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Complex mix driving me bonkers

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Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby oggyb » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:32 pm

Hi y'all, happy new year.

Please shout at me about this mix, because I'm going insane. It's just so wooly and gluey. I can hear the difference between this and commercial mixes of a similar style, but I can't fathom the details that need to be corrected.

https://soundcloud.com/oggyb/dreaming-isnt-cheap-wip/s-NzJyu

RAWR
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby The Elf » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:58 pm

(Lovely piece of music - I like it a lot!)

It's not bad, but I can hear the problems you're having. The lower-mids are a bit crowded. By the time the tom hits enter the fray you're saturated.

Firstly I'd look to thin out some of the parts. The scratchy loop would be a prime candidate for me. Compare signals against one another to find where the lower-mids are overlapping. The percussion and the piano are definitely candidates for some thinning (piano is frequently a culprit for overlapping bass/low-mids), though you may be able to automate the EQ as the arrangement grows in complexity - as more parts are added then be more aggressive with the thinning.

Some parts could be brighter - more 'air' in the breathy parts, for example. Look for anything in the 8kHz or above that can be made to 'zing' a little. You'll have to be choosy with these, but if you get it right the mix should balance out a little better.

I'd also look at stronger/brighter reverbs to help out. The piano sounds as if if could benefit from a longer/more prominent pre-delay. The tom hits also need a bigger space around them to make them 'impossibly' big. Other parts may need drying up to allow this.

You know how it is - if I was sitting in front of this mix I have no doubt I'd contradict myself over and over before I let it go, but you have to keep the underlying philosophy of the mix in mind - for me this would be a mix I'd want to sound surreally huge, and pull my attention to the sounds at the back/distance.

Hope something here helps.
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:18 pm

Very nice, great opening for a sci fi film! But I think it perhaps needs to be less polite; with more movement, both in terms of relative levels and volume automation and panning (side to side) to add excitement. It's all a little central and static. Main thing, for me, though, would be to explode the drums in and mix them higher and wider once they're in. Hope that sparks some thoughts.
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby oggyb » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:05 am

You're both amazing, thanks.

I've done some of those things, is it better? I still think it could do with more levels automation... things tumbling over each other.

https://soundcloud.com/oggyb/dreaming-isnt-cheap-13/s-7jal7

The biggest change I made was lift the bass by an octave for the sections with percussion, which freed the bottom octave for thumps.
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:44 am

Yes, that is sounding better. I think you could still be braver with the reverbs and you might need to hunt down a couple of distracting 'mosquito' frequencies, but I think you're on the right track now.
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby oggyb » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:33 pm

Listening back, there's definitely a mosquito in the vocals, and a collision within the toms/perc loop around 6-800. What do you think about the brass?
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:07 pm

I have a pathological loathing of brass, so I'm probably not the best judge! I could hear them replaced with something more synthy, or maybe something like an Asian/African bowed/reed instrument, perhaps.
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby oggyb » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:39 pm

Lols well I was thinking more about the mix you betrayed yourself.
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby maskedwarrior » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:06 am

Listening to the first mix (staying true to the source so you aren't led in circles lol)...

I think a different reverb on the piano that gave it more top end excitement and a bit more of an orientation - maybe with some earlier reflections - would help. Sounds a bit too close mic'd and a bit thuddy & dead.

I also think the pulsing loop track could have some EQ automation on it, to make more of the higher, more breathy frequencies as the tom thumps come in, so it takes more of a journey and doesn't compete with the boooms.

Only a first impression, on headphones, but they can be helpful I know. Really exciting music, had me hooked so I kept forgetting to listen at all critically! lol
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby oggyb » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:07 am

Hey thanks, I did in fact change the main reverb to have more emphasis on early reflections and the EQ is automated on the pulsing loop.

Actually, I removed more HF as the piece went on to to avoid competing with the vocals and brass: I haven't tried adding sizzle at the top but it may just congest the upper regions, which I want free for breath and that sparkly string synth.

Here's the latest:
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby maskedwarrior » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi. Well I approve of all the changes there, sounds fulsome & more 'complete' than the first mix. For what it's worth I think it's super.

I think this is an artistic personal thing lol but I do want the frog-ribbity sample thing to change as the track progresses - to explore other frequencies, as that's the thing I find myself centering on and it holds the track uniquely together.
But hey it's your baby and I'm probably crossing a parental boundary there!
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Re: Complex mix driving me bonkers

Postby oggyb » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:18 pm

maskedwarrior wrote:I think this is an artistic personal thing lol but I do want the frog-ribbity sample thing to change as the track progresses - to explore other frequencies, as that's the thing I find myself centering on and it holds the track uniquely together.
But hey it's your baby and I'm probably crossing a parental boundary there!

No that's actually an interesting thought.
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