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"savoy truffle" Mix advice needed

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JohnTodd, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    So I'm doing a cover of The Beatles "Savoy Truffle" for my girlfriend 'cause she is crazy about the song. I like it, too.

    My version is updated - a little heavier on guitars, more layered vocals, big huge brass (sax brass), and so on.

    Problem is, I'm having a deuce of a time mixing it. I've put in the VST called "Elevayta Space" to keep the vocals and brass from stepping on each other. It helps, but I can't get everything LOUD like it needs to be. I don't want to squash the fooey out of it, but it is a loud song.

    Should I consider mixing it 60's style? With vox on one side, drums on another, brass spread out?

    But I really want to mix it contemporary: Vox center, BG-vox spread, brass spread, drums center-spread, etc.

    This mix is turning into a challenge for someone with my meager skills. Please help me. Any advice?

  2. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Hi John,
    Are you after a contemporary MIX or SOUND? I ask only because I've recorded quite a few Beatles tunes myself and while I always shoot to mix them as they are on their albums, the sound is almost certainly more modern or contemporary compared to the original, probably because I don't have the mics, console, room, knowledge, etc. that they did.

    Savoy Truffle would be a tough mix; there's a lot going on for sure. Did you record anything in stereo (guitar, vox) or is it all mono?

    I would give it a shot mixing it like they have and see how it sounds. I would think it's going to sound more contemporary just by virtue of how it sounds you've changed it up. Also, for reasons that I don't know or understand, I never get the isolation of a mono source in my mixes like they did.

    I'm sure someone here with greater knowledge and experience can probably speak as to why that is.
  3. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    It's going to be a contemporary sound, because of all the reasons you cited.

    The Vox, guitars and bass gtr are mono. The brass, drums, Rhodes, and Hammond B3 are stereo, and MIDI.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    According to the track notes, the brass was recorded in mono and then hard-panned to one side while using the ADT system (automatic double tracking) hard to the other side. There was no delay compensation for this at the time and the machine was a touch pitchy as well as introducing a different set of EQ values. Its one of the reasons this song sounds like it does. So try the hard pan with the brass part and pull one side back a fraction and pitch it down a smidge. see what ya get.The vocal is doubled physically. The drums are very dry on this one and there is a bunch of space under a lot of the song. The bass is a Fender Jazz if that matters to ya. And George was well into the Tele phase by then. Probably recorded on one of the Twins not the Vox. Fender Blender fuzz maybe???He used it alot. Maybe a bit of leslie on the guitar too.

    They tracked a lot of this album as a band, something they hadnt done since before Sgt Peppers. Ken Scott had replaced Geoff Emerick and George Martin had, by this time, allowed them full carte blanche. This was also probably mixed with the EQ 'full up' on the board. That translates to only a +15 on todays gear but it certainly ran the electronics into a bit of its natural distortion.....something that wasnt really allowed at EMI. Unless you were a Beatle.

    It was also the first record with an 8 track machine. a 3M. They didnt have the monitoring worked out since the machines arrived during the tracking of the record and the board was set to monitor 4 tracks off the sync heads when they would overdub. So a lot of the dubbing was done with only 7 tracks available for playback while dubbing. There also werent as many 'reduction mixes' since there were more tracks to play with.

    Mix it they way they did.
  5. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Vox is latin for "vocals" That's what I meant.

    ADT sounds like a great idea! I have that plugin available. (The VST ADT plugin is actually really good. Needs an analog input, though.)

    I got the distortion but I'll try other distortions, too.

  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    More odd notes on that mix. Drums are panned hard left. Bass guitar is panned hard right. Vox are panned right as well. Main rhythm guitar is panned left. All very unconventional and unacceptable in today's music world. Of course it sounds way better than anything I've heard on the radio lately. I'll be really impressed if you can get the sax to sound that good.

    Davedog: any notes on what they used to mic those saxaphones? I'd use a 441 personally but I'd love to know how they got that crispy tone.
  7. jonbuilds

    jonbuilds Active Member

    Davedog, awesome info on the Beatles mix!

