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audio Here is the Opening Song, for an 8 Song CD, called "On the Planet" - Looking For FB

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by CrazyLuke, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Here is a Hard/Prog Rock tune that is the opening track for the CD. Please provide feedback on this mix.
  2. pcrecord

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

    It's over compressed and the drum makes my eyes bleed even if they are burried..
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I actually love this! But, there is too much compression breathing on the vocals, especially in the chorus. This is really cool though. Reminds me of early 80's rock with the 70's influences.
  4. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Thanks, audiokid. Here is another mix with a different bass. There is more fine tuning on this one, and the vocals are up.
  5. pcrecord

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

    Good fine tunning ! I can't say it breathes, but the balance with the bass and drum is better.
    The only thing that keeps bothering me is that the drums still sound unnatural... Other than that you got a good song !! ;)
  6. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Thanks, pcrecord. Here's the breakdown of what I use, and my struggle to keep them sounding real, and sitting well in the mix
    Steve Slate Drums - Great sounding instruments individually, but getting them to sound good as a real kit recorded in a drum room has been a little struggle. I probably need to put them in an IR room or two. Also, I'm looking forward to getting a transient designer for that room, so I don't get the initial attack of the drums, just the sustain. To my credit, I try to use different velocities, round robin articulations, and even purposely throw in a week hit here and there to "keep it real"

    Trilian Bass - Even more of a struggle has been the use of this multi-facetted, "every bass you can imagine" VI sample library from Spectrasonics - It reminds me of when I went into the Guitar Center and bought my first Line 6 amp and was so impressed with the variety of sounds, but when I played a gig next to guy using a couple of pedals, and a Fender tube amp, I was left wanting.
    Same with Trilian - sounds good played from your keyboard, but a struggle to eq and compress for those "right, fully bodied" frequencies, that I can easily get from my $65 Burton bass.
    I don't use the amp in the Trilian control panel, I just use the DI out to....
    DI Track
    , with low pass fither and compression
    Amped Track, with amp and cap sims
    Distortion Track, mixed in to taste
    all sent to a Bass Sum, where I EQ further, with hair pulling hours of tweaking!

    Native instruments - Strings, synths, etc. - I'm good here

    The only other thing I would like to add is, I would love to have ownership of an American made Strat, as I have knock-offs that fall short.

    So that's my rant, any suggestions?
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Stop using compression, I hardly use compression. Especially for vsti . You don't even need it.

    Compression is the most often over used.
  8. pcrecord

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

    Agree with Chris on compression. Keep it alive !
    Try to make it sound good first. Loud is not a priority.

    As for Slate, I never used it, but I guess as compression you might have gone overboard with processing
    When I must, I use Addictive drums. Even the presets sound good as is (well the clean ones, at least)
    Of course I might be a purist, being a drummer myself. I have not grow taste for metal drums, specially because lately, the style tends to be looking for unnatural sound. So excuse me if my taste is not seduced ;)

    None the less, you are on the right path to having a great song and mix. Keep at it !

    I'd be interested to hear your mix without anything on the master bus.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Same as pcrecord

    Except now that I have been mastering a lot, and built my Hybrid system around mastering gear, I've been fortunate to discover I much prefer ver gental compression right in the final steps prior to uploading to the web
    I do also prefer a gental comp occasionally on a drum bus with a slight amount of compression to glue it a bit closer sounds nice

    I think that hammering of compression, especially on vocals is where it really kills a mix

    The op has so much on the vocals that it forces all the other parts to be the same . All that does is make a dead mix deader

    I think most of the drum emulation libraries sound good, his problem is over thinking it all to a point he is trying to control too much

    Back off on the volumes and let it all come alive!
    pcrecord likes this.
  10. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    What do you guys think of the K-Meter Plug-in, and how it claims to get loudness invisibly?
  11. pcrecord

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

    Invisibly would be not doing anything ;)

    You can higher the volume up to just before the highest peak of the song hits 0bd. That wouldn't change anything but the volume.
    But if you want to go loader than that, there's know other way but to lower the peaks and therefor change the dynamic of the song.
    Loudness and compression are style related in a way that some songs may continu to shine even if they are ridiculously pushed and pumped.
    But I guess, most will agree that we'd hardly want to do this with a jazz quartet !

    To me and my taste, Hard rock and heavy metal are more enjoyable when the music has an impact on me. It everything is even, there's no more impact.
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member


    there are some good things here, but there are also some other not-so-good things, too.

    The good things:

    It's a good song, different sounding from today's run of the mill music. As a music listener, it intrigued me and pulled me in (and I'm not really a fan of heavy metal, either...so that's saying something, you should take that as a compliment ).

    I find it to be a breath of fresh air over the typical stuff I'm hearing these days.

    The Not-So-Good Things:

    As an engineer, however, the first thing I heard that bothered me was the drum track. I can appreciate what you are saying in terms of the samples sounding okay on their own, with each instrument hit one time; but as an ensemble instrument, it's not working.

    The drums sound... for lack of a better term... "fake" to me (I'm a drummer)... for example, the cymbals in particular are very "tinny" sounding, and are also far too isolated in the mix. If you listen to a real drum kit, mic'd up, with overheads, when a crash cymbal is hit, you don't hear that crash cymbal totally isolated on it's own on just one side. It might be predominant on the side it's panned to, but you'll always hear some of it on the other side ( and in the center) as well. The same for toms... the way they are sounding now, they are too isolated and discreet in the stereo field. And... this isn't a reverb thing I'm talking about here, either. I'm referring to a natural sense of space and imaging that can be heard on a good sounding kit using real mics.

