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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:12 pm

RichardT wrote:I preferred the remix - more power and more interest. I thought it was great. The original was good, but the remix was better. Thanks for sharing this, Martin.

I did partly have you in mind when I posted it Richard, as I suspected it might help shed more light on your 'Reaching The Limits' concept.

I liked both versions in their different ways, but for me the important thing to take away from the remix was that another set of ears can often revolutionize a song - you may not have 'reached the limit' if you can imagine things in a fresh light.


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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:24 pm

RichardT wrote:Sam has remixed the track - it won’t make mix rescue but we’re sharing both versions on the forum.....

The original:

https://soundcloud.com/samplehound/blue-fingers

The re-mix:

https://soundcloud.com/samplehound/blue ... inglis-mix

Thanks, Sam!
Interesting change of focus to me, the choral aspects have dropped a bit and the percussion is much more present.
It does feel though, to go right back to the first post, more like a set of instruments in a single place. :thumbup:
So if we're not getting a mix-rescue, will we get a few words from Sam explaining what he's done? ;)
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:36 pm

The original struck me as very dry whereas Sam's mix gives everything a bit more ambience. I also prefer the instrumental balance with Sam's mix - the original piano felt a bit too thick for me and Sam seems to have thinned it out a bit and made it fit better with everything else.
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:45 pm

RichardT wrote:Sam has remixed the track - it won’t make mix rescue but we’re sharing both versions on the forum.....

The original:

https://soundcloud.com/samplehound/blue-fingers

The re-mix:

https://soundcloud.com/samplehound/blue ... inglis-mix

Thanks, Sam!

Fascinating to compare these! 8-)

IMO, Sam's use of reverb has resulted in a more '3D' mix with greater depth and space for all the different elements.

At 1:26, Rich's new brass-like melody arrives without fanfare, whereas in Sam's mix it is 'featured', resulting in more variety during the track, and because of the greater 3D-ness your ears can continue to follow the piano or focus on the brass, or flit to the percussion... It just sounds more 'varied'.

Although the notes are all the same in both mixes, I hear so much more movement in Sam's mix.

At 3:01 when the bassline comes in I prefer Rich's mix because the bass sound has a richness/warmth that's lacking in Sam's, but this is the only time Sam's 'thinning out' didn't work for me.

At 3:56 when the choir comes in I once again like the warmth of Rich's sound, but Sam has once again pushed the choir further back so you can hear it as yet another separate element for more overall mix depth, so Sam's wins for me here, especially when at 4:06 the 'hammer horror' strings come in from a more ghostly and distant background.

Once again at 5:07 when the jazz piano solo kicks in it sounds great in Rich's original mix, but by placing it further back with more reverb, Sam's mix sounds 'bigger', and to me gives a greater impression of a group of musicians playing together in an acoustic space, rather than a group of instruments being played by one person and panned across the stereo image.

Overall, I love what Sam has added to the mix , and it's certainly taught me some stuff about using depth as well as width.

Bravo Sam, but of course bravo Rich for the track :clap:

Fascinating comparison!


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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby RichardT » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:58 pm

I really like what Sam has done for the track. It sounds more coherent and I get a better sense of people playing together (though it was actually recorded one track at a time) and a sense of space.

My favourite change is the way Sam has moved the E.P. arpeggios to the left and panned one of the drum sounds to the right, where it gives a real sense of a stereo soundstage.

The piano solo also sounds way better!
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby Sam Inglis » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:23 pm

Thanks folks -- this was a really interesting track to work on. I'm happy to write it up as a Mix Rescue if there is enough interest, although that might suggest that Rich's mix needed rescuing, which I don't think was the case at all!

I won't be back at my studio computer til Tuesday so I'll open up the session then and try to describe what I did in terms that don't include the words "blindly stumbling through reverb presets". But in the light of the original question, I started by thinking about how the track might have sounded if it HAD been recorded like a big band, with all the instruments arranged in one space.
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:16 am

I'd certainly be interested.
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:27 pm

Same here as I grew up in the Blindly Stumbling school.
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:20 pm

Since Richard was brave enough to share I'm going to do the same.
This is a track that I've shared before whilst it was a work in progress - I was having a problem with the stop at the time, thankfully now resolved.
I've just looked at the files dates and it turns out I've been working on it for over a year* and I think I've taken it as far as I can - reaching my limits - but I'm conscious that it still doesn't sound as good as my references.
https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/red-20 ... WfNatNfzX9



* Not just this, I hasten to add, and not non-stop! :D
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:47 pm

blinddrew wrote:I've been working on it for over a year* and I think I've taken it as far as I can - reaching my limits - but I'm conscious that it still doesn't sound as good as my references.

Lovely song Drew, but I personally think the drum sounds could be revisited, as they currently dominate the mix - even putting them through a compressor to emphasize their transients yet push the sounds a little further back might help IMO.


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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby Folderol » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:50 pm

I don't know if this is any help, but I find that completely leaving a composition alone for a considerable time can help you 'reset' and see that either it is much better than you thought, or exactly what is wrong.
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:38 pm

Thanks for listening (again!) Martin, I agree it is pretty drum heavy and that was a deliberate choice. I guess it might have been useful if I'd have provided a couple of the references as well ( :headbang: ):
The National - Graceless https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpz_gUyImhw
Gregory Alan Isakov - Caves
Which are both quite drum led as well.
Maybe it's just there's too much energy in that snare.
Or maybe I'm just trying to achieve in half a dozen years what takes twice as long. ;)


You're definitely right as well Folderol - distance is needed to be objective, especially when working on your own stuff, but this has had quite a bit of down time since last year - I don't work that hard! :D
(See the last line of my comment to Martin above) ;)
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:54 pm

blinddrew wrote:The National - Graceless https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpz_gUyImhw

Maybe it's just there's too much energy in that snare.

Good example, and I think you've hit on the secret - try rolling off the bottom end of that snare sound - The National - Graceless has very distinct kick and snare sounds that sound quite different, whereas yours tend to merge into one and therefore the rhythm sounds more monotonous.


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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:10 pm

Thank you again sir! I shall give that a listen forthwith. :)
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Re: Reaching the limits?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:30 pm

I think there's a good song there trying to get out but, having listened to parts of both those references, I'm afraid I'm going to be a bit harsh here. Your drums sound like they're just tapping along with the song whereas on your references the drums are driving the songs. Both the references sound like they're using samples rather than real drums for at least some of the sounds. If you really want your song to sound like the references then I'd treat the current recording as a demo and start again with harder hitting drums as the basis for the rest of the song.

There are a few other timing issues too which make me feel that you've said "that'll do" before things were really right on some of the takes. However, now that you have a clearer idea of where you want to go with the song, you'll probably find it far easier to redo the parts than the first time around.

I used to be much the same in the early days and it was only through working with others who were more experienced that I realised just how much the performance matters.
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