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> Chris S.'s Music Theory Journey, for Gab's Army
Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 24 2016, 02:38 PM
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Hi mate, all great stuff here!

The sneak peak is VERY promising!! The singer sings really well, I like his voice and the melody is epic! Great job! Can't wait to hear the whole song.

About the audio samples, I think that this new samples are getting better. I like the first combination (-JCM800 with tubescreamer ), but you should try with less distortion and recording your guitar twice, and panning it in the mix.

You can listen to isolated guitars from albums to see how they are usually eq and that amount of drive used:





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Chris S.
post Feb 24 2016, 07:28 PM
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Is it normal for two different amps to be used between the rhythm and lead guitar - or do producers generally use the same amp for both for consistency?

Because I've been working on blending a Mesa profile for rhythm and a JCM800 profile for lead:

Both guitars together, then the Mesa by itself, then the JCM800 by itself, then both together again

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/11-rack-tone-test-jcm800-and-mesa-boogie-pair

I dialed back the gain a good amount - I'm not sure if it's still too heavy though. unsure.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Feb 24 2016, 09:37 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 25 2016, 01:46 PM
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Hi Chris, this is getting better!

Producer usually try every combination possible to get the tone that they are looking for. I recommend you to see the classic albums series documentaries, for example the one about Nevermind where I remember Butch Vig talking about combining amps to get the sound he was looking for.

I think that you could try with less drive, and also adjusting the EQ of Mesa Boogie with is a bit "bassy". Try lowering bass or maybe adding mids / highs.





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Chris S.
post Feb 27 2016, 01:10 AM
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Hey Gab - I've been experimenting with double tracking the rhythm and lead's to help getting a wider sound as well:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/you-dont-own-me-rough-draft

I didn't EQ the mix, I just panned and level so there is probably more high end than needed - what do you think of this?

This is also another idea I am working on, the intro will be completely different but I'm happy with the riffs.

I even have some lyrics:

Chorus

You - don't own me;
Can't control me;
Never loved me
It's over, over this time

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Feb 27 2016, 04:15 PM
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Wou! Those guitars are getting heavy!! Well done mate! I like how your guitars are sounding now. I think that bass and drums require some attention.

I recommend you to check some isolate bass for nu metal bands like Papa Roach, or even Korn to hear how drive is used to give a special color to the bass track. Try this unit as an example: https://www.tseaudio.com/software/tseBOD

Drums need some special work. You can experiment with Kick and Snare EQ, compression and reverb (only for snare not kick), and also take care of those overhead that are too loud.

This is very promising, keep on the great job!


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Chris S.
post Mar 2 2016, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the pointers man! I'll definitely work more on the bass (I didn't spend any time of the drums).

Also, latest sneak peak for Goodbye!

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-sneak-peak-2

The song will be part of a GoFundMe campaign linked directly to the American Society for Suicide Prevention - anyone who donates to them will get the song for free and if we reach a target goal (not set yet) the song will be free for everyone!

I'm pretty much a nobody in the music world hehe, so I don't expect a lot of donations or a high goal to be reached but I'm just glad to be using music for a good cause!

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 3 2016, 01:55 PM
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Wou! Those are great news mate! Congrats! It's very good for you as a musicians, it will bring a lot of promotion, and you'll be helping for a nice campaign. Everything is so great. smile.gif

And the new sample is very promising. Keep working!


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Chris S.
post Mar 3 2016, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for your kind word man smile.gif

Also, big congrats to you and Cirse for the upcoming Sinergia DVD on Saturday!

My question is, is it possible for me to buy one and you guys sign it? wink.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 4 2016, 05:49 PM
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Hi Chris! Thanks for your words! I think that it's possible. Please remind me the next week and we'll try to arrange it! smile.gif


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Chris S.
post Mar 7 2016, 02:31 AM
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Thanks! I will surely remind you laugh.gif

And without further adue:

https://m.soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-demo

Still some touching up to do but this is pretty much the song - I hope you enjoy it smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 7 2016, 04:45 PM
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Mate! I have to congrats you and that amazing lady for the killer track that you've created! I think that the song is brilliant, very deep, and sad... I really get the feeling... and the singer is fantastic, his vocal "colour" is very nice to hear, and when she goes up it so expressive! and keeps sounding nice and warm.

I think that you can still work on the mix. The use of reverb for vocals could be better, guitars less "high" (deeper guitars) and also take care of that crash cymbal that is played on the right channel which is not very natural (at least control the eq or it).

Fantastic work!! smile.gif


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Chris S.
post Mar 8 2016, 02:57 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Mar 7 2016, 03:45 PM) *
Mate! I have to congrats you and that amazing lady for the killer track that you've created! I think that the song is brilliant, very deep, and sad... I really get the feeling... and the singer is fantastic, his vocal "colour" is very nice to hear, and when she goes up it so expressive! and keeps sounding nice and warm.

I think that you can still work on the mix. The use of reverb for vocals could be better, guitars less "high" (deeper guitars) and also take care of that crash cymbal that is played on the right channel which is not very natural (at least control the eq or it).

