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Enter Sunlight (Electro House)


Electro_Jason

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Hey guys this is my first song I put up on soundcloud so I welcome compliments and criticism. Favourite and follow if you like, I am willing to look at new people as well :).

 

[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/electro_jason/enter-sunlight-original-mix[/soundcloud]

 

Quite a fun drum loop at the beginning there- and a relatively warm pad compared to what most beginners might end up with!

 

I'm a little iffy on the arrangement and timing of your little drum deviation at around 0:14 there. The timing on the drums throughout is a teensy bit iffy- I'm not sure if they were MIDI sequenced, recorded from a keyboard/pad controller, had too much swing added or were humanized too much, but you might want to look into making them a bit tighter.

 

The sudden break at 2:56 in the arrangement is also a little iffy, especially for a song that otherwise is fairly quantized and standardly structured. The synths that follow though, are quite beautiful- I'm not sure if they were presets or self synthesized, but they are quite beautiful.

 

Keep up the good work. From here, you'll probably delve into the worrying of "But why doesn't my music sound as good as Daft Punk / Madeon / Skrillex / BT / SHM / [insert artist of choice here]"– try not to get too caught up in it. The rookey mistake all us beginners make is immediately presume it's some sort of mastering and mixing magic, and we'll begin to slap compressors and limiters and EQs on everything without really knowing how they're changing a sound– and the result is still a mess.

 

Rather, devote your time to fully composing things, and focusing especially on creating a dynamic arrangement– even some of the most repetitive songs out there constantly have subtle rhythmic, melodic and timbral changes (be it sweeping cutoff filter decay time, longer gates on a note, a reverb dry/wet increasing, etc.)– that keep the music moving.

 

Then, focus on how each individual sound fits together in a mix– spend time selecting the snare drum that works, the kick that booms (for this tune personally I'd seek out a boomier sound due to my personal tastes for the genre), and synthesizing a patch that blends in perfect with your mix and allows for frequency space. Don't get too caught up designing patches individually, and don't get too caught up with presets– sounds designed to shine alone only shine alone. What you're aiming for is creating sounds that mesh and serve their purpose.

 

Finally, once you've spent forever composing and arranging and synthesizing– then delve into properly adjusting volume levels, first and foremost by your mix sliders and the Gain plug-in, then via EQ, compression, etc. Make sure all of your tracks have been bounced to audio while doing so (insert effects and softsynths produce a different result near every time, especially those programmed to emulate analogue equipment) so that your levels stay consistent.

 

You have a long journey ahead of you, but this track certainly has potential and so does your artistic capability!

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Wow thanks a lot for all that. I sure did read it all and it was like you literally read my mind there :P.

 

To start off with the drums were a bit of both actually, I started with drawing the bass kick in an empty midi region and the same with the snare, it was the hi hat that I recorded via keypad. I suppose you could call them humanized as I do play drums and maybe sub consciously I want to sound how they would when I would play live. So would you recommend me using the ultrabeat for tightening the drum beat up?

 

And yes, I did have some problem thing of how to break down the drop, I tried using a noise sweep but it sounded too forced, so I stuck with that synth build-down. Thinking on it now maybe I could of just looped the drum beat then brought something else in.

 

Thanks for the compliment on the drop. The synths were self-done and did take a long time because I found that the tutorials both typed and recorded had not really been for electro house synths, I have to say I still struggle with making the sounds I would like on now, but I guess that will come to me?

 

Haha I have to say I thought exactly this. I've always wondered how people like madeon and barjo get those synths and it is very weakening when you listen to your own track and then listen to theirs. I completely agree to just putting the EQ's and limiters etc. on, although I had a vague knowledge to what they all do though. I have to say that I did make sure that I looked up tutorials to what they all did but not really to the extent of realizing how much they can effect your sounds. I will have to look deeper into this aspect of things.

 

So when you say dynamic arrangement do you mean something that has power through my own abilities rather than that of electronics and plug-ins?

 

Yeah, I never thought about this point much to be honest. I always thought of creating a load of sounds first then picking the right one. I suppose what I need to do is make the sound according to the style of the song.

 

And yes I will always make sure that I move the mix sliders, quick question though, does this mean taking the gain below 0? I made sure that no instuments were clipping in this song and but the stereo out still clipped overall. It was only adding a multipressor to the stereo out that fixed it, was this right?

 

Again I want to thank-you for taking out the time to help me which this comment really did, also I listened to your music and it's really good. I'm also a big fan of disco house and found "dancing in whenever" a very engaging track, nice one!

 

Your "thick" song is also very nice, it's unique. I have to say (I know you didn't ask for any comments on your pieces, hope you don't mind :P) that what I like most about your music is how you have multiple drops, you can be sure that the fun doesn't end there, again, nice :).

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To start off with the drums were a bit of both actually, I started with drawing the bass kick in an empty midi region and the same with the snare, it was the hi hat that I recorded via keypad. I suppose you could call them humanized as I do play drums and maybe sub consciously I want to sound how they would when I would play live. So would you recommend me using the ultrabeat for tightening the drum beat up?

You could always sequence in Ultrabeat, but if you prefer to record them yourself but still want them tight, you can open up the Piano Roll for the midi channel and either manually drag your notes into place, or run a quantize function on them.

