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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #332855 - 01/08/06 12:31 PM
EDIT: PLEASE SEE UPDATED POST FUTHER DOWN THIS THREAD

"Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered" Mix-Off


The reponse to this has been amazing - 17 mixes so far and counting! We should do this more often!

Well done to everyone taking part! I think the 'competitive' nature of this exercise has been largely eclipsed by the general sense of fun and challenge that participants have reported, which is just fine by me. The interest is chiefly in taking part and hearing the other results. Besides I'm not sure I have the heart to ask anyone to sit though 17+ mixes of this and make a selection! But maybe we might do a 'shortlist' of 5 or so (excluding me!) and see if we can scrape up a token prize of sorts from somewhere. Watch this space...

Once again many thanks first of all to The Ah-Q Arkestra, and in particular my mate Dave (band-leader, guitarist and session engineer) for giving permission to use their excellent playing and material for this Mix-Off. And of course to Darren (aka "stemwinder") for his tireless work and generosity in setting up a special website for us and updating it regularly!

Just a reminder deadline is tomorrow evening, ie 19.00hrs Wednesday 2nd August!

GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!


Participant update (in the same order they appear on the website):

ITB = In the box, mixed entirely within a DAW
OTB = Out of the box, mixed using analog processing

(NB: Participants - do please provide as much detail as you like about how you mixed and what monitors you used etc and I'll include it here - this is a Music Technology Forum after all and I think folks are interested.)

MIX 1: James Lehmann
OTB/ITB. My overall mix goal - making this production, recorded on very basic equipment, sound as expensive as possible; fixing a number of unwanted technical problems inherent in the raw tracks; preserving the dynamic and feel of the live take as you can hear the band play well together so the mix should reflect that. Firstly each individual track was re-recorded at 24/44.1k by being run out and back through a Metric Halo 2882 via a Speck ASC-T EQ and a Drawmer 1968-ME compressor for warmth, colour and character. Tracks were then edited to remove unnecessary spill and extraneous noise. Further corrective EQ was added ITB with Logic Channel EQ and Metric Halo Channelstrip - the latter was also used for volume adjustments as the resolution is much finer than Logic's and it sounds better. ChannelStrip's compressor was also used to deal with (significant) drum spike and kick problems - frequency-dependent sidechain input was very useful here. Sax and Trombone each required a heavily customised ChannelStrip patch with EQ & compression to warm them up and fill them out, and the Kick required some major corrective surgery to get anything remotely useable. Guitar went through a custom Logic Guitar Amp Pro patch and then a tiny amount of EQ correction with Channel EQ to make it 'sit' with the vocals, Bass I left largely alone. Reverb was a TC M300 set to TC Classic Hall which was patched into the S/P-DIF loop of the MH2882, with some EQ on the return. Volume and EQ automation inserted where needed (ie solos etc). Finally, the mix was summed and again sent out and back through the MH2882 (note: not summed in Logic) via the Specks (fine lo-end roll-off) and the Drawmer (very gentle compression) to create a nice pre-master. Elemental Audio Finis was used to raise the overall volume peak to -0.15dB but no limiting was used (death to the loudness wars!); the resulting 24-bit master was dithered back down to 16/44.1k and converted to a 192kbps mp3 in iTunes. All monitoring done on Blue Sky ProDesks.

MIX 2: "Vinylizor"
OTB/ITB. My mix was done in Pro-Tools HD, but mainly using outboard vintage comps and eq's as inserts on each channel, through Apogee AD/DA 16X convertors. Monitoring was on PMC AML1's & IB1's. For the vocals, the chain was a Calrec CL1170 compressor (an expanded BBC AM6/17 design) and a Focusrite ISA 85110 EQ (as used in the Focusrite console). Bass went through a Distressor (in opto mode), the guitar went through a Urei 1176LN comp, and again they both went through Focusrite ISA 85110 EQ's. Guitar was quite hissy. I tried both noise reduction and re-amping, but in the end it was always a compromise over what was a pretty good tone, so I left it. You can hear it quite clearly on the intro. Overheads went through a McDSP MC2000 multiband compressor in an attempt to readdress the crash heavy / snare light balance, without it sounding unnatural. They then went through a Tritone Valvetone EQ - for thickening more than EQ'ing. The bass drum track was useless to me, basically because it didn't even sound like the same bass drum you heard in the overheads. In this instance I think it was a case of the wrong mic in the wrong place - it's just all low end thud and no tone - great for rock but useless for jazz. So, I used Drumagog to blend a similar sounding multisampled bass drum in to the bass drum track for the attack and body part of the sound. Without such a tool I'd have left it out entirely. Sax and trombone went through a dbx 165A and another Urei 1176 (can't remember which way round without checking the session) and again through some Focusrite ISA 85110's for EQ. Reverb was an EMT plate setting from Digidesign's ReVibe, and I also used iZotope Ozone3's multiband comp and widener on the 2bus. There's a bit of volume automation on the horn and vocal parts, and also the high end expander in Ozone, but none on any of the sends.

MIX 3: Band Akai (Guide Mix)
ITB. Very rough guide mix done by the band in their Akai DPS16 with minimal processing so you can hear more or less what we had to work with!

MIX 4: "musicproject"
No info yet

MIX 5: "Hugh"
ITB. Mixed in Logic using mainly Waves and Elemental Audio plug-ins. Waves Renaissance compressor with appropriate settings on guitar, sax, bass, kick, drums, trombone, Waves Renaissance Vox on vocals. All treated with various Space Designer presets - vocal plate, guitar room, bass booth, sax chamber, brass plate, big kick, bright drums. then some EQ on bass and drums. master buss reverb - Space Designer Short Plate, compressor - Waves RComp, EQ - EA Equium, Limiter - EA Finis.

MIX 6: Dave Lewthwaite
ITB. AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 1Gb RAM, Creative Audigy 2 Platinum Ex, 160Gb RAID-0 (Stripe) Project Disks, Behringer Truth 2030A Monitors, Yamaha MG16/4. Mixed in the box with Cubase SX and only included effects, control surface Behringer BCF2000 was also used. My aim (as a beginner) was to keep it as simple as possible, yet still aiming for a pleasing sound. Tracks were split into mono using Adobe Audition, apart from the drums, obviously, and converted to 16-Bit/48kHz to conform with my restrictive ASIO drivers. All that is on there is a little 2:1 compression on the vocals and again over the entire mix and a slight amount of reverb over the entire mix - and thats it! the rest is just level setting and pan. The effects were simply 'VST Dynamics' and the 'Roomworks' reverb. Exporting was a matter of hitting record in cubase to record the stereo output back to another track, then imported into Audition for normalisation and a quick tidy at the beginning and end, the track was then exported as MP3 44.1kHz 16-bit from Audition.

MIX 7: "dunch"
ITB. Mixed "in the box" using Sonar 5. The only non-Sonar plugin used was the free Blockfish compressor from Digital Fishphones. I monitored on Genelec 1029s + 1091 sub, and also a cheap old Sony hifi system. After I listened to the guide mix I decided I wanted something a bit more intimate, like you were listening to them close up in a small venue. Drums & Kick I compressed and eq'd till I felt they had a bit more punch and the kick was distinct from the bass. Bass was slightly compressed to even it out, no eq. Guitar was slightly compressed to even it out, no eq. Sax I eq'd slightly to make it a bit less honky. Trombone I eq'd to thin it out and stop it fighting with everything else, except when it was playing the solo part when I used no eq. Vocals I used no eq, but did compress a little. Listening back just now I'd like to back off compression a tiny bit. I added a plate reverb to the vocals (medium plate preset in Sonar convolution reverb). I varied the wet/dry throughout the song - pretty dry at the beginning, wetter as the vocals got louder. Everything else had varying amounts of room preset, again using the convolution reverb. I mixed fairly low, peaking the master bus at -4dB. No compression or eq on the master bus. Exported at 44.1K/16, using pow-r 3 dither from Sonar's mix bus down to 16bit. Topped and tailed then converted to mp3 using lame.

MIX 8: "stemwinder"
ITB. PC, ProTools 7, Digi002 (but mixed entirely ITB due to time constraints), PMC TB2s monitors, PSP Vintage Warmer, PSP Master Compressor, DigiDesign DVerbt

MIX 9: "Mr Tom"
ITB. Mixed entirely in Logic 7.1, using no third party plug-ins, on Tannoy Active Reveals

MIX 10: "DarrenSW"
ITB. Mixed ITB using Cubase SL3.0 and no third party plug-ins. Have mixed it a little differently to others I've listened to, tried to stay away from the "Jazz must be almost dry" scenario by adding space i.e. reverb on Vocals; reverb and delay on the solos. Behringer Truth monitors and also little dodgy PC speakers.

MIX 11: "Wonkey Wabbit"
ITB. 3.0GHz P4 with 1Mb RAM, M-Audio Delta-66, Cubase SX2.2, UAD-1 card, Behringer B3021 monitors (must get something better!), Wavelab V3. I didn't do anything fancy with the tracks like James but I split the files to mono in Waveleb (except the drum track) and converted the files to 24/44.1. I then edited them as much as possible to cut down on spill. Put a high and low pass filter on the kick to cut down on the hat/cymbal spill and take out some of the boominess and then added a touch of compression. I used 2 UAD Realverbs - one for vocals ( based on the wooden room preset which I like for vocals) and one for the brass and guitars (based on the jazz club preset - what else!). Most things had the UAD 1176LN compressor or LA2A limiter on them and I generally used the Pultec EQs on the tracks as well. I used the SX 'Q' filter on some tracks in a cut mode only. A bit of volume automation and that was it.

MIX 12: "Lime ZRX"
ITB/OTB (digital). Loaded into Cubase SL3 and mixed on a Yamaha 02R. Just used one reverb from a Lexicon MPX550. I cheated a bit and changed some of the music. There's a couple of places where the bass player uses the same note for ages, I pasted another note in to give the speakers (Mackie 824) a rest! I didn't like the way the drums fell in at the start, or at the very end, so I cut them a bit. Also, I know the kick has been slagged off, but I've stuck it in a few extra places just to make it feel wanted. The vocalist- really nice voice I think- had a habit of singing an "a" sound before some lyrics, usually "a- bewitched". Took them out. It was probably a really important part of the jazz feel of the song and I'm going to be sued. Also, there was a wee pop on the first "simpering", so I took that out. I reallly must get out more... Oh, and I moved some of the guitarists chords a bit, and a few brass bits. I do have the TC Electronic Finalizer in the 02R, but as others haven't resorted to mastering, I didn't touch it.

"CharlotteL" (Awaiting inclusion on site)
ITB. AMD 2.0GHz laptop, 768MB RAM, Edirol UA-20X and Cubase SX3. It's been mixed in-the-box using Cubase and its included plugins - Q, Dynamics and Roomworks. I've tried to keep the whole thing quite clean sounding - I thought the untreated recording sounded pretty good as it was, TBH. I'm rather annoyed with the situation I found myself in with regards to monitoring, though, so please forgive any glaring bass issues - my KRK fund is still a good month away from completion so this has been mixed on a combination of headphones, my hifi speakers and the Behringer Truth B2030A's in my (cube-shaped, untreated) office at work. Usually I'd have checked this on the Genelecs at Uni, but obviously it's summer so I was stuck with what was to hand.

Guy Johnson (Awaiting inclusion on site)
ITB. Mixed in Logic 7.1 on my just-out-of-guarantee iMac – All Logic plugs except some Tritone EQs and a couple of Altiverbs. Monitoring with some PMC TB2+ loudhailers (powered by a Carver PM 1.5 amp) and a REL Stadium sub. I didn't mind the drums too much, as they have a bit of that slightly boxy, muffled 'jazz' sound – except the OTT cymbals. The kick needed some work, and I thought the tracks were all phase-inverted, so I fixed that. The hardest thing was the vocal – there are some nasty compression artifacts and what sound like edits, that spoil it a bit for me, though I tried to cover them with the band! I just went for a natural-ish sound that I liked, rather than mix 'jazzy' (whtever that is) . I found myself enjoying the mixing, using quite a lot of volume automation in the end. I did no editing or arrangement-changing. I put on a spot of 'angel dust' in WaveBurner, and converted to MP3.

"Song Doctor" (Awaiting inclusion on site)
ITB, ProTools LE, with KRK Rockit 5's, and a nice high-back executive chair from OfficeWorks. With my mix, as I've never done anything with jazz, I tried to simulate the setup of a live jazz gig I saw recently. So basically the drums are panned quite left, and everything else spread out 'beside' it. The reverb from the kit and voice etc is panned to the right, as this something I noticed happening at the jazz gig. I have a little bit of overdrive on the guitar, and some compression and EQ here and there. Overall its a bit of an experiment.

