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Old 05-29-2012, 03:13 PM
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Default Cleaning up waves...

After a long lay-off I got back into some home recording. Now, one problem I've been wrestling with is to post process the recording. I usually normalize the recording first, however, ugly spikes prevent me from getting a good consistent sound through out. I'm afraid that if I normalize bits and pieces I will lose some, if not all, of the feel I'm trying to project. Basically, I need some help with editing.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:31 PM
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sounds like you are recording too hot if i understand your reference to "ugly spikes."

you could use a compressor but that may take some tweaking and not provide you with what you want. may make it worse.

play music!
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muscmp View Post

play music!
Well, that I do, but it's recording thing that always gets me.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bern View Post
After a long lay-off I got back into some home recording. Now, one problem I've been wrestling with is to post process the recording. I usually normalize the recording first, however, ugly spikes prevent me from getting a good consistent sound through out. I'm afraid that if I normalize bits and pieces I will lose some, if not all, of the feel I'm trying to project. Basically, I need some help with editing.
Thanks

Bern, post some examples, and I'll try to suggest something, as I'm sure others will as well.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:23 PM
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How could I post samples ? Do you mean screenshots ?
If you are willing to help maybe I could send you the wave file ?
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bern View Post
How could I post samples ? Do you mean screenshots ?
If you are willing to help maybe I could send you the wave file ?
right post a sound file that you're trying to work with.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:37 PM
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I can't link a wave file, it's too big. Soundclick only allows mp3's.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
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I can't link a wave file, it's too big. Soundclick only allows mp3's.
you could put it here:

https://idisk.mac.com/duglsyoung//Public/Bern
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:56 PM
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This is going to be a little hard to explain, but here is how I do it: I look at the wave file's display and analyze it over its entire length, looking for obvious peaks that will prevent the sound from being normalized to a reasonable level. If there are peaks of this sort, I will either compress or limit, offline, just the peaks before I normalize. That's a skill you have to develop by trial and error and repetition. You have to become familiar with your display and you compression tools and learn to eyeball estimate. Sometimes I will break the wave into regions and treat them separately based upon the dynamic range of the regions. Once you get to this point, you have to balance the regions via clip levels so that they reasonably match. Then you can use the track automation to execute your macro level goals.

You have to think towards the end goal from the start, keeping in mind the effects your interim steps are going to have and using each step's strengths rather than fighting their weaknesses. I developed the techniques while mastering records and then one day decided to apply them to dialog for audio post-production for video. In that realm I had the opportunity to hone them under really short deadlines.

Bob
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:30 PM
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Normalize, if at all, at the very end of the process. That just brings the loudest bit of the music up to the very peak before clipping.
You want to start out with headroom for any possible equalization, making judgements about compression and reverb,etc. Mostly
however you want a good balanced recording going in that does not require very much post recording. It may be a bit clinical sounding
going in if you have a fairly dead recording space but post recording reverb usually helps a lot.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:47 PM
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Thanks Bob. I understand what you're saying, at least, I think I do.

Thanks Doug for being so kind. I uploaded the file. As you will see the first section of the song has different spikes compared to the same identical section in the second part. Please, tell what you think.
I think, after listening for a while, the dynamics of the whole song are somewhat off...kind of choppy.
I should mention that I've recorded this with the Zoom H4 using the build in mics.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:48 PM
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Got the file, Bern. I'll post it for others to see if it's ok with you. Not sure what the issue is as far as normalization. Your levels are fine, except for a few quick peaks above 0, so normalizing to 0 isn't going to do anything at all to this file. You have an average level of -21 db, and all in all, levels are pretty decent. I'd bring them down just a tad to avoid the peaks clipping (when you record), but it's only a few short peaks, so it's not a big deal.

But the track is quite boomy. Too much bass, which is the main thing I hear, so I'd start by using a little EQ to tame that if you're trying to polish this track - tho it sounds like you should really work on mic position and get a better sound going in. Looks like an XY recording? Where are the mics placed?

EDIT: we crossed in posting. I don't really see an unexpected range of peaks. One thing you can do with tracks like this where there are just a few small peaks is use a hard limiter to knock down the peaks (or do it by hand if there aren't may) these are so quick and short you'd never hear it if you knocked off 3 db with a limiter. But it doesn't need it.

here's what the file looks like for everyone else:



About to run out to dinner, I'll check in when I get back
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Last edited by Doug Young; 05-29-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:56 PM
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Of course, you can post it.
The Zoom recorder was about 12" to 15" inches away from the neck joint. The guitar I've used was a Kronbauer MJ.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bern View Post
Of course, you can post it.
The Zoom recorder was about 12" to 15" inches away from the neck joint. The guitar I've used was a Kronbauer MJ.
That's an rather boomy sound for 12-15 inches at the neck. Not sure what's going on there. Here's the track as an mp3 for others who might want to make suggestions:

http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/mp3/maybe1.mp3
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Last edited by Doug Young; 05-29-2012 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
That's an rather boomy sound for 12-15 inches at the neck. Not sure what's going on there. Here's the track as an mp3 for others who might want to make suggestions:

http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/mp3/maybe1.mp3
Dead link though link in this post works. Odd.
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