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Another 'critique my mix' post...

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Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby sambrox » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:59 pm

So I decided to go back to my first proper full production job that I did for my sister some years back and remix it, with the hope of having it ready to take with me the next time I'm in UK visiting. It was a bit of an amateurish affair first time around, as I didn't really have any idea of what I was doing, technically speaking, just more of a feel of how I'd like the songs to unfold. Anyway, low budget and blundering aside, we came out of it with some usable tracks. However, the mixes have always let the whole show down.

I'm kind of between studios at the mo' (got my gear sitting in an untreated dining room...), so I'm mixing on headphones. Any input on anything that might not be apparent to me with that in mind would be extra welcome, so I can look out for any issues when I start the other songs.


I've intentionally tried to keep the mix quite natural sounding (no long delay effects, for example), but I'm suddenly wondering if that's limiting interest..? Anywho, be brutal.

Ta very much,
Sam

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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:37 pm

It's not a bad mix at all. Some lovely playing/singing too.

There's nothing wrong with aiming for a natural-sounding mix, but to my ears completely 'dry' rarely equates with 'natural'. I'd like to hear some ambience to help create the illusion of real space and depth. My 'dry' mixes actually feature quite a lot of artifical reverb - the trick is to design them to support the feeling of natural space without giving the game away that they are there at all.

The drums are suffering most here. Unfortunately the room sound on them makes them quite boxy and cheap, which seems a shame as the rest of the mix sounds quite classy - a fact that punishes the drums all the more, unfortunately! If I was serious about this mix, and there was no way to dry up the drums, I'd re-track them, or program new ones if at all possible.

A little more work in filling out the stereo field would also be my suggestion - the guitar might benefit some panning/widening.

Great vocals though - I hope she's still singing.

HTH!
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby sambrox » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:01 pm

Hey, thanks for the quick reply, Elf.

Yeah, the drums are a bit of a downer. As I said, I was a bit of a noob when I produced this, so I got my cousin to help engineer (he'd done a BTEC audio course at Salford uni). No offence to him, but he advised me to stick up two widely-spaced room mics when tracking the drums, even though the paltry number of inputs meant we'd only have one overhead as a result. I took his advice, even though we were tracking in a dingy, old, low-ceilinged basement in Oldham and the resulting tracks were almost useless. In fact, I wouldn't have used them at all, had I had stereo overheads... I've tried my best to eliminate the horrible boxy room sound, but on this particular song that's the best result I could come up with. Replacing them has crossed my mind, but as nothing was played to a click it'll be like banging my head against the wall.

Thanks for the heads up regarding reverb. I've actually got three different sends going, but I must be being too conservative.

Kyla's still singing. In fact, she's bugging me about producing a new album for her sometime this year, hehe.
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby sambrox » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:18 pm

Ok. Took your advice on board, Elf, and here is the result :

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Thanks a lot for your help (that is, if the new version's better!!!)
Sam
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:52 pm

Whatever you've done the mix sounds more cohesive now. Love it!

...and I've suddenly realised... The Brox family and I crossed musical paths a few year ago!

'When a Man Loves a Woman' - nuff said?!

No wonder the vocals are so good!
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby sambrox » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:02 pm

Haha no way! Just spoke to my dad about that track - he's putting it on a new compilation he's done; half covers, half new material. He reckons it's the best stuff he's done for years (he managed to rope in all four of my sisters plus my niece to do backing vocals, so it can't be half bad, hehe).

Cheers, Elf!

Sam
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:10 pm

Snigger! Small world isn't it?

Regards to Dad and tell him if he needs a re-mix he knows where I am! It was partly his fault I'm now a full-time penniless engineer/producer - God bless him!
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby sambrox » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:35 pm

VERY small world!

I'll pass on your regards
To be honest, there are probably hundreds of penniless musicians/engineers/producers out there because of my dad (I should know, I'm one of them!).

Thanks again, man.

Sam
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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby sambrox » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:29 am

Just found this on Youtube, thought you might like a gander :


Brox in his prime

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Re: Another 'critique my mix' post...

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Superb!

I really enjoyed the sessions we did with him and Kyla. I'd love to have another crack at it one day! Good music and good times, man...
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