Electronic Music – Page 1

May 2017: This old site is reloaded as a Tribute platform for two old drummer friends who died well before their time;

    Gary Tudball (Sex Slaves From Hell)
    Roger Leece (The Government)
    Only synth (and/or general music related) Posts will be added from now on as a new tech interest (though I can’t play keys), as I don’t play guitar coz I hate hearing my crap playing, but it is a record for Valve Amp Posts that may still be useful to some people, as it was a large body of work over 2.5 years and an example of what one can achieve to teach yourself a complex topic using a good book and the Internet, without going to college and racking up a rip off student loan!

Briggs_amplifiers.pdf                  Grounding.pdf                  FundamentalsOfValveAmps.pdf

AllValveAmpPosts.pdf                FundamentalsofValveAmplifiers.docx      1962FenderTremoluxBrownfaceBlondeRepair.docx

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    20/5/2012
    These pages will be about electronic music creation, mainly using the Magix Music Maker (not much), Fruity Loops Studio 10 (lots – cause I bought it!), Apple Logic Pro (not much) and Pro Tools (not much) and other related software and equipment, and the technical information that makes stuff work
    This site is primarily aimed at beginners in all the topics I cover, as I like to think I can explain quite advanced topics in a simplified way so that anyone should be able to understand the basics of the topics, and learn something – even if they had no concept of the ideas or general topic before hand. There are some advanced subjects in the Posts, like electronics and valve amps, but as I am no expert, they are written to help me think about the subject and hopefully be able to explain it more simply for others.
    I got interested in Electronic Music again (after many years away), and Music software, after finding the MM Garage edition in a boot sale for £1. It is a bit dated now, but I could see what a great job was done with the programming design for ease of use, but was amazed at the degree of editing and sound engineering manipulation that was possible in one package. I soon upgraded after checking Ebay for Magix products – check it out for a Magix bargain.
    It is good entry level software for people who want to have a look at this to see if they would remain interested in sound creation or not, without spending lots of money on the Pro level packages and associated hardware (Apple quad core I5’s and Logic Pro for example at about 1300 pounds before instruments and tech kit):

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac

    Note I do not see Music Maker pricing as a reflection of the quality of the software – it’s potential is overwhelming if anything. I am using the MM 11 Deluxe version which I got at a steal off Ebay for £10!
    I copied the Garage version samples into the Magix folder so can use those also now anyway. I also purchased the MP3 Encoder from the Magix site after registration, so can export an unlimited amount of MP3s as finished tracks.
    I will upload one soon as my first example of what I did within a few days messing about, and hope to to include more MP3s and/or WAV files for download and topic examples, soon, along with related info. regards,
    Steve
    …and here is the first MP3……click the links to play it in your Chrome browser without downloading:

LovelyBrasilia.mp3

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If you wish to purchase Fruity Loops DAW software, you can get a 10% discount buying via my FL Affiliate link here:

http://affiliate.image-line.com/JDEAFGF487

If this site is beneficial to you, you may contribute to its upkeep with a small donation:




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MM DLX Control Panel
MM DLX Control Panel

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23/5/12
A VERY quick look at the MM Dance and HipHop v3 versions – see the SoundTech page…
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24/5/12
Following Ivy and Gold on Soundcloud.

Also today, another random “throw up” mp3 of some MM Garage version sounds on the Tech page, and an upload of a close look at the Silver Synth settings – from basics to creating something usable… Will show Garage Cpanel when I get the software back…
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27/5/12
Proud owner of a bargain, 2nd hand market , almost mint condition, Yamaha DJX “classic” Dance sampling and MIDI keyboard! I’m not a keys player but I know a decent keyboard when I see one, but didn’t know just how good this is! More on this later – sounds and functions once I have learned a bit more.
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30/5/12
I will do a vid demo soon, of what I have learned about the DJX over the last days struggling with the manual, which is here (as there seems to be lots of people on YouTube who need one):
Yamaha DJX manual.pdf
…because (though I still don’t know how this was done exactly), this guy made it do this…:

This model is still going on Ebay for as little as £25… Judging by web comments, this seems to have been a very under-rated KB in its day (circa 1997?) which cost around £300 then. I’m chuffed anyway – best £25 bargain I’ve had in a long time. here is an mp3 of 2 bars each of the 100 onboard styles:
DJX_100Styles.MP3
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3/6/12
Went to the Kynance Party on Sat 2nd June, here in Cornwall.

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6/6/12
I have been learning a lot, working on 2 tracks last week, one a complete, unashamed “electronic dance pop” track, that reminded me of Erasure (I love spacey synth sequences!) and what I remember of very limited exposure to Vince Clarke’s work back in the early 90’s whilst in a Hong Kong recording studio, Blue Max, at the time, and my mate/colleague was into them and always going on how clever Vince’s programming was. (I’ve probably overcrowded this track by comparison – after a quick check of their website back catalogue!):
http://www.erasureinfo.com/index.html
I can’t see the wood for the trees on this arrangement anymore (needs a vocal melody probably) but don’t want to spend more time on it. I may come back to it at some point… I incorporated the DJX on this for the first time, and learned a lot about that in the process – the Arpeggiator, and multi track functions etc. What a great keyboard for it’s day! The multi-tracking makes basic song structure creation really easy, so parts can then be recorded straight into Audacity, edited/looped, normalised and dragged into MM HipHop3 – easy.
ErasureHead.mp3
This track wasn’t mixed either (except relative volume levels), but a tentative first attempt at adding delay/reverb effects on certain samples, and using the stereo processor on one – irreversible processes it seems! Careful in future… The second track is causing “writer’s block” also and was built from a riff I’ve had kicking around for 20 years or so! I wanted to move away from purely boxed samples here, so used real guitar via my POD2 (a latency nightmare in real time record mode so am now looking at external sound cards on Ebay after some research via Leonard at Australia’s Kosmic Studios series of videos here:


so have a M-Audio Audiophile unit on the way off Ebay. I played some “live” keyboards, using more of the DJX on board sounds for a touch more individuality. 80% done…? I got the midi-usb cable connections working also this week, but don’t have a need for midi yet really, that I can see, as I can record the DJX sounds a .wav files as explained. Just wanted to know the DJX midi worked ok.
First MAJOR flaw discovered in the MM HH3 software!!
When doing the live guitar recording there is an option for auto-ducking the other tracks volume by some percentage for the drop in section duration, but it decided that after recording over 8 bars was complete, it would not undo the volume reduction on the other tracks!
I was left with a big volume dent, that drove me mad. I managed to get round this eventually by adding another 16 tracks, shifting all the track data down to tracks 17-32, then moving tracks 1-16 with the dents in, all the way to the bottom – one by one! – then going back to a 16 track config, removing tracks 17-32 with the dents, in the process – a TOTAL joke…not impressed…
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7/6/12
Audiophile unit and Magix Soundpool DVD arrives. A busy day ahead…
The Soundpool DVD of 6000 samples comes with another unexpected Magix version – MM Silver – like HH3 but only 8 tracks max so I wont be using it – looks good though:

here’s a bit of a different demo from this version than the others:
Chillout Demo.mp3
More on the Audiophile as a study later…as a post.
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9/6/12
I’ve uploaded an introduction/overview video to the Yamaha DJX keyboard here:

and another on it’s controller functions here:

and one on it’s multi-tracking here:

