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Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:43 am

innerchord wrote:Seeing as you described this as Prog, I just had to have a listen. :smirk:

Can you clarify what state you feel this mix is at? Is it a rough demo, or a final mix which you're about to release?
There are some pretty huge problems in some frequency areas, hence it wouldn't be fair to comment until I know the track's current status.
Fire away, man!
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:43 pm

CS70 wrote:
Ben Asaro wrote:Thanks much for the quick response! I'm very glad that you enjoyed the song

It is one song? :bouncy:

Whaddaya mean "it's one song".... it's only 13 minutes long, that's lightweight stuff to us prog and underground fans..... :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

Shine On You Crazy Diamond is 26" 14'* but Jethro Tull probably take the Prog crown with Thick As A Brick at 43' 46"** (The only song I know where the live version is a shortened version of the studio track).

* The first chord change doesn't come until 2" 26" and the vocal doesn't start until 8' 44"

** Tubular Bells is a few minutes longer at 49" 16" but I'm not sure if it's Prog or something else.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:47 pm

Nice Yes-ish feel to this. Like that! Here are my notes as I was listening...

==

Typing as I listen...

It's tonally mid-heavy and stereo narrow. Don't be afraid of the pan knob!

Snare is a bit 'knocky', making it sound very forward for the mix.

I would replace that early brass with something more 'synthy' - it sounds a tad 'home keyboard' at the moment.

It's all a bit dry - more delay/reverb would give it a more epic feel. This is something I'm noticing throughout.

The opening vocal is too dry.

Watch out for the timings...

The distorted Hammond is too woolly - make it snarl!

Like the staccato guitar section. But still very stereo-narrow. Pity.

Moog synth line could be more aggressive. A real MiniMoog should do it! :)

Last section is crying out for Mellotron 8-voice choir! I like the harmonies here. Guitar is nicely bedded in here, but too dry. I feel as if the drummer isn't using his toms enough. A bit of punctuation would be good.

==

I like the overall feel of the song. It's definitely up my alley and knocking on my door. The overall impression I get is that it's too dry, too mid-pushy and too stereo central.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:34 pm

I'm not going to comment in the mix as it's way better than I could do, in fact I'm a little reluctant to critique at all as I couldn't hope to achieve anything like it. But.... I will anyway :smirk:

There are three things that spring to mind.

Firstly the gaps in the first half make it sound like several different songs, I would have liked all the sections to have something to link them, the first transition, I'd have gone straight to the guitar riff with no gap (and maybe no piano chord).

Secondly, the various elements don't seem like they are part of a whole which reinforces the feeling that it is several songs. I wanted each idea to develop more, and to hear previous motifs showing up elsewhere underscoring a later theme (maybe you have done this and I haven't yet picked it up). You could make it twice as long but still maintain interest from start to finish.

Thirdly, be a bit more harmonically adventurous on the next one, I like to be thrown a curve ball every so often and the changes are not quite 'prog' enough (more Trevor Horne "90125" Yes than "The Yes Album").

Either way I'm just listening to it for the third time in succession. :thumbup:
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:23 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
CS70 wrote:
Ben Asaro wrote:Thanks much for the quick response! I'm very glad that you enjoyed the song

It is one song? :bouncy:

Whaddaya mean "it's one song".... it's only 13 minutes long, that's lightweight stuff to us prog and underground fans..... :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

Shine On You Crazy Diamond is 26" 14'* but Jethro Tull probably take the Prog crown with Thick As A Brick at 43' 46"** (The only song I know where the live version is a shortened version of the studio track).

* The first chord change doesn't come until 2" 26" and the vocal doesn't start until 8' 44"

** Tubular Bells is a few minutes longer at 49" 16" but I'm not sure if it's Prog or something else.

You proggers are crazy! :D

Yeah, the midrange thickness is exactly what I made me think of the late 70s. Somehow it's a sound I associate with that era.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby innerchord » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:15 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:
innerchord wrote:Can you clarify what state you feel this mix is at? Is it a rough demo, or a final mix which you're about to release?
Fire away, man!

Could you give me a little first?
What mixes have you referenced?
What are you going for?
What are you mixing on (speakers?)
Also, seeing as it's not a song, but rather a suite of four pieces, it's even harder to critique in one go.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:45 pm

Wow, thanks so much for the detailed replies, it's truly appreciated! Sorry for the delayed response, I was in Central Park all day with the family. :)

Also, a word of apology in advance -- I will not be addressing comments that fall into the arrangement/producer side of things. The song is what it is, and unfortunately I don't think I can adequately address those comments without sounding defensive (oh, my precious babies lol) so I'll stick to just the mix-based comments. However, I will say this -- if you go back through the As Follows discography, you will very rarely see any repetition: I don't even really do verse/chorus, let alone overture/motive/recapitulation or theme/variation, it's just not my style. So if you're looking for that kind of writing, you won't find it here. Sorry if that disappoints. :)
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:55 pm

The Elf wrote:Nice Yes-ish feel to this.
Thanks! I teeter between Yes and Starcastle when it comes to that type of riff. (If you're familiar with Starcastle then you'll know what I'm talking about)

It's tonally mid-heavy and stereo narrow. Don't be afraid of the pan knob!
It was a very conscious decision to keep the guitars closer to center and have the synths panned further out. However, it's entirely possible that I may have them too constrained. I'll try some other panning schema and see if I feel it enhances the song or not.

