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audio Could really use some feedback on rock cover of Rolling in the Deep

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

  1. PJapprenticex

    PJapprenticex Active Member

    Hi everyone

    My 1st post on the forum
    A bunch of us friends got together to do a rock cover of Rolling in the Deep by Adele
    and this is the outcome

    Rolling in the Deep - Adele (cover) by PJT90 on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    Vocals were recorded using a Shure SM-48, in a not so ideal recording environment :\
    Mic and all instruments(guitar,bass and keyboard) were put through a M-Audio Fast Track Ultra and Reaper is the DAW
    Drums was done in software using Kontakt 5

    I know the mix at this point isn't great or even good by any means, but i'm really looking to improve and get better sounding recordings

    Any and all feedback,tips and pointers would be most appreciated :)
    Thank you for your time
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    While I thought ya guys did a great job on this cover, I just happen to look as to where you came from. I think you're a little ways down the street from me? I'm in Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. You're on India Street? Just kidding. You're recording was awesome! That SM 48 ain't quite a 58. I think it would do her better if you could roll off some low-end a.k.a. high pass filter her vocal. Give her a couple of DB boost at 12 kHz and you'll be good to go.

    I actually liked your drum tracks as there was enough inconsistency to have made me first think it was actually being played. It didn't sound all perfectly perfect and I really appreciated that, musically. Everything else was nice, tight and punchy. Bravo. Not bad for something that doesn't necessarily play every 20 minutes on all of your local radio stations?

    I unfortunately have to inform you... your engineering sounds a bit Western. You know where all of us infidels live. And by Western I meant New York, Miami, Chicago, LA. You know those places where nobody ever recorded a hit record. LOL. Great job. Really enjoyed listening to it. Your gal was good. I mean she has some real gusto to her delivery. She can belt it out nicely. And I really appreciated her. She's a fine talent. Now the next time you record her, put an additional foam pop filter on that 48. And maybe work her just another couple of inches off that mic. She's too on top of the diaphragm of the capsule. And we wouldn't want her to get pregnant now would we? No. And what's that cow doing standing in your front yard? I'm not talking about your gal singer, I'm talking about that cow.

    Guess who's coming to dinner? Mr. McDonald's.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. PJapprenticex

    PJapprenticex Active Member

    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to listen and giving me honest feedback(amongst the sarcasm :p ) :)

    Yes i'm from India,so is everyone involved with the recording I put up and you seem fairly well-versed with Indian stereotypes... just kiddin :)

    And advice duly noted,will get a pop filter for the mic and EQ the track better next time.
    For the vocal track,i used a high pass filter to cut out everything below 150 Hz already so i guess i should move it up further? And point noted about the boost at 12 Khz

    I spent some time on programming the drum track, so i'm happy to know that it paid off in some regard :D though i prolly could have made the kick sound better, in the context of the song.

    I was brought to this forum cause after putting up the track on soundcloud i got like a dozen comments saying the song idea was good, but the mix wasn't and no-one who commented really mentioned what they thought was wrong or how I could go about improving it.

    I'm fully aware of the "garbage in,garbage out" principle in music recording and mixing, so there's only so much that can be done with content recorded with the equipment that we used, but i'm definitely sure it could sound better than it does currently,hence why i'm here :)

    So thanks once again and if there's anything else you'd want to suggest,i'm all ears.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Spot on Remy, listening now too.

    For vocals.

    PJapprenticex, definitely roll it off as Remy suggested.

    And how to know how much? It sounds wooly or woofy. Do you understand this term? She was too close to the mix, possibly?
    Never the less... Start LPF sweeping the low end until you notice the vocal clearing up. "Thinning"
    Return a touch back and you will be right.

    I would then even pull out the lower honk happening there. Sound like its hot around 300 to 600hz. Find that by sweeping a notch across while boosting 6 or 8db now. When it really honks, stop on that spot and pull it out to taste.
    Then, maybe a few db boost around 2k for excitement and 10 to 12 k for air and you will be golden. Thats where I would start.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Now onto the drums.

    They lack major space and life. You need to use a few reverbs to open these up. A hall and early reflection would do wonders. There needs to be an overhead simulation.
    But, a song like really needs better drum samples. Check out BFD2 .
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    It would be fun to remix this for you.

    My final assessment is, musically its great but the mixing is weak and ITB sounding. The vocals are not part of the music. They do not work together sonically with the music. The guitar is also processed like it is on its own with no support from the bass or keys. I think with a bit of work, you could remix this and it would sound 100% better.

    Hope these pointers help. I'm sorry I have been so critical but its only because I know you can do better, and will benefit from the pointers!

    Looking forward to your next mix.
  7. PJapprenticex

    PJapprenticex Active Member


    Thank you for listening and for the honest feedback.

    Yeah,in hindsight i prolly should have told the vocalist to hold the mic a bit further away, lesson learned.
    And i'll experiment with EQ using the guidelines you just mentioned
    I settled on rolling off below 150 Hz by sweeping using HPF till the vocals started "thinning" like you mentioned, but perhaps i went back a tad too much

    As for the drums, i suppose there's only so much you can do with freeware right? i mean you get exactly what you pay for,which in this case, i paid nothing
    I'm not an advocate for piracy in any form, and there some amazing virtual drums software out there i'd so like to have,but its outta my reach financially for now (hopefully will change soon)
    all the plugins i used for this mix,either came with reaper or is freeware

    So is there anything you think I could do,to maximize the potential of what i got? if not,its perfectly understandable cause again "garbage in,garbage out"
    when you said use reverbs, did you mean apply to the drum track as a whole or to the different inserts(like hat,tom,snare etc.)? or am i lost completely? >_<

    As for the guitars sounding as though its on its own, is it something i can "Fix" at the mixing stage? is it something i did wrong with the effects and panning?

