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John Bradley

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Everything posted by John Bradley

  1. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) has awesome tone, and he plays .007 - .038 strings. Obviously, he has a very light touch.
  2. The trick to great tone (and out of necessity, great control) is to play with the amp set to the 'sweet spot' (where it stops getting louder, and just gets dirtier and more compressed, and not in a good way). This is almost certainly going to be louder than you'd want to be hearing; play with a very light touch. Gives you an opportunity to work on dynamics, dig in for more crunch on certain notes, etc. When the beast is constantly on the edge of feeding back or running away from you, you learn quickly to mute everything that you don't want sounding. You don't even need to think about it, as self-preservation is a powerful motivator. Play at lower (amp) volumes and having the guitar fully under control becomes less of an issue, as it's not going to start feeding back etc. Also, when playing at quieter (amp) volumes, you're not going to learrn dynamic control nearly as much. The tendancy is to just bash the thing as hard as you want at all times. Can't do that when the amp is threatening to kill you with sound pressure.
  3. Lies Very '80s, I think you'll agree. Recorded this one 4 years ago, using whatever version of SPLAT we had at the time, and a different (and minimal) set of toys compared to what I have now. (Thanks Larry!) Could have remixed/mastered it using current tech, but I don't think it needs it. Gets the job done. BTW, if I could interest a few more of you to take a gander at last week's upload Enter Sandman, please do. You know how "a mix is never finished, it's surrendered"? That's one that I think I nailed, and can't think of a thing I'd change. Opinions may vary, obviously. --- Drums: Session Drummer 3, as always (more or less). Running 5 outputs (kick, snare, hat, toms, cymbals) with different ProChannel-foo on each, and individual BREVERBs on the kick, snare, and toms. No NYC Parallel Compression, no common reverb send... shameful! Bass: OP-X Pro II which I bought forever ago and still use in productions today. Great set of '80s presets and it sounds lovely. Cryptic-as-hell. I can never remember how to use the thing. Lots of more-than-2-state buttons labelled with obtuse three-letter-acronyms. No tooltips. Percussion: Rapture Pro doing the loud timbale sounds, a cowbell that runs through most of the song, and some congas that enter on verse 3, after the intro refrain. Synths: A pair of OP-X Pro IIs playing the same 2-note harmonies during the intro, the intro refrain, and the outro choruses, but with different patches. One's warmer, the other's brighter. An Arturia Juno plays the stabby synth that enters at verse1 and continues through most of the song. Native Instruments FM8 doing the chimey 'Japan' riff. And finally, another Rapture Pro doing something sitar-y for the 'Egypt' riff. Not that sitars are a stereotypical 'Egyptian' instrument, but there you go. Guitars: none. '80s Status: exceedingly. Vocals: The lead vocal is single tracked, with some ProChannel stuff (comp, eq, tube) running into a VX-64 doing de-essing, a bit of doubling, and an 8th-triplet delay. A BREVERB follows, for some soggy hall-osity. Backing Vocals: A single voice doubles the third line of each verse, an octave up. Three voice harmony occurs doing the choruses: one doubling the lead, one an octave up, and doing a parallel 6th (funky!) relative to the other two. A fourth voice comes in to double the "They gonna get you" bits during the a'capella chorus. No FX to speak of beyond ProChannel stuff (comp, tube, eq) on each, and a BREVERB on the bvox bus. Melodyne Studio 4 beating the vocal into some semblance of keyness. No Ozone for me back then, so there's an FX Chain "A Bit Louder" doing a couple db of limiting on the master.
  4. Neat. I don't usually have the freeze button visible, so I never would have tried that. Odd that I can't select multiple tracks and freeze more than one at a time via the right-click menu. Then again, no one's every accused Cakewalk of being the Most Consistent Thing Ever.
  5. Is there a way to Freeze more than one track/instrument at a time? Haven't found one. As it can take a while to freeze each track, it'd be nice to be able to select several, hit 'freeze track(s)' and wander off to get more coffee.
  6. Yeah, I'm leaning towards Audient as well. Though I wish they'd make version of the ID4 with two XLRs. Even though I'm just going to set it and forget it - I connect all my inputs to a Mackie 1202 (great metering) and connect its outputs to the 1st gen Scarlett 2i2 I'm currently using - I'm not a fan of the EVO's single knob with many different 'modes' design. That said, I'll probably just get the EVO. It's $70 cheaper ($129 vs $199), has that right connectivity, and has the great advantage of actually existing, compared to some theoretical ID4-with-two-XLRs.
