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I doubled the electric bass with an electric guitar in the fast section . . .

It's the native NOTION 6 Electric Guitar but without the amplifier effects . . .

Instead, I ran it through AmpliTube 4 using a simple Orange amplifier rig after I recorded the NOTION 6 generated audio in a ReWire session with Digital Performer 9.5 (MOTU) as the ReWire host controller. Afterward, I ran it through Pro-C (FabFilter Software Instruments) to constrain it and give a bit of bite and sustain, which included running it through TrackPlug 5 (Wave Arts) to focus it in a specific frequency range using brickwall frequency filters, which ensures that it doesn't overlap the electric bass.

It took a few hours to find an electric guitar sound that I like, which is the way it works with virtual instruments here in the sound isolation studio . . .

While I was working on the doubled electric guitar and soloing it, I kept hearing reverberation, which was puzzling for a while, until I noticed that there was a Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) effects plug-in on the Master stereo output, which as best as I can recall was an experiment I did a few months ago but then forgot to remove; so I removed it, which made the overall mix a bit more dry and improved it, since everything that needs reverberation, echoes, and ADT already has it--no need to reverb it another time . . .

I like reverberation, but it needs to be managed ruthlessly . . .

It's a tighter mix, and removing the ambient reverberation from the overall mix improved the clarity of the Reel ADT (Waves Audio) on the lead vocals, which in the fast part are two tracks (melody and minor-third harmony, all droning in a rapid chant during the verses) . . .

[NOTE: I am continuing to do headphone mixing, which is what I do most of the time when I am working on a song and focused on arranging, orchestrating, as well as producing. I have a few more bits to add, and then I will do a calibrated, full-range studio monitor mix, followed by some fine-tuning with headphones . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

At this point everything switches to embellishing and ornamenting with tiny bits that most folks probably don't notice in an immediately conscious way . . .

I'm pondering the idea of repeating the "sweet hour of prayer" phrase a few times at the end of the last verse before the big ending, which I can do easily with copying and pasting audio clips . . .

I'm also pondering the idea of adding some subtle "Morse Code" style synthesizer notes in the background during the verses in the fast section, as well as having a bit more FUN with "Blue" (Realitone/Realivox) in the background during the fast section verses, probably at random times--nothing blatantly obvious but enough to give it a sense of "tent show revival" excitement . . .

I might do something in a few places like the reverberated guitar chords in "Blue Ain't Your Color" (Keith Urban), which is a truly amazing song . . .

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I'm working on the vocal producing chapter in my new book on digital music production, and the vocal producing on Keith Urban's singing in "Blue Ain't Your Color" is what I call "modern dry enhanced", where the "dry" part refers to the near absence of reverberation and is in contrast to the vocal producing style I call "classic wet", which is the combination of a condenser microphone, compressor-limiter, and vast reverberation with the original audio being first brickwall filtered to tailor the reverberation . . .

There's doubling or ADT (probably the latter, since it's very precise), Haas Effect processing, subtle "slapback" echo on word tails, and a tiny bit of brickwall constrained reverberation that's noise-gated to end virtually instantly when the singing stops (it's there but it's controlled ruthlessly) . . .

There's plenty of reverberation in "Blue Ain't Your Color", but it's on the rhythmic synthesizer, drumkit, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:18 pm
I have been working on the Vocal Producing chapter of my new book on digital music production, and after pondering everything I decided that the first rule is to ensure that the singing is correct in pitch, tuning, and timing . . .

The second rule is to run the singing through a compressor-limiter, primarily because singing has a distinctively disturbing dynamic range and must be constrained, which in some respects makes singing even more of a problem than electric guitar, although for a different reason, since the problem with electric guitar is that it's perfect in every respect for recording due to the frequency range of electric guitar and the electromagnetic behaviors of electric guitar pickups, which combined make it too easy for an electric guitar to dominate the sonic landscape and to overwhelm everything . . .

The word "that" in the phrase "sweet hour of prayer that" started too early and was a tiny bit flat, so I corrected it with Melodyne (Celemony) . . .

