"Make it dirtier"

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mr.adambeck
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"Make it dirtier"

Post by mr.adambeck » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:31 pm

Hey I am mixing a record right now, the majority of tracks were really really well recorded by Adam Myatt at Sharkbite Studios. However, now at the mixing stage my band is asking me to make some songs less clean and more dirty (...which I agree with, but in a sense it's almost a shame since it was so well recorded!).
Any advice on how to achieve this? There's a multitude of possibilities, obviously I should just use my ears to see what works best, but I was wondering if anyone had any cool ideas to try out!

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iamthecosmos
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Post by iamthecosmos » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:26 pm

For general background dirtiness you could reamp one of the drum mics out through a distortion pedal (worked well on the snare mic with the last drummer I tried this with) and run it under the clean track. Sansamp is a good one.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:10 am

1.- What is it that they want dirtied?

2.- What colour dirt would you use on those items?

3.- Would you use a paint sprayer, a shovel, or a bulldozer to apply the dirt?

These are crucial questions.
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:20 am

lots and lots of tube saturation works really well...

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:02 am

If you parallel dirt it, you essentially won't lose the "well recordness" of it. You'll have clarity, warmth, coldth, punch, etc. plus dirt on top. Like a cadillac escalade that actually has mud splatters on the side ... awesomeness.
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Post by Artifex » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:37 am

Just make sure you keep 'undirtied' masters somewhere...so 15 years from now when that fad is over, you can pull it out and put out the 'remastered' version. 8)

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Post by Waltz Mastering » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:02 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:lots and lots of tube saturation works really well...
I agree, tube drive or sometimes driving any well built out board compressor on the hard side can bring out some grit on individual tracks. Might be harder to achieve itb unless your just using a plug-in that models saturation.

You can bring this out a bit more in mastering as well by using transformers and tubes. (not for loudness - just grit) loudness is a separate issue.

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Post by drumsound » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:33 am

Make a couple things dirty to add the vibe and grit and keep most things nice. The contrast makes dirty way cooler.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:56 am

even cheap crap can work well. years ago i was mixing a song that we'd tracked absolutely pummelling the tape, i mean the meters didn't move the entire time, but the band kept saying "can you make it NASTIER?" so i just ran the whole mix through an art 'toob' mic pre with the gain all the way up. i thought it was too much but they LOVED it, so that's what went on the record.

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Post by jnTracks » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:09 pm

my go-to ITB thing for this every time it comes up is "Antares Tube" very cool.

if you don't have that, check out the massey demo's that are all totally free. in particular "tape head" will do some of this that we're talking about.

http://www.masseyplugins.com/index_v2.h ... e=download
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mr.adambeck
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Post by mr.adambeck » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:53 pm

I actually have the tape head plug in. I like it a lot, but I find it can make the lows muddy if I'm not careful. I'm 90% sure I'll use it on the majority of this record.

For the track I'm working on right now (maybe I should post clips?) I already had the drums bussed to a parallel limiter track. What I have setup now is that same track but going through the AIR Distortion plug in first. They wanted more heaviness out of the drums, so I also turned that track up a bit. It sounds cool and very dirty but I'm always weary of having heavy limiting so up front in the mix, however I couldn't get the rest of the band to think the drums sounded "big" enough without it. It's definitely not something I want to repeat for the rest of the album, but this one is a very drum-oriented track (two people playing drums - so many toms all at once!).

Thanks for all the tips! Let's keep em coming! I like this thread!

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Post by mr.adambeck » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:58 pm

Oh - also, in researching some "dirty" tricks I stumbled upon a Geoff Barrow interview discussing the production on Portishead's "Third" (a very oddly dirty record, with some very interesting tones, which I never realized was a digital and not tape recording). He said they did a couple interesting things for extra lo-fi dirtiness. One of which was taking a tape echo and putting it 100% wet on it's shortest delay, and then running each individual track through it one by one. Another was mastering to cassette tape.

If only I had a tape delay!

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Post by YRLK » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:47 pm

Borrow some old Neve's to run stuff through them and/or get some plug-in's that color things up (try running things into plug-in compressors without really using the compression). SoundToys has a new plug-in they just released to specifically dirty things up, and it sounds GREAT.

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Post by permanent hearing damage » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

i've always liked the dirtiness of weezer's "pinkerton" and that last sleater-kinney record ('the woods') and always wondered how they got them so fuzzy. definitely more than just slamming tape. same engineer, i think. his name is escaping me right now.

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Post by drumsound » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:07 am

permanent hearing damage wrote:i've always liked the dirtiness of weezer's "pinkerton" and that last sleater-kinney record ('the woods') and always wondered how they got them so fuzzy. definitely more than just slamming tape. same engineer, i think. his name is escaping me right now.
I think slamming tape is a very little part of Dave Fridman's sound.

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