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audio My first truely truely careful mix :)

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Harry, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Hey guys, so instead of a dissertation I get to write, record and mix an EP of my own choosing so chose my band Echonic. I was wondering if any of you would kindly give thoughts/suggestions and improvements for my mix!

    I recorded it all at my university and at home (drums and vocals at uni and guitars mostly at home) and tried to keep it as natural as possible sounding ie. no sample replacement/beat detective, I think it paid off!
    I have 4 other songs that are currently almost finished as the deadline is in 1 week and haven't even started my write-up yet! but who cares about that..


    Harry(oh so busy with final deadlines but would love advice!)
  2. andybb1500

    andybb1500 Active Member

    hey harry, i really dig it, sounds refined, i checked out your other tunes too and think i'll be listening to more of you guys
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    a word on long intros that applies to everyone not just this submission.

    1. long intros are the death knell of unknowns. it's considered self indulgent for artists to subject first time listeners to long intros unless; the intro really has something to "say" or is a precursor that establishes a theme repeated though out the piece. think of the intro to "Roundabout" by YES ... it goes through all the movements that keep repeating through out the piece. a great intro it is.

    2. one can only wonder at how many cds litter the highways after being thrown out of the car by A&R guys on the way to the office? sometimes you only get a few seconds of there time to catch their attention. only successful bands and artists get away with a super long intros.

    the intro on your submission is certainly a bit long. i almost started snoozing but once the vocals started i woke up a bit. very interesting. i like the music but the snare drum sound lacks snap and snare rattle like someone beating on an old seat kitchen chair cushion .. it just sounds like "thwak ... thwak ... thwak " and the kick lacks low mids, "tick ... tick-tick ..tick ... tick-tick" ....sounds like "Thwak!/tick ... tick-tick Thwak!/tick ... tick-tick" but it should be "Snap!/thud ... thud-thud! "Snap!/thud ... thud-thud!" at least that's what i think.

    the bass sounds great, the guitars sound like guitars (good) ... but perhaps if you fixed the drum sounds a bit and brought the other instruments down in the mix a little, the whole thing could breath and have a bit of "air" it would sound better. as it is, it sounds like 7 pounds of noise stuffed into a 5 pound bag which makes it tedious to listen to.

    but i will say, as it is, it sounds much better than a lot of stuff people post here so take the critiques with a grain of salt. good work! thanks for sharing it.
  4. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    Nice recording,solid arrangement.Good work!
    I agree the intro is too long,I think shortening the guitars passage at the very beginning would help,as the build at that point is very subtle.
    The snare sounds a little too dry in the context of the mix, a point at about 4 min.,when the breakdown happens and the snare ,and kit seems to have some nice ambience,then the song builds,the back ground vocals come back in and the snare sounds drier.Are you triggering the drum bus compression with the vocal bus?Perhaps you should take the drum reverb off of the drum bus if you are doing that,or put it post compression and that will allow it to bloom in the mix a little more when the vocal is happening.I think you may have a little too much of the close snare mic in the mix,and hearing the snare from the overhead mics,or room mics may do the trick as well.
    The guitars and bass sound nice together,the vocal does get a little burried as the dynamics build,if you are not using the vocal bus to trigger bus drum and guitar bus compression,you should try it.Or,you could pull the drums and guitars down a little at that point as well if you do not want to use a bus compressor.Pulling the vocal up with a fader works too,if you have the headroom.
    I think this song would benefit greatly from a bigger kick sound,adding more punch and power to the mix,it's one of the hallmarks of a great mix IMO.There is a reason why we spend hours on a kick drum sound,if you not going to use samples.
  5. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Cheers for the comments guys, Kurt I do agree with you about the kick sound, I am actually starting to regret using an Audix D6 as it pretty much doesn't record any low mids just high and low! Also could have been with the way it was tuned. I was happy overall with the snare sound though, (would have liked it to sound like Karnivool's Sound Awake album though). I have since tweaked the mix and done a quick mastering job on the EP just so I could get it out there before paying an engineer with a full album if any of you guys want to check the rest out on the bandcamp at Echonic

    I am definitely going to revisit these mixes at a later date but am overall happy with my first attempt at a big project like this :)

    As for the long intros, I totally agree with you! But...I wanted to keep it :)
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I didn't reply to your post at first for lack of time, but I did enjoy the music and mix you posted. I thought the drums were quite good for what you described as a "first truly careful mix". The drums were obviously tuned well and I actually enjoyed the snare sound being out front a little. As a modern prog rock fan I find it annoying when the drums are overcompressed and buried. And long intro's are just an expected (and important part) part of prog rock. No problems there at all. The bass line was nice and present, the vox are fantastic, guitar tone is really nice and the guitarist has a great flair in line with some of the best modern prog groups out there. The bass drum sounded fine on my studio monitors and even better when I engage my sub.

    I've been listening to Riverside's latest record "shrine of new generation slaves" for a while now and actually appreciate the way you mixed the drums better than the way they're glassed over a bit too much on most modern prog records. Overall their latest release is brilliant.

    Anyway, I thought your song was cool to listen to and I like the band a lot. Congratulations!
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Kurt:"...think of the intro to "Roundabout" by YES ... it goes through all the movements that keep repeating through out the piece. a great intro it is." My fave group back then, it's interesting that you brought that up comparing it to this song.
    I thought the intro was a bit long, too, but then, this song is geared towards the "prog rock" crowd, they're probably used to this.
    The drums sound PDG for a "student recording". Not to everyone's liking, but those small differences reflect variations in musical styles/tastes more than technical deficiencies.
    The guitarist will have to be shot for making me want to pull my Leslie cab out of storage... :)
    The vocals do get a bit buried as the piece builds. This is too bad, there is some very strong vocal work here.
    As previously stated, this piece stands out from the crowd of "what do you think about this ?" submissions.
    Keep up the good work.
  8. Harry

    Harry Active Member

    Haha you're too kind! I was wondering does the kick have a lower fundamental than other recorded music? It seems to come out a lot more when there is a sub on as it seemed to be around 50hz whereas the bass sat at around 70/80hz.

    I had a quick listen to Riverside on YouTube and it's great so thanks for mentioning them. I do prefer production like that than to more modern rock or prog metal stuff, I used to listen to Dream Theater's Black Clouds and Silver Linings a lot and whilst they're really nicely recorded the drum just sound so dry and up front and the bass seems to be a mere extension of the guitar sound rather than being its own entity (works for some things I guess but I wanted the bass to be really present). I will admit that as it is the chorus seems a bit too dense and the vocals get lost a bit, they get lost more or less depending on whatever speakers so there is something odd definitely there.

    I'm going into the studio again next saturday to record 3 more songs-worth of drums so I'll take this all to heart and see if I can get a better sound at source :)
  9. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Totally looking forward to hearing more of this from you and the group. Good luck on your next sessions.

    Regarding Riverside, yeah, their entire catalog/discography is pretty brilliant. Glad you enjoyed what you found on youtube.
  10. Iantheconway

    Iantheconway Active Member

    The Mix sounds good even through my crappy computer speakers, so I'd say you've done great. Personaly, I'd like to hear the vocals a little louder and slightly wetter, but they are sitting nicely where they are, so it may be best not to mess with them too much. Also, I'm hearing pretty good stereo already, but if you get bored you could maybe try some wild pan automation where stuff flies around from ear to ear. I like hearing that sometimes.
    That's my two cents.
    Also, I think it's a pretty cool tune.

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