, but with recording, the real sound is all in the mix. Mixing a song with different sounds, can help you to achieve a variety of things, and is one of the most important tools for putting your song together with the different instrumentation and capabilities. Defining the process of mixing and how you can use it effectively will make all the difference in how your song sounds in the end.
The first thing to recognize is that there are two areas where mixing takes place. The first is before anyone records onto a track. All of the mixings that takes place at this point happens between the musicians and through the soundboard. This type of mixing will help to define the instrumentation for the computer software programs as well as for the musicians that are working with the mixer. The most important part of this type of mixing is to make sure that all of the instrumentation is leveled and even with each other. It is not necessarily finding a blend, but instead, creating similar volume levels and even balance between the different instruments. This also helps to prepare the tracks for the final recording, which will include noise gates and deadening the sound so that the waves are able to be manipulated.
This stage of mixing is then redefined after all of the tracks are recorded. The mixing process after this point is dependent on finding the individual instruments, their strong areas, and making sure that they sound right with those areas. By the time you begin mixing within the software program that you are using, all of the instruments should be normalized. This means that the peak points of the waves will be at the same number that is calculated through the noise levels of the wave.
Mixing then becomes a way to enhance the individual instruments through the piece. While doing this, you will want to be thinking of the other instruments and how they link to this; however, this is not as important as the need to bring out the best in the instrument that you are using. There are a variety of components that you can use to do this and to make sure that your mix, in the end, has a better sound.
The first part of the mix that you can use is enhancing the sound through special effects. Each of the instruments can have their own or can have equal effects that allow everything to sound unique. Things like creating effects for a certain type of room so that there is more resonance to building reverb around instruments are all effective parts of the mixing process that enhances the instruments.
After you have the effects, you can take the wave files and make sure that the necessary areas of each instrument are enhanced. You will want to create things such as volume envelopes throughout the piece in order to bring out individual instruments in some places and to let them be in the background in other areas. This will help you to define what you want to come out the most in the song. You will also want to create levels of highs and lows within the waves of the individual instruments so that everything remains balanced within the song and with the specific instrument. The last step to the mixing process is defining the volume level and figuring out whether you want to move the levels up or keep them the same. Remember to always give yourself a room with the volume levels so that you can balance out the levels during the pre-mastering and mastering stages as well.
By the end of the mixing process within the software program, you will be able to have all of the instruments equalized out with their volume levels, effects, and different areas of sound. This will allow you to begin to blend in the instruments, first individually and then as a group. By understanding the details of mixing, you will have more abilities to create the exact sound that you want for your piece.
Having the right equipment for a recording studio isn’t enough in order to get the right sounds for your music. If you want to make sure that everything is in the right place, you will also want to think about the way in which things are spaced out and how you can work with that in your recording studio.
The first thing you will want to consider setting up a recording studio is how much room you will need in order for everyone to be comfortable. This means that you will need to have plenty of room to fit an average of five to ten people. If you want more people to come in, space out how much room each one will need in order to feel comfortable within your space. The size of the room as far as feet will not change the way that anything sounds, so if you think a bigger space, it is probably better.
The second part of this is dividing the space between engineering and the playing. While this is not as important as it used to be, it helps for monitoring as well as mixing the sounds while others are playing. Typically, you will see one room that is divided into two. One space is for the musicians while the other is for the soundboard, mixing and mastering while those who are working are playing. This creates a better soundproof area for your recording.
With the engineering area, it is expected that everything will be in a range where you can quickly get to it and change the sounds as it is going. Having everything within your arms reach, such as the mixing board and the software, will help you to be more consistent and effective while recording other instrumentation.
The area in which the musicians are will then need to be built in a specific way. It is best to have very thin carpeting or wood floors, as this causes the sound to not be absorbed. Lower ceilings will also help to keep the sound compacted. If you have wood flooring or no carpet, you will want to consider buffering the ceiling or placing an area rug around the space in which the musicians are working. This will help to keep the sound from bouncing. On the side of the walls should be foam in order to keep the sound deadened as well. You will only want to foam certain sides, depending on the shape of the room, it’s the size, and how it is built. If the noise becomes deadened, it will be harder to get the right mix when recording.
Another part that should be kept in mind with the musician’s area is with the voices. If you are planning on putting vocals on any recording, you will need to have a separate area for the microphones, again, depending on the size of the room. Often times, vocal boxes will be used in order to trap all of the sounds. For home recorders with a minimum budget, things such as closets will work in order to keep the sound in the right space.
