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Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:49 am

Hi all, this is just for my own education as I've released this track as a demo/bonus on an EP, but I'd be interested to hear what issues you can hear. It's the most complicated mix I've done (brass, drums and piano gave me the biggest headaches) and I know it could have been a lot better, but I'm not sure exactly where the problems lie. I mixed in Ableton using mostly UAD plugins, and on Alesis Monitor 1 mk2 speakers, with Harbal for mastering. I spent some time watching the 'Internal Mixing Vol 1 & 2' DVDs before working on this EP. Link is below (feel free to check out any of the other EP tracks if you have the time, I'd love to know if there are general mistakes I'm making):

http://owenduff.bandcamp.com/track/dying-for-the-money-bonus-track

Thanks...
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby Phil Reynolds » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:19 pm

Um, I think it sounds great. Any help?
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby petev3.1 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:41 pm

Hmm. Can't get the track to play.
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby Neil C » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:48 pm

Works here.
Sounds good to me. Nice separation but cohesion coming through in my HD650's.
It's the vocal to rest of mix I was focusing on and nothing about the rest struck me as an issue (although the 2:03 sound seemed a bit loud, maybe the stereo pan of it was doing that in headphones).
Kind of Ben Foldsy (although compared to the mix of his stuff quite a different mix).
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby Phil O » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:33 pm

Performance, production and mix are all good to my ears. Puts me in mind of The Beautiful South.

Nice depth and width. As another poster has said, there's good separation with everything in it's own space.If I am being 'picky', the vocal possibly gets a bit overrun by the instrumentation in places.

For a completely DIY job, this is impressive !!

IMO, any issues are less to do with the technical aspects and more concerned with the composition. There sounds to be some strange twists and turns / modulations and overuse of metaphors. For me, less would be more but that's a personal call I guess.

Good work OD. Keep 'em' coming !!

P
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:26 pm

Thanks for the feedback - I'm amazed not to have more problems picked out with the mix, maybe because I had quite a specific sound in mind and didn't feel I'd quite got there. Good to know I'm not too far off the mark quality-wise though, the Internal Mixing DVDs did give me a totally different perspective on mixing (e.g. doing a sketch of the soundstage before you start and place the instruments in it). As for the composition I agree there is some awkwardness there (I wrote the song about 7 years ago and have recorded it a few times), I get obsessed with metaphors and meaning in the lyrics which can mean things get over-wordy, similarly I love harmonic twists so tend to throw these in if things are getting repetitive. I hope I'm learning the value of simplicity and directness, but I also love the intellectual challenges of doing complex things. The difficulty comes when they start to detract from the aesthetics of the music...
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby Jonnypopisical » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:35 pm

It's great work Mr but I would say that the vocal gets lost as the production expands. Sounds like you sang to the intro groove with the acoustic guitar and then added everything else. I think a strong vocal from were the drums kick in would help things alot. You could try more compression on the vocal from that point (etc etc) but I think the issue for me is the performance...

IMHO

J x
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OneWorld » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:58 pm

You're effin bored, I'm jeffin confused, it's like Tommy Rock Opera, goes all over the place, are you related to Rick Wakeman? :D
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:29 pm

I suppose it is a bit prog, but it's actually only verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus/coda, nothing too out there apart from the odd time signatures, key change in the middle and slightly weird chords at the end...

As for the vocals, I agree they're probably too soft for the song, I did a mix which had a more aggressive vocal recorded with an SM58 (as opposed to the Brauner mic in the final mix) but it didn't fit in at all with the other songs on the EP e.g. this one, which is much more gentle: http://owenduff.bandcamp.com/track/codebreaker
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OneWorld » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:20 pm

OD23 wrote:I suppose it is a bit prog, but it's actually only verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus/coda, nothing too out there apart from the odd time signatures, key change in the middle and slightly weird chords at the end...