"JumpeySpyder" (Awaiting inclusion on site)
Mixed ITB using Sonar 5 and bundled plug-ins. (about 8 hours in total) Alesis M1 active mk II monitors in an untreated 3 x 3 x 3 room. I had lots of trouble mixing this track - I usually play with synth / industrial stuff that I don’t have to worry about sounding unnatural, but I’ve really enjoyed myself. What I’ve done:- I manually stripped out a fair amount of spill - I’m not sure if I’ve done enough but it would be easy to spend a lot of time here. Major EQ happened on kick + trombone. I’ve added a little gentle compression (hopefully) on most of the tracks to even things out and a sprinkling of reverb to vocals and solo parts. I found the point where the brass first came in very tricky and couldn’t make it sit right. In the end, I couldn’t get it right so I tampered with it. It’s still not right - sorry. Also at this point the trombone sounded a little out of tune to me ( its probably ‘one of those fancy jazz things’) I might have meddled with some Autotune if I had it. I also couldn’t resist adding a little edge to the guitar with an amp simulation. I’m expecting to be bottom of the pile, but looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done and hopefully getting some pointers.

"Herewego" (Awaiting inclusion on site)
ITB: P4 2.66, 1 gig ram. Cubase 5, extra plugins were PSP Vintage Warmer, hydratone EQ, glaceverb (free) reverb, and waves rennaissance vox on the vocal. Monitored on Studio Precision Active 8 monitors, Koss headphones and crappy PC speakers. I decided the important thing for me was to get an intimate vocal sound, as it seemed to suit the performance and the song. First - Imported all the tracks and split them into mono, even the overheads. Things I probably should not have done, but they seemed right to me: 1. Tuned the bass first of all - yes all of it. I thought the tuning generally of all instruments was slightly loose, so if the bass was 'right' it might help give a good foundation. 2. Tuned a few vocals bits, nothing major, happy to leave some pitchy moments, it was more some of the passing/grace notes that I tightened up a tad. For tuning I use Melodyne Uno. 3. Fixed the guitarist's 'fluffed' chord in the intro. I think/hope he'll thank me. Kick - hated it, applied some EQ and compression, but I also looked up an SOS article about replacing an audio part with a midi one. Drumagog would have been nice actually! It took an hour, I learnt a new technique, and mixed a midi (JV2020) kick in slightly behind the original to help it out a bit. Overheads - left alone except small compression, some eq to lift the tom/snare range a touch compared to the cymbals. Bass - a bit of compression, some eq. Sax solo - eq to mellow it. Trombone solo - left alone. Sax/trombone (excepting the solos) - I grouped them, a touch of eq on the sax, a bit on the group. Guitar - one eq for the intro section and last chord, another for the rest to leave more room for the bass. Touch of reverb. All the 'band' was grouped and had a touch of reverb, the Glaceverb freebie (it's a bit of an odd plugin, but I like it in some situations and it seemed to work here). Voice - lovely vocal! I tuned a few notes that I felt were probably due to the pressure of doing lots of tracks in quick succession. Rennaissance Vox to compress, plus some eq from Hydratone to brighten and warm slightly, touch of reverb from Glaceverb. Plenty of fader automation, especially raising the level at ends of notes and the lower registers, eg the "dered" of "Bewitched, bothered and bewildered", to try and keep it sounding intimate. Generally a few bits of automation on the faders, and some Hydratone EQ and compression using PSP Vintage Warmer to glue the mix slightly. This is not what I usually get the chance to do, so it presented some unusual challenges for me - which I thoroughly enjoyed!


192kbps mp3 mixes due to Darren at sos@liquidbughunt.co.uk no later than 19.00hrs Wednesday 2nd August - please make sure we know your Forum name.

GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!

Have fun!


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #332856 - 01/08/06 12:31 PM
Quote Guy Johnson:

I mixed it a major Neve-equipped studio I luckily have access to. All the tracks were transferred to 2" 8-track tape with no noise reduction, running at 64 ips. Reverb was from three (!) EMT 140 plates and a Cranesong compressor for . . .



LOL! You had me going there just for a second Guy! Like, just how good could this mix be under those conditions!

Darren usually gets busy updating things each evening so I look forward to hearing your mix hot off the press tonight!

I agree I think the vox was a shade over-compressed on the way into their Akai, but it's not too bad. I found the drums FAR worse of a problem - no matter what level you mix them at they just don't 'sit' right. I often find myself in a minority on this Forum raging against just how poor I think the Rode NT5's are - wrestling with them yet again on this production has done nothing to change my mind!


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SongDoctor



Joined: 26/03/06
Posts: 171
Loc: Rockhampton, Australia
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #332871 - 01/08/06 12:48 PM
Is it too late to enter? It isnt too late in Aus, dunno what the time is there, lol. I've sent my mix, so if it's not too late, here is some info:

ITB, ProTools LE, with KRK Rockit 5's, and a nice high-back executive chair from OfficeWorks.

With my mix, as I've never done anything with jazz, I tried to simulate the setup of a live jazz gig I saw recently. So basically the drums are panned quite left, and everything else spread out 'beside' it. The reverb from the kit and voice etc is panned to the right, as this something I noticed happening at the jazz gig. I have a little bit of overdrive on the guitar, and some compression and EQ here and there. Overall its a bit of an experiment :-)

Cheers
Matt


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Jumpeyspyder



Joined: 20/01/06
Posts: 1249
Loc: Yorkshire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #332884 - 01/08/06 01:04 PM
Just emailed my mix!!

‘Bewitched’ by a stunning vocal, ‘Bothered’ mostly by the kick and the trombone &‘Bewildered’ how to make a decent mix.

Mixed ITB using Sonar 5 and bundled plug-ins. (about 8 hours in total) Alesis M1 active mk II monitors in an untreated 3 x 3 x 3 room

I had lots of trouble mixing this track - I usually play with synth / industrial stuff that I don’t have to worry about sounding unnatural, but I’ve really enjoyed myself.

What I’ve done:-
I manually stripped out a fair amount of spill - I’m not sure if I’ve done enough but it would be easy to spend a lot of time here.
Major EQ happened on kick + trombone.
I’ve added a little gentle compression (hopefully) on most of the tracks to even things out and a sprinkling of reverb to vocals and solo parts.

I found the point where the brass first came in very tricky and couldn’t make it sit right. In the end, I couldn’t get it right so I tampered with it.

It’s still not right - sorry.

Also at this point the trombone sounded a little out of tune to me ( its probably ‘one of those fancy jazz things’) I might have meddled with some Autotune if I had it.

I also couldn’t resist adding a little edge to the guitar with an amp simulation.

I’m expecting to be bottom of the pile, but looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done and hopefully getting some pointers.

Edited by Jumpeyspyder (01/08/06 01:05 PM)


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...................
member


Joined: 23/02/04
Posts: 781
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #332897 - 01/08/06 01:19 PM
Sent mine in last night - great fun! First - thanks again to James for organising this, and Darren for hosting.

ITB: P4 2.66, 1 gig ram. Cubase 5, extra plugins were PSP Vintage Warmer, hydratone EQ, glaceverb (free) reverb, and waves rennaissance vox on the vocal. Monitored on Studio Precision Active 8 monitors, Koss headphones and crappy PC speakers.

I decided the important thing for me was to get an intimate vocal sound, as it seemed to suit the performance and the song.

First - Imported all the tracks and split them into mono, even the overheads.

Things I probably should not have done, but they seemed right to me:
1. Tuned the bass first of all - yes all of it. I thought the tuning generally of all instruments was slightly loose, so if the bass was 'right' it might help give a good foundation.
2. Tuned a few vocals bits, nothing major, happy to leave some pitchy moments, it was more some of the passing/grace notes that I tightened up a tad. For tuning I use Melodyne Uno.
3. Fixed the guitarist's 'fluffed' chord in the intro. I think/hope he'll thank me :-)

Kick - hated it, applied some EQ and compression, but I also looked up an SOS article about replacing an audio part with a midi one. Drumagog would have been nice actually! It took an hour, I learnt a new technique, and mixed a midi (JV2020) kick in slightly behind the original to help it out a bit.

Overheads - left alone except small compression, some eq to lift the tom/snare range a touch compared to the cymbals.

Bass - a bit of compression, some eq.

Sax solo - eq to mellow it

Trombone solo - left alone

Sax/trombone (excepting the solos) - I grouped them, a touch of eq on the sax, a bit on the group.

Guitar - one eq for the intro section and last chord, another for the rest to leave more room for the bass. Touch of reverb.

All the 'band' was grouped and had a touch of reverb, the Glaceverb freebie (it's a bit of an odd plugin, but I like it in some situations and it seemed to work here)

Voice - lovely vocal! I tuned a few notes that I felt were probably due to the pressure of doing lots of tracks in quick succession. Rennaissance Vox to compress, plus some eq from Hydratone to brighten and warm slightly, touch of reverb from Glaceverb. Plenty of fader automation, especially raising the level at ends of notes and the lower registers, eg the "dered" of "Bewitched, bothered and bewildered", to try and keep it sounding intimate.

Generally a few bits of automation on the faders, and some Hydratone EQ and compression using PSP Vintage Warmer to glue the mix slightly.

This is not what I usually get the chance to do, so it presented some unusual challenges for me - which I thoroughly enjoyed!


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Jumpeyspyder]
      #332929 - 01/08/06 01:56 PM
Quote Jumpeyspyder:

‘Bewitched’ by a stunning vocal, ‘Bothered’ mostly by the kick and the trombone &‘Bewildered’ how to make a decent mix.



LOL!


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itinerant baker



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 561
Loc: 11miles east of Hugh
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333000 - 01/08/06 04:09 PM
Entered.

Mixed ITB(aker).

Spec: AMD Athlon XP 1900, Soundblaster sound card being monitered on (decent, old, and well known) Technics speakers (and checked on headphones - haven't been able to burn a copy for the car or other systems). Sequenced in Tracktion using various plugins. Wavelab used for wave editing and transfer to mp3.

I've tried to get a sort of live jazz band feel without being retro. I remember seing footage from the Montreaux festival or somesuch when I was a yout with people like Miles Davis, and I've also got a few live jazz lp's, and that's the sort of sound I've gone for here.

I used Wavelab to seperate the samples that where paired off, and also to normalise them and manualy gate some of the spill and breath from the vocal track (which is how I normaly do vocals - never got on with gates).

Guitar and drums where more or less left alone, just run through Digital Fish Phones Blockfish, with Kjearhaus Audio's Classic reverb on the kick to give it a bit of stereo width. I've kept the drums quite low in the mix, and aimed for the kick drum to be felt when it really hits, but not really heard. Would apreciate anyone's comments on wether this has been successful. The guitar is also deliberately quite low in the mix I also panned it slightly to the right as the vocal had got a tendancy to hang to the left which I can only put down to one of the plugins it was proccessed by . Bass is left alone, with an MDA Limiter to tame it slightly.

For the brass I took a slightly different aproach and wanted to play with the way they sound a bit. I've put the sax through Bojo Softwares BJ Flanger, and then through Blockfish to level out the flangeing a bit. I've tried to keep it subtle and not dissapear into the realms of space jazzz. For the Trombone I used a Big Tick Dual Delay, which gives a nice Rico 'The Man from Wareika' sound, which had to stay in. I also panned the sax slightly to the left and the trombone to the right.

The vocals was the bit I had the most to do to as I wasn't completely happy with the way it sat or the sound. I decided to try and make it a bit more gritty. None of the overdrive plugins I tried made the right noise (I always find them too digital sounding, which is ok sometimes, but not for this.) After rumaging through my vst effect folder and trying all sorts of things I decided on the Palancaware reverb plugin, set to the 'library' preset, and to beef up the bottom end I used the MDA Multiband Compressor - which together warmed it up nicely. It still didn't sit right in certain parts so I put it through yet another instance of Blockfish to try and make it push through a bit more - I know, not exactly best practise chaining compressors like that, but if it works it works, and sometimes it does! This time it didn't work quite enough. The singer was still being a bit drowned out a minute or so in. I looked at the sound spectrum of her vocal using Inspector from Elemental Audio and decided to cut everything else slightly at about 400hz to let her through, this worked nicely in one bit but not another, I tried a second sonic scoop centred around 2khz but couldn't get it to sound right. Eventualy I decided to leave the cut at 400 in and to automate the vocal level throughout, which made a few other parts sit more comfortably. This also allowed me to take Blockfish off the vocals.

This is nowhere near the sort of stuff I normaly do, I usualy deal with hip hop, and usualy use samples and loops - I very rarely have anything to do with individual instruments! It's been an interesting challange, and the sort of thing I've been looking for for a while. I've also just realised that most (if not all) of the plugins I used where freebies, Tracktion was the free version of v.1 they issued a year and a bit back, and my computer's running the dreaded soundblaster sound card! Just shows it's doable on a budget!

--------------------
He who feels punctured must have been a bubble - Lao Tsu.