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I also ran the singing in the slow section through the BBE D82 Sonic Maximizer and increased the wet level of the syrupy, slapback echoes done by Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) . . .

[NOTE: The BBE D82 Sonic Maximizer is used only on the singing in what I suppose is the "normal" Intro section of the song--what I call the "slow part" . . . ]

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In this vocal producing style, which I call "Modern Dry Enhanced", the effects chain is in series:

(1) tune and pitch correct

(2) brickwall filter and noise gate

(3) automatic double track (ADT)

(4) syrupy slapback echo

(5) sonic exciter

(6) compressor-limiter

[NOTE: There is no explicit reverberation, but the ADT and syrupy slapback echo units provide constrained reverberation. There are times when reverberation is useful, but reverberation is the epitome of pure chaos, hence must be controlled ruthlessly. Uncontrolled reverberation destroys sonic landscape spin . . . ]

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Sonic Landscape Spin ~ Headphone Mapping

It's a matter of quantum mechanics, and while it might appear to be subtle, it's important . . .

The human hearing apparatus has the ability in ideal conditions to perceive the motion of a single electron aurally, and the human visual apparatus has the ability in similarly ideal conditions to perceive a single photon visually . . .

[NOTE: This is a headphone mix . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:17 pm
While I was sleeping last night, one of my cats jumped in bed and purred for about an hour, which was relaxing; so I connected a few dots and did a bit of research on purring, which then led to discovering that there are long YouTube videos of cats purring . . .

"Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigators have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing."

[SOURCE: Why Do Cats Purr? ("Scientific American", January 2003, Prof. Leslie A. Lyons, School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis) ]

[NOTE: The frequency of a cat's purring (25-Hz to 150-Hz) is in the middle range of the Haas Effect and the lower range of Slapback Echo, as shown in the following diagram of delay and echo ranges. In some respects, it's a bit surreal; but it's based on verified science and acoustic physics . . . ]

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Delay-Echo Map ~ Surf.Whammy

CURIOUS MUSICIAN: So, in the fast part of the song you chanted the lyrics in two-part, minor-third harmony on top of a virtual festival of Heavy Metal lead guitar, because (a) you can't sing worth a flip and (b) the Aliens From Outer Space didn't beam you a melody; then you did a bunch of pitch correcting and added a lot of special effects; and now you have enhanced it with digitally synthesized cat purring. Are you trying to create an earworm?

SURF.WHAMMY: Yeah! :P

As I explained in a previous post, I have been pondering the idea of adding a Morse Code type of background to the rapid, two-part monotone singing in the fast part of the song; so this idea fit nicely with purring; and I found a preset in Cyclop (Sugar Bytes) by a sound designer who goes by the moniker "ARISTOCATS" . . .

The preset is called "BUZZ" . . .

[NOTE: Cyclop is doing a virtual festival of stuff, so the purpose of the eighth notes in NOTION 6 is to "play" Cyclop. It's "Middle C" (C4), but Cyclop is a synthesizer, so a lot of stuff happens, as you can see in the image. Cyclop is not a static synthesizer. When the eighth notes are playing, the knobs on Cyclop are in constant motion. I have a general concept of what Cyclop is doing, but it's doing so much stuff that it's a bit mind-boggling, which is the reason I like Cyclop. "BUZZ" is a perfect preset for adding some textural excitement with a bit of randomness. I could do it another way, but it would be very difficult. This way everything happens automagically . . . ]

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There are two instances of Cyclop, one at far-left and one at far-right, and they have the same preset and are playing the same series of "Middle C" (C4) eighth notes, but only during the rapid chanting-style singing in the fast part of the song . . .

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It's not on the two "sweet hour of prayer" lines where "Blue" (Realivox) is singing soprano harmony . . .

When the rapid chanting-style singing stops, the Cyclop purring stops; so the pattern is Cyclop purring; two measures of no Cyclop purring; then more Cyclop purring with an arpeggio at the end . . .

At the start, it creates a swirl that sounds a bit like an analog tape machine starting to play or something similar--kind of an audible swirl--but during the middle part, it creates a Leslie rotating speaker texture and a Doppler Effect . . .