  7. Actually, what am I saying? The system using the ten year old i7-960 is my actual studio computer, where I do my work (such as it is). I was running into dropouts on the 'Afterglow' preset using the much newer throwdown system I built in November 2019, running an i5-9400F, which should be somewhat quicker. Certainly the rest of the system (memory, video, etc.) is considerably faster. (And yes, it has a real audio interface (Scarlett Solo) in ASIO mode.) Can replicate with a single track CW project playing a simple single-voice melody on auto repeat. No significant load (hovering around 20-30%) on any of the 6 cores. Can't even tell if CW thinks there are audio dropouts occurring, because there's no measurable activity on the in-CW thread/core meter to hover over. Upped the polyphony from 8 to 29, just in case it an example of very unpleasant note-stealing. That didn't help either. But really, it's not that important. It's a single preset in a free synth I probably won't ever actually use, what with all the others I've installed and forgotten about. As noted, the many other non-Jacky Ligon presets I tried out behaved perfectly well.
  8. John Bradley

    bad wav playback

    For an example, Ozone 8 is not a thing you want to add to any of your tracks or buses until after the recordings have been finished.
  9. So new? I run an i7-960 which was apparently released in 2009. Though I think I built the system in 2011. I just think it's weird that I can get glitchiness with some of the (heavier?) presets in this synth even though the cpu meters in Cakewalk (and Task Manager) are barely registering any load whatsoever. 'S all good, though. There's an easy and obvious solution to all "it hurts when I do this!" complaints. 😏
  10. Yeah, it's very likely the plugin to blame. Had a similar issue a while back with one of the Arturia synths (the Prophet, I think) incorrectly rendering when doing a freeze. (Didn't respond to volume changes.) They fixed it in the next version. Until then, I just had to remember to do a real-time freeze on that particular synth.
  11. Indeed, stop trying to use ancient VSTs. You're just asking for pain, and the state of the art has improved dramatically since the early 2000s. And I say that as a guy who wrote a (non-music) app* in 1994 that people are still using to this day. Why? Who knows - it wasn't that great then! * Though we called them 'programs' back then.
  12. Thanks! Had a sore throat for 2 days after recording the lead vocals... I don't have much cause to yell and/or growl in my day-to-day life. 🤕
  13. "It's got a great beat - you can dance to it!" 🤩
  14. Jacky Ligon/Keys/Afterglow Jacky Ligon/Keys/Harmonicscape To be fair, 'Afterglow' was the very first preset I loaded, which left a negative impression. I've since gone through most of the presets in the main 'Polysynths' category and didn't have any problems, so it's probably 'just one of those things', rather than a major issue.
  15. Enter Sandman Not quite '80s... (August 1991). Missed it by that much. Still, it came out a few weeks before Nirvana's Nevermind made everyone notice that the '80s were officially over, so close enough for rock. Note that they end the song by deconstructing it (basically doing the intro in reverse), whereas I stay in full 'rock' mode until the end. That's because a subset of these tracks would serve as backing tracks for my 3pc band, and that's how we always performed it. Sorta quaint, now that 'performances' are a thing of the past. --- Drums: Session Drummer 3, as per usual, running into a big ol' BREVERB 'hall'. Bass: IKM's MODO BASS "bass man" model, for what little that matters. Doing the amp/fx thing within MODO. More than a little bit of shaping and crunch added with the ProChannel EQ and Tube Saturation thingies. Percussion: none. Metallica don't need no cowbell! Synths: none. Throw enough guitars at the mix and you don't need synths, either. Guitars: The acoustic bit that starts the song (and reappears during the breakdown) is a pair of acoustics playing the riff an octave part for faux 12-stringy goodness. From there they go to a bus that's got two different phasers on it (Blue Cat's freebie Phaser, and Native Instrument's freebie Phasis) and a very wet hall BREVERB. A lead guitar (with wah) comes on top of the acoustic bit. Done in Axiom. (a gate into a wah, into an amp, with some reverb on the output). Later in the song an Arturia Delay ETERNITY comes in during the actual solo. When the main riff kicks in, the lead pans hard right and a second guitar comes in panned hard left. Additionally there's the "double the root of the guitar on a bass's D string" trick running through a dual-amp setup panned hard left/right. It's very subtle, just adding a slight bit of girth to the bottom. I hear it if I solo the guitar bus and mute/unmute the track. Not sure it adds anything to the mix at all. The second guitar and the bass thing were also done in Axiom. Vocals: The main vocal is double tracked all the way through the song. The two tracks are each processed their own instance of NECTAR 2. The 'lead' of the pair has