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audio A real attempt at a mix(progressive rock/metal)

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Harry, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Hey guys! been lurking on here for a bit and find the info and such really interesting! just thought I'd show a mix for comments/crit that I recently finished.

    I interned at a studio for a year where the mixing was hybrid on an SSL G+4000 desk with a crap load of outboard units, so I learnt a fair amount, however this mix is fully ITB

    Inconceivable by EchonicUK on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    My main thing I'd say is the distorted guitar tone, I may have cut too much low, making it sound a tad too bright? also the bass playing could be a bit better as I'm a guitarist

    Anyway any input I'd find extremely useful

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well I'm not listening on my main control room monitors but, these FOSTEX 6301, little 4 inch powered monitors, your stuff sounds huge! Everything feels and plays like it's in the right place. Nice degree of technical acuity in your recording and mixing. I don't think you lopped a tad too much low freak off your guitars? They rubbed me the right way. Just right. I don't think ya need to be a good bass player for this particular cut? I wouldn't have known you weren't a bass player. It's not however a musical genre that I find comfortable listening to. But that's just me. I'm old. 57 last week. 41+ years in the business and maybe I'm just too old? No doubt about it, I found it very well done. You are talking about nuance differences that would not have changed my perception of your work. Now remember, you can ruin things with improvements. To me this was on the money. You need go no further. A little extra density through mastering might actually further improve this in an above what you already have done? But it's all good. And in that respect, I liked it, a lot. I liked it because you did such a good job with it. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered listening past the first 15 seconds.

    You guys in the UK get me angry. You always do this stuff so well. Guys from the UK always ask how we like their mixes. Guys from the US always ask how do they fix their mixes. You might not have the fancy cars and wide highways that we do it when it comes to this kind of production, you guys have got it down flat. I mean got it down great. I mean it sounds like you all been hanging around in George Martin's Air Studios your entire life. Damn you.

    By the way I turned down a maintenance job offer from Sir George Martin some nearly 30 years ago. So if I tell you it sounds good, you can be certain, it sounds good. But that's coming from a stupid person that turned a job offer down from Sir George Martin. So take that for what it's worth. I'd hire ya.

    The British are coming! The British are coming!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Wow thank you so much! I was just wondering if there seemed to be any beginner 'errors' in it sonically etc, I definitely want to give my next mixes a more natural sound, something like Karnivool's Sound Awake album, will probably take a lot of hard work and practice though! Luckily I get to do this kind of stuff for a 3rd of my degree this year :)

    Always motivating to have such kind words!

  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I've been doing this for over 41 years now, professionally. I calls it like I sees it and what you hear someone's recording that you admire, you know you're listening to a professional. And I would say probably a consummate professional? You're only a beginner because you have been doing it for 41 years yet. But as far as I can here, you are every bit as accomplished as an engineer as every other fine engineer I have ever known. And I've been around all the all. So when you're good, you're definitely good and you are good. Of course if your age, your in your stride. And these will be days that you will remember for many years to come. Stuff you'll always feel very proud of. Stuff you'll enjoy listening to and enjoying every bit as I have, 30 or 40 years from now, your self of your early work. Having come from the higher levels of the broadcast and recording arts and sciences, industry, I know a talented engineer when I hear one.

    Don't fixate too much and don't LAX out too much this upcoming quarter. Now listen to your mother.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Haha yes, lots to do this year! thank you again! I think I'm actually going to be re recording this one (man I must have done it about 5 times now, but it payed off) all to test new knowledge and experience, I just wish I could have mixed it OTB just to see how it turned out!

  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ya, what can we say but right on. So welcoming to hear real music too! We are soooooo sick of beats.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To add: I have free time right now and I'm loving it.

    If I could be extremely critical after a few listens, I think the lead vox could be improved with some fattening via layering or a spacial trick just to give it a bit more glue and presence. But we wouldn't want that to pull it back in the mix so... . I know my Bricasti would help so maybe just a bit different verb setting. But this is only a really picky critique.

    Could be a fine Mastering Engineer would get it just right. Is this the master version?

    I'm going to run it through my hybrid rig for fun. If I can improve it for an example of what I'm thinking, I'll shoot it your way.

    Remy, any vocal thoughts?

    And Harry's profile says:

    If you guys are spitting out students like this, hello world, the Brits are coming lol!
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Awesome track Harry.

