The great recording, EQ-ing, IR's and other stuff thread!!!

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m0jo
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The great recording, EQ-ing, IR's and other stuff thread!!!

Post by m0jo » Fri May 07, 2010 1:27 am

Okay so discussion here was running a bit too far offtopic, so it was suggested to make a thread about recording and whatnot, here you go!

Discuss any techniques, questions and comments you have about recording your tracks here!

I'll start off by explaining some stuff about IR's.

What is/are IR('s)?
IR stands for Impulse Response. This also explains the technique to a degree.
You use software to create a file which holds the characteristics of a poweramp, cab, mic and the acoustics of a room.
This allows you to record your preamp straight, apply the impulse response and voila! Awesome tone!
There are many IR's available, free and paid, so you don't have to create them yourself ;)

How are they made?
IR's (I'm not gonna spelll it out every damn time!) are made by playing a certain pulse tone through the poweramp and micing the cab.
This recorded sound is then used by the software, it analyses the difference between the original pulse and the recorded one, thus giving it the charactaristics of that poweramp, cab and mic, allowing you to slap those characteristics on a different track. (in this case a recording straight from the preamp).

How do I use them?
Step one is to make a track in your preferred recording software and plug the pre-amp out of your amp into your interface.
(in many cases this defeats the poweramp, allowing for silent practicing as well!)

Step two is to load a reverb plugin that uses impulses. (this technique was developed to create realistic and low-power reverb, as it requres much less processing power than calculating reverb).
There are a few: KeFIR, SIR reverb, Reaverb (in Reaper) and some others.
As a general rule I'd suggest using Reaverb if you have Reaper, KeFIR if you use any other DAW.

Step three
: load the impulse file.
The files I talked about are very small wav files.
There are several sets to be found on the web, some of the most popular ones are those by GuitarHack, but there are better ones to be found.
It differs by plugin, but each has a load/add file button somewhere!

Step four: settings
This is where it gets a bit more complicated, as there are different plugins.
These are the settings for Reaper:
- Wet: 0db (double click the slider)
- Dry: all the way down
- Width: 1.00
- Pan: 0.00
- Pre-reverb: 0ms
- Max FFT: leave it ;)
- ZL: on (zero latency)

For KeFIR:
- Mix: 100%
- Gain: down to -20db or something (it sets it too high by default, tweak it down untill your output volume isn't clipping!)
- Length: is set automagically!

Step five: Rock out!
Now you're good to go! The plugin now acts as a poweamp,cab and mic simulator.
Leaving you with nothing to do but tweak your preamp!

A little tip:

Packs of IR's mostly have an array of different ones, where the cab was miced differently or different power tubes where used.
Try the different ones to find your favorite! But also after laying down all the tracks, go back and switch it around to see which sound best in the mix! :)

Also it has to be said before anyone starts snorting and hissing:
IR's only give you a dynamic EQ, they do not give you any of the oh so sweet overdrive that a poweramp gives.
It is an easy way to get good results quicker, so if you're doing a fast demo, bedroom produced songs or whatever it's a great technique!
It is not a full replacement for cranking a roaring tube amp and micing the beast!

Cheers!

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Post by m0jo » Fri May 07, 2010 2:01 am

Heavy metal rythm EQ area's

There are some area's in the EQ you might want to boost or at least look at in your heavy metal rythm guitar tracks.

8-10khz - air
4-6khz - bite
1.5 khz - "the in your face effect"
400hz - the note
70-100hz - the weight of the cab (bottom)

I found this here

As I said in other places, I don't use it myself because I don't do much metal guitars.
But these are good area's to look at when you feel your track is a bit flat.

Do not just blindly boost these area's and thing it will sound better!
Every recording is different, so every recording deserves it's own treatment, see which area's need enhancing and do not overdo it.

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Post by NgrungeBB91 » Fri May 07, 2010 7:19 am

I would like to start a discussion on which IR is the most perfect for Hard Rock, Alternative Metal stuff like Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack, sutff like that. Also how to EQ that tone perfectly on the program. Anybody try the Mesa Boogie IR's?? http://www.guitarampmodeling.com/viewto ... 3&start=50
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Post by SacredGroove » Fri May 07, 2010 11:18 am

NgrungeBB91 wrote:I would like to start a discussion on which IR is the most perfect for Hard Rock, Alternative Metal stuff like Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack, sutff like that. Also how to EQ that tone perfectly on the program. Anybody try the Mesa Boogie IR's?? http://www.guitarampmodeling.com/viewto ... 3&start=50
The best for you? Probably impossible to know. I have the IRs you linked, and all of Brohymn's posted Mesa IRs. They're really good for metal, but some require some HP filtering because of the amount of boomy low end.

