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mix/ song writing feedback

Postby gingertimmins » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:20 am

Hello all,
After a few years away from making music I recently started a band and we have just embarked upon our journey of DIY recording.
I'm one of the guitarists but the only one a tiny bit clued up about recording so I'm balancing the role of engineering as well.

We had a 5 hour session a few weeks ago and just recorded our set list as live takes and the results were ok but very rough and the spill was unmanageable so we overdubbed the drums and some guitars, did anther rough vocal take and added some backing vocals.
The results are still not satisfactory as the backwards way of overdubbing inevitably led to some timing issues so we will eventually re-record everything from the ground up but in the meantime I wanted to see if I could mix as best I could with what we had.
I'm confident that none of us brought our best performances to the table.

Here is the first result called proud father:
https://soundcloud.com/asarios/proud-fa ... -l/s-BfIJR

It's my first mix in years and I was never very good at it anyway. Mixed on AKG K701s and as a final process added a limiter on the master bus to bring the volume up a bit. I'm not sure if I have gone overboard as it's a new concept to me.

Initial thoughts are that there's something sharp in the top end that becomes a bit fatiguing- possibly the lead guitar in the right channel and I just can't get the vocal to sit within the song, rather it sits on top.

Anyway, any criticism from a song writing perspective and from a mix perspective greatly received.

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby gingertimmins » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:56 pm

Sorry to spam, but this version has a twiddly intro that I found in amongst the overdubs.
Not sure about it myself but our bassist and singer like it.

https://soundcloud.com/asarios/proud-fa ... -l/s-COd4L
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby blinddrew » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:31 pm

Not ignoring this post, just got quite a bit on at the moment. Will try and give it a listen later this week. :)
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby gingertimmins » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:25 pm

blinddrew wrote:Not ignoring this post, just got quite a bit on at the moment. Will try and give it a listen later this week. :)
Thank you drew, much appreciated!
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:33 pm

hi Chris,

I like the song.

From the mix point of view, the bass is very quiet, and there is a LOT of ambience on everything -- is that just a room mic, or are you adding lots of reverb?.
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby gingertimmins » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:44 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:hi Chris,

I like the song.

From the mix point of view, the bass is very quiet, and there is a LOT of ambience on everything -- is that just a room mic, or are you adding lots of reverb?.

I’m a big fan of reverb so I’m likely sending a bit too much of everything to the reverbs.
Do you think it’s too big a reverb or too much on the sends? Perhaps that’s why I’m struggling to get everything working together.

I’ve tested the mix on a few systems and yeah, it’s ver bass light.
Would you also say the vocal is too high in the mix?
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:25 pm

gingertimmins wrote:I’m a big fan of reverb so I’m likely sending a bit too much of everything to the reverbs. Do you think it’s too big a reverb or too much on the sends? Perhaps that’s why I’m struggling to get everything working together.

I’ve tested the mix on a few systems and yeah, it’s ver bass light.
Would you also say the vocal is too high in the mix?

Hi gingertimmins!

1. First of all, I really like the twiddly intro in version 3, and like Sam I also like the song :thumbup:

2. I suspect the reverb sound is too big - it makes you all sound as if you're at the far end of an empty hall. A smaller room/chamber reverb might work better, giving the track a more intimate feel.

3. The vocals are indeed a little high in level. I suspect they will sit better once you add more bass end to warm up the mix, but will probably still benefit from pulling down a couple of dB

Hope this helps, and keep up the good work!


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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby Sam Inglis » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:38 pm

The thing about the reverb you've used is that it's quite a natural-sounding verb and you seem to be sending all the sources to it, so actually it doesn't really sound like 'reverb used as an effect' but more like you've recorded the band with distant mics in a large space. That impression is reinforced by the generally bass-light tone.

Personally I'd probably be using two or three different reverbs in a mix like this: one specifically to give the snare and toms some weight and depth, another tailored to the vocal, and possibly a third for the guitars. It's also worth experimenting with pre-delay to prevent the reverb making things sound distant and weak.
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby gingertimmins » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:54 pm

Thanks Martin and thanks Sam. I’m going to try to have a play around with your suggestions tonight.
I think the reason the bass is so low is that the part you’re hearing is the guide bass track. Since our session, the bassist went on holiday so we’ve been unable to redo his bit but we’ve overdubbed everything else and as a consequence the bass has loads of timing issues and mistakes so I turned it down to hide that fact!
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby blinddrew » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:02 pm

Pretty much agree with what's said above but I'd also have a bit of a look at some of the vocal tuning in the first half. I'm feeling the snare is poking out a bit but I think that might just be because I'm not used to hearing one panned over to one side (unless it's being used with brushes).
I like the extra intro though! :)
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby gingertimmins » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:10 pm

Thanks drew!
The snare spot mic is down really low and not really doing much so what you’re hearing is mainly the overheads and the drummer probably hitting the snare too hard. I had also wondered about the panning too. Perhaps the stereo image of the drums should be narrower?
Definitely agree about the vocal tuning but that again was just thrown down as a guide vocal.

I’m not going to drag this thread out for much longer as I know that ultimately we need to record from scratch again but here’s a more bassy, less verby version

https://soundcloud.com/asarios/proud-fa ... up/s-kNz0Q
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Re: mix/ song writing feedback

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:32 pm

gingertimmins wrote:I’m not going to drag this thread out for much longer as I know that ultimately we need to record from scratch again but here’s a more bassy, less verby version

https://soundcloud.com/asarios/proud-fa ... up/s-kNz0Q

I'd still reduce the reverb a bit more personally (particularly on the vocals, to pull them further forward), but that mix definitely sounds cleaner and more balanced to me :thumbup:

LIke blinddrew I did notice some dodgy tuning in the early vocals, but as you're ultimately going to record from scratch this should be resolved then.


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