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Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

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Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Fri May 28, 2021 3:58 pm

Hi,
I would like to hear your thoughts on my new song.

https://soundcloud.com/user-114195034/i ... 4I0P2KYyCZ

The structure is the one of a Jazz standard, the same verse-chord progression repeated over and over again also on the guitar solo, only the end has a variation
I played all the instruments, apart the double bass, my brother played it
I am not completely satisfied of the tone of the guitar intro, some harshness that I am not able to remove, I played too strong...
I am a bit lost about the tonal balance of the mix, too much bass end?
Any weird frequency?
I dared to play a little the drums and not to rely only on patterns, are realistic? Timing issues?
Vocals too loud? The first phrase is lower than my optima vocal range, is intended as an almost spoken attack of the song
I tried my best with the pronunciation
I used the ducking and side chain techniques, compressors and gate to tame the reverbs I have learned in your podcasts, thank you!
Still too much reverb?
Any advice to improve is appreciated

Corrected link to private version - JP
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby Dave B » Fri May 28, 2021 4:00 pm

This track was not found. Maybe it has been removed

Are you sure you've made it public?
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 28, 2021 5:01 pm

I think maybe you've set it to private and not shared the protected link?
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Fri May 28, 2021 6:44 pm

blinddrew wrote:I think maybe you've set it to private and not shared the protected link?


Sorry!!!! I copied the wrong link, see below!!! Thanks for the advice
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Fri May 28, 2021 6:45 pm

This is the good link
sorry, I cannot edit the original post, maybe someone can help to paste this in the first post

https://soundcloud.com/user-114195034/i ... 4I0P2KYyCZ
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby OneWorld » Fri May 28, 2021 8:12 pm

Link doesn’t appear to work, an all that jazz
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby Kwackman » Fri May 28, 2021 8:37 pm

OneWorld wrote:Link doesn’t appear to work, an all that jazz
It (the second link) works fine here...
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Fri May 28, 2021 8:40 pm

OneWorld wrote:Link doesn’t appear to work, an all that jazz

Yes is the second link. Again sorry, I posted the wrong link, the first worked only for me because it's a private track. I had to share the "secret link"

https://soundcloud.com/user-114195034/i ... 4I0P2KYyCZ
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 28, 2021 9:53 pm

Typing as I listen, on an old laptop with a not particularly impressive set of headphones, and really not my genre, so take all this with a pinch of salt:

Nice nylon guitar sound, but it's very wide, I'd bring that in a bit and maybe nudge it off to one side.
Bowed bass tuning could be a bit tighter on the intro.
Timing feels a little funny around 1:30, feels like it needs a bit more confidence if it's a deliberate half-step.
Nice little bass run at 2:26 :)
Not sure if the guitar solo needs to be more aggressive in sound (to match the playing) or more mellow to match the tune.
Feels like the guitar and vocal are fighting for the same space around the three minute mark. Have a think about a bit of EQ here to give them different places in the spectrum maybe.
Vocal tuning around the 4 min mark isn't quite right to my ears - think it's the backing vocals.
These last two points probably combine to my main thinking:
Everything is centrally panned. Some of the sources are very wide, but they're all down the middle. Grab some of those supporting instruments and kick them out to the sides. This will give the lead parts more space to shine.
Which leads to my final point, the vocals, it sounds like you're holding back. Maybe you're not in an environment where you can really belt it out, but if you're going to deliver that kind of vocal line (especially competing with that guitar part) then you've really got to be going for it. I suspect that will take care of any little tuning drifts as well - and if you've got a belting performance then people are less worried about that kind of thing anyway.
One final point, you've got the intro section, then from 1 min to 4:15 it just slowly builds and builds but there' no release point in there. I'd have a think about where there are options to drop out the drums and/or bass to give it a bit more dynamics and a bit of breathing space. That'll allow your big end section to hit better as well.

Hope that doesn't come across too critical, you've got some really nice sounding parts in there with some good playing, but I think they need more space to breathe and a more confident/powerful vocal. :thumbup:
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby Martin Walker » Sat May 29, 2021 12:47 am

Hi worshiptuned!

I found this an interesting track with lots of good aspects. Drew has already made a lot of good points above (I also love that bass run at 2:26 ;) ), so I'll concentrate on other aspects that will hopefully prove helpful.

