Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Kerfoot32, Jun 6, 2014.
I'd appreciate any kind of feedback. Thanks!
< ------ this is what it makes me feel like. it is absolutely horrible. the drums and guitars are not in time with each other, the vocals are off key. the vocal quality sounds like sh*t. who ever is singing should die.
Any suggestions on how to improve the vocal quality?
stop moving your lips. really your voice is pretty bad. not everyone can sing.
it's hard to say what to do with out knowing what you are already doing. what mic / pre and processing are you using? i doubt anything can make enough of a difference.
btw, in that picture, which one are you? Louie Anderson or Will Ferrill?
Audio technica 4040 through a great river pre in a treated room. Waves eqs, cla compressors. stock converters
well now we know we cant blame the gear .... lol all i can guess at is you are over compressing the vocal .... it's way to thick and loud. i would bury it as deep as i could. way too up front ... turn up the drums add some 200 hz to the bass and do something to add edge to the guitars ... it will still be hard to listen to because of the performance.
Alright. Thanks that's helpful. I'm aware this band is less than talented. I'm just trying to make them sound a little tolerable
Beside what's already been said, I'd add some thing like a decapitator to the lead vocals, and a telephone effect to the BVs. Maybe cool effects will help sway attention away from the performance. A little lipstick on a pig, ya know?
Please contact the manufacturers of Pro Tools, Sonar, Studio One, Cubase, Reaper, and all the other DAW programs, and through your almighty omnipotent power, force them to create a " proof of talent key" to unlock, authorize and allow people to use all DAWS.
Those that don't comply could be swept away in one of your floods - that would also include the people who crack the code on these programs.
Your Humble Servant,
What can I say? I've heard worse.
This guy didn't do too badly for what this is. At least he's not all pitch corrected and beat quantized. It's natural. It's real... real something?
Here's what you're doing wrong. It's no big thing. You're just making a typical mistake that many of us made, when we were young and making our mistakes.
You've got stuff. You've got good stuff. Your microphone is good. Your preamp is most certainly good. But your use of your software... that's actually where your problem lies. At least mostly.
Now I don't know how you recorded your drums, or anything else? What on earth did you do to your drums? They're not good. However I do hear something of some kind of musicianship. But where is the dynamic impact? Where is the punch? Where's the snap? This more than anything else, frequently comes from folks using dynamic range processing with attack times that are too fast and a feature known as " look ahead ". Guaranteed to crush the life out of anything that could have possibly sounded good.
What you're trying to do is what a lot of other engineers generally do, a little more successfully than you. Lots of these engineers that I consider to be very good engineers get this pretty slick, cool, horizontal slather of stereo stuff. Great when you like homogenized everything. I don't. I want to feel that bass drum like someone's doing CPR on me. I want to hear that snare drum slapping me in the face back and forth and back and forth. And then kicking me in the gut. You've got to turn your attack times down to slow. You've got to turn look ahead, off. You're not going to distort anything. But you're going to create some mighty powerful dynamic sounding drums.
You do something similar with the bass guitar. No fast attack limiters. Let the transients punch through. It's easy to do with 16-bit recording. It's even easier with 24-bit (which I rarely bother with because that's only for beginners. Everybody hates when I say that. But if you can't work within 96 DB of dynamic range from 16 bit? You flunk recording 101. In the days of analog, we were lucky to have 65 DB. Yet people could still make hits without distortion. How is that possible? They didn't misjudge their gain staging. Peak meters do not show you all the peaks. They just show you more than VU meters could ever show you. But we understood what VU meters weren't showing us. Yet we still knew what recording levels we were actually recording.
To make your recording sound professional... you have to have headroom. Most prosumer/consumer equipment has limited headroom capabilities in comparison to high-end gear. But your preamp is high-end gear. And I'm not hearing any headroom? I'm hearing flat and lifeless with Zippy distortion. It doesn't do anything. It doesn't say anything. It's making no musical statement. It's like Los Angeles smog. You don't want your music to be smoggy do ya? No. I didn't think so.
