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90: How To Add Extra Impact & Excitement To Rock Songs With Bass Drops, Snare Bombs, Risers, Synths & Post-Production FX

90: How To Add Extra Impact & Excitement To Rock Songs With Bass Drops, Snare Bombs, Risers, Synths & Post-Production FX

We all love simple, classic band arrangements. Our favorite bands in rock and heavy music only use drums, bass, guitars and vocals and that's it. And of course they don't care about post-production FX...or do they? 🤔

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Some of them don't, sure. But you might be surprised by how many raw and organic sounding bands are actually using additional elements, tastefully added to their arrangements, to create some extra impact, size, excitement or depth.

Then there are the ones who don't even hide it but make it part of their sound, creating a cinematic experience or just massive, larger than life productions. They hit hard and use tension and release, build-ups and breakdowns to keep listeners engaged throughout the songs.

And finally, there are people who don't want to use ready-made samples or synths, but instead create their own unique sounds and special effects, manipulate their instrument recordings in crazy ways to create unique textures or find other ways to enhance the live takes they've recorded.

At the end of the day you have to do whatever it takes to make the song feel right. To make it sound as good and exciting as it can and to get your message across. 

If you're already pulling that off perfectly with just your instruments - great!
If you're not sure about whether you've maximized your musics potential - go listen to this episode!

Book A Free Coaching Call With Benedikt:

The bands and the producer we've mentioned on the episode:

Mad Morality (song examples):


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB 90 - How To Add Extra Impact & Excitement To Rock Songs With Bass Drops, Snare Bombs, Risers, Synths & Post-Production FX

[00:00:00] Benedikt: good Silla is marching through, through the city, in this part, you know, like where you can really see the monster you know, that that's exactly what, what I what I picture in my head then, and it's so much fun to turn these pictures into sounds.

[00:00:13] this can be really, really fun. 

[00:00:29] Hello. and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I'm your host Benedict tine, and I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen flood as always. Hello, malcolm. How are you? 

[00:00:39] Malcom: Hello. I'm great, man. How are you?

[00:00:41] Benedikt: I'm fine. Thank you. Just get back from a little family trip. It's a holiday in Germany over here, these today. So that's why we did it. And yeah, feel pretty rested and ready to do this. 

[00:00:54] Malcom: Fantastic. I think this is the latest we have ever recorded an episode. So that's kind of a cool, exciting [00:01:00] thing. I'm probably more awake than ever. You're probably more tired than ever.

[00:01:05] Benedikt: Yeah, I'm, I'm relaxed, but also tired. Yeah. I just got out of the car and yeah, but I'm, I'm feeling good. So yeah. How was your weekend? What did you. 

[00:01:13] Malcom: My weekend was good. It was, it was pretty darn chill. Honestly, we had just amazing weather. So I spent a lot of time at the beach with some friends, had a little bonfire as well. And yeah, good west coast weekend for sure. No complaints. Your your trip away was good.

[00:01:28] Benedikt: Yes, it was super cool. So we were at, we were visiting my dad and it's not, it's not really far, but we had some time off with the family, but I still did an amazing call this morning, which I really enjoy doing these days. So I I've been doing a bunch of like free coaching calls for our listeners, for our audience. And I had one this morning as well, which is the beauty of like being able to remote work remotely. You can just go on a family trip and have your laptop with you. And when like kids arresting or taking a nap or whatever, Getting let's jump on a call with someone. And these things are [00:02:00] really actually enjoy. And it's not even, it was not even stressful or like work. If it doesn't feel like work, it's just a cool hangout. 

[00:02:06] Malcom: I'm glad to hear that. 

[00:02:07] Benedikt: yeah. And so I edit that this morning and then other than that, we had like we were hiking and just an awesome little family get together and family trip. Yep. Excited to get back to the studio this week. So.

[00:02:20] Malcom: for sure. All right. I have one question for you before we jump into music world though. W what is, what does Halloween like in Germany?

[00:02:29] Benedikt: it hasn't been a thing when I was a kid. But now it's, it's becoming more and more popular and. It almost, I don't know, but we, we kind of talked about that. My wife and I talked about that today, where she was like, why are all my friends celebrating Halloween? And they all do these parties. And like, we sort of missed that, that we see now that it is that it is a thing over here and people apparently do that, but we've never. We never did a Halloween party or we never really celebrated. So I think it's bigger than I think it is because we asked for some reason we just missed it. I don't know. [00:03:00] Maybe our kids will force us to do it Sunday. 

[00:03:03] Malcom: Yeah. Once they find out they can get a bunch of free candy, they probably will want, want you to participate.

[00:03:10] Benedikt: Exactly. But we at least have a pumpkin outside the door. So 

[00:03:13] Malcom: Oh, right on. 

[00:03:14] Cool. Yeah. I was just curious if that was the same over there.

[00:03:18] Benedikt: Now not, absolutely not the same, but it's getting bigger and other people celebrated. Yeah. So, 

[00:03:23] Malcom: Great. Great. All right. We can talk about music stuff now.

[00:03:26] Benedikt: yes, yes, yes. Let's do that. And today is something that we, I think we never touched on the podcast, which is pretty crazy to think of because it's such a yeah, it's such a normal and almost crucial part to modern music production, I think. And that is a post-production we talk about post-production production. Adding stuff to the production after the recording of the main instrument on the record, even if it's done, basically, it's a step usually between the recording process and the mixing or editing process or anywhere in between there. And it's something that even rec rock [00:04:00] genres even pretty, yeah. Pretty standard rock bands you are using these days. So I remember, and it's not that long ago. I remember. Uh, When I started and, or even just a couple of years ago, most bands that I worked with would never consider like post-production elements. Like they were like, no, we are at a rock band or a punk band or a hardcore band. We have two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, and that's it. And we don't want anything else. And now it's just a couple of years later, almost everybody at least adds some sort of post-war effects. Like. Swells risers reverse symbols based drops. That stuff is so normal now, even in the more organic or you know, standard genres. So I don't know, maybe, I don't know, maybe just people accepted it or maybe, I don't know how that, how that change came to be, but. I had to learn this while I was already making records for a living. And it was already a professional, to be honest, because that was just not part of what I did when I worked with bands. And I had to learn that this is a thing and that people [00:05:00] want that, and it's gotten completely normal now. And I now have a MIDI keyboard in front of me that I use Very often, and I had to learn how to do all these things. And I, at the beginning, I hired other people to do that. And these days it's sometimes myself, sometimes other people do it, but I definitely had to learn how to, how to mix with those elements in. 