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DARK



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 169
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333002 - 01/08/06 04:13 PM
brilliant idea guys my girlfriend jsut got home after a long holiday so i doubt im gonna get to do it before saturday but ill giv it a go then and as for doing it in the future that would be brilliant defo something to help people break out of only mixing their own tracks

--------------------
alienware area51m7700 3ghz 2gb(so loud but so powerful) cubase sx3, reason3, soundforge, motu 896hd interface


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Chris Poulter
new member


Joined: 10/01/04
Posts: 380
Loc: Petersfield
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: DARK]
      #333015 - 01/08/06 04:25 PM
Well I managed to get a replacement power supply for my Powerbook, but after tweaking my mix slightly further I decided I preffered the original version anyway (which I put together the other day in just over an hour before my power supply blew up! :P).

Mixed in PT, using Liquid Mix and D-Verb. Monitoring on KRK V6's.

Chris

--------------------
Freelance Producer / Engineer | www.hernestudios.co.uk | FREE Listening sessions - see www.thelisteninggroup.org


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Hugh
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Joined: 03/06/04
Posts: 422
Loc: Edinburgh
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Chris Poulter]
      #333060 - 01/08/06 06:13 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean Chris. I finished and sent mine off at 5 in morning (having started it in a fit of madness at 2am!) The next day thought I really ought to fix some of the glaring problems which I seemed to miss the previous night, but in the end prefered the original.

I'm definitely up for making this a regular spot. Perhaps SOS could run it in conjunction with the magazine and the best of the last month's entries get a spot about their authors in the magazine and their track on the CD/DVD and on the website. What do other people think. I don't think any prize is really necessary but it would be nice if the mag was able to devote a double page spread to it each month since after all, equipment reviews are important but it's what we do with it which is the most important thing. Perhaps if it takes off then some of the big names you get interviewed could judge a shortlist?

--------------------
Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay.
(Attrib. to Alexandre Dumas)


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--
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Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Hugh]
      #333100 - 01/08/06 07:26 PM
Nice idea, but if you get 200 entrants, then some poor soul has got to sit and listen to 200 slightly different versions of the same song. How do you try and compare 200 similar mixes? OK some might be instantly dismissable but if you could bin say 25% straight away, then that still leaves you with 150 to try and remember and compare one against the other. How many times would you end up listening to that track? The will to live would quickly be lost!


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Hugh
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Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: --]
      #333113 - 01/08/06 07:46 PM
Yeah, I guess you're right.

--------------------
Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay.
(Attrib. to Alexandre Dumas)


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Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Hugh]
      #333141 - 01/08/06 08:46 PM
But an occasional mix-off like this would still be great fun. Maybe we could have a mix against the clock (say 12 hours) with a much shorter time to turn things round in (fast web server space permitting) - and announced beforehand so that everyone knew it was coming?


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Guy Johnson



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Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333152 - 01/08/06 09:01 PM
Have had fun listening to the results, some nice work there! I sent the wrong file, but I have sent the right one now Must label things better

Interesting how many mixes put the guitar on the right and the brass on the left, like what I did. I feel a bit odd about the brass being opposite sides of the stage . . . the species usually stick together, I've noticed!

Also the production is in two main groups – the band playing live style, which I tried, and the more shiny laid back styles. Look forward to the rest.

Guy

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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LDGuy



Joined: 05/06/06
Posts: 43
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333162 - 01/08/06 09:30 PM
Just sent James this email.

"Hi James.

I have my mix for you. Oh, and sorry about my extremely harsh comment
i made in the thread (i am i nice guy really!), and sorry about any
offense that may have caused. I would delete it but it spoils the flow
of the thread.

Anyway, i have two versions of it, mainly because the 192kbps version
has a really nasty compressed sound to the high frequency "s" sounds.
I dont know why this is - i converted it using iTunes, which is the
only converter i own, mainly because it's un-lame. I have a 320kbps
version which sounds a lot nicer, but it's still a bit compressed-ish.

http://www.savefile.com/files/3958172 - 320kbps

http://www.savefile.com/files/8781723 - 192kbps

The mix was done in the box in Sonar 5. I wanted to get as sweet a
sound, and as professional sounding as possible. I tried to be sparing
with effects - there was a Sonitus EQ on each track (if i recall
correctly, some tracks may have been left alone), and then a Waves
TrueVerb the sax, trombone, and vox were sent to. The rest of the
mixing was with faders. The guitar was put through a bit compression
to even it out, but the only other compression used was at the end
with a little bit of PSP Vintage Warmer to bring the levels up. There
was also another EQ at the end to give it some spice. This track isn't
mastered, but then again i dont think it particularly needs to be. The
level is sufficient in my opinion. I used Event ALP-5 monitors and the
Bose system in a Mazda 6 to get a range of environments. The computer
was an Inta-Audio Custom Built model, dual 3.2ghz Pentium 4, 2GB RAM.
This track was also mixed wearing sandals, and drinking a glass of
Hoegaarden Whitbier.

Cheers!

Lawrence."

Enjoy!


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333234 - 02/08/06 06:07 AM
"Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered" Mix-Off

The reponse to this has been amazing - 20 mixes so far and counting! We should do this more often!

Well done to everyone taking part! I think the 'competitive' nature of this exercise has been largely eclipsed by the general sense of fun and challenge that participants have reported, which is just fine by me. The interest is chiefly in taking part and hearing the other results. Besides I'm not sure I have the heart to ask anyone to sit though 20+ mixes of this and make a selection! But maybe we might do a 'shortlist' of 5 or so (excluding me!) and see if we can scrape up a token prize of sorts from somewhere. Watch this space...

Once again many thanks first of all to The Ah-Q Arkestra, and in particular my mate Dave (band-leader, guitarist and session engineer) for giving permission to use their excellent playing and material for this Mix-Off. And of course to Darren (aka "stemwinder") for his tireless work and generosity in setting up a special website for us and updating it regularly!

Just a reminder deadline is TODAY, ie 19.00hrs Wednesday 2nd August!

GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!


Participant update (in the same order they appear on the website):

ITB = In the box, mixed entirely within a DAW
OTB = Out of the box, mixed using analog processing

(NB: Participants - do please provide as much detail as you like about how you mixed and what monitors you used etc and I'll include it here - this is a Music Technology Forum after all and I think folks are interested.)

MIX 1: James Lehmann
OTB/ITB. My overall mix goal - making this production, recorded on very basic equipment, sound as expensive as possible; fixing a number of unwanted technical problems inherent in the raw tracks; preserving the dynamic and feel of the live take as you can hear the band play well together so the mix should reflect that. Firstly each individual track was re-recorded at 24/44.1k by being run out and back through a Metric Halo 2882 via a Speck ASC-T EQ and a Drawmer 1968-ME compressor for warmth, colour and character. Tracks were then edited to remove unnecessary spill and extraneous noise. Further corrective EQ was added ITB with Logic Channel EQ and Metric Halo Channelstrip - the latter was also used for volume adjustments as the resolution is much finer than Logic's and it sounds better. ChannelStrip's compressor was also used to deal with (significant) drum spike and kick problems - frequency-dependent sidechain input was very useful here. Sax and Trombone each required a heavily customised ChannelStrip patch with EQ & compression to warm them up and fill them out, and the Kick required some major corrective surgery to get anything remotely useable. Guitar went through a custom Logic Guitar Amp Pro patch and then a tiny amount of EQ correction with Channel EQ to make it 'sit' with the vocals, Bass I left largely alone. Reverb was a TC M300 set to TC Classic Hall which was patched into the S/P-DIF loop of the MH2882, with some EQ on the return. Volume and EQ automation inserted where needed (ie solos etc). Finally, the mix was summed and again sent out and back through the MH2882 (note: not summed in Logic) via the Specks (fine lo-end roll-off) and the Drawmer (very gentle compression) to create a nice pre-master. Elemental Audio Finis was used to raise the overall volume peak to -0.15dB but no limiting was used (death to the loudness wars!); the resulting 24-bit master was dithered back down to 16/44.1k and converted to a 192kbps mp3 in iTunes. All monitoring done on Blue Sky ProDesks.

MIX 2: "Vinylizor"
OTB/ITB. My mix was done in Pro-Tools HD, but mainly using outboard vintage comps and eq's as inserts on each channel, through Apogee AD/DA 16X convertors. Monitoring was on PMC AML1's & IB1's. For the vocals, the chain was a Calrec CL1170 compressor (an expanded BBC AM6/17 design) and a Focusrite ISA 85110 EQ (as used in the Focusrite console). Bass went through a Distressor (in opto mode), the guitar went through a Urei 1176LN comp, and again they both went through Focusrite ISA 85110 EQ's. Guitar was quite hissy. I tried both noise reduction and re-amping, but in the end it was always a compromise over what was a pretty good tone, so I left it. You can hear it quite clearly on the intro. Overheads went through a McDSP MC2000 multiband compressor in an attempt to readdress the crash heavy / snare light balance, without it sounding unnatural. They then went through a Tritone Valvetone EQ - for thickening more than EQ'ing. The bass drum track was useless to me, basically because it didn't even sound like the same bass drum you heard in the overheads. In this instance I think it was a case of the wrong mic in the wrong place - it's just all low end thud and no tone - great for rock but useless for jazz. So, I used Drumagog to blend a similar sounding multisampled bass drum in to the bass drum track for the attack and body part of the sound. Without such a tool I'd have left it out entirely. Sax and trombone went through a dbx 165A and another Urei 1176 (can't remember which way round without checking the session) and again through some Focusrite ISA 85110's for EQ. Reverb was an EMT plate setting from Digidesign's ReVibe, and I also used iZotope Ozone3's multiband comp and widener on the 2bus. There's a bit of volume automation on the horn and vocal parts, and also the high end expander in Ozone, but none on any of the sends.

MIX 3: Band Akai (Guide Mix)
ITB. Very rough guide mix done by the band in their Akai DPS16 with minimal processing so you can hear more or less what we had to work with!

MIX 4: "musicproject"
No info yet

MIX 5: "Hugh"
ITB. Mixed in Logic using mainly Waves and Elemental Audio plug-ins. Waves Renaissance compressor with appropriate settings on guitar, sax, bass, kick, drums, trombone, Waves Renaissance Vox on vocals. All treated with various Space Designer presets - vocal plate, guitar room, bass booth, sax chamber, brass plate, big kick, bright drums. then some EQ on bass and drums. master buss reverb - Space Designer Short Plate, compressor - Waves RComp, EQ - EA Equium, Limiter - EA Finis.

MIX 6: Dave Lewthwaite
ITB. AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 1Gb RAM, Creative Audigy 2 Platinum Ex, 160Gb RAID-0 (Stripe) Project Disks, Behringer Truth 2030A Monitors, Yamaha MG16/4. Mixed in the box with Cubase SX and only included effects, control surface Behringer BCF2000 was also used. My aim (as a beginner) was to keep it as simple as possible, yet still aiming for a pleasing sound. Tracks were split into mono using Adobe Audition, apart from the drums, obviously, and converted to 16-Bit/48kHz to conform with my restrictive ASIO drivers. All that is on there is a little 2:1 compression on the vocals and again over the entire mix and a slight amount of reverb over the entire mix - and thats it! the rest is just level setting and pan. The effects were simply 'VST Dynamics' and the 'Roomworks' reverb. Exporting was a matter of hitting record in cubase to record the stereo output back to another track, then imported into Audition for normalisation and a quick tidy at the beginning and end, the track was then exported as MP3 44.1kHz 16-bit from Audition.

MIX 7: "dunch"
ITB. Mixed "in the box" using Sonar 5. The only non-Sonar plugin used was the free Blockfish compressor from Digital Fishphones. I monitored on Genelec 1029s + 1091 sub, and also a cheap old Sony hifi system. After I listened to the guide mix I decided I wanted something a bit more intimate, like you were listening to them close up in a small venue. Drums & Kick I compressed and eq'd till I felt they had a bit more punch and the kick was distinct from the bass. Bass was slightly compressed to even it out, no eq. Guitar was slightly compressed to even it out, no eq. Sax I eq'd slightly to make it a bit less honky. Trombone I eq'd to thin it out and stop it fighting with everything else, except when it was playing the solo part when I used no eq. Vocals I used no eq, but did compress a little. Listening back just now I'd like to back off compression a tiny bit. I added a plate reverb to the vocals (medium plate preset in Sonar convolution reverb). I varied the wet/dry throughout the song - pretty dry at the beginning, wetter as the vocals got louder. Everything else had varying amounts of room preset, again using the convolution reverb. I mixed fairly low, peaking the master bus at -4dB. No compression or eq on the master bus. Exported at 44.1K/16, using pow-r 3 dither from Sonar's mix bus down to 16bit. Topped and tailed then converted to mp3 using lame.

MIX 8: "stemwinder"
ITB. PC, ProTools 7, Digi002 (but mixed entirely ITB due to time constraints), PMC TB2s monitors, PSP Vintage Warmer, PSP Master Compressor, DigiDesign DVerbt

MIX 9: "Mr Tom"
ITB. Mixed entirely in Logic 7.1, using no third party plug-ins, on Tannoy Active Reveals

MIX 10: "DarrenSW"
ITB. Mixed ITB using Cubase SL3.0 and no third party plug-ins. Have mixed it a little differently to others I've listened to, tried to stay away from the "Jazz must be almost dry" scenario by adding space i.e. reverb on Vocals; reverb and delay on the solos. Behringer Truth monitors and also little dodgy PC speakers.

MIX 11: "Wonkey Wabbit"
ITB. 3.0GHz P4 with 1Mb RAM, M-Audio Delta-66, Cubase SX2.2, UAD-1 card, Behringer B3021 monitors (must get something better!), Wavelab V3. I didn't do anything fancy with the tracks like James but I split the files to mono in Waveleb (except the drum track) and converted the files to 24/44.1. I then edited them as much as possible to cut down on spill. Put a high and low pass filter on the kick to cut down on the hat/cymbal spill and take out some of the boominess and then added a touch of compression. I used 2 UAD Realverbs - one for vocals ( based on the wooden room preset which I like for vocals) and one for the brass and guitars (based on the jazz club preset - what else!). Most things had the UAD 1176LN compressor or LA2A limiter on them and I generally used the Pultec EQs on the tracks as well. I used the SX 'Q' filter on some tracks in a cut mode only. A bit of volume automation and that was it.

MIX 12: "Lime ZRX"
ITB/OTB (digital). Loaded into Cubase SL3 and mixed on a Yamaha 02R. Just used one reverb from a Lexicon MPX550. I cheated a bit and changed some of the music. There's a couple of places where the bass player uses the same note for ages, I pasted another note in to give the speakers (Mackie 824) a rest! I didn't like the way the drums fell in at the start, or at the very end, so I cut them a bit. Also, I know the kick has been slagged off, but I've stuck it in a few extra places just to make it feel wanted. The vocalist- really nice voice I think- had a habit of singing an "a" sound before some lyrics, usually "a- bewitched". Took them out. It was probably a really important part of the jazz feel of the song and I'm going to be sued. Also, there was a wee pop on the first "simpering", so I took that out. I reallly must get out more... Oh, and I moved some of the guitarists chords a bit, and a few brass bits. I do have the TC Electronic Finalizer in the 02R, but as others haven't resorted to mastering, I didn't touch it.

MIX 13: "Herewego"
ITB: P4 2.66, 1 gig ram. Cubase 5, extra plugins were PSP Vintage Warmer, hydratone EQ, glaceverb (free) reverb, and waves rennaissance vox on the vocal. Monitored on Studio Precision Active 8 monitors, Koss headphones and crappy PC speakers. I decided the important thing for me was to get an intimate vocal sound, as it seemed to suit the performance and the song. First - Imported all the tracks and split them into mono, even the overheads. Things I probably should not have done, but they seemed right to me: 1. Tuned the bass first of all - yes all of it. I thought the tuning generally of all instruments was slightly loose, so if the bass was 'right' it might help give a good foundation. 2. Tuned a few vocals bits, nothing major, happy to leave some pitchy moments, it was more some of the passing/grace notes that I tightened up a tad. For tuning I use Melodyne Uno. 3. Fixed the guitarist's 'fluffed' chord in the intro. I think/hope he'll thank me. Kick - hated it, applied some EQ and compression, but I also looked up an SOS article about replacing an audio part with a midi one. Drumagog would have been nice actually! It took an hour, I learnt a new technique, and mixed a midi (JV2020) kick in slightly behind the original to help it out a bit. Overheads - left alone except small compression, some eq to lift the tom/snare range a touch compared to the cymbals. Bass - a bit of compression, some eq. Sax solo - eq to mellow it. Trombone solo - left alone. Sax/trombone (excepting the solos) - I grouped them, a touch of eq on the sax, a bit on the group. Guitar - one eq for the intro section and last chord, another for the rest to leave more room for the bass. Touch of reverb. All the 'band' was grouped and had a touch of reverb, the Glaceverb freebie (it's a bit of an odd plugin, but I like it in some situations and it seemed to work here). Voice - lovely vocal! I tuned a few notes that I felt were probably due to the pressure of doing lots of tracks in quick succession. Rennaissance Vox to compress, plus some eq from Hydratone to brighten and warm slightly, touch of reverb from Glaceverb. Plenty of fader automation, especially raising the level at ends of notes and the lower registers, eg the "dered" of "Bewitched, bothered and bewildered", to try and keep it sounding intimate. Generally a few bits of automation on the faders, and some Hydratone EQ and compression using PSP Vintage Warmer to glue the mix slightly. This is not what I usually get the chance to do, so it presented some unusual challenges for me - which I thoroughly enjoyed!

MIX 14: "CharlotteL"
ITB. AMD 2.0GHz laptop, 768MB RAM, Edirol UA-20X and Cubase SX3. It's been mixed in-the-box using Cubase and its included plugins - Q, Dynamics and Roomworks. I've tried to keep the whole thing quite clean sounding - I thought the untreated recording sounded pretty good as it was, TBH. I'm rather annoyed with the situation I found myself in with regards to monitoring, though, so please forgive any glaring bass issues - my KRK fund is still a good month away from completion so this has been mixed on a combination of headphones, my hifi speakers and the Behringer Truth B2030A's in my (cube-shaped, untreated) office at work. Usually I'd have checked this on the Genelecs at Uni, but obviously it's summer so I was stuck with what was to hand.

MIX 15: Guy Johnson
ITB. Mixed in Logic 7.1 on my just-out-of-guarantee iMac – All Logic plugs except some Tritone EQs and a couple of Altiverbs. Monitoring with some PMC TB2+ loudhailers (powered by a Carver PM 1.5 amp) and a REL Stadium sub. I didn't mind the drums too much, as they have a bit of that slightly boxy, muffled 'jazz' sound – except the OTT cymbals. The kick needed some work, and I thought the tracks were all phase-inverted, so I fixed that. The hardest thing was the vocal – there are some nasty compression artifacts and what sound like edits, that spoil it a bit for me, though I tried to cover them with the band! I just went for a natural-ish sound that I liked, rather than mix 'jazzy' (whtever that is) . I found myself enjoying the mixing, using quite a lot of volume automation in the end. I did no editing or arrangement-changing. I put on a spot of 'angel dust' in WaveBurner, and converted to MP3.

MIX 16: "Song Doctor"
ITB, ProTools LE, with KRK Rockit 5's, and a nice high-back executive chair from OfficeWorks. With my mix, as I've never done anything with jazz, I tried to simulate the setup of a live jazz gig I saw recently. So basically the drums are panned quite left, and everything else spread out 'beside' it. The reverb from the kit and voice etc is panned to the right, as this something I noticed happening at the jazz gig. I have a little bit of overdrive on the guitar, and some compression and EQ here and there. Overall its a bit of an experiment.

MIX 17: "Itinerant Baker"
ITB. AMD Athlon XP 1900, Soundblaster sound card being monitered on (decent, old, and well known) Technics speakers (and checked on headphones - haven't been able to burn a copy for the car or other systems). Sequenced in Tracktion using various plugins. Wavelab used for wave editing and transfer to mp3. I've tried to get a sort of live jazz band feel without being retro. I remember seing footage from the Montreaux festival or somesuch when I was a yout with people like Miles Davis, and I've also got a few live jazz lp's, and that's the sort of sound I've gone for here. I used Wavelab to seperate the samples that where paired off, and also to normalise them and manualy gate some of the spill and breath from the vocal track (which is how I normaly do vocals - never got on with gates). Guitar and drums where more or less left alone, just run through Digital Fish Phones Blockfish, with Kjearhaus Audio's Classic reverb on the kick to give it a bit of stereo width. I've kept the drums quite low in the mix, and aimed for the kick drum to be felt when it really hits, but not really heard. Would apreciate anyone's comments on wether this has been successful. The guitar is also deliberately quite low in the mix I also panned it slightly to the right as the vocal had got a tendancy to hang to the left which I can only put down to one of the plugins it was proccessed by . Bass is left alone, with an MDA Limiter to tame it slightly. For the brass I took a slightly different aproach and wanted to play with the way they sound a bit. I've put the sax through Bojo Softwares BJ Flanger, and then through Blockfish to level out the flangeing a bit. I've tried to keep it subtle and not dissapear into the realms of space jazzz. For the Trombone I used a Big Tick Dual Delay, which gives a nice Rico 'The Man from Wareika' sound, which had to stay in. I also panned the sax slightly to the left and the trombone to the right. The vocals was the bit I had the most to do to as I wasn't completely happy with the way it sat or the sound. I decided to try and make it a bit more gritty. None of the overdrive plugins I tried made the right noise (I always find them too digital sounding, which is ok sometimes, but not for this.) After rumaging through my vst effect folder and trying all sorts of things I decided on the Palancaware reverb plugin, set to the 'library' preset, and to beef up the bottom end I used the MDA Multiband Compressor - which together warmed it up nicely. It still didn't sit right in certain parts so I put it through yet another instance of Blockfish to try and make it push through a bit more - I know, not exactly best practise chaining compressors like that, but if it works it works, and sometimes it does! This time it didn't work quite enough. The singer was still being a bit drowned out a minute or so in. I looked at the sound spectrum of her vocal using Inspector from Elemental Audio and decided to cut everything else slightly at about 400hz to let her through, this worked nicely in one bit but not another, I tried a second sonic scoop centred around 2khz but couldn't get it to sound right. Eventualy I decided to leave the cut at 400 in and to automate the vocal level throughout, which made a few other parts sit more comfortably. This also allowed me to take Blockfish off the vocals.

MIX 18: Chris Poulter
ITB. Mixed in PT, using Liquid Mix and D-Verb. Monitoring on KRK V6's.

"LDGuy" (Awaiting inclusion on site)
ITB. The mix was done in the box in Sonar 5. I wanted to get as sweet a sound, and as professional sounding as possible. I tried to be sparing with effects - there was a Sonitus EQ on each track (if i recall correctly, some tracks may have been left alone), and then a Waves TrueVerb the sax, trombone, and vox were sent to. The rest of the mixing was with faders. The guitar was put through a bit compression to even it out, but the only other compression used was at the end with a little bit of PSP Vintage Warmer to bring the levels up. There was also another EQ at the end to give it some spice. This track isn't mastered, but then again i dont think it particularly needs to be. The level is sufficient in my opinion. I used Event ALP-5 monitors and the Bose system in a Mazda 6 to get a range of environments. The computer was an Inta-Audio Custom Built model, dual 3.2ghz Pentium 4, 2GB RAM. This track was also mixed wearing sandals, and drinking a glass of Hoegaarden Whitbier.

"JumpeySpyder" (Awaiting inclusion on site)
Mixed ITB using Sonar 5 and bundled plug-ins. (about 8 hours in total) Alesis M1 active mk II monitors in an untreated 3 x 3 x 3 room. I had lots of trouble mixing this track - I usually play with synth / industrial stuff that I don’t have to worry about sounding unnatural, but I’ve really enjoyed myself. What I’ve done:- I manually stripped out a fair amount of spill - I’m not sure if I’ve done enough but it would be easy to spend a lot of time here. Major EQ happened on kick + trombone. I’ve added a little gentle compression (hopefully) on most of the tracks to even things out and a sprinkling of reverb to vocals and solo parts. I found the point where the brass first came in very tricky and couldn’t make it sit right. In the end, I couldn’t get it right so I tampered with it. It’s still not right - sorry. Also at this point the trombone sounded a little out of tune to me ( its probably ‘one of those fancy jazz things’) I might have meddled with some Autotune if I had it. I also couldn’t resist adding a little edge to the guitar with an amp simulation. I’m expecting to be bottom of the pile, but looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done and hopefully getting some pointers.


192kbps mp3 mixes due to Darren at sos@liquidbughunt.co.uk no later than 19.00hrs Wednesday 2nd August - please make sure we know your Forum name.

GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!

Have fun!

Edited by James Lehmann (02/08/06 09:32 AM)


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Jumpeyspyder



Joined: 20/01/06
Posts: 1249
Loc: Yorkshire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333267 - 02/08/06 09:26 AM
Just re-sent my mix hope it arrives safely


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333272 - 02/08/06 09:40 AM
It's quite interesting to see what DAW's folks are using too!

So far:

ProTools 4
Logic 4
Cubase 6
Sonar 3
Tracktion 1
Akai DPS 1
Unknown 1

Total 20


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4404
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #333279 - 02/08/06 09:52 AM
Quote Guy Johnson:

Have had fun listening to the results, some nice work there! I sent the wrong file, but I have sent the right one now Must label things better




If the right one remains in the ether, just imagine it's 5 db louder, with more top -end and less high-bass!

G

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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adam miller



Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 84
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333309 - 02/08/06 11:21 AM
Ok- a late entry, I just sent Darren my mix.

Another one mixed in Cubase (SX), mainly using the Waves plugins- in particular Rencomp and a couple of IR1 convolution reverbs. I also used a couple of URS eqs, and the Sonalksis compressor gently over the whole mix. I used a fair amount of automation to make sure the mix 'pushed' in the right places.

The mix was done on my Mackie 624s, and cross-checked on my mastering-grade (obviously) Tannoy Reveals. I used an L2 just to bring the highest peaks up to zero.

Cheers,

Adam


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Jon Jon Jon



Joined: 05/08/03
Posts: 498
Loc: London
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333539 - 02/08/06 06:10 PM
i sent my mix off at about 1pm this afternoon but i can't see it on the page yet. did you receive it?

thanks

Jon

--------------------
Kasha - Picture a beautiful life


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stemwinder



Joined: 01/09/04
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Loc: gloucestershire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333554 - 02/08/06 06:48 PM
Hello all,

all mixes up and ready to roll... Enjoy!

Darren


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Kwackman



Joined: 07/11/02
Posts: 1395
Loc: Belfast
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: stemwinder]
      #333556 - 02/08/06 07:01 PM
24 mixes!!
That's over an hour and a half off the same song
Good luck to the poor person (James?) who's gonna be wading through all that!

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Cubase, guitars.


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Mr Tom
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Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: Kwackman]
      #333563 - 02/08/06 07:11 PM
Quote Lime ZRX:

24 mixes!!
That's over an hour and a half off the same song
Good luck to the poor person (James?) who's gonna be wading through all that!




I bet most of us who've entered have listened to that song for well over and hour and a half already - so the big listen through should be a piece of cake!

I keep meaning to add some further details about my mix - bear with me.

Tom

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My Little Project


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333584 - 02/08/06 08:02 PM
"Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered" Mix-Off

PLEASE NOTE: Deadline is now passed, so please stop sending entries - Darren's done enough work on this already! (I guess you could post your own link if you'd like to though.)


Once again many thanks first of all to The Ah-Q Arkestra, and in particular my mate Dave (band-leader, guitarist and session engineer) for giving permission to use their excellent playing and material for this Mix-Off. And of course to Darren (aka "stemwinder") for his tireless work and generosity in setting up a special website for us and updating it regularly!


GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!


Participant summary (in the same order they appear on the website):

ITB = In the box, mixed entirely within a DAW
OTB = Out of the box, mixed using analog processing

(NB: Participants - do please provide as much detail as you like about how you mixed and what monitors you used etc and I'll include it here - this is a Music Technology Forum after all and I think folks are interested.)

MIX 1: James Lehmann
OTB/ITB. My overall mix goal - making this production, recorded on very basic equipment, sound as expensive as possible; fixing a number of unwanted technical problems inherent in the raw tracks; preserving the dynamic and feel of the live take as you can hear the band play well together so the mix should reflect that. Firstly each individual track was re-recorded at 24/44.1k by being run out and back through a Metric Halo 2882 via a Speck ASC-T EQ and a Drawmer 1968-ME compressor for warmth, colour and character. Tracks were then edited to remove unnecessary spill and extraneous noise. Further corrective EQ was added ITB with Logic Channel EQ and Metric Halo Channelstrip - the latter was also used for volume adjustments as the resolution is much finer than Logic's and it sounds better. ChannelStrip's compressor was also used to deal with (significant) drum spike and kick problems - frequency-dependent sidechain input was very useful here. Sax and Trombone each required a heavily customised ChannelStrip patch with EQ & compression to warm them up and fill them out, and the Kick required some major corrective surgery to get anything remotely useable. Guitar went through a custom Logic Guitar Amp Pro patch and then a tiny amount of EQ correction with Channel EQ to make it 'sit' with the vocals, Bass I left largely alone. Reverb was a TC M300 set to TC Classic Hall which was patched into the S/P-DIF loop of the MH2882, with some EQ on the return. Volume and EQ automation inserted where needed (ie solos etc). Finally, the mix was summed and again sent out and back through the MH2882 (note: not summed in Logic) via the Specks (fine lo-end roll-off) and the Drawmer (very gentle compression) to create a nice pre-master. Elemental Audio Finis was used to raise the overall volume peak to -0.15dB but no limiting was used (death to the loudness wars!); the resulting 24-bit master was dithered back down to 16/44.1k and converted to a 192kbps mp3 in iTunes. All monitoring done on Blue Sky ProDesks.

MIX 2: "Vinylizor"
OTB/ITB. My mix was done in Pro-Tools HD, but mainly using outboard vintage comps and eq's as inserts on each channel, through Apogee AD/DA 16X convertors. Monitoring was on PMC AML1's & IB1's. For the vocals, the chain was a Calrec CL1170 compressor (an expanded BBC AM6/17 design) and a Focusrite ISA 85110 EQ (as used in the Focusrite console). Bass went through a Distressor (in opto mode), the guitar went through a Urei 1176LN comp, and again they both went through Focusrite ISA 85110 EQ's. Guitar was quite hissy. I tried both noise reduction and re-amping, but in the end it was always a compromise over what was a pretty good tone, so I left it. You can hear it quite clearly on the intro. Overheads went through a McDSP MC2000 multiband compressor in an attempt to readdress the crash heavy / snare light balance, without it sounding unnatural. They then went through a Tritone Valvetone EQ - for thickening more than EQ'ing. The bass drum track was useless to me, basically because it didn't even sound like the same bass drum you heard in the overheads. In this instance I think it was a case of the wrong mic in the wrong place - it's just all low end thud and no tone - great for rock but useless for jazz. So, I used Drumagog to blend a similar sounding multisampled bass drum in to the bass drum track for the attack and body part of the sound. Without such a tool I'd have left it out entirely. Sax and trombone went through a dbx 165A and another Urei 1176 (can't remember which way round without checking the session) and again through some Focusrite ISA 85110's for EQ. Reverb was an EMT plate setting from Digidesign's ReVibe, and I also used iZotope Ozone3's multiband comp and widener on the 2bus. There's a bit of volume automation on the horn and vocal parts, and also the high end expander in Ozone, but none on any of the sends.

MIX 3: Band Akai (Guide Mix)
ITB. Very rough guide mix done by the band in their Akai DPS16 with minimal processing so you can hear more or less what we had to work with!

MIX 4: "musicproject"
ITB. Mixed on protools LE 7.1, quad amd optron 270 x 2 with 002R. My concept was to create a "time machine". Some filters on all tracks to take out the "hi-fi" feel that modern recordings have, inserted a tube vst on the brass, some light overdrive and comprresion on the bass. The vocal was going through a free plug in called "tube booster" wich have some problems with bounce to disk in protools but i managed somehow to print it. plus some urs eq and bomb factory comprresion and a lo-fi plug. Drums was again intreduced to the very nice "tube booster" and comprresed with a psp plug to make it "breath" a little. Panning - oldschool : drums on the right, bass on the left, gtr hard right vocal leaning to the left and brass as a stereo pair. Reverb and depth - using some room emulation on the brass, vocals and drums to get a more "clubi" sound to it and some spring reverb panned to the opposit side on the gtr to get a more deep and open feel to it. Mix buss - went through an amp moddeling plug to get that light grainy thing and then psp's mixprresor to stick it all together. I think in modern terms i totally [ ****** ] up the original tracks, but i tryed to go back in time and imagine how every instrument would be recorded back then and then give it a little polish to ecomedate the stereo field.

MIX 5: "Hugh"
ITB. Mixed in Logic using mainly Waves and Elemental Audio plug-ins. Waves Renaissance compressor with appropriate settings on guitar, sax, bass, kick, drums, trombone, Waves Renaissance Vox on vocals. All treated with various Space Designer presets - vocal plate, guitar room, bass booth, sax chamber, brass plate, big kick, bright drums. then some EQ on bass and drums. master buss reverb - Space Designer Short Plate, compressor - Waves RComp, EQ - EA Equium, Limiter - EA Finis.

MIX 6: Dave Lewthwaite
ITB. AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 1Gb RAM, Creative Audigy 2 Platinum Ex, 160Gb RAID-0 (Stripe) Project Disks, Behringer Truth 2030A Monitors, Yamaha MG16/4. Mixed in the box with Cubase SX and only included effects, control surface Behringer BCF2000 was also used. My aim (as a beginner) was to keep it as simple as possible, yet still aiming for a pleasing sound. Tracks were split into mono using Adobe Audition, apart from the drums, obviously, and converted to 16-Bit/48kHz to conform with my restrictive ASIO drivers. All that is on there is a little 2:1 compression on the vocals and again over the entire mix and a slight amount of reverb over the entire mix - and thats it! the rest is just level setting and pan. The effects were simply 'VST Dynamics' and the 'Roomworks' reverb. Exporting was a matter of hitting record in cubase to record the stereo output back to another track, then imported into Audition for normalisation and a quick tidy at the beginning and end, the track was then exported as MP3 44.1kHz 16-bit from Audition.

MIX 7: "dunch"
ITB. Mixed "in the box" using Sonar 5. The only non-Sonar plugin used was the free Blockfish compressor from Digital Fishphones. I monitored on Genelec 1029s + 1091 sub, and also a cheap old Sony hifi system. After I listened to the guide mix I decided I wanted something a bit more intimate, like you were listening to them close up in a small venue. Drums & Kick I compressed and eq'd till I felt they had a bit more punch and the kick was distinct from the bass. Bass was slightly compressed to even it out, no eq. Guitar was slightly compressed to even it out, no eq. Sax I eq'd slightly to make it a bit less honky. Trombone I eq'd to thin it out and stop it fighting with everything else, except when it was playing the solo part when I used no eq. Vocals I used no eq, but did compress a little. Listening back just now I'd like to back off compression a tiny bit. I added a plate reverb to the vocals (medium plate preset in Sonar convolution reverb). I varied the wet/dry throughout the song - pretty dry at the beginning, wetter as the vocals got louder. Everything else had varying amounts of room preset, again using the convolution reverb. I mixed fairly low, peaking the master bus at -4dB. No compression or eq on the master bus. Exported at 44.1K/16, using pow-r 3 dither from Sonar's mix bus down to 16bit. Topped and tailed then converted to mp3 using lame.

MIX 8: "stemwinder"
ITB. PC, ProTools 7, Digi002 (but mixed entirely ITB due to time constraints), PMC TB2s monitors, PSP Vintage Warmer, PSP Master Compressor, DigiDesign DVerbt

MIX 9: "Mr Tom"
ITB. Mixed entirely in Logic 7.1, using no third party plug-ins, on Tannoy Active Reveals

MIX 10: "DarrenSW"
ITB. Mixed ITB using Cubase SL3.0 and no third party plug-ins. Have mixed it a little differently to others I've listened to, tried to stay away from the "Jazz must be almost dry" scenario by adding space i.e. reverb on Vocals; reverb and delay on the solos. Behringer Truth monitors and also little dodgy PC speakers.

MIX 11: "Wonkey Wabbit"
ITB. 3.0GHz P4 with 1Mb RAM, M-Audio Delta-66, Cubase SX2.2, UAD-1 card, Behringer B3021 monitors (must get something better!), Wavelab V3. I didn't do anything fancy with the tracks like James but I split the files to mono in Waveleb (except the drum track) and converted the files to 24/44.1. I then edited them as much as possible to cut down on spill. Put a high and low pass filter on the kick to cut down on the hat/cymbal spill and take out some of the boominess and then added a touch of compression. I used 2 UAD Realverbs - one for vocals ( based on the wooden room preset which I like for vocals) and one for the brass and guitars (based on the jazz club preset - what else!). Most things had the UAD 1176LN compressor or LA2A limiter on them and I generally used the Pultec EQs on the tracks as well. I used the SX 'Q' filter on some tracks in a cut mode only. A bit of volume automation and that was it.

MIX 12: "Lime ZRX"
ITB/OTB (digital). Loaded into Cubase SL3 and mixed on a Yamaha 02R. Just used one reverb from a Lexicon MPX550. I cheated a bit and changed some of the music. There's a couple of places where the bass player uses the same note for ages, I pasted another note in to give the speakers (Mackie 824) a rest! I didn't like the way the drums fell in at the start, or at the very end, so I cut them a bit. Also, I know the kick has been slagged off, but I've stuck it in a few extra places just to make it feel wanted. The vocalist- really nice voice I think- had a habit of singing an "a" sound before some lyrics, usually "a- bewitched". Took them out. It was probably a really important part of the jazz feel of the song and I'm going to be sued. Also, there was a wee pop on the first "simpering", so I took that out. I reallly must get out more... Oh, and I moved some of the guitarists chords a bit, and a few brass bits. I do have the TC Electronic Finalizer in the 02R, but as others haven't resorted to mastering, I didn't touch it.

MIX 13: "Herewego"
ITB: P4 2.66, 1 gig ram. Cubase 5, extra plugins were PSP Vintage Warmer, hydratone EQ, glaceverb (free) reverb, and waves rennaissance vox on the vocal. Monitored on Studio Precision Active 8 monitors, Koss headphones and crappy PC speakers. I decided the important thing for me was to get an intimate vocal sound, as it seemed to suit the performance and the song. First - Imported all the tracks and split them into mono, even the overheads. Things I probably should not have done, but they seemed right to me: 1. Tuned the bass first of all - yes all of it. I thought the tuning generally of all instruments was slightly loose, so if the bass was 'right' it might help give a good foundation. 2. Tuned a few vocals bits, nothing major, happy to leave some pitchy moments, it was more some of the passing/grace notes that I tightened up a tad. For tuning I use Melodyne Uno. 3. Fixed the guitarist's 'fluffed' chord in the intro. I think/hope he'll thank me. Kick - hated it, applied some EQ and compression, but I also looked up an SOS article about replacing an audio part with a midi one. Drumagog would have been nice actually! It took an hour, I learnt a new technique, and mixed a midi (JV2020) kick in slightly behind the original to help it out a bit. Overheads - left alone except small compression, some eq to lift the tom/snare range a touch compared to the cymbals. Bass - a bit of compression, some eq. Sax solo - eq to mellow it. Trombone solo - left alone. Sax/trombone (excepting the solos) - I grouped them, a touch of eq on the sax, a bit on the group. Guitar - one eq for the intro section and last chord, another for the rest to leave more room for the bass. Touch of reverb. All the 'band' was grouped and had a touch of reverb, the Glaceverb freebie (it's a bit of an odd plugin, but I like it in some situations and it seemed to work here). Voice - lovely vocal! I tuned a few notes that I felt were probably due to the pressure of doing lots of tracks in quick succession. Rennaissance Vox to compress, plus some eq from Hydratone to brighten and warm slightly, touch of reverb from Glaceverb. Plenty of fader automation, especially raising the level at ends of notes and the lower registers, eg the "dered" of "Bewitched, bothered and bewildered", to try and keep it sounding intimate. Generally a few bits of automation on the faders, and some Hydratone EQ and compression using PSP Vintage Warmer to glue the mix slightly. This is not what I usually get the chance to do, so it presented some unusual challenges for me - which I thoroughly enjoyed!

MIX 14: "CharlotteL"
ITB. AMD 2.0GHz laptop, 768MB RAM, Edirol UA-20X and Cubase SX3. It's been mixed in-the-box using Cubase and its included plugins - Q, Dynamics and Roomworks. I've tried to keep the whole thing quite clean sounding - I thought the untreated recording sounded pretty good as it was, TBH. I'm rather annoyed with the situation I found myself in with regards to monitoring, though, so please forgive any glaring bass issues - my KRK fund is still a good month away from completion so this has been mixed on a combination of headphones, my hifi speakers and the Behringer Truth B2030A's in my (cube-shaped, untreated) office at work. Usually I'd have checked this on the Genelecs at Uni, but obviously it's summer so I was stuck with what was to hand.

MIX 15: Guy Johnson
ITB. Mixed in Logic 7.1 on my just-out-of-guarantee iMac – All Logic plugs except some Tritone EQs and a couple of Altiverbs. Monitoring with some PMC TB2+ loudhailers (powered by a Carver PM 1.5 amp) and a REL Stadium sub. I didn't mind the drums too much, as they have a bit of that slightly boxy, muffled 'jazz' sound – except the OTT cymbals. The kick needed some work, and I thought the tracks were all phase-inverted, so I fixed that. The hardest thing was the vocal – there are some nasty compression artifacts and what sound like edits, that spoil it a bit for me, though I tried to cover them with the band! I just went for a natural-ish sound that I liked, rather than mix 'jazzy' (whtever that is) . I found myself enjoying the mixing, using quite a lot of volume automation in the end. I did no editing or arrangement-changing. I put on a spot of 'angel dust' in WaveBurner, and converted to MP3.

MIX 16: "Song Doctor"
ITB, ProTools LE, with KRK Rockit 5's, and a nice high-back executive chair from OfficeWorks. With my mix, as I've never done anything with jazz, I tried to simulate the setup of a live jazz gig I saw recently. So basically the drums are panned quite left, and everything else spread out 'beside' it. The reverb from the kit and voice etc is panned to the right, as this something I noticed happening at the jazz gig. I have a little bit of overdrive on the guitar, and some compression and EQ here and there. Overall its a bit of an experiment.

MIX 17: "Itinerant Baker"
ITB. AMD Athlon XP 1900, Soundblaster sound card being monitered on (decent, old, and well known) Technics speakers (and checked on headphones - haven't been able to burn a copy for the car or other systems). Sequenced in Tracktion using various plugins. Wavelab used for wave editing and transfer to mp3. I've tried to get a sort of live jazz band feel without being retro. I remember seing footage from the Montreaux festival or somesuch when I was a yout with people like Miles Davis, and I've also got a few live jazz lp's, and that's the sort of sound I've gone for here. I used Wavelab to seperate the samples that where paired off, and also to normalise them and manualy gate some of the spill and breath from the vocal track (which is how I normaly do vocals - never got on with gates). Guitar and drums where more or less left alone, just run through Digital Fish Phones Blockfish, with Kjearhaus Audio's Classic reverb on the kick to give it a bit of stereo width. I've kept the drums quite low in the mix, and aimed for the kick drum to be felt when it really hits, but not really heard. Would apreciate anyone's comments on wether this has been successful. The guitar is also deliberately quite low in the mix I also panned it slightly to the right as the vocal had got a tendancy to hang to the left which I can only put down to one of the plugins it was proccessed by . Bass is left alone, with an MDA Limiter to tame it slightly. For the brass I took a slightly different aproach and wanted to play with the way they sound a bit. I've put the sax through Bojo Softwares BJ Flanger, and then through Blockfish to level out the flangeing a bit. I've tried to keep it subtle and not dissapear into the realms of space jazzz. For the Trombone I used a Big Tick Dual Delay, which gives a nice Rico 'The Man from Wareika' sound, which had to stay in. I also panned the sax slightly to the left and the trombone to the right. The vocals was the bit I had the most to do to as I wasn't completely happy with the way it sat or the sound. I decided to try and make it a bit more gritty. None of the overdrive plugins I tried made the right noise (I always find them too digital sounding, which is ok sometimes, but not for this.) After rumaging through my vst effect folder and trying all sorts of things I decided on the Palancaware reverb plugin, set to the 'library' preset, and to beef up the bottom end I used the MDA Multiband Compressor - which together warmed it up nicely. It still didn't sit right in certain parts so I put it through yet another instance of Blockfish to try and make it push through a bit more - I know, not exactly best practise chaining compressors like that, but if it works it works, and sometimes it does! This time it didn't work quite enough. The singer was still being a bit drowned out a minute or so in. I looked at the sound spectrum of her vocal using Inspector from Elemental Audio and decided to cut everything else slightly at about 400hz to let her through, this worked nicely in one bit but not another, I tried a second sonic scoop centred around 2khz but couldn't get it to sound right. Eventualy I decided to leave the cut at 400 in and to automate the vocal level throughout, which made a few other parts sit more comfortably. This also allowed me to take Blockfish off the vocals.

MIX 18: Chris Poulter
ITB. Mixed in PT, using Liquid Mix and D-Verb. Monitoring on KRK V6's.

MIX 19: "LDGuy"
ITB. The mix was done in the box in Sonar 5. I wanted to get as sweet a sound, and as professional sounding as possible. I tried to be sparing with effects - there was a Sonitus EQ on each track (if i recall correctly, some tracks may have been left alone), and then a Waves TrueVerb the sax, trombone, and vox were sent to. The rest of the mixing was with faders. The guitar was put through a bit compression to even it out, but the only other compression used was at the end with a little bit of PSP Vintage Warmer to bring the levels up. There was also another EQ at the end to give it some spice. This track isn't mastered, but then again i dont think it particularly needs to be. The level is sufficient in my opinion. I used Event ALP-5 monitors and the Bose system in a Mazda 6 to get a range of environments. The computer was an Inta-Audio Custom Built model, dual 3.2ghz Pentium 4, 2GB RAM. This track was also mixed wearing sandals, and drinking a glass of Hoegaarden Whitbier.

MIX 20: Giles Parlett
ITB. Mixed ITB (Home built AMD 2500 / 1.5 GB / EMU 1212m / Sonar 3) And used Audio Note Class A Valve M2/PS2Se / Es System to Monitors). Had to drop the kick. Gated vocal and brass, Compressed and Eq'd everything. Added Tube warmth to vocals, guitar and whole mix and plate reverbed everything but the bass. Little bits of fader adjustment through the song for vocals and guitar. Endorphined the lot at the end.

MIX 21: "JumpeySpyder"
Mixed ITB using Sonar 5 and bundled plug-ins. (about 8 hours in total) Alesis M1 active mk II monitors in an untreated 3 x 3 x 3 room. I had lots of trouble mixing this track - I usually play with synth / industrial stuff that I don’t have to worry about sounding unnatural, but I’ve really enjoyed myself. What I’ve done:- I manually stripped out a fair amount of spill - I’m not sure if I’ve done enough but it would be easy to spend a lot of time here. Major EQ happened on kick + trombone. I’ve added a little gentle compression (hopefully) on most of the tracks to even things out and a sprinkling of reverb to vocals and solo parts. I found the point where the brass first came in very tricky and couldn’t make it sit right. In the end, I couldn’t get it right so I tampered with it. It’s still not right - sorry. Also at this point the trombone sounded a little out of tune to me ( its probably ‘one of those fancy jazz things’) I might have meddled with some Autotune if I had it. I also couldn’t resist adding a little edge to the guitar with an amp simulation. I’m expecting to be bottom of the pile, but looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done and hopefully getting some pointers.

MIX 22: Adam Miller
ITB. Another one mixed in Cubase (SX), mainly using the Waves plugins- in particular Rencomp and a couple of IR1 convolution reverbs. I also used a couple of URS eqs, and the Sonalksis compressor gently over the whole mix. I used a fair amount of automation to make sure the mix 'pushed' in the right places. The mix was done on my Mackie 624s, and cross-checked on my mastering-grade (obviously) Tannoy Reveals. I used an L2 just to bring the highest peaks up to zero.

MIX 23: "phatriff"
No info yet.

MIX 24: "Laurent Prod"
No info yet.

MIX 25: Graham Sullivan "LRS"
ITB. The mix was done in Tracktion and also mastered in Tracktion with the Final Mix mastering plugin via my RME Fireface into Quested F11a monitors. I haven't done a lot to the tracks other than to compress the drums a bit plus boost a little in the highs for the cymbals, work like hell on the kick sound with both compression and EQ, EQ the bass slightly to take away some of the muddiness (I'm surprised that it was DI'd because it doesn't sound like a DI'd track but being a jazz player he's probably had the same strings for the last 20 years!), compress slightly and add reverb to the horns as a group plus some group automation, rolloff a bit of bottom on the guitar and boost slightly in the 1K range (also more automation), vocal - already overcompressed I felt, all I did was add a bit of verb - probably a tad too much.


DAW's used: ProTools 4, Logic 5, Cubase 7, Sonar 4, Tracktion 2, Akai DPS 1, Unknown 2. Total = 25


GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!

Edited by James Lehmann (04/08/06 07:33 AM)


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--
active member


Joined: 29/05/03
Posts: 6085
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333592 - 02/08/06 08:11 PM
Yes, well done Darren and well done James. Most enjoyable. It even got the wife interested!


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LRS
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Joined: 23/04/03
Posts: 187
Loc: New Zealand
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333638 - 02/08/06 10:11 PM
Oops looks like I've missed the cutoff. However feel free to include my mix if you want. If you do I will post some info.

You can hear it here http://www.lakesiderecordingstudio.co.nz/Samples.htm

Cheers
Graham
www.lakesiderecordingstudio.co.nz

Edited by LRS (02/08/06 10:29 PM)


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Hugh
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Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: LRS]
      #333652 - 02/08/06 10:49 PM
Right then... what's next?!

--------------------
Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay.
(Attrib. to Alexandre Dumas)


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stemwinder



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 98
Loc: gloucestershire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333669 - 03/08/06 12:26 AM
One last one put up (LRS), 25 mixes now.

Also I've added a "stream all" option for anyone who fancies an endurance test ;-)

Darren


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musicproject
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some info on my mix... new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333695 - 03/08/06 06:32 AM
ok, i took my time but here it is :

mixed on protools LE 7.1.
quad amd optron 270 x 2
with 002R.
monitors - yamaha msp-10


my concept was to create a "time machine".

- some filters on all tracks to take out the "hi-fi" feel that modern recordings have.

- inserted a tube vst on the brass.

- some light overdrive and comprresion on the bass.

- the vocal was going through a free plug in called "tube booster" wich have some problems with bounce to disk in protools but i managed somehow to print it. plus some urs eq and bomb factory comprresion and a lo-fi plug.

- drums was again intreduced to the very nice "tube booster" and comprresed with a psp plug to make it "breath" a little.

panning - oldschool : drums on the right, bass on the left, gtr hard right vocal leaning to the left and brass as a stereo pair.

reverb and depth - using some room emulation on the brass, vocals and drums to get a more "clubi" sound to it and some spring reverb panned to the opposit side on the gtr to get a more deep and open feel to it.

mix buss - went through an amp moddeling plug to get that light grainy thing and then psp's mixprresor to stick it all together.

i think in modern terms i totally [ ****** ] up the original tracks, but i tryed to go back in time and imagine how every instrument would be recorded back then and then give it a little polish to ecomedate the stereo feild.

sorry on my english.

i will be happy to have some comments.

nice work on everybodei's mixes.

very musical.

and to you james - well done on bringing this project to life.

music project

Israel.


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333700 - 03/08/06 06:57 AM
The reponse to this has been absolutely amazing - 25 mixes, which is far more than I anticipated when I first posted the WAV's!

I think that SOS should definitely take a look at what has gone on here and in view if the interest it has generated maybe it might be some sort of pointer to more organised or sponsored 'Mix-Offs' in the future, perhaps via the DVD. Could it even become a regular slot? One thing that come to mind is that it might be a much more worthwhile way of winning a nice piece of new gear, or even a free subscription or something, than just filling in a boring competition form with three easy questions! (Notwithstanding the problem of finding someone brave enough to sit though 25+ mixes of the same track and make a selection!)

Either way, I think for most of us the 'competitive' nature of this exercise has been largely eclipsed by the general sense of fun and challenge of taking part, which is just fine by me. The interest is chiefly in participating and hearing the other results - what artistic choices people made and who has done what with which gear. A lot of what this Forum is about is yattering about gear (make no mistake, I myself am often guilty of talking more about gear than actually using it!) so I think this exercise was great in forcing people to roll their sleeves up and get back to work on a 'realworld' challenge with inherent limitations, a fixed deadline and clearly-defined parameters (often difficult to set when working on your own stuff).

If anyone is still interested I plan to attempt posting some of my own necessarily brief comments on all the mixes later on but in the meantime...

It's been fun, folks!

Once again many thanks first of all to The Ah-Q Arkestra, and in particular my mate Dave (band-leader, guitarist and session engineer) for giving permission to use their excellent playing and material for this Mix-Off. And of course to Darren (aka "stemwinder") for his tireless work and generosity in setting up a special website for us and updating it regularly!

GO HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND/OR STREAM ALL THE MIXES!


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James Lehmann



Joined: 17/05/05
Posts: 2011
Loc: Europe
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333742 - 03/08/06 08:53 AM
OK - here's some of my thoughts on all of this!


Overall problems:

Drums: Most of us agree the drummer probably is a little too busy on this particular track. This makes the problems with the drums even more important to fix. The drums were individually miked and pre-mixed to stereo (bar the kick). Clearly the snare, and toms have been mixed way too loud so that's problem number one, followed closely by the incessant harshness of the swingin' cymbals (Rode NT5's - aargh!). A wide dynamic range too necessitates finding a balance between 'listenability' and too much compression. Automation needed for solos

Kick: the problem here is that the sound is so awful it's hardly useable, and yet it forms an important part of the groove at certain points so you don't want to cut it completely. A real dilemma! You may have noticed the kick was about 217 samples behind compared to the overheads & horns - this needed correcting. Automation needed for solos

Bass: Probably the easiest instrument to deal with - a nice rounded tone and pretty consistent playing. Automation needed for solos

Guitar: The guitarist has recorded very dry with a nice basic tone thus leaving any polishing to the mixing stage, ie a bit more 'presence'. Occasional too-loud chords need dealing with and a little volume regulation required at various stages of the song. Automation needed for solos

Sax: The clip-on mic does give rather a thin tone and apparently he "kept forgetting to adjust it" which accounts for some wide tonal shifts, so you'd be looking to try to create some mid warmth and body to the sound with EQ, as well as taming the harshness. Automation needed for solos

Trombone: Similar situation to the sax, but the tone is naturally 'rounder' than the sax and not as shrill so a bit less work to do here and the playing is pretty consistent. Automation needed for solos

Vocal: It's a lovely take though but does contain some harshness on some of the higher notes that proved difficult to fix. Problematic also because the tone and volume she sings at in after the solos is quite different from that of the beginning - obviously she moved a bit in front of the mic during the solos! She has a lovely low range to her voice that I know from other songs, but this one is in a slightly higher register, so she sounds a bit 'thinner' than she is otherwise capable of. There's a hint of 'boxiness' to inherent on the mic (AT4033) anyway that needs a couple of small EQ notches as standard I find. Automation needed for beginning and end.


Other issues I was looking out for:

Panning: Largely a matter of taste but I did feel in this case that the trombone and the sax should be on the same side to create the impression of a horn section. It's true the guide mix from the band had them on opposites sides but I'll soon talk them out of that! Some folks panned the bass to one side, some reduced the width of the drums. I think it was important not to put the guitar too far away from the vocal, and I also felt the guitar should be on the opposite side from the trombone as these two instruments had a similar range.

Instrument Separation but retaining a cohesive 'Band' feel - Aside from fixing the individual instruments, the problems of which were apparent to anyone who downloaded the files, the instrumental build-up at 0'51" was a key indicator of how your mix worked overall, in my opinion. There should be a really exciting instrumental swell when she starts singing "Well I lost my heart" - I was looking for power, dynamic and unison, but not to lose sight of the individual instruments.

Bass too loud - the old chestnut of mixing on smaller nearfields in imperfect rooms was apparent here multiple times!

Low-mid mud - a perennial problem! Some careful LF cuts needed to clear out the low end.

Vocal too loud - a very tricky one to balance, and it can come down to personal taste but again accurate monitors are the key to getting this right. You want a bit of compression but not too much as there was already too much going into the raw file. I usually favour automating the vocal level thoughout - not that I claim to have got it precisely right!

Drums not 'sitting right' with the rest of the instruments - I reached the conclusion this is practically insoluble, given the cheap mics used on the kit, I would thoroughly recommend anyone looking for overheads to investigate other possibilities than the NT5's!

Too much reverb - fell into this trap myself, so I went back and fixed it on the final version I sent to the band. I think "Not enough reverb" almost qualifies too - there is a point at which it's all just too dry.

Clicks, pops, false edits & other technical issues - basic mistakes creeping in suggests that some folks didn't double-check their mp3 files before sending them.

MP3 conversion - in my opinion, this affected all of us by altering the bass slightly, making the high end a bit brittle and messing with reverbs. So comments applied there, including to my own mix, may well be down to this!


NOTE: Please don't take anything I say personally - I've tried to listen to everyone's mix at least twice (which took me several hours) and my comments are written down as I listen. I have tried to be honest, spontaneous and objective with my feedback, perhaps at the expense of being polite or tactful, but I've criticised my own mix too - feel free to do the same! I'm NOT the self-appointed mix-guru or best critic, so please weigh in with your own feedback on as many mixes as you can manage!


MIX 1: James Lehmann Too much reverb on everything, guitar too loud in 2nd verse, vocal too loud in 2nd verse and at end, bass perhaps a shade too quiet in places, drums a bit too loud.

MIX 2: "Vinylizor" Much too much low-mid boost on vox which is also too loud, muddy, ringy reverb on vox, drums sound distorted

MIX 3: Ah-Q Arkestra Guide Mix

MIX 4: "musicproject" Funky attempt to sound like a 50's era record! Interesting!

MIX 5: Hugh Conway Too much low cut & reverb on vox, drums muddy, horns thin and too much reverb, bass too loud, sax too loud compared to bone

MIX 6: "dunch" Vox a bit too dry, horns too quiet & muddy, extreme drum eq & compression, no dynamic in build-up, bass too loud, awful kick.

MIX 7: David Lewthwaite Horns too thin and quiet, no low end, over-compressed, vox a bit dry & too loud, no dynamic build-up, tom problems, cymbals harsh, guitar on same side as bone.

MIX 8: "stemwinder" Vox too loud & dry and a bit too breathy, bass too loud, horns too far apart.

MIX 9: "Mr Tom" Quite warm vox, too much LF cut on guitar, bone too loud, drum spike problems and a bit muddy, kick sound not too bad but too loud, sax too thin and distant, vocals lost at end.

MIX 10: "DarrenSW" Reverb on vox too long and ringy, vox a bit harsh, no warmth in vox, lack of low mid warmth, muddy, kick too loud, sax lost, bass too boomy, way too much reverb/delay on sax & bone.

MIX 11: "Wonkey Wabbit" Quite a nice Jazzclub feel. Kick way too loud, low end muddy, bass lost, vocal ok but too loud at end, mix perhaps a shade too dry, I'd pan the bone a bit further out to get out the way of the bass and guitar.

MIX 12: "LimeZRX" Vox very harsh & ringy, kick too loud, drums boxy, horns not bad.

MIX 13: "Herewego" Pretty good. Horns panned apart but sound nice, too much low cut on guitar which also sounds like a mandolin, drums nice maybe too compressed, vox a bit too loud at end. Can I hear autotune working here?

MIX 14: "CharlotteL" Too much LF cut on drums & grainy-sounding, bass too loud, sax sound too processed and too dry, ditto trombone, vox a bit dull, harsh and too loud at end, not a nice reverb on vox & horns, fade out too abrupt, guitar needs more presence, whole thing over-compressed.

MIX 15: Guy Johnson Bass too loud, low end very muddy, vox a bit buried but nice smooth sound, drums reduced stereo and a bit boxy - not really 'there', disasterous kick(!), good solo sax but a bit loud, trombone too thin, guitar too loud at end, odd noise at end.

MIX 16: "Song Doctor" Very odd-sounding reverb on right side only, bass way too loud and distorted, vox too loud and harsh, sax lost in mix & too much reverb but bone too dry, major glitch at 1'45", too much compression on vox.

MIX 17: "Itinerant Baker" Bass WAY too loud, vox a bit too dry & harsh, trombone panned right on top of guitar, guitar too quiet, sax solo sounds awful with flanging and too dry, delay on trombone highly amusing but not really fitting!

MIX 18: Chris Poulter Guitar a shade too far out on right for my tastes, no power in build-up at 45", vocal a bit thin and too loud, horns thin - no power in the build-up, drums too loud, harsh and toms very loud.

MIX 19: "LDGuy" File corrupted or some other weird problem - space invaders start landing at around 0.28"!

MIX 20: Giles Parlett Vox sounds very autotuned and over-processed, guitar a bit scratchy, horns sound like they're in bathroom, toms too loud, low end mud, bass lost, noise at end.

MIX 21: "Jumpeyspyder" Start needed trimming, is the guitar chorused, drums absent, too much reverb on sax which also moves around stereo field during the song, the stop and start edits would get you fired from the job by the band!

MIX 22: Adam Miller Not bad vocal but too 'breathy', guitar too far out for my taste, bone sounds like it's in a different room to the sax, disaster vocal edit 2'33" leaves the vocal a beat behind for the remainder of the song!

MIX 23: "phatriff" Sounds like singer is locked in a cupboard under the stairs, bass too loud, good build-up, nice mellow sax, vox too loud at end, guitar needs automating - it's too loud in the solos, a bit too dry overall but otherwise ok.

MIX 24: "Laurent Prod" Is this supposed to be another 'old-school' style mix? It's almost completely lacking in low end at all and very harsh. Sounds like a 64kbps mp3! Sticks at the start unwanted, horns way too quiet.

MIX 25: "LRS" Destructive Glitch at 0.07". Too much reverb on voice, horns too quiet, drums to shrill but low end reasonably well controlled, almost got a kick sound there(!), bass too loud, drums, bass & guitar all too loud in solos. Overall sound a bit brittle but not bad.


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SongDoctor



Joined: 26/03/06
Posts: 171
Loc: Rockhampton, Australia
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333747 - 03/08/06 08:59 AM
may be an idea to download all the mixes, run them alongside eachother in your DAW so you can solo / compare everyones more easily

then you may only need to listen to it 23 times...


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adrian_k



Joined: 30/01/03
Posts: 1743
Loc: Gloucestershire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333842 - 03/08/06 11:20 AM
OK, since I have a bit of time I'll post a run down of my quick comments. To echo others, good job everyone - I think there's some very good work here and I would think the band would be very happy with many of the mixes.

I found it hard to compare some of these given the different levels, some with master bus compression and some not, different mix objectives etc etc. So I just reached for the volume knob to get a subjectively similar level for each track and wrote what first came to mind. I didn't try to A/B any mixes - I don't have that much time! I'm listening on Genelec 1029s + sub. Bear in mind I'm being picky, showing my predjudices and inexperience, and reserve the right to change my mind on another listening!

So anyway, enough procrastination:

Mix 1 - James Lehman: For me the reverb tail on the vocal was a bit long, and too much reverb overall (but then I generally mix drier than most people). Cymbals tend to dominate the drums, maybe a result of the compression settings used? Also the kick seems missing in action?

Mix 2 - vinylizor: Smooth sounding, good overall balance and the vocals (the key performance part in this track) are nicely to the fore. Quite "hot" but then you say you've used a multiband on the master bus. There's a bit of hiss evident on the left channel in the quiet intro part (from the guitar channel?), the drums are a little low for me from time to time, maybe a bit too much high frequency roll off?

Mix 3 - Band Akai: Vocal reverb sounds like a small room preset, makes it sound a bit boxy, "dead" and slighty removed from the rest of the track. Sax solo a bit loud compared with the vocals. Lacks the "sheen" of the previous 2 mixes. The ending is too abrupt, losing the decay on the cymbals. Pretty good guide mix though!

Mix 4 - musicproject: This one is slghtly difficult to comment on given your objective of making it old school and lo-fi.. On my speakers the overall sound is actually a bit edgy with quite a lot of upper mid/top end, not quite as middly as I was expecting. For a 50's sound I would have looked for a smoother sounding plate reverb on the vocals and rolled off more at the top end overall. The mix balance is generally good, although I would have the bass and kick up a tiny bit, and brass solos less prominent. Bass is panned left slightly?

Mix 5 - Hugh Conway: This starts off as a nice open sounding mix, but then I found the guitar and brass were starting to dominate as the track progressed and wanted to hear more of the vocals. Also some of the drum energy is lost along the way - some might say a good thing!

Mix 6 - dunch (me): I suspect that everything will be far too dry for most people and listening in the context of the other mixes I'd agree with that. Plus all the other obvious faults (overcompressed drums, vocals), I'll leave others to enumerate.

Mix 7 - dave-lew99: A nice mix in my opinion, everything works together and compliments the music well. I'd have liked to have heard more kick and a tiny bit more bass, but because everything else is working so well this didn't stand out as a real problem for me. Cymbal decay is cut off a bit quick at the end.

Mix 8 - stemwinder: Another very nice mix with all elements working together well. Vocals nice and upfront, solid bass, balance of brass,guitar and vocals good, drums driving but not overpowering. The only tiny point I can make is you left the background noise in at the very end!

Mix 9 - Mr Tom: Lots of energy from the drums in this mix, almost a bit overpowering at times. The vocal/brass balance is generally good. The hiss from the guitar channel is evident the beginning and there's maybe too much guitar throughout. But nice to hear a mix with a positive approach to the drums, most of the others so far seem to have been a bit frightened of them..

Mix 10 - DarrenSW: The mix with the kick! Yet another good overall mix with good dynamics, although I might have knocked the kick down a bit myself. Not sure the panned delay/reverb on the sax solo works that well, it's kind of out of place for this kind of track IMO.

OK I have to take a break now...... coffee needed.... (walks round kitchen singing "those ants that in-faded my pants, too bad, finis"...


.... right, back to it!


Mix 11 - Wonket Wabbit: Nice laid back mix. I like the intimate sound you've gone for there. Drums & Kick maybe a bit overpowering at times but that all adds to the dynamics, and maybe I'd have pushed the vocals up front a bit more in couple of places.

Mix 12 - Lime ZRX: Vocals have a slightly more breathy quality than most of the other mixes which is nice. I wasn't quite so convinced by the additional kicks - this might have worked if you could have made them less boomy, but on my monitors these sounded like they were recorded in a church! Guitar a tad light during the brass solos so the jazz rythmn suffers a bit as a result. Personally I didn't have a problem with the extra bass notes, but bass players are notoriously grumpy, so watch out!

Mix 13 - Herewego: I started out liking the overall sound of this mix quite a lot but as it progressed I felt it had somehow lost some of its dynamics. Not in the vocals, but the rest of the band seem to be holding back? Maybe the brass solos need to come up a tad to keep things going, and a little more drum energy?

Mix 14 - CharlotteL: Overall the balance between instruments sounds good, but one thing that jumped out at me is the stereo spread - the drums seem mono (was that a conscious decision?), and the brass is panned fairly near the centre. Nice vocal sound and levels, and I think you achieved your objective of keeping it all clean-sounding.

Mix 15 - Guy Johnson: Initially had problems listening to this - not sure if my connection was playing up or what, tried a few times but at about 20 seconds it sounds like it's going under water. If I start the track at 20 seconds it seems to play OK - wierd. Anyway distractions aside, this seems a well balanced mix, if a little on the bright side. The brass sometimes overpowers the vocals for me. And you left the background noise on at the end!

Mix 16 - Song Doctor: I found the reverb on the vocal a bit distracting at the beginning - too much room sound and the panning a bit odd (just checked your notes and this is intentional so fair play). Bass comes in a bit strong and dominates throughout. I don't object to the positioning of the drums but I think panning the reverb to the same place might have produced a more coherent result. Interesting experiment...

Mix 17 - Itinerant Baker: As it started I thought "now here's a nice dry, intimate sound, kinda thing I like" - then whoah! Steady on that bass fader there neddy! Really too much bass, made it difficult to judge how the rest of it was working. The Sax solo sounded slightly phased, and delayed trombone quite a brave move!

Mix 18 - Chris Poulter: This mix has a nice light touch overall, everything in its place, with good dynamics. Kick a bit low but that's all. For me, nice job, ready to master! (I assume the vocalist comments left in at the end were intentional?)

Mix 19 - LDGuy: Quite a hot mix in general, but still retains dynamics. Good instrumant balance, brass maybe a little loud, drums a bit subdued. Vocals sit well and the performance comes though well. Strange phasey sound (e.g. around "I lost my heart..."). Sounds like it's on the drum track but checking your notes you've flanged the brass so that must be it.

Mix 20 - Giles Parlett: This mix starts well, OK vocals a little too much reverb for my taste but most people won't object. All of the instruments are balanced well, couldn't really pull the kick out of the mix but lots of people seemed to have ditched it anyway. A bit too much going on in the lower mids though - toms and bass sometimes conspire to overpower? Also, background noise left in at end.

Time for another break... that coffee has worked its way through... "hmmm, hmmm, worship those trousers that cling so fine..."

Mix 21 - Jumpeyspyder: Quite sparse sounding mix, drums pretty low, kick quite prominent. For me, the guitar is a little too bright for the jazz stylee, and ducking the bass in and out was too dramatic an effect, more of an interruption than a musical statement.

Mix 22 - Adam Miller: Good mix, good dynamics, vocals properly to the fore, overall balance is nice. But - what is happening with the vocal timing after the solos? She seems to increasingly lag behind the rest of the band. Plus, background noise left in at end.

Mix 23 - Phatriff: Kind of comparable to my own mix in the use of reverb I think - pretty dry and I must say having listened to just a few versions of this today I can't make up my mind whether it's refreshing or lacking somehow. This is even drier than mine! The Sax solo does seem a bit like it needs pepping up a bit. Instrumentally balance is OK although tonally I would prefer a bit more sizzle on the cymbals to brighten up the top end.

Mix 24 - Laurent Prod: Overall tonally very bright, too much so for me, especially for a jazz track. Delayed panned guitar does add some interest but again not sure it works with this track/genre. Brass too subdued and the solos need to come forward/up in the mix? And background scratchy noise left in at end (with added delay!)

Mix 25 - Graham Sullivan: oooops - that's Laurent again unless I'm very much mistaken! Looks like a cut and paste error on the page... OK streaming the entire playlist and going to the end gets me Graham. Nice mix there, well balanced, good dynamics, and apart from the glitch at the beginning a good one to finish on!


OK - that's it. Phew.. That took far longer than I expected.... pretty much the whole morning.... I'm off to get some fresh air. Looking forward to other people's comments....

--------------------
getting better all the time..


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Mr Tom
new member


Joined: 06/12/02
Posts: 664
Loc: Herefordshire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333867 - 03/08/06 11:54 AM
Ok some more info on my mix:

As already mentioned it was done in Logic 7.1 and monitored on Active Reveals.

I'll start by saying that I really can't stand this type of music - which is beside the point, but it means that I never listen to it, so I don't really know what it's 'supposed' to sound like.

The drums being all bundled onto two tracks and an awful sounding kick track was obviously a problem we all suffered with. I basically tried to let them do their own thing with minimal compression etc. (the kick was filtered/EQd a bit more heavily). I didn't want to process all the life out of them. I panned the kit across the stereo image a bit, but not hard.

The bass was no problem really - it was compressed and EQd a little using just the standard Logic Channel EQ and Compressor.

The guitar. I hate that wooly, muffled, bassy sounding kind of guitar (let the bloody bass make that nose!) so I tried to inject some life back into it using Logic's Guitar Amp Pro with a cleanish bright setting (can't remember the details). Tonally this pretty much did what I wanted (while compressing/overdriving it a little at the same time), the downside was that it added a fair bit of hiss (mainly audible over th intro verse) - but like I said - I hated the sound of the guitar before so the hiss was a small price to pay! I panned the guitar left to about where the guitarist would stand on stage. I boosted the guitar level a little until the rest of the band come in as I thought it was a bit quiet behind the lone vox.

The brassy bits were compressed a little and EQd to try and make the sax sound a little brighter and the trombone a little mellower for contrast. I panned them both to the same side to give the impression of a brass section the opposite side of the stage to the guitar.

The vox were compressed and given a little EQing and I know she goes a bit quiet coming out of the solo but I couldn't really make up my mind what to do about it and in the end didn't really do much at all!

The only reverb used (in varying amounts on all but the kick and bass) was Space Designer. The preset was called Jazz Club or something like that - it sounded appropriate! I was aiming for a natural sounding reverb.

Being used to mixing stuff to sound like Trent Reznor or Marilyn Manson kind of production this was something a bit different and somebody who listens to jazz would probably think 'what the hell is he trying to achieve?' - but do I care?



I have now listened to all 24 mixes (not the 25th yet) - a gruelling session in one sitting! I might skim through again and refine some comments.

Tom

--------------------
My Little Project


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adrian_k



Joined: 30/01/03
Posts: 1743
Loc: Gloucestershire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: adrian_k]
      #333873 - 03/08/06 12:05 PM
oh yeah, general comments -

most people brightened up the guitar a tad too much for me and drums/kick not really satisfactory from anyone.

cheers
Adrian

--------------------
getting better all the time..


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--
active member


Joined: 29/05/03
Posts: 6085
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333886 - 03/08/06 12:26 PM
I listened to my mix lots of times after I submitted it and after reading what other people had done to the drums and decided that the kick was too loud and I could do better with the drums so I did another mix which sounded better and answered some of James' comments, but didn't bother re-submitting as I felt this was unfair. I purposly didn't listen to anyone elses mixes before doing my own. As mentioned, the bass could have been more distinct but I thought it was an upright (rather than the electric it turned out to be) so left it fairly much as was. Had I known beforehand it was an electric (fretless I presume), then I would have spent some more time on it.

I'll now have a go at a mk 3 version taking on board these comments and see what I can do! Thanks James.


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adrian_k



Joined: 30/01/03
Posts: 1743
Loc: Gloucestershire
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: --]
      #333902 - 03/08/06 12:45 PM
Quote Wonkey Wabbit:

I listened to my mix lots of times after I submitted it .... so I did another mix which sounded better ... but didn't bother re-submitting as I felt this was unfair.




Yes me too. I do regret leaping in with that first mix but there we go. If anyone can bear it I'd appreciate comments on my final attempt at some point? Happy to return the favour..

cheers
Adrian

--------------------
getting better all the time..


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SongDoctor



Joined: 26/03/06
Posts: 171
Loc: Rockhampton, Australia
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: James Lehmann]
      #333930 - 03/08/06 01:54 PM
Haha, I just read the little joke on you're posts Adrain, amusing. Its funny how some musicians think its true...

Thanks so much for taking the time to give feedback like that, much appreciated. I agree that my panning of reverb is a bit off-putting, I would have changed it if I had another listen to my mix, but I was 'in the zone' at the time, haha.


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CharlotteL



Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 21
Loc: Newcastle upon Tyne
Re: James' Summer Mix-Off - want to have a go at mixing this Jazz Standard? (WAV's posted) new [Re: SongDoctor]
      #333948 - 03/08/06 02:16 PM
Many thanks to James and Adrian for the comments - this has been a really useful exercise for me and good fun too! I'll be giving the mix another go with your criticism in mind.

It'd be great to see this turned into a regular feature of some sort - I think I'm another one guilty of spending too much time researching equipment and not enough time actually using the stuff I've got!

Thanks again guys,
Charlotte


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