(tip: use it constantly)
My approach to applying compression across the different parts of the mix.
Now this is a very hot topic: A different take on how to (not) compress a track.
Well, that’s what I did:
Pretty good for powerful trance, eh? No compromises were made to achieve so high dynamic range.
That being said, I tweaked and rendered the track about 20 times since I thought it’s “finished” about two months ago. But once I learned it all, I can do the same with any other track in no time.
This one better be signed quickly!
Well, this is one short loop, but straight to the point. The first part of my next track is done, but I’ve been working on mixdown before finishing it. It doesn’t matter what the track is all about, what really matters is technical quality. I hope you find it good 🙂
Yes it is!
Just as I wanted. Loud, banging, but also clean and melodic. Not oversaturated or hissing, like most of modern productions. Also, the bass is huge in this one, just as I like. Actually I’m afraid some people may not stand it, but according to meter, it’s not overcompressed. For trance, the rule is the bigger => the better. It’s important to be louder than competition without sacrificing dynamic range. Making the tune from scratch and tweaking every part is the only way to achieve that, and I believe it was a success.
Too bad I didn’t get much feedback for this one, possibly due to recent Soundcloud and KVR issues. Anyway, here it is. Brace yourself, the magic is coming!
Here is the DR meter result.
Could be more, but it’s pretty typical for trance. I’ve seen some commercial releases with as little as 3.5 dB dynamic range, but they were unbearable in a long run.
And yes, I trust DR Meter more than my ears. My ears, are, well, mine and only subjective. DR Meter is objective and hopefully will work for the people who do not certainly enjoy powerful or overcompressed tracks, as I do.
As to the tune itself, it was supposed to be normal and typical. No extraordinary elements or sophisticated details. I just wanted to make something quickly, based on a knowledge I already have. There are some typical elements on bassline, typical percussion with prominent clap, melodies, single break with pads and huge Nu-NRG supersaw in the finale.
And the title? “Magic” means mystery, beauty and fantasy. There are many subtle sounds in the abckground which should work with that. I tried to avoid any modern / industrial sounds typical for tech and electro, leaving only 5 pianos or so. Why “Applied”? Well, that obviously stands for “applied siences”, since I’m an engineer :). The beauty comes from artistic inspiration and tehcnicla skills combined. I hope you enjoy this tune as much as I do.
Will try to hit the labels in a few days once I get more feedback on this track.
My next tune, called Applied Magic, is finished and ready for mastering. In case you didn’t hear it yet, here’s a short clip from Soundcloud.
Edit: updated with final version.
To be honest, that one was poor compared to full and pimped tune. Still, you can get the idea of an atmosphere.
This time I aimed for maximum dynamic range. Dynamic range is important, as it means the track is alive. Too little dynamic range makes the tune flat and tiring. Dynamic range is defined as ratio of max volume (usually 0 dB) and average volume over time. Everybody wants to make the track as loud as possible, but actually one sound can be “loud” only compared to another, which is silent. Overcompressed tracks (as the sample I attached – I know it) may seem powerful at first moment, but feel boring soon after. There is not much fun in listening to rectangular waveforms, as they end up.
Now, that’s being said, only a few know (and even fewer understand) ways to improve dynamic range. This issue is subtle, abstract and subjective. It is also difficult to estimate or measure. One way to help in your production endeavours is Dynamic Range Meter, which works both as a plugin in maxing chain and standalone meter for mp3. BTW, I got this idea recommended by Arctic Moon himself.
It shows that the optimal DR for trance is 5 dB, and tracks vary from 4.6 (heavily compressed, like TrancEye) up to 5.4 – very tight and banging style of Jimmy Chou, for example. The more initial DR you have before mastering, the more you can screw out of the track. My DR is:
12+. This means I can easily have 7 dB of headroom, as a consequence I can increase root mean square volume by over 7 dB, which is over twice as loud without degrading the signal. This is gonna be huge!
Will report the progress later, depending of spare time and tasks over the next week. See you soon!
It took me a while, but finally the track is complete and more or less what I wanted it to be. Totally twisted tech/psy banger with uplifting break kicking when you least expect them. Take a listen.
It already sounds professional, loud and proud and every next tune from me will do as well. That’s very motivating.
Still, the version you are listening to is unmastered yet. It should be simple just to maximize volume, but I will try to screw the hell out of it. There is just so much dynamic range left and no problems to fix, thanks to correct mix. This has a chance to be huge.
In case you wonder how I came up with so crazy track, there is a list of tunes from the past that inspired me in particular. They belong to many different styles and the outcome is unusual just as well. Still, I didn’t try to be very original, this is just how it turned out. Can you recognize familiar parts of these tracks?
- Airbase – Tangerine
- Darren Porter – Talisman
- EMP – Attack of The Moose
- First State – Evergreen
- Indecent Noise – Acid Rampage
Get all of these if you don’t own them already.
Additionally, there are two interesting things to mention:
- I’m preparing a massive tribute mix. For that reason need to go through about 180 singles, which may be additional tip for who the tribute is 😉
- On the studies, I will attend “Testing of audio equipment” course, which hopefully helps me getting familiar with analog devices.
Stay tuned for more news.