Any musician will tell you that no two instruments, even if manufactured in an assembly line, sound exactly similar. It may be because musicians play differently from each other or the small margin of error in a manufactured assembly line instrument. Regarding recording, having the same guitar pickup as your favourite artist will give you the same quality of sound, and this is a good starting point if you want to give your instrument a unique character.
1. Identifying Source Characteristics
Audio recording is made up of three things: the instrument, the room and the microphone used. The microphone’s position is important as well as the magnet that picks up the instrument’s vibration. Rooms have their own warmth and colour, and the reverb diffuse is also important when recording. The instrument also has its own characteristic sound, from the strings or material used, to the sound-emitting body.
2. Fixing in the Mix
It is a common mistake of starting audio producers to think that any instrument could sound good with enough knowledge on using equalizers and saturation. The truth is, the source audio is still the source audio. Despite changing the tone in the mix, the original sound of a very present acoustic guitar will pop in. The EQ could only make an instrument sit well in context of a mix, but not really change the original sound of the instrument.
Sometimes, using an equalizer could change the character of an instrument in a way that it sounds unique based on the context of the mix. Adding a phaser effect is an example. Phasers are automated frequency filters that have a specific setting that moves its scoop from one part of a spectrum to another part. It alters the equalization and adds character.
In radio broadcasting, you might think you need to have perfect grammar to attract your listeners. However, this is not really the case. Radio broadcasting focuses more on the quality of voice you have, your intonation, the pauses in-between statements, emphasizing certain statements to catch the listener’s attention and have them remember such, and being consistent with breathing.
1. Quality of Voice
Certainly, a clear, thick, speaking voice is more important. You may be grammatically correct, but your voice might only be fit for becoming a writer. A good quality of voice is more important. Mispronunciation is another thing, but speaking clearly with “speaking” and not “writing” grammar, could earn you more leverage with your listeners.
Radio voices have a harmonic touch to them. This reflects on the tone of voice you use and which kind of emotion or feeling it leaves on your listeners. Knowing about your intonation helps you make yourself become a good radio personality.
Pausing in between statements does not have to be as straightforward as you would with a sentence. You could pause in significant statements to elicit certain feelings from your listeners, or to make them remember a statement, a word, or a brand, such as from those of your sponsors. Breathing exercises and script anticipation helps you deal effectively with pauses.
Whether you are part of a band or a music producer, creating good music that is appealing requires a good balance of technicality, melodies and overall theme. Notes have their own unique flavour. The way one plays a sequence of notes creates a song. When one knows the flow of these sequences, that is when one can truly make a song good enough.
1. Note Correlation
Start with one note that you resonate with as you write a song. This note must reflect your identity, or what you intend to say in your message. Every person has a different connotation with such notes.
Once you are satisfied with your root note, identify the mode you will be using. Some notes in a given scale will give off certain characteristics to the note you are playing. You could even play a chromatic note to see how it fits with the root. If you find the first, second and third note apt with the theme of your song, then you could play around these notes throughout your song.
3. Rhythmic Melodies
Some notes could be used to form melodies that are rhythmic. This is very common with most rock songs, where rhythm guitars play a melody over a lead track. Some notes may be apt for this, some may not, but remember to feel the tension surrounding the notes you are playing, and which rhythmic passage they are appropriate.
Direct injection, or DI recordings is highly effective for home studio recording nowadays especially with increasing improvements in virtual studio technology. However, if you are uncertain with processing the guitar signal, you could come across some troubles along the way. Here are a few things you could do to creatively improve the guitar’s sound.
Virtual studio technology simulates amplifier characteristics and room ambiance by feeding your signal into the digital chain and allowing you to hear a virtually natural sounding amplifier sound. Some simulators include microphone models, which change the guitar’s character effectively.
Your waveforms have hitpoints, and most Digital Audio Workstations can indictate the hit points that could align your guitar attacks with the current tempo. Quantizing involves setting the division of notes, such as having eighteenth, sixteenth, quarter, half notes etc. The guitar track is now synchronized completely with the backing track.
3. Faster Production Results
When you record a DI signal and you have a tight-tempo backing track, you could finish production quickly especially if many passages repeat itself. Cutting and pasting certain DI segments into similar areas, given that they are quantified, can make the production of a song, or an entire album, faster especially if the artist is not available. Re-amping will allow the tracks to sound as natural as they should be.
Producers, by the climax of their career, will end up specializing in just one genre. They may end up in rock, jazz, pop music, orchestra and the like. However, despite specializing in one genre it is important that they strive to listen to other forms of music. It does not only help them diversify their talent, but it essentially helps them in many technical aspects, such as.
1. Knowing Which Instrument to Use
In rock, the basic instruments are the guitars, bass and drums. Sometimes, some keyboards are added into the mix. But if you are to track and monitor a jazz band, some bands might have a lacking sound. You cannot just add any kind of instrument to help the song, you need to know which instrument it is because…
In recording the instrument, microphone setups are important and a producer who does not know the genre may end up mic-ing the instrument in an incorrect manner that it sounds different in the recording. Production takes time to develop. Most producers learn microphone setups for different instruments and other production techniques with years of listening to the genres where the instruments belong.
Listening to different genres helps in the mastering process, especially with the master equalization. An equalizer is a powerful tone-shaping tool that, if used correctly, can yield very effective results. Your equalization could bring about a good master, or could make the entire master sound odd to you and the listener’s ears.
References are everything in audio mastering. Your room position, your distance from the speakers, the way sound is absorbed by the room you work and the speakers you use affect the type of sound and mastering you do with a song. Your studio monitors are good references, but you need at least some of the following to get the most accurate sound from your mix.