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10/6/12
New post – Transforming Music with Subtlety, using my current track as concept examples:
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=415
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13/6/12
Searching for new ideas/inspiration 2 days back., I put the DJX through the POD2 – the Delay with flanger settings worked really well on certain voices.
It was worth doing this to find what synth voices work through different FX combinations if you are looking for a new sound – tremelo or chorus on piano, for example. I’ll record a little compilation sometime, of the better ones once I have found once the 2nd POD2 PSU arrives.
A new riff was born at 150 BPM – haha, manic mode – which sounded fun at the time – with POD delay tap tempo set – but don’t think its going places…
RobotBlues.mp3
…though it is interesting to jam over because of the diminished 5th (B) in the F minor chord, because the scale that fits over this 4th chord is the C Harmonic Minor. It sounds like this:
CHarmMin.mp3
…I said I’d write a Post on how the full diminished chord was “discovered” but there is no point going into a detailed look at scale/chord theory, as there is plenty already on the Web – suffice to say – harmonising this Harmonic Minor scale using only the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of this scale , generates the full diminished chord. It is NOT generated by harmonising the C diatonic major scale (every other white note ONLY, on a piano in the key of C), which sounds like this:
CmajChords.mp3
This only generates the “minor 7 flat 5” chord, on the 7th degree (B). The 3rd, 5th and 7th are flat. The 7th needs to become a major 6th (of the B major scale (a “double-flatted” 7th or diminished 7th), so that there are 3 semitones spaced equally between the notes for a fully diminished chord, to sound like this:
Bdim7.mp3
A great page to find these chords and scales is here:
http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/piano/
So to finish this “mini-study”, here is what the Harmonic Minor scale sounds like over that Robot F dim riff – it gives an Eastern feel to it:
RobotHarmin.mp3
I use this scale a lot on guitar when improvising over chord changes, as it throws it outside chromatically only 1 semitone from a natural minor scale but changes the flavour a lot.
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14/6/12
NEW TRACK !!
The Audiophile PSU arrived today so I could use the POD2 also, to get the guitar solos done on my latest track – Davy Spillane’s Nightmare here:
Davy Spillane’s Nightmare
https://soundcloud.com/dragdropmonkey/davy-spillanes-nightmare
And now I have sussed the coding for embedding the Player, my previous tracks also:

Lovely Brasilia
[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/dragdropmonkey/lovelybrasilia[/soundcloud]
I would love to have Irish pipes on Davy Spillane’s Nightmare, but then…
If you don’t know who Davy Spillane is check out his Irish pipes albums online:
http://www.davyspillane.com/
The latency is still a nightmare recording the guitar solos – I can’t see a way round this just yet – faster solos are just not possible, fortunately not wanted or required on this track – yet another reason for the title, let alone what Spillane would think of the sequencing emulation of “pipes”!
This is unmixed as I want to look at that process, along with Mastering, as a separate study in itself using those functions in Magix, as they are completely new to me so I will have to see what it involves myself first, and as the Mastering Suite has a limited time period of use and I have only 15 days left, I’ll do it soon, and Post what was involved.

Also today, as I had the POD2 set up, a quick video look at this guitar FX unit and some of its sounds, as used on Davy’s Nightmare for the solos today:


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17/6/12
Please note all clean guitar video sound that is slightly distorted is due to the camcorder microphone – NOT the POD2.
I did loads of vid work today but had to bin the lot because of this. Should have checked first – I know…
I have realised the sound distortion may be from the camera battery going flat during recording – Duh..
I have done a video on setting Tap Tempo, and the basic idea behind the concept of Chord Scales and harmonising scale notes. Re a couple of verbal errors near the end – I mean learning/playing 4 note chords with a root note on each bass string – the E, A and D strings, not whatever I mumbled…ya get the idea with the Word docs below for download. I hope this video makes sense to you..

Video Supplementary Info

There are 2 handy Word documents to download here, of scale and chord charts, that you can use as your own personal study record, to copy/move the dots around for a different scale you may wish to study to find chords within them etc.
C diatonic scale.docx
Guitar Diatonic 7th Chord Shapes.docx
You will need Word 2007 or newer to open these.
Can you find the chord shapes below within the C diatonic scale chart above?
Major 7ths shapes

Minor 7ths shapes

Dominant 7th shapes

Minor 7th flat 5 shapes

Here are the C major 7ths:

There are even two full 6 note diminished 5th chords/arpeggios (no min3 or min7), rooted on F and B within the C diatonic scale.
You can have fun improvising with that!

I’m not going to do any more on Music Theory, maybe only as it crops up and is relevant to something else specifically – it’s up to you how far you want to take it.
If you want to see some advanced guitar scales, tips and techniques, check out my Keith More guitar lesson video:

Some of the best Demos in FL Studio10
MrSpecial-ArentYouClever.mp3 – Great song and vocals, by Laurie Webb
My Body.mp3 – Interesting FX
ScottFisher-Moholithic Filter.mp3 – Nice Trance pads
In depth Fruity Loops Tutorials by Andrew Aversa at:
http://zirconmusic.com/tutorials/videos/
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23/6/12
Wrote an Addendum to the FLS MIDI keyboard Post, which has interesting subject matter in itself re Psycho-acoustics etc:
ADDENDUM 23/6/12
…BUT…Latency is still an issue here too, even with just MIDI info.
This a sufficient delay to mean that live recording using the DJX is just not possible either with my setup.
Disappointing.
It throws your timing out whilst trying to keep time with the sequencer Pattern, for example.
With today’s technology and speed of hardware I’m really dismayed by all this. As an IT tech, I appreciate the signal path delay and data processing that has to be done for this, but still..
There has been no improvement from a user perspective, as far as latency goes, in the last 20 years since I was using my first MIDI based Atari ST that had only 512k of RAM and a 3 MHz CPU! Latency was better, as I remember, at least playing live keys via MIDI if not recording whilst playing back because the Operating System was so basic and far less busy in comparison to Windows, Linux or MAC OS, which try to be all things to all men all of the time, but fail with specifics in this most of the time, in my opinion. (Ha! Just like this Website, after reading some comments… – Couldn’t resist that…) .
That said, with any OS, as it relates to recording and live playback, this data processing will always be a problem as it is not possible to record a sample of data, treat it AND spit it back out exactly simultaneously whilst also playing back pre-recorded data, there will ALWAYS have to be a system delay for this data processing, mainly because of the long signal path from PC to speakers to human ear to brain to instrument to PC to software, to speakers, back to human again etc. (get the idea?).
It is a question of whether all this data processing can be done fast enough overall to deceive the extremely fast responding human ear that we are “suffiently” (i.e. subjectively), “ïn time”.
The use of memory buffers solves playback delay issues by buying time for the PC to process data before sending it out in a “continuous”, seemingly unbroken stream to a human, which work well to give smooth playback, but they can’t do much about the long data path mentioned above, which just takes time.
I hope you get an understanding of the problems facing Engineers now, but it still doesn’t help the overall disappointment when you just want to make music.
If you are interested in more of the technicalities of Psycho-acoustics, MIDI clock resolution limitations, sequencer clocks etc. as it relates to music, I found some interesting webpages whilst trying to find the minimum human ear response time after which we can’t separate individual sounds from echos or reverb etc. I think it is about 660 microseconds, depending on frequency (if I read the article correctly) according to Wikipedia here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interaural_time_difference
http://home.roadrunner.com/~jgglatt/tutr/seqtime.htm

