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audio Need Mix Feedback on this, Hoping to Make a "Template, sort-of" for the 7 other Songs on the CD

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by CrazyLuke, May 8, 2014.

  1. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Wasn't sure which forum to use, but I think I'm in the right place.
    Hi, people. this is my first song that I have mixed for an 8 song Rock CD that I am producing, and my first posting here. I need your feedback on all the elements here, as this will be somewhat of a "template" for the other songs on the CD, once I've got this one sounding good.
    This is one of the more "busier" songs on the CD, so I started with this one Most of the songs on the CD were tracked with the same instrumentation, vocal crew, virtual instruments, etc., with a few variances.

    Thanks for your help
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I like your guitar tones, kind of a cross between Nugent and Boston. I think you need to check your overheads though, I'm hearing something wizzly - a phasey sound - happening up top in your cymbals.

    I'd add a bit more ambiance to your drums, maybe a tight room, I think the drum sounds you have are good, but I think they need some space.

    I'd say that if the entire album sounds this way tonally, then sure, you could create a basic song template based on this. Although, there's both good and bad things about templates. The good thing is that you will achieve a continuity which can be good when it comes to defining the "sound" of a band. The bad thing is that you will achieve a continuity - LOL....to the point where everything can start to sound the same, generic and general.

    I guess my suggestion would be to be careful about how much you make each song sound alike - in that you could risk losing listener attention after 2 or 3 tracks. Personally, I like to take each song on it's own... to avoid sonic boredom.

    All of the above IMHO of course.
  3. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Thanks, Donny for getting right on this. The "template" remark was more about asking for feedback on what I was doing right or wrong "sonically" and keeping the good stuff going forward on the subsequent tracks, not having every song sound the same. I want to take as much as this forum has to offer to teak these mixes, and apply the good tips to the other songs. I'll have another song soon.
    This is something that I struggle with - I want to give the drums some sweat ambience, but I don't want to lose the "in your face" feel, and come up with something that sounds washy and distant.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    You don't have to if you are careful with the type and amount of reflection you are using. A little can go a long way. Start by just adding a little bit of overall ambiance on the drums bus - off the top of my head, I'd say around 500ms, and roll off some of the top end EQ of the reverb return - maybe start with a corner frequency of around 4k or so, and attenuate by 3-5 db. You need to be the one to really tweak this tho, because you are the one familiar with your reverb plugs. :)
  5. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    OK. Donny, I added some verb to the drums. I found a preset in Nuendo 4 called "drum shimmer" which gives me a quick decay, and a high pass on the reverb, so as to not muddy things up. It's subtle, but there.

    Also, check the overheads now, as I think the distortion you heard in the last mix might have been do to the fact that I was squishing things up against the limiter too much on the 2-bus.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I really like what you've done in both examples. I'm one of those kind of in-your-face drum mixers. It's an awesome bad ass song! Yeah... better than Nugent. (Crazy right wing nut case that he is. He don't impress me much. Thanks Shania!)

    While you think it's in-your-face, it's not as in-your-face as you think. It's all very tightly controlled. It's tight, that's for sure. But the drums could be more raucous? Slow down your attack times. Let that snare drum smack through. Let the bass drum feel like CPR. That might require that ya invert the phase on the bass drum? You might also want to compress it a bit and then gate it And ya can do that to the snare drum also.

    The guitars sound great. So, I assume you're a guitarist?

    Great lead vocal but he gets a bit lost. Him, ya could put under tighter Dynamic control and jack him up a bit.

    Those choral parts are great sounding. So why not turn them up? Wrap them around the whole band. They're stellar sounding! I love them!

    I think I actually liked your first example better than the second? The first one pops a bit more. I like, I like.

    Let it all hang out!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Thanks, Remy for the feedback. Listen to the first example again - don't you think I "brickwalled" into distortion a little bit? Or maybe I have bad listening environments (yea, thanks, Remy, now I have to buy a sound system in my SUV that would cost more than car - lol).
    On the snare, should I just bring it up in the mix? I do want keep some of the syncopation hits, (hits other than 2 and 4) as well as rolls and ghost notes on the "down-low," so I don't want to squash it to much.
    As far as "raucousness," I think I might achieve that with better sounding cymbals, but every time I try to bring them up, it gets a little washy up there (maybe run a low-pass on them?) Would love to get a "Foo Fighters" thing happening on the cymbals.
  8. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Ok Remy and Donny - I did me some fixin' on this tune, so please check the updated version and review. I put a little reverb on the snare as requested by Donny, and brought up the vox and solo for Remy.
  9. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Ok, next, I got the lead vox to "ride" on top of the music better. Let me know what you think.

