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audio A mix in progress

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by ClarkJaman, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    I am working on my first EP of original music right now. Chris has been mixing one of the songs for the past week, and in the mean time I have been editing and mixing another one. I have a working mix now, so I would like to see what you guys think of it:

    View: https://soundcloud.com/clark-jaman/i-knew-this-would-be-love-mix1

    -Do the guitars sound in phase to you? There are 11 acoustic guitar tracks stacked on each other, so I really wrestled to get them in phase.
    -Do you have any ideas how to make my voice sound less harsh and ugly, more like the female voice, lol?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yeah Clark... all you need is an SM-58 on your vocal. And a big extra foam pop filter. Stop screwing around with the condenser microphone thingies. If an SM-7 is okay for Michael Jackson's lead vocals. Then a 57 or 58 is more than adequate for your vocals since those microphones don't sound much different from the 7. Warm, lush, almost like a Neumann U-87. And not someone's cheap large diaphragm condenser microphone thingy. Or small diaphragm condenser microphone thingy. And you'll have it. It's a phallus, see? That you need a condenser microphone for the vocals. You absolutely don't. If you want something better sounding than the 58? Get yourself a cheap Fathead from Cascades... 160 smackers. That's a ribbon microphone and those are even warmer and lusher sounding. Just don't blow into one without a big foam pop filter on it. Then you'll amaze your friends and family!

    Otherwise there's really no way to change that vocal sound, with EQ, dynamic range modifications, effects or other Plug-in thingies. Since garbage in usually equals garbage out and your microphone on the vocal, is as clear as shattered glass. Even running that through tubes ain't going to make the difference you want to hear. It has to start at the source. At the microphone. So if you're hell-bent on using condenser microphones? Then your vocal is fine. It's the best that mediocrity has to offer. Then for some that's just fine. Not for me it isn't.

    You can get this right. You're Canadian!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Clark... do NOT change your workflow. Continue to use the same mic and pre that you did with the song that Chris worked on with you. It sounded great. Send your vocal track to Chris (or myself) for a little EQ tweaking.
    This is totally useable. It just needs a little tweaking... very little. You really aren't that far off here on this one - and there's nothing "harsh" about your vocal at all. It might have a little too much around 900 - 1k or so, but that's about it. Your singing partner's voice might have a bit too much weight around 200-300 or so...

    there are no drastic changes needed here, Clark. Don't change your mics or pre. They are sounding fine. Just a few tiny tweaks...

  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'm with Donny, Remy is having a sm58 week and she has promoted it on many posts.. ;)

    Less harsh and ugly?? I don't think that of your voice. You should already know that the softness may come from interpretation more than recording technics. You could sing softer. I'm not saying you should on that song. It sound very good to me but I get what you are saying. She sings very litely and airy.

    Adding to the things Donny said, there might be a bit too much mids in the reverb as well and I feel your voice has more dynamics than the girl's. I'd either lower the compression ratio and/or threshold on her track or add a bit more on yours.
  5. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Thanks so much for listening lady and gentleman.

    PCrecord, you have a very good ear! There is a touch more compression on her voice, because I felt like hers was responding to it better than mine was. But if you can tell then I need to re-evaluate.

    As far as what mic to use on my vocals, I am actually quite sympathetic to what Remy was saying. The C414 that I have been using on my vox for the past couple years sounds great, don't get me wrong, but it's missing the milkiness and richness that I hear in recordings done with dynamic mics. I am a little disenchanted with condenser mics on my vocals. I don't think I would use a 58 like you were suggesting Remy, but every male vocal recording done with a sm7 that I've heard in the past few months has stood out to me like "that's what I'm missing!" I'm going to try those EQ tricks that Donny and pcrecord recommended, cause there's no way I'm retracking these vox (I spent about 20 hours tracking and editing them to get that sound) but I would also be interested in pretending that Remy never mentioned a 7B and hear your guys opinions on experimenting with one for my next recording.

    Pax Caritas et lol,
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I should have bought the two SM7's from Kurt a few months back. They are on my list. But, your problem won't be corrected with another mic alone, Clark. I'm with Donny, Remy is talking errr I'm hearing live sound more than 21 century HD pro audio from her over and over. :cautious:

    imho, your pre and conversion is problematic too. There is a metallic overtone and upper mid that is inherent to low to mid level gear which, I hear but others are still thinking this or that is going to make change better.
    From your last mix, we know this can be worked out with some editing and technique. (I didn't use a de esser on your vocals btw.)

