You are here

Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

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

Moderator: Moderators

Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby zrguitar1993 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:03 am

Hi all,

I'm getting some reggae tracks finished up, and I was hoping to find some advice on how I might be able to get my tracks sounding their best, be it mixing, mastering, recording, etc. I don't have much in terms of recording gear, so I rely heavily on MIDI based instruments.

The main problem I have is getting the instruments to sound more life-like and dynamic. I mixed and mastered this track

https://soundcloud.com/zachrockafellow/ ... 2-20-10-10

Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions, or if anything stands out as needing immediate improvement, I'm all ears!

Thanks much,
- Zach
zrguitar1993
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 pm

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:15 am

This track was not found. Maybe it has been removed

...apparently.
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5874
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK
"Dance, dance. wherever you may be, for I am the Lord of the damp settee..."

Do yourself a favour, wear earplugs at gigs.

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:36 am

Hi zrguitar1993, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Yep, I'm afraid I got that same error :(


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17175
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby zrguitar1993 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:04 pm

Thanks for the responses!

Try this link:

https://soundcloud.com/zachrockafellow/ ... osesvolver
zrguitar1993
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 pm

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby James Perrett » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:55 pm

That one came through.

I thought it had a good rhythmic feel but the mix was quite cluttered and with too much reverb. Now I'm possibly a bit old school when it comes to reggae but I like space - especially if this is supposed to be a dub mix. I'd break it down and bring things in and out. I'd also go for delay rather than reverb. I always remember seeing the effects rack on the first Two Tone tour which was basically a stack of WEM Copicats.

The other thing I noticed was that the bass plays quite a few long notes and almost drones in places. In reggae the bass player is a rhythm player and notes tend to be relatively short.

Balance wise I'd say that there was nothing that struck me as a real problem though.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10358
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:26 am

Hi again Zach!

I agree with James about the reverb - ironically when the song finished and all the reverb/delay was dying away I was expecting to groove to kick in again dry, as this was the first time where your track had room to 'breathe'.

I also agree about the long notes in the bass, but also the fast staccato bass riffs - modifying these will give you much greater 'off beat' emphasis and impact, which after all is the core of most reggae.

Good work though - this has the potential to be a great track! :clap:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17175
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby Zukan » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:48 am

I am teaching, strangely, reggae production to an American student. The style of reggae and reggaeton tend toward liberal use of reverbs although, as the boys have said, maybe dial back your verbs a touch. What has changed over the years is the presentation of the drums and the bass. Drums are far more upfront and cutting and the basses tend towards undertones layered with traditional basses.

Cool track dude.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 9256
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby The Bunk » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:39 pm

I really like this!
A long long time ago my band were briefly joined by two visiting West indies cricketers and natch we had to adapt our set list which basically became a short Bob Marley's Greatest Hits set. The one thing I really noticed was the bass player's technique and sound and when it came to actually recording them, one of the bits of advice I got from here was that the bass needs to be "woolly". Like, seriously "woolly". The points about the bass here and the long notes I'd agree with. My personal view would be just add a bit more than what basically sound like root notes a lot of the time. That would be the icing on the cake for this I reckon.
User avatar
The Bunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:00 am
Location: SW London

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby zrguitar1993 » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:12 am

Thanks so much for your responses! I've been looking for a place exactly like this where I can get some extra ears in, and now I believe I've found it.

The reverb is usually the main thing that I have to cut back on at the end of my mixes, so no surprise there.

I'll get to work on these tips and post a follow up!

Thanks again!
- Zach
zrguitar1993
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:01 pm

Re: Need some advice on mixing reggae tracks

Postby CS70 » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:30 am

The Bunk wrote:I really like this!
A long long time ago my band were briefly joined by two visiting West indies cricketers and natch we had to adapt our set list which basically became a short Bob Marley's Greatest Hits set. The one thing I really noticed was the bass player's technique and sound and when it came to actually recording them, one of the bits of advice I got from here was that the bass needs to be "woolly". Like, seriously "woolly". The points about the bass here and the long notes I'd agree with. My personal view would be just add a bit more than what basically sound like root notes a lot of the time. That would be the icing on the cake for this I reckon.

Absolutely! Cool term! I wrote one reggae-ish "protest" track a few years back (still unpublished, and never played live yet, but loads of fun) and researched a bit the songwriting and sound, simply running thru my fave stuff, which is mostly roots or rockers (and I loved my Police growing up...), and noticing stuff.

One thing that stands out is that the bass really drives the rhythm and is mixed high, as high as the vocals... normally the way you would use the snare. To avoid overwhelming them, I guess you need the "woolliness" :D
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7357
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page