    And forgive my ignorance in the regard of mixing,i'm very much a beginner.

    And no worries about the critique,if anything I welcome it cause the only way I'll improve is if i get honest feedback. What sucks is when people say that the mix sucks and dont tell me whats wrong with it in their point of view :\
  8. PJapprenticex

    PJapprenticex Active Member

    And forgive my ignorance once again, but what did you mean by "ITB sounding"? >_< I dont even know what "ITB" even means :\
  9. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    ITB = In the box... Overly processed by plugins or algorithms that reside in a computer binary domain. The best thing is to be proud of your performance and never let a singer hold the mic. Always put the mic on a stand and teach/learn how to approach a mic as you recite lyrics. Pull away when loud and come in tight when quiet, but never stop learning. I am a moron.... I am genius... I am a moronic Genius!! It does not matter how you get there as long as you try the whole way through. God only knows...
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, I am one of those moronic geniuses also. And I do whatever is necessary, given the tools at hand. Granted, sometimes I do get frustrated when equipment does not live up to what I want to deliver. But that's what you take a negative to turn it into a positive. Sometimes it actually requires accentuating what's bad to turn it into something unique. Simply because, you'll never be able to get rid of what's bad. And you can't eliminate it from the recording.

    I understand the investment into additional expensive microphone stands may not be tenable. And handheld cannot be avoided. That's the reason for the additional large foam pop filter. This presents a greater distance (albeit perhaps only 1/2 inch) that can make all the difference. And that's what we mean about thinking outside of the box. Because it really doesn't cost much money to be creative and innovative.

    One of the reasons we keep referring to ITB & OTB is because there are those that are working in a completely computerized manner and those that are still utilizing aspects of analog outside of the computer box from choices that we make in our techniques. A lot of my work involves my 30+ year old analog gear. The computer is still a big part of my production process but is not the only part of my production process. So much of what I do while utilizing computer for recording capture, specialized processing, pitch correction, time delay effects, reverb, etc.. And then I might scream out of the computer, back to the digital multi-track recorder which then gets sent via analog to the analog mixing console and back into the computer again. This is what we refer to as hybrid production today. Because there still those folks that are still working the pure analog domain. The Foo Fighters latest release would be a good example of that. 100% analog until it gets to you via CD or download.

    The United States has driven planned obsolescence as a marketing strategy. This causes a lot of the same things to come and go on a generational level to ensure the companies future existence. New technology has a tendency to bring back old technology in today's business plan. Today, the best equipment, is of the oldest designs. Where as others feel otherwise for a certain duration of time. The one thing we haven't seen comeback is the Duesenberg. At least not yet. And for instance the VW beetle is nothing more than a VW Passatt, with a body design concept from yesteryear based on love from previous folklore. So it's really not a VW beetle but merely represents what it once was. Imitated but not duplicated. And that's the argument for ITB versus OTB. So if one wants that EMT plate reverb, your choices are the real thing for the computer imitation. The computer imitation is generally great but it really doesn't sound like the real thing. For some that's important and others not so much so. Because the imitation is very nice. But it's still an imitation to me. Sometimes ya feel like a nut. Sometimes ya don't. (From an old candy commercial circa 1970s) Do you want to a real Camel cigarette or do you want one of those imitation camel cigarettes with the filter? And that's why both ITB and OTB are still very valid within our business. That's all based upon passion, the decisions that you make. And preference really has nothing to do with age. Remember it's the people of my generation that created the stuff that today's generation is now using. And some of us old Old fogies embrace both. You have to find your own way and you are. It's actually quite a long process and journey. Sometimes for a hobby and sometimes for a profession. Both are fine. Some folks have started with a hobby only to have it become their profession. Myself on the other hand, have always done this professionally which now seems to be unfortunately turning into a professional hobby.

    Will record for food.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. PJapprenticex

    PJapprenticex Active Member


    Thank you for listening to it and the for the concise meaning of ITB and i'll definitely make sure that the vocalist employs proper mic handling technique next time i record anything


    Thats a lotta food for thought right there.
    And its completely cleared up any doubts i had as to what ITB is. And yes getting a pop-filter and perhaps a mic-stand is very much financially possible,so i'll definitely try to get those for next time and make sure the vocalist uses the mic properly.
    In hindsight,i realize that holding the mic too close while singing is a very amateur mistake(pretty much exposes what we are :p )

    And i have no access to analog equipment :\ so when it comes to reverbs and everything,i will always be stuck with an imitation,that too a cheap/free imitation
    so i suppose everything I do record and mix will end up being ITB,which isn't very appealing? :\

    but when it comes down to it, I just have to somehow make the most of the resources that I have(and that which I can feasibly acquire), which is why i'm on this forum,asking for advice and taking down notes whenever one of you guys respond :)

    and i really appreciate all the feedback thus far :)
  12. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    Well I must state or restate that ITB just means "In the Box"... Although the definition that I gave was more so in regard to sounding "Too much ITB" or over processed. The ITB domain is what you have and that is good enough, so don't worry there about that one. Just try not to process tracks too far w/ effects for starters.

    Cheers (y)

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