You are here

A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

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

Moderator: Moderators

A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby MaestroDT » Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:05 pm

Hey everybody -- I got some really helpful feedback on a song I recorded about a week ago. I spent some time over the weekend trying to revise the issues, but I noticed I was going a little ear-blind in terms of anything I tweaked... so I put that song on the backburner and tried to record a new song, applying some of the suggestions from before.

So here is the new song I recorded....
https://soundcloud.com/misunderstooddis ... ed-4122021

This one is pretty driven by acoustic strumming. I honestly had no idea how to mic the guitar properly (I don't have any instrument mics) and I wasn't super happy with the sound I was getting from my condenser (probably because I was aiming it right at the sound hole), so I used the internal mic and piezo on my guitar... then I threw Waves CLA Guitars on it and called it a day... because I might be re-recording that entire part with better mic techniques. I also tried to make the vocals sit better in the mix this time and not be SO loud.

Thanks for a listen and any feedback!
User avatar
MaestroDT
Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:05 am
Listen to my music on YouTube or SoundCloud :)

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby The Elf » Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:03 pm

Nice Al Stewart vibe going on there!

Typing as I listen...

Very stereo-centred mix. I'd like to hear more stereo width in the body of the song. Oddly the lead guitar break throws itself out wide, which seems strangely in opposition to the rest of the mix. I'd have the lead break plumb centre, with maybe just a bit of shared stereo ambience to keep it feeling like it's 'inside' the mix of the other instruments. Maybe throw the rhythm guitar out wide and delay/double it to the opposite. I quite like the sound of the rhythm guitar.

The drums, in particular, are very narrow and need some width. Try a wide stereo plate on the snare and toms - and/or a bit of room on the overheads. The hi-hats are a tad 'Duracell bunny' - bit less of a quantised feel would help, but also some variations in the pattern. Ever-changing is the key - a few variations in velocity, closed/open/half-open/foot-close. There are generally more variations in the drums now, but I'm hearing repeating patterns, which are a bit of a 'drum-machine' giveaway. When I'm working on naturalistic drums I *never* repeat a pattern.

The vocals need a bit of tuning work - just a nip and tuck here and there. A biot of trail echo would wpork nicely, especially if you throw to it at pertinent moments - the big 'wails' would be a good spot.

The bass sounds better in this song. It actually sounds like a fretless, which I hope is what you're aiming for!

I felt that some strings might be good in the closing section, then I realised there are actually some there! But they're very stark and a bit muted - I'd go symphonic with them!

Overall the balance is pretty good.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16717
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby blinddrew » Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:16 pm

Typing as I listen.
The guitar does sound a bit piezo-ish to my ears, I'd prefer an acoustic recording.
The Elf has mentioned the stereo spread already and suggested panning the rhythm with an echo - that'll give the vocal a lot more space as well. If you didn't want to do that I'd have a think about adding a ducking compressor on the guitar to give it a bit of space that way.
I'm not normally one for wide drums, but the second half of this song in particular is crying out for big and epic and enveloping, rather than narrow and realistic - to my ears at least. :)
Nice vocal part by the way. But reinforces the Elf's point about getting all symphonic about it. Big and lush is the way for this I think! :)
Those drums at the end need a bit more weight I think as well, the cymbal seems a bit loud compared to the toms.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14503
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby MaestroDT » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:26 am

Thanks for listening and the feedback!! Again your comments have led to more questions!

Okay, so one of the biggest things Is that I duplicated the guitar track, tried it with panning about 25% L/R during the verse and then full L/R during the chorus to bring out more width and honestly... it sounds exactly the same to me. Am I doing something wrong..? like am I supposed to offset one of the sides by 5-10ms so it isn’t exactly the same? Aren’t I essentially just making one center track when I have two exact tracks panned L/R - these are some concepts I’m struggling with a little bit.


A few other key points...
-it IS a fretless bass ... good ear
-the guitar solo was not supposed to be panned... must have been a slip, it does sound out of place so I panned it back to center
-all the vocals will be redone before I add a little bit of tuning, in just trying to get the mix a little better
-so for widening the drums, we’re talking about just adding a stereo reverb? I’ll have to play around with that
-I am working now on adding more strings and making the end quite a bit more “epic”
-my drums ARE way too quantized. I did edit individual velocities on certain parts; but not the entire song, so that shows
-I probably have to go back through and rebalance all of the drums... I’m using two different full kits, so maybe they need a bit more compression too to glue them together?