http://conocimientosamplifiersfr.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/fw-human-ear-response-to-audio_04.html

http://web.mit.edu/2.972/www/reports/ear/ear.html
If you want really good video Tips on using Fruity Loops, this guy – warBeats – is great, and done LOADS:

and his homepage is here:
http://warbeats.com/Tutorials/FL-Studio
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25/6/12
Jeez! I’m all geeked out with Fruity Loops Studio the last 4 days – gotta try to do some music for a change…
I have a Line 6 FB4 controller pedal arriving shortly from Ebay (as they don’t come up very often) so will have an excuse to play guitar and do an overview.
Looking forward to Carrie Underwood’s new album arriving soon – car drivin’vocals blastin’ to that one! Yeehar!
http://www.carrieunderwoodofficial.com/us/home
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I like this catchy Dance track and whacky video (strange Vampire Child! ) so much I had to move it from AV to the main page!

and This is Noonie Bao’s new single and page info – clever girl…artist/writer/producer…

Zircon-Just hold on (alpha team remix).mp3


NOTE: the digital noise at the start is due to my system being under powered – even rendering the MP3 it seems.
NOTE:NOTE I just replaced it after fixing the rendering issue with ASIO4ALL drivers for my laptop, see Post 11/7/12
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1/7/12
Got a half working Typhoon home cinema woofer unit for 50p at a boot sale – just to give a bit of audible bass response, as PC speakers are just NO good for bass at all really – even my 80w active ones.
Fortunately the rear stereo outs DID work when all else didn’t…and the speaker is ok so I’m not complaining.
I least I can hear the kick drum in FLS a lot better now until I can research and buy some better monitor speakers – how much are industry standard Yamaha NS-10’s these days anyway…?
This is an article on why they became a standard:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep08/articles/yamahans10.htm
The interesting part for me highlights the importance of Psycho-acoustics again – how our brain interprets sound overall:
“Moving swiftly on to the second assertion I made a couple of paragraphs ago, we humans have evolved to respond more to the transient than to the tonal elements of sound. Try a little experiment: find a sample of something like a clarinet and a flute, each playing the same continuous note, drop them onto two tracks in your DAW and listen to them in turn. It’s very easy to tell which is which. Chop the first, say, 500ms from the front of each so that the characteristic beginnings of the notes are suppressed, and listen again. They’ll sound much more similar: the brain uses the characteristic transients to differentiate the instruments, and without them it struggles. Now, go back to the un-edited samples and apply the same severe EQ to each and listen again: despite the EQ, you can still differentiate them. A similar illustration of the use the brain makes of transient rather than tonal information is that a familiar voice remains familiar in wildly different acoustic environments — environments that imprint different tonal characters on the sound. So, concentrating on the ‘flatness’ of frequency response is to miss a hugely important point: if a monitor handles transients accurately, its frequency response is much less important than you probably think.”
Hmm..maybe I need to do a frequency response and power output tech Post as a refresher anyway..?
I’ll get better kit sorted once setup in the new house in a few weeks.
The PC is loading Demos quick and seems stable after the full re-install and driver resets (see Post) so it is worth doing – dedicate a PC to sound ONLY – no Win updates required, no mail means no Anti-Virus running etc. Just make sure you are behind a Firewall, and be careful where you surf on the web (best not to if you have another PC for that with Anti-Virus for downloads etc).
Only a couple of the “busier” Demos suffer digital noise – most play fine now.
Set all buffers to MAX to be sure…
I’m trying to work on a first track in FLS but it is really experimentation and learning – it is so easy with PC software to use the stock samples that are so Dance oriented, and get sidetracked creating a track around them instead of sticking to an original musical idea you were aiming for…fight the urge!!
Having said that, I will do a quick dragdropmonkey special just to prove that point with the FLS Producer edition samples anyway. Some are REALLY spacey-stereo-cool and very sweepy, filter resonant etc.
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2/7/12
New Post on the DX10 plugin and sound theory
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5/7/12
New Posts yesterday and today – Mixer and Piano Roll Effects – with the mp3 links uploaded now.
My sis told me about this cool vid from Pepe Deluxe – different!

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7/7/12
Brain surgery would be easier to study than FLS methinks…still ploddin’ on folks…
Check the Notepad page for the compulsory tutorial vids from ste14xxx whatever – he is the biz.
Sytrus plugin…what fantastic synth sounds…give me another month and I might have something finished to play you…!? In the meantime…some real, non virtual musicians for you…
Living Colour Live blast from the past – great vocalist – think Vernon Reid lost the plot a bit there with that solo – maybe his Spandex pants shrank in the spotlights…hahah.. ? Still one of my fave albums of all time…

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E..a provar eu sei diversidade cutural, um pequeno, aqui e Gilberto Gil – Espresso 2222
Começou a circular o Expresso 2222
Que parte direto de Bonsucesso pra depois
Começou a circular o Expresso 2222
Da Central do Brasil
Que parte direto de Bonsucesso
Pra depois do ano 2000
Dizem que tem muita gente de agora
Se adiantando, partindo pra lá
Pra 2001 e 2 e tempo afora
Até onde essa estrada do tempo vai dar
Do tempo vai dar
Do tempo vai dar, menina, do tempo vai
Segundo quem já andou no Expresso
Lá pelo ano 2000 fica a tal
Estação final do percurso-vida
Na terra-mãe concebida
De vento, de fogo, de água e sal
De água e sal, de água e sal
Ô, menina, de água e sal
Dizem que parece o bonde do morro
Do Corcovado daqui
Só que não se pega e entra e senta e anda
O trilho é feito um brilho que não tem fim
Oi, que não tem fim
Que não tem fim
Ô, menina, que não tem fim
Nunca se chega no Cristo concreto
De matéria ou qualquer coisa real
Depois de 2001 e 2 e tempo afora
O Cristo é como quem foi visto subindo ao céu
Subindo ao céu
Num véu de nuvem brilhante subindo ao céu
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The Express 2222 started running
It runs direct from Bonsucesso to the hereafter
The Express 2222 started running
From Brazil Central Station
It runs direct from Bonsucesso
To after the year 2000
They say there are a lot of people from now
Getting ahead, leaving to go there
To 2001, and 2, and times beyond
To wherever that highway of time will end up
Of time will end up
Of time will end up, little girl, of time goes
According to those who already rode the Express
Round about the year 2000 is that
Final station of the life-path
On mother earth, conceived
Of wind, of fire, of water and salt
Of water and salt
Of water and salt
Oh, little girl, of water and salt
They say it looks like the tram on Mount Corcovado
Except that you don’t catch it, get on, sit down and ride
The track has become a glow that has no end
Hey, that has no end
That has no end
Oh, little girl, that has no end
You never get to the concrete Christ
Of material, or anything real
After 2001 and 2 and times beyond
Christ is like someone who was seen
Rising to heaven
Rising to heaven
On the veil of a shining cloud rising to heaven
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…et ici, une chanson de son en Francais…Je m’ennuie de France…nous n’avons pas soleil ici – jamais!!
The island of Gorée lies off the coast of Senegal, opposite Dakar. From the 15th to the 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast.
La lune qui se lève
Sur l’île de Gorée
C’est la même lune qui
Sur tout le monde se lève
Mais la lune de Gorée
A une couleur profonde
Qui n’existe pas du tout
Dans d’autres parts du monde
C’est la lune des esclaves
La lune de la douleur
Mais la peau qui se trouve
Sur les corps de Gorée
C’est la même peau qui couvre
Tous les hommes du monde
Mais la peau des esclaves
A une douleur profonde
Qui n’existe pas du tout
Chez d’autres hommes du monde
C’est la peau des esclaves
Un drapeau de Liberté
http://www.youtube.com/nPkExHTMRX8

