Full band sound

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by reecewagner, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. reecewagner

    reecewagner Guest

    Hi everybody, I'm new, and I'm a real amateur at this stuff, so if I ask a stupid quesion, I apologize.

    I play guitar and piano mostly, and have written about an albums worth of songs acoustically, but there are a few of the songs that I would like to "flesh out", using mostly drum loops and a MIDI keyboard. It would be nice to end up with a nicely polished, full band kinda sound, even though it's just me.

    So my question is, where should I start? Do I just try and find a beat from a drum loop that works for the song, or should I use a different program to construct my own drum loops? I'm not sure if anyone's found themselves in this spot before, but I'm just looking for any suggestions anyone might have.

  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001

    starting with an existing drum loop is quick and easy and can get you started
    but unless it is spot on or you want that loop sound then it is probably better to make your own

    this can have much to do with music style

    programming good loops and beats can be an art in itself so it is an added learning curve for you

    I think you should concentrate on song construction and instrument selection

    learning to mix will get better with time

    That " nicely polished, full band kinda sound, " starts with song construction and really comes to life with MIX
    and then Mastering gives that Radio Play sound

    just out of interest
    what software and instruments ( soft synths ) are you using ?
    what styles are you aiming at ?
  3. sirwalter1

    sirwalter1 Guest

    I play harp, in a band and sometimes as a soloist.
    I use "Band in a box" to get a full band sound in my backtracks.
  4. reecewagner

    reecewagner Guest

    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm by no means a pro with recording software, but here's what I've found works best for me: I'm most comfortable with arranging and editing almost everything with Sony Acid, but I use Adobe Audition to edit the sound of a lot of my self-recorded parts, as there are ways of drowning out my PC noise by using that program. As far as synths and MIDI stuff go, I've been monkeying around with Reason a lot, but haven't gotten really comfortable with it yet either.

    I don't at all mind the acoustic style; a lot of my songs will sound very nice with just vocals, guitar, and maybe a little bit of strings and faint drums. But some of my more "poppy, alternative" rock stuff would be better fleshed out, and you're right, finding a loop to magically fit is difficult. Then again, I'm terrible at making my own, so what programs do you guys use for that? I've found Fruity Loops way too geared towards the techno stuff for what I want.
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    the things you have mentioned are very typical and I wouldn't suggest you dump anything to learn another

    just keep trying and listening to the things you like ... then try to make the sounds you hear

    if it were easy
    everyone would have top ten hits and Grammys

    don't underestimate the skill of the mix engineer or the mastering engineer
    knowing the tools and just when to use them is the key
    dynamics / compression is a very powerful tool and difficult to understand
    spend the time to learn this and how and when to apply EQ
    always go with " less is more " ... until you really get it understood
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