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mixing and mastering advice

Postby jbehrmusic » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:17 am

if i wanted to post a song i finished, to get some honest mixing/mastering criticism/advice, where could I post that? I saw there was a 'self-promotion' section, but that requires 200 posts to join it.

thanks for the help.
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:53 am

Just post a link on here. :thumbup:

The self promotion forum is more for promoting finished work or gigs. The 200 post requirement is to prevent spam as it's intended for regular forum users.
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby jbehrmusic » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:08 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Just post a link on here. :thumbup:

Ok cool. I mean technically it is a "finished work", but I still wanted some criticism/feedback, so I can improve my mixing/master skills for future projects.

Here's the link: https://youtu.be/k2LSca10yes
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby CS70 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:43 pm

No problem in giving feedback, but be careful what you ask for.. my thoughts on the matter at https://www.theaudioblog.org/post/is-my-mix-good-enough :-)
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby blinddrew » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:18 pm

Not really my genre, but to me that's a really accomplished piece.
If I'm going to be picky there's only a couple of things that I'd maybe look at, both during the main verse section. Firstly I'd like just a little more bite on the main vocal, and secondly there's plenty of lovely little fills and delays filling out the stereo field, but they're a little bit too consistent during the verse for me. Just a little bit more variation in there for ear candy would be nice.
Cracking track I reckon though. :thumbup:
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:27 pm

Hi jbehrmusic,

1. I echo Drew's comments - to my ears this is well written, good legibility on the vocal work, well balanced and mixed, and it's got a really 'hooky' main riff.

2. I did find myself getting little bored from 2:19 to 2:40 - I'd be inclined to add some more variety here to keep people's attention.

3. However, there's then a great change at 2:51 - perhaps this would be better introduced earlier?

4. ... but at 3:12 we're back into that same old groove until the end at 3:57.

With a total length of 3:57 (a little long for a 'single'), I'd be inclined to trim the total length a little to give the track more variation - less can indeed be more as they say.

Despite these misgivings, I think this is a great track.

Hope this helps!


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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby jbehrmusic » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:40 pm

CS70 wrote:No problem in giving feedback, but be careful what you ask for.. my thoughts on the matter at

Thanks for the blog read. I know much of the topic at hand can be extremely subjective, but there are also fundamentals that can be objectively wrong or right, in the sense of balance and dynamics of a track. Not to mention how something is EQ'd, Mastered, etc... I was looking more for criticism of that nature, in which maybe it would stand out and I could improve it in the future.

blinddrew wrote:Not really my genre, but to me that's a really accomplished piece.If I'm going to be picky there's only a couple of things that I'd maybe look at, both during the main verse section. Firstly I'd like just a little more bite on the main vocal, and secondly there's plenty of lovely little fills and delays filling out the stereo field, but they're a little bit too consistent during the verse for me. Just a little bit more variation in there for ear candy would be nice.Cracking track I reckon though.

Appreciate you taking the time to listen, even when it's not your genre. I've gotten the same feedback from other forums as well, saying the main vocal needs a bit more aggressiveness/bite. I'll definitely take that into account for future projects.

Yeah, I also did notice I made too many delay fills, but I'll take that into account for the future. Thanks again for your comment!
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby jbehrmusic » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:43 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Hi jbehrmusic,

1. I echo Drew's comments - to my ears this is well written, good legibility on the vocal work, well balanced and mixed, and it's got a really 'hooky' main riff.

2. I did find myself getting little bored from 2:19 to 2:40 - I'd be inclined to add some more variety here to keep people's attention.

3. However, there's then a great change at 2:51 - perhaps this would be better introduced earlier?

4. ... but at 3:12 we're back into that same old groove until the end at 3:57.

With a total length of 3:57 (a little long for a 'single'), I'd be inclined to trim the total length a little to give the track more variation - less can indeed be more as they say.

1. Appreciate that!

2. For 2:19-2:40, I switched up the flow a bit to make it less monotonous in comparison to the other flow. But yeah I understand what you're saying, since it makes the overall feel a bit more laid back and "boring" as you say.

3. Perhaps? I like to switch the flow somewhat often.

4. Was this supposed to be a negative thing?

Thanks again for the comments!
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby CS70 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:15 pm

jbehrmusic wrote:Thanks for the blog read. I know much of the topic at hand can be extremely subjective, but there are also fundamentals that can be objectively wrong or right, in the sense of balance and dynamics of a track. Not to mention how something is EQ'd, Mastered, etc... I was looking more for criticism of that nature, in which maybe it would stand out and I could improve it in the future.

It's only my opinion of course, and do forgive my emphasis - it's one of my pet peeves... I honestly don't think so.

If there were "right" or wrong in balance, dynamics and EQ we would not have the variety of balances, dynamics and EQ choices that we have (even considering wildly commercially successful music).

But we do, hence the premise is wrong.

The only objective "wrong" in a mix is whether or not it translates. Balance, dynamics, EQ they're all about some taste, conventions and expectations. And of course, if you try to sell your track, the "right" and "wrong" is in terms of popularity - which may mean that either your track sucks, or that it's in the wrong moment in time.

There surely can be something that lots of people will like or not like and buy or not buy in a particular moment in time... but that's not the same as wrong, not in the slightest.

Say, the bass balance of any EDM track would horrify anyone who used to mix in the 60s an 70s. Take any mega-successful rock track and plonk it in 1940 and everyone would feel it was horrible and totally wrong. Heck, nowadays there's people out there using digital distortion on purpose. And it works.

And don't even get me started on dubstep.

It's all purely opinions. There is no "right" balance, or dynamics, or EQ - as much it would be nice if there was. Then we could all adhere to the standard and crank out perfectly mixed tracks in no time.