Of course, each recording studio will differ according to the best way that you work, the type of instrumentation that you have, who you plan on recording, and what your needs are at the time. Before you start with your recording studio, it is best to plan out the most legitimate way to organize your equipment and your needs so that everything can be effective once it is set up.
No matter what your budget, needs or playing capacities, having a recording studio that allows you to produce professional music is an important factor in creating the right sounds and mixes. The more you plan out for your studio, and the more capacities that you have with dividing the spaces correctly and with having the right equipment, the easier it will be to create the right sounds.
Welcome to a series of articles in which we are going to delve into the world of Hip Hop production, promotion, and in between a little of everything that goes into the making, marketing, and selling of your music, Hip Hop music specifically. And what’s so different about Hip Hop from any other form of music that makes this series necessary, well music is music this is true and the basic outline of what I’m going to tell you will remain the same for any form of music that you choose to produce, as a matter of fact, it will work in any field of endeavor which you decide is for you in life so keep this in mind and with that settled let’s get on with getting you on the road to producing those sure-fire hits that will provide you with a steady income for the foreseeable future. Now before we go any further I have a confession to make so that you’re under no illusions as to who I am and where I stand on this platform of Hip Hop and the first thing I should say is that I’m from London in England, no I’m not from New York so if you think this disqualifies me from writing or passing on valuable information then please you have my permission to leave the class but for the rest of you who are more concerned with where I’m at rather than where I’m from this is going to get really interesting from here on in so hold on to your hats as we go on a journey to get you to where you need to be, earning a living from those hot tracks you keep on producing.
So, where was I? Oh yes transported to the release of my first Hip Hop song during the real golden era of Hip Hop when if you didn’t have skills you couldn’t even touch a mic or the decks, when Eric B & Rakim, BDP, Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, and NWA were ruling the roost along with Salt and Pepa, MC Lyte, Audio Two, Roxanne Shante, and the list goes on, you see I’m just telling you a little about my background to highlight my history and just to fully qualify it, have you ever listened to It Takes a Nation of Millions the LP? Of course, you have you’re a hip-hopper, well if you listen carefully to the crowd in the segues you will hear me as I was there, I’m not new to this I’ve been listening from the beginning and making it from the Golden Age of the mid to late ’80s onwards and I adore, no I love this thing we call Hip Hop.
I live this too from the way I think to the actions I take I’m Hip Hop down to my toes and before we embark it’s important for you to understand my perspective as it will be the driving force behind my thoughts and opinions, I don’t subscribe to a 1990’s way of Hip Hop although everyone seems to fiend over that period of time now and the so musical sound and style from that era, no I came up with Hip Hop from the beginning of its recorded history which is in the 1980s.
Yes, I’m well aware that 1979 was when the first songs were put down on Wax but it’s the 80’s where it grew up and formed its own identity and I’ve been in this since that time, Kangol hat on, baseball cap turned around or whatever but that’s where I come from and why I can say to you that the knowledge you will learn now will stay with you and put you way ahead of the pack in your pursuit to become the best producer and entrepreneur you can possibly be but before we can become the best it’s important to know exactly what a producer is.
Now I know it seems like the most obvious thing but many people are quite confused as to what a producer really is and does, not a Hip Hop producer cause Hip Hop is music like any other form of music so let’s not be too specific here, but a producer is a person responsible for the overall sound, direction and the final mix, the finished product so to speak, that doesn’t mean he plays all the instruments if any are played at all, makes a beat, samples a record or even mixes it down, what it means is that he manages the project from start to finish.
If there is someone you need to perform some scratches, an MC (Rapping (or rhyming, spitting,emceeing,MCing[_that you want to rhyme over a song, you need some keys or a bass player or someone who can chop up samples well that’s the job of the producer to hire the appropriate person or people, how about you get sent an idea but it needs something to really bring it out, well it’s the job of the producer to either see what it needs or find someone who can bring it out. It does not necessarily equate to physically doing anything on the boards or at the computer or however else you make music, what the role of the producer boils down to is bringing that final product to fruition.
In the last article I spoke on the role of the producer, many people see the producer as the person who makes the beat, comes up with the sample idea, creates the track, plays the melody and bassline and then mixes it down when in truth quite often they do none of these things at all, especially in this day and time where there are people called in just to mix a song, a musician to play or replay some music cause you don’t wish to pay for a sample or someone particularly good at sampling which is a lost art in this day and time, yes just as there are many ways to skin a cat there are many ways to make a record.
