FL Studio problems
so apparently fl studio has patcher which allows me to basically do in one mixer channel/vst slot, what i normally do using 10 mixer channels with the vst slots full just to get the sound i want…
Seamlessr is the patron saint of patcher. Watch any of his how to bass videos and learn you something good.
A way to make a mix more organic is to…not use compressors, and allow the mixes components to fight for dominance in the listener’s attention. Bad advice? No, just applying chaos and organicism to an art that badly needs it.
Using just intonation (microtuning) on pitched percussion samples.
Pitching a snare drum roll in scale steps during the roll (junglist style), with a long reverb on the track.
With a just intonation scale setting on the sampler (as opposed to a default “tempered scale”), the frequency spectrum of each drum hit has a closer/simpler harmonic relation to that of the other drum hits, resulting in less chaotic/noisy reverberation.
Grouping (bussing) tracks is probably one of the most effective and important lessons I have come to learn when mixing. Not to mention things look hella more organized.
I’m writing these to myself, when I say ‘you’ or tell ‘you’ what to do. You don’t really have to do any of these things, but they’re fun as hell.
Writing before mixing. Any time I try to do both at once, something is sure to get completely fucked up. You don’t have two brains, and nobody can truly multitask.
Not doing everything in the same environment to save CPU. Sometimes using a billion modules can be fun, but not on cheap hardware; if something can be achieved in fewer steps later and after resampling, i’mma do that instead.
Snapping to zero crossings when fucking up on recordings. Yep, this one took me way too long to finally stumble upon and it saved me an hour on multiple occasions.
Getting out of your home base DAW can be a real treat. Sometimes doing a bit of sound design in an entirely new environment can really jog your creativity. Plus, most DAW’s can be figured out in just a few hours as you go along.
Rewire your trial software back to home base. It’s a trend lately to not only allow rewiring, but to also give you almost-full access to a DAW as part of a ‘demo’. Hook that shit up, and if all else fails record it to some other medium (like a tape recorder) and just resample. Stuff always comes out better that way for some reason anyway.
If you use presets, consider working from scratch. I sat on this for years and wondered why everything I came up with either sounded generic or completely unintentional. It seems like you’re taking 5 steps backward when you finally take the plunge, but the rewards are real.
Keep a recorder handy and vocalize. Your voice is the most versatile instrument you own, and simply capturing silly voices and being a complete nutcase like myself will give you crazy amounts of creative fuel for new sounds. Resample that shit.
Play a traditional instrument. Nothing takes you back down to earth like an acoustic guitar and your own voice, even if you can’t play or sing. You can flip it over, bang on it, make percussive harmonics and way more without even having to strum the damn thing. RESAMPLE THAT SHIT
Record your environment. If your neighbor happens to have a chainsaw out and you’ve got a minute, take your field recorder outside. Better yet, go on budget recording escapades (you can even use your phone and clean up samples later if you’ve got nothing else) like you’re a kid with one of those kool little tape recorders (I know I had one). Be fucking weird, it’s creative fuel.
Keep an actual editor handy. I used to think my DAW was an editor, but now I find myself using batch processing for both business and pleasure on an almost daily basis. Plus, if you can live without wavehammer and paulstretch, that’s cool; I can’t.
Create spaces for your sounds. This is another one I sat on for much of my life and wish I hadn’t. Everything always sounded so dry until I started using weird reverbs in strange ways, and then resampled the whole shebang to do even crazier shit. At the end of said process, just a little more space makes that movement, automation or mistake-happening sound like a real event.
Use an EQ with auto-gain like TDR Nova. If you’re a dumb cunt like me, sometimes your EQ curve is just an effective -2 dB jump because your ears have fucking deceived you again. If the EQ tries its best to push that gain back up, you’ll realize you’re retarded (like me) and you probably don’t need to EQ that sound anymore.
Create sample packs for yourself. I used to think I could just jump in and start patching for a song, but usually that ended up with me staring off blankly into space. Now that I dedicate time to the sound design process, I have a HUGE cache of samples and patches that some weird dude made just for me when I’m back into arrangement mode.
Keep an un-EQ / De-filter handy. Sometimes damage gets done to something that’s otherwise supposed to sound normal (especially electric guitars!) and you don’t know what the hell to do. Unfiltering to the rescue - these things seem to be popping up more and more and they’ll usually correct the problem without you exactly needing to know what went wrong.
Seriously, assign macros. I used to think they were just cool for people who made presets, but combining effects is phenomenal and never gets old. Plus, if your MIDI knobs / pads of choice grab those, you can feel like you’ve got your hands on some real hardware (just add VCV rack or OSCiLLOT).
You’ve listed some very interesting methods FD. I recently obtained a new (used) guitar and I think today is a great day to throw down on some picking. Sometimes I will do straight hardware jams in which I dub to cassette and then import into Ableton. Once imported I will then cut sections out to use in an entirely new track.
So true… I actually intentionally overdo stuff in my workflow. I find it easier to subtract stuff that isn’t absolutely necessary than it is to find the right new thing that will elevate a WIP.
I like to start with recording a long experimental jam… on anything… synth, guitar, flute, didgeridoo… doesn’t matter… then I find some section or sections to loop that inspire me… I start layering… I over do it… then add some other stuff to fill it out and tie it all together… then I start cutting holes in different tracks to reveal and accent the remaining tracks. Once the arc of the composition and the arrangement come into focus I start mixing… works for me.
You’ve got that right! I’ve wasted so much time trying to fix some cherished little nuance … only to get crappier and crappier… hit delete! That delete key is the single best timesaver in your arsenal.
This works… it’s the flip side of the process I describe above. I start with 10-15 minutes of experimental jam and grab little bits from it to build an idea. If I get stuck I go back to the source track and grab another short section or two… it all fits.
I’ve thought about using this technique as a way to make an album more cohesive. I can easily get two or three pieces out of the same jam without sounding too repetitious… three such jams, and some overlap in combining them could result in something with plenty of variety but all sounding like they belong together.
Looks like I have a lot of work to do