[00:05:17] Malcom: Very cool. Very cool. Okay. Yeah. This is going to be a really fun conversation, both for teaching people about what it is, and actually let's give it a name we're we're calling it. Post-production um, post-production elements and stuff like that, but honestly, that's a terrible name for it because post-production means all sorts of things post-production could be considered mixing. It could be considered mastering. It could be considered editing like it's. And it means different things in different industries as well. Like if you're doing post production in the audio field and film, it's not this it's this isn't it. 

[00:05:47] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:05:48] Malcom: So, but what we're talking about is kind of adding special effects into your music, right? So if you think. CDI be an added to make gunshots look cooler and movies. We're essentially doing [00:06:00] that to beef up the explosiveness of your song, 

[00:06:03] Benedikt: Yes. 

[00:06:04] Malcom: like that is what we're doing. I always like to think of it as like a, like a Michael bay movie or something. It's just like, oh wow, this makes it so exciting. All these giant explosions and sounds. So, so that's what we're talking about, but we're going to be referring to it as post-production just so that's clear. But yeah, this will be a fun conversation, both to educate our listeners about how to add it into their own music and give them ideas for stuff they could do. But also just to talk to you, Benny, about how you handle it, how you perceive the responsibility of this job getting done like, is it the band's problem? Is it the mixers problem? Is it the producer's problem? You know, like this is kind of a, like you said, it's a newer thing in music production it's been around forever, but it is very popular now. So where does the puck. Start kind of thing. Like, and who's responsible for making this happen is kind of an interesting conversation, I think. So, so maybe we should start with, when do we start thinking about adding post-production into songs? When do you start thinking about adding post-production into [00:07:00] songs?

[00:07:01] Benedikt: Okay. So because I'm mixing only these days, I sort of. Most of the time I get those things sent to me along with the rest of the multitracks one and a half after just figure out how to fit it into the mix. So there's three different scenarios. The one is that one that I just described, so everything is done. I get the multitracks plus the post production. It's just that on different tracks. And I just import it into my session and I'm mixed and I mix it. So that is one scenario. Then there is another scenario where they sent me the multitracks and they sent me a guy Trek or a raw. And MPH and MP3 or whatever, or some, some raw sketch of what they think could be added in post pro. And they asked me to, to add that properly. So they say like, we have this track here with bass drops and snare bombs and whatnot on it. Can we included and can you do it properly? Just choose the samples, choose the, the virtual instruments, whatever is needed and make it sound good. So that could be the case that they [00:08:00] asked me to do it properly. And then sometimes they send it and they thought about doing it, but they don't really know how, or if they should do it and they're unsure about it and they just ask me, and then I have to come up with something basically, or talk to them about it and come up with something together and then execute it. And so to me, If it was my song, if I would do it from scratch, I would probably think about it while I'm like building the arrangement and doing pre-pro actually, because to me, those elements just make a song more dramatic. And I don't know, I would have to think about that while I'm building the whole arrangement and the whole song. And then I would just track and maybe the, maybe some ideas come, come to mind while I'm mixing or so that could be the case. But I usually, I think I would, I would think about it pretty early. Just because I would be like, Okay. this, this bridge, or this breakdown comes in and it will not hit hard enough the way it is now. So I will have to add a base drop here, or we have this transition and the way it is now, it just [00:09:00] doesn't go. It's just not smooth enough or whatever. So I think I would need some sort of reverse reverb or symbols here, and it would be really cool to have one thing flow into the other. And I would think about these things in pre-pro actually, I think just while I'm building the song, But the reality is that I get to think about it when the record is already recorded most of the time, because people just sent me that. And then we talk about it and that's interesting as well, too, because that can really transform a pretty boring production sometimes into something really exciting. And it can really there's these two different things where you. Can make it pretty obvious and dramatic. And like as you said, like a dramatic movie or so, or you can put it in there in a very subtle way so that most people won't even notice, but it still enhances the song. I did that with a punk rock band that I really loved. They call swallows rose. They are releasing a record next year. I'm on spam records, which is a pretty big, cool record label here in Europe for punk rock. And it's the [00:10:00] second record at the second album that I do with them. The third record, actually. And they. They are a classic, like punk rock band. It's not a modern metal band or anything like that, but they are very open for all sorts of ideas. And we actually added quite a bit of post-production in there, but it's all, it's, it's also subtle that if you know it, you can probably spot it in the mix. But if you don't know it, you will probably not notice it as like synthesizers or. Yeah, it's artificial things. It just makes a part bigger, a wider, or it adds some extra depth, the low end or so, but in a very subtle way, but it just helped the production a lot. If you, if you solo out these things, it sounds pretty ridiculous. And it sounds like it doesn't fit the genre at all, but in context it works very well. 

