Posted on Jun 14, 2009 08:06 pm
Member Since: Sep 03, 2008
I'll be candid for starters. I'm a complete and utter noob to all things technical regarding music. I've posted these questions on another site and I just got jeered at by everyone there which wasn't in the least helpful. So I'm posting them here, they're SO basic they're BELOW the starting point of most help sites, rubbing my nose in online tutorials I've not found yet (or I wouldn't be asking the questions!!) is fine/welcomed!
Right. I use a notation program, Sionsoft QSE Elite and loads of legal, free plug-in instruments (I think they're called VST's, right?) to make my music with. I've also got a paid-for copy of Sonalkiss plug-ins which are reverb, gain, EQ etc - they're WAY too advanced for me yet, I'm just mentioning them so you know I've got them. I put in all the notes with a mouse onto staves - I'm disabled, I cannot physically play a keyboard well.
Right now, I'm trying to write New Age music (flute, strings'n'pads, piano'n'strings) just to get the hang of the basic techniques. What I want is to get the main instrument sounding like it's surrounded by all the other nice sounds (like on any New Agey track you've heard in a shopping mall/elevator/you know the kind of thing I mean, right?)
At the time of writing, I've yet to achieve this. What I always end up with is a 'crowd of voices' effect - everything shouting out to be heard above everything else! I've tried, without fully understanding, loads of tips from loads of sites and never come close to getting 3 sounds sounding in harmony WITH eachother, not ATTACKING eachother!
So with that in mind, here comes the ******* questions. If I've got anything wrong here, please tell me - remarks like 'Gawd, you're so stupid, give up on music' do not help.
(1). When you mix, you're adding compression/reverb/panning etc. to sounds. Can I add these 'as I go' or do I have to record the track as a soundfile and then use some kind of mixing studio program to add the effects afterwards? (Remember, I've the Sonalkiss plug-ins which add effects, I'm just no good at using them.)
(2). If you think it's better to record the soundfile first, do I record each instrument as a SEPARATE soundfile or do I record the whole piece as a COMBINED soundfile before trying to use the different effects?
(3). This one's the BIG question that always gets me laughed at. HOW would anyone here pan piano, strings and bass (or flute, s. and b.) so they don't (a) sound like they're at opposite ends of a train tunnel, (b) sound like they're a schoolkids' party, all trying to be heard and drowning eachother out, but (c) they're sounding beautifully blended like a cathedral choir? It's (c) I'm after. It's (a) and (b) I always, eternally, end up with! (Think of an orchestra. There's a shedload of sounds going on there, you hear them in unison but they don't sound like they're trying to drown eachother out.
If I could get, for starters, the hang of making a 3 instrument piece (piano, strings and bass, for example) sound vaguely like (c) from the above list, without using effects (I'm too much of a beginner for those things yet!) THEN I'd be happy to try effects out.
If there's any tutorials, anywhere, that start off as basic as I need them, please tell me and I'll use them. All the ones I've found assume you've got beyond that point. I haven't. I'm just an idiot who can write tunes. I need to be shown the very, very basics so I can become a New Age Music Writer, which is my aspiration!
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