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audio "Song For Paris" - Mix & Recording Technique

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by DogsoverLava, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Hi Guys!

    Watched the events of the last week unfold with my wife at my side and a guitar in my hands. This little chord figure worked it's way through my fingers until I decided it had to be recorded on Saturday/Sunday. This song is very much an existential lament. Would love your feedback on the mix and anything else you hear.

    2 Acoustic guitar tracks (same guitar) recorded in stereo each with a matched pair of RODE M5 in X/Y
    2 Classical guitar tracks (2 different guitars) recorded in stereo each with a matched pair of RODE M5 in X/Y
    NOTE-These guitars tuned to open G.
    M-Audio Profire 610 Interface
    Bass Guitar (Fender P. Bass) through interface with Amp Modeling applied in DAW (Guitar Rig 5 Pro)
    Lead Guitar (Hamer Californian) through interface with Amp Modeling in DAW (Guitar Rig 5 Pro) - Standard tuning.
    Drums: Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0 - using a slightly modified midi pattern
    DAW: Reaper on a PC

    The RODEs pick up lots of room noise - from movement of my body, breathing, ambient sound. Really worked after the fact trying to ensure there was minimal noise on the live guitars - Using some selective gating and EQ (and a hard limiter even on one track) and some hand drawn volume envelopes in the DAW

    Composing as I record and remembering what I just played as I record the next parts

    Workflow Improvements Made:
    Just getting better at using the features of my DAW to facilitate quick recording.

    Additional Effects/Comments:
    A little EQ on the Master and some of the instrument tracks, a tiny bit of compression on the master and the Live recorded Guitars as a bit of a glue. Recorded and mixed at relatively low gain with a bump in the master. Tried very much to preserve natural dynamics in the song.

    Here's the Song. Any criticism is welcome.
    MP3@320 is too big to upload here - Dropbox and Soundcloud below

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/uesjl5sjxrw6tsy/Song For Paris 5.mp3?dl=0

    Many thanks
  2. pcrecord

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

    It has a good mood, nice electric guitar sound.
    I feel the guitar playing rithmic full chords parts is pulling me to the right side of the stereo field at times.. it should have a counter part at same level on the left.
    And the timming isn't tight at places.. (drummer thing) ;)
    Oh and a fill and/or a cymbal hit wouldn't hurt too ..
  3. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Thanks PC - I'll re-listen to that guitar part. There is an acoustic track on the left - it's much fainter in the mix and basically doubles the classical part. One of the things I need to do is chart this out - perhaps using a Nashville style shorthand. There's a lot of improvised playing both in the bass and the acoustic track you are talking about so seeing it charted might help me conceive of a better companion/counterpoint..

    Could you elaborate on the timing issues - where does it really stand out to you? Are you hearing it in the drum track itself or just the instrumentation? Is there a specific instrument that's jumping out?
    On my end I'm battling two things with timing: Understanding and compensating for latency that may exist within certain or all tracks, and the relationship between tracking and monitoring, and tracking while monitoring - trying to eliminate this by playing and recording to the drum tracks. Second issue for me is personal - nerve injury to my hands - brain and hands not always communicating - death grip on the fret board while tracking. Really working on relaxing during takes. Where can you direct me in the track to tighten up? Is it something that a producer or engineer would fix in the mix if that's what a band laid down? (obviously re-tracking is the ideal for perfection).

    Initially I was going for a more of a dub drum sound so I just used a midi pattern taken from EZ drummer Jazz expansion and dropped the kick - added the cymbal roll at the end to punctuate the finish. What would you do on a track like this? A more percussive style?

    Thanks again.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Same key, similar guitar tone to The End (The Doors) - I kept expecting Morrison's sinister vocal to start.

    Nice job, though.
  5. pcrecord

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

    The drum seems stable enough.. I think it's the guitars that clash against each other and against the drum. It's a very minor issue, many might not notice it, you don't have to bump your head on the wall about it ;)..
    I think the vibe of improvisation is sometime more important that perfect pitch and time.

