Police drama

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  • #33092 Reply

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone can give me advice on how to improve my production for this style of music. I am using criminal investigation cues from Extreme Music as reference, but I feel mine don’t sound as polished and current as those.

    Especially mixing and general mix/production

    Any help is appreciated

    #33116 Reply
    Paul Biondi

    Hi @Xev

    Any help is appreciated

    Not knowing what you’re shooting for specifically, I have this suggestion that has worked well for me:

    First: import into your DAW a few reference cues that emulate the styles and sounds you’re aiming for. Then deconstruct each cue every which way you can imagine:
    analyze the Production (genre/subgenre/ style/era, overall EQ , compression, panning, limiting, verb/delays, etc, etc) and then analyze the composition (key, bpm, instrumentation, chord progressions, scale/modes, counter melodies, use of percussion/rhythms, etc.

    As you analyze, create both a mix-map (verbs/delays/effects on and off, transitions and automations for panning instruments and FXs, etc) and a master chart detailing all of the composing elements you’ve uncovered. These charts are now your guides for creating your next batch of tracks.

    In my experience, an initial and intensive deconstruction of cues is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Best of luck.

    #33117 Reply

    In my experience, an initial and intensive deconstruction of cues is the gift that keeps on giving.

    You can learn a LOT from Paul!

    I would “open up” your mixes with “Lusher/Warmer Effects”, and I would invest in some “Wideners/Mid & Side Enhancements” to loosen up that “confined, and too In The Box sound”.

    Also, unless you have “Studied” under Ken Lee, Herb Powers, Bernie Grundman, or equivalent. You are not going to sound like Sony Extreme, until You’ve done “World-class Mastering” to the track/song. Those tracks 8-out of-10 times NEVER come in sounding like that.

    #33120 Reply

    an initial and intensive deconstruction of cues is the gift that keeps on giving

    Thank you very much for the advice Paul I am going to try to do exactly what you suggested. That sounds very logical and it probably would save me a lot of work.

    Those tracks 8-out of-10 times NEVER come in sounding like that

    Thanks man I understand that- However I am sure those mixes sound much closer to a mastered version than mine. Especially the “too In The Box sound” as you mention.
    This is what is what I am having most trouble with to be honest. Not that my cues sound that bad, just put them next to the reference, and the difference in production quality and especially depth is tremendous.

    Nothing that can’t be solved with a lot of practice i guess 🙂

    #33140 Reply
    Kery Michael

    I thought that the mixes sounded professional and polished. A little minimal, but I think that’s the point. You have some really nice accents happening in the background.

    But after reading the previous posts I guess that means I got to learn to! LOL. The advice meant for you, I’ll take that same advice. I’ve never tried to break a reference track down to that level of detail, but I can definitely understand the benefits.

    #33224 Reply
    Roscoe Foderotz

    Hi Xev-

    There is a saying in the mastering world that pretty much goes “You can’t polish a txxd”. Be advised that I am not saying that your music is a txxd. The only thing that mastering does is sweeten something that already should be sweet. In the case with Extreme those tracks probably already arrived in top shape. Paul gives some excellent tips about the utilization of reference cues. What I’d like to add is that regardless of what anyone says, if you know what you are doing YOU CAN get world-class sound from an in-the-box mix environment. Plugins may not sound exactly like the real hardware, but they get you about 95% of the way there.

    To me your mixes are off to a great start, but there is something you are not hearing and as BEATSLINGER stated they need to be opened up. This can be due to a variety of different factors. Are you mixing with monitors or headphones? Room treatment? Your overall listening skills and do you know how and what to listen for? Do you know what tools (EQ, Compression, Reverb, etc.) to apply and how to use them? One of the best drills I was taught when learning how to mix in-the-box was to forget the plethora of plugins that exist and choose one decent channel strip plugin. Put it across every track and that’s all you get. It truly is amazing how you learn about sound when your tools are limited. There truly is an art to mixing and there is no secret mojo out here that mastering will provide to make things sound magically spectacular.

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