I added an arpeggio at the end of each verse, which you can hear at least once or twice if you listen with studio quality headphones . . .

Primarily the two Cyclop tracks add excitement, but in a mostly subtle way . . .

It also adds apparently random swirls, which is important and is a producing technique . . .

[NOTE: This is a headphone mix, and it's brickwall limited with -0.1 dB as the maximum . . . ]

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Everything else is the same as the previous version, so all that's added is the Cyclop background purring . . .

THOUGHTS

So far, there are 22 NOTON 6 scores, each with perhaps five instruments, which is done to get the highest quality audio . . .

A few of the instruments are common to all the NOTION 6 scores, and I use them to determine when verses start, when choruses start, and so forth; so they're there as reference points, and I only record them one time. After that, they're just visual cues . . .

I do everything in layers, with one NOTION 6 score per layer, where a "layer" might be a few instruments or just one instrument spread over several staves, which is the way I "sparkle" an instrument so I can position individual notes across the Rainbow Panning Arc to put them into motion . . .

There are approximately 75 tracks in the DAW application, but I do submixes to keep it manageable; so most of the time I am working with 20 or so tracks on the mixing board . . .

Except for my singing, everything is done with music notation and virtual instruments . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by rehaartan on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:24 am
Surf Whammy, I have been following this venture with great interest, as always, though I don't fully understand (so what? :) ) the technical particulars. I am especially impressed by the enthusiasm and "back to basics" learning spirit you tackle the emerging issues, reminiscent of Renaissance/Enlightenment sages. I wonder if you are aware of Ethan Weiner, a wise and cuddly soul knowledgeable in many things, particularly in audio issues.

,,,and considering cats pop up wherever there are music related people, is music possible at all in their absence?

Finale, GPO5, Notion 5, Miroslav Philharmonik, W 10, i7, 8 GB
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:27 am
rehaartan wroteSurf Whammy, I have been following this venture with great interest, as always, though I don't fully understand (so what? :) ) the technical particulars. I am especially impressed by the enthusiasm and "back to basics" learning spirit you tackle the emerging issues, reminiscent of Renaissance/Enlightenment sages. I wonder if you are aware of Ethan Weiner, a wise and cuddly soul knowledgeable in many things, particularly in audio issues.

,,,and considering cats pop up wherever there are music related people, is music possible at all in their absence?


Glad you're enjoying the project! :)

I met Ethan Winer in the 1990s when I was writing books on Visual Basic programming, and it's interesting that Ethan decided to focus on music, which is what I did too . . .

Among other things, he started studying cello; and now he's an accomplished cellist, but he also plays other instruments . . .

He has a company that makes products for doing acoustic room treatments, and he gives presentations at audio conferences . . .

THOUGHTS

When I was designing the sound isolation studio, I did a lot of research and this included reading articles that Ethan Winer wrote, and somewhere along the way I discovered that rolls of fiberglass insulation were good absorbers of deep bass . . .

It was nice to learn that Ethan agrees; and these are a few of his more recent observations . . .

"Sure, rolled up fiberglass works well.

--Ethan"

"16 inches is pretty narrow. The larger the better. Always. Then again, in a ceiling corner you might not want to look at huge rolls. :mrgreen:

--Ethan"

[SOURCE Fluffy Fiberglass rolls of R 30 hung in the corners? (Music Player Network ]

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Rolls of Fiberglass Insulation ~ Surf.Whammy Sound Isolation Studio

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Deep Bass Subwoofers ~ Surf.Whammy Sound Isolation Studio (before adding insulation)

There are six rolls of fiberglass insulation and five cubes of compressed cellulose in the sound isolation studio, and most of them are on the floor, but as shown there are four smaller rolls of fiberglass insulation between the two-way, self-powered PA loudspeakers. There also are two, self-powered deep bass subwoofers on the floor . . .

This is another DIY strategy for "bass traps" . . .

Do-It-Yourself Bass Traps (Ethan Winer)

The sound isolation studio is a room within a room within a room; and the innermost room is fully-floated and not attached to the outer rooms. It sits atop a layer of rubber mats made from ground truck tires; and there are air gaps between the inner and outer rooms. The walls and ceiling of the innermost room are double layers of gypsum board (1/2" and 5/8"); and the walls, ceiling, and floor are Helmholtz resonating panels . . .