    For the drum, if you dig this patern, keep it.. but you could give it some life with a couple of cymbal hits and a few minor fills..
    If I had to write something for the song, I would probably explore some sweeping brushes or odd timing rithme. But I'd probably keep low profil in the dynamics to let space for the guitars.. That's what's nice with writing, anything is possible !!
  6. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Happy to report no father were harmed nor mothers ravished during this recording -- my eyesight is still going though but I think that's age.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, must be - it's difficult to think of any other explanation.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Seems to me as if the mix is mid range heavy - I'm guessing maybe around 500 - 800 (?); it seems to have quite a bit of energy happening in that range; I don't know if this was intentional on your part or not, and I don't even know if it really even matters to you. I'm just telling you what I'm hearing through my monitors, in a treated space, with fresh ears for the day, and having not heard the song before.

    Also, the guitar solo seems to be a bit thin-sounding. I see you mentioned using an amp sim for this; and while I'm in no way against them, the "purist" in me would like to hear it played through an actual amp and miked up with a dynamic ( I'd also personally go for a ribbon mic in addition to the dynamic, but I don't know if you have one, or, if you have an amp either, for that matter). To me, nothing beats a real guitar amp ( preferably tube). You might want to look at adding a little body to the solo; either through the settings in your amp sim, or using the EQ on that track. Some compressors can attenuate the low end on things... the Fairchild 670 plug is one ( all of them I've heard or used) that is is known for taking away some of the lower range body, and the more compression you add to it - along with longer release times - can make things sound "thinner".

    But, it's a nice track, pleasant to listen to, and I do like that it's dynamic, both musically and mix-wise.

    IMHO of course.
  9. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Thanks Donny - yes I care very much and I do hear a lot of energy in that area. I've selectively adjusted it on the EQ I've applied to the acoustic instruments and made some adjustments on the master EQ where I also adjusted some of the bass frequencies. I noticed yesterday some rumbling in my car as I drove with the track. I had pumped it a bit to compensate for a bit of a bass heavy mixing environment as I tend to under do this area a a reference.

    I agree two fold on the guitar - There's a weedy sound to that particular patch with my Hamer (no tone knob) and I didn't play with the patch much thinking the sound was "plaintive". I've made some adjustments there just to roll back a bit of the treble and bump the bass up a bit. The patch had some compression applied to it as part of the patch. I made some adjustments there per your insight.

    I am lucky to have a really good tube amp but in my urban environment I can't always play through it. The future for me is a Ribbon mic to pair with my SM57 as I absolutely fell in love with the royer demos on this site. Also a re-amper is in my future so I can track and rework the recordings at my leisure. One thing the amp modeling sim is helping me with is expanding my guitar tones and use of effects. This particular weedy sound was new to me but I've been trying to expand my understanding of how the guitar sound I want on stage or in my bedroom may not be the guitar sound I want in a mix so I've been exploring a bit more. Interesting to note the amp sim is using a R-121 in its simulation.

    Thanks for your input Donny - training my ears and developing technique.


    soundcloudlink deleted - still available at dropbox


    https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ltvc0ahhvao2cc/Song For Paris 6.mp3?dl=0
  10. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Because the classical guitars are tuned to an open G tuning I'm getting a really heavy resonance from the droning lower strings -- I'll fix that with EQ specifically in the next mix and restore some of the bottom end. I think that's where the mud is coming from - quite apparent in my truck stereo. That resonance sounds great in the room - on record - not so much.
  11. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Here's Mix 7 - tried to EQ the resonance from the classical bass strings - restored a wee bit of treble to the guitar just to add a bit more discomfort to the phrases. Might revisit that even more. Feedback welcome.

    DropBox Link:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/29poj9e181ly4h5/Song For Paris 7.mp3?dl=0

    Soundcloud link deleted - still available at dropbox
  12. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Well I just checked this mix in the truck and the bass is blowing the dust off of things - not good. I'm going to try to see what the heck I've got going on and use one of the frequency analyzer things - I must have something boosted that I can't hear in my mix environment.
  13. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

  14. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    OK -- so that mix was better in that it dealt with about 60% of the issues -- I'm going to test a new mix today in the truck and see what happens. Any insite into what these frequencies that are causing my issue would be appreciated. I have much bassier recordings and mixes that don't rumble like this so I'm a bit perplexed. It's gotta be some resonant EQ freqency yes?

    Here's that mix dropbox link. Any input on what or how to target the frequencies causing the rumble would be appreciated.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/foffeqpy2stju0y/Song For Paris 9.mp3?dl=0

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