Ohne Ruhm

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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby WendyWisemanFisher » Wed May 10, 2017 10:25 am

That's bologna. (*eel face*) =D
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Mon May 15, 2017 5:56 pm

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxyEJ ... UhHX0Mxbm8

My time machine is still working. This song fulfills the requirements for next week's challenge.
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Sun May 21, 2017 11:14 pm

Let's see if the time machine is still working.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxyEJ ... lk1LTlqRHM

Edit: Nope. Word 2 is "elevator" which contains the letter "a"
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Thu May 25, 2017 10:23 pm

iVeg wrote:Let's see if the time machine is still working.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxyEJ ... lk1LTlqRHM

Edit: Nope. Word 2 is "elevator" which contains the letter "a"


!!! I am editing round 5 podcast, and I'm listening at 1.5x speed, and your song is amazing. I liked it at 1x too.

I'm wondering if you would be interested in sending me dry stem tracks to remix?
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Thu May 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Thanks for the offer! That would be so cool! Unfortunately... I write and record on iPad mini Garageband. Exporting stems is not a simple task. If you're already editing your podcast, there's no way I can send you the stems in time.

If you don't mean "now", I can probably send them out later this weekend, after I finish "Excuse Me"
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri May 26, 2017 12:09 am

Whenever you've got a chance. I'm just finishing up editing for this week but if I get time it'd be kind of neat to bring in the remix next week.
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby jast » Sat May 27, 2017 4:08 pm

So here's my quick mix (that no one asked for, yay), without listening to the original mix first. Based on what's in the tracks I'm going for an electro sound and am not shy about adding FX. I'm imagining this drenched in long-tail reverb.

ROUGH STUFF

* I'm going to start with the basics: bass, drums and lead vox, adding the rest in along the way. This way I can make sure I get the most important elements balanced without having to worry about the fine details too much for now.
* Group the two lead vox tracks and the two bgv tracks together (one group for each); in all the remaining step I'm applying processing to the group except as otherwise noted.

* Reduce bass by ~15 dB, drums by ~11 dB (you'll see more of these level changes. I actually did them gradually so the total result stayed close enough to 0 dB, but I'm sparing you the intermediate steps because they're boring.)

* Low-cut lead vox at ~110 Hz, bandwidth = 1.75 octaves, my usual starting point to get rid of useless bass without changing the character too much
* Add some baseline compression on the lead vox to get started: 2.5:1, threshold ~-15 dB non-RMS, no make-up gain. This is just so I get somewhat consistent levels to get a rough idea of everything and I can always tweak this later with automation and stuff. For Song Fight that's usually the limit of what I do, actually. :)
* Reduce lead vox by 6 dB on top of compression.
* Remove breathing on lead vox, mostly with a gate plugin but one or two manual cuts.
* Pitch correction on lead vox to line things up more. Works for me for electro. I used MIDI notes to control the target pitch, using the free plugin GSnap.

* Low-cut bgv at ~350 Hz, bandwidth = 1.75 oct. I find that leaving too much of the body in in background vocals muddies things up, so I tend to be quite drastic with them. This makes them come across more in-your-face, too. If they are too present I cut some highs, too, but here they seem fine.
* Reduce bgv by ~13 dB.
* Pitch correction on bgv, see above.
* Key inharmonic competes with vocals for sonic space. The meat of this is in the 2.6-2.7 KHz region, so I'm taking away a bit there in the background vocals. Actually quite a lot, a cut of 9 dB. The vocals don't need to sound good on their own after all, and the strong cut is masked by the lead vox which I'm leaving along for now, so it has the 2.6-2.7 KHz area unchanged.

* Reduce key inharmonic by ~6 dB.
* Low-cut key inharmonic at ~450 Hz.
* Reduce key temp mass by ~21 dB for now. Not sure about this yet.
* Low-cut key temp mass at ~450 Hz.
* Reduce elec piano by ~9 dB for now.
* Low-cut elec piano at ~250 Hz.
* Reduce piano by ~10 dB for now.
* Low-cut piano at ~250 Hz. Piano is a prime candidate for cutting in pop/electro when it's more of an accent than a fundamental element of the arrangement.

BASIC FIXES

At this point the basics seem fine, though the lead vox doesn't come across as having the same level throughout the song. I'm increasing the compressor ratio to 4:1 (this is electro so that should be fine) and bringing it back up by ~2 dB, it's much more up front now.

Key temp mass is obstructing the piano. I'm adding some side-chain compression to reduce it whenever a piano note comes on.

Adding 3:1 compression with make-up gain to key inharmonic to make the attack a little punchier and compensate for some of the notes being a bit weak. (Again, given more time this would be a job for automation.)

One thing that still bugs me is that the bass is all low and no definition. I'm adding selective compression (3:1) below 100 Hz, threshold ~-17 dB (no RMS, no make-up gain), so that the rest of the bass gets emphasized relative to the low frequencies. In compensation I'm bringing the level back up by 8 dB. To emphasize the character I'm also boosting around 800 Hz by ~6 dB. This is still all very rough but hopefully better than nothing. Side note: this is wrecking the lowest base frequency (D) but that one will be inaudible on many systems anyway. Consider not going below low E or G or thereabouts if you can help it.