The only way in which these questions make sense is if you state your intentions, and that's hard because there is no precise language for them. "Is my snare louder then vocals?" begins to make some sense but how do we know you wanted it 2dB or 5dB RMS louder? And if you know, it's easy to measure - you don't need to ask.

We look for recipes - it's a natural way of how we human beings are done - and the fact that there aren't any is very hard to accept. And far from in music only..

What you get by asking others to evaluate your mix is a random bunch of people telling you something they think may make the track more likeable to them,and you hope they are a representative sample of the population at large... (and here we're all interested in sound, so probably it's not... the population at large currently listens to crappy mp3s on a single phone earbud :D).

So you hope that, if you change your way to the something, you will "improve" how your track is perceived by most. It may work, but it may just as well not. It's a bit of a pointless exercise imho - other than making friends and get a little comfort (which are, by all means, worthwhile... only say nothing about your track). Well perhaps you may get some ideas of possible things you can do to tracks (which is not bad) but certainly not right or wrong. We all seek approval, and peer approval is particularly satisfactory (or even feedback) because in many contexts (starting with the ancestral savannah) is actually useful and practical.. there are right and wrong and the wrong kills you or makes you lose.

But music - and mixing - ain't like that.

Unless of course you get someone to comment on the only objective part beyond sales - translation. Does your mix sound similar to itself when played on headphones, in a car, or in the 5000 watt rock club PA? Doing this last bit is usually a revelation - as lousy and farty low end gets revealed in all its (lack of) magnificence. Does it preserve its raison-d'etre, that is to say its emotional payout to the listener?

Unfortunately, it happens very seldom that anyone in forums (or real life) has resources, time and will to do so. That's why mastering engineers were invented :D

The questions to pose - to yourself - are like: do you get the goosebumps when you listen to your track? Does it excite you? Is it the sound you had in your head? Did you have a sound in your head? Do you want to blast the track on repeat from your car with the windows down (or even better buy a convertible just for the purpose)? If it was the only eternal testament of your existence on Earth, would you leave it like it is?

That kind of questions.

If you _do_ want to have an appraisal of your track in a certain time, culture and place, the best is to put it out in the wild and ask regular listeners, with not much interest and knowledge and experience about the how tracks they consider nice are made, but lots of interest and knowledge and experience in what they consider nice. The risk of these "how" questions is that the answers work against you, you lose your own voice (and confidence in your judgement) and what makes your music unique.

Sorry for the length, writing in a hurry and no time to trim down :)
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:01 pm

jbehrmusic wrote:
1. Appreciate that!

2. For 2:19-2:40, I switched up the flow a bit to make it less monotonous in comparison to the other flow. But yeah I understand what you're saying, since it makes the overall feel a bit more laid back and "boring" as you say.

3. Perhaps? I like to switch the flow somewhat often.

4. Was this supposed to be a negative thing?

Thanks again for the comments!

It's a pleasure!

My point 4 was that to my ears the section 2:19-2:40 (which is where I started to lose interest) sounded mighty similar to 3:12-3:57, so both sections had the same effect.

For me, the rest of your track was great, and I felt it was a shame to potentially lose some listeners because you have two long-ish sections that are a bit too repetitive and similar to each other - you need to keep demanding attention either by extra 'ear candy', or a couple more structural song changes, to make sure those listeners remain with you until the final note.

Still love the track though ;)


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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby jbehrmusic » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:45 pm

Martin Walker wrote:My point 4 was that to my ears the section 2:19-2:40 (which is where I started to lose interest) sounded mighty similar to 3:12-3:57, so both sections had the same effect.

For me, the rest of your track was great, and I felt it was a shame to potentially lose some listeners because you have two long-ish sections that are a bit too repetitive and similar to each other - you need to keep demanding attention either by extra 'ear candy', or a couple more structural song changes, to make sure those listeners remain with you until the final note.

I think I was a bit confused. You originally said "However, there's then a great change at 2:51 - perhaps this would be better introduced earlier?"

This was introduced earlier at 43 seconds into the song. So I'm not sure what you meant by "introduced earlier"? Both sections 0:43 and 2:51 are near identical, aside from the lyrical changes.

And yeah, about the longish sections. It was a minor switch up from the chorus, which may have felt too similar. Hence the 'repetitiveness'.
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby jbehrmusic » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:52 pm

CS70 wrote:Sorry for the length, writing in a hurry and no time to trim down :)

You said a lot here, but I'll try my best to respond.

For the "right" or "wrong" part, I am referring to how my song relates to similar songs in the same genre. For example, you wouldn't slap a hard booming 808 in Jazz music. That's objectively wrong, and wouldn't make sense. For hip-hop, there are certain characteristics that make up a great track, similar to any other genre. And small things like "brightness" or "aggressiveness" are more subjective than what I am referring to. I am referring to more obvious things, like an 808 in Jazz, or maybe a very weak kick/snare in hip-hop.

Also as you said, another objective wrong is how the mix translates across multiple devices and platforms. It may sound great on my speakers, but maybe most of you say it sounds too muddy on the low end. For all the other minor tweaks and changes, I agree with you. They are all based on taste/preference.
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby CS70 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:30 pm

Now that you mention Jazz and 808...

https://www.thezyg808.com/label

:D

But yeah of course genre-consistency is something that can be evaluated. Unless you're in metal: there if your song is a iota different, you simply invent a new genre name. :mrgreen:
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Re: mixing and mastering advice

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:41 pm

CS70 wrote:But yeah of course genre-consistency is something that can be evaluated. Unless you're in metal: there if your song is a iota different, you simply invent a new genre name. :mrgreen:

Spot on CS! :bouncy:

Have a read here :beamup:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... tal_genres


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