Snare is a bit 'knocky', making it sound very forward for the mix.
Agreed! Drummer used a big Ludwig snare and I totally agree! I'm not entire sure how to reduce that, it kinda driving me nuts, but I have a couple of ideas that I am going to try on the next pass. Thank you for pointing that out, though, it's already on my Hit List. :)

It's all a bit dry - more delay/reverb would give it a more epic feel. This is something I'm noticing throughout.
This was addressed by another forum member, and I agree, I dialed it back too much. It's on the rev list!

The opening vocal is too dry.
See above. :)

Watch out for the timings...
I admit, this threw me. I would love to know what you are referring to here, because if I played you an isolated part with the click, you would hear that the playing is pretty much dead on. However, I'm not sure that's what you're referring to, so ...

The distorted Hammond is too woolly - make it snarl!
Ha, funny you mention that, that was addressed in a rev after the one I posted. I ran the organ through a guitar amp sim and it worked nicely.

Like the staccato guitar section. But still very stereo-narrow. Pity.
See above. :)

Moog synth line could be more aggressive. A real MiniMoog should do it! :)
HA! I used my Mother-32/Studio Electronics Oscillation for that line. I will agree to disagree on the aggressiveness of the sound. :)

I like the overall feel of the song. It's definitely up my alley and knocking on my door. The overall impression I get is that it's too dry, too mid-pushy and too stereo central.
Thank you very much for your comments, they definitely echo thoughts that I've had and am glad to hear them echo back. :D
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:58 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'm not going to comment in the mix as it's way better than I could do, in fact I'm a little reluctant to critique at all as I couldn't hope to achieve anything like it. But.... I will anyway :smirk:
Thank you, Mr Spoons, this comment made my day. :)
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:03 pm

innerchord wrote:
Ben Asaro wrote:
innerchord wrote:Can you clarify what state you feel this mix is at? Is it a rough demo, or a final mix which you're about to release?
Fire away, man!

Could you give me a little first?
Sorry, was literally headed out the door when I posted that terse reply.

What mixes have you referenced?
None.

What are you going for?
Sorry, I don't understand the question. I guess what I'm 'going for' is a true translation of the original performance? I'm not trying to sound like anyone or anything in particular, just let the song through ... I hope that makes sense!

What are you mixing on (speakers?)
My mains are a pair of JBL LSR2300's.

Also, seeing as it's not a song, but rather a suite of four pieces, it's even harder to critique in one go.
No, it is a song, it just has four sections that are unrelated to each other. The first two As Follows albums are concept pieces -- those are single ideas broken into a series of suites.

I agree with your assessment, though -- it's not a contiguous piece throughout.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:43 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:Also, a word of apology in advance -- I will not be addressing comments that fall into the arrangement/producer side of things. The song is what it is, and unfortunately I don't think I can adequately address those comments without sounding defensive (oh, my precious babies lol) so I'll stick to just the mix-based comments. However, I will say this -- if you go back through the As Follows discography, you will very rarely see any repetition: I don't even really do verse/chorus, let alone overture/motive/recapitulation or theme/variation, it's just not my style. So if you're looking for that kind of writing, you won't find it here. Sorry if that disappoints. :)

I guess you are referring to my comments amongst others here so I'll reply.

No it doesn't disappoint, you asked for comments though and didn't rule out composition/arrangement advice. I wasn't asking for repetition as such but suggesting that referencing previous themes would give the piece a more cohesive feel. You refer to it as one song and to my ears it is not however the artistic judgments are yours not mine and it is no less enjoyable for that.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:57 pm

Thanks, I do appreciate your insights! Just trying to keep it focused to the subject at hand or I will spin off into long rants lol.
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby innerchord » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:21 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:Sorry, was literally headed out the door when I posted that terse reply.
No problem!

innerchord wrote:What mixes have you referenced?
Ben Asaro wrote:None.
That's a BIG issue. You NEED to do that. Find music of a similar style that you think sounds brilliant and aim for that. Compare with your track and it will help you locate the problems.

innerchord wrote:What are you going for?
I meant style of mix, favourite artist, classic album etc.

Ben Asaro wrote:My mains are a pair of JBL LSR2300's.
That might explain a few things.

Ben Asaro wrote:No, it is a song, it just has four sections that are unrelated to each other.
:!: :!: OK, I knew I shouldn't have mention it. :D

So, a few thoughts on the mix. Some sections are getting there, but here's what I hear.

The first thing that hit me were the LF problems. That 50Hz kick thump is way too strong, and there's a hollow around 120Hz that leaves the whole mix sounding empty, without low energy. That's got to be your monitoring system.
Further issues are with the bass guitar(?), which seems to lack any character and has a very narrow spectrum. This is one of the reasons why your upper bass is so lacking.

I really wanted more clarity from the distorted guitars; they sounded too similar to me!

There's plenty of congestion in the upper mids. This results in instruments sounding thin e.g. buzzy guitars, vocal, 'papery' snare, fizzy synths etc.

I'd also like to hear more separation and depth in the mix.
I liked the singer, and wanted to hear more of him at times.

It really does sound like many of the problems would be reduced by referencing. It doesn't matter if your system isn't flat or perfect; if you get your mix sounding as good as a great mix, you're done!

Keep at it!
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:39 pm

innerchord, thanks for taking the time out to listen and provide some hyper-specific feedback, it's appreciated!
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Re: Could use another pair of ears on this mix (prog rock content)

Postby innerchord » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:22 am

Ben Asaro wrote:innerchord, thanks for taking the time out to listen and provide some hyper-specific feedback, it's appreciated!
I've been playing prog since the end of the first wave, so I have a soft spot for it. Can't say i actually like most of it these days, though! ;) :silent:
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