Caustic Song file (optional):
Simple ways to get your sound to shine and stand out...here are some tips I wanna share with you..
What you wanna focus first is how you want your project to sound. I always have images of the sound before creating it,sometimes it comes out just right or at least close to how I imagine it..
It's important to be very focused and relaxed before starting or continuing your projects.
A clear mind always attracts clear sounds right?;)
Second..I wanna mention some cool facts about Caustic.
Some of us think that we only have 2 fx slots and don't realize that in the main mixer you have about 2+3more(high,mid,lows) or even the use of the modular...
If you're trying to add a high/low pass filter to a sound,try a different idea like using the mixer's (high,mid,low) and you'll save that fx slot. The mixer's reverb and delay work differently that the fx but you can still get a good reverb/delay effect when using it correctly.
Here is a simple patter I created especially for this topic.
*Starting off with a kick-snare beat..as you can see(.caustic file)I added a bit of highs,turned down the mids and lows..by adding more highs and lowered the mid-lows to the kick-clap,I gained a kick with more click and less harshness.
*Second..I added the arp/melody,a simple dubbing melody with a low pass/cutoff filter(sawsynth)..cut the lows and some mids,turned up the highs just a bit(in mixer).
I really didn't need any lows at all for the plucky melody..also I gave 100% of stereo width and just about 10% of reverb.
*I need a type of pad/chords and added the Rhodes patter from pcm..similar eqing as the arp but added a stereo chorus..added about 25% of delay to make it ping-pong just a bit.
*808comes next..I choose a one hit 808 from my library,always try to fit the kick with your bass.
I cut highs(100%) and gave just a bit of mids..808s always seem to stand out better with higher mid range.
*Hihats..again no lows at all for hihats,lowered the mids and gave a bit of highs..
*chants and sfx came next...a couple of vox chants that go with the beat pattern. Lowered the lows and gave a but of highs and a very dry/fast reverb fx to widen the sound.
*Organ..with the same patter as the Rhodes,with a big room reverb and a bit of sidechain compression...I cut same amount of high-mid-low and automated the pan(mixer).
That's basically it...automation point came after starting in song mode..
Filter cutoff for the ARP and Rhodes.
Automation is very important and very useful!
Also if you look at the file,I tend to use compressors a lot! A compressor is the glue and allows you to seal the sounds when using correctly;)
**Forgot to mention...when using the right eq on mixer-fx there actually not a lot to add in the mastering section.
For this song I've only added full stereo delay,3 steps loop(left center right)..
A bit more lows(around 1k freq),lower mid and just a bit more highs.
Limiter with a 85% per,25%post,short attack,long release. Added a parameter eq with a bit of gain and full width.
This is just a quick sketch of how I start a song almost from start to finish..
More to come...;)
I always wondered how you master your tracks. :-). Where is that caustic file you talkin' about. ;-)
Check out my new track.
If you want to automate delay or reverb parameters in a song, I would always recommend to save the master delay and master reverb for this elements because:
♬ Aliens approaching...
You can get even nuttier, if you discover some hidden effects in the Master Reverb module..... Set Room Size to minimum Kick on the ER and full ER Decay, then automate the PreDelay, and listen to what happens, especially sweeping in the 7:00 - 9:00 positions...
Thanks for making this LifeUp. I suspected you were using the mixer built in filters as I do that as well. Have you tried to use the machine filters too? I tend to do both but now wonder if that is over kill. And seeing as how you didn't side chain anything I wonder if trying to avoid too much of that is a better approach.
I cant read now but thanks in advance
I cant read now but thanks in advance
I changed my mixing method since my song inflexible spirit and it looks like we mix the same but you found find use for the compression.I automated the mid lows and highs to add realistic feel like on horns and strings. Thanks for this break down im creating another big song it would be a shame idlf it dose not have the charity your tracks have.good day
I tryed to implement as much as you explained in my mix this is what i got.
https://soundcloud.com/ezell-matthewson/demo-song-workers-anthem It seems you cant get the muddy sound out of a mix without mastering.
You shouldnt be trying to fix a muddy mix in mastering.
I always put alot of high shelf and high pass with zero reso, and it sounds great.
Go check it: https://soundcloud.com/maximus-64
There also many ways to eq your samples using the editor(pcm,beatbox) which I tend to do that a lot now days;)
I do use the machine's filters as well..
Also its a great idea to automate the high-mid-low when filtering a pad/lead/bass in pcm,subsynth or sawsynth. You'll get a cleaner transition with no mudiness..
So when you are bringing in a new sound like a pad or lead you automate the mixer eq's? I never thought of doing that but it makes sense. That's a technique used in Djing when mixing a new track as well.
@LifeUp Thanks a lot for sharing. I love that thorough and easy-read explanation! <3
@LifeUp exactly the way I mix myself. Still a nice read especially your example description! Compressors and filters and the mixer filters are really the main tools to use imo. It's really necessary to know how they work though (especially the compressor). Thanks for sharing this ;)
What I've been wondering for some time now is the question meka asked earlier though. Does anybody know from which frequencies the mixer's filter knobs range because that's the actual point it's all about isn't it?
