Posts Tagged ‘tips’
A useful tip in using Reaper is to develope keyboard shortcuts to try and eliminate having to use the mouse.
One shortcut I alter is the ‘Record’ shortcut.
As its stands to record you have to either use the mouse and click record or use the shortcut ‘Ctrl + R’
With tasks like record it suits me better to use on key stroke – ie pressing ‘r’ to record.
So with that in mind here is a run through of how to do just that.
In Reaper go to ‘Option’ – ‘Preferences’
The highlighted line in blue is actually a link that you can click to bring up a pop up screen to assign leyboard shortcuts to your preffered actions.
Once you’ve clicked the link you will be presented with the screen below.
In the highlighted part you can enter a search for the action you wish to add or alter a shortcut for.
By typing in transport record I can bring up the action I want – highlighted in green.
Click on the item that you want to assign your shortcut to.
Highlighted area is where the shortcuts are located – by clicking the add button we can create a new shortcut.
Another pop up will appear – the highlighted area is where we can add our new shortcut.
To create a shortcut that makes sense I’m going to use the first letter of the action ‘R’
Now press ‘OK’
If the shortcut you want to use has alreacy been assigned to an action you will get the following warning popup.
Make sure it’s not a shortcut you want to change and press ‘Yes’
You should now have your shortcut set.
Bass guitar: tricks, tips and advice on getting the most out of equalization and compression.
Home recording and DIY production is a tricky old business for the newly initiated.
With each new software program, vst plugin, hardware and technique their comes a new challenge.
As with the other instruments I’ve talked about on this site, getting your bass to respond in your mix is every bit as important and needs just as much care and attention as anything else.
Your track can live or die by getting these things right.
I’m not an expert but I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way.
Some may seem to contradict each other, but these are received wisdoms and as such should be treated as guidelines.
Every recording is different, there are no set in stone presets to fix what you need fixing.
Use your ears as guides and treat each recording as new material.
Get your mix right in the first place the mastering will be easier in the long run.
These settings are guidelines only, use your ears it’s important that you get a sound that you feel fits with your material. Driving the compressor hard with create distortion, if that’s what you intend then go for it
Compression can also be used to control muddiness and level changes, peaks and dips.
If you’re new to bass then compression can help control the uneven peaks and dips in your playing volume.
Set your Threshold to the level where your compressor starts to work.
Ratio: 2.5:1 or 3:1 – increase this as you need to really but try and be careful with your settings, aggressive settings here will introduce distortion.
Attack: 40ms to 50ms – the attack of your bass is important, if the attack rate is too short you’ll create a muddy sound, less definition.
Release: Around 180ms – as always with your release settings you need to set it long enough to work but short enough so that when the instrument plays again the compressor is allowed to work. This way you’ll get the pumping so you want.
Gain: As always try not to add too much gain if any, make up any difference between your input and the output volume.
To add a fullness to your bass try a boost of between 1 and 2db in the 100 to 200hz frequency range.
To get rid of mud from your bass try a cut of around 3 to 4db in the 200-300hz range.
To add punch a boost of 2 to 3db between 500 to 1000hz should do the trick.
To give your bass more attack try boosting the frequency range between 2.5 and 5khz by 2 or 3db
A shelf to remove the lower end, around 40 to 50hz is always a good way to start with Bass guitar. It’s the part we can’t hear and most stereo systems can’t deal with.
Be aware that most mud occurs in the 200-300hz range, try small cuts if your instrument lacks definition.
Avoid if you can adding boosts below the 100hz but boosting between the 100 and 200hz range can fix a thin/flat sounding bass.
If your bass lacks punch then adding a little boost between 500 and 1000hz can increase this.
To bring in more attack and add sparkle try a boost inbetween the 2.5 and 5khz range.
When you work with the bass guitar bear in mind your kick drum, adjusting the frequncies of each instrument can allow each instrument to exist and be heard, when your cut from the bass try boosting the same frequency in the kick.
The snare if done correctly can be part of your signature sound, if you take a listen to a lot of 80s hair rock you’ll hear a very definite style of snare.
Using presets for your compression and eq can be a good starting point, but if you’re interested in learning to sculpt the sound, experimenting with your eq and compressor can be very rewarding.
Set your Threshold/Input to start the compressor working.
The following settings will all depend on taste and your music, they are general settings to give you a starting point to find your sound
Ratio: 4:1 to 6:1ms
Attack: 5 to 10ms
Release: 125 to 175ms
Gain: As with all compression, you want the volume to match the input volume
As with the above settings for compression use the following as a general starting point and work with them until you get what you need for your mix.
To add warmth try a 1 or 2 db boost in the 100 – 150hz region.
A similar boost in the 250hz region will add depth or body.
To reduce boxiness a cut of between 2-3db in the 800 to 1000hz region should be a good start.
A boost in the 3-5khz region of about 1 to 3 db will add attack.
And a boost in the 8 to 10khz area of 1 or 2 db will add crispness.
