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Messages - Xan

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Mixing/Mastering / Re: How to let your pads fit into the mix
« on: January 13, 2016, 07:53:08 pm »
It really depends what else is in the mix or how you want the pad to sound.

Do you want the pad to fill the entire frequency spectrum or just certain parts?

Inspiration/Creativity/Motivation / Re: Overcoming negative thoughts
« on: January 13, 2016, 06:14:40 pm »
I probably waste so much time fretting over whether I think a part can be 'better' than actually writing.
Maybe not a negative thought totally, but it's similar. It really halts my process and it sucks.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Getting a cleaner bass/sub mix
« on: January 13, 2016, 02:49:07 pm »
Compression is a good technique to use when talking about trying to have more control/making your bass tighter.  But also the relationship between the kick and bass is extremely important. I'm talking about making sure your kick and bass are in the same key, the sidechain on the bass is nice and tight to the kick, and a great tip i heard a long time ago was when choosing your kick and bass, decide weather you want to have a long kick and short bass, or short kick and long bass. Look into these things first, some compression just to tighten things up isn't going to be the cure all on this track for you.


Very true. It is possible to have an intermediate, but you will need a strong sidechain to accomplish and it may not be the desired sound you want.

Composition/Arrangement/Theory / Re: I done goofed
« on: January 13, 2016, 02:46:58 pm »
Example A about why you should be versioning and why you always make a new project when bouncing to audio. You can always go back.

There are many other ways to get the vengeance packs if you so desire them...>_>.......<_<

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Mixing with Reverb - HELP!
« on: January 12, 2016, 04:43:22 pm »
Hey eMD,

First of all, there are two types of main reverbs; Convolution and Algorithmic. Convolution Reverbs - in this case, I assume you use VSTs to achieve reverberation - use real sound samples, recorded from live environments, known as "Impulse Responses". Since they use real sound samples, they create more "realistic tail" and feeling of reverb. Effect process of convolution reverbs basically mix your signal with filtered signals that you want to achieve. So you can think that for one sound, you basically process two sounds. Therefore, it has a huge impact on your CPU as well as your DAWs performance.

As you can guess from the name, Algorithmic Reverbs create paramaters to mock "realistic tail" to generate reverbration. All of DAWs come from one or more algorithmic reverbs. In my opinion, algorithmic reverbs sound okay when you apply on ambiance sounds, FX etc. If you apply on solo instruments or real instruments, it does not give that realistic feeling.

I'd recommend you to use convolution reverb on synths, snares etc. where you can use algorithmic reverbs to give little bit more space to additional/extra sounds on your track.

If you're an Ableton user, they do great job with their custom reverbs. If you'd like to use another VST for reverb, you can try Arts Acoustic for algorithmic reverb (I am sure that lot of producer friends in this forum use it) and Liquid Sonics Reverbrate for convolution.

Personally, I only have maximum 4 reverb (two algorithmic, two convolution) bus track to achieve reverbration in my tracks. That way, I minimize CPU usage and do not create muddy, non-realistic mix.

Thanks for the response! I was wondering where Valhalla Vintage Verb falls in this?

I do use Ableton, my follow up question would be do most people use reverb on returns or on buses? I find I have more control when using buses. What are some pros and cons?

Using a bus consumes less cpu and makes it so your soundscape doesn't have a million different reverbs.

I can't think of any cons for using buses, it's more just preference. Sometimes, I use. Sometimes, I don't. It depends on the sound I'm going for really.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Mono kick?
« on: January 12, 2016, 04:41:37 pm »
Pretty much only keep the kick mono.
I haven't done snare mono as others have said, but it could work.
Always comes off as a little flat to me.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Making a mix sound fuller
« on: January 10, 2016, 02:35:03 pm »
I think a good question is: what should a full frequency spectrum look like?
I can look at the spectrum anlyzer, but how do I know what is lacking?

