Joey Sturgis Interview Part 2
Because this came up the other day too and we talked about this too and it's like really can't mix badly recorded vocals there's like but you can you can fix them two degree but like let's talk about some of some specifics that you would do to try to at least fix some vocals if they came your way before you say this is unacceptable you know yeah you want to look for plo sieves if you know you know a lot of people don't know how pop filters work you can't put it right up against the mic because it doesn't do anything you have to have some air space so I get that a lot you know that's really going to deal with and if you do have close is they are you can heip assam made you can automate them edit them sometimes you can just straight up to lead them and it'll sound natural as long as you're you know really zoomed in and doing it like really really tiny um you might get vocals that are done on a cheap microphone or done in a weird room and I think a good way to deal with that is using the ...
multi band a compressor before your compressor and kind of use it in this attractive way so you gonna use it tio get rid of like money nous and kind of boom meanness and get rid of stuff that you don't like with vocal before it hits the compressor because there compressors going to react all that stuff so you know, if you've got a real bhumi vocal it's going toe pump it a lot more than it would if you had the multi band doing some some corrective fixes before hitting the compressor and here's one because this happened to me recently uh and ended up fixing it, but like I say, you get a vocal that's record in a very bad rumors ton of flutter all over it it all sounds like it's in a bathroom uh, it was it can't fix that. It was I got around it by making them retract it. Yeah, sometimes you're going to have to say that, you know, I think it's funny because a lot of people get the idea that it would be a good idea to record vocals in the bathroom or something like that, and I don't really know where that comes from, but that's like a weird uh, stick nothing that just needs to end, so don't do that, you know, they weren't actually recording in a bathroom, though that's I don't know what I don't know what it was it was is really bad, though, that it was one of those situations where there's there's there's a certain amount of bad stuff that you just can't take you out and I think that anything it's important for people to realize that there's a certain point where things are just not not usable there if you start doing all these fixes like looking for the plo sieves using the multi band you're doing everything and we have another slide here talking about you know, different different ways to edit vocals, which we'll get into in a second you start doing all this stuff and nothing's working then what mean, say either you agree to have a sub standard product or you've got tio make a tough phone call, you know yeah man up and tell him to do it again and tell him you know what they're doing wrong it does help to have, like, an engineering background if you're mixed because you want to be ableto you know, talk about mike placement and coups room acoustics and things like that if you're you know, especially if you're dealing with people on that level where you're telling them like that they need to re record something yeah it's I don't like having the conversation, but I mean, the thing about it is and I think that this is really important is if you don't have that conversation then it becomes your fault if it doesn't sound right love people I think that all that stuff falls on your shoulder they think well, I perform the part correctly and I singing into the microphone why can't you make it sound good? Well, you know the microphone has a short in it and it keeps cutting out or the room that you're in sounds like a you know, a stadium or a bathroom so um you know, some people just aren't aware that you can't fix it in the mix and it does come down to having things recorded properly and engineered properly but there's also the whole other side where everything is done perfectly but this vocal sounds weird or this vocalist has a weird thing with his throat or with his mouth or whatever those are things that you have to fix in the mix sometimes because there's just no other way to get it right and you know, some of the techniques that we were talking about where you know dds before compressor or after a compressor and honestly it just kind of comes down to the person that you know are they controlling their asses do there s a stick out a lot uh, you know, try both, you know, try both methods before and after and see what you think his funny I got asked that question in the q and a maybe two hours ago uh put the dsr before or after the year main vocal compressor it's not you know you can't answer it in one way because it it just depends you know and if you get some people who are really aggressive actually do have a lot of control over there s sounds I've noticed and whenever I get those it's nice because you don't have to use a d s or so it's not like it's something that you always put on your vocal change just have to listen you know, use your ears and see like to those s is really creepy about and do they really like her your ears and if so, you know know what tools you have available do you teo come back there and I think it bears noting that the whole d s ing thing is literally to remove things that will make the record elicit herbal like we're talking about stuff that is literally painful to listen to yeah high volumes especially it's like those s is that just crazy? Deadly so let's let's talk about fixing up some guitars then because you could say we could talk forever s o so you get some really badly recorded guitars uh when we talked about this earlier you can't really fix poor playing but what are some of what what's your first approach when you get some bad guitars, what are you looking for? What are the things that you would fix? Something that's really common would be a badly clocked word clock uh, you get cindy eyes that have a lot of pops and clicks from bad editing uh those kind of things you need to listen to the d I before you even put a tone on it to make sure that it doesn't have that kind of stuff and if it does you might have to go in and edited out or you know, do some automation but hopefully hopefully it's not there in the first place if it is you know go through and put the time put the work in the effort into getting it out yeah, I guess I guess there comes a point though where if it's too so bad there's nothing you can do that if everything's out of tune or whatever on dh then you've got to make some tough decisions so