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Pointers Request (Completed Project)

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Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:29 am

Hi all,

I'm sort of posting this with my eyes closed and through clenched fingers.

I've finished the project in the link below - it took me what felt like an absolute lifetime, I'm growing increasingly dissatisfied with it (which is obviously a bit gutting) - but I figure I need to just move on. It's done and I want to get back to writing and recording new stuff.

With that in mind - I'd really appreciate it if anyone could take the time to skip through the playlist and give me some pointers for next time.

https://soundcloud.com/andy-zuk/sets/th ... on-slips-1

Despite taking a long time to reference it to stuff that I like, it just sounds nowhere near at all to me - any ideas why it is quite so far off in terms of sound quality would be really appreciated. To be honest I just don't know where to start. My ears certainly aren't the greatest.

Cheers

A
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby The Bunk » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:38 am

Well I've had a quick listen to snippets of it and I really like it; there'll no doubt be more qualified "judges" than I to follow with more expert thoughts but I couldn't pick anything that would stop me wanting to listen to it.
Maybe you've just spent so long on it (as you say) that you / your ears are just plain tired of it?
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby John Egan » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:51 pm

I think The Bunk's comments above are spot on.
It's well played and there are some good songs. My only suggestion would be to try to break up the album with two or maybe three tracks that are less introspective and intense. If I had done it, I'd be proud of it'
Regards, John
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Wonks » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:00 pm

I feel the first track is rather swimming in an indifferent reverb and delay. I'd work on the reverb and delay a bit with some HP and LP filtering and a bit of EQ. You should be able to get the same level/length of reverb but without it being quite so 'in your face'.
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby CS70 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:47 pm

Northernmonki wrote:Despite taking a long time to reference it to stuff that I like, it just sounds nowhere near at all to me - any ideas why it is quite so far off in terms of sound quality would be really appreciated.

Hard to say much without knowing what your references are? What's this stuff you like?

It's a sound (and not a bad one at all) and there's nothing fundamentally wrong it with - unless you'd like another one. Opinions are dime a dozen.

The vocals are little tucked in perhaps, but again that can just be your artistic choice..
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:41 am

Thanks to you all for listening - it's really very much appreciated.

I don't doubt that the production on it isn't stellar - but given the general themes of the comments I think perhaps I am just too close to it.

To address the specific question cs70 - I referenced it against various stuff - but the things that make me cringe when I hear it alongside them are things that I'd view as being sort of "modern and hi-fi sounding" - mainly recent stuff by Radiohead, Gaz Coombes, Richard Hawley and Paul Draper. Spot the bloke in his late thirties with a guitar :)

The thing that really bothers me is that I seem to be able to get 2 flavours of low end in my productions - boomy and ridiculous or anaemic and ridiculous. I think I landed on the latter here.

That's what jumps out at me against the references, and I suspect this is linked to the fact that the mids sound horrible and congested to me.

The thing I can't get my head round is what I can do to avoid that in future projects - I can't put my finger on the specific mistakes that have made it sound like this to me. Having taken my time to eq and compress things (but without anything getting really hammered by those plug ins) I'm at a loss as to how I'm going to not make the same mistakes (whatever they are) again. This is as close as i could get it and it's just not close at all.

The drums and bass are a great example of my issue: the drums are all programmed using Slate Ssd4 and the bass is usually DI and amplitube - with some eq and compression. There's no real scope for messed up mic'ing - so accepting potential phase issues with the bass - shouldn't I be able to get this sounding closer to something I would listen to?

Apologies- an unintentionally long and detailed reply. Thanks again to those on the thread for their replies.

A






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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby John Egan » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:01 pm

Northernmonki wrote:
The thing that really bothers me is that I seem to be able to get 2 flavours of low end in my productions - boomy and ridiculous or anaemic and ridiculous. I think I landed on the latter here.

This is as close as i could get it and it's just not close at al
-

What is the difference betwen the two. Can you revisit the mixing/mastering settings ?

Regards, John
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:26 pm

What is the difference betwen the two. Can you revisit the mixing/mastering settings ?

Regards, John[/quote]

Ha. You'd think so wouldn't you..I would end up oscillating between the 2 undesirable extremes...

As it's done I kind of need to move on from it - but given that I feel it's a real stumbling block in my productions I suppose that I'm hoping the issue is obvious to those with better ears than mine (and that those with better ears are gracious enough not to point out it's probably a lack of talent :) ). I'm hoping to try and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

A
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:27 pm

(Thanks for taking the time again - much appreciated)
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Wonks » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:41 pm

If you keep wavering, then it may mean that your mixing environment isn't very well acoustically treated. Have you got any broadband absorbers and bass traps in your mixing space? It's a common problem with home recording spaces. Money spent on acoustic treatment is money far better spent than on a new mic pre or compressor.
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:20 pm

At the risk of this becoming one of those toe-curling forum threads where someone asks for advice, people are kind enough to give it and then the OP refuses to accept it...

Most of my monitoring (particularly eq and compression) is done on open-backed cans (akg 702s) with Sonarworks correction on them (definitely not doing anything daft like bouncing out with the correction on btw)

Why do I get the feeling you're about to tell me that isn't going to be helping?
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Wonks » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:27 pm

No, that's fine. It's just that people mixing on monitors in untreated rooms and struggling to get a good mix is such a common problem that you're bound to get asked about it at some point!
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:41 pm

Well, let's get our priorities right here! You've written and recorded and finished an album of good performances of good songs and that is 90 percent of the battle. It's a lot more than most people ever achieve. You've got a strong voice and a clear artistic vision and that counts for a huge amount.

From a mix point of view, it feels as though there is too much processing going on, and it's not consistent between songs. Sometimes you're pushing the upper mid-range a bit too hard, which makes everything sound a bit crispy and edgy. Sometimes everything sounds a bit scooped. Sometimes there's too much compression going on. None of it's disastrous as in preventing the song from coming across, and if it was the same on all the songs it'd feel like a consistent artistic choice, but I feel as though I'm just getting used to the decisions you've made on one song, and then the next one makes different decisions.

If you're not heartily sick of the whole business and you want to send over a multitrack I'd be more than happy to see if it could be a candidate for our Mix Rescue column -- PM me, or my email address is sam AT soundonsound DOT com
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:15 pm

Hi Sam

That would be amazing if it was to happen.

I'll drop you a note.

Cheers

Andy
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby blinddrew » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:27 pm

Finally catching up with my listening and hearing this now, but there's not a great deal point commenting if you're going to take up Sam on his offer as he'll give you far more input and expertise than I can. :)

P.S. Some cracking tunes there! :thumbup:
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby Northernmonki » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:05 pm

Cheers mate - thanks for having a listen.
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Re: Pointers Request (Completed Project)

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:19 pm

Had a quick listen to some of track one. I think you have a really nice vibe there. Good song.
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