Dream Jam – a Garageband for iOS Review Part IV

 

Part IV of Garageband for iOS has us covering how bad instruments can sound by themselves and yet how great that same sound is in a full mix of instrumentation.

First I would like to pass on I’ve been very busy as of late. I would have liked the opportunity to work on this track a lot more but time didn’t permit that this week. Maybe when time is available I can, I think the “hooks” have fun potential.

Right! Now one constant has remained the same throughout the process and that was the original guitars (one somewhat clean one overdriven and saturated) from the iPhone track. They are still using the original virtual instruments that both Garageband versions share iOS and OS X. The guitars and especially the Bass sound good in the Mix but by themselves not so much. The artifacts in the more clean guitar are really noticeable as are the very digital gutless stale sound of the overdriven guitar. The bass just sounds overloaded to my ears but not very good. The bass was bounced without the side chain compressors.

Stick them in the full mix and they sound really good. Not like a million bucks but I’ve listened to far worse on A & R rock and pop radio. I decided I would isolate these tracks and let you listen to them solo and in the mix. There’s been something of a mystery to me since I changed from a real analog Multi-tracking recorder to DAW years ago.  How things sound in the mix and how it’s mastered are two very different sonic pallets. As for me? I blame the iPod as the instrument of death! but also the money people who backed the mp3 format in its infancy. mp3’s sound like garbage for the most part and iPone / iPod ear buds are downright crap sonically so no one could hear it anyway.

Mixing for mp3 as far as the industry goes (which includes software vendors) has everything to do with volume increases and nothing to do with pristine uncolored quality of sound. In the 90’s it was the Digital VS Analog crowds but these days it’s almost all facets of the industry, Mix and Master pump up the volume.

Case in point:

Go listen to any of the band 311’s studio releases, they were all recorded on 2″ tape completely analog no computers. Listen to The Eagles Hotel California, it’s an analog masterpiece but has a different sonic vibe in the mix that’s very noticeable. Now go listen to anything from the 90’s and on from 311 historically as a comparison and see if you can hear an over all difference in the sound. The reason I’m pointing out 311 because they’re one of the only bands left who record total analog, it sounds different. The Foo-Fighters recorded their last album Wasting Light in Dave Ghrol’s garage using the same type of equipment, see the documentary!

One to my ears is very different and one is good but a little harsh being the Digital recorded and mastered route. If these 3 tracks I’m adding here were in a Tape mix you would have to record them again, you cant fix garbage sounding takes in that realm that sounds like this by itself. However recording on a computer it sounds great as long as all the other instruments are playing along together i.e. the whole mix.

Lastly, there’s a lot of sound artifacts on the solo tracks you can’t hear on the complete mix. ALmost all of them are in the modulation starting at 1:19 Keep in mind these 3 instruments are MIDI running through amp simulators not a real player. The final track will have plenty of human playing on it as does the second version.

Here’s the examples of the isolated guitars and Bass. #3 is Over Driven Guitar, #4 is Clean guitar and #5 is Bass.

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