What’s important to say is that a producer or let’s be honest about this, you are the person who oversees all of the elements and manages the whole mish-mash until it’s no longer a mishmash but a song, and I do mean a song, not a track or a beat but a song which is so much more than a beat but a fully matured composition that can include intro, verse, chorus, bridge and all the other elements that seem to be missing in Hip Hop today and it’s your job to make sure all these elements are there so that your toe-tapping head-nodding banger can stand a chance in today’s market, it’s not going to be easy but between your skills and my advice we gon’ be alright to coin a popular phrase and rapper.
So anyway, that concludes the overview of the producer but still, there is one aspect of the studio along with the producer I need to touch upon which is vital and you all know what that is right?
No amount of words can overstate the importance of a good engineer, it’s a vital component of every great studio and producers arsenal and although given more credit these days musicians are still a long way from fully appreciating the skills and importance of a good let alone a great engineer, this is the person who sits alongside you as a producer and really helps to craft the tracks, maybe to give room and space so that a sample can breathe, adds a little weight to push along the bass or some mids to highlight that vocal sample you inserted into the track, yes this is the unknown hero who stays late at night and arrives early in the morning to set things up, even in this day of computers and full recall and automation there has to be that someone who keeps track of what’s going on and who often is the real person that physically rides faders, pushes switches and buttons and gets just that right blend for the song, who hears that errant splash of the open hi hat clashing with the sample and gently gives it a cut in the high end to balance things out, it pays to understand this role as well as the producers role because let’s face it, you’re probably going to be the person that does both especially in the beginning when you are building your skills up.
Learning about engineering enables you to at least know what the engineer is doing when you pay for an outside studio and whether to some degree they even know what they’re doing so my advice to you in the early stages is do this all yourself, learn the art and craft of making a beat and producing the music as the more you know the better off you will be.
Learning the art of the studio is important, finding a studio that you can record out of is just as important because you need to feel comfortable in that environment enough to be creative and a good studio will give you that feeling. It’s similar to a good friend with whom you can just be yourself, it should accommodate your needs in terms of what you want and when you need it and it’s for this reason that I recommend that as early as possible you set up your own personal recording studio that reflects you and enables you at any time to just turn on your equipment and do your thing.
So what equipment should you have in your studio, well this is an individual question as well as a practical one, money is usually a factor as with most things as is space and the style of music will also play a role in what you need to make your music so what I’m about to say is very much subjective, it’s based on my own experiences of recording hip hop for well over 20 and will allow you to create not only hip hop but any style of music you choose.
When choosing equipment for your studio a good computer I assume you already have, it’s wise to invest in a good DAW program, I won’t say what one to get as that’s a personal choice, for me I currently use Reaper as my main recording and editing software and Harrison Mix bus 3 as my mixdown software because for me it just has a sound which is totally in line with what I want to hear, but there’s lots of music software from Pro Tools to Logic, Cubase, Studio One, etc, some active speakers are essential even desktop ones cause you need to hear what is happening and headphones don’t always allow you to properly hear it the way you need to.
A mixer of some kind and a controller whether pads or keyboard to physically play your music help and finally to complete the package I would invest in a sampler, yes I said it a sampler they’re very cheap but also extremely versatile and they possess a unique sound, all of the above equipment can be bought relatively cheap on the second-hand market for less than £500 if you look around, recently I bought a Roland MV8000 for under £150 which allows me to do everything inside the box so shop around for what you need but know you will have to invest some money in yourself if you want to get professional results but I’ve found over the years that this in itself can be a very rewarding task as it requires you to research and in finding out about one thing you often learn about at least 1 other thing which increases your skillset.
Something I want to mention is your music collection, this is hip hop after all and it’s based on using snippets and snatches of sounds to create new music, to be successful at this I think you should at the very least understand music from the perspective of a DJ as that’s what this music is based on and it pays to understand not just to know, so go through your music collection and really start to listen to the music on a deeper more personal level not just as a fan but as a producer, as a DJ, as a musician and you’ll begin to hear it on a different level because you need to train those ears of yours to be able to hear something and create some music out of sometimes what can appear to be almost nothing, although it may not always seem so in today’s climate where you can purchase templates that practically make the music for you this is still about skills and yours are going to have to be at their sharpest, so keep practicing every day, it’s the only way you can be sure that you’re the best you can be, there will always be a place for the person who actually knows their equipment how to use it and to get the most out of it and you’d be surprised how rewarding it can be both personally and financially.
