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Recordings - Adding effects/enhancing

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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It's clear from listening to many sax recordings that effects are added.

I was wondering what effects/processing are normally done on recordings to enahnce them?

Seems like there are quite a few plug-ins (like Vintage Warmer) as well as Eq, reverb and so on.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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In my modest experience you start adding plugins (mic simulators, compressors, aural enhancers, tube amps...) and if you listen to it after two days, the recording sounds better without.

Essentials are: a good microphone in a good sounding room, a parametric equalizer (to compensate the not-so-good microphone and room) and a good reverb (usually the built in is good enough). Just don't be too tempted by the reverb, otherwise you end up sounding like you have been dropped in the well.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
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In my modest experience you start adding plugins (mic simulators, compressors, aural enhancers, tube amps...) and if you listen to it after two days, the recording sounds better without.
Yes indeed, it very much depends on how the effects are used and configured.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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Of course I agree with Pete Thomas. I was thinking of a situation of home recording, do do something that is good enough for 8 bars in a pop production.
A good engineer can improve your sound with savvy use of plugins, but a U87 in a wooden room is still better. And about reverb, in Khan's book about Kind Of Blue he tells us how they did it (by the way is the same studio of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations, both 1955 and 1981).
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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4,622
Another general tip- duplicate your sax parts by copy and paste (assuming its a computer studio) and always have a 'clean' version running in parallel to any processed version- that way th real sound of the sax is never lost.....
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
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1,023
When it comes to multitrack recording I find Compression and Limiting are nearly always applied in order to pull things together and make an instrument/vocal sit comfortly in the mix.


Re FX. my own fave VST plugin is the "Karlette tape echo emulator" I just wish I could lay off it a bit:(
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
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505
In my modest experience you start adding plugins (mic simulators, compressors, aural enhancers, tube amps...) and if you listen to it after two days, the recording sounds better without.

Essentials are: a good microphone in a good sounding room, a parametric equalizer (to compensate the not-so-good microphone and room) and a good reverb (usually the built in is good enough). Just don't be too tempted by the reverb, otherwise you end up sounding like you have been dropped in the well.
I feel pretty much the same way as aldevis, natural sounds picked up by really good mics are the best. However, sound effects/enhancing can be a life-saver, when the natural sounds just aren't there.

For example, I record in my living room which is a very small room and simply doesn't offer the acoustics that I would be natural if I were playing in a nice sound studio, or concert hall. So in that situation artificial reverb is really a necessity just to get the recording to sound "natural". The natural reverberation just isn't available to be recorded. My living room is too small and truly not acoustical friendly.

I think I have fairly good mics. I have two large studio condenser mics that I try to place in a special configuration that I learned from a studio recording professional. But even then I'm limited by distances, because of my small living room. It's hard to place the mics as far from me, and as far from each other as they should be. And, as I've said, even then the room itself doesn't provide the proper reverberation anyway.

~~~~~

I'm currently still working on various methods of adding. There are several different ways that it can be done and I haven't had time (or money) to try them all out yet.

Allow me to explain some of the methods I'm talking about:

CAR - Computer Added Reverb. (that's my own acronym by the way)

I use Audacity which doesn't offer reverb. So I just record natural, then after recording I take the track into a program call Krystal and add the reverb there. It works pretty good. It's quick and simple, but requires a lot of file saving, opening, and editing.

The second method is to use a guitar amp reverb. In this method I put the mic inputs into a guitar amp (via a mixer), use the reverb in that amp, and record the output of the amp as my final signal. That seems to sound a bit more realistic adding the reverb real-time like that.

Another method that I haven't really tried yet is to use the FX functions on my mixer to take the signal out and pass it through a reverb before recording it. The reason I haven't tried that is that I don't have a FX reverb device. Although I think the guitar amp could probably be placed in that circuit as well to act as the reverb. I'm not sure whether that would work or not.

When I play the guitar, I just play though the amp, and record using the mics. I would actually like to do it that way with the sax, but that's not really possible since the sax itself is an acoustical instrument. I can't very well have mics picking up the sax into the guitar amp, and then have another set of mics picking up the amp into the mixer. I'd need to actually have two sound-isolated rooms to be able to do that.

Maybe my best solution would be to simply buy a bigger house that has natural reverberation and good acoustical properties in the living room. :)))
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Ahhh, indeed sir, we can improve the sound of your hi-fi system: we recommend that you move house...:optimistic::optimistic::optimistic:
 
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