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Topic: Important digital techniques to master

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  1. #1

    Important digital techniques to master

    I am referring primarily to working with samples, so I thought this would be an appropriate forum for this topic, but I apologize if there's somewhere else this should have gone.


    If I were to commit to doing bit of reading and experimentation on a regular basis with a specific effect or technique within digital music production, what would be some important effects to keep in mind? EQ, compression, stereo doubling, lowpass filters, etc… which, in your experience, would be most important to familiarize myself with?

    Are there any resources for tutorials that you all find to be particularly useful?

    I am not implying that I’ll be able to master these with tutorials, but the experience will be helpful.

  2. #2

    Re: Important digital techniques to master

    EQ and Reverb are the two most important things in sample-orchestral mixing in my opinion. I do throw in a compressor every now and then when I'm too lazy to adjust the volume on tracks, but EQ and Reverb are by far the two most important things in my opinion.

    I use EQ in a couple different ways - one is to change the overall sound of the mix. Orchestral stuff tends to sound really boomy without any EQ adjustments - I tend to raise the high end a little on the higher instruments and lower the low end on the lower instruments (this is a huge oversimplification of the process). I also use EQ to carve out overtones every now and then - DPDan showed me how to do this, and it has become an incredible tool (especially with low strings).

    In terms of reverb - it really depends on which reverb you go with. I use Altiverb, which I love, but each one is very different.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  3. #3

    Re: Important digital techniques to master

    Delays are also critical for creating effective stereo from mono and positioning sounds in 3 dimensions, though I guess that Altiverb may do much of that for you, and it is often built into reverb units anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by keithjfuller View Post
    I also use EQ to carve out overtones every now and then - DPDan showed me how to do this, and it has become an incredible tool (especially with low strings).
    That sounds very interesting, different to standard EQ'ing, I presume? ... do you have a link that explains that in more detail? How/when/why to use it?

  4. #4

    Re: Important digital techniques to master

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravich View Post
    .... what would be some important effects to keep in mind? EQ, compression, stereo doubling, lowpass filters, etc… which, in your experience, would be most important to familiarize myself with?
    You should familiarize yourself with everything, but I agree that EQ and Reverb are the two most important things to master. Compression also factors in as well, depending on what your goals are.

    As for resources, there is a book by Paul Gilreath called "The Guide To MIDI Orchestration" - it covers the whole gammut of MIDI orchestration and VIs, so depending on where you are at, some of that book may be a bit redundant. There are more books around, but not having read any of them, it's hard to make a recomendation. Maybe someone else can recommend specific books and/or articles.

    Good luck!

  5. #5

    Re: Important digital techniques to master

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Jeffrey Gale View Post
    Delays are also critical for creating effective stereo from mono and positioning sounds in 3 dimensions, though I guess that Altiverb may do much of that for you, and it is often built into reverb units anyway.



    That sounds very interesting, different to standard EQ'ing, I presume? ... do you have a link that explains that in more detail? How/when/why to use it?
    i'll try and make a video this weekend with an example, but basically you just make a very narrow peak and drop the the volume down quite a bit over the overtones. this is not something i do a lot, but i really think its a must when dealing with low strings (especially on repetitive lines). usually the 5th above the root and the octave above the root are waaaaay too pronounced, and you lose the original note, so this helps make your intended lines stand out. it also gets rid of the boomy/mushy sound.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  6. #6

    Re: Important digital techniques to master

    Quote Originally Posted by keithjfuller View Post
    i'll try and make a video this weekend with an example ... usually the 5th above the root and the octave above the root are waaaaay too pronounced, and you lose the original note, so this helps make your intended lines stand out. it also gets rid of the boomy/mushy sound.
    Ah, right .. I see!

    No need to make a video just for me, that makes enough sense now, thanks.

    I think it was F.Alton Everest's "Critical Listening Skills For Audio Engineers" book that has examples where he tries to get you to hear the separate overtones that make up a single note ... so I see the idea is to to get the listener to perceive the intended root tone more distinctly, as well as helping to clear the crowded low-mid frequencies for other instruments to stand out in - the more comon use of EQ that I'm already familiar with.

    I'm working on a string piece so I hopefully I can try to put it to good use soon.

    Thanks, again.


    Ravich,

    That's another important technique for you (and me still), though not quite the sort you were expecting, perhaps ... train your ear.

    Peter

  7. #7

    Re: Important digital techniques to master

    Thanks for the tips everyone. I've got a healthy list going with some clear priorities. I have The Guide to MIDI Orchestration which has been helpful thus far and will be a good resource. I've also been recommended "Critical Listening Skills For Audio Engineers" and "Mixing Audio" so I will look into those as well.

    Now I'm just compiling worthwhile tutorials. Any advice other than googling "(technique) tutorial"?

    Thanks!

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