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Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

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Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby Skerrick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:19 am

hi guys, this is a tough one, i need your help, i find that other forums i post on for feedback - i get comments like "great keep it up" and such, but im not finding much in the way of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism... compliments are great and all but im getting either "i dont like it" with no explanation as to why or im finding that people just say its good and then throw their song at me wanting similar comments.
im bringing this one to SOS cos i wanna know if im actually on the right track..?

http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/trap-door-forthcoming-plusquam - this is one of my best imho, its nice and chilled, but i have lots of stuff on www.soundcloud.com/skerrick if anyone wants to give me any further advice...

looking forward to hearing what you have to say :)
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby HKPotential » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:58 am

Hey Skerrick,

Decent effort. However, of course, you're mix needs so much more work.

The first thing I noticed when listening to 'trap door'(miss that little claymation btw :P), is that your kick drum is too dry and weak. It needs to be processed more and sounds like a typical, boring 808 or 909 kick drum. Try learning the art of 'processing' you're drums and effects to get more unique sounds and learn how to 'mix' these processes together. Your kick drums also need to stand out more and the bottom end of the kick sounds way to rubbery, covers too much of the low end of the mix while not being able to stand out on its own. The second kick is a little better, but I still think some nice processing and Parallel Compression would do it better.

Your grinding effects stand out way too much in the beginning and are poorly timed. It sounds as though you used those effects as more of fillers than harmonies. When adding effects to your music, it is part of the actual 'mixing' process. Usually, producers enjoy doing it last as it is used as a means to drive the song forward and encourage the lead melody to continue looping. You need to train yourself to be able to learn how to fit in effects and make it BELONG with the melodies that they are encouraging. This comes with good analysis, experimentation and interpretation of your mix.

Analysing your sound, I am assuming this is one of those trappy, bassy underground tracks that embrace a dark feeling. You have got the main idea and have a concept of the feeling, but it is incomplete. You need to analyse how to bring out that dark underground bassy feeling by observing the fundamental aspects of that genre. Oh and not to forget to mention, YOU FORGOT THE BASS :O. Alot of aspiring producers just starting out forget the bass alot for some reason(lol).

Dont give up though, you will get better and it is alot of hard work and alot of practice. My number one advice, instill in yourself 'good work ethic and high standards'. So important when it comes to producing music and life skills in general.

I like the pads you were using though, very sonic and atmospheric. Made me feel like I was going through the tunnels of trap door :P

Keep it up, you can only get better :)
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby Skerrick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:09 am

yeah i made that a long time ago... in relevance to what youre saying, i made this quite recently and i think i address a lot of what youre talking about...
( http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/cyclical ) - let me know if you think the production value on this is any better.. :)

yeah that trap door tune is a big chiller, i think i remember trying to work the bass in there but losing a lot off the bottom end of those lovely pads i found.. and yeah the off timing of those hats on the intro were placed as more of a "this intro is curious, keep listening" kinda vibe - and yeah i think this was one of my first attempts at trap, but it came out all 'trapmospheric' ;) - currently trying to coin the genre hahah

and yeah man, ive been using those 808 kicks a lot but only recently started peaking the eq at about 100hz to 120hz whereas previously i was doing them at about 50hz or so (dont worry, im shaking my own head too hahah)
thanks for the feedback man, really glad you took the time to help me out! cheers bro! hopefully you find a few spare mins to listen to one of my newer ones.. (theyve been made about 6 months apart) and i think ive picked up a few new tips and tricks since 'trap door' but thats just my opinion... :)
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby HKPotential » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:08 am

hmmm... listening as I type. The intro is ok, although it was very abrupt when that transient melody/effect came in. You are very good at working with pads I must say. And yes, the bass end is a bit better, but I still dont see any sub bass rythm. Your grinding effects have improved in this one yet they are still all over the place and at times take up too much space. You're effects are way too overwhelming and are just filling up frequencies for no purpose. Try to make them more relative rather than just thrown everywhere.

At times, there is still to much unnessecary high end and the kicks still need work. Plus, there is waaay too much repetition in this song, you need to break it down a little then bring it back up.

Please work on the overall structure of the sound as it feels as though things are just being placed here and there. You need to balance out all the frequencies within the audible human hearing range and harmonise everything or else you will lose alot of useful dynamics and musicality that human ears long for.

Take care and dont give up :)
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby Skerrick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:14 am

thanks for the feedback.. its a little confusing because i spent a lot of time working on the structure of this one... and i tried not to make it too repetitive, ill take on board what you said and hopefully next time ill be able to take it up a level. :)
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby HKPotential » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:34 am

It's not about how long you spend on a track, it's about knowing what you're doing and what it all means :)
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby Skerrick » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:06 am

... to an extent id say i know pretty well what im doing man, its like youre assuming i have zero knowledge here... personally im pretty happy with the way my sounds are heading but i can definitely see the extent of what youre getting at.
im fairly confident in most aspects of production aside from 'mastering' which is actually tuning out to be a lot more of a broad topic than one would generally assume.
either way, a tune can take me anywhere between a few hours and a few days..
eg; this took me about 45 minutes.. ( http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/sundials) still got a ways to go on it, but for only 45 mins to get to this stage using sidechaining, parallel processing and various other mixing/filtering/sampling/compression techniques it aint half bad i must say.

but thanks for the criticism, i take everything on board. :lol:
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby HKPotential » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:16 am

that's cool man. Sorry if I went in too harshly. I'm sure you have a good understanding, just sharing some ideas and thoughts and providing positive feedback.

Have a good one :lol:
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Re: Looking for help, need feedback on my mixing/mastering attempts..

Postby The Elf » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:21 am

Listening to Trapdoor...

I can only go on my instinct with this, but I feel like I should be able to get lost in this piece - and I don't.

The whole piece seems more like a collection of relatively raw sounds. There's not much front-to-back depth to pull me into the mix, which is important in anything meditative - we need to be able to walk into the audio landscape, with sounds crying from the mountains in the far distance to gentle rustlings close by our ears.

At the moment this mix has too much happening close to us, and some sounds that jolt us out of the audio illusion. As Peter Griffin put it, "I am very aware that I am watching a play right now". :D

HTH
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