Please Help

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by drewvan, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. drewvan

    drewvan Guest

    I am looking for a CD or Program to help train my ear to listen for certain sounds while I am mixing. Like knowing what a muddy guitar sounds like, or a weak bass drum, or a guitar that has too much in the mid range. I don't know if anything like this exists. I know the best way to train you ear is practicing so I am trying to find something that can help me learn faster.

    Thanks for your time

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Do you have a PA?...Does it have a 31 band device in it? Do you have a CD player?

    Find your favorite CD. Crank it till it gets blurry. Put in the EQ and make it sound great. Note the settings and change to something else. Repeat.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    That...and look at these two sites:

    Learn where the frequencies of different instruments and vocals live, and learn how to give each their own space to keep things from stepping all over each other, but each can be heard clearly.

    A lot of that CAN be done by messing around with an EQ and listening.

  4. drewvan

    drewvan Guest

    Thank you both for the help.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    My method has been simple through the years. I utilize a number of CDs which were engineered by some of the top engineers that make the largest royalties on their work. Think Bruce Swidein, George Massenburg, etc.. People that know how to make recordings and not sample loop jockeys playing with software. THESE are your references for learning. Oh? You can't make those kinds of recordings because you don't have good enough equipment? Poppycock! Barbra Streisand's latest live recording was recorded direct to 2 track and mixed on a Mackie 1604. Oh sure they attempted a remix from the multitrack master. But they just couldn't get around that live to 2 track original reference. So there you go.

    1604's are perfectly adequate
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    No argument about that, Remy. What Swedien and Messenburg have that Drewvan is looking for, and I admittedly haven't mastered as well as those guys, (though getting much better) is the ability to hear things separately, and as a mix, and be able to make snap decisions to absolutely know exactly what knob/fader/etc. to tweak quickly, basically hardly having to think about it.

    That takes an understanding of the fundamental frequencies and harmonics of various instruments, and how they interact with others.

    Tweaking a recorded stereo mix is educational and good for reference, but it doesn't really explain why the bass and kick react one way when tweaking a certain frequency slider in one song, but differently in another.

    And, assuming he's talking about live sound in this forum, mic placement might be a good thing for him to look into. The angle, distance and area of a speaker cone a mic is aimed at can make big difference, as you know. The mic used makes a difference.

    Anyway, what he's asking is a CD or sound clips that highlight muddy, hyped, weak, strident, etc. stuff. That's hard to justify for anyone to create. A midrangy guitar (which is mainly midrange, anyway) may sound terrible by itself, but may sound perfect in a certain mix. Same with a "weak kick", or even "muddy guitar", etc. (Actually, a "Muddy" guitar sound is made with a Tele and a Super Reverb, and a whole lotta mojo :cool: ).

    Seriously, just play a guitar, and turn down the treble. It'll probably be a muddy-sounding guitar tone. Play with lo, mid, and hi's on a bass amp to get feeling for crappy sounding bass, low clean bass, popping funk bass, etc. Tweak the PA's kick channel tone controls to learn how thud, thump, thwack, boom, etc. sound.

    And then learn that one carefully tailored sound all by itself can sound completely unuseable in the context of mix, and when you get it dialed into working with a mix, it may sound weird on it's own.

    That's why it would be kind of a fruitless task to create a library of "bad" or "good" sounds, even though they actually sell good sounds....that you can mangle later to fit into a particular mix. There's really no quick-tutorial. It just takes listening, learning and knowing where certain instruments ranges are, and where they overlap and interact, so you can more quickly narrow in on the things you want to tweak.

    The MASTERS undoubtedly can zero in on those things very quickly because it's just second-nature to them now. I can usually grab the right knob fairly quickly, but I'm no master.


  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Wow, I'm watching that Beatles special on Arts & Entertainment network. It's fabulous.

    Hard to believe how long ago that was.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  8. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    If the Beatles had a PA system of today's caliber, would Revolver, and then Sgt. Pepper's...and everything from then on, have been created?

    I say...doubtful. Might have missed that magical window of opportunity and circumstances.

  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Unfortunately the Beatles had to rely on talented people and their own talent. That's not how you make recordings today is it? It has nothing to do with talent. It only matters what software you got. It really is alchemy.

    Having ham for dinner with my silk purse.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    That's a good question. No doubt one of the biggest reasons that they quit touring and moved to the studio is that the experience was so unsatisfying musically. They couldn't hear themselves and the audience couldn't hear them.

    But a lot of the other aspects of touring were awful for them as well. Read Larry Kane's book some time. (Not a great book overall, but it gives a good picture of how bad touring with them was.)

    But perhaps the biggest reason to quit touring was economic. It was no longer necessary for them to tour to sell records. Like most major label bands at the time (and for years to come) touring was a loss leader. Paying for serious sound support would only have made the economics worse.

    In any case, the answer is probably "yes" in the case of Revolver, since they made most of it while they were touring. Maybe "No" for Pepper.
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You know, after a couple of bites of Thanksgiving pie and a swig of brandy your idea is sounding better. But it might have taken more than a few monitor wedges. In the mid sixties there was a revolution in studio technology. Higher track count. Better fidelity. The beginning of high quality solid state. (The technology that made live sound better came to the studios first.) Maybe if live sound had been ahead of the studio the Beatles would have been motivated to stay on the road. Macca loved the road. Epstein had a huge incentive to keep them on the road - he was dead shortly after they left.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. (I hope the 8PM NFL game is better than the last two.)
  12. Cacacas

    Cacacas Active Member

    Discriminative Frequency Training - Full Octave Bands

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