    Along with the drums sounding sterile - too "clean" - performance wise, there's not much "human" element to the performance, either. It sounds very "midi" - programmed, quantized, sequenced.
    This wouldn't be an issue if you were doing a different style, like dance, pop, etc., but with Metal/Prog, there's a lot of human feel to the genre, and I'm not hearing it on the drum track(s) of this song.

    Vocally, you've got some frequencies happening that are somewhat "nasal" sounding. This could be an inherent tone to your singer's voice, but whatever frequency sculpting you are doing is resulting in this being enhanced.
    Also - and this is just a taste thing - I think the vocals need to come forward a bit. Remember that while you are mixing and getting balances, you already know the lyrics, so this may be causing you to mix the vox back further than they should be. Try to listen with the ears of someone who has never heard this song before - or - ask a friend or family member who hasn't heard the song, to listen and be able to repeat the lyrics back to you as they hear them the way they are now. If they aren't able to discern what you are singing, then this can be an indicator that the vox may need to come forward a bit in the mix.

    You seem to have quite a bit of compression happening across the board - whether this is on a track by track level, or pinned to the 2-Bus, it's too much. The results are squashed sonics, lack of dynamics.
    And, whatever compression you may be adding is on top of compression that may already be there as part of the sample-sound. The snare or kick samples you are using, or the toms, may already have been processed with some gain reduction at their sources, and when you add further compression to these, they are really getting squeezed and are wiping out any open or spaced sound that would naturally occur had you mic'd and recorded them yourself. I

    It's a good song, Luke...I like the passion to it, I do like the overall vibe, but, ( in my very humble opinion), it's not as good as it could be... You need to inject some humanity into this, and I don't think you'll be able to do that without first replacing the drum tracks/performance you currently have in place. It's just too midi-sequenced sounding to really achieve the prog/metal vibe that you're after.

    IMVHO of course. ;)

    pcrecord likes this.
  13. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    If I could add - I too hear what sounds like instruments performing isolated in the mix -- like I can hear the space between them in a way that makes me envision each instrument playing alone in isolation which ruins the illusion of cohesion and band performance. The vocals also stand out apart from the band in this same way.

    When you do the walking talking vocal thing you might want to record this last (my own opinion here) because in the natural rhythmic diction and articulation of the more spoken lines, the vocalist will pick up musical & rhythmic cues (unconsciously) which will naturally work themselves into the timing and rhythmic walk of the spoken lines. If you track a whole bunch of instruments after the fact, the spoken vocal will sound time-arbitrary... Don't know if this makes sense.

    For this kind of song I'd point you to King's X -- see Silent Planet (album) Faith, Hope, Love (album) and Dogman (album) for production/mix examples. This song would song really good with that kind of sonic knitting. Did you EQ and treat these tracks first when they were soloed? Could this give them that isolated sound?

    I do really like your stuff and I really dig the quality of the performances -- first rate stuff. I keep thinking "The Sweet" when I listen to your vocalist... sort of a late 80's version of 70's prog-pop metal.
  14. pcrecord

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

    What would be your trick to make the instruments glue together or give the illusion they were recorded in the same space?

    Mine is : put nearly no verb on the tracks and put a main reverb (same one for all instruments)
  15. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    That sounds reasonable - I've noticed (and I'm a novice with production and mixing etc) the need to match verbs and delays with my instruments and vocals - my mixes tend to be the opposite of isolation - they sound like soup -- like every kind of soup known to mankind. I'm not sure what causes that "containment" or isolation around the instrument -- some of it I thought was mixing and EQing while tracks were soloed -- which I assumed gave a great sound to each instrument but didn't offer cohesion in a band sonic sense. I think if this is done and with the use of compression on individual tracks, you give the sound a very geometric shape that you can actually hear (which contributes to the isolation) - you actually hear/see them in geometric form... That's my lay theory here. For sonics to knit well I imagine transients like fingers and shoots - a webbing almost that reaches out and knits together -- you need strings and runners

    (this is all my own esoteric Psycho-babel.... please feel free to ignore in the light of professional level advice with the weight of more experience behind it).
  16. pcrecord

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

    Good point on Solo EQing !
  17. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Thanks, guys for commenting. Right now I'm about two (at least two) plugins away from getting better mixes
    1) A Transient Designer, where I can increase the attack on the close mics, while subduing them (and get a more sustain) on the room mics (yes, even virtual drums, like SSD have close, overhead and virtual rooms)
    2 Softube Bass Amp Room, to add girth to my Trilian Virtual Bass

    I'm also going to experiment with Impulse Response Virtual Recording Rooms, so I can glue the mixes together better
  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Keep in mind that when using impulse response reverbs, that you don't want to mess with the parameters of each impulse very much. Doing so can really skew the original intent/sound of that impulse. You can't really approach convolution verb the same way you would a regular reverb plug. It's okay to minimal tweaking of things like EQ and wet dry ratios, but when you start adjusting width, decay and size, you're kind of defeating the purpose of using an impulse, which is meant to emulate a certain environment.

    I'm not saying to not use a convolution type reverb, to the contrary, I really like them and use them frequently... but I don't do much adjusting past the point of wet/dry and maybe a little EQ like HPF.


  19. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    I'm sure I'll be happy with the IR presets/samples as is. Thanks. Donny

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