Hope you’re having an awesome day. Today I’m here to save you some money and discuss a question I hear a lot. “Why some songs sound better than the other?”
We’re not talking about bit rates, so let’s imagine the following. A band records a song at two different places for the same price. When finished, they’ll receive both audio in 24 bit 44.1 kHz wav format. Somehow one of the songs sound a lot better than the other.
So before I answer the question, let’s learn the process of music production in 5 steps. This will help you to understand what I’m about to share later.
“But hey Andris! I know this. It’s easy. We go in the studio and get the songs recorded, then we’re done.”
Well. Let me be honest with you now. The way you’re recorded at the beginning effects massively your final sound. One of my favourite sound engineers said something I strongly believe in and do all the time. He managed to get the best results when the recording was done right from the beginning.
Because of that he didn’t need to spend a lot of time correcting them. He had more time to make the songs better and take them to the next level instead.
Knowing that, here are two factors that can ruin your songs a lot when recording.
Recording everything at the same time vs. recording one by one.
Metronome vs no metronome.
Would you like a pro level audio? Play with the metronome and get everything recorded one by one. There’s a bigger focus on the players when they’re recorded one by one. Because of that it’s easy to find mistakes, correct them and track your best attempts. Metronome helps to create even notes and tight music. 💪
Not using the metronome and getting recorded at the same time leads to a weak and mushy recording full of mistakes just at the beginning. 😦 You can try to make it sound better later, but it will never be as good.
Same like cooking. It’s hard to make a decent meal if you don’t have the right ingredients. You can try to make a cheap fatty piece of meat better with more seasoning, but nothing beats a nice piece of fillet steak. Which one would you prefer to get in a restaurant if they both cost the same?
2, Editing: “…We’re all humans, we all make mistakes…”
Editing helps to get your tracks to the next level by choosing your best takes and correcting any minor mistakes.
Here are some of the editing services I provide for example:
Best attempts editing
Tempo and note editing
Guitar solo tuning
3, Track enhancement, dynamics, effects…etc:
Making the tracks sound better. Good things get boosted, bad taken away. Simple as that. The procedure helps to get tonal and dynamic changes. Did your bass not sound bright enough? Does your guitar sound too bright? Does your hi-hat or bell have a disturbing sound on the recording?
Let’s say your best moments sound on each section of your tracks. They are all spot on, perfectly in time and each has an amazing sound. Time to make it happen so these individual tracks sound nicely together as a song. That’s what mixing is all about.
As your tracks were made to sound better, your mixed songs need mastering to take them to the next level. Think about it as a final polish for your songs. I like to think about it as post mixing. Although there’s lots happening, usually it’s about 3 key steps:
Get the best sound
Make it the loudest
Create an even sound and loudness for each song
Remember the band in the beginning? So why some songs sound better than the other?
It’s easy and always the same answer. 🙂 Depends how well the songs were recorded, also how much time, effort and care was put into them after the musician went home. Were they edited, mixed and mastered by the studio? Or just recorded, quickly mixed then handed over the next day? 😦 😱
It’s all down to something very basic. More efforts = better results. 😎
Hope I gave enough information and helped you to understand the differences. 😉
Have you got a question which would be a great topic idea on my website?
Take care and have an awesome day!
Todays’s quick tip to save money:
When you contact a studio don’t focus on their price per hour or price per day. Ask for a price quote instead which includes the list of services they provide for that price. This way you’ll know what you’re really paying for, what audio you’ll get and what type of studio you’re dealing with.
Price for recording + services and care your tracks get = audio quality / your deal’s real value.