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Thread: I want to make a mixtape. (Quality I need?)

  1. #1
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    I want to make a mixtape. (Quality I need?)

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    Hello everyone, I am working on a mixtape that I plan to release soon for free. However, I have a question regarding how much money I should put into the quality of the mixtape.

    This is my microphone I use:

    Blue Microphones | Snowball - The World's First Professional USB Mic

    I do not have a pop-filter, but will invest in one if it's recommended for mixtape quality. I have had thoughts about renting a studio, even though I have never been in one before. I'm envious of artists that get to spend days in studios for free. Hopefully after creating a buzz with this mixtape I can get a studio interested in me, I have some really good lyrical content.

    My DAW of choice is ableton live. I plan to get instrumentals from already popular songs and producers.

    I do not know much about mixing/mastering, but this is what I do know.
    • Add reverb to vocals
    • Compress vocals
    • Equalize THE WHOLE TRACK.
    • Make sure the db never exceeds 0.
    • Make sure singing is on key using Melodyne and correct pitches and pitch drift. (I'd like to learn more advanced vocal editing techniques. Also, how do I tell which key an established song is in?
    OPTIONS

    Here are my options, please recommend a path for me in which you think i'd get the best results.

    A) Record vocals at home. (With / without pop filter / upgrade to a better mic? / Buy a pre-amp?). Master everything at home (or have/pay someone on future producers).

    B)
    Record vocals at home. (With / without pop filter / upgrade to a better mic? / Buy a pre-amp?). Pay to get all tracks mastered at guitar center for near ~$200. (Does anyone know how intricately they master vocals?)

    C)
    Record vocals at studio (Does the studio offer mastering for free? I could use some insight as to how studios work as well). Master everything at home (or have/pay someone on future producers).

    D)
    Record vocals at studio. Pay to get all tracks mastered at guitar center for near ~$200.


    As usual, all advice is appreciated. Thank you in advance!



  2. #2
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    Go out all guns blazing, doesn't matter if it's a mixtape, use good mics that have GOOD quality. Trust me, if it's shit quality then noone will like what you have to offer.

  3. #3
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    you can do it all yourself honestly. I've never used a USB Mic personally but what is your budget? And if you're going to be doing the mixing/mastering what are you doing all of that on? Do you have monitors already? Since you aren't rapping on "tracked out" beats I would think it would be quite pointless to spend money on letting anyone else record, mix and master it.
    Malcolm Smalls: Artist/Producer My Album

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    Wait, Guitar Center does mastering?

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    Yes guitar center does do mixing and mastering...at least the one in my city does. I'd like to do it all myself, with maybe some help with mixing / mastering. But besides that, maybe I should look into building a home studio? Is my mic capable of producing commercially viable sound? Or should I invest in a better mic?

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    I would focus on getting a pretty good mic. Nothing ridiculous and read up on info to get your vocals sounding good. Vocal booth, acoustic treatments. Nobody wants to listen to music that doesn't "sound" good.

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    As a few others have suggested, I might skip paying to have tracks for a mixtape mastered; particularly at that price. I've actually heard a lot of great recordings from USB mics- keeping in mind that you should pay careful mind to recording room treatment and that will be (as ch0p suggested) the first thing that gets to everyone's ears. I'd be glad to help with the key of the tracks if you'd like to email/message me a list of what you're thinking you'll use. Bottom line- with a mixtape, you're perfectly capable of spending very little for a very big result.

  8. #8
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    There's theoretically nothing wrong with USB mics, it's just that they're usually in the cheap end of things and you'll have to understand that the price includes not only the mic, but also a mic preamp and a/d converters - which is to say that the already low price includes all these things, and you can't really upgrade any of them, nor use the mic with other preamps or interfaces. So if any of the parts in the USB setup sucks, there's nothing you can do about it.

  9. #9
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    A, buy a pop filter (should be 10-30 dollars) - don't know about ableton as a DAW, i use cubase. - enough mixing and mastering tutorial videos on youtube that you good enough quality - make sure your mic setup is standing somewhere near a wall and perhaps cover that wall off with empty egg boxes (isolation)

    it's a mixtape, great quality can be achieved with shit budget. trust me.

  10. #10
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    Alright. So I'm working with my blue yeti mic, I will probably go buy a pop-filter next monday if I don't end up making one myself. I feel like I don't have a good place to set up a home recording studio, but of course, I shall try my best.

    The hardest part about all of this is mixing and mastering. I'm looking up tutorials for ableton / melodyne, perhaps someone can give me some tips when it comes to mixing / mastering? (Do I need to mix / master more than just vocals? Perhaps eq and compression on the entire track?)

    Also when I master, do I edit in melodyne and THEN add effects? Or go through noise gate, eq, compression, delay, and reverb, and then use melodyne?
    Last edited by Drange; 11-13-2012 at 11:00 AM.

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