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audio First and only attempt so far!

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by shoestring, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. shoestring

    shoestring Active Member

    Hi Guys. Just a newbie wanting to dip his toe in the water again, as i had a go at recording a couple of years ago but couldn't find the time to carry it on.

    This is my only ever previous attempt. audiokid mentioned in Kurt's crossfire thread that people should share their previous work. I'm a bit nervous posting this
    as i've heard some pretty darn good stuff from the more experienced members on here.
    It was mixed and recorded in Protools (i have logic9 Now) and was all done in the box apart from the lead guitar which was ran through Guitar Rig. All effects
    compression, EQ etc were all the standard generic protools plug ins. Drums, Superior Drummer, Bass was Trillian.
    Would you all mind if i mentioned the band members, and their ages at the time?
    Colin (son) 15 years old = lead vocals
    Paul (sons mate)17 years old = Guitar
    Alan (son) 18 years old - Piano
    Me (sons dad) 47 years old:biggrin: - Bass, Strings, Backing vocals, Midi Drums.

    I recorded the drums a bit hot and didn't know how to put them right, there are a few timing issues but i thought the kids done fantastic.
    I havent got the individual tracks anymore as i lost my external hard drive, but if i re-recorded it (or any other song) what is the obvious
    to get right next time.
    Like the post says, it is my ONLY attempt at recording.

    Thanks for listening.

    SoundClick artist: This Side Up (uk) - page with MP3 music downloads
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Good for you.

    First pointer before I would go into helping you with your mix would be to take that string sound down a lot. I would also not put it in at the beginning. Use it to add spirit where it counts. Make sense?
    Strings are something we get used to and over use. Especially if we are the producer of our work. We get used to the support they add, but, they also really date your sound and make things sound very artificial, Karaoke muzak like. Know what I mean? You don't need it all the way through. :)

    From a production POV,
    I'd much rather hear you sing this song more acoustically ( acoustic guitar, bass, piano, drums) and build it from simple thoughts to soulful conviction and dynamics. The strings put me to sleep right off the bat. They kill your mix.

    What is your instrument?

    Hope this helps your first of many more mixes to come!
  3. shoestring

    shoestring Active Member

    Thanks for the quick response audiokid.

    The strings have been mentioned before......almost to the word what you said:biggrin: So i was ready for that one, and know exactly what you meant.
    I am a singer and don't play any instruments, i just muddle through with a few major chords and Minor chords. I know what you mean entirely as i liked
    the sound of them and went to town. I will definitely take that on board for future. That was my most expensive plug in so i must have thought ' I'm gonna
    make sure these babies get heard' (Symphonic Gold by East West)
    My son sang the song, as it was his band at the time that wrote it. I just sang backing vocals on it.
    However, on my future stuff i will be singing. Kids are too busy these days, aren't they?:biggrin: (He now sings in a club band and works away a lot)

    I really appreciate your input, thank you.

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i think this is pretty good ... i could hear a song like this getting air play on the contemporary country / new country stations in the usa.

    what i think is great is you are making music with your kid and his friends. it's very important to mentor the youth and educate them as to what is good or not, help them learn production and studio skills and how to flesh out great arraignments. bravo (wish i had done this!)

    a side note .. i do wish you had posted this in soundcloud ... which offers a ton of space for free and allows you to upload full wave files instead of mp3s (which are so yesterday) i would bet with a full wave file some of the issues Chris is hearing would go away ....

    again, good stuff
  5. shoestring

    shoestring Active Member

    Thanks for the kind words Kurt, they are much appreciated. I will open a Soundcloud account as soon as i stop typing here for future uploads, great idea.

    It was great working with the kids, but i created Monsters. Colin is now singing with a club band, he's just turned 18, Alan who is now 20 is up to grade 6 piano (almost 7), Jamie is a drummer with his college band on his music course he's 19, Darrell is my youngest son 13 and sings with me and his mother at charity shows or holiday parks etc. where his age allows.

    Their mother sings with me and we do the local club circuit. It's all a bit 'Partridge Family' but i don't look like David Cassidy.:biggrin:

    I never thought of it as country song, but what a brilliant idea, as it would easily transpose across to a different style. The kids think
    i'm stuck in the 80's anyway so anything i post in future will probably sound dated. However, that is a good thing with me.

    Thank you again.

  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    the new county thing is really just rock 'n roll with a cowboy hat. that song is perfect.

    at least you have sent the kids out into the world with a basic understanding of good music. you did a good thing. too many spotty drips think they know it all when they don't even have a clue. sometimes a clue is all it takes to open their eyes. you gave these kids a clue.
  7. thewonders

    thewonders Active Member

    Cool song and great vocals! Nice job! :)
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That was pleasant to listen to.

    Some things to consider....

    The phrasing seems a bit rushed, vocally, resulting in some timing issues. Also, I'd like to hear some better pronunciation of the lyrics... some of them got to be a bit "mumbly". Remember... you and your sons know the words already. But the first time listener doesn't.