e meu favorito de tudas músicas de Ivete Sangalo – A Lua Que Eu Te Dei…saudades do Brasil..:
I learned a lot of Portuguese from this DVD over the years.
A truly fantastic ballad, like Quando A Chuvar Passar. A great guitar solo too…
Posso te falar dos sonhos, das flores
de como a cidade mudou
posso te falar do medo, do meu desejo
do meu amor
Posso falar da tarde que cai
E aos poucos deixa ver no céu a Lua
Que um dia eu te dei
Gosto de fechar os olhos
Fugir do tempo, de me perder
Posso até perder a hora
Mas sei que já passou das seis
Sei que não há no mundo
Quem possa te dizer
Que não é tua a Lua que eu te dei
Pra brilhar por onde você for
Me queira bem
Durma bem
Meu Amor

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7/7/12
New knowledge summary Track – Sytrus 1 – a simple track for not so simple reasons….
A week ago I said:
“I will do a quick dragdropmonkey special..” Well, it wasn’t quite a drag/drop in a Magix sense that’s for sure, it is more an Engineering Demo and a milestone.
To find out what was involved, read today’s Sytrus 1 Post.
Sytrus1.mp3
Listen in decent headphones is best. The FLS sound is SOOOO Pro…
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9/7/12
Here is a little taster of what I’m working on now, after being amazed at how real the BooBass plugin sounds when I wrote this riff for it.
This has led to a more “live muso” funky track, away from purely “electro” sounding stuff, using the FPC presets, real drum patterns you can download from the FPC Drum Pads plugin (see older Post) online content library. I got a real Fender Strat sound from there too – quite real! – using the “Strum” techniques shown in NFXBeats video above.

BooBassFunk.mp3 – now you can go funk yourself!
StratChords.mp3 – unreal eh..? – that its so real!
and for a larf…(I’m trying to download the unmuted Strat sounds to do this better)…but for a quick 2 min step edit its not bad!? (Hope I don’t offend my American visitors…)
Not Quite Home Alabama.mp3
That’s just MAD!!
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9/7/12
Finally uploaded the Marshall Demo I filmed at the Mean Fiddler, London, mid 90’s – Keith showing Valve State 100 amps. We went with Dougie Boyle, Robert Plants guitarist at the time, who had a jam later also with the house blues band. On the AV page:

I also have a live show of Keith doing his Guitar Stories album with the Mondesir Twins rhythm section.
I’ll upload that sometime, once converted to Divx. Here:

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12/7/12
First complete Track written in FLS – it started life as an intended tech study of the Sytrus plugin – yeah right..! Read the Automation Intro Post anyway for what evolved…
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=1756
hope you like it…
Sequonitron
[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/dragdropmonkey/sequonitron-stereomaster[/soundcloud]
Sequonitron.mp3
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14/7/12
Boobass Track final mix – Post on pre and post mix comparisons, and what was involved:
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=1773
Final mix and pre mix below – best in headphones.

BooBassPreMixed.mp3
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15/7/12
This Strat sound is great – for a minute of Country Fun anyway…I want to try to do something with as many music styles as I can, to see how they turn out in FLS, using the FPC Drums…meanwhile, as I never learned to play Country Guitar…or Banjo for that matter…
Country Fun.mp3
Anyway, enough silliness…what to do now…?
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16/7/12
Posts on Sidechains – Compression, and Ducking. A rhythmic Pad pulse set by the kick drum controlling the Compressor:
KickDucks.mp3
It’s great, where all this research leads me, back through my life and musical history…The Consequences album by Godley & Creme from 1977 birthed 5 o Clock in the Morning – beautiful – I hadn’t heard this for almost 30 years – Kev and Lol on UK Gold here:

https://youtu.be/MNkYZ91d8Lc

Like doing that Country thing reminded me of Dixie Dreggs – all albums I used to have and lost years back, thank God for the Internet! (well, ex optical fibre techs like me, actually…)

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Thinking about past oddities, my sis had this album in the early 80s – Queen’s Roger Taylor with Future Management, from Fun In Space 1981…ahead of its time really…

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New Post on FPC Drum Pad separation…
19/7/12
Expanding on the FPC Post, I’m busy writing a piano based melodic ballad, and really enjoying it…
The FL Keys Piano sound is amazing, is auto panned across the keyboard, and with some reverb…mm-mmm.


