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audio New Song - Hannah's Song (Hannah is my cat who passed)

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by kevinwhitect, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Hannah's Song

    Hannah is my cat. She'd been in my life for over 20 years and passed away Sunday. I wrote this for her. This mix is fresh out of the box. Please point out if I'm wandering off in the wrong direction ... and thank you!

  2. Jeremy Dean

    Jeremy Dean Active Member

    Good work Mr. Kevin! :) I'm sorry to hear that your cat of 20 years+ has passed, but this is a nice tune. I like how thoughtful it sounds. I like some of what you did with the lyrics as well(i.e. the "And for a while..." lines and "And some might thing it's silly to love something so much that's so small. But they're wrong!" I've lost a few cats in my life time. They really do become a part of the family). I REALLY like the way everything sounds when the piano comes in at 1:30. Are you influenced by Pink Floyd at all??? Reminds me of some of their stuff. I also really like the intrumental from 4:55 to the end of the song.
    The drums sound a little too loud in places, especailly the hi-hat. When things are in full throttle it sounds almost at the right level, but in the quieter sections, especailly when the hi-hat comes in at the beginning, the drums sound very upfront to me. Also, when the kick comes in at 1:30 it sounds a little too loud there as well. If you adjust the volume of the drums a little it might fit better.
    Your voice is different and I like it. It's a bit pitchy in places. The main one I noticed is the very first line: "This might sound sentimental." But overall sounds good. The lead vocal sounds removed from the intruments throughout most of the song(espesially at 2:44-3:06), like the intruments are too far below it in volume. Did you use any limiting or compression??? When the song gets louder it sounds like things are getting squashed(a lot of squashed drum sound), like a limiter is trying to hold everything back from 0db and in turn squashing the dynamics. Is this maybe a gain staging issue???
    I like the way the clicky bass sounds with the kick at 1:30, but in the rest of the song I feel like I'm missing some of the lows. I am listening on some cheap PC speakers, but you want things to translate everywhere.
    Overall I really like the sound of this song. The vocal melody at 3:06 sounds REALLY good with everything else. Nice blend there! I like it a lot. The piano riff from 4:55 and on is great as well and the little guitar riff at 4:12 and the other places where that same guitar tone does some lead work. Is there an compression on your voice at all???? Some of the things I mentioned above may help make this mix sound a little better. I like the way it sounds. Again, great work! :)
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Hi Kevin... I've always enjoyed your work...

    You've got a serious buzz happening on this track brother...it starts at 1:29; like maybe a faulty ground is happening somewhere ( guitar or bass guitar maybe?)

    Also, it would be easier for all of us - and better for you, too - if you upload your MP3 directly to your post, using the "upload a file" button located at the bottom right hand corner of the post window.

    SoundCloud is notorious for lossy artifacts; they've even admitted to as such, and it's been discussed here before many times; the likeliest culprit being their data compression codec, and possible down-sampling of bit res.
    In short, your tracks will sound much better if you upload your song directly to your post; RO's mp3 player will support up to 320kbps, and it won't add any little gremlins or gerbils to the audio.

    But before we critique any further, we really need to track down the source of that buzz...

    PS... I'm sorry to hear about you losing your little buddy... :(
    I'm an animal lover myself ( 3 cats, a dog and a ferret named Ringo).
    One of my cats just turned 20 on Christmas Eve - MacLaren, or "Mac" for short. He's now deaf, but is still active... still, I know what lies ahead, and it's a terribly sad feeling. We get so connected to our furry little friends... they become just like family to us. Strike that... they are family to us.
    It's a testament to how much you really cared for Hannah - that you wrote a song for her.
    That says a lot. ;)
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I just listened again Kevin, and I'm 99.999% positive that it's the bass guitar.

    A few questions...

    What kind of bass did you use?
    Did you record DI, or did you use an amp?
    Did you use any type of amp sim?

    Gain Reduction -
    What type did you use...
    Was this a compressor built into an amp? A footpedal?
    Or any other kind of external hardware-type compression?
    Was the compression on the bass printed ( recorded with) or was it added afterwards in the mix using a plug?
    How much GR are you using on the bass track? ( Ratio, Threshold and MUG ( make-up gain) )

    Without knowing details, I can only guess, but this sounds like it's either a ground problem with the bass itself, an external hardware issue, or with the amp you used...
  5. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Hi folks! Thanks so much for the comments! Warmly appreciated.