    You are doing an awesome job getting the best sound you can get with what you have. If you are planning on investing in anything, all the mid level stuff sounds similar to me (size wise). The big changes come when you drop a few grand per channel. So, keep writing until you have a lot of money to burn on the vox chain or keep sending me your tracks!!! .

    I couldn't resist . :D
    kmetal likes this.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    PS, to everyone on the planet....

    (I would try and avoid vocal tuning or riding software as it does weird things on everything from phase to accumulative aliasing distortion) . I use melodyne but I use it very methodically and undetected. Vocal riders are one ugly low mid twist and turn thing that I will spend hours trying to repair after the fact. I know some need it, or think they need it but I'd rather hear real life over perfect.

    i also think less layering sounds bigger than the opposite. The more laying, the more smeary the bass gets.
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    audiokid, I refrained to mention it before, but I heard it too. That metallic sound, around 10k isn't it ?

    Also, I feel Clark's vocal could use a tinny bit more bottom..

    But I should say they are all minor things that didn't stop me from enjoying the song ;)
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'd be cheating now because I just spent 60 hours on his last mix so I know what I did to it all.

    Usually the first mix is the most time consuming

    The bottom end was problematic. The SSS were hot but easily fixed enough to never worry about it

    But, if he had better vocal tracking he would have had better SSS and a tighter bottome end
    In this track, I hear the guitars phase in and out but in an unusually way that isn't natural
    I tend to like guitars sounding like they sound.
    pcrecord likes this.
  10. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    That's my plan! Lol
  11. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    In that case I'm honoured that you had to ask if I used pitch correction on the tracks I sent you! ;)

    Does I Knew This Would Be Love have the residue of pitch correction you refer to?
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Say that again?
  13. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Referring to this post of yours:

    Do the vocals in "I Knew This Would be Love" sound like they were tuned methodically and undetected or ugly twist and turned?
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    No, they don't but I do hear Autotune sometimes but it's not bad. Autotune takes the transients and tunes them, takes the low mids and forces a weird quantizing thing
    to them.

    Some vocals ive heard from people use vocal riders that sound like smearing and delayed goo. I'm old school where I'd rather hear a guy singing his ass off with done pitch issues over the phase thing that an Autotune creates.

    Back to your track here,

    The guitars sound nice but are a bit left/right busy, but that's a creative thing that doesn't seem to be effecting the track in mono, although to do here it breathing.

    What are you hearing?
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sorry for typos
    I'm on my iphone at the lake and the Internet is cutting off.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I was generally speaking about Autotune
  17. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Ok, I was out at the lake these last few days too! I'm back now and I've got an updated mix of this song, and it's even "mastered!"

    Besides the "mastering" I made a few other tweaks and I think I got rid of some of the metallic sound that you guys were hearing before in the reverb. One issue I'm still struggling with is the balance between the vocals and the instruments. The track seems so quiet and empty when Janaya and I aren't singing. What do you guys think? Is that a problem? Is it worth experimenting with read/write automation to
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sounds great Clark,


    I would take a bit reverb of of Janaya and turn her down, just in her solo spots.
    Also, I would pull that one note on the guitar that is the root ( don't know the note) but its too loud in comparison. In Samplitude, we can pull the volume of a note down. Maybe if you have Melodyne, you can do it there too.

    Notes that are dominant like that, I always turn them down, play them softer.
  19. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Thanks Chris. :)

    You're talking about the fingerpicking part? The root note on all of the chords? Or one in particular?
  20. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I find the song really good as is !
    There is only 2 things I noticed, but those are according to taste alone.
    1. I would ajust for a longer delay on vocals to follow the quarter notes or half notes (may be when the bass note hit in the finger picking) on both L/R channels. It would add to the rithme of the song.
    2. On her voice, I detect a tinny bit too much of low mids. It may not come from her voice but from the reverb (the room she was in or the added reverb) So the reverb could be EQ a bit.
    Nothing bothers me with the guitar and I'm curious to why Chris made his suggestion. (rather interested than curious in fact)

    At one point, we must take a step back and avoid overmixing a song. You certainly have a nice song and I'm confident most people wouldn't notice the things we said here. You're last mix/master, may be your definitve version, it's up to you to decide if you still can make it better ;)

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