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editing instruments in pop-rock music
Old 10th April 2021
  #1
editing instruments in pop-rock music

hello everyone! I'm going to mix three pop-rock songs. I have recorded drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar. everything sounds amazing. there were wonderful musicians. I recorded all the musicians separately. first drums, then bass, then guitars and so on. everything sounds great, but I have a thought ... should I edit drums with detective beats? should it be all in the grid? the musicians, I repeat, were excellent, everything was played well. but do you still need to edit? I have a video that many rock compositions are edited and very essential. if the songs had only "live" instruments, then I would have left it as played as possible.
but the songs also have grand piano and violins and other samples. what would you do?
thanks a lot for the advice.
Old 10th April 2021
  #2
If the performances are great, definitely do NOT grid it.

It'll take all the feel out of the performance and erase decades of hard won musicianship in one fell swoop.

If somebody gridded all the feel and swing out of one of my bass guitar parts I would never work with that engineer again.

Just nudge actual errors where necessary. Move the artificial instruments to fit the live tracks if necessary, but not the other way around. Less is more. Feel is king. Humanity in recordings is increasingly rare and very precious.
Old 11th April 2021
  #3
Here for the gear
 
This is tough because you have to be honest with how good their performances are. My experience is with pop rock and other alt rock genres is that there is usually one solid member and the rest are pretty rough. But that’s relative. Perhaps you think they performed great, but compared to pro studio musicians, they might suck. It’s a hard thing to gauge early on and I don’t know how experienced you are working with different levels of musicians. If you want it to sound like a modern polished commercial pop rock record, you have to edit. Editing is where you will get the clarity and punch and has as much to do with the final mix sound as any EQ or compressor you’ll use. Once again, depends on their honest musicianship when compared to the top tier.

FOR YOUR FUTURE PRODUCTIONS: If you want to be able to get the best of both worlds (clean production and mix with natural feel) you have to start with the first thing you record. I do this:

Step 1: record and edit scratch guitar to grid so the drummer has something perfectly in time to vibe to.

Step 2: Record and edit Drum back beat to grid (let certain special sections flow more freely)

Step 3: Record guitars and be an asshole about guitarists playing as tight and in the pocket as possible. Do not edit guitars. That’ll suck the life out.

Step 4: Record Bass. Make sure they play with good clean transients. Edit if they can’t play tight to the kick drum. At the very least edit high impact unison parts to be super tight.

Step 5: Make sure the vocalist sings in time and is singing the right notes for what is going on with guitars. And then tune their vocal. Even if the pitch seems pretty tight, tighten just a little more. Adds a lot of clarity in a mix. Think of it as an EQ.
Old 11th April 2021
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
A lot of this advice is pretty broad-brush. I'm a pretty good "musician-coach" and a really good editor, and I wouldn't presume to comment without hearing your tracks.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabbi91 ➡️
hello everyone! I'm going to mix three pop-rock songs. I have recorded drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar. everything sounds amazing. there were wonderful musicians. I recorded all the musicians separately. first drums, then bass, then guitars and so on. everything sounds great, but I have a thought ... should I edit drums with detective beats? should it be all in the grid? the musicians, I repeat, were excellent, everything was played well. but do you still need to edit? I have a video that many rock compositions are edited and very essential. if the songs had only "live" instruments, then I would have left it as played as possible.
but the songs also have grand piano and violins and other samples. what would you do?
thanks a lot for the advice.
Look at it this way - in the old days, hardly anyone recorded to a grid, and especially not for the purpose of editing parts later. If you have a great live recording you can mix it as is and it will remain great.

Also this question - how close to the grid does it sound now? Do you really think you could move everything to the grid and they would not notice? It is possible if they keep an extremely tight tempo throughout the takes, but that would be very unusual.

Here is an idea - make a "save copy as" session and use beat detective to move those drums to the grid, and then other instruments, and see how it feels. then let the band decide which approach they like better.

I would not do this with the original tracks without asking their permission, however.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Doing anything to the tracks because you’re “supposed to” is a bad reason- doing something because you have decided it needs it is a good reason. I have definitely fallen into that trap, as I’m sure many other people have as well.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
js1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Why not mix it as is? Save it, then go through a correction exercise without changing anything in your mix.

Then compare.

Same amount of work if you correct first, then mix. But you'll learn way more.
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