[NOTE: It's conventional lumber framing, but I changed the spacing of the wall studs and floor and ceiling joists, and added horizontal framing to create different sizes of fiberglass-padded "panels" onto which the dual layers of gypsum board are attached. If you have a room with at least 9 feet high walls, then you can build what essentially is a plywood box with a door and sit it on the floor. If you assemble it with Deck Mate® wood screws and do a bit of designing so that everything screws together in manageable sections, then you can disassemble it later and move it somewhere else; so this also works if you are renting an apartment or whatever. It solves the problem of wanting to listen to loud music at night without bothering anyone, although it doesn't do much to control subsonic vibrations. Floating the innermost room on rubber mats helps, but other than a very expensive spring-system, there's not so much you can do to isolate subsonic vibrations from a building. Fully-floating the floor actually encourages the transfer of subsonic vibrations, which makes it ideal for a listening room; since you want to feel the subsonic vibrations, not to eliminate them. Subsonic vibrations are there in most recorded material, but you need deep bass subwoofers to reproduce them, and the floor needs to be able to vibrate so that you feel the subsonic vibrations, where "subsonic" is 20-Hz and lower, which for practical purposes is 10-Hz to 20-Hz . . . ]

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Middle and Inner Rooms ~ Surf.Whammy Sound Isolation Studio

I measure everything, and to the extent I am able on a low-budget, everything is calibrated for a generally flat, equal loudness curve at 85 dB SPL measured with a dBA weighting (90 dB SPL as measured with a dBC weighting) . . .

I have hardware and software for doing the measuring and calibrating, and the only problem in the sound isolation studio was a gnarly standing wave centered around 70-Hz, hence the rolls of fiberglass insulation and cubes of compressed cellulose insulation, which did not cost so much . . .

It's a small room (approximately 6 feet wide by 7 feet high and 12 feet long), and the "studio monitor system" actually is the sound reinforcement for a small nightclub, but I set the levels accurately and know how to do this stuff, so it's all good . . .

"dB SPL" is like temperature, so 85 dB SPL in a small walk-in closet is the same as 85 dB SPL in an indoor coliseum or the cabin of a car . . .

I have OSHA-approved hearing protection that I wear when I'm setting levels for the studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio, which is important because the Kustom PA loudspeakers and deep bass subwoofers are very powerful and need to be configured correctly to avoid problems . . .

I use PA loudspeakers, because (a) they cost less and (b) they work when you know how to do sound reinforcement, which I did for a while in the 1980s . . .

The key bit of information is that folks who do sound reinforcement are focused on acoustic physics, not on endorsements by famous musicians and all that nonsense; so what happens is that sound reinforcement stuff is just as good (if not better) but costs a lot less . . .

The rule for deep bass is that you have to push a lot of air; and pushing a lot of air requires woofers that are big and heavy . . .

Sir Isaac Newton discovered and defined the "big and heavy" rule in the late-1600s (circa 1687), although he didn't call it the "big and heavy" rule . . .

It's classic physics, and nothing has changed since then, although Albert Einstein discovered and defined a few more rules (all of which are consistent with the "big and heavy" rule in one way or another) . . .

I like the PreSonus Sceptre S8 studio monitors when augmented with a pair of Temblor T10 deep bass subwoofers, but the Kustom units cost about half as much . . .

The key difference from my perspective is that without OSHA-approved hearing protection and an assortment of measuring and calibrating hardware and software, it's safer to use the PreSonus products . . .

I have a nightclub-size sound reinforcement system in what essentially is a small, walk-in closet; and I can do this safely, because I know all the safety rules and have the necessary safety equipment and so forth to configure everything--which is fine for me--but for folks who don't know all the rules, it can be dangerous . . .