Again I really appreciate the feedback you guys are giving me, helps a ton!
User avatar
MaestroDT
Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:05 am
Listen to my music on YouTube or SoundCloud :)

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:10 am

MaestroDT wrote:Thanks for listening and the feedback!! Again your comments have led to more questions!

Okay, so one of the biggest things Is that I duplicated the guitar track, tried it with panning about 25% L/R during the verse and then full L/R during the chorus to bring out more width and honestly... it sounds exactly the same to me. Am I doing something wrong..? like am I supposed to offset one of the sides by 5-10ms so it isn’t exactly the same? Aren’t I essentially just making one center track when I have two exact tracks panned L/R - these are some concepts I’m struggling with a little bit.
Yes, afraid so. As you've discovered, if the parts are actually identical they will just sum to mono. So ideally, record them as two separate tracks. The intrinsic vagaries of the playing will provide enough difference (no matter how tight you get) to give plenty of width. If you can't re-record a second part for any reason then you'll need to have a bit of a play to make the parts a bit different. A timing delay is one option, a bit of EQ tweaking is another (cut a little mid from one side, cut a little top and bottom from the other), a touch of gentle compression on one etc. etc. etc. Anything to give it a really subtle change will bring that stereo width back.

MaestroDT wrote:-so for widening the drums, we’re talking about just adding a stereo reverb? I’ll have to play around with that
I'd say nope. Get the drums wide before you add the reverb. Pan those overheads 90% left and right and then pan the individual mics to match them. Then add the reverb! :D

MaestroDT wrote:-I probably have to go back through and rebalance all of the drums... I’m using two different full kits, so maybe they need a bit more compression too to glue them together?
Maybe, but be vary wary of over-compressing. You need to make sure those transients keep coming through or you'll lose the excitement of the hit.

If The Elf comes along and disagrees with this, listen to him not me! :D
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14503
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:03 am

blinddrew wrote:
MaestroDT wrote:-so for widening the drums, we’re talking about just adding a stereo reverb? I’ll have to play around with that
I'd say nope. Get the drums wide before you add the reverb. Pan those overheads 100% left and right and then pan the individual mics to match them. Then add the reverb!
FTFY! :tongue: :lol:

Yes, I favour full-width drum overheads. In the mix they won't sound super-wide, just natural.

If you don't have overheads you can create them artificially by routing such as cymbals and hats to a group, or maybe using a bit of send from such as the toms and snares. HPF as you would a real kit. In these artificial 'overheads' the cymbals will dominate, as they will be closer to the mic's. Create a mix that supports this illusion.

MaestroDT wrote:I probably have to go back through and rebalance all of the drums... I’m using two different full kits, so maybe they need a bit more compression too to glue them together?
You have to be careful when talking about 'compression' as if it is one thing. It very much isn't. You can increase transients with a compressor as much as you can decrease them, all depending on those much-misunderstood attack and release controls. As Drew says, you don't want to kill the dynamics in your drums, and it isn't really the way to make your samples sound as if they are from a single kit anyway, though a bit of overall kit compression might help the illusion.

Rather I'd get a 'room' reverb set up and route kit elements to this 'room' to help them gel. I would also give the overheads some of that 'room' to give you some width and ambience - then look to some brighter/longer reverb (I like plates) to help out the snare and toms in particular. Don't forget to HPF the 'room' to clean up the boom.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16717
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:19 am

The Elf wrote:
blinddrew wrote:
MaestroDT wrote:-so for widening the drums, we’re talking about just adding a stereo reverb? I’ll have to play around with that
I'd say nope. Get the drums wide before you add the reverb. Pan those overheads 100% left and right and then pan the individual mics to match them. Then add the reverb!
FTFY! :tongue: :lol:
I prefer a little cross-over as otherwise it sounds a bit weird for me on headphones. Though I guess I could push it to 95%, but I'm fairly conservative. ;)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14503
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:29 am

:thumbup: :D
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16717
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby MaestroDT » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:18 am

Made a new version...
https://soundcloud.com/misunderstooddis ... ed-4142021

Duplicated the guitar track, applied a very slight EQ curve to one (slight bass cut, mid boost, high cut) and the opposite curve to the other (slight bass boost, mid cut, high boost) and then I nudged one really slightly ahead (maybe 5-10 ms). Panned about 30% L/R for the verse and full L/R for the chorus.

Does that give it some more stereo width? I feel like I can hear the bass way more in the center now and I'm wondering if it should come down a bit.

I am still really struggling with adding stereo width to the drums. I don't see any way to adjust an overhead mix and I don't think that's part of this sample pack either. Would you be able to explain the routing you were talking about to artificially create this?