 

Thanks for the compliment on the drop. The synths were self-done and did take a long time because I found that the tutorials both typed and recorded had not really been for electro house synths, I have to say I still struggle with making the sounds I would like on now, but I guess that will come to me?

Tutorials are great for grasping the basics of how a sound works– but if you're simply copying settings from them, it's not much better than a preset. Rather, pay attention to what each knob turn is doing to a sound. Find the perfect cutoff and resonant settings, find the perfectly amp envelope, find the perfect modulation amounts- using your ears.

 

One thing to keep in mind when using resonance with filters is that the frequency they're generating may not match the note of your synth- a great way to hear this is to turn resonance all the way up then hear the tone it generates. Try to find a good cutoff point that generates resonance in unison, at octaves, or at other perfect intervals like a fourth and fifth– and make sure to key/pitchtrack the cutoff to the notes you play!

 

Haha I have to say I thought exactly this. I've always wondered how people like madeon and barjo get those synths and it is very weakening when you listen to your own track and then listen to theirs. I completely agree to just putting the EQ's and limiters etc. on, although I had a vague knowledge to what they all do though. I have to say that I did make sure that I looked up tutorials to what they all did but not really to the extent of realizing how much they can effect your sounds. I will have to look deeper into this aspect of things.

One thing I was getting at is that while dynamics processing is often essential to creating a good mixdown, simply slapping it on without knowing what it really does can actually make your music worse. That being said, sometimes even a simple single-band EQ can be more powerful in shaping a sound than all the distortions and phasers and sloped filters in the world. Work with the plug-ins, get to know what they do- experiment with extreme compressor ratios, or narrow self-resonating EQ bands– and do this for quite a while. Once you start to figure out what they can do sonically, you'll start to hear in your songs where they could be applied.

 

So when you say dynamic arrangement do you mean something that has power through my own abilities rather than that of electronics and plug-ins?

Well, with acoustic sound (and analogue synthesizers to an extent) there will be some natural dynamic variance in every single note and recording. What I was getting at, however, is that you shouldn't just have the same saw-lead looping over 64 measures with no dynamic variance (unless you've achieved godlike levels of loop creation a la Stardust, Daft Punk)– change something up. Maybe have the riff go to a different note sometime. Sweep your filter cutoffs over time, automate envelope changes, perhaps even have an entirely new synth pick up the melody– make it interesting.

 

Yeah, I never thought about this point much to be honest. I always thought of creating a load of sounds first then picking the right one. I suppose what I need to do is make the sound according to the style of the song.

Each song calls for something new. Sure, you could build your piece around a Sylenth supersaw preset- hell, a certain dance pop song currently out there is using an unmodified preset sequence as the main arpeggiator riff- but don't let all your sounds eat up this space. Unlike rock bar bands, you can't have a bass grabbing for the entire frequency ranges attention with a lead doing the same and the singer as well. It'll clip your mix and detract from the focus of it.

 

And yes I will always make sure that I move the mix sliders, quick question though, does this mean taking the gain below 0? I made sure that no instuments were clipping in this song and but the stereo out still clipped overall. It was only adding a multipressor to the stereo out that fixed it, was this right?

Erm– not particularly. Again, a multipressor is a tool that needs a lot of learning as it is all the characteristics of a compressor, isolated to individual bands of the audio. Simply slapping on a preset or settings made for another song won't work.

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to not be afraid to be soft, especially while tracking and mixing– don't be afraid to turn down your sliders of individual tracks until you're not going into the red. If you, say, have a random peak that clips at the start of measure 78 whereas the rest of your song is completely fine, feel free to slap a limiter on your master channel- but for now, leave all mastering processes to an engineer, until you know what you're doing.

 

Again I want to thank-you for taking out the time to help me which this comment really did, also I listened to your music and it's really good. I'm also a big fan of disco house and found "dancing in whenever" a very engaging track, nice one!

 

Your "thick" song is also very nice, it's unique. I have to say (I know you didn't ask for any comments on your pieces, hope you don't mind :P) that what I like most about your music is how you have multiple drops, you can be sure that the fun doesn't end there, again, nice :).

Thanks– feel free to share it with those you think might be interested!

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Right, I'm taking all this in and will be certain to use this on my future tracks coming up. I will also be sure to come to you when I need something! That's of course if you're okay with it :P

 

And I feel then need to say thanks again, I wasn't expecting anything quite like that, you are great and I also look forward to any upcoming songs you have. And don't worry I will be sure to show other people ^_^

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Right, I'm taking all this in and will be certain to use this on my future tracks coming up. I will also be sure to come to you when I need something! That's of course if you're okay with it :P

 

And I feel then need to say thanks again, I wasn't expecting anything quite like that, you are great and I also look forward to any upcoming songs you have. And don't worry I will be sure to show other people ^_^

 

Not a problem, I have quite a bit of free time and enjoy sharing my knowledge of music.

 

But, do know that there are quite a few other great users here from a variety of backgrounds who can offer a world of advice– I'm simply sharing what I've garnered through my own experimentation and learning, and I'm by no means a professional.

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Sure, they have all helped on different levels and types of things. And I always think the class that someone is relies on whose eyes it comes through, like if I was to listen to your music I would quite easily class you as a professional. But if someone else, say like madeon they might think differently.
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