Lo-fi or no?
Last Post 02 Jan 2012 07:12 PM by Pompey Productions. 9 Replies.
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ElementalMusic

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    27 Dec 2011 12:35 AM

    Okay, so I'm asking you guys for your opinion. I've chosen to recently record my beats at lower samplerates to both achieve a darker sound, and to make my drum samples more sonically consistent with each other (when I'm mixing high-quality drum samples with chops of lower-quality drum breaks).

    I've enjoyed the sound that I get when converting my exported wave files into a monophonic MP3 with samplerates of 11 kHz (I think most songs are typically 44 kHz). Really my only concern is that a lot of the time, some sounds get muffled (due to the lower quality). For instance, a violin in one of my tracks was badly overshadowed due to the lower samplerate.

    One of my tracks posted here in Warbeats was rated low, and one of the main complaints was sound quality.

    Really, I only chose to convert my tracks to a lower-quality for sonic aesthetic reasons (to achieve a certain style). I wonder if there is another way of making my drum samples more consistent (without having to make copy and convert new files entirely).

    Also, I use Linux Multimedia Studio on Windows XP.

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    Megiddo

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    27 Dec 2011 12:55 PM
    Well, you could try using a bit reduction effect on the drums for achieving the same effect without downgrading your whole mix. I understand why you do what you do, but it's not an optimum solution.

    http://kunz.corrupt.ch/products/tal-effects

    Try that plugin, but make sure you turn the Dry/Wet knob all the way to Wet, and play around with the low shelf and high shelf knobs too.
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    Pompey Productions

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    29 Dec 2011 09:22 AM
    i agree with megiddo. you may need to find some effects that give you a lo-fi sound without giving you a lo-fi quality. try some distortion, eq(as he mentioned) and heavy compression.
    www.PompeyProductions.com www.twitter.com/P_O_M_P_E_Y www.facebook.com/pompeyproductions
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    Sabotage
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    29 Dec 2011 02:33 PM
    First of all, don't use a lossy format like MP3 to downgrade your files with. If you must do it in WAV or another lossless format.

    If you are looking for that raw feel from the early 90's, then the answer lies in the gear that was used to produce those classics. For example the MPC60 has a very gritty sound when it comes to sampling drums. The RZA produced the first WU album on a Ensoniq EPS, also that machine has it's own sound, and uses a lower sample rate then todays machines.

    Like mentioned you can use bitreduction plugins to gritty up the sound, that or a distortion plugin will come handy aswell (Camel Audio has a free one). I would also recommend using a drum bus for your samples and considering some tape saturation or another form of grit, just so you bring up the noise floor abit. Run the drums (and/or) other samples thru the same compressor and/or the same reverb to make them sound right together.
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    ElementalMusic

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    29 Dec 2011 03:32 PM
    You guys have good ideas. Although I went back to the tracks I was talking about and noticed that the overshadowing problem I had was actually more of a volume problem. Still, I've tried you're suggestions and came with interesting results.

    @Megiddo and Pompey Productions: Bitcrushers are interesting. I've experimented with them before. I'll see what I can do with them because I have abandoned them initially (partly due to my knowledge of another producer who utilizes them, I didn't want to jack his style). It has helped bring all the drums to a similar sonic quality so thanks for the recommendation. I have messed with filters and EQ as well, but thanks for the suggestion.

    @Sabotage: It's a good solution, but I've noticed that the high frequencies in my tracks are more filtered out in WAV formats than in MP3 formats. Thanks, though. I know that hip-hop producers in the 90's used equipment like the SP1200 and the like, and that those machines had lower bit-depths and samplerates. I'll definitely look at the distortion plug-ins, but I may stick with the samplerate downgrade, as I think it brings an overall 1960's-70's feel to my tracks.
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    LilReed LayBac Muzic

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    01 Jan 2012 05:11 AM

    Happy New Years Every1

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    Sabotage
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    02 Jan 2012 05:55 AM
    Using MP3 (specially at lower compression rates) will effectivly remove alot of the high end content from a sound. Again, I would not advice you to take that route. The old anologue gear did not cut the high end, the opposite is actually true. With analogue recording systems you will have more headroom then in the digital domain.

    Using proper lossless formats will make it easier for you to mix the track, you can always modify sounds by filtering them with other methods.
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    Megiddo

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    02 Jan 2012 06:00 AM
    No man, you absolutely NOT jacking his style. It's just like saying you won't use scissors because you don't wanna jack your hair stylist's style lol.
    It's a TOOL man, you can use it however you want. I'd also recommend Sabo's option if you still wanna downgrade: use WAVs. MP3s usually create a lot of unwanted artifacts and it's more of an unwanted downgrade than a wanted one.
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    ElementalMusic

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    02 Jan 2012 03:14 PM
    @Sabotage: I'm confused. How does it make it easier to mix my track if I record with lossless formats? I thought that you do all your mixing while making the track. Sorry if I sound a bit stupid.
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    Pompey Productions

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    02 Jan 2012 07:12 PM
    sabo is basically saying you won't have any data loss...what you have is closer to the original signal. that's why you want to record in wav files. typically at 24 bit. you can the manipulating of the sound later. also another thing to look into is izotope vinyl.
    www.PompeyProductions.com www.twitter.com/P_O_M_P_E_Y www.facebook.com/pompeyproductions
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