Fantastic work!! smile.gif

Thank you so much for your kind words, as well as all the help you continue to give me; I couldn't do it without you, man! smile.gif

As far as the mix, how do you feel about this one - I feel a little more confident with this one. I think some of her words are a bit harsh in volume in some spots and I will be spending some time of the Volume automation:

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-demo-1

Appreciate the second set of ears smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 8 2016, 02:25 PM
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Hi Chris,

It's true that there are some words that could sound louder, are you compressing the vocal track? Maybe you can try with more compression.

I'm still not convinced of the vocal ambience. I would try with any other reverb, are you using "plate" type. Also, using delay will make the ambience sound more "pro".

Check out this track:



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Chris S.
post Mar 8 2016, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the isolated vocals - they really were helpful!

I ditched Altiverb - and am now running Reaper's built in Reverb, but then following it up with a TAL-Reverb-II plate plugin to add character since Reaper's reverb alone is pretty generic.

Comparing Amy Lee's vocals to Ashley's - I noticed that my wet signals were way too high and the reverb was overpowering. I also was only using a Vocal Slapback effect for delay, so I made the delay time longer to make the repeats more noticeable.

I also noticed that the studio must have used a little too much auto-tune/pitch correction - if you listen closely between 0:55 and 0:56 when she says "be" you can here the pitch shift, is there anyway to correct this in my DAW since I obviously can't have the vocals redone without hiring her again?

https://soundcloud.com/stortzmusic/goodbye-isolated-vocals

Thanks smile.gif

ALSO:

I am using compression but probably totally wrong - I really am clueless with compression and how to use it, so I basically just move dials until I here a difference. Here is a screenshot of my compressor settings for the vocals:

Attached Image

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Mar 8 2016, 08:23 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 9 2016, 02:23 PM
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This is much better!! Now that the ambiance is better I've noticed that the EQ of your vocal track has more mids than Amy Lee's track. This can be related to the mic choice, but I want to be sure that you are not adding too much the frequencies between 1.0 to 2.5. This frequencies are very important for the voice but if you enhance them too much, you can get a "radio effect" sound. I feel that your track has some radio feel so maybe you can experiment a bit with EQ now. Adding more bass / highs or lowering some mid frequencies.

In other words try to get a more balanced EQ as it happens with Evanescence's track.


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Chris S.
post Mar 11 2016, 02:31 PM
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Thanks Gab, I've been out for a few days with a stomach virus sad.gif

I will return to the mix once I am feeling better.

Any update on the DVD, my friend? smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 11 2016, 02:50 PM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Mar 11 2016, 10:31 AM) *
Thanks Gab, I've been out for a few days with a stomach virus sad.gif

I will return to the mix once I am feeling better.

Any update on the DVD, my friend? smile.gif



Hi Chris! Thanks for the update!

I'll have news today, please write me a PM tomorrow to send you details!



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Chris S.
post Mar 15 2016, 10:39 PM
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Hey Gab!

So I'm finally feeling better and I come bearing a couple pieces of news:

1) I've decided to switch majors in school - I have no passion to be an electrician, and having only one life to live I think it's important to follow your dreams : so I have decided to double major in Audio/Video Communications and Music Recording Technology and afterwards I will be doing a two semester course for a certificate in Photography.

My goal with this is to get a job working with a local radio/new/tv station to get experience and money - and then put that towards starting my own independent production company that basically does it all.

We could do audio for the radio, we can shoot and edit video for a commercial - if you're a band we can record and produce your new cd, film your performance on stage, take photos, design your websites, etc etc.

I feel like it's something I can wake up everyday and love what I do, so there is that smile.gif

2) Since I am going for Music Recording, I am going to put a hold on releasing any new material besides Goodbye - I will continue writing new material but I won't actually produce complete songs until I have the experience to put out more quality mixes than I currently am.

3) In order to help my creativity and my rhythm/lead work - I've decided I will be learning a new cover once a month, mostly Evanescence covers as well as other songs that fit that style (the style I want to pursue with my own music) in order to help me understand their structure and allow me to create more interesting rhythm pieces.

So within a week, I will post an update of where I am with my first cover: Evanescence - Tourniquet smile.gif

This post has been edited by Chris S.: Mar 15 2016, 10:41 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 16 2016, 02:34 PM
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Hi Chris! I'm happy of reading this post. You won't never regret this great decision you took. Your plan is not only you following you dream, I think it's reasonable and totally doable.

I'll be here always ready to check your progress and song analysis. smile.gif


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Chris S.
post Mar 16 2016, 03:59 PM
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Thank you for your kind words, Gab! biggrin.gif

As far as learning covers - you have done a lot of "In The Style Of" lessons here on GMC so you are the perfect person to ask this question to:

What do I take away from the covers, beside just learning how to play them?

For example, on my very first day of learning Tourniquet, I said to myself: "I think this is in E Minor" and when I checked the scale in Guitar Pro I was in fact correct - it is E Minor smile.gif

Aside from what scale is being used, what other things should I be analyzing as I am learning these songs?

Thanks cool.gif


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