Monday, December 12, 2011

Playing With Music

As busy as I've been one of the things I've been reading to take my mind off of how much illustration work I have on my plate right now is a book called "The Art of Mixing."

When I let a professional recording engineer listen to some of my music the advice he gave me was to learn about both compression techniques and how to use EQ. So, I've been reading trying to understand both. And this book really has it all. When I sit and read it at lunch I'm often asked if I am in school for music engineering because this thing is huge and looks like a required reading textbook. I tell people, "no, I just like to learn," and keep on reading.

And not only am I learning more about compression and EQ but this guy also explain in depth about how sound actually works, why EQ works the way it does, and other fun techniques.

On a chapter about reverb techniques and why reverb works the way it does, the author brought up a technique called "preverb." He said it was, by far, the most evil thing in the mixing process that an engineer can do. So, of course, I had to try it.

I took my good friend Adam Trapani's song, Start a Riot, from a demo he did a few years ago, and tried out this evil technique. Basically, you take the track and play it backwards. You then put some reverb on the backwards track and then flip the whole thing back to it's original forward playing state. This way, the reverb is actually coming before the original sound is played. It's used a lot in horror films and it is definitely the way you've heard a ghost or spirit talk in many a horror movie. It's eerie, it fills up some space, and I love it.

As the author says, it's a technique only the Devil could do. Because how could an echo happen BEFORE the sound? It must be the Devil's work.

I also left in a few of the backwards tracks in my final mix, most notably in the start of the song and during the bridge. It's funny how a lot of the sounds in my head that I've been trying to figure out how to create cane be found in these few techniques. Now I have a few more tools in my toolbox for when I go play with the OilCan Drive stuff.

But, for now, back to work. Have a good one and I'll talk to you soon.

Here is the original track, before I messed with it at all:

And here is the mix I did with the preverb and backwards effects:

If you can't see either of the players above you can find the files for the original track HERE and the remixed preverb track HERE.

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