Yes I keep forgetting, that this forum is more about production rather than creative content. Though that is my point, if it is only..."verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus/coda..." it sounds much more cluttered and haphazard. I suppose I have an over simplified take on what a song should be...An intro, set the scene, tell the tale, come to conclusions. I heard one singer say "A song should take the listener somewhere" And I felt I was in a maze rather than going down a path.

That being said, that might be the whole point of it, and that comes down to a matter of taste, and it leaves a prog rock taste with me - a genre I never got on with too well, so that comment might be negated as it is a subjective one.

The arrangement/production efforts are impressive to say the least and it is clear a lot of thought and work has gone into that and it shows in the quality. And we all have a right to express ourselves creatively, and that contributes to the overall diversity of artistic content.

To be perfectly honest, every time I hear a song begin with potty language, it turns me off, It just smacks of, here's another Guardian reader aching to be controversial and this is the most dangerous thing he/she has ever done, so my listening is somewhat jaded by that prejudice.

'Codebreaker' is more my cup of tea, it is very good in every sense, production, arrangement, vocals, playing, phrasing etc and I am a very discerning and critical listener, Simon Cowell doesn't hold a candle to me, he's a softie!
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:56 pm

Owen

One quick listen on a pair of AVI Pro Nine Plus powered by a Roksan Kandy MkIII (yes I use a pair of (very) hi fi speakers for monitoring)! left me very pleasantly surprised. Separation and tonal balance are good: you might want to look for a tiny bit more definition in the bass. Your vocal treatment tends to overemphasise your breath noises occasionally and this can be a little distracting. (Don't cut them, they are important to the mood of the piece, but do consider how much you want them to come through). You might want to consider slightly differing vocal treatments for different sections of the song if you have not gone this route already.

On the musical production side, the relish with which you approach the word "fuc_king" makes it stand out a little too much in my view, I don't know there is any other way you can approach the word artistically, which makes me wonder if it is truly necessary to the song: certainly, even today, it might harm its commercial appeal.

In terms of feel, I am somewhat reminded of the longer mytherings of It Bites, not that there is anything in particular wrong with that, but if you let people easily classify you, you make it easier for your music to disappear into the mush of a million other things with which A&R people are bombarded.

Overall: interesting.

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Owen

I am somewhat annoyed.

After 7 more listens to your demo, I decided to buy you limited edition handmade CD as a little present to myself, but the link I clicked on is downloading something. Am I not to get a CD?

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:39 pm

.. and "the race" on the page re-direct you gave me is distorting through my very clean system! :frown:

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:36 pm

Hi Reg, thanks so much for buying the EP - you get the download as soon as you purchase, then the physical copy gets sent out as well, so you get both copies (there's also a bonus song for people who purchase the CD, which I'll email a link to). Can't say why 'The Race' is distorting, that's really odd, on bandcamp or youtube?
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:56 pm

OD23 wrote:Hi Reg, thanks so much for buying the EP - you get the download as soon as you purchase, then the physical copy gets sent out as well, so you get both copies (there's also a bonus song for people who purchase the CD, which I'll email a link to). Can't say why 'The Race' is distorting, that's really odd, on bandcamp or youtube?

Thanks for replying Owen,

I'll take a look this evening and get back to you.

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:28 pm

RegressiveRock wrote:
OD23 wrote:Hi Reg, thanks so much for buying the EP - you get the download as soon as you purchase, then the physical copy gets sent out as well, so you get both copies (there's also a bonus song for people who purchase the CD, which I'll email a link to). Can't say why 'The Race' is distorting, that's really odd, on bandcamp or youtube?


Thanks for replying Owen,

I'll take a look this evening and get back to you.

Reg


Owen

I cannot find anything in my download folder or in iTunes. Not a problem, I have your email with links. Cannot seem to find the re-direct in my history right now. I'll look at again over the weekend: too busy watching Cowboys and Aliens right now. ;)

I do like your track, (I might even PM you why at some stage), I hope the CD lives up to its promise.

