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How do i make digital sound live?

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Does anyone have any tips on how to make a digital/plastic sounding song, transform into a more live/real sound?


I know this is a bit broad, but I think the question may spark different thoughts, so whatever you interpret it to mean, try to answer that...


thanks on any input...

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This is something that i have been thinking about for some time.

The question I would like to pose to you is: are speaking ITB or does tht matter?


'Cause if you don't mind going out of the box - you could always run from your Mac, into some analog gear, then into a recording machine of some kind. IMHO, that may give you some good results..... maybe!

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If you want to keep it in the digital world, there are some great tools you can purchase, like Izotope Ozone or PSP VintageWarmer.


I use these all the time now since I purchased them and they haven't let me down since.


You also mention "live" sound - this is a bit trickier, especially if you're mostly working in the studio and not recording live performers. I have to do this a lot as the people I produce have a "live" sound but I have to do everything within the digital realm. If that's the case, you may want to try using different groove templates to your midi tracks to keep them less perfectly aligned. Or you can use the Transform tool in Logic: There's a preset called Humanize, which, with some tweaking, can yield some very interesting results.


Good luck.

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You have at least two things to contend with: performance and sound. If you step record and quantize everything, that will obviously be a giveaway that it's not real musicians. Playing parts by hand will help in this regard. If you don't have the chops you can try slowing the tempo down while recording midi tracks. Or try dialing down the Q-Strength parameter when quantizing to allow for some of the timing variations to remain. Pay attention to dynamics (both accents and overall loud/soft passages). You can always go back and edit clunkers and draw in velocity curves, etc.


Sound is tricky and in some ways depends on the kind of music you're doing. I've read some tips on doing virtual orchestra realizations and there are some real subtleties (which may apply to other acoustic-sounding music). For example:


- (In general) Use convolution reverb (eg. Space Designer) for more realistic sounding spaces. I tend to go for shorter/smaller reverbs now than I did when I was first starting.


- Adjust the reverb sends for all the different orchestra sections and pan appropriately. Imagine the recording done with a single overhead stereo pair of mics.


- Add a delay to the trumpets and percussion (panned opposite their location) when they play loud to simulate the slapback on the back wall of the hall (and turn the delay down in softer passages to avoid muddying up the overall sound).


- EQ: I'm still in the process of understanding this one, but EQ is an important tool for acoustic realism. Most virtual instruments are close-miked which gives a lot of flexibility but requires more sculpting to get a realistic sound. For instance, bass should roll off a bit and become more diffuse as the mic gets further away. Some libraries (the East West symphonic series for example) are actually recorded with natural mic placement.




- Drums: imagine a drum kit recorded in a studio. Even if they're close-miked they'll still pick up the sound of the recording space. I've had some good results layering reverbs for drums. Use a small, tight reverb that's barely noticeable on the drum kit, and then send that mix to larger reverbs, delays, etc. for effects. This technique could obviously work on other instruments/voice as well. Some of the small rooms add an uncanny sense of air to a virtual instrument.


- Try the cabinet simulations in Guitar Amp Pro and Bass Amp. Even without distorted sounds (or even sounds other than guitars... hmm I should try the EVP88 some time) they'll add some subtle color.

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