[00:10:42] Malcom: Awesome. Yeah. So lots to talk about there. I think ultimately. Again, post-production is the worst name for it because it implies that it happens later. And it's not that it doesn't happen in recording. In reality, I think the first person to take responsibility for this role [00:11:00] should be somebody in the band because it is part of the music, right? So every part of the music should in theory, belong to the writers and composers of the song. Obviously that's not always the case, but just bands better listening to this. Cause that's who does listen to this as bands that are recording them. You should try and learn the skill. Somebody in the band should totally take this on. And when I get tracks that do have post-production the worked into it sent to me, that is the best production that I get to receive. It is like without fail. Those are the times that I'm like, oh, this is really good. Like, this is really intentional, really cool effects. They get to mix into it. It's all been thought out in advance. Totally cool. That said there's definitely producers that like have carved their kind of sound out by being a producer that adds in post effects. And that that's totally cool as well because the producer. Is shaping the songs with you, right. With the band. And if [00:12:00] they have an idea, and this is one of those that they bring to the table, like, oh, like if we do a a bass drop into this bridge, the breakdown is going to hit crazy or something. That's like, oh, that's a good idea. That works. So it kind of is, although I think it should be the responsibility for the band. Ultimately it is great that this can happen at each step along the way. Um, For me, most of the time I ended up doing this in mixing, even though that's probably not where it should be happening, but if I'm mixing a song and I hear an idea in my head, I'm told they're going to just throw it in there and see what the band thinks every single time. I'm not afraid to butcher a song like that.

[00:12:34] Benedikt: Yeah. And, and if you look, if you think about it like that, it actually makes sense. And I think it should be part of modern mixing because. Your job as a mixer is to turn whatever is sent to you into the best thing you can possibly be, or just to bring out the best in it and to correct whatever is wrong with it. And just to, to, yeah. To make it work and make it sound awesome and exciting. And how you do that is totally up to you. So. For example, [00:13:00] if you think that a chorus should be wider and should have more low end and should be bigger overall, whether you do that by adding extra low end or using some widening trick or doing whatever you can with traditional sort of mixing techniques, or just adding maybe a sub baseline underneath it, and some wide pad sounds or whatever. It's just a different approach to get to the same result. And I think so, so basically that's a Totally. valid option. And therefore I think it actually should be part of a modern mixing process because if you have the tools and if they can get you where you want to go, then you, you should just use them. So, and if that means adding to the production, then, then do it. I mean, that could even go as far as like adding a harmony that wasn't there. I mean, if the band doesn't like it, then they will tell you it's sex and then you can mute it. I think there's, you should talk to the band about it before that if they are open for suggestions, but usually they are. And yeah. And then you should just go for it and if they don't like it, well, at least. 

[00:13:55] Malcom: Yeah, absolutely absolutely harmonies or yeah, whatever, add whatever [00:14:00] you want or need to add. I totally agree. Now the downside of this though, cause I can hear bands collectively sign and say, ah, it's going to be handled. The mixing is that you are limited to the imagination and time of your mixer. It takes a lot of extra time to do this stuff. And honestly, if I'm back to back record, record, record, record, record with deadlines. I'm probably not going to like audition different bass drops for you all day long until I find the perfect one, right? Like it should be handled before them, but I will do my best to get something that I think does the job in every time. Of course, it's just, you know, there's obviously an advantage to having it custom tailored to the song earlier in the 

[00:14:39] process. 

[00:14:40] Benedikt: Also, I think you are the one, like you, the band listening, you are the one with the vision for the whole thing. So you know what the song is about and what you want it to feel like. And so usually. A decision about those things, you should decide how big something is and it [00:15:00] should be, and you should decide how aggressive them something is or how, like all these things, you can only hope that we share the same vision and that we understand your vision perfectly. And if we do, we can probably handle it in the mixing pretty well. But I think you should have the final thing in your head or at least something close to it. So I think you will always do a better job. Like choosing these things and deciding whether or not to use something in any given part, just because you know what you want to just feel like we can only hope we get it right. And we can do our best, but you are in charge of deciding that I think it's your record. It's your vision. You are the producer. So that's why I agree that you should do it in advance. But if you ha you're having a hard time with that, or if you're open for additional ideas, we can definitely do something. And it makes sense. 

[00:15:45] Malcom: Now this is worth mentioning because our last episode, I think that came out pretty sure it was the session musician episode. So that that's one episode before this, go check it out. If you haven't, it's about hiring session players to fulfill a job that nobody in your band is good at [00:16:00] post production can be that, that role you can hire people that are just that's what they do. They just add post effects into songs and make it exciting. They're amazingly good at it too. I think this is a, an undervalued skill. If you are looking for. Hi, post value, production style. Like, I don't know, think like very modern like melodic metal or something. I don't know what's using it the most, these dates like butter, like, but there's definitely a genre that really use a lot of this stuff. And if you want that to be done to a really high degree, you should look into finding somebody that does this as a specialty and hiring them to do it for you.

[00:16:35] Benedikt: Yes that, and then there's another thing that I would consider. So there's these people who are specializing in doing post production for rock or metal band. But then there, what I find pretty interesting also is collaborating with electronic music, artists, or producers. So you could totally contact an electronic music producer. I have a friend, a friend of mine in Berlin, Phillip Ruda. He's he's asked some could Pelco [00:17:00] productions is, is, is the name of the studio? Couple of coop. Yeah. Couple of co sound. A couple of co-productions. I will link it to it in the show notes. So he's awesome. He works on house and techno and electronic music like that a lot, but he comes from a punk rock. Background and then sort of switched over to the electronic side. I don't know at the last minute why, but that's just what he does these days. And he likes it and he's very good at it, but he understands both worlds. And if you ask him. To, to do things like that, or people like him to work on a track, then they can bring in a totally different perspective. They don't just refine the rock song, but they might bring in completely different ideas from a different genre and you can create something very exciting. At the intersection of those genres. So if that, if you want to go as far as that, but it can, it can turn into pretty interesting collaborations if you bring someone in from the outside. So it could be somebody like Phillip who understands your genre, but it could even be someone completely from the electronic world. And that could be really interesting. And so, because I think I would assume they would approach the whole [00:18:00] post production thing completely differently from someone who knows how rock songs are typically structured. So. 

[00:18:06] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. that that's going to yield totally different results and is almost like a, how some Gianna's have been made as those collaboration types of led tend to like new styles. It's so that's totally uh, pretty much what, what we're saying is that you can do it whatever way you want. It can be done by anybody, just if you want it done, make sure it gets done.