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:53 am

I have located The Race and the piano chords at the beginning continue to distort as do the oboe-ish bits at the end. Mostly in the form of overload crackles.

I was listening here.

Nothing else in my listening tonight (or at all since I built my latest set up) has down so. I'll get my cans out tomorrow evening to look into it.

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:12 pm

OD23 wrote:Hi Reg, thanks so much for buying the EP - you get the download as soon as you purchase, then the physical copy gets sent out as well, so you get both copies (there's also a bonus song for people who purchase the CD, which I'll email a link to). Can't say why 'The Race' is distorting, that's really odd, on bandcamp or youtube?

Owen.

I am sure you will be extremely pleased to hear following checking out everything on two different sets of cans tonight, the fault was in the gain staging of my sound card into the amp for my speakers and the slight wash of distortion was entirely down to my ineptitude in setting up my monitoring system!!!

I still do not appear to have any downloads, but I will simply stick my new CD in the side of my iMac when it arrives.

Regards

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby JMulvale » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:22 pm

Listening to it on some reasonable monitors, I agree with most people that there is nothing at fault with the mix. It sounds great, well mixed, mastered, EQd and compressed, great performances all round. I would like to hear a few vocal harmonies here and there, not necessarily straight 3rds or 5ths but maybe some counterpoint towards the end, and some doubled vocals on the 'chorus' but that's all personal opinion. I don't hear anything 'wrong'. Great tune!
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:58 pm

Hey Reg, that's a relief - the CD is on its way to you but in the meantime the digital version should have been downloaded into your regular downloads folder, if not Bandcamp should have emailed you to give instructions on how to download it again if you want to.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to listen to the song and give feedback, really useful. I'm going to upload the video for it shortly so will put a link up.
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:20 pm

OD23 wrote:Hey Reg, that's a relief - the CD is on its way to you but in the meantime the digital version should have been downloaded into your regular downloads folder, if not Bandcamp should have emailed you to give instructions on how to download it again if you want to.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to listen to the song and give feedback, really useful. I'm going to upload the video for it shortly so will put a link up.


Hey matey,

Sorry for the panic. I guess I wasn't playing any material that was really pushing the levels. One notch down on the Control Room Out of my desk and everything was cushty. My DT990s replicated the problem through my amp, but my K701s which were already plugged into the desk explained to me in very clear terms it was my bad.

If I may be permitted one final observation: I prefer your pop operettas to your ballads... ;)

Now all I have to do is get my head right to get back in that lift to the 7th floor tomorrow. :lol:

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:39 pm

OD23 wrote:Hey Reg, that's a relief - the CD is on its way to you but in the meantime the digital version should have been downloaded into your regular downloads folder, if not Bandcamp should have emailed you to give instructions on how to download it again if you want to.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to listen to the song and give feedback, really useful. I'm going to upload the video for it shortly so will put a link up.

Album has arrived and is being catalogues onto iTunes.

I like the whole handmade thing. It's a good idea.

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby RegressiveRock » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:50 pm

By the way, I've found your album on iTunes and the hard version does not connect up. ;)

Also, cheeky, your original mix was in fact done in 2005! :lol:

Reg
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:58 am

Hi Reg, glad the CD arrived okay. Not sure why the itunes song list doesn't match up, that's quite annoying... Yes, the bonus track is 7 years old - no secrets there, I mentioned that in my 2nd post on this thread! Hope you enjoy it anyway.
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby OD23 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:31 pm

Here's the video I made to go with this song if anyone's interested (although this is now in danger of turning into a self-promotion thread rather than mix feedback one... Not my intention I promise): http://youtu.be/mFzFue6dDBY
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Re: Feedback on a tricky mix

Postby Phil O » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:51 pm

OD23 wrote:Here's the video I made to go with this song if anyone's interested (although this is now in danger of turning into a self-promotion thread rather than mix feedback one... Not my intention I promise): http://youtu.be/mFzFue6dDBY

Nice one OD.
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