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Ep.8 (Part 2) Grammy Award Winning Audio Engineer Reacts to GOT7, BTS & WINNER

Roessner: Whatever that synth is *imitates*, it’s just a little unnerving to me. I don’t know why. sounds like somebody trapped in the bathroom. They can’t get out! Umu: This is a seven-member group that debuted in 2014-
R: they all have a lot of members. Umu: Yes. ….Yes, so yeah this one… baby voice, trap snare… the fun stuff R: alright. here we go. Roessner: Whatever that synth is *imitates*, it’s just a little unnerving to me. I don’t know why. Sounds like somebody trapped in the bathroom. they can’t get out! Vocals sound really nice. They’re very crisp, and and… but like thick in the same way like…nicely done. I kind of enjoy that that high hat almost like woodpecker-y kind of thing that’s going on. Yeah, it’s it’s a very it’s it’s It’s a different take on that sound usually it’s a very Sharp thing and this has a little more reverb little more depth to it So I kind of enjoy that most of the time when you hear that, It’s very Precise and this kind of like fills it in a little better yeah, that baby voice we got Yeah Umu: there you go. Yeah, that’s a it’s a very common thing (Umu: it’s in everything) it’s I don’t know exactly what it is That’s it’s one sound that I’ve never no one has asked me to replicate so I’m not sure exactly what it is So I can’t I can’t tell you. I don’t know if it’s a synth or if it’s just like a patch I mean, I think it is a synth, but I don’t know what the actual synth is and I don’t know what the Sample is but it’s everywhere and so I’m sure there’s like a sample pack out there It’s like baby sound, you know or whatever you call it. At times, It sounds like a really weird saxophone at times It sounds like a we-just a noise maker almost like *demonstrates* you know At least on this song, it’s not used overwhelmingly. At times, I’ve heard it and it’s just like, okay This has to stop. Again, this mix was a little more bright needs a little more low-end But not a bad mix. There’s a lot of depth to it Like I said that hi-hat thing was kind of set back and even though the baby sound was a little set back and the vocals Center and then wide and then center and then wide. You know, it’s a very tried and true Thing that I’ve heard over and over again with these mixes. Umu: All right So next is BTS again seven-member boy group that debuted in 2014 under big hit entertainment DNA was mixed by James F Reynolds from Schmuzik studios
R: Schmuzik!
Umu: Schmuzik
R: K Yep, that’s it
R: alright Now that whistle sample is pretty cool I can still hear it even if everything came in There’s a little bit of low-mid energy That I try to carve out maybe 450 500 Htz or so. It just seems to be a little much It’s just muddying up everything- uh a little bit There’s a lot of 70 kilohertz there, in that chorus, I didn’t like It was in the synth, it was in the cymbals, and it was also in the voice Like here it’s pretty balanced and when I hit that it was like they became unknown I like the snare drum, haha! It’s pretty neat delay and kinda gives it space Yeah, right here it seems like Something- things come in and it’s like… it becomes unbalanced, to a point where it’s like kind of distracting Enjoy that they’re not using traditional Samples that we’ve heard through the other songs, like I haven’t heard really a sample that I’ve already heard before hm Yeah, overall, that’s a pretty good mix I just think there’s a little competition in the lower our registers Frequency wise and then it’s just that chorus that part there’s a synth and the cymbals start add a little more energy, and then the vocals also have a little more energy at like this, you know upper, you know 8 kilohertz range or so that I’m just like Okay. Yeah luckily doesn’t last long so But that’s something like if I was listening to it earbuds, I’d probably be like ‘ow’ Umu: Mm-hmm.
R: I’d probably rip my earbuds out Yeah, so it was fine when there were vocals but the second the vocals went away, just the synths Just began fighting with each other. Yeah, pretty much Yeah, what would you have done if you had your hands on this mix for that part? I think in this mix it’s it’s very why it’s stereo But all the synths are occupying the entire stereo field the only way to manipulate them then, to distinguish them, is through frequency. And so instead of doing that I would have like used my stereo field and panned some of the synths to opposite sides to make them poke out a little bit more without having to boost, you know Seven kilohertz a pun to make that stand out the vocals I feel like or were there they were definitely not as forward as other songs we listened to they were set back more so there’s a trick that engineers use and I Coined it, and I’m sure other people have. It’s called-I call it “listening up” where I turned down Everything and then as you slowly turn up the volume, the most important thing should be the first thing you hear Yes, I did in class when you guys did your final projects the other day But even if I if I I’m hitting a dim switch right now Which is dimming everything down like 12 DB and even then the vocals weren’t on top They were there, but maybe another this is the first instance I found in all the songs we’ve listened to today that the vocals could be bumped up, instead of bumped down or sat well. I would put these vocals probably another 2 dB up. Because right now there I can’t hear them as clearly. That’s cool All right so final group this is Winner. Winner is a boy group that currently consists of four members that used to have five this group debuted under YG Entertainment’s so same as Blackpink, you liked their mix. You might know the mixing engineers. It’s Jason Robert at The Lab Los Angeles mastering Jay Franco at sterling sound. I know it actually. I know Jay Franco New York City and Luca Pretolesi at studio DMI yeah, I don’t know that one Well, the first name the LA guy- I have heard the name I don’t know him, but I friends who work at Sterling. Wonder if Randy worked on any of these Actually, I’m a friend at sterling Randy Merrill. He does a lot of kpop I know he does cuz when I saw him in October(2017) he was talking to me about all the kpop he does. So curious if he’s done any of these but Umu: shoot have an email and let me know!