[00:18:26] Benedikt: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. 

[00:18:27] Malcom: Yeah. So with that said, maybe we should talk about different types of post-production that you could consider adding into song and a little tips and tricks for those.

[00:18:37] Benedikt: Okay, well, what is the, let me ask a question. What is the most typical thing you add to two songs? Like, is there something that is used much more often than anything else? 

[00:18:48] Malcom: Either, either accent snares or, or risers would be mine. I think risers are the more obvious of the two. So maybe we start there.

[00:18:57] Benedikt: Okay, cool. Interesting. Because my answer would probably [00:19:00] be, probably have been 8 0 8 or bass drops or something 

[00:19:03] like 

[00:19:03] that, but yeah, yeah, agreed. Risers are right after that, I think. And I'm curious to hear what you mean with accents, snares. Exactly. Because that's something I think if I understand correctly, it's something I do not as often, but I'm just curious to you to hear what, what you do there.

[00:19:17] So let's start with risers. 

[00:19:19] Malcom: Cool.

[00:19:20] Benedikt: Okay. Yeah, let's go. 

[00:19:21] Malcom: Riser is that's a riser. 

[00:19:27] Benedikt: Thomas. We have another sample here.

[00:19:29] Malcom: Yeah, sometimes they don't cut off hard, but often they do and I love them. So you can just, they, they, what they do is they build anticipation, you know, they, they build tension and then either there's like a. Release or there's a cutoff like so often where I'll use them as the bad has this hard pause where everything just chops and then they hit the course or something. I'll throw a riser in, just leading up to that little silent and it just adds so much energy. I think it can also be incredibly cheesy. So you have to be very careful. Of [00:20:00] course, all of these things, all of these things have to be extremely carefully. Yes. Or they just jeez it up. But, uh, but yeah, so risers they can be, they can be great for that. And I have a ton of my own risers actually. I think I almost only use my own risers, but I've made them out of symbols, snares since vocals guitar, chords. There's kind of no, But essentially to make one, you reverse the sound and then put a kind of deep curved fade on it. So it comes quiet and then ramps up.

[00:20:33] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. So risers can be samples that you just put in there and they already made, but they can be, you can create those. You can reverse symbols, you can use rivers reverb, tails. You can do all sorts of things and use them as rises. So, but typically you would probably, you would probably choose from a laboratory, right? 

[00:20:56] Malcom: Yeah. Like I, yeah, I've, I've got a little pack that I've just made into a folder and [00:21:00] I'll just grab what I think is going to work from there. Pro tip with writers, try throw me, throw in a stereo trem on it. So like a tremble later, um, Trello and just getting it like zinging back left and right left and right. That also just adds up more stress to the song.

[00:21:17] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. I would, I th I think that's a good advice in general. I think that's good advice in general that you, whenever you pick a sample to add to it, as, as part as opposed production element, You gonna try, if you can manipulate it in a way that you can make it so that you can make it unique or work with the song better or blend with the sound better, because just picking it and putting it in there can work. But I think that's the lazy way of doing it because a, some other band or some other producer will have used the same thing, probably so it's yeah, I dunno. I'm always, I always like unique things and then be, it will rarely fit the song perfectly. Like, as my country said, you can, you can do, you can add movement. To match the tempo of the song. You can do tremolo effect, you can duck it with something else or whatever, or [00:22:00] you can just EKU and shape it to blend well with, with whatever is there. So if there's a symbol DK, and then a riser that, that starts in that symbol DK, you can make it blend well. So that the transition is really smooth. If you add something bass heavy, you can make it blend well with your kick drum and bass and stuff. So I think you should do some extra work. Just manipulated until it fits perfectly. You should. I think I rarely just pick something, throw it in there and then.

[00:22:28] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. There's usually kind of three things I think about there's like the stereo. With Davitt and effective at like how vast is this thing? There is the timing of it, which is really just controlling the fade and volume of it. And the timing of that fade and how long it is as well. Right. Cause it could be a very long riser or very short riser and that does a totally different thing. And then the last thing would be really like the softness or decay of it. Is it a sudden effect or does it have a like smooth. Kind of at the end those are all going to [00:23:00] dramatically change how this riser sits in that song and we'll make it unique. And yeah, it's like anything you have to mix it into your song.

[00:23:08] Benedikt: Yeah. How do you know if in a transition where there's a small break? How do you know whether or not this is a good spot to add? When is it better to just have that break in a hard transition? And when is it better to create some, some smooth transition with a riser or a swell or whatever 

[00:23:24] like that? Because I find that it's not, not so easy to decide sometimes because sometimes I switch back and forth and I can't really decide what I like better. So. 

[00:23:33] Malcom: Totally. I think it does come from experience, but of course just auditioning is a really good method. I've got a couple of tracks sitting in my mixed template just for throwing things like this on they're just sitting there empty and I'll just pull up my sample library on my left and I have the timeline on the right side of my screen. Then just listen through the song and be like, oh, this is. Jake and dropped out there quickly adjust the volume, move on. And then I kind of like map out a [00:24:00] post-production scene throughout the song. And then I'll just start over and go back to the start of the song. Listen through. Did my gut reaction work or does it need to be tweaked more or is that a dumb idea? And there's like 18 bass drops now in the song and I need to remove 17, 

[00:24:16] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:24:17] Malcom: you know, so it's like I kind of go heavy handed and then work backwards.

