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crx091081gb
member


Joined: 20/11/02
Posts: 63
Mix critique for new acid track
      #1039924 - 26/03/13 02:34 PM
https://soundcloud.com/crx091081gb/lying-in-the-gutter-looking?23

This was slightly less of a pain to mix though at the end I think I got pretty fatigued with it, plus I've got a bit of a head cold which is never good for mixing. The 303 and 101 were fighting for low mids which lead to some judicious eq cutting and side chaining of the 101 to duck it out of the way of the 303. I think it worked, in retrospect some of the spot pads that come and go could be constrained a little better in terms of frequencies but I think I've hit the diminishing returns phase that means it's best to let go and move on to the next thing.

All criticism will be eagerly lapped up and digested.


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4277
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1039925 - 26/03/13 02:35 PM
Will have a listen later. I do like a bit of Acid.

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Persian Bit



Joined: 02/03/12
Posts: 104
Loc: Tehran \ IRAN
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1039936 - 26/03/13 03:36 PM
Hi. nice track, but i can really see how fatigued your ears were. is this a mastered track, or just the plain mix?

I'm wiring these as i'm listening to your track for th secon time, so sorry if they are not organized or in any order. :-)

Before anything, from a tonal point of view, the high mid and high freqencies of your master are pretty blurry and low. You've done a good job on seperating low mids, and maybe that's why you didn't pay much attention on higher areas. don't surprise to hear a boomy and muddy mix on other speakers and sound systems. generally mid and high mid areas are the most important parts of any good mix and these frequencies will help your mix survive the most poor speakers. you would need the mix and over all balance to achieve a true balance of mid ranges, but if it was only about fixing it in mastering stage, I would boost at 3K with a wide Q and adding some dB at 12K or something.

I found that pad to be annouying the mix in some parts. though it's spreaded in stereo field and sounds pretty wide, but [maybe due to heavy compression] sometimes jumps out and covers other elemetns at left and right side of the mix. maybe a low cut EQ [maybe 100hz or more] could help better seperation between the pad and other stuff happening in your busy low mid area, and not 'pumping' the compressor.

as I'm listening to it now, the drums overall balance also has to be fixed. it sounds alright till other stuff come in and cover the drums to a point where only the kick's attack and claps and very little of hi hats can be heard and they lose their details and body. drum elements have to be EQ seperately and finally fed to a bus compressor to glue the whole thing togather. a very important part is the seperation between kick and bass. you can't keep both of them fully fat and punchy. if you want the bass to be fat and full, you need to low cut the kick at 100hz or 150. if you like to have a full kick, you would need to EQ the bass and cut a little around 100 ot 120hz.

The overall dynamics also need some adjustments. i think you can make your mix 'breath' and be more live with some level and panning automation. right now it sounds a bit machinary. Also, check out the dynamics of each track, they should have the correct dynamic and transient to make a right mix.

Your usage of reverb to make space and seperation between sounds is good but i think you can do more creative stuff to keep your pad and genneraly low mid sources seperated at different layers of depth and stereo image.

At current settings and without changing all the small details of EQ and Comp and so on,a better level balance and a better mastering would make it a much better track.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3102
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1039959 - 26/03/13 05:04 PM
Quote crx091081gb:

https://soundcloud.com/crx091081gb/lying-in-the-gutter-looki...

This was slightly less of a pain to mix though at the end I think I got pretty fatigued with it, plus I've got a bit of a head cold which is never good for mixing. The 303 and 101 were fighting for low mids which lead to some judicious eq cutting and side chaining of the 101 to duck it out of the way of the 303. I think it worked, in retrospect some of the spot pads that come and go could be constrained a little better in terms of frequencies but I think I've hit the diminishing returns phase that means it's best to let go and move on to the next thing.

All criticism will be eagerly lapped up and digested.




I know you're looking for mix advice, but I think there are more pertinent things to consider. The quality of forum uploaded demos is pretty low, and to be honest I wasn't expecting much, but there are actually some really parts here. The problem is there is far too much - too many instruments, melodies, very strange structural leaps. Its like you are trying to cram far too much into one tune.

The tune gets a lot better half way through when it goes to the breakdown. Sort of a bit like boards of canada, which is a good thing. You just need to tighten the whole thing up, give it a nice structure that's a pleasure to listen to from beginning to end.

The synths sounds really good but the drums are a little on the basic side. There's not much texture to them, they are too plain and the patterns are just pretty standard too.

Overall the song is way off release quality, but I think you have the right talent in there to make it work. The key is to relax a little and take more enjoyment from it and cut out the bits that aren't working.


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crx091081gb
member


Joined: 20/11/02
Posts: 63
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: Persian Bit]
      #1039960 - 26/03/13 05:06 PM
This is really good feedback.

This is just the plain mix, I chucked a limiter across the mix bus at the end but I wasn't aggressive with it. You're absolutely right though, when I listen to it on crappy ipod speakers its noticeably lumpy with the reverb being pumped out by other elements (like the matrix pad).

I can't remember why I took the EQ off the spot pads, I think Sonar was playing up at that stage and I was starting to get frustrated with it.

The drums getting swamped in the arpeg section was the biggest problem I had when mixing. The drums are sub bussed and then sent to the master out but I think I left off any master compressor and just used the limiter. I had the kick ducking the 101 sub out of the way and I think it was also ducking the pads but only slightly, thinking about it I probably forgot to sidechain the arpeg's pads off the kick.