These have been my go-to IRs. http://www.guitarampmodeling.com/viewto ... =32&t=2850

There is a Framus 4x12 in that pack that has a very balanced sound that can be used for high and low gain. I've also used some of the Mesa IRs with good results. The Mesas were made with V30s, both trad. and oversized 4x12 cabs.

If you haven't already, download the demo pack from recabi.net You may find something in there. They get really mixed reviews, but I have heard really good tones come from recabinet IRs.
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Post by fearnloathing » Sat May 08, 2010 1:37 am

Ok so I thought I would put together a little tutorial on EQing heavy nu-metal style guitars. Like in
all genres of music you have to get the best sound coming out of the speaker you have choosen to
mic. That being said I personally think the heavy modern sound when recorded prior to any eq
sounds awful. I think even MoJo would agree this source clip needs eq, but if you want that razors
edge sound you need a pretty edgy sound to shape. So here is the source clip of the guitar tracks
for what will be the rightside guitar notice no real mid scoop.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114883

The first thing I do is low pass the nasty crap on top that is killing my ears!! Generally I'll LP
between 7k and 9k. Honestly I am ruthless with the low pass on this track I kill everything that looks
at me wrong above 7k This track is passed at 7250hz. Here is a clip of the low passed track

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114885

Now that nasty top end garbage is gone and I can somewhat stand to listen to the track now I
add in the left quad tracked guitar, but I can hear you saying "Hey that track sounds like crap now dull
and lifeless that topend was earpiercing but now the track sounds dead", Well no worries we will get
to that later. It will be fixed. This is where the purist types will stand up and walk out of this tutorial. I
have just commited blasphemy. I have killed the "Airy Subtleties" in the top of the guitar, and to them
there is nothing that can be done to "correct" the natural topend. Thats fine let them have there
topend the way they like it. We can put a subliminal message at about 12k giving them the
proverbial middle finger and asking whose track is higher in the charts. Ok back on task both sides
in this mix are getting the same eq. Not my usual, I usually eq each track separately, but
sometimes you can get away with a one shot eq. Of course this is the only sometime I can ever
remember getting away with it.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114890

Next I take a tight bell filter shape Q of 2.4 and Ill boost starting at 120hz maybe 6db. Then sweep
that around and try and find where the guitars power is at. On this guitar I found the most power at
154hz. Then Ill play with the boost to see how much I can get away with and not have it sound like
its a different guitar than I recorded. On this track my limit was 3db of boost before it sounded
strange. So now that I have the power freq of the guitar I turn on a high pass filter and pull that up
between 60 and 100hz to make room for the bass and kick to sit in the mix. You can try to play
the high pass and your bass boost against each other to get the tight bottom end you are looking
for. I settled on a high pass at 87hz Here is a clip at this stage with the bass boost in and the
highpass in.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114886

If you just listened to that last track and I hope you did or why the hell am I doing this. I really hope
you said too yourself "That sounds really Muddy!" If you didnt I'm not sure this tutorial is going to
help you too much. In any case no worries we are going to cure that now. Take a tight bell and start
pulling some dbs out at 300. Why 300 well we found the power of the guitar at 150 and we know
that when dealing with the dreaded ground loop 60hz hum or (50hz) for our overseas brothers that
they cause a spike at 60hz, 120hz, 240hz (50hz, 100hz, 200hz) etc... you get the idea. So if we
found power at 150 the next logical step is you guessed it 300hz. So rip a couple db out at 300hz
and be done with it right? Ah if only it could be that simple. I did that and it did nothing to the mud.
This is why you need your ears. Play with it a bit, talk dirty to your eq if you have to. My cut ended
up being 4 db at 240hz and a Q of 2.2 Just because we know how something is supposed to work
in theory doesnt mean that it will, but it gives a starting point. Ok here is the clip with the 240hz rip

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114891

OK now we are getting somewhere. I feel like I have a sound now that I can shape. The bottom is tight
and the top is gone for the moment. Lets get rid of the honky mids and shape the meat of what our
guitar is going to sound like. First living by the rule in the last section that we discussed that ofcourse
didnt work, what do you expect its metal and rules are made to be broken. I take a pretty narrow
bell and rip a couple db at 600hz and by god it did what I wanted it to do. So you see the rules do
in fact work in audio engineering.............sometimes! Next for what I want out of this track in my head
I take a fairly wide bell and pull 4db out at 1000hz and like magic the track snaps into focus. Ok here
is the clip after the 600hz and 1k cuts