Drew did mention that he was listening on a not very impressive set of headphones, so since I'm listening on my main studio monitor speakers my first point would be that you could do with a little more bottom end to warm up the mix - the double bass currently sounds a little thin as a result, and the kick drum is almost non-existent.

The guitar solo beginning at 2:28 starts off REALLY nicely, but to my mind gets a little lost from around the 2:40 mark, at times clashing with the accompanying chords.

After some nice vocal harmonies from 3:46 to 3:50, sadly, to my ears these chordal clashes continue from 3:52 only really resolving themselves with that nice guitar line from 4:18, and the track sound wonderful from here to the end.

Hope you find this helpful - I suspect working a little more on the middle section of that guitar solo would help, or if you don't want to touch that, altering the backing chords so they no longer clash.

There's some lovely stuff in there, but a little more work would (IMO) greatly benefit the track overall.


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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Sat May 29, 2021 1:33 pm

Thank you for your generous and honest feedback and the good points Blinddrew

blinddrew wrote:Nice nylon guitar sound, but it's very wide,
I will narrow it a little

blinddrew wrote:Nice little bass run at 2:26
my brother deserves the praise!!! He is the real musician!

blinddrew wrote:Which leads to my final point, the vocals, it sounds like you're holding back. Maybe you're not in an environment where you can really belt it out
You are tooo kind!! It's not the environnment, but my modest vocal ability, I really wish I could sing like Adele or Pavarotti!!! I tuned the vocals with Melodyne essential and I see if I can do a little better. The fact I am not a native speaker adds to the lack of confidence! I am not going to record again the vocals, more confidence will need and hopefully come with time and practice
blinddrew wrote:then from 1 min to 4:15 it just slowly builds and builds but there' no release point in there
good point
I will post an updated version, thanks!!!
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Sat May 29, 2021 1:48 pm

thanks Martin for your feedback and the encouraging words and to edit the link!!!

Martin Walker wrote:the double bass currently sounds a little thin as a result, and the kick drum is almost non-existent.

The kick and the bass were heavier and I mix on Yamaha HS8 and AKG k 712. But I lowered the bass end after listening the track into laptop monitors with a subwoofer and other cheap headphones.
Everything was trembling, but also other commercial tracks in these monitors do the same...It was aimed at sounding better in these monitors but it's probably not a good idea to take the final decisions on cheap monitors :think: ? I will correct this and raise the low end

Martin Walker wrote:to my ears these chordal clashes continue from 3:52 only really resolving themselves

I will work on the clashing chords and trying not to make them clash with the solo, I do agree that the solo after the beginning gets a little confused
I will work and post a new mix :thumbup:
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby worshiptuned » Sun May 30, 2021 9:10 pm

new mix
https://soundcloud.com/user-114195034/i ... gUD7jtjii0

Raised the kicks 1.5 Db
Raised the vocals 2 Db
Raised the back vocals 2 Db
Narrowed the guitar in the intro
Reduced the low cut and the low end compression of the double bass, I hope is less thin
Raised the double bass of 0.5 Db
Edited the timing issue at 1.30
I added a dynamic EQ to the guitar solo, triggered by the vocal to tame some of the competing frequencies
Lowered a bit the volume of the guitar solo under the vocal part and panned it right to make space for the vocals
Narrowed and panned right the organ

Changed the organ part trying to resolve the wrong chords clashing with the rest - I am going to travel for a month after tomorrow and there is not time for a new solo, I want to finish and release it, I have tomorrow for the final adjustments. I really wouldn’t have been able to spot these things alone, there is still some dissonance but I hope now it’s better. Thanks! :thumbup:
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:56 am

Sorry, busy weekend, didn't get chance to listen to this before your release.
There's still stuff I'd do differently, but I think you've got a much better mix.
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Re: Mix review, your advice on my song "Illusion"

Postby RichardT » Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:32 am

I like the material very much, but I think this needs a lot of work to reach the level of a finished track. If you’ve released it already, I hope my feedback helps with future tracks.

The sound is messy, you’re missing both low and high frequencies, there’s very little stereo width, and the dynamics are very flat. Generally it sounds like you’ve played the whole track through a poor quality speaker and recorded the results.

The vocals aren’t clear above the rest of the mix and tonally there is some kind of emphasis that makes them seem un-natural.

The double bass has a very boxy sound and is missing both lower and upper frequencies.

The drums have no sense of impact.

The acoustic guitar sound is very good though. I also think there is great potential in the song. I would listen to some high quality, dynamic, reference tracks alongside yours.
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