Sound Design / Re: Pad Design Thread
« on: January 09, 2016, 05:34:33 pm »
For me it depends on what kind of mood my pad is trying to help fill.
From there decides what the actual midi structure will look like and the tone of the harmonics.

On softer pads I like to use very dark sources w/ maybe +7 semi a little quieter than the root and then make it ring out with some reverb.

Harder pads tend to move a lot more than the dark ones and I will often balance the oscillators with ROOT about on a +7 and a quarter on a +14 semi. Usually the sound stays pretty close to the original oscillator (minimal filtering) but I do like to play with detune and voicing here. I often might add a plate reverb to brighten the sibilance area a smidge and almost certainly always layer pads together for large parts.

For me it isn't always about how incredibly unique a sound is, but rather how well it fits. Sometimes crazy pad design works well, but never doubt the minimalistic choices, too.

To build on this, here is an example of what you can do when layering pad sounds with other things such as chords / organs / foley:

Also this has an example of what paulstretch can do to an audio sample:

happy padmaking!

Great sound design. What is a 'foley' though?
Alsom I've tried paulstretch and just feel it's a tough application to use.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: Mixing With a Lot of Reverb and Delay
« on: January 09, 2016, 05:02:32 pm »
Seven Lions explained on a video once, that he bounced all the time his Supersaw and cut the tail of it. So it's super wet in the middle, but when the supersaws stops, it's dry again and there's no left over.

this guy. I use this technique and it's great especially if you're going for very dynamic switches in songs much like Seven Lions or Xilent or really any melodic dub producer. I really bounce everything to audio for final mixing/mastering. Just super helpful visually.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: How should you layer supersaws?
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:59:57 pm »
I always add a channel with a a heavily detune saw with 100% wet reverb with a short tail. For me this add a huge special sound without a long messy tail (which losses the clarity of a song)

This is good idea.
Another way is to bounce your layers to audio and manually cut out the reverb or shorten it where you don't want it. I do this and feel it makes the track much cleaner in the end.

Mixing/Mastering / Re: layered synths make hiss noise
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:56:06 pm »
Don't have your supersaws play that high in the octave or detune them to make them less prominent. You could roll off a bit, but I think that would probably destroy your sound.

Edit* If you do roll off the top, you can replace with some white noise to replace the sound and still retain a lot of the notes and melody.

Sound Design / Re: Lenno Shimmers!
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:54:24 pm »
Yeah it's just a very quick arp.
My question though: are those notes all within key or is it a chromatic sweep up?

A key element in music production is consistency. Working 4 hours in a day and then taking a break of 2 days, is not being consistent.

Instead you want to set up a time for ever day. For instance in my case, I produce about 90 minutes a day with a break after 45 minutes. Within these 90 minutes I put up a small goal. I might start with melody & chords and a basic sound idea. This is my main goal for first 45 minutes. After the break I will arrange it into my pre-made arrangement. When the 90 minutes are over, I'm done. I don't produce longer, nor shorter. If shorter, I organize what I made to keep me busy.

After building up consistency, goals are another important subject. Before you start you should set up a goal for your session. Make it a small one. Don't do more. Sure you can do more and work longer. But you create a higher chance to fudge* everything up. With smaller and less goals per session, you'll gain more satisfaction and motivation. Simply because of the fact you accomplished something today.

I hope this helps you a little bit. It's all a mind game, which can be easily overcome with small steps.


I started saying to myself: today I will work on transitions for this song and that's it. I just do that for about 2 hours and I make it really tight. (Don't underestimate transition importance in song energy.) Then when my goal is complete: I either stop or just mess around with things that maybe aren't necessary but it's all gravy from there. Spending time everyday is important to keep your skills from getting if only I had that same commitment with my piano lessons.

Samples/Plugins/Software/Gear / Re: F**k S**t Up plug-ins
« on: January 08, 2016, 04:50:11 pm »
These are all great tips and programs, thanks for this.

I guess I'm always stuck on the best way to make short glitch sounds when you want a short maybe 1 bar hit and don't want to load a program and record sounds to get it. (aka, the easy way)

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