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114887

Hey its starting to sound halfway decent, but still pretty lifeless from our ruthless Low pass. Now is
when we fix that. Pull up a high shelf and run that up to the mark on your eq that says "Airy Subtleties"
and boost it to the heavens. No in all seriousness this one of the hardest things for me to do. I dont
like all the top end fizz but some is a nescessary evil. So what I will do is play the low pass and the
shelf against each other to find the sweet spot. Even if my initial low pass was at 7250 that doesnt
mean it will stay there. In this instance it actually ended up at 8k with the high shelf at 15k. So this
is my final guitar eq.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9114884

You have to try and keep every thing in perspective when you are eqing a track. Where is the bass
going to sit, is the kick going to be punchy of have the metal click thing going. Where is the vocal
going to sit. As you will often hear said "Everything effects everything!" So the guitar track may sound
a bit weak and in fact it really should in the grand scheme of things, but add in the bass and the
track becomes fuller

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9115008

Now add in the drums

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=9115007

Sounds pretty decent. Well that brings me to the end of this tutorial I hope I have helped some. Dont
take anything I have said as a rule. The boosts and cuts I used on these tracks I can tell you right
now will not work on the next track I eq. They are good starting points though. The most valuable
piece of equipment is your ears. The best high end vintage gear will do nothing if you cant hear where
the changes need to be made, and that only comes with time and experience. I have had more than
one total mix recall. When I come to end of a mix and realized I have totally screwed the pooch on it.
I dont try to fix it. I wipe the console clean and start all over from the beginning with fresh ears.

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Post by m0jo » Sat May 08, 2010 12:30 pm

fearnloathing wrote: I think even MoJo would agree this source clip needs eq
Apart from the gross misspelling of my nick.. yeah ;)
But the difference is I wouldn't start with such a track.


I do have a question for you: do you do the eq-ing without the drums added or with?
I tend to do mix-stuff (like EQ on the bass track to give room for the kick) when I have all the tracks layed down.
This way I can hear what it does to the total.. instead of speculating.

Is this a good way of thinking or all wrong in your opinion? :lol:

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Post by Julia » Sat May 08, 2010 2:02 pm

Some of us use RTAS. I've got a email into Recabinet to get info to see if it works with Pro Tools.

The thing about EQ is that if it sounds lifeless after you kill the hell out of the hissy stuff is that you can always add back a little bit at a time until you get it where you want it. And this is why you ALWAYs record one track of the guitar itself dry before the amp for stuff like reamping. I'm a huge fan of reamping.

For Bass: run the bass behind the kick unless the music calls for the bass line to be more out there (like a jazz track). And don't forget that some basses have a nasty resonance freq where they boom over everything else. So you get out your frequency analyzer and check where that is and knock that down with a plugin on the bass channel.
Disregard all advice pertaining to gain and tone from this user if you are under the age of 40 and play thrash.

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Post by m0jo » Sat May 08, 2010 2:06 pm

Julia wrote:Some of us use RTAS. I've got a email into Recabinet to get info to see if it works with Pro Tools.

The thing about EQ is that if it sounds lifeless after you kill the hell out of the hissy stuff is that you can always add back a little bit at a time until you get it where you want it. And this is why you ALWAYs record one track of the guitar itself dry before the amp for stuff like reamping. I'm a huge fan of reamping.

For Bass: run the bass behind the kick unless the music calls for the bass line to be more out there (like a jazz track). And don't forget that some basses have a nasty resonance freq where they boom over everything else. So you get out your frequency analyzer and check where that is and knock that down with a plugin on the bass channel.
Agreed here, you can do some smart EQ shaping to attenuate most of the high frequencies and make some peaks in it to let the good area's through :)

One thing about bass is that a lot of people don't realise where the bass lives.
A lot of it is in the same area as the guitar. If you like middy bass like I do it actually poses a problem.
For some people it's a matter of LP everything under 600hz or something, but that's no good for me ;)

But then again I am the son of a jazz bassist .. so I have a weak spot for it :lol:

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Post by fearnloathing » Sat May 08, 2010 6:08 pm

m0jo wrote:
Apart from the gross misspelling of my nick.. yeah ;)
Oops I appologize LOL :oops:
m0jo wrote: I do have a question for you: do you do the eq-ing without the drums added or with?
I tend to do mix-stuff (like EQ on the bass track to give room for the kick) when I have all the tracks layed down.
This way I can hear what it does to the total.. instead of speculating.