In the world of music today, collaboration is very much the order of the day and it’s a strong possibility that once you’ve created those hot tracks you’ll want to find other musicians to work with, networking is a crucial part of the puzzle that many either underestimate the value of or plain old seem to ignore in the hope that a successful career will just happen because their music is that good, and occasionally this happens and someone gets lucky due to the right ingredients coming together in some sort of serendipitous moment where the stars align and fortune smiles on them, but they’re not you and luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, you need to be prepared for your chance otherwise it will pass you by so let’s look at how you can be fully prepared to meet the challenge of promoting yourself and your music and giving you the best chance to be successful which after all is what we’re aiming to be.
Getting out there, as they say, is always the hard part, far more difficult to navigate these murky waters than just making music is the art of selling your music, promoting it, getting people to listen so that they can appreciate your art and the blood sweat and tears that has gone into your masterpieces, and it requires some real thought, the first thing you’re going to need is a place to showcase and highlight your work and you already know what I’m going to say here, yes you have to have a website or an online presence and the simplest way is a YouTube channel or a Facebook page which is free, that magic word that we often want to hear and for a time your music will have to be this price too. Do not worry it will not be for long.
Now I know you want to charge for your music and eventually, we will but for now, the strategy is important and you need people to hear your music first so put it out there so that your fans can hear all this great music and keep it coming, but be selective of what you release for public consumption, don’t give everything away, a few choice cuts on a regular basis is enough, consistency is what counts here. Mixtapes can help as this allows you to showcase your music but not all of it, a minute and a half a track is all you need to show your skills and with the right packaging and branding this is a very cost-effective way to highlight exactly what and who you are and sets us up nicely to get you out there so find your glad rags we’re going out for the next part of the series which is networking.
Now that we have our product networking and connecting with people or who you know starts to come into play, you need to get out there now, see who’s listening and what they’re thinking, go to clubs, open mic sessions, anywhere that you think the people who would listen to your music are going to be and start talking and getting to know and be known.
Register with forums that actively promote music, your kind of music, and allow people to connect with you as well as connecting with them, be open to what’s going to come your way but at the same time know yourself and what you’re doing and be strong in understanding you.
By that I mean to know who you are and don’t compromise your principles for a quick buck, it’s easy to just conform to what’s going on right now, to want to be the next Jay Z but in truth, the world really doesn’t need another Jay Z, honestly, we really don’t, but what we do need is You to be You cause you are different from everyone else and that’s the angle we are coming from, the approach of individuality in a sea of conformity allows you to stand out from the rest so do You cause nobody can do that better and believe me, in the long run, it’s far easier to be an original of you than a copy of someone else and more rewarding, trust me on that one.
If you really want to produce Hip Hop for a living for this to work there are a few key areas that you have to look at to ensure you’re doing the right things in order to get the right results, unless you have that burning desire and passion for music it’s going to be an uphill struggle in my opinion cause this is a creative business and they’re always tough to succeed in mainly cause we give up when the going gets tough, but if you really love something you’ll persevere and this is one of the key areas that you have to develop.
Of course, it goes without saying you need to develop your music and musical skills and this is paramount but that covers only a portion of what you must learn and dare I say it not the biggest element you need to develop, I would hazard a guess that it’s the promotion and marketing, the selling of your music that will take the most time and leave you most frustrated with.
So let’s just cover this again and summarise what this has been about, we began by looking at the fact that you desire to produce Hip Hop and this means you need to know how to do this, that means looking at the role of a producer and what they do, we also looked at the engineering role that you must also take on, after that, we looked at the fact you need to acquire the right equipment to do the job, we examined what you need to make music and also where you can make it, concluding that at home is always best, to begin with mainly as it’s your environment and you know it best.
We then covered the aspect of networking and connecting with people like yourself who also make music and how to get to know them, no person is an island complete onto themselves, you will at some point need the help of others and when this time comes you must be open to other points of view whilst still maintaining your own thoughts and ideas allowing growth to take a hold of the situation.
