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My first music mix. Comments welcomed...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by machina, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. machina

    machina Active Member

    I recently got finished mixing and mastering 6 new songs for my brothers band, "Dear Vanity". Previously, I'd only done sound editing for video projects and some simple mastering, so being able to finally be in charge of mixing an album from scratch was a real treat. Even though they couldn't pay me, I still agreed to do it just for the experience. My brother is good friends with the guy who runs a local studio at a private college, so he was able to get the studio (also free of charge) for a weekend.
    Because of the limited time frame, they chose to record live in the studio, overdubbing the vocals in later. Some additional guitar tracks (recorded in the guitar players basement) were also added in later. They than gave me the rough tracks for mixing and mastering.
    The recording was done by Eddy Purcell (their guitar player) and was done using Vegas.
    I did the mixing using Vegas and mastering using Sound Forge. The equipment I used was a pair of Alesis Monitor One Mk2's, my PC using an Echo MIA digital audio card, and a pair of crummy Sony headphones for reference. Since each member of the band wasn't able to be in individual isolation booths, I had to fight quite a bit of bleed over between tracks, but I think the final product turned out quite good.
    Total cost of production: $0
    Fun and experience gained: priceless

    Check out 3 of the tracks at: http://www.purevolume.com/dearvanity/music
    I recommend downloading the songs onto your hard drive as opposed to streaming them. The streaming versions are quite compressed and sound horrible. The downloadable versions are also MP3's, but of a higher quality.

    Tell me what you think.
    -ryan
     
  2. machina

    machina Active Member

    Anybody? Don't let the subject line throw your interest. I'd appreciate some feedback...ANY feedback. :wink:

    EDIT: I apologize if this sounds like spam. It isn't...honestly. 8)
     
  3. heyman

    heyman Guest

    Ill step up. I think you did a great job. Sometimes recording the band live is a blessing in disguise(if they know how to play that is)

    I think you did a great job with the Vocals . What did you use on the vox chain? Also what features and version of soundforge did you use to master it?

    The only thing I would change is maybe freshin up the guitar by recording some overdubs because they sound a little distant to me.
    Maybe make them a little more up front in the mix...

    Also the snare sound could be a little more exciting. Maybe a little more of the actual snare sound. Next time use a mic on the bottom of the drum as well...?

    Since you cant redo the snare.....
    You can actually experiment with the snare sound with a program called drumagog. It is free to try. It is basically a plugin. Download it and mix a little of one of thier snare samples in with the orginal snare. If you like it, go out and buy the program....

    Overall ..... Nice work.
     
  4. machina

    machina Active Member

    For the vocals, I didn't really do too much. I boosted the EQ at about 3k and 7k each about +3db. I than added compression using a 10db threshold at a 5.0:1 ratio. Next, I added a little "deep hall" reverb (tweaked a bit to shorten the decay time) and that was it.
    For the mastering, I used Sound Forge 6.0. I used the built-in EQ and compressor (Wave Hammer) mostly, but I also downloaded a free Limiter plug-in by Pacific Soundcraft that worked great for the final masters. I think I spent the bulk of my time trying to get the songs to sound powerful and loud without sacrificing dynamics.
    As for the snare, I took a lot of time on that as well. I'm a drummer, so naturally I hear any problems with the drum tracks first. I tweaked and EQ'd and compressed, added reverb, and tweaked some more until I finally got a snare sound I remotely liked. I've assisted Eddy ( the guy who recorded it) on several projects, and I always criticize him for rarely using a bottom snare mic. I like having that "crunchy" snare sound to work with and not just the "toing" sound of the top head. I'll have to check out that program you suggested. I'm a little leary using samples, but I'll give it a try.
    Thanks for the "critique".
    -ryan
     

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