    View: https://soundcloud.com/devon-vonmonster/away-from-it-all-review-mix-4
  10. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Ok, I'll just keep on polishing this thing. This is the first of eight songs to go on a CD, so, before I move forward, I would like to get some feedback please
  11. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Can I say I really appreciate the various mixes being preserved and the critiques. More helpful would be a few more specifics on what was changed with each mix (from a learning standpoint). I really liked the last mix - as the vocal clarity of the dry performance grew more dominant. For some reason I thought of the band Sweet here and wondered if a more "Sweet" styled vocal production would be a better fit - there's a texture in the voice I hear that would be great to hear balls out leading this song - right now I feel that the vocal is accompanying the band - I'd like it to lead. Listen to Fox on the Run and Blockbuster for what I'm talking about.
  12. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Hey, Dogs. Thanks for review my mixes. I like Sweet, but I don't hear it in this mix, since that band used 3 and 4 part harmony - all singing the lead line, where the harmony in this song is just "aaahs" against the lead melody.
    Here's what I've worked on since I've last posted
    1) Riding the vox over the music better in this "up" mix
    2) Putting the Guitar DIs thru Cab IRs for more body, and placing a low pass filter on them to duck the hi freqs under the lead vox.
    3) Busing the Bass line to 3 discrete outputs 1) Low pass filtered "bottom only" 2) Di thru Amp and Cab 3) Slight Distortion pedal w cab

  13. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Where I was going with the Sweet thing was less about the harmony and more about the operatic tone of the singer and how it sits in the mix - wanting to hear the natural (as opposed to the treated) timbre of his voice. And also those talking voice asides in the latter part of the song... Very sweetesque.... I'd like to hear them louder as well but the contrast between the two voices is a bit too different -- you've got this heavily treated voice that suddenly drops out for this soft talking voice then back to the artificial voice. I got pulled out of the song there.

    Now you may be using the vocal treatment out of necessity but I'd encourage you to listen to MLB (Mother Love Bone) and Andrew Wood's voice which has a similar operatic element with some tuning irregularities that actually adds to his performance. Listen to Crown of Thorns and how natural his voice is --- I can hear that kind of vocal easily on this track, but the vocal treatment for now serves as a barrier for me to getting to know the singer..... especially that dramatic "I can make you feel" part --that's awesomely dramatic but then at places like 3:56 I get that pitch shift effect that says voice through a machine..... and a vocal line that is plaintively screaming how he can make me feel gets suddenly co-opted by a robot.

    What's actually happening there with the vocals? Is what I'm hearing pitch correction? What is that affect - a vocal fattener or doubler? What would happen if you let us hear the voice with it's more natural sound?

    I also gotta say -- the more I listen to this song the more I like the song itself. It's got throwback elements to about 1988/89 for me (which was a good time in my life) but the driving groove of the song is very now -- very vital. You've done a great job on putting it together and capturing the energy - there's energy all over the track.
  14. iMacCartney

    iMacCartney Active Member

    Wow. Very cool song, somehow reminds me of Toto from late 70's? Liked the nice / vintage chord progression. I listened all versions - I liked the version that you posted june 6. the most. Are you "only" producing this song or is this your composition, playing/singing any tracks....?
  15. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Thanks, DogsoverLava, for your interest in the song. The reason there has been some pitch-correction that comes across as obvious, was to "teach" the vocalist a better melody line then the one he laid down, (a guide track). I'm hoping to get him in the studio soon, but for now, as I have just graduated from an audio engineering program, I'm looking to hone my skills in the overall mix. The elements I'm having the most difficult time with are the balance between the bass and drums. I suppose it has a lot to do with my listening environments.
    Right now, I am monitoring my mixes trough my M-Audio 40s (with no LFE), cheap AKG head phones, or my stereo system in my Ford SUV (after rendered). I got some ATH-50s on the way, that I'm hoping will help me sculpt out a beefier low-end, without going into distortion.
  16. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    The singer is a friend of mine, and he wanted to do a remake of a "tape" that was made of these songs from years ago from a 4-track. I tracked all the instruments, except some of the drum parts.
    I'm trying to get this song right, with all your help, so that I can save my presets for 7 more songs.
  17. CrazyLuke

    CrazyLuke Active Member

    Here is another mix with more bass

    And here are the lyrics

    Race you down the highway
    Babe, you're goin' my way
    She's riding on the divider line a bit
    We've been friends since High School
    Her boyfriend treats her like a fool
    She can't decide if she wants to stay or split

    Her engine's running hotter than Hell
    Emotions running hot as well
    Baby, can I race you for a drink
    That makes her raise an eyebrow
    I'm pulling out in front now
    I pass her by, and she gives me that special wink

    Let me take you away from it all
    Baby, I can take you to the stars for awhile
    When we're laying there and night time starts to fall
    I can make you feel
    I can make you feel
    I can make you feel alive

    Her boyfriend's abusive
    Makes her elusive
    She got the GTO from her dad
    Pulling over; the shoulder
    She says she wants me to hold her
    I show her that her life just ain't that bad

    Let me take you away from it all
    Baby, I can take you to the stars for a while
    When we're laying there and night time starts to fall
    I can make you feel
    I can make you feel
    I can make you feel alive

    (Spoken) “Oh, baby
    I've had my eye on you since the very first stop sign
    Ain't been no stopping me since”
    “Let me take you away from it all”

    Baby, I can take you to the stars for a while
    When we're laying there and night time's 'bout to fall
    I can make you feel
    I can make you feel
    I can make you feel alive

    When we're laying there and night time starts to fall
    Let me take you away from it all
    Let me show you a better life
    (Spoken) “Maybe I can take you away as my wife”
    I can take you to the stars for awhile
    Or forever

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