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audio Critique This??

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by eternalsound, Feb 8, 2016.

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  1. eternalsound

    eternalsound Active Member

    Please let me know what you think of this mono production. Thanks much!

     

    Attached Files:

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well, first off, the Vocals are really pitchy, but I'm not gonna go any further than that, because I think you are after engineering critique, and don't think you want an artistic/musical critique, so I'll keep it engineer based.

    The guitar sounds "decent". Not great, not terrible. It sounds okay.
    The lead vocals sound mid range heavy to me, not quite painful, as in that 3k "harsh" range, but kinda "honky" sounding, I'm guessing anywhere between 600 and 1k, and I know that's a very broad spectrum, but without loading the file into an analyzer all I can do is guess. I think it's lacking some lower end richness and warmth, as well as some top end "silk".

    I suppose if it were me, off the top of my head, I'd attenuate a few db around 8ooHz or so, or at least start there, with a medium band Q, and then sweep in both directions to find the offending frequency... BUT... if you aren't hearing it on your end, then it's gonna be really tough for you to zero in on. Obviously, you liked the sound of this mix well enough to post it for critique, without any request for problem diagnosing for anything specific... and if it sounds good to you as it is now, then it's going to be very difficult for us to describe to you that which we feel needs work.

    What microphone model and pre did you use? This is important...

    Also... did you mix with monitors or HP's, and if thru monitors, are you in a room that is acoustically treated or balanced in any way?
    If not, you may be hearing things that really aren't there, or, not hearing things that really are. If your room is lying to you, it's going to be very tough to get mixes that translate well to other systems because you are mixing in an environment that is acoustically skewed. Your room may make you feel as if you have too much low end when you really don't, so you trim back the low end based on what your room is letting you hear... but because the room is lying to you, you are making adjustments that don't need to be made. Follow?

    And if you are mixing through cans, then that method has its own set of problems, too. You're bound to the EQ limit of the headphones, and that's not always a "flat" setting, especially if you are using cheaper HP's; I can almost guarantee you that they aren't mixing grade caliber, and that they will have hyped (or cut) frequencies somewhere in the spectrum.

    I do like mono mixes, I think it's become a sort of lost art form, so I was pleased with this song.... and I think you've done a pretty decent job here. Things like reverb amounts and types are always going to be subjective to whoever is listening, so I won't comment on that.

    I don't think you're really all that far off with this one. But it is difficult to listen to at volume levels hotter than around 70 db or so, because as the volume increases, our perception of those particular frequencies becomes even more obvious and those vocals become a bit painful.

    IMHO of course.

    -d.
     
  3. eternalsound

    eternalsound Active Member

    Thanks, Donny - a review from you is always appreciated and respected.

    To answer a few of your questions:
    I was using a Studio Projects C1 mic. I know it sounds a little thin.
    I had to do all this with headphones.

    The vocals are pitchy, I agree. I have to take your word for it on everything because I don't have a room currently. I really can't make corrections by ear now. I should have titled this "Critique My Headphone Production", hehe. This project will most likely be started again from scratch thanks to your review.

    Thanks again.
    Chuck
     
  4. pcrecord

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

    Hi Chuck, nice song !
    I too couldn't pass the vocal which sounds a bit nazal and could use more low end. Of course if the vocal doesn't have any, nothing you can do...
    other than the frequencies, it sits alone with the guitar a bit too far in the back for me.. (just my taste)

    Headphones are very tricky to mix with. Specially if they weren't designed for audio mixing.
    If you want to mix again that way, I suggest doing a lot of A/B with commercial songs to try to mimmic the frequency curve and stereo field.
     
  5. eternalsound

    eternalsound Active Member

    Fine fellows, how's this....

     

    Attached Files:

  6. pcrecord

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

    It's a bit better, but there is some noises, at the begining and then once a bit later 0:27 kind of wind on the mic and then at 0:40 something felt ???
    It wasn't on the first mix. did you use a mic in a room to make a natural reverb ??
    Anyway, as I said, it's better. Still nazal, you could EQ the reverb too you know ;) (just a suggestion)
    In the end, you get to decide it you go further or like it like that.
     
  7. eternalsound

    eternalsound Active Member

    Thanks, pc. Does the vocal sound less pitchy? Ok? No? They were redone there. Some more low end was added and some highs were taken down. Thanks for your ctitique!
     
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Yes. better.
    Although I also heard the things that PC did... a floor board or something at :40 or so maybe?

    As Marco also mentioned, You might want to try tweaking the reverb EQ as well; if it were me, I'd add a pre delay to the reverb of about 80 ms or so, HPF everything above 4k, and then tuck it way back ( the reverb return).
    Using the verb to that level, making it that obvious, has a tendency to date the production. It was a popular mix setting in the early 70's, ( in this style of music, similarly, think Vincent by Don Maclaean, If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot and If by Bread... ) and then again when the various Lexi, TC and Yamaha reverbs hit the scene in the 80's... but not so much for more current sounds and trends. But, that's also an artistic thing. You may like the verb that dominant.

    It's been in my own personal experience that the better the quality of mic and pre you use, the less reverb is needed all the way around. Reverb has a tendency to masque the little vocal warts and lower quality sound of cheaper gear, and it can be useful in that regard, but it can also make those more noticeable too, in that it can be obvious as to why that level of verb is used.
    Although, those headphones you are using could be part of the problem too. ;)
     
  9. eternalsound

    eternalsound Active Member

    Yea, my cat attacked a cable while I was recording. That was the sound you fellas heard. Donny, thanks much on the reverb trick (I'll call it) - I always wanted to know how to do what you stated. Awesome! I actually have a U87 that I could have used for the production but I thought I'd give the SP mic a try. I will use the 87 when I record next time and closely observe your and PC's suggestions.

    Thanks again.
    Chuck
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I was once doing a piano take, a difficult, delicate phrase, and I had finally played it perfectly - nailed it.... at the exact same time that a new kitten I'd recently got jumped up onto my keyboard, which was set for a grand piano patch. So right at the end of the phrase - BONG! as she landed around low C...and then she proceeded to walk up the scale... lol. Which I guess would have been okay, except that I was playing in Amaj. LOL

    Ya gotta love our furry little friends though. They do keep us sane. ;)
     
  11. eternalsound

    eternalsound Active Member

    Ahhh...Donny, your cat is at least musical! Hahaha. I wouldn't trade my cat for anything!
     

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