From there we also discussed what to do once you have the product, online is where it all happens nowadays so be prepared to build up a fanbase by tapping into Facebook, YouTube and all manner of music forums that enable you to promote yourself as the in-demand producer you are or at least are preparing to be, from mixtapes to exclusive singles to remixes of popular tracks there are many ways to get yourself out there and that’s the bottom line here, people need to hear about you and that’s part of your job to promote yourself.
The real you and your music, what about setting up a label to release your material, it’s simple enough to begin and there are many sites that will work with you for a fee or percentage where you don’t have to make an initial outlay or at the very least it will be an affordable sum, there are many ways in which you can promote your expertise, have you thought about performing live, doing shows, it’s another avenue that gives you exposure and possibly a little income and those small successes give you the courage to keep on doing this and that’s what we want. For you to keep on going in the knowledge that eventually with some great music, a little ingenuity, and a lot of hard work you’ll get to where you need to be, so now that you have all the tools to get going what you waiting for.
Start producing your next masterpiece, and Good Luck.
You finally have finished recording your piece, front to back, and think that you are ready to mix everything together. But, before you start, you notice that there is one little glitch right in the middle. Before you start over again or start to give up with your song, find the tools that will work so that you can get the recording right.
Software that is designed in the recording is always designed with the human element in mind. This means that you can play the instrument the way that you best know-how, then create a way to get the exact sound that you want later. While you want to be exact while you record, you can be somewhat merciful in knowing that this sometimes doesn’t happen, then find the right tools to put it back together again.
One of the greatest software tools that can be used is punch-ins. This allows you to flag a certain area that you want to re-do. You will be able to go back a certain number of seconds and replay. You will then move into the area that needs re-done and record over what was already recorded. You will be able to continue to play afterward in order to fade back out and put everything together right.
With this option, you want to make sure that you can put all of the sound waves next to each other. With some programs, the punch-ins will slightly divide once starting. Giving yourself enough room to prepare for the punch in as well as creating a seamless tie together of the two will help you to put everything together.
Once you have all of the instrumentation exactly right, you can start putting in the right sounds. This is oftentimes called the pre-mixing stage and is used in order to make your instrumentation have the right effects and resonance within your instrument. You always want to do this before you reach the mixing stage as it will oftentimes make a difference in the volume as well as the way in which the instrument mixes with other instruments.
The pre-mixing stage will always begin with the normalization process. This is simply taking the setting of the waves and making it so that it peaks out on both ends. When you normalize something, the frequencies will go up or down. You should see the waves change in order to reach maximum and minimum peaks at both ends. If you have your volume set correctly, everything will normalize to be around the same peaks, allowing you to mix together the sounds easier.
After this, you can set the sound that you want in the end for your instrumentation. This moves into reverb options, flange, effects, fades and other instrumentation effects that add in extra color to your instrumentation. When you do this, you should make sure that you work with what will sound the best with your instrument and how it will change the sounds within your song. Once you start to hear the right sounds for your instrumentation, you can preset this part and allow for time-saving options when getting ready to mix.
After this stage, you will be ready to start the mixing and mastering of instruments. Your checklist for the pre-mixing stage is to simply make sure that your individual instruments have the right sound that you want for the entire mix. This starts with the smoothness you will want from the song and moves into the options for getting the sounds that add a little bit extra into the mix of your individual instrument.
If you have a home studio or a small set-up for your recording studio, you are probably familiar with the blues of the recording process. It includes the downtimes of having to listen to the same things over and over again, trying to hear the different levels and parts of the instruments several times, and spending hours just to get to the end of the road.
It’s the recording blues that stop hundreds of small bands from completing a song and taking ten years to get their next album out. The difficulties that come with recording and the process that has to be done can be tedious, frustrating and can cause to burn out of either the songs, members or others who are working on the song.
If you are recording, and even if it is by yourself, you don’t want to stop until you complete the song. The levels of satisfaction that can be achieved can help you to do greater and better things and can help to influence those around you to do the same. There are several perspectives that allow for the benefits of finishing the song to be a part of what you are doing. Sticking with the process, learning what you need to, and plowing forward will eventually get you to the end result and allow you to be even more effective with your music and creativity.
If you’re feeling down about your recording, keep in mind your end goal. Keep visualizing yourself at the end of the road and how this will affect everyone else. This begins with the achievements that this is able to bring you and what you have accomplished with the song. This is something that many don’t have the will power, desire or capacity to do. That already puts you ahead of the game.
