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audio Mix check, level check

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Chris Stark, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Chris Stark

    Chris Stark Active Member

    Attached Files:

  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    With only 4dB of dynamic range it's way too squashed, even taking the genre into account. There's some kind of midrange buildup, perhaps from all that compression/limiting, that I think will compete with a vocal. I really want to hear this with some dynamics.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I agree with my colleague.... far too compressed... almost un-listenable for me. Another victim of the loudness wars.

    Back off the gain reduction by at least half. Let some dynamics thru.... personally, I'd like to hear this with a DR of around 12db.

  4. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I too concur with my esteemed colleagues, Dr Boulder and Dr Thompson.

    Way too much compression / limiting for my tastes.
  5. Chris Stark

    Chris Stark Active Member

    Thanks a bunch for the feedback Sean, Donny, and Boulder. I really appreciate it!

    First off, if the squashing of the mix is the only thing that you guys are having a problem with, I feel really great about my songwriting / performances / levels and wetness of each instrument / the fact that no one has commented on the programmed drums / etc.

    Next, I have a small feeling that the problem might lie in a multiband compressor, because I've never really used one, and there's one hidden on there that is stock with a plugin I am using - I haven't adjusted it for any of my mixes. I'm going to upload an image of the settings so you guys can get a better picture. My THOUGHT and correct me if I'm wrong - is if I adjust the multiband to ease up around where the kick pumps and the snare cracks, I'll have more dynamics.

    multiband mix.jpg

    My reference track for everything (I A/B between this and my mix hundreds of millions of times lol) is Paramore - Monster, which can be found here

    The closer I can get my songs sounding like that, the happier I will be.
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Why do you have the multiband compressor on there in the first place? I don't use them in mastering except to solve a problem with the audio, particularly when I can't go back and fix things in the mix.

    I don't think the focus on the lack of dynamics means everything else is good. The compression may be masking other problems. If I didn't notice that the drums are programmed it's probably because in that genre all drums are essentially programmed given that they're recorded to a click and then edited and replaced to death. But from what I heard there do seem to be decent tones underneath all that compression. I don't think it will be hard to get a good mix out of what you've got recorded.
  7. Chris Stark

    Chris Stark Active Member

    Only reason a multiband is on there is because it was already loaded into the limiter for the stereo bus, I never turned it off. I never knew it was on there until recently.
  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I'd like to hear a cleaner version without the compression / limiting, that way I could comment on what I'm then hearing.

    To be fair I thought that the comp / limiting issue needed to be addressed first to be able to have a clearer picture of anything that needs addressing in the mix.
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Multi-band compression, in the hands of those who don't truly understand it, can do more to damage the sonics of a mix than almost any other processor I know, with perhaps the exception of "stereo wideners".

    As far as not realizing it was on your master bus, you've now learned a valuable lesson - you should always pay close attention to how, where and to what your signal is being routed, and what's being done to it through the various junctions.

    It's basic gain structure; audio recording 101. ;)
  10. pcrecord

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

    It sound overmixed to me. The drum kind of unnatural. We hear the bass drum very loud but the snare is distant.
    It strip the mix and go minimal on it.

    The creativity is there but the production could be refined..
    Thanks for sharing ;)
  11. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Sounds good except for the extra pressure you feel from the compression when everything is playing together. Feels like I'm plugging my nose sometimes.. there's a spot at 1:14 to where the right heavy riff guitar could be a bit tighter with the drums. also maybe a hair less bells keys..
    With a vocal on there it's gonna be different I'm looking forward to hearing it with a vocal and less compression.. Cool stuff.
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Yeah, I agree... it sounds over-cooked to me, too. Don't be disheartened, though. This is how we learn and improve. Mistakes are the best learning tools there are. There isn't an engineer anywhere that hasn't over-cooked a mix at least once in their careers, and if they tell you otherwise, they're lyin' like a rug... Go ahead, ask me how many times I have. LOL

    ( Honestly, I've done it many, many times over the years...and occasionally I still do; the last album I produced and mixed damn near killed me. ;) )

    But, on top of that, the heavy limiting you have happening isn't helping things any, either.

    I'd like to hear this mix stripped down, and then perhaps discuss what you could do from there to sweeten it. ;)
    pcrecord likes this.
  13. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Going for a "Paramore" type thing, I can see why you would want to get the maximum "in your face" approach to your mixes - they have a great engineer that gets the "sonic most" out of every instrument.
    You have a powerful tool in Izotope's Ozone, but with great power, comes great responsibility. Keep in mind that today's electronic media outlets - iTunes, Amazon, etc.. will want your mixes to come in at around -12dB or no more than -10, so they can "loudness level" it with their codecs for distribution, and I think Ozone 7 has a program to check for that.
    Good song, and my girlfriend's a big Paramore fan, so when you get the female singer (though you prob shouldn't "cookie-cutter" this, I'll have her listen.
    Also, when you get the vocal tracks in, you're going to HAVE to subdue your instrumentation a bit anyway, so have fun
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    You may be right, and that is the currently "preferred" LUFS for CD release - but still, I think I'd do a double-check on those levels for online streaming/download sites... I heard several months ago that both iTunes and Amazon were considering implementing a -16db LUFS... Although I don't know if they actually have yet. I'm just saying, you may want to do further research on that.

    And, in Europe - at least for TV and Radio broadcast - the EBU-R128 standard stipulates a LUFS between - 23 to -19, ( depending on the country) with peaks no hotter than -10db ... and they've become pretty strict about not playing audio that is too "strident".

    If your content comes in hotter than what they stipulate, they WILL turn it down in order to meet their code, and your music will likely end up sounding softer than everything else being played that did meet the standard level criteria.
    And, if it is egregiously loud, they might not play it at all.


    FWIW ;)

    pcrecord and Chris Perra like this.

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