[00:24:21] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, agreed. Okay. I'm just writing a bunch of notes down here because I just, something came to mind that I want to get, get back to later. Okay. Yeah. So I guess, I guess it's pretty clear what a riser is now. So it is, yeah, it is something that you can think of it as like a reverse cymbal or just a rising sound as Malcolm beautifully described in the beginning of this thing. So yeah, that's all riser. Now there are similar things, as I said, like reverse symbols, reverse reverse anything, anything that starts with the DK and ends at the transient basically could be kind of have a similar effect as a riser. Sometimes you can reverse something. And then when you get to the start of it, it actually [00:25:00] starts. So you can make a reverse symbol and then the real symbol follows that. So stuff like that, I think, you know 

[00:25:06] Malcom: that can be very cool. That's totally a really fun thing on vocals as well. Print the word that's about to come up and then it reverses into the word. And it's, you've heard it before. I can't think of a song off the top of my head that does that, but it's definitely something you've heard before 

[00:25:21] Benedikt: Yeah. Same with reverb. Like.

[00:25:23] Malcom: yeah, yeah, totally. Totally. 

[00:25:25] Yeah. Whenever I do that, there's a bunch of revert printed onto it.

[00:25:28] Benedikt: yes, exactly. So you could print the reverb return of a vocal reverse that and then have the, the, the reverse reverb tail lead into the actual vocal that can have a really cool effect. Yeah. So these sort of things and then reverse snares. Yeah reverse anything basically.

[00:25:46] Malcom: Yeah, the really all, I don't even think about what it is once it becomes. I'm just, I just think riser and then I think frequency, do I want it to affect the lows upper mid range or like highs, you know, like where do I want it to live? [00:26:00] And, and like, where do I want that energy to be focused? And that chooses what instrument or sound is the riser essentially. So I've got a China use for like a more meaty, mid range rather than like a crash. Right. And that works a lot of the time for me, because maybe there's a crash right after it. And I want it to sound different than the symbol that launches the course.

[00:26:19] Benedikt: Yeah, totally. Now let's talk about these XN snare and kicks real quick because I'm curious, what do, what do you do? 

[00:26:24] Malcom: Okay. So, I mean, I love samples. You love samples. We all love samples. Samples are great. They can really make a song happen and add some unique characters to it and make the room sound bigger or smaller, whatever you need to do. So that's really powerful, but maybe you want the song to have a different sounding room for one part of it. So the outro just needs to sound like it's in the stadium. All of a sudden I'll just bring in a new sample at that point and, and have the, they got this massive room sound snare sample, for example, just for that one part of the song, sometimes it's just for one hit, you know, maybe it's just the [00:27:00] first hit or every second and fourth hit or, you know, this kind of no. No, it could be any combination of things, but it's just using these new sounds to change the drum kits, perceived space at different spots.

[00:27:14] Benedikt: Okay. So I need to I need to take back what I said before I used, I definitely use accents nearest most often now that I know what you mean. I just didn't think about it like that, but I definitely do that. Yeah. Change up the snare sound or sample from, from part two part two to just make it feel as if like it's supposed to feel what it's supposed to be like. 

[00:27:32] Malcom: Really common one these days to add energy to the end of like a rock song is adding claps onto the snare. Right. That, that happens a lot. And sometimes they're so low that you don't even really notice, but it just there's an energy in clapping. Right. So th that's a common, similar technique.

[00:27:48] Benedikt: yeah. For a very common one for me is, is actually the, the room thing or the explosiveness of things. So when, when there's a pretty fast time, Um, that is like, yeah, that's [00:28:00] just where there's no space for the long room decay and it's a pretty dry, tight sounding drum kit. But then there is this breakdown that's that goes halftime or even slower than that. And then there are these huge gaps between the snares and I definitely don't want to leave it as tight as the fast part I want size and I want the sniff exploding those parts usually. So what I do is I just add a sample that only happens in that part. So I do that all the time. And it's a matter of like, but also I have to add that not everybody likes that I like spoiler alert. I'm in a new band that we're just starting and we are, we have recorded, or our guitar player has recorded a whole record of songs. I haven't, I'm the bass player in the band, but I haven't played any of these songs even once, but they were already recorded. I just got the final thing to mix and I'll have to practice so that we can eventually play it live. But anyway, One of these songs. The first one that I mixed, actually I laughed how I did exactly what I just described. So it's a very fast song. And then at the end, there's this heavy [00:29:00] breakdown. And I just made the snail explode and the guitar player in our band who wrote all the songs. He immediately got back to me saying, complaining about that part and saying like that reverb or whatever that is like, just doesn't sit with me. I get rid of that. I don't want that. And I couldn't, like, there was nothing I could do. Like he just doesn't like it. So I had to. W w we ended up using some sort of compromise, but it's not nearly as explosive as I wanted it to be, but she just didn't dig it. So he just wanted to keep it more natural, more tight. So it's not a must. 

[00:29:28] Malcom: sure. You're, you know what? We need to stress that post-production as a whole is not a must. You can, your song can be told the great and I don't add post production to every song. Not at all. It's just, if the idea hits me while it mixing it, I'll do it, but if it doesn't, I'm not going to do it. 

[00:29:44] Benedikt: yeah, exactly. 

[00:29:45] Malcom: not a step just for the sake of being a step.

[00:29:47] Benedikt: Yeah. And also it could just be that I didn't nail how I should have done it. Maybe I thought that like, maybe if I had a differently, he would have liked the idea. So there's some, there's a lot of nuance to it and it's just as everything is a matter [00:30:00] of taste, but. Yeah. So the accident scenarios in general, but I think it's something we always sort of do, even if it's just very subtle, but I think we should never treat every part exactly the same if they are drastically different with the vibe of stress, the difference. So Yeah. one thing that I love here with these X and things is the cinematic stuff. If it fits the genre. So it's not something I typically do with like the usual punk rock or more raw and organic type of bands, but with anything modern or if people are opening. It can be really fun to picture even pictures, something like a movie scene and turn that into sounds. So it could be this heavy again, breakdown or chorus or whatever, where on every one and three you have like stamping. Low-end sounds and it sounds like good Silla is marching through, through the city, in this part, you know, like where you can really see the monster walking through. Like, I dunno, you know, that that's exactly what, what I, what I picture in my head then, and it's so much fun to turn these pictures [00:31:00] into sounds. Or you can make things explode or whatever, like these cinematic things, this can be really, really fun. 