More than that, never stop thinking about what your fans or potential fans would think if you have a song out and how this will influence them. Finishing the recording process and getting the song into the public opens doors for you to make connections in a positive way and to do what you need in order to share your creative process with others. Whether it is one person or fifty million, this part of the process is one that can be effective and make you want to set the next date to record your next song.
In the recording, it is not necessarily the end goal of the song, even though this will bring rewards individually and towards those around you. It is also the process of being able to hear your pieces in a different way and to manipulate the sounds from an engineering point of view, instead of just a performance point of view. If you haven’t stopped to enjoy the process of putting together your song, start listening to a little bit differently for the way that things fall together within the process.
The main advice for recording your song is to keep the different perspectives in mind. While the entire process may be tedious and difficult, allowing yourself to enjoy the process and think of the end benefits can help you to further your career as a recording producer and engineer as well as a musician who is able to share creativity with others.
Software products, theories, and preferences within the recording industry have taken over the best to the worst options in what to use in order to get the perfect CD. Recording engineers and specialists always spend their time thinking about the best way to mix and master a wav file and the way to really get the job done. However, the need to have specific measurements for different software and hardware is one that is not necessarily important.
No matter what you record with, the brand that you use or the software that is a part of your studio, there is only one general rule that you need to remember. That is that a wave file is just a wave file. The sound that goes into the computer from your instrument will always be that same wave file, no matter what you try to use, change, or create to make it the perfect wave file.
This means that the software that you use, the way that you plug in your information for recording, and the type of instruments you use will all lead to the same thing. The sound wave. No matter how many theories or ideas cross over into what the ‘best’ is, it always comes back to this one general term. This is important not only to not become overwhelmed by the amount of information available but also to recognize that the entire process of recording is based around this one concept and how you can use it the best.
What one should be looking at in terms of thewav files is what can be done in order to create the best sound. You want your mixing and mastering to lead you to the sound that fits you as being a unique and creative sound. You also want it to keep a certain level of control with volume as well as clarity. With every step in the mixing and mastering process, this is what should be in mind first, not necessarily what you go through to get it there.
Beyond this, your rule of thumb should be how to make the wave files to perform at their best. This relates to taking care of the peaks and the low points so that it sounds in a way that is best suited to whatever format you are putting it in, as well as the abilities to create a complete sound to the ear.
The reason why these should have priority is that it is the demonstration of the wave file to the ear that becomes the most important thing in the end. If you can remember this as your end goal with the recording, you can go through whatever is needed in order to make the correct associations with the songs that you are playing.
The importance of the wave file is that it is your communication of music. Because of this, you want to make sure that you use the correct tools and the ones that are best suited to what you need. This isn’t something that needs to be associated with the instrumentation, software or amount of things that you have in your studio. If you know how to use a wave file and how to create the best sound than you are on your way to making a professional CD.
If you are getting ready to step into a studio to record, make sure that you start thinking before you ever put foot close to the microphone. While recording has allowed for new wonders and expectations to be met with music, there is still the need to do some old fashioned needs to make sure that your songs are worth the extra track. The following are ten tips that you can remember to make sure you have thearrangement correct before you begin recording.
1.Balance. Is your instrumentation balanced? You should have an even amount of ranges, from low to high. If you have too much of one and not enough of another, your recording might not sound so great.
2.Harmonies. You want to make sure that there is some good support going into the melody of your song. Without the right harmonies or alternative sounds to the melody, it will sound like your song is missing a piece of the puzzle.
3.Musical arrangement. This is based completely on the ability to organize the instrumentation in the song. Not only should it be balanced, but it should also include contrasts and similarities in how the music follows what you are trying to say. If you are stuck with creating instrumentation that fits, get into some basic theory concepts to assist you.
4.Spacing. More important than all of the melodies and harmonies, is the room that you put in between each. This means that you don’t want to rush through your song and you don’t want to take too much time. Make sure that you give some breaks with melodies and change up the harmonies enough to keep it interesting and moving correctly.
5.Tempo. Often times, it is assumed that there is a specific tempo and that is it. However, you want to make sure that your tempos are defined and everyone follows them without missing a beat. Once you get into the studio, you don’t want anything to be off by a second, as it will cause the recording to become difficult to lay down.
6.Form. The easiest way for a listener to relate to your song from the beginning is to have the right form. If you are focused on lyrics, this will be the hook that is used during the chorus. If you are experimenting with form, make sure there is always a place in the music that goes back and keeps the attention of the listener so that they can relate to the music.
