Thursday, April 21, 2011

How To Stretch Your Guitar Strings

I've been playing guitar for a long time as a professional and know a lot of world-class players and techs, so I thought I knew how to stretch out new strings so they wouldn't slip while playing. This video falls under the category of "you never know everything" as it shows a new way (at least to me) to stretch your strings. Haven't tried it yet but it makes a lot of sense.

Let me know if you've tried this before and how well it works. By the way, next week will be full of some great song analysis.


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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

George Massenburg Demonstrates His Compessor

Here's a great video of audio great George Massenburg demonstrating his GML 8900 compressor. The best thing about this video is that he shows a good way to dial in just about any compressor, not just his. Once again, George hits it out of the park. A great audio engineer and inventor as well.



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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mastering Compressor Tips And Tricks

Time for another book excerpt, this time from Mixing And Mastering With T-RackS: The Official Guide. Here are a few mastering compressor tips that I don't think you'll find anywhere else.

Now for the record, I strongly advocate that you always send you final mixes to a qualified mastering engineer since that's where you'll get the best job done. That said, there are those times when you just don't have the budget or ability to do that, so you have to do the mastering yourself. That's what the Mixing And Mastering With T-RackS book and the Audio Mastering Handbook's are all about; doing it yourself when you have no choice. So lets take a look at a few insights that will help you do a better job.
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Adjusting the Attack and Release controls on the compressor and/or limiter can have a surprising effect on the program sound.
  • Slower Release settings will usually make the gain changes less audible but will also lower the perceived volume. 
  • A slow Attack setting will tend to ignore drums and other fast signals but will still react to the vocals and bass.
  • A slow Attack setting might also allow a transient to overload the next plug-in or piece of equipment in the chain.
  • Gain changes on the compressor caused by the drum hits can pull down the level of the vocals and bass and cause overall volume changes in the program. 
  • Usually only the fastest Attack and Release settings can make the sound “pump.” 
  • The more bouncy the level meter, the more likely that the compression will be audible.
  • Quiet passages that are too loud and noisy are usually a giveaway that you are seriously over-compressing.
If you're interested in more mastering info, here's a post on the 4 rules for EQing when mastering, the mystery of mastering, and a video on how to do your own mastering.
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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Linkin Park - "In The End" Song Analysis

Today we'll do a song analysis on "In The End" by Linkin Park, the fourth single from their Hybrid Theory album of 2001. Like so many other hits, "In The End" is somewhat timeless when it comes to iTunes, as it's still top ten on its Alternative Chart some 10 years after release. Like all song analysis, we'll look at the song itself, the arrangement, the sound and the performance.

The Song
"In The End" uses a pretty straight-ahead form, with no fancy sections. It looks like this:

Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Outro

The 3rd verse varies from the others in that it's a melody instead of a rap, so you could consider it a bridge, but the chord changes remain the same.

The Arrangement
The song is a great example of dynamics as it breathes volume-wise with every section. It goes from a quiet intro to a louder verse to a huge chorus, down in the verse, etc. It's very effective, and the only way a song with this kind of form can be successful. Here are the arrangement elements:

  * The Foundation - This is mostly held down by the drums, since the kick buries the bass somewhat and it's not very easy to pick out the notes.

  * The Pad - There's a high single-note synthesizer line that acts as the pad during the verse, but during the chorus it's huge doubled guitar power chords.

  * The Rhythm - Unusually, it's the piano during the verse of the song.

  * The Lead - The rap and melody vocal.

  * The Fills - During the chorus, it's the single note synth line.

The Sound
The sound of the song is not exactly what you'd call pristine, but then again that's not what the genre calls for. The entire song is really crushed and as a result, exhibits a fair amount of distortion.

You can hear the compression on the melody vocal in places, but the sound works in context. It has a rather long reverb on it but it blends in with the track so you hardly ever hear it.

The bass is very much buried in the mix behind the drums. In fact, I didn't even think there was a bass on the recording until I heard a nice bass fill in the 3rd verse.

In the end, this is a very modern sounding track. It's not exactly my cup of tea sonically, but it's an example of the kind of sound many are going for in the 2000's.

The Performance
This is not a very complex song and neither are the parts. The drum part really stands out, as does the lead vocal, which are usually the most important parts in any hit song.

Send me your song analysis requests.


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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The "Strawberry Fields" Demos

There are many musicians that view hit makers as those uniquely touched by the hand God, and as a result, nothing but pure genius ever sprouts forth from any creative endeavor thereafter. While that may be true in a rare case or two, most of the time greatness comes from hard work. As author Malcolm Gladwell so aptly puts it, it comes from the "10,000 hours" you put in learning your craft.

The Beatles were brilliant in so many ways and as the years go by, we find out just how much so with each passing year. That's why it's so interesting to listen to this demo of John Lennon working out a song that he's particularly noted for - "Strawberry Fields." It's impossible to tell how long it took him to refine the song to the point that we hear it below, but you can hear him struggling with it here.

Of course, once he hit the studio with the song it became a completely different animal. As a comparison, the studio version is posted below.

Beware: EMI watches this blog for these types of videos, so watch them before they remove it.






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Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.

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