Snare Roll Tip: Use Delay

Neat trick for snare rolls in electronic compositions:

  • Use delay plugin and set it to 1/8 and feedback 0.
  • When snare roll increases automate to go to 1/16 and feedback to 100% with volume of snare roll going down at the end.

You can also use delays of course to make a snare in a drum loop sound more interesting.


Volume Automation: Use Gain Plugin.

Instead of using the volume setting of a track for fading / volume automation, add a Gain plugin on the track and use the Gain volume of that plugin to automate fading / volume. In this case you can use the overal volume slider during the mixing to set balance right. The automation will remain as is and will change according your balance. No need to each time redraw the automation when mixing.

Gain Plugin

Korg MS-20 – Vintage Synth

Korg’s MS-20 is one of the most popular vintage synths on the second-hand market. Its unique aggressive sound and flexible semi-modular architecture helped make it an icon of the late 70s analogue.

Released in 1978 with the whole MS series range they offeren hugely increased synthesis power.

I’m a big fan but unfortunately cannot afford the real model, so I went for the Korg software synth and Korg MS-20 App on the Ipad which are really good and fun to use.

Well-known musicians using the Korg MS-20 are amongst others:  Astral Projection, Liaisons Dangereuses, Soulwax, AirLiam Howlett of The Prodigy, Simian Mobile Disco, Daft PunkWilliam Orbit, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Goldfrapp, Mr. Oizo, Royksopp, Aphex Twin.

See the Korg Ms-20 in action in below videos. Enjoy.

Refer to wikipedia MS-20 page for more info.

EQ Fundamentals

Equalization Principles

  • If it sounds muddy, attenuate at around 250Hz
  • If it sounds honky, attenuate at around 500Hz
  • Cut or attenuate to add clarity
  • Boost to make things sound “different”
  • Use a narrow Q / Bandwidth (6 – 10) when cutting
  • Use a wide Q / Bandwidth (0.5 – 2) when boosting
  • To make something stick out, roll off the bottom
    • For example guitars and vocals can really use this. Basically everything that uses a microphone.
    • Bass and kickdrum can use it as well but then only really low bottom under 20 or 30 Hz.
  • To make something blend in, roll off the top

Don’t forget: Less is sometimes more. So use it wisely.

Equalization Fundamental Techniques

Apply the following fundamental techniques for EQing your sounds:

  1. Use substractive frequencies to remove aspects of the sound you do not like. Two ways to do this:
    1. Bring down a frequency to -10db and while the sound plays drag it to lower or higher frequencies until the sound you want to remove is gone (for example nasal sound of a vocal around 1kHz). Once it sounds good, bring the grain up to -1 or -2Db as suited and use Q in that way until sounds good.
    2. Bring up a frequence to +10db and while the sound plays drag it to lower or higher frequencies until you hear the frequency of the sound you wqnt to remove. Once found, bring it down to -1 or -2db and adjust Q until sounds good.
  2. Substractive frequencies removal works best in the below ranges due to proximity effect and the way microphones are build to accentuate certain frequencies which you do not want: presence boost.EQ 1
  3. After substractive frequencies, add some points for improving character of the sound.
  4. Some sparkle as wel in the higher frequencies
  5. And eventually some air to make it feel more real and breathy.EQ 2

Bass EQ

  1. Bring up everything under 120 Hz for the big bottom
  2. Bring up a small point around 700 Hz for more attack of the Bass
  3. Bring up a point around 2.5 Hz for the finger sound on the bass.

Shirine – I Believe

My wife Shirine Irani just released her first song. She has been writing songs since 6 years old, but since last year we decided to invest in one of the songs and took a producer under the hood. The production and release of this song has been quite an interesting adventure into the world of commercial music production.

The song is availabe on Itunes and Spotify. Enjoy!

Music Studio Fresh