The PreSonus studio monitors and deep bass subwoofers have honest specifications, which is one of the reasons I like them. You need the deep bass subwoofers to go full-range, since they go down to 20-Hz, which is the requirement for full-range. The Sceptre S8 goes down to 46-Hz, so you need to augment it with the Temblor T10--Sceptre S8 and Temblor T10 on the left and Sceptre S8 and Temblor T10 on the right. You need two Sceptre S8 units and two Temblor T10 units. Doing monaural deep bass with just one deep bass subwoofer does not work, because it creates an auditory illusion, and you do not want that particular auditory illusion, even in a studio no bigger than a walk-in closet. When there's just one deep bass subwoofer, the circuitry of the single, deep bass subwoofer is doing filtering and mixing. You want to be the one doing the filtering and mixing, and you need to hear it to mx it; hence you need two deep bass subwoofer units . . .

[NOTE: The only other commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) studio monitor system I recommend is the one from JBL Pro, and it costs approximately $20,000 US . . . ]

These are two of my favorite videos for explaining the fact that standard CD quality is completely sufficient for recording and reproducing full-range audio perfectly (44,100-Hz sample rate) . . .

I am fine with 48,000-Hz for the audio in video work, since it's the audio standard for video, but anything higher is a waste of money and accomplishes nothing useful . . .

AES Workshop (Ethan Winer et al.)

D/A and A/D | Digital Show and Tell (Monty Montgomery)

Cats are cool! :)

P. S. If all you have is an SPL meter, then play the single-version of "Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson) at 90 dB SPL measured with a dBC weighting and keep adding rolls of fiberglass insulation and cubes of compressed cellulose insulation until the kick drum has clear and distinct, deep bass punch. If the bass and kick drum are muddy, then there's a gnarly, low-frequency standing wave in the room and you need to make it go away by absorbing it with insulation . . .

It's one of the "by ear" but scientific techniques I use here in the sound isolation studio, although I augment it with calibrating hardware and software, because ultimately you need to do the science if you want to be able to trust your ears, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :+1

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by rehaartan on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:00 pm
So, it's a small world! Sorry for misspelling Winer, by the way.

Finale, GPO5, Notion 5, Miroslav Philharmonik, W 10, i7, 8 GB
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by Surf.Whammy on Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:17 am
I am writing the chapter on producing the basic rhythm section in my new book, which is coming along nicely (over 400 pages, now), and I decided to take my own advice and focus the kick drums, snare drum rimshots, and electric bass guitar in the fast part of the song by running them through brickwall equalizers to eliminate the frequencies below and above the frequency ranges of these instruments . . .

I also did a bit of selective frequency range focusing to reduce overlap, so the kick drums, snare drum rimshots, and electric bass guitar are more distinct and have their own sonic spaces . . .

These are the setting for the Pro-Q equalizers for all three instruments and the Pro-C compressor-limiter (kick drums), where both of these are FabFilter Software Instruments effects plug-ins and are not emulations of external signal processors, so they do more advanced stuff . . .

[NOTE: I do this starting with the kick drum, followed by the electric bass, and then the snare drum rimshots. These are minimally invasive changes, and they keep everything controlled without changing the tone and texture of the respective instruments, which is what I call "gracious adjusting", although the hard knee compressor-limiter is not so gracious, but so what . . . ]

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KIck Drum EQ

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Kick Drum Compressor-Limiter ~ Hard Knee

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Electric Bass EQ

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Snare Drum Rimshots EQ

There's more to it than this, but it's enough to get the general idea . . .

The low-pitch "E" string on an electric bass has the fundamental frequency 41.203-Hz, so there's no point in allowing anything lower than that for electric bass; and since there are other instruments and singing, I like to focus the electric bass on doing bass rather than everything, which is the same strategy for the kick drums and snare drum rimshots, more or less . . .

With the kick drums, electric bass, and snare drum rimshots more focused, I panned the electric bass more toward top-center (approximately halfway between far-left and top-center) and increased the volume level of the hi-hats at far-left by 1 dB . . .

This included adjusting the levels of some of the sparkled instruments, like the maracas, so they are easier to hear . . .

I also did some work on the slow part at the start of the song, where I increased the volume levels of the grand piano and violins by 1 dB . . .