    John Todd, if you are going for a more contemporary mix then I suspect you are going to have to do some EQing to get separation from brass and vox. I bet that Elayta VST you mentioned is doing this, but I wouldn't trust it. Both those pieces share a lot of the same frequencies. Make sure you are grouping your horns/brass together first, then play with the eq on the group. Compress the group a smidge and maybe give it its own reverb (a real tiny bit!). Without hearing what you have so far, this is all conjecture. Gut tells me you will give the horns more of the mid space and the vox a bump in the mid-high space. Don't be afraid to lop of the lows on the vox, that will save your some gain space.
  8. jonbuilds

    jonbuilds Active Member

    Davedog --- I'm curious what you mean by mixed with EQ 'full up'? Do you mean they are literally turning the EQ's all the way up just to get more gain?
  9. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Beatle Mix


    Contemporary Mix

    These are funny. ;) The song is not complete. Vocals have to be edited, some wrong notes, etc. All the instruments and vox are there, though.
  10. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Really dig your modern mix. Don't hear the sax all that well but still sounds great. Yeah, I can hear all the little things in the vox but hey it's great for a first rough mix. Not really a fan of the drum sound. I'd like to hear the ring of the snare a bit but that's just personal taste. A little more room sound on the drums would be nice too. Can't wait to hear the final mix. You did a fine job.
  11. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    OK. I've changed the snare drum - I like the ringing snare better in this, too. I've also distorted the lead vocal for a special effect.

    I tried ADT, but it didn't "ADT" enough. I think the brass is too busy to notice the ADT treatment. So I went with changing the delay structure. The brass is panned hard left and 28 ms delay is applied and sent to hard right. It opens it up quite a bit.

    I removed all reverb on everything, except, I added some to the drums as requested. Take a listen:
    Tindeck MP3 Hosting: Johntodd - SavoyTruffle-04FEB2010

    Thanks to all of you!
  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm pretty easy to please as long as the music is good though. I know there are some minor things that you could probably clean up but hey.
  13. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member


    It's coming along. Tomorrow is "vocal editing" day for this and a couple other tunes-in-progress.

    Thing is, I've heard pro-recorded stuff that was busy like this mix is and everything was clear and easy to listen to. What do they do that I am not? How do I get two heavy rhythm guitars, six saxophones, and 13 vocal tracks all to sound crystal clear when they are in the same frequency range? It's been done before. There must be a way!

    Ahh, the joy of learning new things. Challenging, but so very, very worth it.
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    In reference to Beatles doing this, its all about the room, the professional engineers, and the extremely high level gear. Actually its always about that.

    I like your version. I hear your dilemma of the separation. I dont know all the gear you have at your disposal, but for the vocal section try this if you can. Create a stereo sub of the vocals as a whole. Run this out through a quality mic pre and compressor and back in. This is like stems mixing. Something that Chris has talked a lot about lately. Those summing boxes make this so easy and also aid greatly in separation.
  16. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Sort of "re-amping" the vocals? All I have is a Firepod, but I'll try it.

    One thing - the lead vox is a ribbon and the backing vox are all an SM57. I noticed the separation there. Did that on purpose. :D

    Thanks for the help and the compliment! Learning new things and putting them to use is always fun. Lovin' it more and more.

    :) My version sounds like Iron Maiden's airplane crashed into The Beatles tour bus and they rolled down the hill into Willie Nelson's bungalow when he was all smoked up. LOL!
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The point of 're-amping' a section is get the different flavor and response from a different circuit. I'm not sure that simply sending it and back into the same device it was originally recorded from is going to be a lot of difference.
  18. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I think I will try it through the speakers later on today just to see what happens.
  19. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    OK, I "re-amped" it through the speakers - and wow! It adds a totally-but-subtle different flavor to it. I just threw up a condenser mic in front of the speaks and panned them to mono.

    Tindeck MP3 Hosting: Johntodd - SavoyTrufle-07FEB2011

    Here's the new version. Mix done finalized yet, but there it is.

  20. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    PS. I did not vomit a condenser. Learned a long time ago not to eat a whole one at one sitting. ;)

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