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29/7/12
New Post on Sytrus Operators, more Wave Theory, Concert Pitch, Ear response and digital phone systems – Eh?!
A last one before moving house tomorrow – may be offline for a while decorating etc. but there is plenty to keep your mind technically busy in this Post.
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=1977
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1/9/12
I’m back with an incomplete Post – Operators Part 2 – but have enrolled on a Music Production course at the local college so will try to put as much useful info I learm on that here from now on, time permitting.
They use Pro Tools, not Fruity Loops, so there will be a whole different aspect to this pages Posts from now probably, and Posts less frequent due getting work done.
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12/9/12
Hi Y All,
i know Ive been away for weeks (moved house), but I have acquired some original 24 track .wav files of original mixes by various artists to try my hand at mixing them in FLS.
This is my first attempt at such a thing, so I have a lot to learn.
The first is a version of Bob Marleys No Woman..
All I did was use Fruity Parametric on all tracks to trim bandwidth overspill and raise the lower volumes to line level, put Fruity Reverb2 on all vocal tracks and the snare drum, and panned a little. Thats it. The hard part was taking the 4 organs down (and all else) so Bobs vocals werent swamped by everything else. No there isnt enough of some things – ah well its a first attempt.
Mixing is not easy. As I said before it is an art in itself.
I dont know anything about the history of these takes, and they have a very live feel to them still. It was great! You can hear Bob breathing between singing when the track is soloed in the mixer!
I have rendered it to MP3 so take a listen. It is more up tempo and raw than the common released version.
I have Lively Up Yourself to do also.
Bob_no_Woman_SteveMix1.mp3
Marley fans – enjoy….
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14/9/12
Here is the pre mix of Lively Up, all Ive done is normalise all the .wavs of this 16 track so it is heard with all faders at zero as a pre mix compare, as I forgot to do that for the last one.
Ill start mixing this tonight and maybe finish tomorrow.
LivelyUp-UnMixed.mp3
As before the the organ is right in your face – great sound though, but Bobs vocals are not so lost as No Woman.
I shouldnt have to raise the volumes of lower level tracks much to 0dB-ish with the FruityParametric2 now they are all normalised first, too.
Ok. A few hrs later and I have added reverb to vocals snare, kick, piano etc and delay on the horns, trying to be as subtle as possible and not get carried away.
The proof of any improvement (if any!) will be comparing this one after the other in the google pages. Yet to listen in headphones.
The Kick on this was really thick with no click component to boost for presence – but then its a reggae track.
LivelyUp_BrassDelay.mp3
Well, it didnt exactly jump out the stereo as a megamix, so apart from the obvious stereo spread its not a MASSIVE improvement but Id rather tread on the side of caution than have Bob send me bad voodoo!
Next up soon – completely different – Brian Enos A Secret Life – Ive never heard it before…
19/9/12
Er…maybe not…more an exercise in Psychoacoustics – not getting involved in that weirdness..
So heres Stevie Wonder – Superstition – unmixed, 16 tracks instead.. for now, oh yeah! Will enjoy mixing that!
StevieWonder – Superstition-unmixed.mp3
May get on with that tomorrow -Tchau Bellas!
God ! – If you can come up with riffs like that with that soul vocal and groove you deserve to be famous! The guy who did the horn arrangement needs a medal! The unmixed version sounds great as it is – like a Pro megajam – slick – the drummer must have thought it was Xmas when he got that gig!
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21/9/12
OK – big learning experience here after a very short time on mixing Superstition – I went and bought the originals from iTunes (without knowing before hand what the original was like in terms of panning etc. – there’s a left handed hihat accent from riding the faders when the main hhs and snare are slightly right as usual on SW), of Bobs 2 above, and Stevie’s AFTER I did my mixes, which was a great thing to do so I could listen immediately to each after the other. I wanted to bring out the drums more on all these, and lift the vocal volume more). Bob and Stevie have incredibly natural feeling (talent!) vocally anyway, without production so I wanted to hear it.
The snare reverb on Superstition on this mix maybe too obvious and ruinous for some at the start, but when all else is playing I think it stops it from being lost – its a great groove this track, and I thought the drums needed to be more upfront (drums overall for me is too low in the released mix for more contemporary ears maybe?) and I wanted to give them more presence without drowning all else especially the vocals – its the song (vocals) that is important ultimately for me, not the individual instruments or the riff (though thats what catches ya first in many cases) and what the song is usually built around – or is that just a guitarists perspective??). Anyway, what you wont hear that I can through my lovely, warm Technics SU800 amp, is the MASSIVE difference in the Fruity Loops mix, to after it is rendered to MP3 – lossy compression around 10:1 for mp3s. Listen to an mp3 then the CD version of the same song – MP3s suck the absolute life out of them in direct comparison. Seriously!. The higher frequency hi hats and cyms really become squashed and dull.
Soon I will document all Im learning on my fantastic college course, 3 diifferent drum miking techniques (research the Glyn Johns 4 mic drum technique – fab a for minimal setup.). I will get the recordings we did of each up here so you can compare them and how they fit different genres of music just by moving mics 20cm in a direction etc. We have done bass amp, electric guitar, and solo acoustic guitar miking also, with keys, vocals, and acoustic guitar and vocals separation to come. Loving it!!
Thanks to all the Americans, who are the bulk of my visitors, that give me the incentive to keep putting up material here. I hope it’s still beneficial to you – feel free to email me at the address at the top, with any (only!) constructive comments/stories (else Ill just bin you and wont respond anyway). It would be nice to hear of any practical uses or benefits you have got from me doing this.
StevieWonder- Superstition_First Mix.mp3
PS – you can be forgiven for being fooled into thinking it was a great bass player on this – it was Stevie (I assume) playing the synth! What a dude…
Here is the synbass with orig clav reverb only (there are 4 clav tracks + plus reverb + mic overspill on the original – no wonder my 40 yrs touring experienced friend John Bickersteth keys player mate said he~d never been able to play this accurately!)
John plays with Lazy Lester – 71, (who is Robert Johnsons son! Holy shit!).
Lots of Lester on Youtube.
Superstition – SynBass_MyDrumsMix_DryHorns_OrigClavRev.mp3
Well. I had to put this up as the next potentail mix , but I cant face it after listening to it. AWFUL! What a waste of Beyonces time and talent.
A major lesson it writing a track around image/fads first and content later…
I was looking forward to doing a D C track but this is so bad I cant face it. Repetitive boring hook and a staccato rhythm that that leaves me feeling dis-jointed.
Here~s the flat mix anyway – 29 tracks of a no go – any nobody could have sung this for the same result in itself – what a waste of Beyonce – only reason it was a hit I guess…incredible voice etc. but the most unimaginative hip hop street mentality. Guess the dollar bandwagon came first…
Destinys_SayUnmixed.mp3
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22/9/12
OK, now Ive listened again to DC without the beers and bad mood it put me in last night, its a good enough song that has been produced and spoiled by a gang of teenage DJs, seemingly.
I still think the whole rhythmic idea is bad – a more straight 4/4 running through it would have been better, with a snare – but sound engineers aren’t paid to like the music they work on, just to get the best out of it.
I”ll come back to it at some point, but I just found I had got Dooby Brothers, Long Train Coming after all – so may have a go at that tonight – Lovely! Nice guitars in this, here’s the unmixed version.
DoobyBros_LongTrainUnmixed.mp3
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23/9/12
I will start documenting all the micrphone techniques we are doing at college – drums (x3), bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys, acoustic guitar with vocals and vocals.
I have written the first – Glyn Johns 4 drum mic techniques a Post. Uploading now…
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=2062
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27/9/12
Just to break up the studies, just listening to this on the radio – some Dance hits I love..and it turns out she’s Brasileira – any surprise? What a mover, and georgeous because of it!

Turns out she didn’t sing it though..Milli Vanilli syndrome…

..and Deee-Lite! What a sexy chick, Lady Miss Kier, (Kierin M. Kirby, born August 15, 1963) – lurve that catsuit!! God! She’s a year older than me! Bet she don’t look like THAT anynore…

Shapeshifters – Lola’s Theme

Got some Sax recordings to do a Mic Tech Post on from our in house Mega-Session tutor Matt blowing into different mics for our contemplation…A Golden Age FC4, Golden Age R1, and a Rode NT2A.