@Meka exactly. for example you have two leads with high frequencies playing at the same time in some patterns and a high pad as well then just turn down the highs of the pad in that part a little. I remember making a song with way too much delay on all instruments in my earlier days resulting in loud clipping. Back then I didn't really understand the actual reason for this but I managed to remove it entirely by automating the mixer filter :D
@LifeUp, thank you for taking the time to type this out, I'll study it carefully. It would be nice if you could elaborate a bit on how you use compression to "seal the sounds", as you said..in my experience, the side-chaining effect is relatively easy to create, but other ways to take advantage of Caustic's on-board compressors elude me..
My understanding of using compression to "glue" the sounds together is just simply having them peak at the same level which sounds more cohesive. It's like when 2 people are talking in a recording and one person is louder, it can't sound harsh to a listener, but put on some compression and now both people are talking at the same level and it sounds nice and soft and equal.
@mekanism, ah ok, so you're essentially using compression to balance volume fluctuations - that makes sense, if the difference in volume between two sounds is so drastic as to make the listener feel uncomfortable. I realized that I've already been applying this technique in some of my songs without realizing it :) either way, thanks for the clarification..
Xenoplas you are right on spot!
Most leads and pads have same or similar frequency range and its very easy for those to clash with each other,causing phasing problems...automating and/or separating is a great way to avoid phasing.
Understanding compression is not very easy..but understanding how to train your ears is an easy task;)
It sure matters if you understand compression but its not a priority..that's if you have a good set of ears;)
Caustic's compressors are very easy to use and it helped me understand how most compressors work.
Thanks again Rej:)
i thought that the caustic compressors didn't do anything but lower volume.
It turned out it does more than that. It flattens out the peaks at a certain level making mixes sound great!
You got that right Phorsion;)
duuuuuuuude Life, look down by your feet..I think u just dropped some SCIENCE!!! Cannot wait to dive in! I want my songs to have that LifeUp "sheen". Ohh I got a device dedicated to Caustic again....soooo...I'm Back!!!
Representing The SKUMMZ of the EARTH!!! From THE Valley 818.
Check out my new Live Mix Series on Mixcloud
First release out now!! https://www.mixcloud.com/jthabrain/mind-invasion-03-jthabrain/
Sounds fresh J!!
I'm glad to hear that you're finally getting back to caustic! I miss your dope beats!;)
I recently learned a mixing trick where you can visually see if your sounds are being summed, causing the master to clip. If possible you want to keep all of your levels from peaking, but you will notice sometimes the master is clipping even though none of your individual tracks are, this means you have sounds occupying the same frequencies which is adding to the overall volume of the combined sounds.
A good way to catch this is to solo your first track, then unmute other tracks until the master clips which will show you where the problem is. Once you find the problem you can either Eq, compressor, lower the volume of the offending sound, or try a new sound. Many times there are multiple sounds causing problems with each other in which case you may have to remove that sound if it isn't working.
One way to prevent overall peaking of each channel is to add a slight amount of compression, just enough to not have the meter go into the red.
I have been using this method recently and it completely changed my mixes. I think what happens when you start using too much compression to lower the master peak levels it causes distortion and gives you that dirty sound I have always had problems with.
well then a simple eq tip from my humble self (though I learned this trick from a professional so it's not my own idea). if you can hear some unnecessary frequencies in one of your instruments (just barely is enough) then an easy way to go is...
1. solo your instrument
2. of course add a para eq or multi filter
3. increase the gain of the eq to max so you get that hill in your curve. for the start where doesn't matter.
4. now just move that hill in your spectrum from left to right and backwards until you hear that frequency you don't want the loudest.
5. decrease the width and adjust the position of your hill again (you only want those frequencies to be gone after all)
6. now simply turn down the gain of your eq to zero. the frequency will be gone and if you did a good job most other frequencies will still be there.
Good tip Xenoplas! If only we had a spectrum analyzer on the main section we could see exactly where to make cuts, your method allows you to use your ears which is as good if not better, but I'm a visual guy so I like graphics.
yeah exactly. in fl studio for example I have some kind of visualizer in my eq making this method even easier and faster to use ;)
one thing I totally forgot to mention about this method btw (even though it's pretty obvious): if you work with headphones it might be good to adjust the volume of your system a little before doing this. nobody wants to be deaf with an age of 50 after all :D
Thank you for sharing this LifeUp. The same goes to others for your inputs. I have to learn this. Thanks again.
@lifeup thank you
easy explanation ..keep posting things like ...
Yes Lifeup that's how i work, and yes the most important tool for any producer is the ears, because listening is the most important part, in any part of the production specially the mixing and mastering part of making music, but it all starts by training your ears to understand every detail of each sound that you want to work with by adjusting your ears to the speakers of headphones that you wanna work with, a good way to start training your ears is by listening to your favorite music with the speakers or headphones that's you are planning to produce music with, and analyze the complete sound and adopt your ears to the frequencies reach by the speakers or headphones,,, in another words get to know your speakers or headphones and with it the quality of your favorite music,,, that's should be the first step to start training your ears for mixing and mastering a track!!
Watch "S.L.P.GroundSoundMusic CAUSTIC MOBILE Instrumentals" on YouTube S.L.P.GroundSoundMusic CAUSTIC MOBILE Instrumentals: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKJjDuQ5TdeOCS19kHX2PJ-e942SNzfzh