    Remy, Kurt, Davedog, others... I wish you would mix a few of these some time too. It would be fun to share notes while helping people, including ourselves :)


    For what its worth I recorded it, studied it for a few hours, mixed it OTB and have come to the conclusion that if you tweaked the main vocals a bit and rode the level (as they get lost at times), I think the overall mix would be able to get more punch with some basic eq.

    Sometimes the mix, bass seems too compressed ( like ducking) for the drums/bass mix as they get lost. But there is a lot going on so wow!
    There is a weird phasing with the ride/cymbals, do you know why? Maybe its because of the MP3 compression.

    The song has HUGE potential but if we are getting picky, it lacks punch in spots throughout the song. So, with a few tweaks I think I made it sound a bit better, or maybe worse lol. My objective was to try and clear the vocals up, contain the mud while increasing bass. If I had the tracks I would do try this. the results would be much better than where I got it with a 2 track MP3 version of this:

    FWIW, hope these suggestions help.

    • roll another 50 hz off the main Vox ( or until you hear it thin) and maybe pull out just a touch of 350/400hz ( too much proximity), add a db or more of gain to the Vox. My reasoning behind this is so you can add punch to the entire mix more.
    • Around the 4min, the vox gets lost. A few other spots too but its most dominant on the last part of the song. (Maybe you want it like that?) But, why I think you could roll out a bit more low end and lift the gain so it cuts through more, everywhere.
    • I did a little S&M and used the SPL passeq for this ( I tried a BAX and The Hammer too but the Passeq won that war). I bumped the master mix around 160hz 2 db, 1 db at 4k, and a wide bell curve, 2 db at 12k.
    • I added some Bricasti (Open Spaces 2) to the mix and rode the mix adding more verb especially on the 4 min mark to the end.
    • On the master AD back to second DAW, I added a bit more bottom (3db 120) and 2db mids 600hz then kissed it with a Crane Song STC-8 for flavour and to help tame the ride and a few hot spots due to the 4 k boost.

    These were the key things I picked up on. A mix is never done, we simply just run out of time don't we. Its uploaded to my soundcloud channel and will post it for you to review if you like? I will remove it once you say so.
    I had a lot of fun with it! You did an incredible job and thanks for posting this.

  9. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    This is great, I'd absolutely love to hear what you've done with it, You're definitely right with the vocals I got bogged down with getting all the other stuff I think it was more like an afterthought sadly, I will add these tweaks to it as soon as I can though.
    As for the cymbals phasing? I think I missed that, however I didn't carefully check the phase between all the mics, I blended the overheads with a stereo set of room mics, and a mono room mic infront of the kit, when I recorded the drums I was sort of going in blind having not properly recorded a kit before, only watched other people do it, then again, could be the mp3, not sure.

    I so wanna hear your master of it!

  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    You Rock!

    Disclaimer: I'm not a mastering engineer "This is not a master" My example is only a modified version of the stereo mix (a recording of an MP3 recording).
    I find this technique helps me identify core issues so I can go back and fix specific things "IN THE MIX". When pulling out and boosting those freq I mentioned here: ( http://recording.org/track-talk/53480-real-attempt-mix-progressive-rock-metal.html#post394964 ) , I was able to increase the punch and clarity. My experiment told me where to go back and fix the vocals amongst other things.

    I'd love to hear the next version of this, please post it again!

    A quick link to the before :


    Harry-V3 by audiokid on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    On the last vocal, I would LOVE to hear the Vox hit a mass ( but not loud) "You're Inconceivable" with a delay and reverb tail that sends it off into space.... Like a victory! What an ending!

    I also think the vox on that ending could use more upper mids ( maybe even a bit close to that notched vocal effect you did in the beginning) so it just cut through with complete power of confidence. Those words need to be from the girth.

    Kudo's to the entire band. Please tell us more about this band or anything else you can regarding some of your mic's, gear, room, your instructors, the studio etc. Love to hear more from YOU!

    What a great song I just love this.

    PS, I think me re-recording the MP3 ( a recording of a recording) accentuated some phase .
  12. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    YES! I definitely hear what you were getting at with that edit you did, even of the mp3, and I was looking at the notes you wrote whilst listening as well and it makes a lot of sense, I think from listening to it so much the big picture became kind of blurry but you hit the mark on what needed doing, now I just have to find time to make the changes! I would also love to layer up that end vocal, there is actually just 4 separate vocal tracks in the entire song, I look at other peoples sessions when there's about 20 vocal parts all layered up and they sound immense but I didn't think it needed quite that many for this one, maybe a double track for the choruses or something. I would like to do a long delay tail that gets damper/more muffled as it goes quieter, also probably down to laziness for not doing it!

