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audio My version of "last few hours of a mix"

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by bouldersound, Mar 31, 2015.

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  1. bouldersound

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

    I thought it only fair to post a mix, so here it is.

    I feel like I've got a handle on it and it's 90% done, but if you hear any horrible glaring error please point it out. I want the acoustic a little higher before the bridge, and maybe soften the HF edge just a little. Panning is still LCR, but I'm sure that will change before I'm done.

    Oh, and what genre is it? Some sort of rock, I guess.

     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nice track. I love the imaging on the acoustic guitars. Nice harmonies, too.

    The drums are nicely focused, although the hi hat is a bit hot for my tastes.

    The sibilance on the female lead vocal is killin' me, though, Boulder. I realize you are after "air" on her voice, but you need to reign in those "S's".. they're really at the pain level. Just off the top of my head, I'd say to look at the 8k-10k region.

    Can I ask what DAW platform you are using? I might have a hint for you on how you could de-ess those vocals without losing the "air"....
     
  3. bouldersound

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

    Sony Vegas 13. Opposite of many singers she tend to pull back on her consonants so I compensate. I'll certainly listen to suggestions on making it better.

    By the way, it's her first time singing in a band, our first attempt at a proper recording, and we just had our first public performance three days ago.

    Hi hat is just in the overheads, no close mic.

    Any help on the genre?
     
  4. pcrecord

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

    I'm on very cheap headphones here and I got the Ss problem very obvious. You could automate volumes on them or use a Deesser.
    I also think the vocal could use a bit of parallele compression to bring softer words up a bit but keep the vibe.
    I'll try to listen to it in the studio tonight and comment further
    Nice song BTW !
     
  5. bouldersound

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

    Okay, well I can manage de-essing. As soon as it was mentioned I could picture three or four ways to do it, including automation and traditional compression with a filtered detector.

    In the Cockos ReaPlugs collection there's a super cool plugin called ReaFIR. It has a compression mode with a spectrum display and where the threshold is a curve like many parametric eqs. When the signal crosses the threshold only the frequency that exceeds its threshold (and an FFT windowed range around it) is reduced. It's sort of like a multiband comp but more targeted.
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Best way is to manually remove them, which can be done in 15 minutes or so. The plug-in de-esser riders always pull more out than needed while leaving a footprint.
    What happens during the set-up of de-essers, your ears get shot triyng to find where the average ss are, followed by reducing leaving you with the impression that its better, which it is, but its not anywhere close to manually going in and surgically removing them one by one, where they are, not just where they "kind of are". .
    I know that sounds daunting, but it really isn't. In fact, it take more time to setup the plugin de-essers and screw around with them than a manual edit ever does. At least once you get onto it.
    Ess' have a clear transient wave to them. You not only hear them, you can see them. And if your DAW allows smooth attack and fade editing where you edited them, removing ess' can be very unnoticed.
     
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  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i never have issues with a de esser. i use an outboard de esser DBX 1/2 rack thing ... it's a real pos but it freakin' works! i can adjust what freq it targeting and how much it pulls out ... anything from a light touch to making it "thoud like thith" BUT if i did have an issue one thing i would try would be parallel processing.
     
    audiokid likes this.
  8. bouldersound

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

    Oh, I can edit down to the sub-phoneme level. I used to record/edit people doing corporate presentations. I got to the point where I could start to match waveforms with the script by sight.
     
    audiokid likes this.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I've wanted a tracking de-esser for years. been looking at a few. I think the reason those work so well, once again, is because you are getting the suspects before they hit the AD. I think this is why I love the BAX EQ for mastering as well, same reasoning. We use the filters to nip the problems before they hit the AD. It sounds way better dealing with everything before it hits the AD. You get a better capture and better level to my ears.
     
  10. bouldersound

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

    In this case I think the problem is more my eq than her performance. The raw track is probably fine in terms of sibilance. She just doesn't enunciate consonants super clearly so I tend to (over) compensate with eq. On the flip side, she's never popped a mic that I've heard.

    I've already put in a couple of hours editing the vocal for levels so editing sibilance will not be a big deal.

    So that's one gross error brought to my attention. Huge thanks to everybody. Anything else? Frankly, if that's all you can find wrong I feel really good about the recording.

    Help with the genre? Most of their other stuff falls into the power pop/classic rock range.
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    First off, I want to thank you for finally... yes... and more so, openly trusting and posting some of your work. You have my respect. I need to create some sort of reward for those who do this as acknowledgment.

    I love this. Other than the mentioned sss, its a bit too reverby on the vocals, but it glues to the mix so its not bad, I just think it could be less cold and in the room sounding. Otherwise I just love this. I think I'll listen to it another dozen times. .
    Its the kind of bands I've always enjoyed playing in. Nicely done. Love her vocals too. Love the steel. Everything really.
     
  12. bouldersound

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

    Chris, coming from you that is huge.

    Honestly, it is probably my best work yet. After struggling for years against bad sounding sources and bad playing I've finally got a "real" band to work with and it's a wonderful thing. Instead of fighting to subdue the badness I just have to capture what they do and present it well. We've got a whole "album" of songs in the works so there's more to come. I'll keep you posted.

    If anybody's interested in my process feel free to ask.
     
    audiokid likes this.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thank you!

    There it is exactly. Words of wisdom.
     
  14. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This is really good! It's a great song and you've put it together very well.

    A few possibilities for tweaking:

    1. I find the instrument movement in the stereo field during the first 13 sec disconcerting and feel this means the song does not start with a firm positional base.

    2. As others have said, the female vocal needs a bit more work in the mix - probably both compression to bring up the weaker phrases plus near-limiting to tame the violent transients - followed by a lift in the level against the backing.

    3. Minor work on the sibilance.

    4. Let the end fade take a little longer.

    Progressive Country Rock?

    Good work!
     
  15. Jathon Delsy

    Jathon Delsy Active Member

    Great song. The strong female vocal, full of earthy character, gritty passion and sensual lyricism, is a major feature - clearly a strong talent here. The tempo / rhythm changes are also strong features. And the super slick harmonies. Occasionally I get a feeling of split personality with this arrangement, some elements such as the lovely slide guitar pulling it to sentimental country ballad, while the punchy accents and distorted guitars pull it to more of a rocker, but still this is full of fine musicianship, highly accomplished in all areas to my ears.
     
  16. bouldersound

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

    Thanks Boswell for the suggestions, and thanks to you and Jathon for the compliments. I'm going to bet that all of us here have that critical voice in our heads constantly berating our work, driving us to be better. In the end that's a good thing, but it sure helps to have a positive response to balance that out and keep us from just giving up. I'm really looking forward to the next round of tweaks.
     
  17. bouldersound

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

    Some pics of the drum setup.

    Waldhoff kit front.jpg Waldhoff kit left.jpg Waldhoff kit right.jpg
     
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  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Sounds good thru my phone, nice fat snare sound. I'm wondng what kind of mic you used on the lead vox was it a rode? +1 0n some more judicious compression / volume automation on the lead vox. Good stuff.
     
  19. bouldersound

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

    Vocals and acoustics were done with a 4050 (omni, no pad) into a Solo 610 into a Tascam M-2600 MkII into a MOTU 24i (via the insert send rather than the tape out).

    I've edited and crushed the vocal already. I guess I just need to go a little farther.
     
  20. pcrecord

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

    I know you've worked on your mix since the OP. Could you post a version of it so we can compare ?
     

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