‘Limiting’ tracks can be a great thing

I ran across a very interesting conversation over at the Cakewalk Sonar forums yesterday.  This thread talked about what a ‘pro’ mixer does when mixing.  The very first question the guy was asked was ‘how attached are you to the sounds of the instruments?’  For most musicians / performers, that is a VERY surprising question.  I was lucky enough in college to have been able to have studied some multi-track recording, and had a little bit of knowledge as to where this was coming from. 

The reason for the question is that mixing instruments is different from getting that ‘perfect tone’ that performers try to seek out.  One of the things that STILL TO THIS DAY stands out in my mind is seeing how a pro recording engineer added an acoustic guitar to a track.  He recorded the guitar a couple of different way, then proceeded to throw out MOST of the frequencies!  He mainly left the ‘sparkle’ or highs in the track.  Soloed, the track sounded tinny and weak.  When mixed into the song, the track sat perfectly, allowing one to hear the acoustic guitar, but the guitar didn’t dominate the track.

After reading that thread, I went back and played with a song I had recorded just for fun, Stone Temple Pilots “Plush”.  This song went through a couple of different changes…  Here are the three versions that I mixed over time.  The first one was just the initial ‘recorded the guitar, and wanted to hear the playing’ mix.  The second link is when I went and started adding EQs, compression, delays, and all the other studio tricks to make something sound ‘bigger’.  The third mix was applying yesterday’s lessons.  Also, I split out the drums to different tracks with different kits to get a better sound.  The biggest change to the third mix was the applications of High and Low pass filters.  I think that using these can be incredible tools to getting things to sit in a mix better!

I would love to know what people think, as mixing on a computer in a spare bedroom doesn’t usually translate well to the real world!

http://cid-075582706ffdc005.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/PracticeMusic/StoneTemplePilots-Plush.m4a

http://cid-075582706ffdc005.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/PracticeMusic/StoneTemplePilots-Plush-Mixed.m4a

http://cid-075582706ffdc005.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/PracticeMusic/Plush-Newideas3.mp3

Dave, the plumber!?!

Today was one of life’s small victories…

A couple of days ago, I came home and found a note on my door, saying to call the water company due to high usage…  Now, my water bill is usually quite low, as one man and one cat do NOT use a lot of water.  I went and checked my bill online, and lo and behold, my bill is FOUR TIMES what it normally is!!!  Ack!  One cool thing about my water company is that they have a usage graph for the last several months.  And last month was WAY off the charts.  Thus begins trying to find the leak…

One day during the last month, the lever that closes the toilet hinge had gotten stuck open, and it took me a day to notice it.  I did not pay any attention to it after fixing the running water, though.  After seeing the bill, I took a closer look.  The toilet looked like the water was trickling out constantly.  Uh-oh  Sad  What do *I* know about fixing toilets?  The word ‘Zilch’ comes to mind… I’m a programmer, not a handyman!  One thing about living in an apartment for 7 years, you don’t usually have to worry about stuff like that!  Time to search for the problem and solution on the internet…  Turns out that there are some simple answers.  After draining the water from the tank, I messed around with it, and discovered that the little lid that controls the flushing (it’s technical term is a… wait for it… flapper) wasn’t sealing completely.  Looks like a trip to Home Depot was in order.  One lesson learned here is… take the part you need to replace with you, or at LEAST know what the part is coming from.  I got very lucky, as I did neither of these, but I did end up with the right part.  The rest was fairly easy, just unhooking the old flapper and put the new one on.  Then, the moment of truth… turning the water back on to the toilet… and… NO LEAKING!!!  Yeah!!!

Maybe someday I’ll actually get a household ‘handyman’ status… right now, I’d rather stick to computers!  Smile

Four years, and counting….

December 4th was my 4 year blog anniversary… what an amazing trip so far!  It is always interesting to go back and read old posts…  I’ve written a LOT, more than I EVER thought that I would.  My old English teachers would be proud!  I remember in one class, we were supposed to write a journal entry every day for a specific time period.  Me, being my procrastinating self, would always just write everything a day or two before turning it in.  What a learning opportunity missed 😦  One thing that I’ve really found with the blog is a great way to write down ‘what I’m thinking about right then and there’.  I have a lot more ideas and thoughts that I will start sharing. 

The reason I’ve kept some things private is because of the purpose of this blog.  Originally, I wanted to use it as a springboard to write a book, or get a job.  I’ve certainly written enough technical articles on here.  I get a lot of searches for Crystal Reports, Powershell, and Visual Studio.  I seem to get ideas in my head that end up breaking one of those programs, and I haven’t found answers on the Internet, hence why I write up my experiences.  I may split this blog up into a technical blog and a personal blog, as both are useful.  They might suffer a bit on content, though 🙂

We’ll just have to see where the NEXT four years takes this blog!

When did ‘Unlimited’ become ‘NOT Unlimited’?

This boils my blood…

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/106245/Get-Ready-to-Pay-More-for-the-Web

I have AT&T / Bellsouth / FastAccess.  I am CERTAINLY not happy about seeing caps like this.  Do these companies NOT remember how quickly people switched on the Dial-up from per-hour billing to unlimited dialup?  My main problem is that the companies have sold the cable / DSL services as ‘unlimited usage’.  To force people to switch the their plans is almost ‘bait-and-switch’.  I totally understand that the companies need to fund their upgrades, but sheesh, what more do they want?  When I first started with DSL, OVER 10 YEARS AGO, 1.5 megabit DSL was the fastest thing out there, and it was $60 a month.  Now, 1.5 is $32.  They’ve lowered the price to entice more people to use it, but don’t budget for growth?  How’s that the consumer’s fault?  Heck, I can’t even GET 6 megabit DSL because the switch that they put into my community won’t DO 6 meg.  And guess what?  That’s a NEW switch, not an old one.  What are they thinking? 

Come on ISPs!  Wake up!  Think about the today AND the future, not just what you can put in your pocket today!