7.Variety. One of the overlooked parts of arranging is the variety that is in the song. This means that, even though you are repeating choruses or verses, make sure that you have some different movement or instrumentation in your recording.
8.Movement. The movement of the song goes beyond the tempo and into the extra small things that you do with a recording. This is what will make or break a song. Things such as dynamics, (louds and softs), ornamentation and other small add ons will help to move the song in the right way.
9.Consistency. Along with the variety of the song should be a certain consistency that lets the song fit together. This partly is related to the form of the song and also links to things such as tying the song together with the right lyrics and musical concepts. Within each of these areas, you can have some variation, but make sure that the framework allows the listener to follow what you are doing.
10.Creativity. Of course, this should never be left behind. All too often are musical ideas that are heard that are close to what was heard before. The first rule to a good song is always to let yourself go, follow your creativity, and let the rest fall into place.
With these simple tricks are ways that you can improve your song and get it recording ready. From this, you will be able to make sure that your songs and pieces are polished, stand out from the crowd and get your voice heard among other musicians.
It’s finally time to put the voice into a sound wave format. Before you start singing your favorite notes, you will want to make sure that everything is set up correctly. The voice is the trickiest part of the recording as well as the very last step to getting everything incorrectly. Before you begin, know exactly how to approach your notes.
Your first step to recording your voice is to not record your voice. This means that you will want to have everything else exactly as it should be. The rest of your instrumentation should be completed, including everything from the layering of instruments to the mixing. Putting the voice in before you have anything else done will cause slight confusion in the end from all musicians and may cause some parts of the track to be off.
After you have everything set, prepare your recording studio in the correct way for voice. This means that you should have an enclosed space to record, which doesn’t cause the voice to bounce off the walls from the resonance. The microphone should be set in place to pick up all sides of the voice but should be able to muffle the rest of the sounds in the room. The more enclosed and deadened the sound, the easier it will be to capture the voice.
One of the important parts of recording the voice is linked to the peaks in the voice. It is easy for a vocal sound to peak, meaning that the sound wave goes past the maximum and into a ‘red zone’ of volume. You will want to prevent this from happening and keep the voice condensed in a specific area. Remember, it is always easier to get louder, but it is harder to get softer. For this purpose, compressors have been created. This is set into the microphone and compresses the sound wave before it is recorded into the software. Always check the compression of the voice and the peaks that it has so that you have room to work with the volume.
From this point, it is a matter of putting the right mixes in for the voice. Equalizers or EQs will help to get the right sounds of the high and low frequencies in and should always be set on the mixer as well as within the software. You will also want to consider things such as noise gates, which stops the sound from resonating before it is recorded. If the voice naturally resonates, the noise gate will have a cut-off point where the resonance will stop, making everything clear instead of sounding like it echoes.
After the voice is recorded, you can use it like you would any other instrument. This means that you can normalize the sound waves so that it matches with the other instruments in volume and gain. This also means that you can allow the volume to mix properly.
One of the greatest sets of tools for the voice is being able to manipulate the sound, which can be done after the normalization is complete. Reverb, flanges, and other vocal tools can add back into the voice that is taken out for compression. This will depend on the type of voice and the effect that you want to have. For example, if the voice has a slight accent or already has a strong resonance, reverb will make it sound like an echo. A clearer voice; however, will add in a little sparkle to the mix. You will want to analyze the type of voice you are working with before you add in the mix and will want to take some time to experiment with your options.
If you follow these simple sets of rules, recording the voice can move from being the hardest and most complex part of recording to being the simplest step in putting together all of the sounds. Giving yourself room to experiment with the voice and understanding what it needs in order to work right will allow you to get the exact results every time.
The entire process of recording is based on one thing; balance. Whether you are recording, mixing, mastering, or putting in the final touches, this is always the perspective that you will be using to piece everything together exactly right. By keeping some general concepts in mind every step of the way, balancing your songs can become an easier process during recording and engineering. The following are some tips that you can use as you move through the process.
1.Volume levels. If something seems off with the instrumentation at any stage, check the volume levels first. This will allow you to hear what is really going on and to balance it out correctly. This goes for certain waves that can have volume envelopes as well as instruments and the mix of all of the instruments together.
2.Frequencies. If you are stuck with sounds in your process of recording, check, and see if you have checked your frequencies lately. Every wave comes with low, medium, and high frequencies. If one of these is distorted or too high, it can through the rest of the instrumentation off.
