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Testing out some audio editing. Elton John "Don't Let The Sun"

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Major-Third
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I just got some new software to edit my audio. I used some mild compression and reverb on this one. See what you think. I am brand new to this, so I'm not exactly sure what I am doing, but I am in the process of learning.

Travis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mk0icPNon4

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I really like your style of singing, and the very light "rasp" you added every once in a while worked well with the song. The sound quality also improved, especially in the louder parts that tended to stand out too much in your other recordings. The way it is, it's already fine to me, but you probably will want to get closer to studio quality than this, and in that case, I think you still need to balance it out better, I just can't tell you how. Further comments will surely help you with this ;)

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I think what has helped you here is using compression. I have learned that it is not a crutch but a tool, especially needed in digital recording. Compression is something of a misnomer but it works better than limiter effects. For example, this song has parts sung at med to low volume. Notice I said, volume, not pitch. And then other parts are sung at fuller volume. Well, mics and systems can still mask, some what. Masking is the effect most often seen in the human ear where the loudest tone gets predominance. Compression makes up for that by elevating low volume parts while providing some limit to high volume parts. In a song like this with low and high volume parts, those are "dynamics," primarily of volume. And as such, the compressor should have a lower threshhold than a totally loud song would have. Threshhold is the volume level at which compression begins. If this sing was high volume all the way, you could raise the threshhold and that would have the effect of reducing unneeded noise. Sort of like using masking to one's benefit. Second, is the ratio of compression. A low ratio allows compression through a wide range of volume and pitch. High ratio is "tighter" and more suited to high volume songs where the melody range is not too wide.

Also important is the attack time. In drawn out vocals such as this, a short attack time works because otherwise, you might hear a wobble mistaken as pitchiness or shaky support in the onset ofa note. A faster, even staccato lyric might handle a slower attack time because you are constantly emitting tone with the lyrics and the slower attack time will keep consonants from dominating. But, in the end, we're talking minute fractions of a second, though the effect can be subtle.

I'm not an expert, just a newbie to recording and mixing like you but these items are as I understand them to be, at least, right now. Mike or Steven could certainly run rings around me, not just in understanding, but in implementing.

When I first started using Audacity and tried compression, I had no idea what I was doing and was just using the default pre-set. Often with mixed results. Now that I know how to adjust it, I get better results. I just wish Audacity had real time effects. I have to record. Then select and set an effect, which it administers to the whole track, and then listen to playback. If it's wrong, I have to "undo" the effect and try again. As opposed to listening to the track and adjusting as it plays ( real time).

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Yeah. I just got Magix Music Maker 16. It has realtime audio effects where I can adjust while listening to the track. That's what helped me out the most. And it has a really easy to use interface for it's effects and functions. Thanks for all the input and feedback, I really appreciate it. I'll keep tweaking and adjusting and post something new as soon as I get it nearly perfect. :D

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I don't now exactly what you're trying to achieve here, but It's good enough to enjoy. :)

Volumes & Compression

I think compression is really necessary here. I would have used a little more in this case, because softer vocal parts occasionally "drown" in the backing track during the chorus. I also think it would allow you to increase the volume of the backing track, so your vocals "sit in the mix" a little better.

About the backing track. Even though you may not be able to correct it, but this may be of use when you start producing your own instrumental tracks. I hear that there's some compression on the bassdrum. :( The kick softens during the chorus and gets louder during the verse/bridge. As a radio listener I'm personally accustomed to hearing a bass-drum with a steady volume. It gives the listener a certain stability and volume reference. Meaning, you don't have to jump to the volume-knob halfway the song because it turns out to be four times louder.:lol:

Reverb

The amount of reverb makes it sound like you're of a concert hall. I'd use a little less reverb for a more "studio" sound. But that really depends on how YOU want it to sound.

Normalizing

I'm not sure if you normalized the track. I think you did, but the vocal track peaks too much.

Vocal Performance

Overall, you rarely sound pitchy and sung confidently. Great!

However, I also noticed that your phrases were behind the beat a lot of times. This could be the result of style. In that case, you can dismiss the following feedback.

If you intended to sing it with the same timing as the original artists, then I have to conclude that there may be something wrong with the recording setup that causes latency. It could also be a matter of timing. I doubt that it's a timing issue, because I didn't have that impression when I listened to your live recorded YouTube-video's.

All in all, keep up the good work! You're very skilled.

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