As stated before these eq and compression settings are starting points and should be treated as such.
Use your ears as always.
Getting bogged down in your own self capitulating, self absorbed mire?
Finding your inspiration and enthusiasm has sapped itself away into the very floorboards?
Grab hold of something and shake yourself then.
Writers block is not easily fixable, I’m not an expert but it is an ever decreasing circle.
Procrastination is the friend of excuses in this game and excuses are just that.
Well um that’s hardly fair to say…
Yada yada bing bong pffft I say.
It’s a state of mind, or more a state of play.
Think about it, music is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be a joy, a hobby, a giggle…
It’s supposed to be something you enjoy, so ok it can be almost a religion at times but if that’s how you feel about it then have ‘faith’.
Breaking some eggs…
To make an omelette you need to what?
So break out of what you normally do, do something away from what you normally do.
Do something against what you do, how you normally work, how you normally think.
Boring tip one – organize – not yourself but your
1. Hard Drive: So ok it sounds dull, and it can be but bear with me.
Your hard drive has millions of files, samples, vst effect, vst instruments, soft samplers, romplers etc etc etc.
Now I know it’s not tidy, we all know that.
Samples, jesus how many samples have you got? How many do you need?
Why not find out? I mean do you really need all of them? Do you actually know what you’ve got?
Same with VSTs do you actually no what every single one does or sounds like.
If it’s of use keep it, if you don’t use it then bin it.
It’s at times like this you can fall upon creative processing – testing a new toy, checking a samples use.
Organize your samples/vsts – creativity is a funny thing it can come from nowhere. If it doesn’t in this case then no harm done and you’ve got a tidy sample library.
2. Music Collection: Organizing your CDs or MP3s can be really enlightening. I mean how many times do you actually listen to music these days?
I dunno about you but my TV only get’s switched on when I’ve got a DVD to watch.
Other than that I’m listening to the radio or CDs.
But the problem with listening to music is it’s not random enough, radio stations have playlists that only change periodically and your taste is the same.
So root through some music, check your CDs and pull at random. Have fun with it, listening to music is like watching food programs for me. I get hungry.
Play an instrument your not used to: Hard but if you’re a guitarist, pick up a keyboard or try an lay down some drums. Do some programming, use the staff view or piano roll…
Play in a different style/genre – get out of your comfort zone musically and try and create something extremelly different to your taste buds.
Expand your mind…
Working your brain is important, not just musically.
Read. Reading increases your word power, it also stimulates imagination and ideas.
Lyrics for example are excruciating for me, so I rely on words, the sounds they make I practice my vocabulary at every turn and try and develope my wordplay by the way I interact with my friends, I have quite a sarcastic tone so being able to mix my turn of phrase and my inate pisstakery is practice for me.
Books, magazines, cereal boxes, manuals, wikipedia…if you can read it, read it.
If you can write, maintain a blog.
So ok this was a bit of a mind splurge for me but it’s partly the reason I created this site, something to keep my mind occupied while waiting for something to drop but things do.
I create rules for myself, self purpetuating ideas and purposes. Stuff to keep me entertained/occupied in a musical sense.
Music creation can be dictated if you have the inclination.
Talent is great, but practice makes perfect.
I practice creating music by giving myself music tasks.
1. Detune a guitar.
2. Create a music with rules ie: No longer that 3min / Key of C / Two Chords Only / Melodic Theme / No Melodic Theme / No Dynamics / Mood / No Guitar /
There’s lots of ideas and tricks and I’m not saying they’ll break the cycle but they can’t hurt.
The most important thing I can say though is to not take it too seriously.
It’s supposed to be fun.
If it’s not then try something else like headgehog wrestling…
Before I launch into this I should explain that although I’m not an expert I do have a small amount of critical success with my own songwriting.
Success in songwriting for me is not represented by how much a song makes in monetary returns or how many back slaps I get.
Success for me is in how honestly I feel about the song – I love all my songs – there’s something about everyone of them that I personally enjoy.
Success for me is being able to smile when I hear my songs finished and enjoy them.
Writing music is easy, writing songs presents much more of a problem.
Lyrics can for some be painfully slow in working out, whilst the melody is easy to come by.
For some though it’s the other way around.
Some find the idea of both nearly impossible to comprehend.
But with time, patience and practice writing music and songs can come.
I’ll be honest there’s no science to it, it just takes a lot of practice a bit of grimmacing and an awful lot of self editing.
Structure, dynamics and arangement are all important factors in songwriting.
Alongside melody and lyrics they can be what grabs the attention – the style in which you perform the song is also a huge factor.
Imagine a disco song performed by a death metal band – um probaly not the best example as that would probably work on some level, but you get the drift.
Once you’ve got a song together you may be looking at recording it, now how you record your song depends on your arrangement.
I’ll be writing about each component in songwriting and composition over the next few weeks.
I’ll be talking about structure, arrangement, chord progressions, key changes, lrics, melody, dynamics, style and ideas.
There’s a whole lot more but I’ll hit those as I go.