3.Automated Set-ups. One of the popular ways for engineers to become frustrated with finding balance or not finding balance is what is glanced over. Often times, the software allows you to create automatic settings for instrumentation. Make sure that this is turned off if it doesn’t fit right so that you can have the right balance.
4.The waves. In the end, everything comes down to the wave files. Balancing will always include where the wave’s peak, where they are too low, and how they can reach a normalized sound. Making sure that your waves stay leveled at every step will keep everything even throughout the recording process.
5.Keeping it simple. One of the mistakes of new recordings that are still experimenting with the tools is to go too far with what is being done. As nice as it is to add in the extra effects, make sure that this doesn’t throw off any part of the balance or cause you to lose the right sound with your song.
6. How close is it to the middle? This is along the same lines of frequencies but has to do with the overall effects. Whether you are working with sound waves or with the entire line of instruments, make sure everything is close to the middle with your sounds.
7. Check the instruments. One of the ways to make sure that the balance is on is to make sure that everything is even with the different instruments. Many times, it will be one instrument that throws the other instruments off and causes the song to sound too high or too low. Using formulas and balances within the individual instruments first will help you to get the right balance later on in the recording process.
In the end, checking your balance within your recording will help you to get the right sound for your instrumental track. At all levels, balance with the wave files applies and helps to make the correct end product. Checking some of the basic parts that are in the recording process will help you to get everything in order and to keep it in the right space with the recording track.
The digital age has not only led to revolutions in new software and capabilities, but also an entirely new set of sounds for instrumentation. For those who are familiar with the music at all, they also know that it is no longer necessary to have live instruments to play everything or to have a person present. Computers have the capacity of substituting for any type of instrumentation you need. However, before deciding to digitalize everything, you should consider the differences between playing live or using a computer.
There are several sounds that are now becoming capable of taking the place for real instruments. MIDI was the first set of sounds that were produced which were the same as real instruments. The packages in MIDI were taken by recording live instruments on every note and turning them into a digital sound wave. As this particular type of package has evolved, so have the sounds and the ability to make the sounds seem more real and less electronic. Most MIDI packages are used only with Mac computers or as added on plugins to what already exists.
The second type of digital effect is known as VST’s, or Virtual Sound Technology. This is a generalized term that includes a wide variety of instrumentations, loops sounds and electronic effects that can be used in almost any software program. Like MIDI, VSTs take live instruments, copy the sounds, and reproduce them using digital effects. The result is a wide variety of instruments, sounds, and certain measures of general arrangements that can be used almost anywhere.
When you are recording, the question becomes whether to use the electronic capacities that are there or to move into recording live instruments. While the electronics progress, the sounds become better and somewhat capture what is being done. However, there are things to listen for and to familiarize yourself with before moving into using electronics.
The first part of the electronics that is missing from the picture is the idea of resonance. With live instruments, each note carries harmonics over it that can not be heard, as well as resonance from the strings and vibrations. The vibrations come from the strings or air hitting other air and hitting the sound. Because the MIDI and VST packages are digitalized, it will be missing this capacity and won’t be able to carry this same vibration. This is one of the largest cons of VSTs. Even with the progressions in copying the sounds, it is impossible to find ones that add in the resonance of a real instrument.
If you have no choice but to use a VST or MIDI package, you will want to consider finding ones that can play as close to the real instruments as possible. Many of the older versions of electronic sounds carry the electronic sound to them and sound like synthesizers or man-made instruments. You won’t want to use a package that doesn’t have a resemblance to the real thing. Most musicians and listeners can still tell the difference. If you want your sounds to be electronic than this will work fine. However, if you are trying to portray a real instrument, you want to make sure that it carries a sound that closely resembles the live instrument.
The major way in which you can tell whether the packages are resembling live instruments is in how you hear the instrument. You may want to compare how the packages sound to the real things. For instance, an electronic sound will sound muffled and will be closer sounding to a synthesizer than to an instrument. Unless this is the exact sound you are looking for, you will probably want to check into newer versions or updates that use better technology options.
No matter what you decide with the instrumentation to use for your recording, the most important thing to keep in mind is what you want the end sound to be like. This means that you should keep things in mind such as resonance, resemblance to the real instrument, and the electronic equivalent of that instrument. While both can remain just as effective in your arrangement, it is the small differences in sound that make a difference in what is being played.