The EQ tips are good, I'll give them a try

Quote:

The overall dynamics also need some adjustments. i think you can make your mix 'breath' and be more live with some level and panning automation. right now it sounds a bit machinary. Also, check out the dynamics of each track, they should have the correct dynamic and transient to make a right mix.

Your usage of reverb to make space and seperation between sounds is good but i think you can do more creative stuff to keep your pad and genneraly low mid sources seperated at different layers of depth and stereo image.




Can you explain a bit more? What does the correct dynamic and transient treatment look like, more compressor fiddling or level automation? What sort of creative stuff does one use for better separation? Is it time to read up on mid/side stuff?

Quote:

At current settings and without changing all the small details of EQ and Comp and so on,a better level balance and a better mastering would make it a much better track.




So it's saveable in the master? I'll probably just try a better job at the mix once I've shifted this head cold and done another track or two.

Thanks for the feedback, it's really good.


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crx091081gb
member


Joined: 20/11/02
Posts: 63
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: johnny h]
      #1039961 - 26/03/13 05:27 PM
Hmm do you think I should make it longer to make the changes less of an issue or just cut some stuff completely (like the key change/arp section near the end). I always feel a bit torn between letting my inner muso rip and being realistic about what stands a chance commercially.

I'm guessing the right answer is to be a bit more objective and ruthless.

I find large scale structure to the biggest problem.

Yeh you're right about the drums, I spent ages on the melody and chords and by the time I got to the drums I'd started to get antsy.

Perhaps I should leave it a little while and do another track and put it on the must come back to pile. I kind of feel when I'm not writing fresh stuff I'm just stagnating.

Thanks for the feedback, I'll take it on the chin and try and sort my drum programming out, it's funny when I started out it was what I got the biggest kick out of.

Edited by crx091081gb (26/03/13 05:27 PM)


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4277
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1039996 - 26/03/13 07:49 PM
I've not got much to add to the comments already made. It has some nice sounds in it, but the drums let it down a bit and there is the odd bit which seems to clash. Some sounds are reminiscent of 'In a Beautiful Place out in the Country.'

I make stuff on a similar vibe.

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http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
Posts: 4461
Loc: The Orient, East London
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1040016 - 26/03/13 09:35 PM
thought we were supposed to critique mix and not arrangement?

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I'm All Ears.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3102
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: ken long]
      #1040086 - 27/03/13 12:13 PM
Quote ken long:

thought we were supposed to critique mix and not arrangement?




Yes, but the arrangement is the real glaring problem here. The arrangement is the thing that will make it not work out there in the real world.


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Persian Bit



Joined: 02/03/12
Posts: 104
Loc: Tehran \ IRAN
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1040099 - 27/03/13 12:53 PM
Dynamics are important both for the whole song, and each individual track. To keep the listener intrested and excited through the song, you would need to give your song dynamic. it should be considered in writing and arrangement stages and it's not only about the mixing and mastering. a true muscial dynamic can not be achieved only with technology. it's important which notes and at what velocity and where happen, then you adjust and build it through the arrangement stage.

Your song should have soft and quiet AND loud and punchy moments. This also makes a difference between different parts and the song does not sound contagious and boring. as said, you should consider it in writing process, and then achieve it with level automation during the mix. a heavy and harsh mastering can destory these soft and hard dynamics so it should be also considered in mastering stage too.

If you go back to your arrangement and select that 'eraser' tool, you will find a lot of stuff that are happening once togather and can be modified, removed and moved to give them enough time and space to shine and be heard. try to build and bring in instruments and idea step by step.

Regarding the dynamics in individual tracks, beside the correct compression amount and threshold, it's very important to keep their natural and necessary transient and peak shapes. Most of a kick's energy and impact doesn't come from the tone and frequency gain itself alone, it's about how strong the peak [or punch, in ordinary words] happens within the kick. too much compression or very fast attack times [10mls or below] can completely kill the peaks and changes their natural transients. so, it's important to re-check your compression settings, and possibly use an envelope shaper to adjust it.

Drums and percussion sounds should be punchy, rhytm and bass sources can be more controled [fast attack times and long release] and stuffs like pads can be completely dead attack [very fast attack time+long release times].

The mixture of correct level, panning and dynamics help your sounds stay clear,detailed and fixed in the mix.

Regarding creative usage of reverb, beside the main pad which is already using reverb to stay a bit back and seperated, you can use different reverbs for stuff happening in low mids to seperate them [mid to small reverbs with low wet balance]. sometimes using exagerated reverb balances can create nice atmosphere and space for your mix. Drums can be also treated with little amount of ambience reverb to let them play in seperate layers [specially on hi hats and claps or sanre].


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crx091081gb
member


Joined: 20/11/02
Posts: 63
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1040489 - 29/03/13 11:52 PM
Cheers for the pointers, I think I'll go and concentrate on beats and drum programming for a bit and come back to this when I'm ready and I've cleared this damn flu.


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Adam Inglis



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 368
Loc: Gold Coast Queensland Australi...
Re: Mix critique for new acid track new [Re: crx091081gb]
      #1040844 - 02/04/13 12:51 AM
Nice track.
Up until around the three and a half minute mark, I was drifting pleasantly away with it. After that it maybe lost some momentum or interest.
Arrangement finessing can take a hell of a lot of time, but always makes the final mix so much easier.

--------------------
Adam Inglis
Funboys


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