    I agree with Chris about the strings, unless you use them sparingly - or very strategically - they can date a track pretty fast... and the string part itself was very "typical" of most home recorded string parts, not really an arrangement or anything that supports the tracks through the way a real string part would... you have the stereotypical synth/string thing happening - descending lines following the tonic, not really "arranged" as to how a real string section would actually play a part, or how one would be arranged by a real string player. If I were you I'd dump that idea and look into something more supportive of the style, maybe acoustic guitar, or some incidental electric guitar textures...

    I can tell you that what I found refreshing on your track was the lack of overused compression that so many new users seem to have on their tracks.

    Yours sounded and felt nice - it had space and dynamics - as opposed to ridiculously high gain reduction settings that so many new users always seem to insist on using. So, nice job there. ;)

    I also think it's great that you are recording with your family. What an awesome thing to do! :)

    Keep at it, have fun. ;)
  9. shoestring

    shoestring Active Member

    Thanks for the input Donny, it's all good.
    I appreciate the comments about the strings, and thanks for the intuitive comments about why they were wrong, It is all a learning process and next time i take on board what
    you, audiokid and Kurt suggested. It will only make it all better.
    Re: vocals, the next time i record i will sing them so they will be perfect hahah!
    I have a song in my head at the minute (it's not that good) but i need my son to play keyboards on it as i don't play. But strings will be the last thing added if needed,:biggrin:

    Thanks for the comments about space and dynamics, as that was my main thought when mixing. Performance was secondary but i know it
    shouldn't have been.

    Next time it will be better i hope ( with no, or minimal strings)

    Thank you again.
  10. pcrecord

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

    First thing I found that has not been said : there's a lot of difference with the vocal reverb and the rest of the band. Maybe it's too much on the reverb for my taste. Maybe lowering the Hi frequencies of the reverb would help. then, the drum don't sound so convincing (may be a bit more dynamics and drop the short reverb + add a tinny bit of the longer one used on the vocal.) You want to feel all the instruments in the same room. Taste is a big part of my comment, some could take a very and new approach that'll become his signature. :wink:

    Other than this, great job !
  11. McMurphy

    McMurphy Guest

    When adding strings, first, second violins and violas work well for pop music. Lose the cellos. They are in the same spectral area that just muddies the waters.

    Your kids were just fabulous! You are an incredible daddy really giving of yourself to your wonderfully talented kids. They are super lucky kids and you are a fabulous father. The music was quite nice. A little peaky in the high-end a bit but it cuts well.

    Getting the right kind of reverb sounds isn't always easy. There are so many to choose from today. 40 years ago there were only a couple of acceptable electronic reverbs. Today there are thousands in software. Most I find quite underwhelming sounding.

    OMG! TV news just reported Phil Ramon has died. He will be sadly missed. Looks like you've got less competition now?

  12. shoestring

    shoestring Active Member

    PCrecord, thank you for the reverb advice and kind words, it will be taken on board for my next project.

    McMurphy, i am chuffed with your comments about my kids, yes i am a proud dad. As it happens i need Alan
    to sort the chord structure and piano on my new idea, and Jamie to give me a few pointers in Logic as i got
    used to ProTools. Colin is on the road with his band so i will have to do the singing :) Thank you very much.

    The reverb i used was the generic reverb in Protools, and the generic compressor and EQ. To tell the truth, my
    ears can't tell the difference between a good reverb/compressor than an inferior one. So if anyone has any
    recommendations on a bundle that will do the job. I would buy a small bundle if it would prove useful.

    That is sad news regarding Phil Ramone, his discography reads like a who's who of megastars. RIP.

    Thanks for all the positive input, kind words and advice guys.
  13. McMurphy

    McMurphy Guest

    Most generic reverbs aren't bad. Though they frequently, I find, are muddy and nondescript, too smooth, not bright enough, no sizzle no wow. So you just have to be high pass filtering them to get the mud out. Another nice trick on reverb for vocals is to add some high-frequency boost when sending the vocal track to the reverb. You don't want to boost the high-end on the vocal in the mix. You just wanted boosted to feed the reverb plug-in if the reverb plug-in does not have the ability to very response and crossover frequencies, separate decay times for high and low frequencies yada yada. So I usually stick an equalizer into the send to the reverb. It also helps with extremely short decay is so as to create artificial room ambience better.

    The standard plug-in RTAS effects in Pro tools is quite good like the Bomb Factory emulation of the UA 1176, I rather like. And it provides a very similar sound to my actual 1176's. Overuse of this can crush the life out of anything when overused. And sometimes you just need all little more or a higher ratio. Not too fast on the attack and not too fast on the release. A lot of the plug-ins are not even applicable to your style of recording. There are of course other popular plug-ins that can be of use to you but they do cost some change. I've personally invested in very few plug-ins.

    Great that they're also helping dad out. Those are obviously kids that love you very much. And your other kid is touring with his band, so cool. You must be so proud? Now you don't have to try to find him any dates LOL. He knows how to find them. Nothing like an enterprising, creative and talented young man to swoon the ladies.


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