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What's your signal chain look like usually for your tracks?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hosnappp, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. hosnappp

    hosnappp Member

    Jul 25, 2011
    I ask because I'm having a kind of stand-still with my productions.
    They sound realllly good to me at first but then I listen to someone else's and my ego kinda gets shut down. But to me, that's good. I like having stuff to improve upon, I just don't always know what that is. Like now. I like my stuff but I would like to know how to like it even more. IE, try different things that some more experienced(better) producers like most of you are doing and seeing if it helps me at all or maybe some other people reading.

    Note, I'm not asking to be spoonfed! And I don't want any trade secrets of yours being thrown out, but maybe some of the simple stuff. I haven't taken any classes or anything, no education on this kind of stuff to help me along. And teaching yourself is great but I just think without an environment where you're learning from others, it's kind of slow going when it comes to what you can take in and learn.

    I'll share mine and see if that starts things up.

    For my main guitar tracks, I usually pan them hard left and right, and lately(since I don't have a bass... YET! ) I put one in the center to give it some extra umph.

    I use Cubase 5.

    Left and right chains:
    POD Farm 2 (Ampsim, I guess would fit here)
    Studio EQ
    Plus some EQ on the track settings, alone. But it only has 4 bands so I usually end up using a Studio EQ insert to get things a little more customized.

    Same thing but minus the additional EQ band cause I keep some low end to make it feel bassy-er. Probably not great but it's what I have to work with.


    Vocals left and right:

    Ohmicide or any distortion vst.
    Some of those are used selectively.

    My drums are sampled and programmed through battery so there's not much to tell, here. I add reverb to all but the kick to simulate some mic bleed but otherwise, it's all EQ'ing and mixing.

    Also, I do NO mastering, simply because I have no effing clue as where to start. I have about 1000 bucks at my disposal. If anyone can recommend a great mastering suite, that'd be helpful. I have most of the Waves plugins but I don't think I'm ready to use them yet. And I probably don't have as many of them as I think. I just bought a bundle off of their website months ago and I figured I'd mess with them when I found time but I haven't had the aspiration to try to figure out each one and find out their place.

    I'm sorry if this is a lot to ask. But I know that I'm going to use every piece of advice, criticism, information there is to the absolute fullest because that's just how I feel about this stuff. And I know that's how the rest of us are, too

    Here's my latest and another I'm kinda proud of:

    Yapp.mp3 - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage
    RedJohn.mp3 - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

    If it's my editing, let me know, if it's my songwriting, let me know. It's my settings and methods or EQ'ing? Let me know, I'll mess with it as much as I can to satisfy myself because right now, I'm just not!

    Thanks so much. I feel like this might have gone a little off topic of the subject but I do mean what's in the title, as well. I wanna see signal chains.

    From an amateur to a community of informative wealth, thank you.

    It means the world if you guys really listen and help me out. Before you know it, I might be helping someone out with some similar questions I once had.

    And hell, if you like the mixes or anyone elses, I wanna have people be able to ask about what they did.
    I'm looking to go a little more in-depth.

    For the third and last time, thanks a ton
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Your question is extremely sincere. Your requests of further knowledge has been eloquently articulated. And then I'm listening to death metal! There seems to the some dichotomy here between music & production technique. I've recorded plenty of this genre and don't care to ever record it ever again. Having said that (no offense I hope?) Your production technique is already highly skilled. I think you have received no other replies thus far because everybody else has listened to your product and went..."pfffsssst! This guy is already a monster engineer/producer!" So, you're right up there at the top of the heap. For what you have, it doesn't get any better than what you've already achieved. With different genres of music, I can't say what kind of an engineer you will be? Obviously you are already well accomplished. But the art of recording is still an art and requires artistic intelligence, which you already seem to have with your minimal examples. Let me tell you, your stuff is tight, real tight. And I like that. Personally if I were to have any employment openings, I'd definitely hire you. And I would give you all of those kinds of sessions so I wouldn't have to do them. Instead, I turn away business like that. And that's only because I get no creative satisfaction of that genre. I thrive on creative satisfaction and would rather starve & go out of business without have to record that style of musical genre again. So I'm not making practical, profit oriented decisions. I'm making purely artistic ones which generally indicates, one will go out of business sometime soon. But I thought your stuff definitely sounded cool, ultimately cool.

    Keep it coming dude
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    OK. Another old fart chipping in with opinions about a genre he lost interest in about Sabbath's second album. The lack of a bass stands out to me. You make up for it pretty well (I'm with Remy - sounds good in general) but I think you are dong things to make up for a lack of a bass that you would not do otherwise. Find a bass player.

    More generally, I wonder if you aren't comparing your tracks to tracks that have been mastered. Now I think that this genre gets compressed to within an inch of its life and I generally dislike the result. But if that is the sound in your head then you are not going to be satisfied until you have your tracks mangled by someone who really knows their way around some mastering tools. Just get one track mastered to see what it sounds like. Find someone good. Find someone who knows your genre. You can do a better job yourself than one of these fly-by-night $50 a song houses.
  4. studio101nola

    studio101nola Active Member

    Jul 30, 2011
    New Orleans
    Home Page:
    I agree that once you get a bass player and get your tracks mastered you will pleasantly surprised. I love to track and mix but HATE to master its just not my thing.
  5. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    Apr 19, 2009
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    Definitely getting professional mastering is huge. One thing to watch out for though, is that BobRogers is right, metal is usually compressed near to or past the point of being totally without dynamics - which I personally hate (I send in my stuff to the mastering engineer with specific requests for it to be as uncompressed as they can get away with while still retaining a modern mastering vibe). So you will need to learn what you like with mastering, do you like the crushed-to-death sound of something like... the album Colors by Between the Buried and Me (great album, one of my favourites, but I personally think the mastering sucks), or do you like the typical almost-crushed-to-death-but-still-not-quite-dead mastering style that's most common in the genre (still far too much for my tastes. I can't think of an example, but just compare that BTBAM with some other albums and you'll see what I mean by the others being slightly less crushhed)... or would you prefer a more "oldschool" mastering, where there's still dynamics and proper tone, proper attack on the drums etc (for example of this look at old metallica, slayer, megadeth... make sure it hasn't been "remastered" though).

    It does boil down to personal taste.

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