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Becoming a little more familiar with BIAB and using Audacity as my workstation [and I know it is not the best but at the moment I am using that.]

The BIAB program came with "Real Band" as its workstation and I might in the near future start using that until I can afford to buy "Mix Craft" [or a similar workstation that someone here might recommend.]

Audacity is relatively easy to use but my question now is when I am working with the individual tracks, copying them over from BIAB, and follow along with suggestions made on a previous post where I posted two mp3 I am still not truly understanding the application of:

Reverb / Compression / EQ

If I select just the vocals, after making sure the other tracks are balanced, say at "0", to work on with the above effects what do I do?

Reverb is easy enough to understand and manipulate, as is compression [I think] but EQ I do not understand.

At the moment I select EQ, for example, and then just apply what is there without doing anything else. Audacity does apply and makes the changes but what else should I be doing?

Hope this makes sense and you can explain what I need to understand to get a better mix.

douglas


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The use of these effects is Audacity's weakest point. The reason is that you apply them to a track, not knowing how they will sound, and then you have to undo them and do them again with different settings until you find what you like. Once you exit the program, you can no longer undo what you have done and you are stuck with it.

In Audacity you should always save the original unaltered file so if you don't like the effects yo have applied, you can start over. Alternatively. make a duplicate of each track and mute the original while you mess with the copy. In more advanced DAWs, you can change the reverb, etc. on the fly and always remove it or alter it again even after saving.

Having said that, EQ is used to improve the sound of a track by increasing or decreasing the volume of the various frequencies within the sound to make it sound better. Also you want each track to have different frequencies emphasized so one track does not interfere with another too much.

Experiment with your vocal track. Add about 5db in the 3k range and decrease the 400k range and your voice should sound more twangy and less muddy. That could be good or bad for your particular voice. For your acoustic guitar, try the same thing to see if you like the sound. For a bass, decrease everything above 500k. See if you can hear the difference and the separation. Those are just starting points to experiment with.


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Thank you Colin. I appreciate the help. [Will be looking at what you suggested this weekend.]

douglas


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Most Programs have instructions included with the program. By Clicking on Start, going to all programs, and putting your mouse on the program listing you may see other windows that open where you can read all the instructions on using the program. It takes some study but what doesn't? Good luck!


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Thanks Ray. Guess I am looking for the easy way here. smile

douglas


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I have heard a lot of good things about Reaper (but I am not a user of it). It seems like the evaluation copy is free to use as long as you want and the paid version is something like $60 and there seems to be a very active, helpful forum. Of course you have RealBand, so maybe you should start there.

Here's a link to The recording revolution's 5-minutes to a better mix video series: http://therecordingrevolution.com/5minutes/ -- start going through those!

One of the better tips I got (originally from Mike Dunber) is to use EQ to place a high pass filter on pretty much everything (except for the bass and drum). That gets rid of the low end energy for all the instruments/voices that don't really particpate in that 50hz region and below.

Good luck -- learn realband to save money or try reaper!


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I'd definitely suggest you give Reaper a go. It will make your life much easier once you get used to it.

One thing to remember is that you don't have to use compression, reverb and eq on everything - only the things that need it. How do you know what needs it? Well that's where experience comes in.

Spend a bit of time just messing around with the various settings to see what they do - being able to hear changes in real time is a must for this sort of thing. One thing to be careful of is to not use a smiley eq curve on everything. Newcomers often think a good sound has to be a sound with plenty of bass and treble with no middle. If you listen carefully to your favourite records, you will often find the opposite to be true - the high end and low end of some instruments will be filtered out in order to make space for others. As a general rule, cutting a frequency range is better than boosting. This is also a good maxim to apply when mixing too - rather than thinking about what is too quiet in a mix, think about what is too loud - otherwise you'll end up with 'everything louder than everything else'.


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Thank you Kevin. I will be checking the site out.

douglas


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Thank you James. Very helpful and directing.

douglas


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how about mic placement?? Figured that one out today. blush

douglas


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"EQ is used to improve the sound of a track by increasing or decreasing the volume of the various frequencies within the sound to make it sound better" - Colin

One example of this that I use often. If there are two conflicting instruments (same frequencies) like bass & kick. Often taking some bottom-end off one or the other will give both instruments more presence. Of course panning helps in this situation as well. EQing can make a big improvement in the mix. Im very careful about using compression. If I do, it will be on specific tracks, not global. It can give a mix a hard sound and kill the dynamics. Reverb? Im from the school of less is more one exception is FXs (thunder, rumbling, wind, etc.).

Best, John smile

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EQ helps you separate separate the frequencies so they don't conflict in the mix and muddle the mix. For instance, is the bass occupying too much of the bass drum frequency. Does the mix sound too muddy? It's a learning curve that I'm still learning.
Good luck to you, Doug. Tears are coming.
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Thanks John and Vic. Man! It was easier when I went to a studio and the guy behind the glass took care of all this.

Maybe that is what I should be asking?

I will try it here first.

"Anyone out there that is using Band In A Box and is good at the production side of this craft. [Files can be shared, altered, "fixed" then sent back.] Want to collab. on that aspect?"

douglas


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One thing to keep in mind is that BIAB generally mixes pretty good for a start. The volumes/eq/comp. are set good.
Your vocal is recorded separately so you need to find a way to make it fit with the rest of the mix.
Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.

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I record outside of my computer more and use Audacity. I don't know what BIAB is. I gotta check that out.
I only use the free Audacity player but was considering buying their package plan.
I want to navigate from the basic .wav to mp3 conversions but always wonder if that would be what I am looking for if the sound of an old four track might do the trick if that is all I had. The free Audacity player is better than that and I like the features with noise cancellation.

But I would like to have the knowledge of these other programs anyway.
What do the paid Audacity packages offer to the members that have them?

I hope this is not off topic, but maybe members have what you were asking through Audacity.


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