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audio What do you guys think of this mix?

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Kerfoot32, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    Falling Deeper by Kerfoot32Two on SoundCloud - Hear the world

    Just looking for some feedback on this mix so far :)
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    You've got a LOT of top end happening here... resulting in harshness on guitars and drums, and lots of sssssibilance on vocals. Honestly it's pretty tough to listen to because of this.

    What are you mixing through, and what type of room are you mixing in?
  3. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    Alright I reuploaded it here:
    Falling Deeper by Kerfoot32 on SoundCloud - Hear the world

    What do you think now?
  4. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    my girlfriend just walked in and handed me a bottle of aspirins and said "that's awful " ... i didn't even ask what she thought.

    it doesn't matter how good or bad it's mixed if the song and the playing and the singing are terrible. the guitar is crappy sounding i can't hear the kick drum or bass but judging from this and other stuff you've posted that's probably a good thing, the snare is bad too as is the vocal sound ... all around suck-age. i will say this, you keep coming back for more. maybe there’s hope but really , you and your mates need to woodshed for a few months and work on your musical chops.

    rock on ... k.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I wasn't going to even bother listening to your stuff again because its so horrible sounding but when I saw Kurt here I thought, okay, I'll listen again. Same for me as last time. I actually like what you do up until you add the drum and guitar garbage. Its simply horrible sounding. But your intro's are hopeful.

    Good luck.
  7. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    So besides from recording a better band, is there anything I can do to make some of those tracks sound better (kick, gtr, vocal sound)?
  8. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    And these aren't my bands kurt. U don't know what my musical chops are
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    what you tolerate only goes to show what your sensibilities are. go ahead, post something of yours then ... i would love to hear something from you that doesn't really suck. i checked you SC account and dude, that's some really awful stuff.

    i really don't enjoy tearing you down but you keep coming back for more and then when everyone is polite and doesn't say anything you bump the topic.i was going to let this one pass as well but you keep scratching at the door .. you force a response.

    no one's going to say it sounds good or give you constructive criticism when the talent and the arraignments are so bad. you're the producer .. it's your fault. do these bands know you are putting up their stuff to be ripped to shreds in public?

    this last thing is whiny, the vocalist sounds like he's about 14, "i'm sorry, i miss you wah wah wah" ... simply awful. what are you guys? a bunch of teenagers? you parents should be slapped for letting you do this ...
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    My deepest pain is telling someone clear out like this: Its your sound, your ear. You seem to like brutal. Its not the band. We can all make a crap band sound better than this. Its your hearing and lack of being able to judge tone. I cannot even listen 10 sec past the intro to help you.

    Good luck
  11. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    So what am I supposed to when I'm just looking for experience and a band offers to let me record them? Say sorry u suck, no thanks? I'm new to this and I don't have access to the great bands around here, they already have producers. I take what I can get.

    I settle for bad tones? Alright, that's what I wanted you to tell me. I post here looking for things I can do better. I can't make the bands write better songs.
  12. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    Tress, the summer after and painting painting are works of my own
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Give us a link to a band you would "like" to sound like?
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    There's a reason they call it "EAR CANDY"

    i would like to hear from you how, where and what. that is how you do it, where you are doing it and what gear you have.

    you can take some of the the advice you get from me and others and apply it across the board. this is not direct critique. it is instead, a set of rules to follow.

    if your mix's are too harsh / overly bright, don't boost highs more than 3 to 6 dB on anything but more important is to apply subtractive E.Q. instead of boosting highs on something, cut lows on other things and the raise the over all mix volume. you get to the same place but without adding harsh artifacts induced by cheaper E.Q.'s.

    if it's muddy sounding even on laptop speakers, hi pass filters are good. use them on guitars, vocals, keyboards, snares, toms, cymbals. put them on everything except the kick and snares.

    make a decision. do you like the kick to have a lot of low or do you like the bass to be fuller and carry low end extension? usually you can't get both. so decide which one you will be boosting or at least not hi pass filtering or cutting with eq.

    i like to keep the bass instruments fuller and then give them a slight narrow boost at 225Hz with a narrow Q on the equalizer. just a little "notch" boost to make it poke out of small speakers. then put a "notch" cut on the kick drum at the same frequency. you can just do this opposite if you prefer the kick drum. boost kick cut bass. your choice.

    use compression sparingly. start with a ratio of 2:1 and a medium attack, fast release and no more that 6dB of gain reduction. no more than 6:1 compression because at that point you are starting to limit ... this is fine if you understand that but only use limiting to solve a problem not as a tool to shape tone. of course once you understand the "rules" you can break them. just know that you are doing it.

    try to keep from using reverb and effects. less is more. when you do apply them again do so sparingly. pull the up until you can barely hear them and then dial them back a little. tweak as you go adding /subtracting effects for stereo spread , texture, sense of depth but always dial it back a bit when your mixing. your ears have become accustomed to the sound and others will hear it better than you when listening.

    don't squash the master bus. leave it for finalizing or mastering.

    a very common mis step is soloing everything one by one and tweaking each one until it sounds the best. then you put them all up together and and it doesn't sound so good.

    the trick is start with the bass and drums set the level @ -18 to 16 on the master. all faders should be set at nominal and channels should be trimmed in for -18 to 16 on the master or while in pfl solo.

    then add guitars instruments and last vocals. eq each element as you add it to the "soup". you wouldn't season each element of a meal separately before cooking it would you? no you taste it as you put it together. mixing is the same thing only you "taste" with your ears.

    keep in mind that a -3dB is a cut of half in volume. a 3dB boost doubles the volume. so when i keep saying 6 dB for this 6dB for that it's because 4 times volume difference is quite a lot. as a rule of thumb, don't exceed + or - 6dB in any direction .. it keeps the signal cleaner, lets the E.Q.'s and comps/limiters work smoother even in a DAW. Especially with stock plugs.
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    As I said before, it's very harsh...absolutely brutal in some places, very tough to listen to.