http://stevepedwards.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/GAgeR1_Main+RodeNT2A_Ambient.mp3″>Sax_GAgeR1_Main+RodeNT2A_Ambient.mp3
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/GAFC4_Main+RodeNT2A_Ambient.mp3″>Sax_GAgeFC4_Main+RodeNT2A_Ambient
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I have just edited 2 of the .wavs of the Vocal Mic Techniques session we did 2 weeks back – with a direct comparison of a classic Shure SM58 and my own, much cheaper (£30) baby brother, the Shure SV200. I was pleasantly surprised at how little difference there was in overall performance with Marcus’ deep Cornish accent, though the SM58 has better bass response (warmer), though the SV200 was brighter.
I dont know what may have happened with the original gain settings on the mixer, but the 2 wavs had very different levels, so both were normalised in FLS, then panned hard LR with the SM58 on the RIGHT.
I also had to cut the garbage from each at the start and ends – which was tricky to get no audible difference when they both start, but managed it OK. I dont know if its the normalising process or what, but I still had to mix the SV200 much lower to get volume equality on both L+R, though the SM is more bass responsive.
The upshot is – I can recommend the SV200 as a fine cheap replacement for an SM58 for anyone on a budget, for sure, but they dont put any info on the Shure UK page? i’ll be using it as my guitar amp mic in the band recordings we do in future, so will see if its up to that also.
http://www.shure.co.uk/products/microphones/sm58
http://www.shure.com/americas/products/microphones/other/sv200-vocal-microphone
MarcusPoetrySV200Left_Sm58Right.mp3
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5/10/12
Why are Dance tracks so common these days? Because in today’s software, with billions of good quality samples available, you don’t have to be a “musician” to create good quality tracks – they are a quick and easy, and you can do exactly what you like, or just experiment, with maybe only a marginal thought put to compositional structure.
I hope to talk about Apple Logic soon, as we use it at college, and though all these Pro level packages – like FLS, Pro Tools, and Apple Logic – have the same capabilities and complexities overall, they still take time to get familiar with, so I just ended up doing a dragdropmonkey special on this track as college work, as its all that is required as a “Project” for this basic course – a really basic stereo mix – to hand in to the lecturer.
I couldn’t actually “plan” my way round a composition as I would in FLS, (even though I’m still a Newbie in that also, anyway) because I didn’t know how to do what I wanted to the same degree in FLS, so out of random boredom I trawled the sample lists, and threw these dance sounds together in about an hour, then mixed it at home in FLS.
I bounced these track samples from Logic, to .wav files, imported them into FLS at home, and did some usual EQ with FL ParametricEQ2, and stuck some reverb on the vocal samples to give this Dance track a bit of a lift on the generally flat Trance drum loop.
I do like it as a basic track though, mainly because of the vocal samples that “Sophie” did, so that’s all that matters…
SophieMix_EQ_VocRev.mp3
I Like the deliberately/accidentally disjointed bar timing, that is still “in time”. It throws you out if dancing, until you know what’s what.
You wont have a hope of hearing it as I do unless you go via a decent stereo, quite loud.
Sophie Trance

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6/10/12
Trying to find more of Keith More on the web, here’s a bit of a live show of his with the Mondesir Brothers:

Wow! Narada Michael Walden has been busy! What a career:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narada_Michael_Walden

And the closest he seems to have got with a Promo vid:

I still have his live gig with Mike and Mark Mondesir, for the Guitar Stories CD but have had loads of problems getting it off 8mm to PC at various times…
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7/10/12
My Aussie mate sent me this link – 40 guitar techniques in one track – you might learn something..

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9/10/12
I want to do a Post on Compression soon, and why it is the MOST used effect in many different areas of sound production and transmission via radio. Sound On Sound have a great article devoted to the topic in the Sept 2009 issue, and as we have talked a lot about this at college, as it is the most misunderstood, probably, of all sound processing – the how, when and why of its use etc. Suffice to say its effect can be dramatic yet paradoxically un-noticeable – UNLESS its NOT used, on vocals, drums and bass particularly in most pop music especially rock and dance were a lot of punch and tightness is required.
Just as a really basic example – very noticeable even in these MP3 of the latest unfinished track I threw together today in a couple of hours – listen how the two drums tracks that contain the whole kit have the kick and hi hats lifted above the rest of the mix.
All I’ve done is EQ and pan all Logic samples and used Fruity Limiter in Compression mode on the 2 sets of drum loops at 6:1 and a 10ms attack time. This lets the fast hi hat taps through nicely too it seems.

Tonya Dance NO Compressed Drums.mp3
Tonya Dance Compressed Drums.mp3
Man! I’m blown away by that. It was just the lift and presence I was looking for out of the EQ-ing but couldn’t get all along. Now I’ll have to go back and add compression in places to all the previous tracks I’ve ever done! Doh!
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11/10/12
I have a 16 track college jam band session we have to record and mix for the course, which I have the flat mix of here. I have spent an afternoon trying to mix this and its a nightmare, so I will do a Post on this soon on the very basics of mixing techniques we have been shown so far, but for now here is the unmixed track. It looks like its going to take ages as there is a LOT of stuff to take into account – its not about quality of musicianship here – just a one take with what abilities some of the students have as musicians/rappers etc. – just what you have to work with and make it as best as possible, using fundamental principles to create a stereo mix. here’s the mics used:
kick – D112
hi hat/snare top – SM57
snare bottom – Golden Age FC4
toms 1,2,3 – PG56s
overheads L/R- Rode NT5
upright stick bass amp – PG52
upright stick bass – DI
guitar amp – C214
keys – DI
keys amp – C214
vox – Shure SV200 (mine! No SM58 available that day)
room ambients L/R – NT2A
AarronRapFlatMix.mp3
The first thing to realise is that digital line level 0dB is about 12-16db above analogue microphone line level – that is why a lot of audio samples in FLS and other packages may seem really low volume, if not normalised. Nothing has been normalised and won’t be, as the gain will initially come via FLS parametric EQ2 for those really quiet tracks, to get all tracks at a roughly equal audible/digital line level for the faders first to mix down from – the vocals really need that for a start – here:
AarronRap_RoughlyEqualLevelsToStartMix.mp3
Here’s the mess I got myself into earlier with an on-the-fly mix (3 hrs++!) with EQ, reverb, and delay (just so the afternoon I spent wasn’t wasted) – cause now I’m starting from scratch when I realised I need compression on various tracks FIRST – especially the variable vocals and bass levels and to make vox the focal point of the track – hated the mix anyway, duff kick drum with no click ’cause I remember personally placing the kick mic and thinking – 2 pillows? Thouhgt we only had one on previous recordings as it sounded too woolly….:
AarronRap_Mix1_FX.mp3
There will be a lot to document here so it will have to be done as a Post.
God I have to go through this all again on a real mixing desk at college…no wonder musos that have to listen to their own albums time and again when they release a commercial record never want to hear it or play it live ever again!
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12/10/12
Post on Mixing – Intro, using the AarronRap as a complete restart example:
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=2176
Boy, it’s worth remembering how much mood influences perception and vice versa, and you can become stuck in a “space” while mixing, and that’ s why you have to go back and hear something then next day or a week later and see how different it is from what it seemed at the time. Tiredness is real factor in anything, you can become numb at the time even if you think you are into something. Its a big problem for mixing engineers who have to work to a deadline for example. Some other tricks are;
Take regular breaks to rest your ears, or listen to another different piece of music for relativity.
Turn you back on the speakers – let the left/right hemispheres of your brain hear it opposite, like a mirror reflection.
Turn the lights off – does it give you a 3D perception when your eyes aren’t involved. Can you ears detect relative placement (The Stoners view.. ha!).
Listen through a closed door – does it sound like a known track the neighbours are playing next door? – i.e. the bass components that vibrate walls, without knocking them down (dub bass dance tracks for example).
Don’t mix on drink or drugs – (except for fun of course) – it will probably sound crap when you are straight. Professionally, an absolute NO.
Listen at low and high volumes – can you still hear it all in proportion at both or does something get lost or jump out too much?
Does it augment or diminish any emotional content in the track? A particularly catchy hook, or heartfelt lyric, solo or whatever?
Listen through good headphones – this will give you a good stereo placement impression.
Ultimately, take into account its your ears not someone else’s you hear through – and if they think it’s shit, maybe they have too much wax in theirs – or you do in yours! Ha.
It’s all subjective and open at the end of the day – it’s Art. No Rules.
If you like it, that’s the best you can do…Hmm..Zen and the Art of Psychoacoustics…or people’s perceptions in general really – I guess that leads to…will it stand the test of time for what was intended in the first place?
Got to go listen to Across 110th St by Bobby Womack now – that certainly does… Tarantino knew that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtzRJgZG98I
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13/10/12
Just to finish off the Aarron mix for college – must all be sick of it by now, I am – but it was a really hard mix as a first college Project – but I achieved the separation I was after pretty much. A lot of the problem I think was the trebley mushiness that was the Vox mic overspill – only when I cut that out with an Automation track between verses to pull the faders down, I realised how bad it had been.
Getting the bass tracks OK was a nightmare too as the levels were dropping in and out because of the dodgy connection somewhere in the DI chain – active pickups, battery, jacks, sockets or lead.
Ed NOTE: Turned out the gradual bass drop over many bars had come from the bass player gradually moving the vol pot down while playing, by accident, on his upright Stick bass!!
I have about 10 different mixes of this track, and lost my way about with it all, and one mix I did yesterday doesn’t sound as bad as I thought after all, but this is the final mix I’ll hand in to college:
AarronRapFinal1.mp3
I like the kick and hi hats on this one better – hate the snare.