REVERB!

Finally! Let's smother everything. I'm creating a reverb bus. Decent convolution reverb is sometimes hard to get a hold of so I'm using free algorithmic reverb plugins (Kjaerhus Classic Reverb in this case) just to show you can get something half-decent from them, too. Tricks to make it sound decent:
* Big room size. Simple algorithmic reverb tends to add strange modulated frequencies to the output if you make the room too big, but Classic Reverb is fine here.
* Some dampening but not a lot, otherwise the room goes back to sounding smaller.
* Some pre-delay to increase the sense of distance (reflecting walls further away).
* Lots of dampening of high frequencies. Reflecting those too much sounds metallic. Classic Reverb emphasizes ess sounds pretty strongly here, this would need more work I guess (e.g. automation to cut the ess sounds).
* Reduce early reflections a little so the reverb focuses more on the tail than on fattening up the base sound (which isn't so effective with pre-delay, anyway).
* -10 dB adjustment to reverb, because reverb works better when it's slightly more subtle. This is far from subtle but the base level of the plugin is definitely way too much.

Now I'm sending all the other tracks (except bass which is flabby enough already) to the reverb bus, post-FX and post-fader, with the following adjustments:
* +3 dB on drums to make them a little more spacey
* +4 dB on reverb for bgv, -4 dB on the bgv group itself to make the whole thing go more into the background
* +6 dB on reverb for key inharmonic
* +6 dB on reverb for key temp mass, -2 dB on the track itself to take a little bite out but keep it very noticeable in the background

Finally, a brickwall limiter (JB Barricade) on the master bus, bringing things up by 3 dB and limiting to -1 dB. Normally I wouldn't compress this strongly but this is electro... and pumping is still fairly subtle if you ask me, especially if you turn up the volume.

Okay, that's a basic mix done, in 1h45m. If I had MIDI stuff, too, I'd re-render the piano using a different plug-in. This one is a little plain. Also the bass because this one is a little tricky to fit in the mix (and personally I'd prefer the bass with slightly more bite).

RESULT: http://static.music-jk.net/attic/iveg-e ... indmix.mp3

I'm attaching the REAPER project file (in a ZIP file to satisfy the upload policies of the forum) if you want to take a look, REAPER can be downloaded for testing without restrictions. All the plugins I mentioned are required, plus the stock REAPER plugins. Here's the list of extra plugins again, in one convenient place:
* JB Barricade (brickwall limiter)
* Kjaerhus Audio Classic Reverb
* GSnap (by GVST)
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Sat May 27, 2017 6:40 pm

Damnit, it was my idea! Now it's a competition and I didn't want to have to work that hard. :) Oh whew, you didn't add tracks. I've got a lot of the same changes so far, though I am impressed by your reverbology! Do you get annoyed when you hear bad reverb now that you're an expert?

Nice work, jast, and it's cool that you attached the reaper project. Biggest complaint is you kind of burred the cool drum flourish. The verb on the snare is perfect tho. I'll finish mine up and post my REAPER and then we can be REAPER bros. (All I have is stock reaper right now, so this will be fairly limited.)
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby irwin » Sun May 28, 2017 9:11 am

Loving this thread, guys.
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby jast » Sun May 28, 2017 11:02 am

Manhattan Glutton wrote:Do you get annoyed when you hear bad reverb now that you're an expert?

There isn't really any such thing as universally bad reverb. Sometimes you do want very artificial-sounding reverb. It's really a production choice and it's not always obvious whether somewhat ugly-sounding reverb is just due to inexperience or deliberate. As such, I don't usually get annoyed but it certainly affects the way the song feels to me.

Biggest complaint is you kind of burred the cool drum flourish.

Yeah, drums aren't my strong suit in the mix. Realistically, with the maximizing I did, the only way to put them more up front would be side chain compression to suppress most of the rest of the arrangement around drum hits. I tried another mix with sidechain compression on BGV, elec piano and key inharmonic, plus I added some 4:1 compression to the drums (with ~200 Hz low-pass on the detector to not compress the kick too much) to bring up everything else compared to the snare. I think the hi hat is a little overrepresented now but that would be hard to fix without having individual drum tracks.

Result: http://static.music-jk.net/attic/iveg-e ... -drums.mp3
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Sun May 28, 2017 5:56 pm

Thanks, jast! It's cool to hear the different things you did with it. Thanks for listing the different steps you took. That should help a lot if/ when I move off the iPad. Still looking forward to Mike's.

EXCUSE ME https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxyEJ ... Ud2ODlFc1k
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Sun May 28, 2017 6:11 pm

I'm almost done! But I I got distracted. I definitely don't know where the 80/20 line is and probably put in too many hours trying to produce things from the source material (wherein I would normally have just re-recorded said track)

JAN - What is your general opinion on ZeroCrossing maximizer vs compression?
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Sun May 28, 2017 9:17 pm

Whew I need to cut myself off. Too much time! I can go into more detail if you're interested in anything in particular, but basically:
* Tried to build up/build down tracks more
* Tried to vary some melodies and harmonies (I cheated with a tuner)
* Added the feeling of intros and outros to sections
* Fewer tracks all playing the same notes at the same time - more sustains vs staccatos and whatnot

I'm sure this mix is offensive to some and it definitely changes the feeling of the song quite a bit.

