You are here

Help me fix my music

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Help me fix my music

Postby Dwmusic123 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:52 am

Hi guys,

I need some help fixing a piece of music.

I wanted to create a 'cinematic' dark and suspenseful type thing and am pretty happy with the idea and overall sounds, although I need help with mixing and mastering it.

This is my first time getting to this stage, and I recognize what's wrong with it - I just don't know how to fix it. The main thing I am trying to do is to get it to work on most sound systems, because it sounds great on my studio monitors (KRK rokit g4 5's), but played on anything else it sounds awful.

If anybody has some tips or advice on how to fix it, then it would be much appreciated!

Here a the link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lgo65nhqmmgtq ... D.wav?dl=0
(If needed I could also provide the Ableton Live file.)
Dwmusic123
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:45 am

Re: Help me fix my music

Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:55 am

I'm not sure that there is any 'quick fix' that can be supplied here. I'd say that you have 2 options :

1. Get (pay) someone to mix the track.
2. Spend some time (pay) with a good teacher doing some 1 on 1 mixing basics to help you mix it yourself.

Mixing is a real art - there are some very talented people hereabouts and the thing is, they know when something sounds wrong - and that's half the battle. Mixing can take a lifetime and you still may not get there. But there are shortcuts - having lessons from someone like our own Zukan is an amazing shortcut as not only he can help you understand how to use the tools you have, but how to listen and understand when things are wrong. There is also the Elf who is equally clever. Both are also excellent communicators (with great rock n roll stories)..
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5435
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Help me fix my music

Postby jaminem » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:08 am

If you're having issues with your mix translating then its almost certainly due to an issue with the environment you are mixing in.

While your KRK speakers are definitely capable of make good mixes on, they are not going to be 'accurate' in a non acoustically treated environment - do a search for acoustic treatment on these forums to get an idea of what you need to do.

Alternatively I would look at investing in some decent open backed headphone (Sennheiser HD650, AKG K701/2 etc) and try mixing on those to take the room out of the equation - they are likely to be more accurate than your room and may give you better results...

Good luck.
jaminem
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1101
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 1:00 am

Re: Help me fix my music

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:28 am

I'll get it up to the studio later this morning and give it a proper listen. From a brief listen it has the elements, but lacks the 'drama'.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13835
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Help me fix my music

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:51 am

There's lots of deep bass in the track which will come over well on systems with that capacity, such as a good pro or home theatre system. But in spite of what some people claim, the best mastering engineer in the world cant make a track like that "sound good on all systems". It's impossible. The playback system has to have the grunt.
Tim Gillett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1989
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Help me fix my music

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:23 am

Listening on studio monitors I can hear it's all going on down below 50Hz!

You're going to need to tidy up that low end. No 'normal' domestic listening system is going to be able to reproduce those lows, and most will simply complain about it. The subs are sapping your mix headroom and leaving the rest of the mix seeming weak and weedy.

That huge 'Whump!" at the start of the piece is setting the limit of your mix headroom - which makes the rest of the piece too quiet in comparision. I would tame that too - a bit of saturation and compression would help.

I'm often the first to suggest slapping an HPF on there, but I feel this will need more help than that. Much of the weight of the bass drone is very low down, and again this will be lost on all but good monitors - you're going to need to add some interest an octave or two up to get it heard - get this in place and even on small speakers you will get a sense of those deep lows, even if they aren't being reproduced faithfully. It's a trick used in some bass plug-ins, though can't say I'm much of a fan of those. Here it can be fixed by changing the arrangement - and the whole will likely sound better for it anyway. Maybe a very subtle low string an octave up?

The piano has a lot of stereo width, but this leaves it vaguely wobbling all over the stereo field - I would pin it centre mono-ish (maybe some widening tricks, but very subtle) and use other elements to convey a sense of space around it. It would also help the piano to sound 'distant' and create that sense of drama I mentioned.

And yes, I do mix this kind of stuff all the time... :D
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13835
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Help me fix my music

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:07 pm

DW, if I were you I'd book the Elf for a day and sit by his side and learn from him. He is not only highly knowledgable and talented he's a top draw bloke with it.

Trust me, book him and watch how things open up for you.

I am not trying to generate business for him. I genuinely believe that people will get more out of a day working with an industry professional than trying to wing it on members' feedback.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8548
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am