if it's out of tune you can't fix it and can see that here on the next slide yeah yeah like I mean what if you have no no d I tracks because that happens to me sometimes I get a I get nothing but their version of an amp tracks so you are kind of stuck at that point to like better be if you got no dies you need tio just work with the tone that they have you probably to do a lot of the surgery um you know, use your ears uh if it might be worth asking for the dice and maybe maybe they just didn't they forgot to give him to you know, but always like if the band doesn't give you the dies in the first place, they probably want you to use the tone, and so I always woods just work with the tone and send it over first like that, and then if they're not happy with it, then I might request the dying to see if I can create a better time. Yeah, let's, talk about drums real quick, I'm just tryingto get get through these quickly because we're we gotta stop. So, um, let's talk about bad drums and replacing them, and you're different velocity layers how you go about that? Yeah, the way I like to replace drums is to put him into different tracks like you see, so the top track would be like your hardest snare hits than the next track would be the next hardest on down all the way to the softest airhead possible, and then I would just listen to what the drummer played and try to reenact what he was doing kind of like how you haven't here, where you could see you've highlighted like the medium hits there, you just want toe, be realistic with it and trying to make it sound musical the drover performed it and intended it to be performed when you're replacing drums, and this is an easy way to do it because you have all the control over you know which type of hits are being triggered and where instead of having to go and do a bunch of automation or little tiny many velocity adjustments which is a lot to manage this I think this is an easier way in a more organized way of managing the drum replacement yeah, I agree so moving on tio symbols uh let's say you get some really, really bad symbols like what's your begin that happens a lot and when I get handed mixes the symbols were recorded horribly but let's talk about some of the go twos with that yeah go to high pass lots of high pass spot fixing frequencies that sound really awful. You could use a really narrow q wits um just use your ears to find those I do a lot of frequency sweeping to find him just listening to symbols and moving the frequency across them. You know, once you found that the thing that really makes you uh uh annoyed just turn it down once you find the screwdriver in your ear basically yeah and then, uh you're also going to get a lot of tracks if you're dealing with some professionals type situations you're going to get a lot of symbol fluctuation uh volume wise so you can kind of balance that out by putting a limiter first before you even hit a compressor generally I like to use l one and I'll just signed the balance where I'm taking care of the peaks but I'm not really touching the good hits and I get the peaks and the good hits to balance out yeah that's actually do the exact same thing let's talk about last one let's talk about a base real quick duplicate your bass track so you get two tracks your low and tracking your high and track could you want to treat those separately you might wantto you know, distort your high end but just limit the u low end and that way you're going to still clean er in all the notes are nice and pretty but the high end is still aggressive and get you the great uh sometimes you're gonna get stuff that's just not pitch corrected or just badly tuned um I think in that case it's kind of ok to blur the lines of mixing and production and to go in and program the low end with midi I think I think that's ah, we talked about that with andrew. Well, I think that that's pretty much the accepted way among people who know what they're doing tio to fix bad low end in base because if it's badly played or badly recorded there's nothing you can really do with it and the base the pitch of the base is super important because if that fluctuates too much makes your mix selling crap yeah and there's no getting around that it will destroy everything all the way up to vocal harmonies so I did I know that we have a little bit more to go but like we actually need to cut it off so I can finish up the uh the rest of the content before we before we cut this off. But the last thing I just want to say that the most important thing on what was left was that automation is automation is everything you know in the final slide like just automate automate, automate, automate, automate I think I think you were telling me that you think the difference between on a plus mix vocally especially an a plus and a or b is the amount of automation sometimes yeah, you definitely want to be writing your vocals up and down for excitement, you know, enhancing the performance and putting a lot of drama into the instruments as well. You know when when the vocalist stop singing in the riff kicks in you know, turn the riff up you get put something out in front for the listener to pay attention to and then pull it back and put the next you know, put put all the different elements that need to be a paid attention to in the right spots and really move things around so that it's exciting because if your haters are flat your mix is going to be boring and I think and the reason I want to just end on that note is because I have heard from so many guys because I last questions sometimes online like what do you think your biggest mixing floyd and so many guys say I'm lazy with automation so what are you doing that zoo like so that's the most important thing some guys that's all they do you know like I think is pretty much just comes in and rides favors and uh you know he has a lot of gear to back him up but without that stuff like that's what makes the mix you know it takes it from great to see you know magical yeah exactly and also it goes back to what we're saying about four ground middle ground background musical material you always seem to be giving something in the lead for the listener to focus on if something doesn't pop up to take the place of the vocals it's almost like suddenly things or flat you know yes and only like they like a diet a little bit so so yeah well anyways dude uh we could keep on going forever but I really can't tell you how much I appreciate you coming on here and talking to us thanks for having me on you know glad to do it and glad to share what I think about this stuff so cool yeah everyone glad to hear it to men. So hope you have a good one, and I'll talk to you soon. Man. Take it easy. Thanks. You, too.