    You wanted to know more about us :D :

    back when I was in college me and a friend got into making music by just di-ing my old line 6 flextone II and using ezdrummer for drums, using a Lexicon Omega interface (windows sadly didn't support that after windows xp!) and borrowed an sm58 from college to do vocals and acoustic.

    4 years later...managed to find a drummer enthusiastic enough to learn some of our songs, and luck had it that I was doing a placement at a nice recording studio (SSL G+ 4000, all the outboard you could think of, Prism ADA 8XR converters)
    I managed to get some free time there to bring the drummer down to drum to the demos, I only used about 14 mics for the kit, and took a lot of trial and error as I'd never properly recorded a kit before. We used:

    Kick: Audix D6, Soundelux ifet7
    Snare: Beyer m201(top) SM57(bottom)
    Hat/ride: KM184's
    OH: KM84's
    Toms: 3x md421s
    Room mono: Telefunken u47 (v nice)
    Room stereo: either 2 414s or 2 u87s I forget which

    cant remember which preamps I used for which but there was 2 neve 1081s, a UA 210, a UA 4110, I forget which others!

    The room is nice and live so a lot of room is nice, still I wish it were a bigger room

    The next session we got to record acoustic and vocals, we used a percy bear akg c12 for vocals (SO much better than the c12 vr..imo)
    and used my friends martin acoustic with the telefunken u47 (turns out in another session someone used a 414 on that guitar and it actually sounded way better than the u47 but never mind)

    All the guitar and bass were using guitar rig and plugins, some through the fast track pro I used to have, but most through my focusrite pro 24 dsp I got a few months ago. Mixed at home in cubase with my little M-audio AV40s in a less than adequate room:(

    I'm hoping to go back to the studio to record for my final project, which is more of these kind of songs, except more proggy, they've extended the roof on one of the rooms they claim it'll be the ultimate drum room, definitely want that.

    Thank you so much for your input and kind words it will all go towards me becoming a better artist/engineer, I'll never stop pursuing the perfect mix for my work!

    Maybe I could construct a more dense end vocal from outtakes who knows..

  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Sounds great. I have to say though that I assumed it was amp emulation right off the bat. You've got some great tones but I'm starting to get a little tired of that "sound". That's not a criticism, it's just a statement. I use amp sims too. Guitar Rig to be exact.

    The drums sound really good. It's great that you were able to pull that off so well without replacing them. I have to agree that the vox could be a bit more present but it's nitpicking. If half of the mixes I heard were half as good as this, it'd be a huge improvement.
  14. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    I really dig this sound! I do agree that the guitars sound like they are processed, but whatever, it works. I'd love to know what you did to get the vocals sounding so great though! Even aside from the production, the performance is great, and a very, very cool song.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm the opposite. I love the sound of the processed guitars.
  16. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    This is really really good mate. I'm a UKer too. audiokid really nailed it for me with his suggestions but that is an excellent and very wide mix. I am impressed. I'm in a similar genre to the stuff here when it comes to writing my own things (Well.. mainly anyway, I do tend to wander) and I'd consider myself a good judge on this sort of thing. Really cool, nice one. PS. If you want a new producer friend, hit me up on facebook at www.facebook.com/voiceofallangermusic (I just started it today).
  17. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Hey man cheers! have liked you on facebook now:) loving 'house upon the hill'! vocals remind me of Sikth a bit!
  18. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Hahahaha yeah that's the most thrown together thing I've ever done and it's far from a production, it was just for laughs but I guess if someone did it properly it could be ok. Thanks for the facebook add. You can add me as "Dan Martin-Hall" as well if you want dude, I love meeting new musical people! :D Maybe you can teach me some stuff on how you got your mix to sound so wide!
  19. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Oh PS.. As for the Sikth thing. I auditioned for them a while ago! And Pin is my guitar teacher haha! :p
  20. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

    :O Sounds great man :eek:)

    Liked the tune and all its variations, at times the snare got lost a bit on my system and some of the low tuned guitars could use some fader riding as well but that's just me being super picky.
    Fierce guitar playing !

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