I'm less of a REAPER or technical expert than Jan so my mix is probably worse and my project folder is 700 MB...
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 29, 2017 10:01 am

Here's my zipped REAPER file. It's a little bigger (114mb) since I was having trouble with the m4a files and rendered them to wav. This is in no way a strong recommendation for how to use a DAW effectively. I look forward to any tips Jast has.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxYL8 ... XMwQmlDeUU

* I only worked with source material.
* Sped things up a few bpm - regretted not going a little higher
* Tuned and cleaned up vocal takes - removed breathing, fixed the delivery to be on beat
* Added a whole bunch of reverb and delay
* Deleted at least one synth/piano track, broke out the verse/chorus/bridge tracks
* Added some hi-hat, snare, and kick hits
* Changed and added a few bass notes, particularly at the beginning of the song (wasn't as necessary at the end IMO, but could have)
* Changed some melodies and harmonies
* Used harmonies to accentuate smaller phrases instead of constant
* Added some additional harmonies and additional deliveries by moving, tuning, and stretching
* Stripped back the piano and made a new sparse piano track for the verse
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Mon May 29, 2017 1:28 pm

Mike: Thanks for the remix! My first impression was "Wait! He changed my main melody and sped the whole thing up!"

I like the change in the piano. The verse voice sounds heavily filtered, like you ran ran a severe midpass on it. I think it adds to the detached isolation of Floor Scrubber Dude [FSD]. The melody change makes the melody more listenable, and probably easier to sing, too. However, it totally wrecks my "joke" that while the Elevator Men go up and down, FSD is stuck in the lobby [on that one note]. I like the changes to the descending vox line. I listened to your bridge harmony several times, so I could learn it. I like how you stripped back the instruments. Overall, I think the song is more updated and musical than the original. Definitely technically better. Do I like it MORE? I'm not sure.
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 29, 2017 1:41 pm

Ha, I didn't even realize there was a lyrical thread to the melody. I have no idea what the song is about, actually.

I agree - I'm not sure I like it more. I figure at the very least it can just stand as a demo of fun things to do to spice up a song - that's all with stock REAPER (no special plugins) and your own tracks.

Maybe I added too much MSG. ;). I haven't recorded a song in a year, so...

My favorite added parts are the sliding bass note in the first verse and the transition into the last chorus (with the echoing "i wish I was your friend")
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Mon May 29, 2017 2:02 pm

Yeah, I like to play with prosody. The chorus melody descends when the Elevator Men get down, and ascends [mostly] when they rise up. FSD just hangs on the one note. A weird remix idea would be to take a sample of an Auto-Scrubber, tune it to E, loop it, and use it as a vocoder bed for the melody, maybe with flange or phaser.

For "Excuse Me" I wrote the song in the key of A, verses over an A chord. I thought about singing the verse all on the note A, but I scrubbed that idea. If I had thought of it, I would have avoided the E note on the verses, and avoided the A note during the chorus. But I didn't think of it until just now. And I could change the CH chords so they also didn't have the A note in them. Oh well. It is what it is.
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby ken » Tue May 30, 2017 11:04 am

I guess I thought someone else in the band would post this. Here is BSS' Excuse Me which we wrote and recorded before we knew we had been cut.
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby iVeg » Tue May 30, 2017 4:40 pm

BSS: I generally liked it. The chorus felt incomplete. The last time, when you repeated it, it felt much more satisfying. I think you sang "words ARE merely monomers"
The verses reminded me of an obscure 80's band I used to listen to. When I listened to them, to try to find the similarity, I couldn't find it at all. Thanks for posting it, Ken!
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby jast » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:28 pm

Manhattan Glutton wrote:JAN - What is your general opinion on ZeroCrossing maximizer vs compression?

I'm guessing you mean the special case of brickwall limiting when talking about compression? Well, you can wreck the sound with both if you overdo it. I have no clear preference when applying reasonable amounts. Sometimes I use dynamic range compression, too (which simply maps the samples through a sigmoid function so that the harsh change in amplitude for clipping samples is less pronounced, but a side effect is that the overall sound is altered more strongly). And sometimes I just let things clip. And sometimes I let things clip to one limit and then apply extra limiting on top of that, adding more gain along the way.
If I need to seriously push the gain, I do it by improving the mix to give myself more room to work with in the master (if I can. I'm not a wizard).
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Re: Ohne Ruhm

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:15 pm

jast wrote:I'm guessing you mean the special case of brickwall limiting when talking about compression?

I actually have no idea how these things work so I'd appreciate however you can dumb it down to get me talking smart. :)

I specifically meant Reaper's built-in "ZeroCrossingMaximizer". I find I have a lot more luck using it than a compressor, which very quickly sounds compression-distorted to my ears. I think it finds the beginning and end of a peak sound and adjusts it as a whole rather than crushing the whole thing?
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

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