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Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

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Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby AlunJRoberts » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:39 pm

Hi all,

I'm in the middle of recording an album with a friend and hopefully we've got this first track just about there. Could you please let me know if it's lacking/over-exceeding anything? It's hard to tell what's right and wrong when you've listened it to death and back!

http://soundcloud.com/alunjroberts/sleep

Also on a more personal note, are the vocals up to standard? I'm not really sure if it's one of those 'hate hearing your voice back on an answering machine' scenarios.

Any feedback and input much appreciated!

Thanks,

Alun
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:29 pm

Typing as I listen...

Wow! This starts well!

Oh yes, love it!

The rhythm section is tight, gutsy and speaks with one voice - lovely.

Although I wouldn't expect to hear every word in this style of music, here the vocals are getting buried a bit too much. Maybe this is about your confidence in the vocal, but the only way to know is to try - hiding it doesn't make it any better!

During the breakdowns the vocal could really come forward and speak right to our face - I think that would help the 'disturbing' nature of the mix as a whole.

Could the snare stand a little more top end? I'd have to think on that one...

I'd push that synth lead to the middle and lift it, but as a synth-freak I would, wouldn't I?! Actually I'd probably suggest looking for something a little less 'ordinary' - maybe heavily distorted Hammond, auto-panned distorted piano, a shifting waveform (Wavestation-type thing), or some such.

Great sound and well-performed. You can be proud of this one, man!
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby AlunJRoberts » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:14 am

Thanks Elf. Glad you're liking it!

I'll make some adjustments and upload the revision a bit later if you don't mind sparing another five minutes?

I'm hoping if I can find a benchmark for the album with a track like this then I have a standard to work towards with the rest of it.

Thanks again,

Alun
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby oggyb » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:22 pm

I normally agree with everything Elf says but in I think the snare is good here: it has power and presence without sounding like every other snare. There's an effective "hitting a tv with a baseball bat" feel to it.

Song sounds like Threshold, but with shoutier guitars. Agreed that the vocal is mostly lost. Good falsetto though!

In general: "mastered" to 0dBFS is bad in my book, and the texture gets irritating after a while. Guitars well played and sound ace but are too big for a song with words and things other than guitars. Hope that helps
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby AlunJRoberts » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:27 pm

Hi both,

I've put up a revised version with alterations based upon your suggestions, including 'mastering' changes.

It can be found here if you can spare a second

Thanks - Alun

https://soundcloud.com/alunjroberts
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby oggyb » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:57 am

Sounds like you've pushed the vocals at around 3K. I think you need to be more brutal with the guitars. Pull them at 3K so you don't need to push the vocal so much. Pull the overheads too to really leave a hole for the vocal intelligibility.

There's a pad sound which could be a super-compressed guitar power-chord sound or a synth, behind the vocal throughout. Pull the mids on that too. It's just really GRRRRRR in that region.

You can go crazy with guitar EQing because there's no "natural" sound that the listener expects.
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby Dunc off of moos » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:20 pm

Agree with the vocal comments, they get lost in level and distrotion.
Sounds f'in ace though - great job and great song.
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:57 pm

Listening again I'm with Oggy on this one. There's a lot of work needed in the mids. There's a balance to be struck between the aggression that lives in the mids and the clutter than ensues when too much material is fighting for space there.

This is one of the hardest parts of mixing to get right at any level. There's a lot of detail in your song that's getting lost.
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby Folderol » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:14 pm

I would just like to say this is a considerable improvement on the first version.
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby AlunJRoberts » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:01 pm

I'm really appreciating this feedback as it's helping me to understand my general process in equal measure as it is the shortcomings in this individual project.

I'm seeing that being a Guitarist, I always used to fear being the type that wanted to push my own instrument too far forward in the mix (as Guitarists do) and used to be quite reserved with their levels, which incurred complaints that they sounded weak from the Drummer. Then I clearly went too far the other way in a beefy toned power-hungry rampage, which I'm now recovering from and finding a reasonable common ground. Is there a rehab for Fuzz-addicted Guitar players?

The vocal level issue was clearly a 'me' thing, having been more classical/jazz based for many years I wasn't sure my guts sounded big enough for rock

I never seem to get these problems when I mix for others, which should have told me it was an ego/lack thereof type of thing when working on my own projects.

I'll pop up one more version for anyone who's sticking with this thread.

Thanks again all for lending your ears!
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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby AlunJRoberts » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:50 am

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Re: Mix Critique for Hard Rock please?

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:23 am

Yup, this sounds mighty!

If I was being picky...

I might suggest the kick is just a smidge too hot, or you could remove some of its 'knock' with a very narrow EQ.

And there's a bit too much mid 'Ooh' in the vocoder part for my taste. I'd dip a fair bit of mid from it.

But this is finessing at a fine degree.

Put me down for a copy of the album!
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