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audio Goodbye (original song)

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by iMacCartney, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Hi, here's the 1st mix of my latest song. I'd really appreciate any kind of feedback about mix balance, arrangement, too bright, harsh - bassy??....anything.

    Everything recorded in my home studio (by myself) using Logic X, Kel HM-7, Apogee Duet, GA Pre-73 mk2...

    View: https://soundcloud.com/splproject/goodbye-mix-1
  2. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    I wasn't sure about the effect on the vocal at first (auto tune? micro pitch shifting?) - your voice has a nice timbre all on it's own so it's un-needed but does fit the production style you've done. Totally reminded me of of a band called Badfinger - are they a big influence? Connected to them are of course The Beatles and people like Harry Nilsson. One thing I noticed was the levels seemed pretty high or full across the board - I was a bit fatigued as a listener just sonically from so much full on sound -- I think this song would sound very cool with a retro style of music production - less synth and using real strings (which you probably don't have access to in your home studio). If anything my criticism would probably be that it's a little too artificial - but also very packed with very little space left between notes and instruments.

    It's still very well performed and well written -- like I said -- Badfinger (I pulled out the first two albums and listened to them and could totally hear a connection to that legacy). Badfinger wrote some amazing songs and in this same tradition your song is very strong. It's a little more Euro centric than my North American tastes - but I think would fit in well. I could imagine a singer belting this out on a German TV show. You've got talent for sure. Good job. I'm sure others can offer some more Mix and production focused advice or comments.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    really nice. kind of bright in the mids ? ready to master.
  4. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thank you DogsoverLava. There's no auto tune or pitch shifting, I've just double tracked the lead vox in choruses and in a few places in verses.
    Badfinger....I have heard about it but can't remember any of "they"? songs, will check somewhere...instead, I am and have always been a huge fan of The Beatles:).
    In terms of instrumentations - I thought about using "real strings" at some point but ended up using all kind of "retro" synths in choruses / outro. And I also wanted to keep verses very simple, kind of minimalistic. What do you mean by "too artificial - but also very packed with very little space left between notes and instruments."?:)
    EDIT. I listened Badfingers on youtube and I've heard some of the songs a long time ago. Actually I used to play the "No matter what"-song with my band ages ago...:)
  5. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thank you Kurt; it's already ""mastered"" which in this case means I raised the levels:)). I will do that again after some changes....
  6. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    What I meant here is that the mix is dense with sound - wall of sound style and the predominance of synths as well as some of the production choices makes the sound artificial and unnatural which for me stands out because this song has such a late 60's to mid 70's legacy and would present better with natural timbres...

    I also think you've top loaded the mix with about as much instrumentation and sound as you can get into it -- which is a stylistic choice -- but it doesn't give me any space between notes and sounds and textures to navigate....

    This is philosophical so it may not make tons of sense to you -- but consider this: We know that a line is an accumulation of points --- and that between those points is space. You could consider that a song or a phrase in music is similarly an accumulation of points with space between them (be it space between notes or between sounds themselves. The journey of a line (or a phrase or music) happens as much in the spaces between the points as it does the points themselves --- That's why space in music is so important. When a mix or an arrangement is top loaded with sound and space is squeezed (be it sonically or on the spectrum) then we miss out on the the more cerebral liminal journey that is music - the music that takes place between the notes - between the sounds.

    I think it's a great song - I think it's really good production within the style that you have chosen to produce and mix under - But I'd like to see this stripped -- to hear it stripped. Perhaps a "B" side -- same song with more natural stripped down tones and mix -- more space and less instrumentation?
  7. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thanks again DogsoverLava. I agree, there's too much going on in chorus (I believe we are talking about instrumentation/levels in chorus...) I will make a new mix within the next few days.
  8. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Hi, I made a new mix of this song. A lot of changes but not really sure if it's better or worse:). If you have some time to compare, please give me some feedback, thanks.

    Mix 2
    View: https://soundcloud.com/splproject/goodbye-mix-2

    Mix 1
    View: https://soundcloud.com/splproject/goodbye-mix-1
  9. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Just sat in front of my Vintage Sansui based system at moderate volume and no traffic noise and spun mix 2 of this song. Fantastic man! It's a great piece and it sounds great in my listening space. I thought you really got the balance here just right.

    My only production critiques here would be first a small question about your accent and annunciation - wasn't sure if what I was hearing was an accent or just a slight affectation in the vocal. The beginning of the song has this Lionel Richie meets Pink Floyd mashup where you could start singing "Hello...." but that is quickly forgotten once you've laid a few lines down. Love the transition after the verses - love love love how you managed to balance the guitars and Keys and keep a natural sound at the same time. Absolutely love the nod to Prince at the end - that repetitive guitar line that you just really sell. Prince does the same thing in Purple Rain to great effect! Your line has a haunting sadness to it that builds through repetition. For this style of songwriting and production you've written and performed a great track. It still sounds very Euro to me which is cool - there's a gravitas that really stays with the listener.