    The buzz is on the bass ... and it is embedded in the track that the bass player sent me. My guess is he's got a grounding problem, which is odd because the studio area which he records in was built only last year ... so one would anticipate that everything was wired correctly; and yet that buzz is bad. I've not yet attempted any treatment of it. My guess is he went straight into his recording unit via his preamp, and then compressed while in the DAW prior to extracting the track. The track arrived heavily compressed ... which, of course, doesn't help the buzz one bit.

    Jim -- huge Floyd fan here, and the opening section was styled the way it was for a reason, as I wanted to write an epic piece for an epic animal. Hannah was an extremely engaging and communicative animal. She could literally hold silent conversation. Like Donny's "Mac", she was as deaf as a post at the end of her days, but even as her body eventually failed her (she began to stumble forward more than walk), her mind and communication skills were still sharp.

    All in all, this is still a bit of an early mix ... largely due to the fact that my wife won't let me play it on the monitors when she's around. Accordingly, I've not had large expanses of time I've been able to work on it through my near fields. I can, though, lift the hood and try to correct some of the more egregious gaffs like seeing if I can reduce the buzz. If not, I could contact the bass player and have him send another track w/ grounding issues solved. Ultimately, that may be the best option ... for eliminating the buzz is invariably going to compromise other sonic qualities.

    Thanks again for the thoughts! I will post the actual file directly here again (vs Soundcloud -- as I know what you mean, Donny) once I've addressed some of both of your points.

    Happy New Year to both of you!


  6. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Why my wife doesn't want to listen to my stuff on an endless loop 24/7 surprises me too! She sick of most of it from just hearing me work the parts up and tracking. The fact that I'm listening to the same song 10's on 10's of times over and over when I mix blows her mind. "But baby..." I tell her, "it's me!" - She ain't buying.
  7. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    My wife is actually pretty patient in that regard. It's this song that tears her up.
  8. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Finally got a moment to work on what was mentioned as needing address. I agreed wholeheartedly with the above comments. As requested, the file is attached directly. Thanks again for the help. How does it sound now?


    Attached Files:

  9. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    File is a 192kbps mp3 ... but evidently the player doesn't do that particular rate. The new version is still available on the link in the OP.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    The buzz on the bass isn't nearly as bad as it was. Much easier to listen to for further critique now.

    Overall, the whole mix sounds a bit hot ( to me anyway) in the 1-3k range, it gets' kinda harsh at times on your vocals, cymbals and guitars... but, just that's what I'm hearing.

    I also think the kick, ride and side stick are too hot.

    Okay... now onto the artistic side...

    In the beginning, before everything comes in, I'd like to hear the hi-hat pulled way back, (if not pulled out completely), from the top, to around 1:28, because after that, it disappears completely, and at that point I really like the way it sounds without it....
    it just sounds too "click tracky" - for my personal tastes, and it doesn't need any kind of "count". It's much more effective if we let the music set the rhythm during that section. I found the hi hat to be distracting, and pulling my attention away from the nice "ambient" vibe you have happening during that beginning section. I'd also like your vocal approach to be a bit "gentler" when it comes in ... maybe a bit more air than "hard" notes at times.

    As an example of what I'm talking about... Listen to Dire Strait's Brothers In Arms; (I find your intro to be similar in vibe and feel) and at the beginning, there's various synth pads, and Knopfler's haunting guitar work... but no click, no count - not even a light hi hat tap on the 2 & 4. The tempo is laid down only by the chord changes, until around 2:24, when light drums come in. If I put my producer's hat on, that's the way I'd want to hear it your song.

    But, all of the above is just one guy's take on it. Getting critiques and suggestions can be very useful, valuable... and others might chime in with better advice; but in the end, you should do what you like, and what you feel best represents your own vision.

    Past the obvious engineering issues - things like buzz, noise, or sibilance, or obvious over-compression, other things of that nature - everything else falls into the "personal preference" category. At that point it becomes art, and there's no such thing as "right" art or "wrong" art.

    I'm just telling you what I heard; and those particular things I would target... if I were the one sitting in the cook's chair. ;)

  11. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    All good, Donny. Very much appreciated. I will experiment with your thoughts. I'm also hearing a slight harsh honk in the area you mention. I've got the vocal presence up slightly there ... and perhaps I should tame the region a little more. Thanks so much!

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