Is this a good way of thinking or all wrong in your opinion? :lol:
There is no right or wrong, and I could go on for hours about how I actually mix. What I was explaining in my post is what I do on the front end of the track when I am recording. So all the eq would be done with an off board eq. Knowing that most people on here dont have access to a $5,000.00 GML or Massive Passive I wanted to explain it in a way to enable similar results working in the box. Here is a very brief run down of how I mix. After tracking I throw all the faders up and listen to what I have. Same if I didnt do the tracking but am mixing the track. I listen for where I think everything will sit in the mix and make mental notes. Then I start with the kick. Then snare, Toms, OH mics. I make rough adjustments to those finding there power blah blah blah. At the same time I do the compression and noise gating. Then I pull the drum buss up and listen fine tune from there. Next I do the Bass get it to sit. Then Guitar should be close if I tracked them. If I am only mixing the track this is when I would do what I posted above, and finally Vocals. There really is no wrong way if it yields results. I know alot of guys that are fans of throwing all the faders up and mixing from there never soloing out a track. There are some incredible albums mixed this way. That doesnt work for me, Ive been doing it the way I have for more years than I care to remember, and its become second nature. If someone has a method that works for them and yeilds great results go with it.
Julia wrote:The thing about EQ is that if it sounds lifeless after you kill the hell out of the hissy stuff is that you can always add back a little bit at a time until you get it where you want it. And this is why you ALWAYs record one track of the guitar itself dry before the amp for stuff like reamping. I'm a huge fan of reamping.

NAIL + HAMMER = THIS COMMENT
. Well stated.

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Post by SacredGroove » Sat May 08, 2010 6:29 pm

Julia wrote:Some of us use RTAS. I've got a email into Recabinet to get info to see if it works with Pro Tools.
You'll need a convolution Reverb plug like Mellowmuse IR1A or TL Space. Both are compatible with RTAS. The Recabinet IRs are just small wav files. :wink:
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Post by Julia » Sat May 08, 2010 9:13 pm

They suggested Mellowmuse for $50. But I've got bigger fish to fry right now.... my Lexicon MFX unit stopped working. I was playing the KH1 with my higher output SG and had a nice big fat hard clip and I think it fried it because it seems to be on permanent bypass no matter how it is wired and no matter how much I've got the effects turned up.
Disregard all advice pertaining to gain and tone from this user if you are under the age of 40 and play thrash.

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Post by m0jo » Sun May 09, 2010 1:33 pm

SacredGroove wrote:
Julia wrote:Some of us use RTAS. I've got a email into Recabinet to get info to see if it works with Pro Tools.
You'll need a convolution Reverb plug like Mellowmuse IR1A or TL Space. Both are compatible with RTAS. The Recabinet IRs are just small wav files. :wink:
All IR's are small .wav files.
The only difference is what you load them into.
Do try some different ones, some seem to have a latency problem..

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Post by SacredGroove » Sun May 09, 2010 3:44 pm

m0jo wrote:
SacredGroove wrote:
Julia wrote:Some of us use RTAS. I've got a email into Recabinet to get info to see if it works with Pro Tools.
You'll need a convolution Reverb plug like Mellowmuse IR1A or TL Space. Both are compatible with RTAS. The Recabinet IRs are just small wav files. :wink:
All IR's are small .wav files.
The only difference is what you load them into.
Do try some different ones, some seem to have a latency problem..

Latency can be an issue, depending your setup, but it is often mistaken for when an IR has too long of a ramp to it's peak, or even silence, making it seem like the IR is starting late. Recabinet's first batch were like that and had to be retrimmed. :roll: That's my experience and findings with latency and IRs.
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Post by m0jo » Sun May 09, 2010 11:17 pm

SacredGroove wrote:
m0jo wrote:
SacredGroove wrote:
Julia wrote:Some of us use RTAS. I've got a email into Recabinet to get info to see if it works with Pro Tools.
You'll need a convolution Reverb plug like Mellowmuse IR1A or TL Space. Both are compatible with RTAS. The Recabinet IRs are just small wav files. :wink:
All IR's are small .wav files.
The only difference is what you load them into.
Do try some different ones, some seem to have a latency problem..

Latency can be an issue, depending your setup, but it is often mistaken for when an IR has too long of a ramp to it's peak, or even silence, making it seem like the IR is starting late. Recabinet's first batch were like that and had to be retrimmed. :roll: That's my experience and findings with latency and IRs.
Hmm okay, I'm late to the game so I never had that problem.
One thing related to that: pre-verb/reverb-delay, some plugins have it set somewhere up by default, we want it at 0.0 :)

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Post by Goldfish » Mon May 17, 2010 4:43 am

m0jo wrote:I do have a question for you: do you do the eq-ing without the drums added or with?
I tend to do mix-stuff (like EQ on the bass track to give room for the kick) when I have all the tracks layed down.
This way I can hear what it does to the total.. instead of speculating.

Is this a good way of thinking or all wrong in your opinion? :lol:
Do your mixdown in context. How a given track sounds soloed has no bearing on how it'll work in the final arrangement. Once you're in mixdown mode, do the final mix in context.
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