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How does my mixing and mastering sound?

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How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby greayyscale » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:23 am

So I've been practicing mixing and mastering for quite awhile as an amateur in a home studio. I just finished producing an original song of mine and I was curious how good my mixing and mastering is in the eyes of other producers (since I've only ever shown non-producers).

https://soundcloud.com/koronello/greayy-moonlit

What do you guys think? Any advice or criticism would be greatly appreciated !
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:51 pm

greayyscale wrote:So I've been practicing mixing and mastering for quite awhile as an amateur in a home studio. I just finished producing an original song of mine and I was curious how good my mixing and mastering is in the eyes of other producers (since I've only ever shown non-producers).

https://soundcloud.com/koronello/greayy-moonlit

What do you guys think? Any advice or criticism would be greatly appreciated !

The only eyes that matter are the non-producers' ones!
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby greayyscale » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:27 pm

While that is true, from my friends perspectives, my producing has sounded perfect since a year ago. Which is OBVIOUSLY false and its hard to know what to really work on production wise when you only get casual listeners to hear it. I just wanted some opinions of people who have more of an ear for this stuff
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:59 pm

greayyscale wrote:While that is true, from my friends perspectives, my producing has sounded perfect since a year ago. Which is OBVIOUSLY false and its hard to know what to really work on production wise when you only get casual listeners to hear it. I just wanted some opinions of people who have more of an ear for this stuff

Ok, let me qualify:

The only eyes that matter are the non-producers' ones - when they hear your mix in a variety of situations and playback systems.

If they think it sounded perfect:

- on a good stereo
- on good headphones
- on crappy headphones
- on crappy super-bass headphones
- on a phone headset
- from a phone speaker
- from good monitors
- from crappy monitors
- from PC speakers
- from a boombox
- in a disco club
- in a car
- from a PA
- from a PA blasting

then they are perfect. :D
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:22 pm

My tuppence would be that overall I really like it, even though it's not really my genre. So please bear that in mind for the following :)
If it was my track though I'd be shortening the intro and generally reducing the volume of that first synth quite considerably. I'd also be breaking it up / dropping it out a bit more as well. It's the same dominant theme for the whole first half of the song and as a result the synths tend to over-power the other sounds and, more crucially, the vocals in the first two choruses. I like the breakdown at the end but I feel like it needs to bridge into something rather than finish. I'd maybe try repeating that after the piano bridge to kick into the last verse (where I really like the synth sound :) )
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby awjoe » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:16 pm

CS70 wrote:
greayyscale wrote:While that is true, from my friends perspectives, my producing has sounded perfect since a year ago. Which is OBVIOUSLY false and its hard to know what to really work on production wise when you only get casual listeners to hear it. I just wanted some opinions of people who have more of an ear for this stuff

Ok, let me qualify:

The only eyes that matter are the non-producers' ones - when they hear your mix in a variety of situations and playback systems.

If they think it sounded perfect:

- on a good stereo
- on good headphones
- on crappy headphones
- on crappy super-bass headphones
- on a phone headset
- from a phone speaker
- from good monitors
- from crappy monitors
- from PC speakers
- from a boombox
- in a disco club
- in a car
- from a PA
- from a PA blasting

then they are perfect. :D

So, do I have to listen to the tune all those ways before I tell him how his mixing and mastering sounds? I don't have a disco club. But yeah, he doesn't want casual listener feedback, so I guess you'd have to listen to at least a FEW on that list of yours. I'd add 'through earbuds' to the list as well. With earbuds, I've got six of the above. Do I qualify?
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby greayyscale » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:38 am

CS70 wrote:
greayyscale wrote:While that is true, from my friends perspectives, my producing has sounded perfect since a year ago. Which is OBVIOUSLY false and its hard to know what to really work on production wise when you only get casual listeners to hear it. I just wanted some opinions of people who have more of an ear for this stuff

Ok, let me qualify:

The only eyes that matter are the non-producers' ones - when they hear your mix in a variety of situations and playback systems.

If they think it sounded perfect:

- on a good stereo
- on good headphones
- on crappy headphones
- on crappy super-bass headphones
- on a phone headset
- from a phone speaker
- from good monitors
- from crappy monitors
- from PC speakers
- from a boombox
- in a disco club
- in a car
- from a PA
- from a PA blasting

then they are perfect. :D
Lol, I know those are all important factors, but that still doesn't mean I shouldn't get opinions from those more experienced than myself. Neither myself, or any of my friends have stereo monitors, and surprisingly I don't have access to a disco club either.

blinddrew wrote:My tuppence would be that overall I really like it, even though it's not really my genre. So please bear that in mind for the following :)
If it was my track though I'd be shortening the intro and generally reducing the volume of that first synth quite considerably. I'd also be breaking it up / dropping it out a bit more as well. It's the same dominant theme for the whole first half of the song and as a result the synths tend to over-power the other sounds and, more crucially, the vocals in the first two choruses. I like the breakdown at the end but I feel like it needs to bridge into something rather than finish. I'd maybe try repeating that after the piano bridge to kick into the last verse (where I really like the synth sound :) )
Thanks for the feedback ! I actually really like the suggestion about adding that one part as a bridge between the piano part and the final chorus.
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby CS70 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:30 am

awjoe wrote:So, do I have to listen to the tune all those ways before I tell him how his mixing and mastering sounds?

Course not. But your opinion (and mine, of course) aren't going to be more technical than any of the layman listeners. We'll just have ideas about what we like - driven by our tastes.

The technical aspects of a production are about sound. The success of a production is about how many people (beyond your mom and friends), want to keep listening to it if exposed to it. So if loads of people think that you are producing smashing stuff your production is by definition smashing, even if you technically have recorded it on an iphone.
I mean, 99% of modern music is by definition distorted - i.e. technically unsound...