a single-voice unison harmony effect (in Nectar), panned slightly left, and the 'doubled' track is 4dbs quieter and panned slightly right. Other than the fake harmony on the lead, there's no 'digital' fx (mod, delay) on either track, just gate + compressor + saturation + EQ + de-esser + limiter, in that order. And then a BREVERB on the 'lead vox' bus. Backing Vocals: There's a single voice during the prechorus ("Sleep with one eye open"), a second voice at the start of the chorus ("exit light"), and both of them doing some actual harmony with each other (and the lead) on the "take my hand" bit. The first voice also holds down the low end in the second verse ("dreams of war, dreams of liars...") while the lead voice goes high. Finally, a third voice enters right before the final double-chorus. ("It's just the beast under your bed") All the backing vox are doubled (legit!, not via an effect) and panned left/right to varying degrees. No FX other than ProChannel gate + comp + EQ +sat on each track, and some reverb on the bus. Spoken section: Both the adult and child tracks run through their own set of Blue Cat Phaser + Blue Cat Late Replies + BREVERB. Not having a child handy, I'm pretty sure I used Melodyne to screw with the pitch/formants on the child track, but it was a destructive process, so I'm not sure at this point. Helium was not involved, of that I'm certain. Went with a spacey echoey thing for the spoken section as a "look over here!" misdirection from the not particularly realistic child voice. Melodyne Studio 4 making the vocals listenable, and Ozone 8 sitting on the master bus being all master-y.
  16. Me too, if for slightly less long (CW 5 was when I got on the bus). That's a part of the excuse for this track: mute the tracks we can do live in my 3pc band, and the rest serve as backing tracks. Though I also try to turn these into finished standalone tracks for my own amusement. That way, when one or more people in the band veto the song, at least I've still got something to show for the time. Also, the fact that I haven't even seen my band since February has made that particular aspect more relevant. Let me say that I appreciate your wife's BUT... and yours as well! It could just be my pathetic thin voice, or perhaps my recording technique, as the wet version isn't much brighter than the track with all the FX disabled. Or the vox on any of my other tracks. Maybe it's just my taste; while some are famously All About That Bass, me, I love the high freq air. Either way, point taken. If it's noticably extreme, I should sand off the pointy bits a bit. Something to look out for on future mixes. A little more a/b action with the reference tracks may be in order. Thanks for that rarest of things on the internet: constructive criticism.
  17. Can confirm. It's been living on my kick/snare/tom bus since I picked it up 2 months ago. It seems to like being there, and I like the results... "Parallel character compression/saturation" for that big drum sound status: SOLVED. Need to buy any more compressors status: NEGLIGIBLE. Until the next "I'd be losing money by not buying this" deal comes along, at least.
  18. Same here. Some dropouts on some of the designer presets, for no readily apparent reason. Price is nice, and it looks versatile and powerful, but overall not very impressed with it, compared to recent near-free purchases (Babylon and Hybrid). Haven't run into a preset that's really wowed me so far.
  19. Obviously, they all make a very similar rhythmic fwapping sound, though presumably at different pitches. Eventually, someone will collect enough samples to produce a Kontakt instrument, ideally with lots of articulations. The sound is in the hands, after all. A skilled fwapper can excel with even the cheapest, most poorly constructed of dorks.
  20. If you have a limited set of plugins available, here's the obligatory plug for the MeldaProduction FreeFX Bundle. Good versions of most effects you might need, and y'know... free. https://www.meldaproduction.com/MFreeFXBundle There's also the Free VST Effects thread somewhere on this forum. Lots of goodies to play with in there.
  21. Alternatively, you can stick an EQ on the track, and automate the bypass/enable to bring it in and out as you see fit. That said, the Sonitus EQ doesn't expose 'Bypass' as an automatable parameter. The ProChannel EQ does, as will nearly any other EQ you'd care to use.
  22. Thanks, glad you liked it! What can I say, I always enjoyed reading the liner notes, back when music came with art, information, and packaging wrapped around it, instead of being pile of MP3 files. Always been interested in how things get built. I don't need (or want!) a 12 string -- hard to play, hard to tune -- but I really should get a second cheap acoustic one of these days and set it up in Nashville tuning (low 3 strings up an octave, high 3 strings at normal pitch -- basically the 'other half' of a 12 string). Double that with a normal-tuned acoustic playing the exact same chords/positions and the result is huge. You're too kind!
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