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Thread: Fake Live Album

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    Fake Live Album

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    Hi everyone,

    I've decided as a project of mine to try and create a fake live album. The reason I want to do this is because I love the sound of live albums and want to emulate that kind of feel. I've recorded all of the instrumentals (indie rock trio) but am now faced with the question of how best to go about simulating the audience. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to get audience audio clips from, or whether it's better to go out and record some yourself? Ideally my audience sound would be a bar, a smaller venue, but I'm open to larger sounds so long as they sound cohesive.

    Any help would be appreciated!
    Last edited by Steenamaroo; 4 Days Ago at 04:37.

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    It's quite fun making pub sounds. You just need patience, and half a dozen people and a few glasses. You need to record around ten minutes of murmuring around the mic. Make sure nothing is above the hubbub level so no real word gets recorded because when you hear a specificities word, repetition and looping spoils the effect. So just nondescript speech noises. Repeat a few times, then you just layer them all up. Add in a few glass chinks, sneezes, and for realism, you need a few end of song modest cheers and whoops - be wary of whistles though - these can generally only be used once, because for some reason whistles are memorable? It's actually quite fun doing. I've tried recording the audience at real gigs and layering this but it doesn't seem to work as well as manufactured pub noises. As long as they're kept low, they're unlikely to even be noticed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    I've tried recording the audience at real gigs and layering this but it doesn't seem to work as well as manufactured pub noises. As long as they're kept low, they're unlikely to even be noticed.
    I've done both and either can work. I took my Zoom H1 to a restaurant when I was out with my family and just left it to run for 5 or 6 minutes at a time and I did about 7 recordings of just the various peoples in the restaurant talking, clinking glasses and bottles, once in a while there'd be laughs, there's always someone that's overly loud or a group that get a bit shouty etc. When I listened back to it, there was plenty of sound that could be layered into whatever I wanted to layer it into. In fact, you can record just about any scenario where there's a large {15 or more} group of people. I always do my own effects. It's as satisfying as nailing an instrument part or a vocal.
    I also took the Zoom to an actual gig my friend sang in as I wanted to get crowd sounds. It was a little frustrating at times because the MC really grated on my nerves, but in the end I got loads of useable stuff. And when my kids did performances at school, I'd record the parents clapping, cheering, laughing etc.
    I've also done the thing like Rob suggested, where you get a few friends to be a 'crowd.' Because I love to varispeed, recording the sounds at different speeds {or feeding the sounds into the multitracker with the machine set at different speeds} adds to the realism. The great thing is that the listener has no idea, doesn't know all the trouble you went to for incidental sounds that one only half notices in passing and doesn't focus on but who cares ? It's fun !

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    If you ever watched the Classic Albums episode about Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, they talk a lot about how they turned a mediocre Bennie and the Jets into a hit by adding in some slap echo and some crowd sounds.

    I think a big portion of KISS Alive was redone in the studio. Thats close to a "fake" live album.

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    If you use crowd noise, make good use of the reverb to get the sound of the room close to each other.

    You probably don't need the tip, but just in case. When I use a reverb for the room, I do a rough mix just for the reverb to a return/send (called different Ableton call is a return track), like I am outside the room, then I mix the inputs to sound like everything is in that room. Get ta to match the crowd or mix it in so it sounds like one room. Now you can blend it with dry/wet (reverb level) and you should get pretty darn close.
    DM60 Tunes: The Collection

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    I think I'd be tempted to steal crowd noise from famous albums and re-edit it just enough to stay out of trouble. Maybe deliberately have different crowd noise at different breaks. Cheap Trick Live at Budokan, Live at Leeds, Kiss Alive!, Frampton Comes Alive! etc. Not that I'm recommending that, but it's an attractive concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    If you use crowd noise, make good use of the reverb to get the sound of the room close to each other.

    You probably don't need the tip, but just in case. When I use a reverb for the room, I do a rough mix just for the reverb to a return/send (called different Ableton call is a return track), like I am outside the room, then I mix the inputs to sound like everything is in that room. Get ta to match the crowd or mix it in so it sounds like one room. Now you can blend it with dry/wet (reverb level) and you should get pretty darn close.
    That was my thought DM. I would think you need the pub noises to be as dry as possible* and then 'wash' the whole recording with reverb so that everything seems to be happening in the same room.
    This will of course have to be moderated if the music has a lot of 'verb on it already.

    *I can think of a pub here that has a biggish games room but a low ceiling, thick carpet (bit sticky!) and some well upholstered bench seats. Two large pool tables also seem to breakup and absorb pretty well.
    It sounds like a small room but can hold a lot of people.

    Dave.

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