I critiqued this mix from the version on the NOW 82 compilation, and Wikipedia suggests
that the Stargate people were responsible for the production.
Despite my quip
in the main critique, I have ended up listening to this track more than once, not that
it's changed my opinion much...
What I do
notice more consciously now, though, is the way the lead vocal's high level only
reinforces my impression that the backing sounds small. Everyone has a pretty clear idea
of how loud a voice is naturally, so if it's mixed much louder than the backing in a mix,
it tends to suggest that the rest of the backing sound is less loud than a single
With live recorded instruments, the illusion can be partly restored by
the performance intensity of the backing musicians -- they can give the impression that
they're loud via the enthusiasm of their playing and the tonal changes this elicits from
their instruments. With electronic instruments, though, it's trickier to do this, even
with the usual tricks of wide stereo, long delays, and big ambiences, all of which are on
(And, speaking of stereo, check out how those synths suffer in
mono, which only serves to exacerbate the vocal level issue.)
critiques of commercial productions, browse The
Mix Review Index
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