And I adjusted the levels of the various frequency ranges in the Saturn (FabFilter Software Instruments) mastering plug-in and lowered the volume levels for the digitally synthesized cat purring by 1 dB . . .

[NOTE: I did everything while listening to the song played through the calibrated, full-range studio monitor system here in the sound isolation studio but then made a few adjustments for headphone listening, so it's primarily a headphone mix. which is the best way to listen, since there's a lot of motion and spacetime stuff, including sparkles in the fast part of the song . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:23 pm
I did more fine-tuning of the mix, and among other things (a) increased the volume levels of the concert harp, violins, and French horns in the Classic (slow) section; (b) "ducked" the electric bass using the kick drum as the sidechain source in the Metal (fast) section; and (c) increased the volume level of the kick drum by a tiny amount to make it more prominent . . .

In the fast section, this included putting a brickwall limiter on the electric bass to constrain it a bit and to smooth its volume level to make the "ducking" more gracious; and I increased the volume levels of the rapid Twin 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) synthesizer motion sparkles that are heard during the break when there is electric bass, kick drum, and short in-and-out lead guitar phrases, which occurs after the cathedral pipe organ break . . .

And I increased the volume level of the cowbell in the fast section . . . :P

[NOTE: The electric bass is the pair of vertical green bars, and the kick drum sidechain input is the vertical yellow-red bar. This is a dynamic process, so the electric bass is "ducked" only when there is a kick drum note, which happens on the attack phase of the kick drum note . . . ]

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Electric Bass "Ducked" with Kick Drum Sidechain Source

This is a high-level producing map for the Metal (fast) section . . .

[NOTE: Realivox "Blue" is the virtual soprano from Realitone who sings based on music notation and a phonetic script and runs in Kontakt 5 as a VSTi virtual instrument in NOTION 6 . . . ]

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Producing Map ~ Metal Section

[NOTE: This is a studio monitor and headphone mix, but the motion effects are more obvious when you listen with studio quality headphones, so it's primarily a headphone mix . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:13 am
I did a new version of "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and added some simple soprano harmony phrases via Realivox "Blue" to the break with the cathedral organ in the fast part of the song . . .

[NOTE: These are panned far-left and far-right, respectively . . . ]

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It's subtle, but it's part of enhancing a song . . .

I also did a bit of fine-tuning for a few instruments by adjusting their respective volume levels, although only by a tiny amount upward or downward (+/- 1 dB), which also is subtle . . .

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THOUGHTS

Initially, I was thinking about adding an "Oh Oh" vocal embellishment like in "Crazy Because of You" (T-ara), but it didn't fit; so I did it another way, which is more subtle . . .

The way it works here in the sound isolation studio is that the producer for T-ara "borrows" ideas from Britney Spears and then I "borrow" ideas from both of them--except that when I do it, it doesn't sound like Britney Spears or T-ara . . . :P

[NOTE: This is "hot" audio, so be careful with the listening volume level . . . ]

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[NOTE: If the melody at the start of the song rings a bell, then this is why . . . :ugeek: ]

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The high-level perspective is that for what one might call "popular songs" in the early-21st century, it's important to have a lot of embellishments and sparkles for two primary reasons:

(1) Everybody has personal supercomputers that play music and do lots of other stuff, so the ability of listeners to focus on anything for more than a few seconds is limited, at best . . .

(2) Embellishments and sparkles recapture and refocus the listener's attention . . .

I have a chapter in my new book on digital music production that explains all this stuff in greater detail, but it's easy to understand once you notice it in an immediately conscious way . . .

[NOTE: You might hear all this stuff in an immediately conscious way naturally--and good for you if you do--but if not, then this is why you need to listen to songs over and over while wearing studio quality headphones. It takes a while to train your auditory perception apparatus to hear all this stuff. If you are just listening for enjoyment, then it's not so important; but if you are focusing on producing, then it's very important . . . ]

It's an ongoing battle to capture and to retain the foci of listeners; and, since one might suggest accurately that all of them have difficulty focusing, as the producer you need to put stuff in the music and singing to make it easier for listeners to focus on the song . . .