Also, added more strings to the end. Never can have too many strings. :lol:
User avatar
MaestroDT
Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:05 am
Listen to my music on YouTube or SoundCloud :)

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby The Elf » Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:27 am

I'm still hearing the rhythm guitar plumb centre - and the lead guitar with stereo spread... Are we hearing the right mix?
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16717
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby MaestroDT » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:34 pm

The Elf wrote:I'm still hearing the rhythm guitar plumb centre - and the lead guitar with stereo spread... Are we hearing the right mix?

Huh :think: Does it say 4.14 in the title? Are there more strings in the end?
I'll have to check when I get back home from work (all I have is my phone speaker), but on my monitors last night I could definitely hear a left and right guitar soloed... but I for sure panned them and put the lead guitar back to center.
User avatar
MaestroDT
Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:05 am
Listen to my music on YouTube or SoundCloud :)

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby Superdelphinus » Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:08 pm

I agree with the comments above in terms of production but I just wanted to say I that your vocal treatment in itself I really liked - I think you have a nice sounding voice and you’ve processed it sympathetically as well, which is becoming increasingly uncommon!
Superdelphinus
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:31 pm

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:26 pm

Hi MaestroDT!

I'm listening to Flush (Mixed 4.14.2021) for the first time, having not heard any previous version, so here are a few thoughts.

First of all, this is a beautifully arranged and mixed song with great attitude and confidence - well done! Like Superdelphinus (welcome to the SOS Forums to you by the way 8-) ), I particularly liked the vocal treatment.

However, I did notice that the lead guitar between 1:55 and 2:06 was very uneven in level - several of the higher notes really stuck out.

I do see what The Elf means about the mono-sounding drums, although when those hi-hats come in at 2:36 they sound like someone other than the drummer is playing them a few feet further to the left. Then at 3:06 a third drummer puts in an appearance from much further back with a distant snare sound. It's an interesting treatment, but perhaps a little disconcerting for the casual listener.

Love the later doom-laden string lines and pizzicato pulses, and your increasingly emotive vocals. Bravo! :clap:

Not far to go now, so keep up the good work!


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17512
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby MaestroDT » Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:58 am

I wish there was a way to edit my original post because I accidentally changed the link again... I’m kinda new to SoundCloud but I think I’ve got it figured out now ... and I also think the strings are pretty much finished in this latest version (I might just unquantize a little bit)

https://soundcloud.com/misunderstooddisciple/flush

I’m really glad you guys like the vocal treatment. I just kinda copied some effects chains I saw some other people using and tweaked them a bit to where I thought it fit my voice and the song... I’m trying to trust my ears but obviously they’re failing me with this while stereo thing on the guitars.

Are y’all hearing the strummed acoustic guitars in stereo (the lead guitar and the finger picking guitar are both centered, but the strumming is panned) or do I need to maybe delay the second track by a few more ms?

I spent some time manually drawing in velocities on some more of the drums hits and I can tell it’s going to be a long process, but it’ll be worth it. I’ll also try to work on the issue of some of the hihat hits sounding too distant — I think that would be solved if I could figure out what Elf was telling me to do about artificially creating overhead sounds, but I’m kinda drawing a blank on exactly how to execute that.

I really feel like the song is coming together though and I am starting to feel much better about it. I’m planning on recording a few more vocal takes the weekend, splicing together the better parts, and then tuning a little.

I do hear the unevenness in some of the lead guitar and it was just my sloppy playing so I’ll probably hit those lead lines again too.

As I’ve said a bunch, I really appreciate all the feedback and it’s really helping me tackle this song.
User avatar
MaestroDT
Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:05 am
Listen to my music on YouTube or SoundCloud :)

Re: A new mix and a new song -- and I'd love your feedback once again!

Postby The Elf » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:58 am

MaestroDT wrote:if I could figure out what Elf was telling me to do about artificially creating overhead sounds, but I’m kinda drawing a blank on exactly how to execute that.
Route all the cymbals to a stereo Group, and also use a send from the rest of the drums to send a smaller amount of the other drums to the same Group (they would be further away from the overheads). Make sure you pan the sources to simulate a real drum kit. Hi-pass filter this group the way you would real overheads. Now use a send from this Group to a 'room' reverb.

That's about it. Now you have a pair of 'overheads' and room ambience to juggle with them.

If you can send me 60 seconds of your kit as separate fles I can create an example for you.

I see you're taking on a mix engineer, so let's see how that works out.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16717
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.