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A mix to review!

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A mix to review!

Postby Apebot » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:46 pm

Hiya,

Inspired by the library music series written a few months back I wanted to try my hand at writing a series of tracks that could be used for picture - adverts and promotional content etc (my day job is as a freelance sound editor working in post-production, but written music as as hobby ever since I was able to)

https://soundcloud.com/adam_w1/1-full/s-9jETU

This mix to me has clarity, but feels a little flat - unadventurous - and i'm thinking that this is because it's been produced entirely in the box, i.e software synths and samples etc

I would be very curious to know other people's thoughts on this, and what other people might do to liven it up.

By the way, as references I tend to use Bonobo's music - Black Sands in particular, as to me at least, the mixes are always exciting, but also extremely detailed yet clear.

Many thanks,

Adam
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Re: A mix to review!

Postby awjoe » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:23 am

It's excellent for what it is. I don't feel any of the flatness you're insecure about. However, if you want to know what I think would take it to a higher level, I'd say vocals coming in at that all-important 1.28 mark. Not upfront vocals, because the thing that makes this track wonderful is how present you've made the library sounds, and you've got to honor the tribe it belongs to. But real, sung vocals. No library stuff. Background, sure. Maybe even an interesting part. The human voice is one of the most engaging sounds in recorded music.

Of course, you'd have to re-do the arrangement, and since you posted it six months ago, I doubt you want to do that. But it's doable.
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Re: A mix to review!

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:39 pm

It is nicely and clearly mixed, and translates well to mono but I think I agree with you that there is space in there for a little more excitement.
A couple of suggestions:
When the lowish synth comes in at 29 seconds, I'd add a bit of pulse to that so that it's reinforcing the beat.
The main sort-of-picked-motif feels like it's crying out for a bit of ping-pong delay to come in and out throughout the piece, likewise I'd like to hear a couple more things moving across the soundfield a bit.
And let's have a change of front to back as well whilst we're at it; when the instrumentation starts to simplify around I'd have a think about backing off the reverb and giving a little top end lift to bring the end section to the fore.
Similarly at 1:16 where it starts to darken for a moment I'd maybe crank up the reverb a bit (and maybe at a bit of crunch to it to emphasise the change that comes in when the melody comes back in at 1:30.
Hope that helps, but I'll point you to the disclaimer in my signature so feel free to ignore it entirely. :)
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Re: A mix to review!

Postby Apebot » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:02 am

These are all great suggestions, female vocals for one, and the ideas about emphasising the sections and transitions; i'm very grateful for them. I know the track is 'old' now but it's still a work in progress in my mind.
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Re: A mix to review!

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:09 am

As is so often the case, I don't think there's much wrong with the mix apart from the very shrill sound of the chimes/bells or whatever they are that are the main instrument. On my system at least, they are very piercing and became tiring on the ears very quickly.

The main issues for me, small as they are, are around the performance and arrangement. The intro is, for me, way too long before the tune takes off properly and I'd have a good look at the timing/rhythm of the chimes/bells things as they feel a little out of the pocket. All very subjective, of course! HTH
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Re: A mix to review!

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:45 am

Nice track!

I agree with Mr Longjohns that any issues with it are more to do with the arrangement than the mix. The glockenspiel (if that's what it is) is a bit relentless, and it also has much more high-frequency content than any of the other instruments. When the full arrangement proper kicks in at about 1'30 it sounds unexciting in comparison to what went before because the glock is not so high in the mix and thus there isn't so much going on in the high end.

For me I think what you need to do is either use the glock much more sparingly, or reassign the part to different instruments in different sections of the track so that it doesn't get tiring and there's room for things to build in the treble as the track goes on. I'm not very keen on the way the glock currently sort of half fades out but doesn't quite vanish altogether, that comes across as a bit indecisive and hesitant.
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Re: A mix to review!

Postby Apebot » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:39 pm

Thanks Huge and Sam!

The harshness of the chimes is an interesting one - i've just changed from Sony MDR-7506s to Sennheiser HD-650s - two very different headphones in terms of top-end. Where is objectivity!?


The idea of swapping out the part amongst other instruments is one I will certainly try, and the more holistic thought about the the climax feeling less exciting due to the ubiquity of the chimes at the start is much appreciated.

Thanks all.
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