Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 75

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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    36
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Why canít I replicate the sound of commercial recordings?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ranelagh Tasmania
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,758
    Thanks
    198
    Thanked 590 Times in 480 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474857
    Trying to emulate someone else's sound is a useful exercise. It allows you to figure out what and how they did to achieve a particular sound, and then for you to develop and expand your arsenal of techniques. One difficulty, though, is that while you know what your source sound is like, you have no idea what they started with. Furthermore, you have no idea on what they are using. Reverse engineering a sound is difficult, and in some cases may be impossible if they have access to equipment, environment or performance that you don't have.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to gecko zzed For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    14,363
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 599 Times in 546 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474864
    There is a lot to getting a good recording. It's not fair to yourself to compare your efforts to a commercial song, let alone one that was a big hit. They had many things going for them that most home recording types don't have. A first class studio, top notch equipment and an engineer who had a lot of experience and knowledge. They also have many intricate parts playing in the background that you probably aren't adding to your song. The lead vocal sounds like 3 or 4 parts; one might be a whisper track lying under the main lead vocal.

    When a track sounds anemic, it will usually require judicial EQing to bring it to life. But arrangement and instrumentation have a lot to do with it, too.

    If you think your reverb has a "low end" trail, then try EQing the low freqs out of it. If you think your vocal is too muffled, add EQ in the 4k-6k range.

    Be sure you are listening to your mixes accurately. That means decent monitors and a well-treated mixing environment.

    There are so many things, the list is endless. Start with what you don't like and address each thing individually.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Trending
    Posts
    18,580
    Thanks
    288
    Thanked 829 Times in 725 Posts
    Rep Power
    21470743
    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 using Waves plugins to do this.
    None of those ^^^ things are going to make any difference on their own in your end results.
    You don't really discuss your recording process or what you are doing...you just mention the basic gear you are using (not sure if there's more gear than what you mentioned).

    It's about the whole production process from the first track you lay down, and the gear you use and way you use it, that can make a big difference in what happens later on in the computer. Not to mention...the recording space(s) you do it in.

    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.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    paradise
    Posts
    4,335
    Thanks
    102
    Thanked 550 Times in 495 Posts
    Rep Power
    8012023
    Q
    Why can't I replicate the sound of commercial recordings
    A
    The same reason so many of us can't as well . In a word, SKILL

    With advances in technology, we all have available to us pro studio quality gear that is affordable.
    What we dont have are the roomsthe big boys have. But t the same time, some ofthe big boys are doing records, film soundtracks TV soundtracks, commercials, jingles, etc in the same types of spaces we have. So again, skill.

    Gear isn't in the equation too much. On this forum, I've heard 4 track cassette recordings that were radio ready, I've heard recordings done with one cheap mic, an interface, laptop and mixed on headphones......radio ready.

    The good news is you're in a place with people who have like minded goals that are willing to help you out.

    You just gotta put in the time, practice, learn and get better.
    It's never the gear. Thats the sad truth.

    As much as I like spirited driving, if someone gave me an F-1, I doubt I'd win the race. Most likely I'd end up crashing the car lol.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    pacific nw
    Posts
    1,061
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 37 Times in 35 Posts
    Rep Power
    685159
    Three words. Room. Room. Room.
    Chord with this, Teddy......

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    paradise
    Posts
    4,335
    Thanks
    102
    Thanked 550 Times in 495 Posts
    Rep Power
    8012023
    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog101 View Post
    Three words. Room. Room. Room.
    Yes......and no.
    Plenty of unskilled people have rented out a good room and still made shit recordings.

    Back in the 90's in LA, when the big studio recession hit hard, The Record Pant would do block rates of 2 to 400 bucks a day. Great studio, great rooms. Cheap prices just to keep afloat.
    A lot of local aspiring bands would pool their pennies together to record demos at the 'World Famous' Record Plant. Still heard a lot of shit.
    In today's climate, lot of name guys are doing most stuff out of their home studios because the big budgets of yesteryear are gone.
    They may rent out a big (pricey) room for drums or something, but the bulk of the work is being done at home.

    So, once again. SKILL


    Ps. One can't always afford to rent or build a great room. But one can ALWAYS improve their skills. And isn't that part of the reason we're all here?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    50
    Posts
    19,500
    Thanks
    956
    Thanked 703 Times in 633 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474864
    It all starts from the start as everyone has stated. Musician, gear, room.... Any one of them can kill or make a recording great.

    There is no answer to the question other than that you will get it when you get it.

    Nobody is going to replicate the exact sound of another artis't record. If that were possible, everything would sound the same.

    Experience and embracing being unique is a better ideal I think. But as I am, keep learning as you go. I get's better every recording. Hopefully...
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Covina in So Cali
    Age
    65
    Posts
    2,732
    Thanks
    124
    Thanked 241 Times in 206 Posts
    Rep Power
    21464858
    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    Yes......and no.
    and more no than yes...obviously you need a "room" where there are no sounds to be picked up by the mic...In another thread where the OP was asking how to capture the genie in the bottle of Prince recordings it led me to do some research of which one really surprising thing was that Prince recorded many of his vocals in the control room with a SM 57 cantilevered over the faders...WTF? an sm57 in a control room not the "treated studio room" so...

    Yes a quiet room without a lot of bounce is good but Experience and Skill are what it takes to get good tracks and that just takes practice ...a lot of practice, trial and error and eventually if you work hard you just might reap good results.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    7,737
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 474 Times in 439 Posts
    Rep Power
    14818761
    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.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Trying to get this to sound as commercial as possible
    By NYCDrums in forum MP3 Mixing Clinic
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-26-2010, 10:41
  2. Commercial Recordings getting worse
    By brothathatcares in forum DJ & Hip Hop Production
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 10-16-2007, 11:10
  3. Commercial Recordings getting worse
    By brothathatcares in forum DJ & Hip Hop Production
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-30-2007, 10:41
  4. Frequency analysis of commercial vs home recordings
    By JSter in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-03-2006, 13:24
  5. Raising mp3 levels to match commercial recordings
    By complexprocess in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-19-2005, 12:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •