Here’s a production that feels to me like it’s trying a bit too hard to sound big and
clear on low‑quality systems, giving owners of pimped VW Golf GTIs some cheap
sub‑100Hz thrills and ensuring crispy ringtone transmission at the top end, but at the
expense of a deficit in the 300Hz ‘warmth’ zone. The HF transients and sibilance feel
overcooked too, and if they had been limited, to take off some of their plasticky edge, I
reckon the lyrics would have come through better and you’d have been able to turn things
up more before your ears started bleeding.
Despite my reservations about the
overall mix tone, though, a couple of nice rhythmic features did definitely catch my ear.
The first is at 0:38 where the lead rap’s lyric “on my brand new white trainers” is
echoed by the doubles, but with the rhythm starting in a different part of the bar. The
result is that all the vocal stresses in the repeated phrase occur in a different
relationship with the main beat, making it sound fresh and interesting even though
you’re hearing it for the second time. Simple, but very effective.
rhythmic trick is of a similar type, but is created during the song’s outro (from 2:47)
using the main mariachi horns sample. If you compare this to the intro (0:00‑0:16), you
can hear that Rizzle Kicks have effectively moved the trumpet line’s characteristic
single high‑register note an eighth‑note early. Admittedly, it’s always possible
that it’s actually played like this during another part of the original recording they
sampled, but given the careful manipulation and editing of the samples elsewhere in the
track (especially in the choruses), I’m inclined to believe that the credit is due to
them. Whatever, the message I want to get across here is that the general idea of shifting
repeated musical material into a different pocket in the groove is seriously worth
investigating for any chart material, because it lets you have your cake and eat it: you
can repeat your hooks more often, so that they worm their way better into the listener’s
consciousness, but still keep them sounding fresh, so that all that repetition doesn’t
just bore people to death.
--------------------Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.