My biggest problem when creating electronic pop music is that it always sounds too flat and midi-like. IMO one of the biggest differences between the professionals and people like myself, is the ability to get their songs to sound real and dynamic instead of digital and static.
It's really frustrating since I don't know how to get the sound I am looking for, and it's really hard to explain in technical terms. Therefor I hope you guys can point me in the right direction, based on the examples I am about to post. Your help means the world to me, since I really feel this is what holds me back from making some really great and exciting music.
I know it's a long post, but even if you just take a glance at it, I would be happy to hear from you. My DAW is Logic Pro 9 btw.
Alright, here we go:Taio Cruz - Hangover - YouTube
(0:38 - 1:08)
Sounds really dirty and squashed. It has that real sound to it, and it's not just cause of the guitar. It sounds like it was recorded through a microphone or something like that. It has depth and sounds roomy, but it doesn't sound like just reverb and hi-cut. I don't know how to explain it better than the word "real", cause it really just sounds real, messy and distant in a good way, whereas my next example sounds really artificial (digital/midi), clean and flat.My Example #1 - Box.com player
I am trying to get the same kinda sound and feel as in the Taio Cruz track, but it just sounds flat and digital. Adding distortion, basic reverb and hi-cut doesn't give me the result I am looking for - it still sounds "out of the box" midi-like afterwards.Ke$ha - SWEAT *NEW* (NOT A REAL SONG) - YouTube
(0:14 - 0:30)
I know this isn't a finished track, but it still has that real and dirty sound to it. The synth doesn't sound flat and midi-ish, like My Example #1. Although it sounds edgy and "in your face" it also sounds kinda squashed and like it has a lot of room and dynamic around it. Where my synths sound like a flat line of digital sounds right in front of you, the sound I am trying to achieve (like in Hangover and this example) sounds like it has some space in front of it and around it, and doesn't appear "straight up" and clean. I don't know how to describe it correctly, so I try to be as illustrative as possible.David Guetta ft. Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj - Where them girls at - YouTube
(0:29 - 0:49)
Try and compare this straight up with My Example #1. How do I get it to sound more like David Guetta's track? My first instinct was a lot of hi-cut and reverb, but that didn't do the trick at all. This track has more depth and dimension to it, and again doesn't sound like flat electronic synths.My Example #2 - Box.com player
I made this bass so it's easy to compare straight up with the original..KE$HA - TiK ToK - YouTube
(0:32 - 0:48)
..which sounds less digital than my version and like it has some distance to it without sounding enclosed (again tried lots of EQing, but that's not it). It sounds more real, instead of flat out midi.My Example #3 - Box.com player
This is an attempt to get the same soundscape and feel like the song in the link below, but it just sounds like a midi joke. Reverb, hi-cut and some delay didn't get me any closer to sounding like:Cobra Starship - You Make Me Feel - YouTube
(0:16 - 0:30)
No need to repeat myself. Hopefully you know what I mean by "real" and "dynamic" vs "midi" and "flat".
So I really hope you got an idea of the sound that I am trying to achieve. I know it's not the exact same thing in all the songs I posted, and that there's no magic "make it sound real" plugin, but the thought is actually not that crazy, since I believe I just need to know exactly what to work with and which plugins I need to master (or even own). The plugins I mainly use are Logic's built-in channel EQ, PtVerb, sample delay and delay designer.
The thoughts and words that immediately pops into my head are squashed and roomy, dirty and messy, a kind of low-fi feel, raw and unpolished, yet tamed. Think Dance eJay (my sound) vs. Dr. Luke (goal).
I wholeheartedly hope that you understand what I am talking about, since it's really hard to explain. I know my music sounds decent, but I am not looking for recognition of the sound I already have.
Tips and tricks, plugins, settings, channel strips, explanations, good ideas, anything that can get me in the right direction is welcome.
Thanks a lot!