    My question -- is this all you? Can you tell us about the songwriting process here that you went through? Did the song evolve much in the recording? What instrument to you write this on? Tell us a little more about yourself and the songs you write.
  10. pcrecord

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

    The ambiance and arrangement reminds me of old James Bond movies.. ;)
    I don't say it because it's a bad thing. I would have mixed everything a bit brighter (except the vocal) and less compress (or with slower attacks on the compressor to keep the transients). I feel the hi frequecies are either mixed like that because you have too much in your monitoring system/room or you have a converter issue that squashed them or it's your own taste which I'd respect 100% (y)

    All in all, I don't hear obvious problems, you can read 100 posts about how the other guy/girl would have done it differently.
    But, just compare your song to others you like to listen to. If you're are happy with the song, move on, avoid over mixing and write other songs !! ;)
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  11. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thanks for the comments pcrecord. After every mix, there are always things that I'd like to change but I'm quite happy with the mix now and I think I leave it as it is. James Bond "vibes" sounds great:)
  12. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thanks again DogsoverLava.

    I do not quite understand what you mean by that ”small question about your accent and annunciation - wasn't sure if what I was hearing was an accent or just a slight affectation in the vocal”.

    You were asking about the songwriting process and me….This is all me, so no one else is involved in this. I started this song from the scratch a few months ago. I was playing piano just for fun and the chord progression just came out of nowhere and after that I believe it took less than 1 hour that I had chord progression, melody and basic song structure. When I started to record this, it was also easier than ever…I knew that I want to keep verses as simple as they can be and get the right feeling to the choruses and to the outro. So this song didn’t really change or evolved while recording. The Ooh-Ooh.Ooh-Ooh backvox in the begin go the choruses were the only things that I added later. As I said , easier than ever. The toughest part, as usual, were the words (as I’m non-native English speaker), guitars (I’m not a guitar player ”really”) and mixing.

    You were also asking about myself related to music:)…well, I studied classical piano for 6 years when I was a child. After that I played keyboards in some bands for a couple of years. Then there were maaany years that I didn’t even touched any instrument. In the early 2000’s I bought Logic 3 (I guess) and recorded some songs in my ”home studio” with a few friends. After a couple of years it ended as I had to concentrate on other things. So finally 2 years ago I decided to start this nice hobby once again and I bought Logic 9. I think I have done - maybe - 10 song within these 2 years and also re-recorded a few songs that I originally recorded in the early 2000’s. So I believe that’s all:)
  13. Jonesey

    Jonesey Active Member

    Your first mix sounded great. Your second mix took the body from the vocals. I loved your vocals in that first mix.
  14. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thank you Jonesey.

    I decided to make a 3rd mix. There are a lot of changes - on levels, compressions, some changes in the arrangement etc. Both, mix 1 and 2 are still there if anyone wants to compare. If you do, please let me know what you think:)

    View: https://soundcloud.com/splproject/goodbye-mix-3
  15. pcrecord

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

    Well I can see where you are going but, there's a few things I'm not subscribing.
    1. There's a long bridge of frequency différences between the music and the vocal. Music being dark and far away and the vocal being really in my face
    2. Also the vocal is so bright, it hurts my eyes ;) and It feels like some frequencies has been cut off like a slight telephone effect.
    3. The multiple ambiances are making me feel like it's not a band but isolated musicians in different studio that played in different acoustic environement.
    4. Volumes of instruments emphasis the seperation.
    if you could place every thing in the same room and picture a band and a signer playing together, it would get a lot better
    It actually sound like it was recorded with one mic in front of the signer and the band is next door (which is closed)

    Of course those are just opinions, it you are happy with it, I'm happy for you ;)
  16. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thank you pcrecord. I really appreciate your honest feedback. Before I'll ask any further question, could you please listen to this "non-mastered" mix if it's any better. It's the same mix without all "mastering stuff " - eqs, compressor and limiter. :)

    View: https://soundcloud.com/splproject/goodbye-mix-3-non-mastered
  17. pcrecord

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

    I still hear the frequency differences but of course less pronounce. The vocal would sound find on it's own, but the music is dark (therefor seperated) except the solo which seem to sit between.
    Now there is many ways to go at it from here.
    You could keep it like that if it's an effect you really like.
    If you did eq out the Hi freq of the music I would put it back (at least partly) because you can't boost something that isn't there(at mastering), you may be pushing the HF too far on the mastering and only the vocal is modified by it.
    You could darken the vocal with a LP filter to at least fit the band.

    also, using a common reverb for all instruments including vocal can unify them as a band.

    Shoot any questions ;)
  18. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thanks again pcrecord...great tips. Appreciated.

    So, I did one more mix...and there are a lot of changes. Now there's one common reverb for all instrument tracks excl. bass and drums. Drums have just the "room" reverb. The lead vocal should be "not so bright" now but I still used the same rev/ delays on it as in the previous mix. A lot of changes in levels, eq's, everywhere.... All the previous mixes are still there as well. Please let me know if this is any better now:)

    View: https://soundcloud.com/splproject/goodbye-mix-4
  19. pcrecord

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

    One minor thing would be to better control the sibilance in the vocal with automation or a deesser.
    If you could reduce the peaks accuring between 5k-10k, cause by Ss, Ch, Sh, Fff.

    But other than that :
    Let me say WOW !!! What a major improvement.
    I could imagine a band now. Very good work !
  20. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Thanks you pcrecord. It's good to hear that it's better now. I think that I can't make it any better....About the sibilance in the vocal - I'm already using Waves de-esser and c4 for that purpose and I'm pretty sure that I didn't hear any sibilance in the mix before the mastering so maybe I just added "too much something" to it...I will check that later..

    Thanks again for your great support:)

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