[00:31:08] Malcom: For sure. I first got hooked on this, I think with a walk with me in hell by lamb of God, there's like weird like machine noises happening all over and like, like sonar sounds and stuff like that. And it's so heavy and cool. and just like creates this. You're just like in the gear, shifting of the song. It's so cool. And that has definitely found its way into my work before there was some weird noises that if you heard them on their own, you'd be like, is that a flame thrower? Yes, it is. 

[00:31:39] Benedikt: Exactly. 

[00:31:39] Yeah, 

[00:31:40] Malcom: it sounds bad-ass in this song. You know, stuff like that. You, you can really do some cool stuff if you're careful.

[00:31:46] Benedikt: yeah, exactly. Yeah. You have to be careful because he can be Jeezy, but if done well and tastes in a tasteful way, it's amazing. And it has to fit the genre. Okay. So, and then there's another category of, of sounds that is [00:32:00] that it's, it's, it's less individual smaller samples, but it's actually almost part of the composition or it it's a little more, there's more to it than just putting a sample there. And that is additional synth lines of synth parts. So can be just a single chord or a simple chord progression can be a baseline, can be pad sounds, but like anything you can do with a synthesizer. It falls into that category for me. So sometimes I think sometimes there's a part where you have like big chords and certain drum groove, but I, I feel the part is lacking some, some movement. I don't want it to be a static or a. I don't want only the sustained courts there there's something lacking. So I might add a synthesizer sound and I might play the same chords that the guitar is playing, but I might do something that is modulating or that has a pulse to it. That's like underneath the guitars and just ask the sort of movement or whatever I think is lacking. And it can be very subtle, but that's one example of it. Or sometimes the opposite is true sometimes. [00:33:00] I think apart is very like hectic in a way there's like this, this, this drum groove, this very fast drum groove and the bass maybe doesn't play sustained notes, but it's also playing something fast and then the guitars are picking something. And I feel like there is no solid foundation. There's the sustain element is lacking in that part. And it's not as big as it could be. And in that case, I might just add a subtle layer of sub-base just a simple root note. That just holds everything together and makes the part as heavy as it should be. So anything like that I always think about what, what this, this part needs or might be lacking. And then I try to add, it could be some sparkle on top. It could be that the drummer is not playing the Right. symbol to my taste. Maybe, maybe I'm lacking some, some nice top end. So I will maybe choose a very bright, airy pad sound in the background that opens it up a little bit or anything. 

[00:33:51] Malcom: Totally. Yeah. The sub drops definitely what first came to mind for, or not sub dropped, sorry, the sub base, just like a, you know, or [00:34:00] whatever, whatever. Just something consistent that that's definitely something I, I have added in. I often will actually ask bands to go back and do this. Like, you know, what some glue would really be awesome on this course, just to make a launch. Can you add an Oregon in here? And they just take care of it, which is always better. I think whenever I can get the band to do something to themselves that yields the best results, but sometimes just grab the mini keyboard and let it rip for sure.

[00:34:25] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. And these things can be. Well, like one can blend it to the other. So if bands can do that really well, if people do that really well, you'll find arrangements where there, the part starts with the bass drop and then the subtle pulsing low bass sound takes over. And then that gets a little brighter and with a riser, it turns into a pad sound. And then. You can make these things flow into each other, and then there might be some vocal effects thrown in. So sometimes there are libraries where you can have choirs or like these backing vocal samples that you can throw in there. And they like [00:35:00] all, all sorts of things. And there are some people who are really good at that. Who, who, who blend those things together, very tastefully and, and it's, it's, it's cool to look at an arrangement like that. So one band that comes to mind. Shout out to them because they are in our community. It's a band from Estonia. They call it mat morality and I've mixed a couple of songs for them. I will link to it too in the show notes as well. And they, they do that really, really well. And they have sent me those songs. They sent a lot of post-production tracks along with it, and it's, it's still subtle enough to not make you cheesy, but it really, it really works well with their band arrangements. They don't have these sporadic individual elements, but that goes through the whole song. It's like a storytelling element almost. It's really, really awesome the way they do it. So I will, I will link to that and you can have a listen yourself and see how that works. 

[00:35:48] Malcom: Yeah, it is funny. Cause we've been talking about most of these as an afterthought, but there it's just as possible that they could actually be this like the founding idea of a song. You know, it could be a song could be built around post-production [00:36:00] elements can be told the like these cinematic sounds could be what start the whole.

[00:36:05] Benedikt: Yeah. totally. Now I think the most common or one of the most common things that we haven't touched on is we said it, but we haven't described it are the bass drops and 8 0 8 and that sort of stuff. So. That's pretty common from me. It's the classic thing where the chorus doesn't hit it hard enough. So I'll put it based some sort of sub base sample on the first beat or so, or like an 8 0 8 or a bass drop in the break before that or over the first bar or something like that.

[00:36:34] Malcom: Yeah, Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, I based drop is just, 

[00:36:38] Benedikt: Yep. 

[00:36:39] Malcom: starts low ends, lower and can be long or short, whatever you need. Yeah, obviously they're, they're, they're the opposite of a riser. They're a release rather than than attention builder usually. And I lump in explosions with base stroke. Where, but again, it's like a, an impact that then decays over time. And, and these, yeah, these can be [00:37:00] cool. I think they are probably the most likely to be overused if you're not careful though. Cause they're so rewarding when you first throw them in. So you have to be careful, does it really need it? And if you use it on each course, does it take away from the courses, you know, like, or like. Does it stop adding if you use too many, maybe you should just live without it for two courses and only have it on the third one. You know, make that, that, that a moment. These are all kind of common thoughts that you should have with all the post production elements, but especially, especially risers and bass drops. They're the two big ones I think.