Headphones are not too advisable when mixing audio. They tend to have frequency biases, and one part of your song might emphasis on the bass too much, and the other might not do so well in the other parts. Headphones give you detail and accuracy, especially if you are trying to know if certain instruments stick out in certain mixes like a small thumb.
A consumer-grade speakers set lets you know the audio master is effective enough for conventional home speakers. Most home systems also become sound systems for some homes. Testing a song’s mix to different speakers is crucial if you want to achieve a balanced and perfect mix.
3. In and Out of the Room
Your typical mixing spot will always be your room, but if you want to master, you will want to know about the levels of frequency of your mix. Outside the room, you could hear more bass frequencies up to 500hz. Inside the room, you can hear most of the frequencies from 800hz to 2khz without much difficulty on accurate monitors.
The public views most musicians and personalities as carefree because of their financial stability in the music and other forms of media they produce. However, the reality is that many successful musicians build their wealth in different forms of investments. With efficient legal knowledge, musicians and personalities also allow themselves to reduce their taxes.
The value of legal knowledge is invaluable, specifically when musicians or personalities get into difficult situations that involve legal disputes. Some reckless musicians end up hurting other people, just like one famous musician I know. But then, musicians can also get hurt in the process.
One musician I worked with before ended up wounded because of faulty gig equipment. His slight electrocution had made his hand temporarily numb for at least two months. He had consulted his personal no win no fee lawyers. He wasn’t a big name musician, but he knows his lawyers could provide the right arguments to give him the proper compensation he deserves.
His lawyers filed a claim against the production and the venue for physical damages, emotional damages as the event was deeply traumatic for him, as he told me, and impairment due to the temporary rest he needed to recover his electrocuted hand.
He told me if it wasn’t for his lawyers, he would have been in a financial pickle right then because he didn’t have insurance, and he and his band hadn’t finished publishing their album just yet.
This cemented in me the fact that as creative people, we must also think of the future because, even for musicians and personalities, danger is a consistent uncertainty.
A large number of people have been affected by the PPI fraud in UK with many of the PPI claims being compensated in a swift manner. But due to the huge number of cases involved, the process will take some time to complete.
About PPI Claims
Payment protection insurance is a policy that is completely an optional one. It is intended to cover the payments made for mortgages, loans or credit cards in case the borrower is unable to make them. This can happen in case of accidents, death, illness or unemployment. The claims situation has stemmed from the fact that the policy has been grossly mis-sold.
- Many of the policy holders did not know about the precise conditions involved
- Some of the borrowers were not aware of the policy being included along with their loan
Finding about the Presence of Policy
If you want to find out whether you had taken a PPI policy, you need to look into the original copy of the product document that is present with you. You can also get PPI help by approaching the PPI customer help services present online. The loan provider will have the relevant document papers if the policy was taken within the last six years.
Getting Expert Help
There are many PPI claim agencies present, such as PPI Claim Back Co which help you get your compensations in a sharp manner possible. Most of the PPI assistance companies respond immediately to your PPI complaint and start investigating. Once they ascertain that you are eligible for a claim, they will inform you about the claim possibility and also give you an approximate assessment of the amount you will receive. The amount of money you receive is evaluated using the PPI calculator.
While choosing the claim agency, make sure you select the right one as many companies overcharge their clients and there are some that charge a big fee even if you do not win the case. Beware of such companies and if you have the relevant documents, you can approach the policy provider directly with your PPI claims.
I often advise musicians who record in my studio or participate in my internet radio program that why they come in my studio is because they want their talent appreciated by the right people. A radio show is a good place to begin, especially if it has lots of listeners. Now I might not have that many listeners, but it is a good start to promote the people who I see have talent.
However, I also tell them that talents are not the only thing they should learn. To be a successful musician, you need a string of shows and a string of distributors willing to sell your material. Networking is the only way to begin this, and musicians are sometimes “allergic” to contacting people in the “mainstream” simply because they might not like their material.
Musicians, people will want to hear your material and you should be proud of the material you produce. The more you have confidence in your songs, the more people will come to love it.
If you’re a musician, I advise you to learn how to market your creativity. The internet is a vast, wide place for exchanging information and media and creative marketing is highly important especially in terms of promoting music. If you’re good at your instrument, why not start with a tutorial? If you’re good with concept writing in your entire album, why not create a comic book, hell, even a video game?
Music coincides with many other mediums and popular interests, which is why it is easier to market than a new laptop. So why not give it a go?
Dynamics is the changing volume of musical instruments in a song that signifies emphasis and softness. Most orchestral arrangements make use of dynamics to emphasize on certain note and raising a listener’s adrenaline. Nowadays, popular music makes use of compression to grab the attention of listeners without any musical nuance.
In typical modern songs, dynamics could be heard especially when the drums are used. Distorted guitars are compressed with different qualities in itself, which make them loud instruments even if set at a lower volume. Drums and basses have different dynamics, which may be undecipherable if not compressed.
“Squashing” an entire mix means taking the top off the natural dynamics of an instrument and raising the volume of its quiet parts, ensuring that the audio signals do not have higher amplitudes and all its details highlighted in the mix. An audio producer could see how a line is flattening a compression signal when he or she uses the compressor.
Compression can actually make a track sound coherent, but dynamics brings out the natural, organic excitement a song has. When you listen to an acoustic song, you could hear when a guitar plays softly and when the musician actually strums louder while actually hearing the instrument sound louder, not just its tonal quality.
A loud compression fits certain genres, but if you want a more organic and naturally-voiced song, go for proper dynamic compression instead.