So if the OP's got loads of positive feedback from strangers in a variety of listening situations (which is imho what links the technical aspect to the production value, the fact that your song keeps sounding like itself anywhere, preserving what people like regardless of he playback system), he's got already all the important feedback and I would certainly like to learn from him :)
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby awjoe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:01 pm

CS70 wrote:
awjoe wrote:So, do I have to listen to the tune all those ways before I tell him how his mixing and mastering sounds?

Course not. But your opinion (and mine, of course) aren't going to be more technical than any of the layman listeners. We'll just have ideas about what we like - driven by our tastes.

The technical aspects of a production are about sound. The success of a production is about how many people (beyond your mom and friends), want to keep listening to it if exposed to it. So if loads of people think that you are producing smashing stuff your production is by definition smashing, even if you technically have recorded it on an iphone.
I mean, 99% of modern music is by definition distorted - i.e. technically unsound...

So if the OP's got loads of positive feedback from strangers in a variety of listening situations (which is imho what links the technical aspect to the production value, the fact that your song keeps sounding like itself anywhere, preserving what people like regardless of he playback system), he's got already all the important feedback and I would certainly like to learn from him :)

Yeah, I really liked the song and his mixing/mastering of it, listened to through my monitors. But my question above wasn't entirely tongue in cheek. I actually think that you were onto something with that list. If he could convince a handful of persons who actually listen carefully and critically to mixes every day to lend their earholes to his project through a variety of speakers and they could say, hand on heart: "I like this and think it sounds great through studio monitors, through the Avantone, through the earbuds, and through the headphones," then he would know his mix works anywhere, even with critical listeners.

But the tune and the mix were so good that I think he doesn't need to check with others. I found myself listening to and really enjoying the song rather than how he'd mixed it, and that's usually the sign for me that a mix is really working.
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby CS70 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:40 pm

Yeah, I really liked the song and his mixing/mastering of it, listened to through my monitors. But my question above wasn't entirely tongue in cheek. I actually think that you were onto something with that list. If he could convince a handful of persons who actually listen carefully and critically to mixes every day to lend their earholes to his project through a variety of speakers and they could say, hand on heart: "I like this and think it sounds great through studio monitors, through the Avantone, through the earbuds, and through the headphones," then he would know his mix works anywhere, even with critical listeners.

But the tune and the mix were so good that I think he doesn't need to check with others. I found myself listening to and really enjoying the song rather than how he'd mixed it, and that's usually the sign for me that a mix is really working.

I did mean it. I mean, there's no "experts" in music - there's no recipe for a success in terms of production. If you make music for yourself, other people's opinions are irrelevant. If you make it to communicate or express something, then these opinions are not irrelevant - but then the fact of the matter is that either your music captures enough people, or it does not.

If it does, that means there's something in the music which is "right". Only then the technical aspects enter the picture - a recording should ensure that that something comes out in as many playback situations as possible. Say you have a very catchy bass line (say "Summer Nights") - if people listens thru earbuds and there's no bass, chances are these people would miss that something. Or if the song makes your ears bleed when blasted thru a PA, same result.

So the main question about whether or not a production is right or not is: do you like it? And then count the number of "yes". It's only if one does not get a lot of "yes" that the explanation can be in the production etc.

Of course, there's adhering to a genre which is a valid technical question (metal guitars and drums and all that) and so are sound quality issues ("there's no bass!"). But if one's already got consistently "I love it" from a large number of perfect strangers, he's already way beyond the technical sound aspect imho. Much better to focus on marketing the thing. :)
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby awjoe » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:26 am

CS70 wrote:So the main question about whether or not a production is right or not is: do you like it? And then count the number of "yes". It's only if one does not get a lot of "yes" that the explanation can be in the production etc.


Which means you need an audience of sorts. But how do you come up with that when you're mixing and mastering?
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:22 am

Maybe there's something about creating a group of muso-type friends who'd be happy to listen to stuff in production? Not dissimilar to the way that most authors have a bunch of readers with whom they share early drafts for critical feedback.
In fact I think we might have mentioned something similar on here in a different thread a ways back.
Definitely something I'd be happy to do for folks on here - though whether they'd want my opinion is another matter! :)
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:38 pm

awjoe wrote:
CS70 wrote:So the main question about whether or not a production is right or not is: do you like it? And then count the number of "yes". It's only if one does not get a lot of "yes" that the explanation can be in the production etc.


Which means you need an audience of sorts. But how do you come up with that when you're mixing and mastering?

I was under the impression than the OP was talking about his own work as an artist, not just the mixing part?

Anyway, for the mixing/mastering part, you do what all professional mixers/masters do: they reflect their success in the success of the songs they mix/master :) That's why they have these long credits noting which artists and which top ten, grammy, number ones etc. George Martin never made an #1 as an artist - but the artists he worked for did.

It's a classic runaway process - you mix/master for years but none of the artists you work with has much success, you really don't know if it's them or you :D Then one artist does, others maybe already bigger artists ask "who mixed that" and call you and so forth - since they're already bigger they've a bigger chance to make another success, and if they do you ride the wave.
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Re: How does my mixing and mastering sound?

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:39 pm

blinddrew wrote:Maybe there's something about creating a group of muso-type friends who'd be happy to listen to stuff in production? Not dissimilar to the way that most authors have a bunch of readers with whom they share early drafts for critical feedback.
In fact I think we might have mentioned something similar on here in a different thread a ways back.
Definitely something I'd be happy to do for folks on here - though whether they'd want my opinion is another matter! :)

I totally love the idea of having a panel of people for the technical aspects! I'd love even more to have a large panel of listeners, no matter their technical prowess :D :D
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