Listen to "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (Beatles) and notice the hand-clapping that George Martin added every so often to ensure people listened attentively to the song . . .

There's nothing particularly new about this, but now there's a lot more of it, because attention spans have shortened due primarily to information overload . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:11 am
I just noticed that I made a mistake in the way I described cat purring . . .

It's not 25 to 150 milliseconds . . .

Instead it's 25-Hz to 150-Hz, but so what . . .

[NOTE: This explains the vibrato and Doppler Effect. I had an epiphany about cat purring but read the technical information too quickly, even though I understood what to do with it. This is one of the reasons I don't work in a dynamite factory . . . :P ]

It works, and I like the strategy so much that I had Realivox "Blue" do some cat purring while I sing the slow part of the song . . .

[NOTE: "Blue" is singing "OO" with each note in a combination of melody, harmony, and counterpoint; and she's polyphonic, so she's purring with herself in the last four measures . . . ]

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I also noticed that YouTube apparently tosses everything above 15K-Hz, which makes a bit of sense; so I added a TrackPlug 5 (Wave Arts) brickwall filter to toss everything above 15K-Hz, as well as everything below 20-Hz; and I also did this with Pro-C (FabFilter Software Instruments), but I added a mid-scoop in what I call the "sweet spot", which is the frequency range running from 2.5K-Hz to 5K-Hz, where the logic for the mid-scoop is that human hearing is most sensitive in this range, hence the material in this frequency range do not need to be so loud . . .

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Equal Loudness Curve

[SOURCE: Equal Loudness Curve ~ Wikipedia ]

[NOTE: The brickwall filters apply to the entire song--slow part and fast part . . . ]

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[NOTE: The mid-scoop is the dip highlighted with blue in the overall EQ curve . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

As you see in the YouTube music video, the upper frequency mostly disappears above 15K in this version, as it does below 20-Hz; but it's not completely cut . . .

The reason is that in the digital universe, brickwall filters are done with algorithms that are not so precise as one might imagine; but they're reasonably precise, which is fine with me . . .

There are several strategies for designing brickwall filtering algorithms, but the easiest way to explain it is with Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analyses, which is what you see in the frequency spectrum part of the T-RackS Metering VST plug-in that is the visual component of the YouTube music video . . .

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The high-level version is that all the lollipops are examined using various types of FFT algorithms; and this is the way frequencies are identified and then discarded . . .

There are ways to do the computing more quickly, but regardless it's a lot of processing, which takes time; so it's not done so precisely as I prefer, which affects the brickwall by making it a bit fuzzy at outer edges--below the brickwall for a low-cut filter and above the brickwall for a high-cut filter . . .

One of the most obvious differences in this version is that the volume level is good, but the perceived loudness is not so extreme; and I think this is due to the combination of the subsonic frequencies, "sweet spot" frequencies, and high frequencies affecting the brickwall limiter at the end of the sequential effects chain on the master stereo output channel . . .

Explained another way, by removing or lowering requencies which in some respects are troublesome, the result is perceived as being not so loud, even though it actually is louder--just not in what one might call "annoying" frequency ranges . . .

YouTube does its filtering (a) so it doesn't need to send so many lollipops and (b) because it probably doesn't matter--at least on the high frequency side--because only dogs can hear stuff that high . . .

For reference, this was George Martin's perspective when he was producing the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Beatles) album . . .

To have a bit of FUN, he added some 17K-Hz test tones at the end of the second side to entertain dogs . . .

Foks suggest they can hear high frequencies, and if they are in elementary school and have never been to a KISS or Miley Cyrus concert, I might believe it; but by the time most folks graduate from high school, there's not a lot of high frequency aural perception happening . . .

Several additional things happen in this new version that are excellent, among which is that it's easier to hear the swirls that occur due to the digitally synthesized cat purring in the fast part of the song on the main vocals (the parts with the rapid chanting or whatever one wants to call it) . . .

[NOTE: At the start of each version, after the two repeats of "sweet hour of prayer", you will hear a rapid swirl, which is when the digitally synthesized cat purring is activated. It sounds like a magnetic tape machine starting to play . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!

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