[linux-audio-user] drum loops, samples,

R Parker rtp405 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 3 00:26:30 EST 2004

--- tim hall <tech at glastonburymusic.org.uk> wrote:
> Thanks fo that info Ron,
> On Monday 01 March 2004 6:29 pm, R Parker wrote:
> > ron-bob07 demonstrates proper panning for building
> a
> > stereo field. 
> Unless your name is Brian Wilson or George Martin
> ...

And how about the talent that Wilson was working with.
I was never really into their songs but the talent was
insane. If Wilson was here now, I'd have to fight him.

> I've been fascinated by the possibilities of the
> stereo field for some time, 
> it seems one of the most under-used of resources.

The engineer I learned most of what I know from is a
master at timing delays, gated reverb lengths and
bouncing these things across the field. Everything he
does, I try to do. He's a master drummer so I've
started playing the drums--monkey feel, monkey do. :)

I guess the key to this type of thinking is to really
feel the groove. For example, if the drum kit beat and
conga track combined create a swing, maybe a reverse
gated verb on the snare can be timed to open wide and
stay open right to the conga swing note. The idea
being to exagerate the relationship and emphasize the

It's hard for me to articulate what I'm trying to
describe. Maybe it doesn't make sense. :)

> What you're suggesting here 
> is of course the 'classic' balanced stereo field,
> I'd put the bass slap bang 
> centre in this case too

Exactly right. I worship building rock solid

 and possibly leave the bv's
> dry BMW style.

Decisions like this might go beyound the "foundation"
and perhaps be dictated bye each song's requirements.
For example, if the singer is a great lyricist and the
story is compelling, I might decide to close mic the
lead vocal and produce the person to sing/talk--think
of whispering in your lover's ear while hitting the

With that type of print, I might compress that vocal
10 or 20 to 1 with a low threshold, fast attack and
release. Basically smack the crap out of it so the
compression is an effect and then mix it way up front
in the mix. In this example, I want to hear the
singer's lips smacking.

Now, the backing vocals in this production could be
heavily effected.

This mix production I'm describing is no more or less
interesting than what you are defining. The point is
learning to hear what a song dictates. I suppose when
engineers have a bag of mix tricks and know how to
listen to songs then they can pull a rabit out of the
hat and produce something that no one was hearing.

> I've spent a while listening to Brian Wilson's use
> of stereo, remarkable for a 
> man who hears in mono. It was fairly common in the
> early days of stereo to 
> have the whole band on one side and all the vocals
> on the other, BW takes 
> this concept several steps too far, combining his
> bizarre sense of 
> instrumentation with brilliant arrangements. The odd
> banjo & tuba break could 
> really liven up some of your black metal sessions,
> don't you think :)

:) I see we both love instrument relationships and
arrangements. Sometimes, probably not often enough, I
try to think in terms of building tension and
expectation and then delivering the unexpected
bridge/baseball pitch. If the batter knows your
pattern, knows you're going to deliver a fastball down
the middle and you throw the breaking ball, it's
strike three you are out.

I think listeners have an inate sense for what to
expect next. They know a chorus is coming but if you
deliver a breakdown bridge with the chorus vocal
melody performed by picsacato strings and then cut
back into the familar verse groove it could cause them
to pass gas. :)

 On the 
> arrangements side it's worth knowing that the entire
> song can be held just by 
> the vocals with minimal backing and that well
> recorded acoustic instruments 
> can be just as full, if not more so, than their
> electric equivalents.

A good friend of mine is a great piano player. Several
years ago we recorded a batch of songs where one of
them is a speed metal tune that includes his accoustic
piano. He did a perfect job and I was especially happy
because I know one of his peeves is people think they
need distortion to create deathly havoc. :) If my
recolectulator is accurate, I think we had Brazilian
percussion in that arrangement. The chorus lyrics are
pig latin--some of it off the back of the U.S. dollar,
other lines we've heard in church, etc. I stole few
old famous Elvis Presley lyrics for the lead vocal.
The basic story is a goon in a bar that falls in love
with a girl that is so drunk she's falling off the bar
stool and of course he must save her. Definitely a
death metal theme. Not!

Well, it seems we've dropped your egg into boiling
water. Hey, I love all the topics you introduced.
Great stuff! Now I want to go listen to some Brian
Wilson productions.


This is 
> particularly relevant for anyone who's ever spent
> ages brilliantly recording 
> a grand piano and then discovered that it dwarfs
> everything else in the mix, 
> whereas you could have used a rhodes and it would
> have sat in real nice.
> Alltogether I would say don't be afraid of hard-
> panning things, so long as 
> you have something of a similar energy and pitch to
> balance it up on the 
> other side. "Mult"ing guitar tracks in this way can
> be particularly 
> satisfying. Phasing & ping-pong delays can give a
> nice movement.
> I'm interested in how to make things sound 'right'
> in the space, even with 
> wacky pannings, without over-reverbing. Synths can
> really benefit from 
> bunging through a valve amp and miking, if you have
> space / gear to do that.
> I'm interested in how to introduce a degree of
> 'human feel' into MIDI tracks 
> and also how to build reverb patches with variable
> delay times that simulate 
> real world environments and are also musically
> useful, I know to avoid delay 
> timings between 50-120 mS on vocals, for example, as
> this is approximately 
> the length of a short syllable or at least roughly
> the length of time it 
> takes to recognise a segment of vocal sound as
> linguistically meaningful 
> Anyhow, I've just rambled into a big subject, so
> I'll leave it there before it 
> turns into an egg-sucking lecture or anything. just
> my ¢2.
> cheers
> tim hall

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