Tip and Idea Exchanging!!!

Hello, i have been using Audacity for years now and I finally copped on to the fact there are forums… :bulb:

Anyway… Let me explain how I make songs:

ALPHA) I will make a song on guitar and do with it what I can in my head (formation, chorus etc…)., typically a rock punk or funk - ish style but trying to imitate the punch of a dance song’s drums.

BETA) Then I use Hydrogen to write the drums for the song. Hydrogen is on my Ubuntu Linux 7.10 computer and its (along with Audacity) chock full of effects and plugins i have no idea how to use :smiley:. Hydrogen is amazing because I have downloaded hundreds of samples and by adjusting it I have found pretty similar imitations of a real drum kit. I write the drum version of the song and then I use the plugin effects…

[note; please offer better suggestions to this part, we’ll call it part A;]
To get the best possible drum sounds I export two seperate versions of the drum file in .wav format, the first is usually all the lower sounds -, the bass drum, the snare and the toms and I mute all of the cymbals and hi-hat sounds. there is the possibility of using four different effects.
I add a compressor set to not be too punchy for the lower parts.
I use a DJ eq and lower each part a bit but i put the mids the highest (lowering the treble too much loses the snappiness).
I use a multiband eq lowering the highest and lowest extremities and shaping it to favour the mid range (going from a minus 5 in the lower range to plus 5 in the mid and back to a minus 5 at the top.

Then I export that file and go back and mute all the toms and snare and bass drum and unmute all the cymbals and hats to use different effects.
I set the compressor to favour quick attack and release.
The dj eq uses almost no mids with the low sort of high and the treble (or high) high.
I reverse the settings on the Multiband eq.
Sometimes i use a high pass filter but you don’t really notice a difference. Then I export that file too.

GAMMA) Now I open up Audacity 1.3.3-Beta. I import both of the .wav drum files and mix and render them. Voila; perfect drums. I plug my guitar into my 8-track recorder and plug that into my computer as this gives me a better sound than my amplifier. I record the guitar part sometimes switching between distortion.

[note; please offer better suggestions to this part, we’ll call it part B;]
Dyson Compress the guitar with attack and delay around 3/10 kind of ratio.
DJ eq taking out a lot of the mid.
Compress again with both simple compressors (peak and rms) with minimal comp, around 240 in effects.
Multiband eq the same as the hi hat settings.

Then i record the bass.

[note; please offer better suggestions to this part, we’ll call it part C;]
DJ eq with the mid high.
Dyson compressor set with everything around the middle.
Compress again with both simple compressors (peak and rms) with minimal comp, around 240 in effects .
Multiband eq the same as the bass and tom settings.
Use the Matrix Spatialiser set pretty high.

After all of this I mix and render all of it, add a little more compression from one of the peak or rms compressors and it sounds fairly good. I have no idea on vocals or how to do them well but they are not my main concern yet.

[note; please offer ANY suggestions to this part, we’ll call it part D;]
I heard that instruments favour certain frequencies, can someone advise me on what to do and how to adjust the instruments to only play at these frequencies?

Thanks for your patience, you may notice this has been stored up for a while, i readily accept criticisms and guidance. :smiley:

For recording electric guitar, I like to get a really good guitar sound through a guitar amp in an isolated room and record it with a good microphone placed about a meter away from the cab, then tweak the sound if necessary in Audacity.

There are no hard and fast rules about this, different producers will use very different approaches.
One of the distinguishing features of old Motown recordings was that they would Eq (Equalizer effect) each part (instrument) so that different instruments were prominent in different frequency bands. For example, vocals are strongly dependent on the 1 kHz to 2 kHz frequency band, so this frequency band would be turned down for other tracks to “leave space” for the vocals.

Whatever approach you take, it is important to be are that you can record an instrument and it can sound great when you listen to it on its own (solo), but it may not sound right in the mix. A common mistake when recording electric guitars is to use too much bass - yes, when you listen to the track on its own it sounds good, but as soon as you put it in the mix the low frequencies get all jumbled up with the bass guitar and make the mix sound muddy. (again this is not a hard and fast rule).

The other very common mistake is too much effects. While you have your instruments on separate tracks you can always add more effects, but you cannot necessarily take them off. A common question is “how can I reduce the reverb on this track” - the answer is “you can’t”.

Thats a cool idea, If i were to eq a guitar part and lowered (or even removed) the kh??? eq at which the bass and drums sit. I sort of do that but i like the idea, what i would like to know is what frequencies each instrument is best suited to. I do remove the bass out of the guitar, is sometimes sounds pretty weak on its own but when i mix it into the rest of the song its perfect-ish. I let the bass hog the imprtant melody and filler-outter part of the song and keep the guitar full of distortion complementing it. I really welcome any more ideas as I have been thinking about this all day!!! :question: :ugeek: