Ugly transients are actually not always bad
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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Ugly transients are actually not always bad

I am making a song and I have this bassy synth percussion sound that is way gross if you listen to it by itself. However, in the mix so far it sounds good. I am thinking that my ears or anyone's for that matter have a threshold of when they can tell if a transient is out of tune, or unpleasant.

It makes me think what I might be missing when I sift through sounds or create sounds; what if I pass something up because it doesn't sound good at all solo? I think i might have to toggle more often between solo and mix for each sound audition.

Last edited by Bluesh1ft; 06-08-2015 at 04:07 PM..

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deadmau7 (08-08-2015)
Old 06-08-2015, 07:59 PM   #2
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Re: Ugly Transients Actually Not Always bad

I think that's part of the mixing process. The only problem with that is that if your instrument is ever performing solo (or near solo), it'll stick out to the listener.

You have to find a balance. If your drums sound great in the mix but ugly on their own, don't ever let them start out a song or finish it on their own. Conversely, make sure they aren't too ugly if you do want flexibility.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: Ugly Transients Actually Not Always bad

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Originally Posted by Kvlt O))) View Post
I think that's part of the mixing process. The only problem with that is that if your instrument is ever performing solo (or near solo), it'll stick out to the listener.
Then you just make a copy of the track and remix it so it can stand on its own.

Funny thing is when you have this mash of stuff that just sounds real cool together, then you start cleaning it up and afterwards it sounds real boring.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:39 PM   #4
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Icon3 Re: Ugly Incidental Sounds May Actually Not Always be bad

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Originally Posted by Bluesh1ft View Post
I am making a song and I have this bassy synth percussion sound that is way gross if you listen to it by itself. However, in the mix so far it sounds good. I am thinking that my ears or anyone's for that matter have a threshold of when they can tell if a transient is out of tune, or unpleasant.

It makes me think what I might be missing when I sift through sounds or create sounds; what if I pass something up because it doesn't sound good at all solo? I think i might have to toggle more often between solo and mix for each sound audition.
"transients"... I guess you mean, like incidental sounds.
most sound engineers when they talk about transients mean the usually high amplitude spikes at the beginnings of waveforms in the early milliseconds. they are the reason why peak limiters were invented; they are the peaks.

but i still understand what you mean. i'm always amazed by the sound choices tipper uses. the sounds by themselves would probably be ugly, but composed and mixed together creatively it can really turn into a masterpiece.

i guess it's liberating to know that sound design isn't everything, but maybe context is...

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Old 09-08-2015, 09:45 PM   #5
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Re: Ugly Incidental Sounds May Actually Not Always be bad

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Originally Posted by Nystagmus View Post
i guess it's liberating to know that sound design isn't everything, but maybe context is...
This.
Transients are almost always ugly on their own but lovely in the right context.

What was the question again?

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Old 10-08-2015, 06:08 PM   #6
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Re: Ugly transients are actually not always bad

That's why starting the mixing process with drums (not scratch) has the potential to fuck up your whole week.
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:18 PM   #7
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Re: Ugly transients are actually not always bad

the lower something is in the mix, the more room it has for big nasty transients. Maybe seem obvious, but it is true.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:39 PM   #8
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Re: Ugly transients are actually not always bad

In general, ugly anything can be put to good use. It's just difficult or more niche than more melodic or general-sounding noises.

A ton of things sound terrible to me by themselves, but eh, they're almost always meant to supplement something else or possibly form a new, strange combination altogether.
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:37 AM   #9
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Re: Ugly transients are actually not always bad

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Originally Posted by Kvlt O))) View Post
That's why starting the mixing process with drums (not scratch) has the potential to fuck up your whole week.
What's drums? Oh you mean those things you put down after you've written so,e music so bros can understand you...
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:17 AM   #10
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Re: Ugly transients are actually not always bad

those ugly atonal things become part of the soundscape when everything is smashed together. I like to make subtle offtone stuff going with the melodies, it creates this eerie feel if you know how to make it actually sound good with the mix, defy explore and experiment always even if you know it might sound awful.

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