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Thread: Why canít I replicate the sound of commercial recordings?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Having done a lot of live sound I got to know about dealing with bleed. For the most part it's proximity, inverse square law. Polar pattern helps. If you're close enough to the mic the room doesn't matter. Of course sometimes you can't get that close so the room comes into play. Singing directly into the grill of a 57 is going to effectively eliminate the room. Of course you have to control your consonants to avoid unwanted effects, but that can be learned.
    Wirh live sound you're rarely dealing with anything other than dynamic mics.
    In studio with condensers and having instruments not completely isolated, you're bound to get some bleed.
    (Which in my opinion, isn't a bad thing for that 'vintage' analog sound .)

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    "Why can't I replicate the sound of commercial recordings?"
    Millions of dollars of cumulative gear, real estate, and expertise.

    Fortunately, you don't need the full gamut of gear available to commercial recordings, and there's modern consumer gear better than anything the Beatles has.
    For expertise, that's just a matter of putting in your 10,000 hours.
    Real estate? Well. That's always gonna be a hard one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    Trying to emulate someone else's sound is a useful exercise.
    Very true. Successfully mimicking techniques enables you to apply them at your own discretion. Mimicking a technique in one context won't guarantee it works in another context, but you develop a sense of where they will work and where they won't. You can then exhert your own creativity and taste.

    to develop and expand your arsenal of techniques.
    Precisely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trusso11783 View Post
    I have a good setup. I7; 32 go ram, all sad drives. I was using Samplitude Pro X 3 but am moving slowly back to Cakewalk. I am at a point in life that I want to re-record many of my songs from the 80s and 90s simply because they all sound so rough because of my limitations of the time.

    One song seems to sound quite a bit like Voices Carry by Til Tuesday sonically. So, I listen to the tracks and get it close to what I think it sounds like. I then play Voices Carry and mine sounds anemic. I canít explain it. My snare sounds similar but was dry. Theirs has a reverb on it but stays crisp. When I add reverb to my snare, it adds a low end trail. I tried to use a new to bring it up but doesnít sound right.

    Am I doing this the right way by comparing to the original? I am not copying their song by any means. I am just trying to emulate their sound. This is a lot harder than it seems. I am using Waves plugins to do this. Any help will be appreciated.
    The most important thing here is that NO ONE CAN HELP WITH ANYTHING UNLESS YOU POST RECORDINGS.

    No one here (including highly experienced pros like myself) can tell you ANYTHING of importance without hearing what you're getting from your recordings right now. Its also difficult to critique material without having some knowledge of the source, and the steps you took to get from point A to point B.

    The only meaningful response anyone can offer is to your last question. Yes. There is merit in your process of re-creating their tracks in attempt to emulate their sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    None of those ^^^ things are going to make any difference on their own in your end results.

    Maybe you can describe in greater detail how you are recording...from start to finish...and with what, etc...but gear alone will only get you part of the way there, the rest is in the skill and techniques.
    Miro, if he's trying to re-create stuff, you need to know what tools he has available to really help him with anything.

    Trusso, if you're serious about getting help with this stuff, people will need to walk you through specific parts of the weak areas of your the recordings. To avoid people making recommendations which require tools you don't have, you're gonna want to create a working list of the tools you have available. List all of your available instruments, virtual instruments, plugins, DAWs, interfaces, mics etc... Don't do it here on this thread. When you have a recording you want help with, post it to that thread at the same time you post the recording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkuehlin View Post
    Miro, if he's trying to re-create stuff, you need to know what tools he has available to really help him with anything.
    Right...that's what I said (if you read/quote my entire post).

    All he mentioned was his computer hardware and that he's using Waves plugs...but nothing really specific about the audio gear, or even which Waves plugs...or his production process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    Wirh live sound you're rarely dealing with anything other than dynamic mics.
    In studio with condensers and having instruments not completely isolated, you're bound to get some bleed.
    (Which in my opinion, isn't a bad thing for that 'vintage' analog sound .)
    Drum overheads are usually condensers, anything from Audix F15 to Shure SM81 to AKG C360, or even iFet and U87 in a mid/side arrangement. I use AKG C535EB and C1000S in live situations quite regularly. Then there's the odd bluegrass band that just has to use their AT4030 on stage. Whether live or in the studio, condenser or dynamic, there are ways to manage (not necessarily eliminate) bleed.

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    The main reasons people tend to use dynamic on stage are durability and (lack of) sensitivity. Condensers tend to be a bit more fragile in general and that is just not a good thing in any live context. They can also just too loud for some sources. You can usually turn a dynamic up enough, but sometimes can't actually turn the condenser down far enough to avoid banging the rails. In both cases it's a often a compromise between practical reliability and actual sound quality.

    It has nothing to do with bleed or feedback or anything. I guess a lot of working engineers do labor under those superstitions, but they're just being silly. Similar polar patterns and proximity always produce similar results no matter how the element itself works.

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    Thanks for all of the responses. I kept it a bit vague because I was confused that I couldn't replicate the eq and space of a simple kick\snare sound. I'm not trying to recreate the song. But if I cant get passed the minimal drums sounds, I am screwed. Most of what I will be recording are only vocals and direct bass or guitar. Possibly mic'd guitar. The drums, piano, synths, etc will all be vst instruments, so there is not much mic'ing going on in the studio. My room is my basement but i recently bought acoustic foam for walls and corner foam bass traps (which are probably not very effective at all).

    My way of thinking is if i can sonically match some of my favorite recordings, ones that sound great in my room, then my songs should sound good on the outside. That may be a flawed thought process. I will post a short passage soon and post the link shortly.

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  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    You can usually turn a dynamic up enough, but sometimes can't actually turn the condenser down far enough to avoid banging the rails.
    You could use an inline pad in that situation if necessary.

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