Getting that full sound

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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factual35
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Getting that full sound

Post by factual35 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:00 am

OK I have good equipment, and the main difference I hear between my music and pro music is "fullness". Professional music sounds very full, and there can be just one instrument playing and it still sounds awesome. What's creating that sound? Is it compression? If so what affordable hardware or software compressors would be good finished mixes?

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by shaft9000 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:28 am

- invest in quality monitors
- acoustic treatment
- layering (here's your technique -it may be one sound but that doesn't mean it's only one instrument)
- careful EQ
- monitoring on a variety of systems

-compression has little to do with it, and you're apt to turn mixes to shite until you learn the other things 1st; i know i have many times :)
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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by GeneralBigbag » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:41 am

shaft9000 wrote:- invest in quality monitors
- acoustic treatment
- careful EQ
- monitoring on a variety of systems
+100000

If you can't hear what your recordings sound like, it's very hard to figure out what's wrong with them. Look into what you can do to improve the acoustics of the space you work in, get good monitors, if you have the money, get good DA converters, and then learn how EQ works when you can really hear what it does.
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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:29 am

The difference is that they've been mixed by somebody who knows what they're doing. You don't just buy good gear and expect the result to come out better, you need to know how to use it.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:24 pm

+

- High frequency / low frequency separation
- If excessive amounts of bass is used, use it only at certain intervals. Don't expect a constant droning sound being employed to provide the impression of "fullness"
- The Composition and arrangment matter as well - a lot of the "fullness" you'd associate as being the property of the overall sound have often a lot to do with the way the different instruments interact with each other and fill up the sonic spectrum one after another in different ways.

A good track to listen to and learn in that regard would be, say, Michael Jackson's "Baby Be Mine" from Thriller. Listen to the way the various instruments interplay with each other and emphasize their own frequency ranges one after another. There's nothing bombastic about that track, nor are there thick layers of chords /pads employed really - but the song itself has a very full sound all throughout it. The best way to ensure that your mixes will sound lifeless is to employ the typical multi-layered, distorted electric guitar parts playing chords non-stop and leaving absolutely no space for the rest of the mix to breathe. Couple up that with hard-driving drums and the bass underneath being too busy in general and it all just works against itself.

Oh yeah, and...

Analog synths.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by th0mas » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:56 pm

get a mastering VST, set it to a preset and turn "loudness" to 10, and "shine" to taste.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by nvbrkr » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:48 am

Well, yeah. I guess that one too.

If none of the hard work proposed above sounds like an attractive option, multiband compress the s**t out of it and remove most of the mids anyway. Won't please the purist ears, but might give you quickly results you can use for uploading your tracks to the internet, or something. Also, use more reverb than it would be considered tasteful by any kind of professional standards.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by rickyd » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:45 pm

I agree with what the other guys said.

One big factor that people fail to mention though, is that not everyone mixes the same way. You can take the same instrument and have different people to use it in their songs, but for each producer the sound may vary because of how it's EQed, the type of compression used, volume, etc. All of that depends on how you want your overall sound - Considering IF you have a set standard for your productions.

It's important to know that in a mix, each instrument has it's own dynamic range, so you have to know the sonic character of the instrument, and KNOW THE MIX in order to fit everything properly. You get a more lush, clear, and full sound when each sound is transparent.

Now, let's suppose you have everything EQed properly and all of the sounds in your mix shine through clearly, but the overall sound is still not "Full" like you want it. Sometimes just boosting certain frequencies on the master EQ is what you need to bring fullness into the overall mix. It just depends on the way you want it to sound. Certain analog hardware and effects can contribute to a full sound too, but again, that depends on the way you want it to sound.

EDIT - IMO, what could help is if you had a favorite producer who you like to model your sound after. If his/her productions have a consistent overall sound that you like, you could try to emulate how everything is mixed to get a good idea where to start. That's what helped me get started. Before that, my mixes were flat sounding and varied because I didnt' have a standard, but once I set my standard, I knew how to make my productions more full sounding.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:27 am

th0mas wrote:get a mastering VST, set it to a preset and turn "loudness" to 10, and "shine" to taste.
Worst advice ever.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by tekkentool » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:00 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
th0mas wrote:get a mastering VST, set it to a preset and turn "loudness" to 10, and "shine" to taste.
Worst advice ever.
duh, sarcasm much?

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by th0mas » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:28 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
th0mas wrote:get a mastering VST, set it to a preset and turn "loudness" to 10, and "shine" to taste.
Worst advice ever.
it's what (I'm going to fathom a guess that) most amateurs do anyways :D

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/2868571/

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by Scories » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:54 am

I'd rather send my masters to a good professionnal mastering studio than trying to do it all by myself. They'll run your music though a 30K setup you don't want to buy.
Otherwise, using quality fx, mixers and recorders.. and sending hours trimming volumes and adding subtle EQ's will definitely help. Avoid compression when not necessary.

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:58 am

th0mas wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
th0mas wrote:get a mastering VST, set it to a preset and turn "loudness" to 10, and "shine" to taste.
Worst advice ever.
it's what (I'm going to fathom a guess that) most amateurs do anyways :D

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/2868571/
How is recommending that someone do the same thing as people who don't know what they're doing good advice?

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by tekkentool » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:25 am

Stab Frenzy wrote: How is recommending that someone do the same thing as people who don't know what they're doing good advice?
srs mod r srs :?

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Re: Getting that full sound

Post by tallowwaters » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:14 pm

tekkentool wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote: How is recommending that someone do the same thing as people who don't know what they're doing good advice?
srs mod r srs :?
No, he has a good point, and I couldn't really detect any sarcasm there, and I doubt someone that doesn't know that is terrible advice would know it is sarcasm.

I can tell you that your smart a*s attitude is pretty unwelcome...
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