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audio "Don't Sleep Your Life Through" ... newest finished piece.

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by kevinwhitect, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    View: https://soundcloud.com/kevin-white-2/dont-sleep-your-life-through

    The guitarist sent over his parts this morning, and I blended them into what I'd already done. This is the result.

    As usual, any/all comments are warmly welcomed and appreciated!

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hey Kevin, this is awesome!
    BUT! The drums are out of place. More real snare and kick would be sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better. The snare is really wrong.
    I love this song and I'm not even commenting on the mix right now. Change the snare and find out why your vocals are clipping. I'm hearing a compression or something that is clipping.
  3. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    I'm not actually that big a fan of the snare either ... but the drums have an interesting story behind them. I bought X3 (Sonar) -- and this is the second song I started work on. I was thinking of working on this one ... but really was just fooling w/ the stuff to see what came w/ the new toy. So Addictive Drums is included w/ X3 ... and I merely started playing w/ the midi patterns that came included in the program.

    I selected one entitled "Pop Song" ... and because I was thinking about doing this tune, I just started playing along w/ the midi drum pattern ... and every time the song changed a section -- the damn drummer kept right up -- the random pattern I selected fit absolutely perfectly. The thing is ... this is the first and last song I used Addictive Drums with ... and I'm still somewhat clueless regarding how to use it. I fell so quickly into working on this piece, I sort of abandoned figuring out the program. :)

    Still, I'm certain that there must be a way to swap out the snare sound (I hope).

    I'll have to check on the vocal levels too ... I'm pushing the compressor gain ... so it's likely clipping there.

    Thanks BT -- I've got all the songs complete on the forthcoming collection entitled "Outrageous", and I'm making final passes at mixing to lock them down prior to release. This is song 5 of 9.
  4. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Done! It wasn't that hard to figure out ... which is good for me. :)
    bigtree likes this.
  5. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    The snare could be a little less "sizzely" Great orchestration on this.
  6. pcrecord

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

    After loading a kit in addictive drums, you can change and parts by clicking the L and choose from the list.

    Now I find the snare a little disturbing also. I think the problem is not the choice of snare but the way that it's beeing mixed. I think there's too much compression on it and the EQ could be revisited. Also I'd remove some distortion if there is any.

    This song has the potential to be great, it just need a bit more love to get there ;)
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I agree with the others regarding the snare. It just doesn't fit the vibe and the overall texture of the song. I've heard this kind of snare before, mostly in more current R&B pieces, but even then it's not this bright and forward in the mix.

    You've set up a nice esoteric/ethereal kind of feel here with the guitars and synths complimenting each other, and then the snare comes in and it's like a bull in a china shop... lol...and it instantly becomes the sonic focus -and not in a good way, either - it takes over the whole song and detracts the listener away from the rest of the instrumentation and vocals.

    This isn't just a mix thing, Kevin. This is a performance issue as well.

    One of the downsides to a non-drummer using drum samples or programming a drum machine, is that most simply don't think like a real drummer does.

    We've all heard songs where we scratch our heads, hearing major faux pas - like hearing a hat, snare, crash and a tom fill all falling on the same beat - LOL - and, we've all heard the "mile-wide" drum kit where when listening, the drums are panned so extreme that the hi hat is in your bathroom and the floor tom is in your driveway - LOL -

    But ...there also small things that can make a big positive difference, too....subtle, little nuances - things like a stick dragging across the snare in between back beats, or "ghost beats" that are little bounces and shadow hits that make up the overall rhythmic groove. It's not always easy to sequence or program drum tracks with these nuances, or a sense of dynamics, but it's not impossible, either... it just takes a little time, and thinking like a drummer - or at east considering what a real studio drummer might do in that given situation.

    As a drummer/engineer, here's how I would approach this piece:

    Personally, I'd be looking for a more "classic" sounding snare sample - maybe a deeper wood model - add some nice plate verb to it; say... oh, half a second or so, with a pre-delay of around 80ms - 100ms... and then I'd tuck it back into the mix so that it supports the song - without overpowering it. I'm not saying to bury the snare, I'm just saying that I wouldn't put it up front the same way as if this were a rock/pop song and needed the back beat to be concentrated and powerful.

    Also, if I were the drummer playing on this track, I'd probably be reaching for a side-stick on the verses instead of the snare. This would support the song more, and at the same time, help a lot in setting up some really nice dynamics, when eventually switching from stick up to snare during the choruses. As far as the side stick goes, I'd use a different verb on it than the snare - maybe still a plate, but probably a hall - an appropriate amount to give the stick a spacial sound and feel.

    If you do decide to try a side stick and snare, make sure that each are on their own discreet tracks, because the EQ ( as well as GR) on each will be different - likely enough to where you won't want to share the same track with both instruments.

    IMHO of course.

  8. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Warmest of thanks to all for the great comments! I spent this morning working "under the hood" of the instrument to try to get a more natural sound out of the kit ... particularly the snare. I think I've got dialed in much better ... there and clear, but not as forward and prominent as before (Donny's "overpowering" comment) -- and I pulled some compression off of it so it lost some of the harsher sheen compressors can cause (Marco and Luke's "sizzly"). I also had to balance the hat better too. There were a few jarring hits that poked through a bit too much.

    Looking forward to hearing if you folks think I got better in the neighborhood of where I needed to go. Thanks again!

  9. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Better Snare choice (or adjustment)!
    I like how you modulate keys throughout the song.
    What do you think about a chorus of "Aahs" on the outro.
  10. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Thanks for the check back, Luke. I think the snare is working MUCH better now. I'd not thought of the end out with ahhs ... interesting thought.

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