    You've got, well, I don't know - but it sounds like maybe 5k or somewhere in that area - cranked to the point of brittle and sibilant vocals.

    The guitars have that "broken glass" tone, phasey, smeared...

    I'm not gonna comment on the performances - just the mix. You need to go back to absolute square one, wipe out all processing, all EQ (assuming you didn't print the EQ this way) and start out all over again, dry.

    Are you mixing with headphones? I asked you earlier about your mixing environment but you didn't respond.

    No, you can't. But as the engineer you can recognize bad tone, and correct it.

    The "vocalist" is not responsible for EQ. Bad notes? Yes. Bad performances? Yes. But bad EQ? No. That's your job.

    There have been plenty of terrible musicians who, through the assistance of engineers and producers, have managed to come out with fairly listenable stuff. The Kingsmen, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols... all these guys completely sucked as musicians... and while I may not like the songs they recorded, I can listen to them without it drilling a sonic hole in my forehead.
  16. pcrecord

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

    Kerfoot, I sympatise with you cause I've been there. Recording bands with bad sounding instruments is a hard job and you need to work twice as hard to get them to a point where it's acceptable. But doing so will forge and test your technics and force you toward a better trained ear. I had do deal with so many crapy drums and cat screaming electric guitars. Hang in there !!

    I hope they are studio monitors and your room is somehow well treated (meaning the room/monitors do not emphasize certain frequencies and trick you to make bad decisions) In any case, listen to as many commercial records you can on your monitors. It will help you realise how, well mixed and mastered songs are suppose to sound on your gear. I you don't like what you hear, you just found the problem ; you are compensating for the unpleasent sound of your kit and doing so you mix wrongly!

    The suggestion to start from the ground up is one of the best you've been given here.
    On your next project ; Put the gains up so the peaks don't pass -9db on your DAW, Record everything flat. No EQ or effect. In fact your eq for now is your mic choices and placements alone. You want to capture the largest representation of the instrument (frequencie wise)

    Once you get used to your room and speakers as I wrote before. Always A/B your mix with commercial CDs while mixing. Mix at low volume, only check at high volume once in a while.
    Go back to the unprocessed tracks and listen to them. Mixing is not about doing drastic changes. it's more about fixing problems with subtle changes. If you need to go drastic, the capture was not done properly. Don't overdo anything and don't try to make everything loud, that's the mastering step that takes care of if.
    concentrate on beeing able to hear everything and place the band in a single place. if 2 instruments are the same volume when solo but can't hear one in the mix, don't add volume, change the EQs instead. Make room for it on another track or ajust the on missing...

    More than anything train and protect you ears, they are the most important gear of all.. ;)
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Absolutely agreed, and this, along with over-compression, is where most new recording hobbyists fail the most.

    It sounds to my ears as if you were jacking ( seriously jacking) the highs, instead of - as Kurt mentioned - subtracting the EQ on other surrounding instruments that were causing you to think that you needed to add this amount of EQ, especially on vocals and guitars..

    Go back to square one. Detente and null everything... EQ flat, dry, no processing, no effects.

    And I'm still waiting for your response as to your monitors and monitoring environment...
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member


    Mr. Kerfoot32
    In order to better help you, the service Department has asked that you provide the following information.

  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Buehler? Buehler? howdy
  20. Kerfoot32

    Kerfoot32 Active Member

    Thanks for the helpful responses guys. I appreciate all the honesty.

    I work in a small shed like building made of wood. It's poorly treated. I'm actually about to create a thread showing pictures and measurements of my room so I can get help figuring out how I'm gonna treat it. Would like to start doing that this weekend. After that I'll rework most of these songs I've been posting.

    My monitors are yamaha hs80ms. Interface is a tascam us-1800. I do all bass direct with guitar rig tones. Sometimes I do direct electric gtrs with guitar rig tones (I did for this song), sometimes I mic an amp with a sm57. My pre is a great river me-1nv. No fancy converters (probably gonna get an apollo this summer). I use lots of steven slate. Trigger on every kick and snare track. VTM and VCC on pretty much everything. FG-X for volume and super light master compression (for glue). The only eq i use is the waves renaissance eq plugin. I use renaissance compressors too. Love the CLA compressors a lot. My DAW is reaper. I use free reverb plugins sometimes. Mostly use soundtoys echoboy for verbs and delays. Vocal mic is a AT4040. My live room isn't super treated. It's a wooden rectangular room with 2 walls covered in r-19 insulation, which is probably making things dark. I need bass traps? I never mix with headphones. I own melodyne but haven't used it much yet.

    I've been into recording for a year and a half. I've done lots of research and feel like I know a ton. Just working on training my ears and getting comfortable with mixing different things. All these bands are just some bands I know from shows that my band has played at. Just recording them for experience because I'm hoping to produce my bands' (I have 2 bands) EPs this summer.

    I recorded The Summer After and Trees. Didn't mix them. I had nothing to do with the production of Painting, Painting.

    I would like for my stuff to sound like Painting Painting's production honestly.

    I have 2 bands. Every Color and Happy Planet. EC made Painting, Painting and The Summer After. We're influenced mostly by Fall Out Boy. Happy Planet (Trees) took a lot of inspiration from Nine Inch Nails.

    I have one more song of another band that I recorded that I'm going to make a thread for and then I've shared everything I've produced so far that isn't a song of my own.

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