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Here’s What’s Wrong With Your Music

Discussion in 'Composing / Producing / Arranging' started by Boswell, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This is a PSW article by Bobby Owsinski listing six of the common problems he has identified in tracks sent to him for comment by amateur performers and recording engineers. While I would say that these are by no means the only things that can show up as problems, the particular ones that he lists are certainly relevant.
    ChrisH and pcrecord like this.
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Pretty basic and accurate stuff, thanks !
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Indeed. Tuning is so important.

    And of course, this is top on my list ;)
    Another great piece of advice: not all of a mix should be heard. So many times I hear stuff that I would completely remove (or turn down), yet the creator is so passionate about keeping every up front, they compromise the track for the sake of things I would get rig of all together.
    Just because you did it, doesn't mean you should keep it. Thus, why it can be beneficial to hire a mixer when you are the recordist and producer. I am guilty as the next guy on this as well.
  4. philter1

    philter1 Active Member

  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    About tuning, many unexperiensed guitar or bass player don't realise that if you push too hard in frets you'll push the instrument out of tune..
    Even me a drummer knows this ! ;)
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    guys like me with heavy handed ham hocks for fingers like small low frets. guys with smaller fingers and a lighter touch like fat tall frets.

    i remember a guitar that was out for a while that had a "scalloped" fret board .... so you could bend the strings by pressing down hard ...... :ROFLMAO:

  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    lol, not sure if you are joking but
    frets are still in the way of buzz and where buzz occurs so I don't quite get this for speed or better sounds as well. And, if anything, that axe would be the worst for pressure tuning issues because the wood stops those who are pushing hard, from going any further than the wood. .
    Pretty silly video but I guess if this is serious, we get used to what we like and therefore, what does it matter as long as you like it. .
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I've just spent the last 4 hours with a knife, chopping out parts of the most recent song I'm working on for this album... parts that at one point worked very well, but as the song morphed and grew over time, were just getting in the way, and hogging up frequencies and space that were better left allocated to other primary and more important parts. And it's not an easy thing to do, either, especially when you spend so much time and give so much effort to performing and recording some of those tracks; getting the performances right, getting the sound right, only to have them drop to the cutting room floor ... it can be painful sometimes to have to do that.
    audiokid likes this.
  9. TomLewis

    TomLewis Active Member

    I am finding that all of the separate tracks I create for a piece are really not there to be heard. Some of them, anyway, or some of the notes. If the mix is dense, and even if you do everything possible to make every note stand out, some of that great phrasing is never heard consciously, because it competes with melody, vocal, cymbal hits, what have you. But it still needs to be there underneath, because it is heard subconsciously, emotionally, and contributes to the art of the song and the effect on the listener.

    Just because you did it? I completely agree. But if you did it and it's great and it supports the piece, it should still be in there, even if somewhat subliminally. This also means that every note you put in the song has to be perfect, even if most people can't hear it consciously. It's still a part of the song, and 'close enough' doesn't cut it.

    I pride myself on being able to hear every note in someone else's song. I tell myself I can hear everything, and that's why I do what I do. I had been researching the cuica because I heard it in a song I liked, and then a week or two later I heard a Pat Metheny tune I love, It's Just Talk, which I have heard at least a hundred times in the last 20 years. There in the background, a cuica. All through the song. Never ever heard that before. But it was always there, and it always contributed to the forlorn, exotic quality of the song. Now I can't unhear it. I can't even imagine how anyone could have missed it. But I did.

    BTW, Bobby's Recording Engineer Handbook is a bible. Well worth it.
  10. TomLewis

    TomLewis Active Member

    While this is a real deal, Kurt, that is the funniest YT clip I have ever seen. I got a real bellylaugh out of that. Freaking brilliant.

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