[00:37:31] Benedikt: I think so too. Also, if you, if you're mixing yourself, it's not so easy to put those in there and do it well, because first of all, there's low and has a lot of energy. So if you use bass drops or aides or anything like that, it will probably be. You will either either distort your mixed purse or your master bus, or you will cause your bus compressor. If you use one of your limiter to compress really hard because you throw a bunch of energy into the into it that wasn't there before. So you have to be very [00:38:00] careful that this impact is actually impactful and does not dock everything else away. And that it doesn't cost the store shin and stuff like that. And also at the same time, if you don't balance it well, if you. If you turn it up to a loud, everything after that will be, will sound pretty thin. Because Yeah, And it's also part of it is also not overdoing it as you just sat in the outcome because the danger is you might fall in love with it, turn it up real loud. You like the impact of that first hit, but then the rest of the chorus in every, every other first beat of every part, we'll just not do it anymore. So, 

[00:38:31] Malcom: Yeah, it can be too good. 

[00:38:34] Benedikt: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. so Yeah. And also another thing too is you have to tune those things. So if you were using a bass drop or an 8 0 8, it starts on one note and ends on another note, you have to be careful usually that you tune it or to choose the right sample. They usually, they are labeled with the, like the notes and you have to choose one. That's actually. Starting at the note that the band is playing at that moment, because otherwise it can sound really weird, especially if you're saturated [00:39:00] and which brings out the overtones so that you will also hear that impact on smaller speakers. That's also part of it. Then you can be pretty dishonored and don't work really well. So you have to tune it or choose the right center. And then you've got to make sure it also has an impact on smaller speakers, which you can achieve through saturation, as I said, by creating overtones and shifting the whole thing up a little bit and like Yeah, and adding to it. And so that it doesn't only consist of like sub-base and low-end, or you can add, or like it's an end slash, or you can add an additional impact sound to it. As you just described Malcolm and explosion or. Sometimes something like a breaking glass sound or anything that is an impact that's yes. gunshots. anything that is an impact, but not, not only low-end there typically goes very well with that, because that way you also hear that additional energy and impact on the phone, for example, or it just makes it overall makes it more audible. You don't have to turn up the sub things so loud and Yeah. 

[00:39:58] Malcom: Yeah. Everything you just [00:40:00] said is correct. I agree. Yeah, you really kind of covered it, but it's again, just One word of warning. If you were mixing yourself in a room that can't accurately hear low end, like you don't have good bass traps and absorption around, or you don't have good headphones that can really tell you what's going on in low frequency. You are very prone to mixing your bass drops too loud. And then it's kind of like a hallmark of novice mixing with bass drops is that they just end up way too loud. Same thing happens on Tom's actually floor Toms, novice mixers that are just way too loud. Cause you just can't hear it. You're like, you're just, you can't make up what's happening in there. So uh, and I honestly, I make that mistake all the time. That's still one of the main reasons I don't send a mix the first day I finish it. I come back the next day and I'm like, huh, got me again.

[00:40:44] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. 

[00:40:46] Malcom: So it's a constant thing to be careful with. And then we, we should mention snare bombs. They're kind of the same thing to me, they're an impact that decays. But they are using a snare instead of like a base sign wave or something. But they can be very cool as [00:41:00] well, just to make a big snare hit or a stop, have this big long kind of thing. Can be very.

[00:41:06] Benedikt: Yes, totally agreed. So now there's two things that I want to, like, let's start with one, there's one thing that I want to add to what you just said with the snare Brahms and like to the whole conversation. It's things like snow bombs and bass drops and basically everything except for synth melodies and stuff can be purchased as like sample packs. There are free ones. There are ones you can buy. So you'll find snare bomb packs. You'll find base drop packs. You'll find 8 0 8, all that stuff. So that's one way to do it by those manipulate them. But what many people are not aware of is it's pretty simple to create these things yourself and make unique sounds, which can be really fun. So simple bass drops are just, can be just a science sweep that you can make with a signal generator in your There's one way you can just automate a sign, like a test generator plug in basically to perform a science sweep, and then you can saturate that when you plate it and make it run. You can, with most modern Dawes Cubase [00:42:00] makes it really easy with the sampler track. You can drag any sound onto that Sempra track and then played with your keyboard and transform it, pitch it up and down and do all sorts of things and then even play melodies with it. So that's one thing. Ableton is really great at that. It's like, as you said, it's, once you've done things like that and Ableton, it's kind of ridiculous to go back to the other DAS because it's, it's like just made for that. So there's that, but also what's really, really fun is to actually create the sounds in the real world yourself, then putting it into the door, like recording it and then manipulating it. So you could, for example, you could just, I don't hit something with something else to record that impact sound and then manipulate that. And then you have your own impact sound. You could break something, whatever you can do it with your body, you can like make a sound like that and hit your chest or whatever, and then put it in the dark, pitch it down, knocked off and have a really sub heavy kick drum sample or whatever. Like you can do all sorts of cool, unique things. That nobody else [00:43:00] has, and that you can then add as post production elements to your productions. And so before you think, well, I don't have the money to buy another sample pack, look for the free ones, but also look into just creating. Cool. Sounds yourself. You probably, if you just look around you right now, you'll find 10 things that can make some sort of noise, just record that, manipulated and think about what that could be, because it's pretty easy to create something that sounds sort of like a snare drum or sort of like a kick drum. Let's play around with that. 

[00:43:29] Malcom: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I, I totally agree. It's, it's fun to do. I also, I buy sample packs all the time. I kind of they're like guitar pedals. Every time you buy, when you're at. Every time I get a new sample pack. I changed how I mixed drums, you know, it's so it's like, is it worth that investment? But with like special effects sample packs, it's more so I buy them and then I get an idea for how to make my own new one, you know, it's like, oh, I hadn't thought to do that. It's like a 20 bucks and I got a new idea worth it for me.