AarronRap_Mix1_FX.mp3 – Nice snare on this first rough mix 2 days ago but awful kick drum and not so good hi hats. – Doh!
Not that much in it really, but the first is tider and more technically “correct”.
The final jigsaw piece was to listen through headphones – the mix prior to this was too bass heavy which wasn’t so apparent via the stereo.
Really impressed with how much the addition of 2 room mics panned full left and right, can benefit – they really picked up the closing hi hat and cyms and can add any missing top end, and maybe what is missing from a snare to help it cut through.
In summary:
Clean up the top and bottom ends of every track with FLS ParametricEQ2 without losing wanted tone. (Use your ears when you sweep the filter – not the visuals)
Boost any component you need, like the bass drum click, in a narrow spectrum.
Cut that same frequency in the bass track to make room for that click boost – if you haven’t swept past it with the top cut already.
Use compression (Fruity Limiter in Comp mode) on the tracks that require it and mix levels – kick, bass, vox (and snare maybe) – and probably mix those first in that order. Leave them panned centre except the snare just off right or left depending on drummer handedness. A 6:1 compression ratio is a good place to start. Set the Threshold visually according to the wave display. I thought then that raising the compression gain by that same 6dB makes logical sense. Let your ear decide.
Add reverb to the vocals and snare if required. A- B (switch on/off) the before FX and after to check it IS an improvement (applies to all additions or changes to all racks)
Pan overhead and ambient mics full L/R – Mix levels as required.
Pan other instruments where you want and mix levels one by one down from the kick, bass, vox and snare tracks.
Add FX to your content. A-B them to check they are an improvement.
Listen in phones for a better stereo image – make the minor level and pan adjustments as required.
Export to MP3 – get a record deal – make millions.
Turn off the alarm clock once you wake up from that dream…!
Put the coffee on and think about next Project. Bye!
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15/10/12
A quick Post on importing bounced/exported tracks from wherever, to FLS Track window, ready to play in no time:
http://stevepedwards.com/wp/?p=2202
I’ve just imported may latest Tonya Dance number – similar to the last Sophie Trance, using Logic Pro 9 samples from the college machines, done a rough mix, and may upload it tonight if I’m happy with it. Logic samples are very good quality, and not a lot of mixing from default levels has to be done usually – unless the other extreme and so quiet they need normalising in FLS in the Sequencer button window – so apart from levels, panning and drum/vocal compression (if), and the odd effect like vocal reverb (if) – they’re pretty much good to go as a Dragdopmonkey special…
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16/10/12
As I’ve been talking about Compression a lot recently, and using it on a lot of recent mixes, I want to use my next track as the first example of putting the final stage of any audio production into a basic perspective – Mastering.
Considered a dark and mysterious Art by many sound engineers, it is mainly a process of using dynamic processing – Compression and Limiting of particular bandwidths – but usually done with vintage and rare chains of certain models of processors (usually analogue, valve etc. for Professionally paid for mixes – £1500+/day for a Pro Mastering engineer and studio) – put together in such a way, to really bring a mix to life, and add clarity, depth and sparkle to the finished product.
Most music packages have an in built Mastering suite, that you may have to pay extra for, to save your work for example. This is because you can produce really good quality final results if you know what you are doing, no doubt. I’m going to look into this so I can see the difference between a basically mixed and compressed track I would have ended a Project with, to the same mix after a Mastering process has been applied. FLS uses Maximimus, which you have to buy it seems:
DEMO ONLY: Maximus comes as a demo version in FL Studio and needs to be purchased separately so you can save projects containing Maximus effects.
Whether you can use it within the Project to bounce out an active Project Mastered mix, I’ll look into shortly. — Yes, you can as with all of FLS 10.
In the meantime, here’s the Track I’m going to use as a reference, before Mastering, that has the usual mixing – EQ, panning and drum track compression, reverb etc. – along the same lines as Sophie Trance before.
Before I go into the Mastering process, it’s worth a reminder on the fundamentals of Compression, by the FLS Guru at Image-Line:

Here’s the FLS Vid Intro on Maximus

Initial thoughts: Replace the Master channel track Limiter with Maximus, then playback and go through the numerous Presets to find which ones fit the genre of the track the best – I used headphones for this as it shows you the changes in stereo separation as well as the overall change in the multiband processing that is going on. Think of it as instantaneous parametric EQing with Limiting – boosts and cuts for different ranges of frequencies. Statistical Magic. The first Preset I’ve chosen is ClearMasterRMS.
Now, listening through a few times, whilst changing Presets, I’m thinking it may be best NOT to compress any tracks whilst mixing, if you dont have to, and let the Mastering stage take care of it. Only experience and time will tell that story, I guess.
As with all things in FLS, the only limitation with Pay For Plugins, is they don’t save with your overall Project. but with this. it hardly matters, as you just reload it next time, and Export your MP3 or WAV at the time.
Here’s the first example with the ClearMasterRMS Preset. I’ve bounced these out at slightly higher quality – 224kbps – than the usual 196kbps for the MP3s (nearly 7MB now), so it may be more obvious what difference the Mastering makes. I’ll let you know if the none compressed WAVs versions are really different or not later.
There is a percussion section and drum fills in and after the break, that were relatively low in the mix, and this Preset seemed to pull it out well – see if you agree, by listening to both the Mastered and non Mastered version in the Soundcloud player.
I’ll move them around here so you can compare..
Tonya Dance Pre Master (Sorry! You’ll just have to take my word for it – I removed it from Soundcloud so I dont have repeat tracks when listening to the catalogue)

Tonya Dance Post Master

Listen to sections from 2:15-2:53 in both versions – what a MASSIVE difference in life and clarity between the two versions! The Mastered version jumps out at you, with all instruments nicely audible in their own space, where the other is flat. This is the same sort of relative difference basic compression makes in the flat mix compared to none, at that early stage. The overall volume is higher by a very noticeable degree of course, also.
This brings me on nicely to a situation in the Music World, that has reached boiling point with Audiophiles and Mastering Engineers – The Loudness War…for another day…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_wa

But the first time I noticed this massively 20 yrs back , but didn’t know why or how – listen how different in volume Joe Satriani’s Flying in a Blue Dream CD is, to his next CD, The Extremist.

