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Thread: Tracks Sounding Amateur

  1. #1
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    Tracks Sounding Amateur

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    Hi All!

    I've been producing now for over 7yrs and working on a track today and listening back thinking, this sounds crap lol! I'm not just saying that either, it sounds amateur.

    I don't really know what I'm doing wrong. Using decent plug-ins and the sounds on their own or in You Tube videos sound great but when I use them they sound ok-ish if that makes sense. The melody lines and things sound good, gelling well and all that but the track sounds limp and has no oomph. Maybe it's no processing as yet and I only have 20/20 headphones to listen through atm but when it comes to processing, even though I understand the principles of EQ, Compression, Reverb, Delay, Saturation, Panning and Levels, apart from the last 2 listed there and reverb and delay, I don't really know how to apply the other stuff for any great benefit. Like I don't listen to a bass sound and go, oh, that needs EQ'ing at a certain range or whatever.

    Think mainly in todays track, it's the drums. Think if I could get more oomph with those, the rest would fall into place. The drums lack punch and oomph.

    Thanks!

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    Maybe your songs are missing what I would call 'Story through Dynamics'...(not a technical music term of course).

    As a listener, are you aware of when you are intently listening and then moments where you drift away? And when you drift away, is there something that brings you back in? Ask a friend as well.

    Often times a song has a foundation of a strong but lacking in dynamic shifts that feel like a journey for the listener. At a basic level, it's part of having the verse 2-3db quieter than the chorus as the uplift to the chorus brings the user back in to pay attention. Groove is great but if it's static throughout then listeners get bored. Pulling instruments in and out works very well for dance tracks.

    Do you feel like it's something like this missing? Or do you feel it's dated instrument choices or something else?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm View Post
    Do you feel like it's something like this missing? Or do you feel it's dated instrument choices or something else?
    Mainly just the sounds sound good but for some reason in the track start to not sound good together.I

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    Are you choosing instruments that are all in a tight frequency range or are you at least using instruments across the frequency range? Maybe post a track or two and we can help narrow the issues down.

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    Have you tried referencing other tracks in your project and than A/B with yours. Also using some analysers like AB metric or ozone balance could help - sometimes they can point you in the right direction and you can see if you have any gaps in frequency spectrum, too much bass or to mach mids etc...

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    I'm a bit going through the same thing it is like after a bit the song is no more interesting or some like that.

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    Yeah working on a track this evening and the same thing is happening again. I started with a decent kick drum, 909, sounds good. I add a bass, tweaking and altering for like half an hour (synthesis using TAL Bassline 101) can't get it to sound good, it just sounds reasonable but not great. Got it sounding as best as I could then got fed up do left it as good as I could, then moved on. Now I tried adding strings, again, made a melody line and with the Korg M1, going though every string patch and they just sound, well amateur, nothing outstanding about the sounds then it makes me thing, it's 'cause the tracks I'm listening to on You Tube use analogue gear and such and it's all the different elements of the electronics that added to the sound back then. I watched a Point Blank video on it the other day and the guy said on there that analogue gave it something, all the different elements of the gear, adding drift, distortion and noise.

    I also kind of get the feeling that back in the day (late 80's early 90's) there were techniques they were applying to make it sound good, not sure. Very frustrating.

    EDIT - Got it sounding better. Changed the strings to chords instead of a single melody line, listened through a few more presets, got it sounding loads better. Think the range of 4 notes (a bass note too) has given the strings more depth but now the kick seems to have started sounded bad lol! I'm finding though, it's very subtle tweaks and changes (bass - ADSR and filter cutoff) and EQ on things that seems to make things sound better. Many different little things add up to one great big thing if that makes sense.
    Last edited by SimplerCity; 06-14-2020 at 07:33 AM.

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    I hope things are coming together for you. Sound design is tough, especially if you're making beats. If you listen to a lot of professional tracks, the difference isn't always the songwriting, it's normally the way the snare hits, or the tasteful reverb on the synth, etc. In some ways that's the most frustrating part of making beats but at the same time, it's also a good thing to know that you don't have to be a music theory savant, you just have to develop an ear for the sound design.
    Hit me up on Facebook! Producer album on Spotify and Bandcamp if you want to check it out.

  9. #9
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    It would be very helpful to *hear* what these tracks sound like.



    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






  10. #10
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    What Soundcloud? unless you have Reaper, the Reason Rack Plug-In etc and the same samples.

    What would Soundcloud tell you without seeing what I've done in Reaper etc?

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