R: I’ll ask, i’ll ask. So but these are all pretty old and I think he only recently started to K-Pop *smiles* With the drums, guitar, bass line, this is just like we’re aiming for Daft Punk. We’re really like- It’s-Especially the last record This is a very good mix so I I feel like because I liked the mix of black pink and like the mix of this whoever is heading this production is entertainment and group knows Knows what should be done. I have a gut feelings whoever decides like this song can be released. They have a good ear. Cuz this song the mix makes me want to get up and dance it’s not just the song. The mix wants me- makes me want to go out and it’s good strong center snare like two and four That’s the backbeat is what makes you want to- wanna groove. There’s lots of depth to the mix there’s a lot of width the vocals sound really nice The guitar sounds awesome. I love a good funky tight guitar like that whoever tracked it, did a good job doing that. It’s not just a mixing thing. Like that’s a tracking technique Yeah, it’s just got the right amount of stuff. Delays, reverbs… Everything works well together. It’s a nice mix & a good song. Umu: Right, so for people who don’t know what delays and reverbs are, care to explain? delays are literally a delay It’s it’s a if I say one thing Again again, (U: kinda like echoing?) it’s an echo Essentially and so delays can be mono. They could be stereo. They can be filtered which means we can put in an EQ on them Equalization and change the frequencies and things like that. And so Using a delay in combination with some EQ gives it more depth of field And so just a straight-up echo then Reverb is short for reverberation Which is basically if you’re in a room and you clap your hands You listen to the reflections of the walls as they enter your ears like the time of arrival to your ears So in a large space say you’re in a gymnasium And you clap your hands. It’s going to be it’s gonna ricochet and then take a little time for the sound to died down Whereas we’re right now in a pretty small room. So clap my hands. It’s not going to it dies pretty quickly So but we can do that through artificially through recording either by using impulse reverbs Which is a digital type of reverb which emulates the real spaces or we can use artificial reverb such as Springs which is literally a spring like a metal spring where you Activate it at one end and then record it on the other end sound travels down the spring or there’s plate reverb Which is a big sheet of metal. That’s maybe four feet by eight feet big and You put exciters on one end and microphones on the other end and the the sound gets excited down. The plate goes down the plate so cool There’s different ways to get reverb and different sounds to reverb to
umu: Wow. Okay, so let’s sum up What were your favorite mixes in the boy groups if you can remember?
R: this last one, I think Was my favorite it’s kind of interesting that my favorites tend to be the last ones I don’t know if you’re saving the best for last Kind of thing? if that was planned by you. This mix was yeah Very nice balanced and fun mix there was another one too, which I liked very- the.. Umu: the Cherry Bomb
R: yeah the Cherry Bomb Yeah, I like that one, too How does mixing tricks change between genres? Like are there certain plugins you use more in EDM versus I don’t know acoustic or something, of course, it would be but Oh yeah in EDM music or any sort of electronic heavy music electric samples it’s actually easier to mix I’ve found because the samples are already pre-made and you’re not trying to clean up something that you may have messed up in the recording session if you go in and You’re mixing acoustic drums versus electronic drums, acoustic drums There’s a lot more problems to deal with like phase alignment of the microphones and placement in the room and things like that Whereas like samples are just like here’s a kick drum sample. Do what you want with it. You’re already given a good starting point so it’s a little bit easier you’re ahead of the race and Out of these songs, were there any samples or synths that you would want to replace? Because you you said a few times like “oh, I wouldn’t want this at all.” Like can you remember or is it-
R: I mean if the only reason I’d want to replace them- I think most of the time I had that reaction it was because there was Something I just heard so many times. It’s just like Let’s do something new. I mean, it’s been a while, you know Let’s get some new blood in there as far as samples There’s the old adage that if you hear a song the first time and you like it That means you’ve already heard it. And so By putting those samples in that people are already familiar with, they’re kind of catering to that by not Objectively going for like the same exact song as someone else or something that’s more popular. It’s like let’s just put these elements in and people would be like, I remember that sample from this song but they don’t consciously remember it they’re just like “aw, that makes me think of that song and I’m having the same reaction. So I must like this song too.” It’s a it’s a sleight-of-hand almost, you know,.
Umu: cool, well thank you so much for doing this. (You’re welcome. Thank you) This was a pleasure. If you have questions, you can email me. Umu: I’ll put in the description In the description, she’ll put my email feel free to email me if you have any questions or even complaints or if you just think I’m a Hack that doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That’s fine, too. I hope you learned something from me I do enjoy this and I love teaching people and I love interacting with people who want to learn about Audio and music, so please reach out if you so desire


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