[00:43:56] Benedikt: Yes. Yes. Agreed. Agreed. And then I have a question for you, [00:44:00] Malcolm, would you consider things like. Like manipulating stuff that's already in the, in the multitracks and the arrangement and the song, like not adding to it, but taking something and manipulating that drastically. Would you consider that post-production so for example a tape stop effect, for example. So you'd have a break and instead of adding a riser or a drop or whatever to it, you could do. Take the last bar before the break and apply a tape stops. So that sort of sound when the tape stops and then you could do it Rube effect when it starts again. So I consider these as post pro as well in a way it's not adding something to it, but it's, it's not just mixing, it's manipulating it in a more 

[00:44:39] Malcom: Yeah, I agree. Something that happens in mixing, but I've also had it sent to me that way and I've done it in production as well. So again, it could happen at any stage. It could be written into the song for sure. My camper can do that. There's a fun factory. 

[00:44:53] Um, so, so if the whole band had that, I don't know how the drummer would pull it off, but everybody else could do it live. [00:45:00] So, so yeah, but I do think of that as post-production, you know even delay throws on vocals, if they're really specific that could be considered post-production it like any. Special effects that is intentionally put there and printed as like, this is a part of the song is post production. 

[00:45:15] Benedikt: Yeah, because that would also include things like the telephone effect, then certain low five X, that sort of stuff, or like a vinyl crackle or some noise in the background, all that stuff. Like, so if you think we'd never do post-production, maybe you've done some sort of, some of these effects, which is quite the same, actually. It's just did it in a different way. But so all of this is just there to create a certain type of vibe. So it could be the low fat. Solo drum room, Mike, that starts the song before the whole band kicks in. That's sort of a post production effect. 

[00:45:48] Malcom: Yeah. And that could happen as early as the, like the drum miking, you know, like if it's, it starts with like a Rumi drum sound that that's a post effect designed in recording. 

[00:45:56] That's 

[00:45:56] Benedikt: Yeah. So, yeah. And if you open to do that, so why not take it a step [00:46:00] further and take that solo drum room mic that you used and turn into something. Why not use maybe a filter sweep and started like very dull and then open it up and make it brighter as, as it rises in volume. And maybe at the end of it, you can add an additional riser and then some impact sound on the first beat to make it even more impactful. So you can take things that you've already, you're already doing. You can take these even one step further and make them even more exciting and impactful, maybe. So that's just something to think about because you might be doing part of it, but you might not be going the whole. You know, all the way. 

[00:46:38] Malcom: Yeah. Just a word of advice. You're going to start slow, you know, just like when you're first learning in your doll, you get quicker and quicker at manipulating it and finding your sounds and building them and being able to just translate what you're hearing in your head onto the computer. That is a skill that you will get quicker at, and then you'll just be repping. It. Doesn't take that long. After after a while to kind of get a mock-up of [00:47:00] what you're imagining happening which is great. It's senior vision come to life like that is really, really rewarding. But you know, the biggest takeaway I think from this podcast for me, was kind of this realization that post-production should be part of the conversation and happening at all stages. It should be happening in pre-production. It should be happening in the songwriting, in recording. In mixing. And, and I think Bannon, shouldn't be afraid to bring it up in mixing as well, be like, oh, like, you know what, now we just had this idea, how can we make this happen? Do you want us to send it? Or can you pull it off? So it's just kind of like a cool, this is a thing, and it's, it's kind of there for the entire lifetime of the process.

[00:47:37] Benedikt: Yeah. absolutely agreed. And it's, it's this mindset. How can we, like, what is this part supposed to sound like and feel like, and how can we achieve that? And what do we have at our disposal in order to get it there and then just be open For any sort of idea about whatever it takes to make it sound that way is cool and fine. So in that, that is, I think the mindset, sometimes nothing is [00:48:00] needed and sometimes crazy things have to be done, but like somehow you've got to get the part to like it's like what it's supposed to feel like.

[00:48:08] Malcom: For sure. So what future, the band that I did an episode with on this podcast, I've mentioned them way too much, but I love those guys. 

[00:48:15] Benedikt: yeah, yeah, yeah,

[00:48:16] Malcom: They're like my poster child for the self recording band. 

[00:48:18] Benedikt: yes. yes. I asked them like that too, so that I 

[00:48:21] understand. 

[00:48:22] Malcom: But just finished a mix for them. I can't wait for it to come out cause it's, it's like we, we did all this stuff. There's risers in it. And there's added harmonies in it. There's added stomps in it. There's added like noise rock stuff. You know, I just like took an Echoplex and a vocal. And when, and they like is like a major part of the song now and there there's all sorts of wild trim effects on vocals. It, it is like we went to town on post-production and. So that'll be fun to share once it's out and link back to this episode and be like, see, see like what this could do to the song. Very 

[00:48:55] Benedikt: Yeah. Very Very cool. Awesome. Let's link to like, is there anything, is that [00:49:00] already finished? Like, is there anything we can link to when it comes to a future where you did something? 

[00:49:04] Malcom: Uh, You know, I'm, I'm sure I've done plenty of post stuff on a bunch of their songs, but off the top of my head, I don't know that I will link this one. I will remember the link, this one, because I am so stoked about it. And I think it's the most aggressive post-work of any of the songs have done with them. So it's very noticeable.

[00:49:23] Benedikt: Okay. Okay, cool. Yep. Then we'll create a L I think of some bands as well. And then we'll put all of this in the show notes so that people can see. And then, Yeah. I think we've as always, we'd be curious to hear what you can come up with and maybe if you implement anything of, of any of those things that we were talking about today, if you implement those and maybe get inspiration from this episode, please, please share the results with us. We're very curious. 

[00:49:49] Malcom: Always looking for new ideas as well. So if something comes up, let me know.

[00:49:53] Benedikt: Yes, totally. All right. I think That's it. Thank you. for 

[00:49:57] listening. 

[00:49:58] Malcom: Thank you. See you next 

[00:49:59] week. [00:50:00] 

[00:50:00] Benedikt: See you next week. Bye.


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