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18/10/12
Here’s a little thing I threw together today, wiring the DJX for MIDI to play the FLS sounds. Latency is still a pain – too much delay from piano keys to sound triggering – unworkable…SOB!
Sytrus inspired this thing along the lines of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn – mechancal motion…Mastered with the Maximius Pow Preset, called:
Driving In Rain


Also, I have been looking into building a valve amp from a kit – many more companies offer this service stateside such as
http://www.tubedepot.com/tubeampkits.html
but here in the UK I like the look of
http://www.astonelectronics.co.uk/
as they have a link to Volt amplifiers, if you’re looking for that Larry Carlton/Robben Ford Dumble Amp jazz/blues tone on a budget. The Volt page has vids/mp3s of Rob Rolph getting lovely clean and semi overdriven tones from these hand built valve amps. Might treat myself to a kit for Xmas for £180 or so…
http://www.astonelectronics.co.uk/5f1-champ-valve-tube-amp-kit.html

Robben – Politician

…And here’s what a rare Dumble can do…

Hmmm…George L? Wouldn’t be Lynch, from the Lynch Mob would it? Nah, GL has more finger vibrato control strength than that. Yet another cd I had and lost years back with Rain on it…so here it is…what a great tone GL has here!

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18/11/12
Still researching valve kits and amps, so just put this here to remind myself what a great practical home/studio/live amp design this programmable Vox is:

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19/11/12
Ok, I am going to do a Post on the basic repair/refurbishment of a rare Marshall Mercury 2060 valve amp from the early 1970’s that turned up on Ebay last night down the road from me here in rainy Cornwall. It was sold as a spares/repair as there was only barely audible sound coming through the amp when tested with a microphone! (That is not the best way to test a guitar amp for a start due to possible bad impedance mismatching/crappy mic so I was hopeful that things may not be that wrong with it)
As I was thinking about building an amp kit anyway, this fell almost karmically for me as a good first chance to take on something even easier than a kit build as a basic electronics refresher for me, and a general practical learning experience. This Post will not be a definitive “How To” and I do not intend it to be a definitive practical guide for anyone else due to the inherent dangers of working with valve voltages that can be around 500V DC and therefore DEADLY!
They are supposedly quite rare Marshalls that were mail order amps, and came in orange or red! Here’s mine:

I will document as much as I can each time I do some work on this Project, so that others may get an idea of how I approached it, and the research I did for the last few days before even starting on this or a kit build.
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25/11/12
Finally! We have some young talent on the college course! Polly Jones is a young singer/songwriter/guitarist who has a lovely voice, bit of Joni Mitchell, Sugababes and others I cant quite put my finger on in places, but with a distinctive tone and style of her own.
We recorded 2 of her own songs, and 3 covers last Monday, so I said I’d try get the mixes done for her over the weekend, but I have just done my favorite of hers so far – One Year – which I have added a bit of reverb to vocals and some chorus and reverb on the acoustic guitar DI track only.
We recorded 2 vox (SM58/57), 1 guitar body (Rode NT2A), 1 guitar neck (Rode NT5), 1 DI, and 2 room ambient mic (Rode NT1) tracks in all.
I used the Pow preset in Maximus for the Mastering bounce to MP3.
Here it is…
OneYear.mp3
The Cage – Polly Jones
The Cage.mp3
Slightly different reverb on neck/vocal mic and a different Maximus preset – cant remember which…
This next one is a cover – Birds Flying High – which I dont like so much as a song choice for Polly, but it gives me a chance to try different mixes, pan settings and Maximus presets. This one has more reverb, and stereo chorus, and the New York Compression setting in Maximus.
Birds Flying High.mp3
I love Polly’s performance on this track.
Katy B Cover – On a Mission
On A Mission.mp3
Hold On – I can’t remember the Maximus Preset for this one – probably same as the last but messed with the Flanger on the Guitar/Vox track more and kept delay on.
Hold On.mp3
Polly Jones is now on Soundcloud so I have removed her tracks from my account – don’t think she liked my mixes much!
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2/12/12
Spent a LOT of time studying electronics last week, as the transistors for the Marshall still haven’t arrived, but I have to see it as a blessing in disguise as I now understand the circuit s LOT more. I have written most of the 3rd Post for this project about the workings of guitar electronics and this particular circuit.

Also – a must read article on all you need to know about impedance, and as you need to know WHY you don’t fire up your valve amp with no speaker load connected:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan03/articles/impedanceworkshop.asp

I’ll upload the circuit theory Post soon (probably some technical errors I know – but it’s to get you thinking and learning also – as always – do your own research!), when I decide it’s too big – well – like it is already!
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3/12/12
3rd Post on the continuing Marshall 2060 saga..
I got a bargain boot sale 5W crap looking B + W guitar amp for 2 quid on Sunday – just for the bits inside to study really – and it turns out to sound GREAT! A lovely clean sound – as good or better than my 10W Marshall! It has tremolo also. I’ve de-soldered the board and am trying to draw the circuit as it only has about 50 components:

It has decent components though and a good Class AB (push-pull) design – using MOSFETs and 3A power trannys .
I’ll do a Post on this amazing little circuit if I manage to decipher it and test it in Yenka…?
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4/12/12
Put the remaining two of Polly’s covers up with the others above…
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7/12/12
Gonna have to start a new page for the New Year – this one must take ages to load for some folks…getting a bit BIG!
Anyhoo, here’s my latest mixed idea for having a jam with a couple of the guys at college who could play these parts – I really like it, as it stemmed from nostalgia for the 80’s /90’s guitar type solos I was into back then. All Apple Logic Pro 9 samples from college mixed in FLS as usual…It’s a great combo way of doing things for me – I get stuff written at college -the Apples are great for that – but I prefer FLS for mixing and Mastering, which takes longer anyway, so I need to be at home for that. Spent about 4hrs doing this mix tonight, just couldn’t get round the slight distortion on the Burning Organ sample which is clipped a bit, maybe from being normalised by Logic when it was bounced out? Maximus REALLY distorted it worse on Max Loud 2 preset, which was the best overall sound to really pull the drum fills out – toms particularly. I tried them all but decided a bit of distortion was worth putting up with for a few bars, over having a really Rocking mix instead of a flatter one that still had a bit of distortion anyway…most noticeable in phones…
soundcloud.com/dragdropmonkey/rock-thang


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