Let's also talk about some dynamics ratios. It sounds like you got everything at 50:1? No? Okay then... 20:1. That's too much. You don't have to keep record level of both noise floor like we did with analog.
I could mention that another item that I use a lot, I used to tighten a lot of stuff up. It also reduces noise and can be used as noise reduction but is not exactly noise reduction. I use downward expansion on vocals. I use gates on drums. Downward expansion on electric guitars. A little downward expansion sometimes on the bass guitar but rarely. But the trick here is how far down you set the downward expansion to downwardly expand. I rarely use more than 6-15 db of downward expansion on vocals or any other melodic instrument. Where as with drums, snare, bass drum, tom-toms , tight, fast, gates. Which are downward expanders likened downwardly expand your audio, very quickly, to zero, zip, nothing. But with gates and downward expansion, setting the threshold level is critical. Unlike a limiter or compressor where you can be in the ballpark and everything is fine. Not that way with downward compression a.k.a. expansion and gates. These thresholds on vocals, I usually set on the breath. So that when you're compressing 10 db, the downward expander on the vocal fires, down, only on the breath. This keeps the breath sounding like you are gasping for air. Making the dynamic range processing on the vocal sound more natural. So I generally downwardly expand by the same amount that I'm compressing or limiting. However... most of these devices, many do not have attack time controls. Though some do. And those attack times should be rather fast. But your release times... ho ho... your release times shouldn't be too fast on vocals. They can be pretty damn fast on drums. And for those that like the hugest sounding drum sets? You can both compress and gate overheads. But don't do that. You're not ready for that. And I'm not hearing any usable room? It's dead Jim. But when you have a good sounding room, sometimes that's fun. I rarely bother with that. I just like a good pair of overheads. Small diaphragm condensers or large diaphragm condensers and even 57's.
I have always lived by the credo of "an ounce of punch, is worth a pound of sound." It's true. And when I got my job at Media Sound, NYC, 1979... that was the in-house slogan. Which just confirmed to me that great minds hear, alike.
So, grab some of your favorite sounding, major recordings. Put them on and listen to them through your system. Then stop your CD and start your mixing. Use that CD as a reference. The music does not have to be identical. But you want to go for that kind of sound. Remember though, what you are listening to, were done by experts and then it was passed on to a Mastering Engineer. So don't worry... if the lousy CD that you make, isn't as loud as something by Bernie Grubman, Bob Ludwig, et al. Crunching it to death with a lousy plug-in is not mastering. It's murdering. Don't do that. You're not getting it your CD as loud as those guys can. Get used to it. Deal with it. Just make it sound right. It's going to be lower in playback volume. But it can have the punch, the smack and the impact you need. What you have right now sounds like a bunch of flies hitting your windshield at 70 mph and leaving a big mess to scrape off. Don't do that. The only place it will get you? Is thrown out. Laughed at. Made fun of. Put down... like you got from everyone else.
I mean if you're going to play something of your work for professionals like us that have been doing this all of our lives and have the award nominations to back it up or even the awards. Why would you want to play us dreck? Are you just being funny? Because it's really not funny. It's sad. You can do better than this. You know how to read. You're learning how to listen. At least I hope so? And you can make this so much better. It doesn't have to be rerecorded if you haven't Blown, your head room in your high-end preamp to begin with. But ya may have? And if ya have? You do need to rerecord. Because there is no recovery from crunched out gobbledygook.
You know the whole idea of making music, recording it, presenting it, is to be able to enjoy it. If you enjoy it? That's fine. But none of us are enjoying it. What's that tell ya? Your 14 right? 13? I'm sorry... 15? Because if you're not? Time to get with the program. You can do it. I know you can by awful it already sounds. So you can make it better awful than it is. Because really... nobody over 30 wants to listen to that stuff. It says nothing. It offers nothing. Because it is nothing. Do something other than nothing and you might have anything that's not nothing? Or something like that?
If you want to hear some of the examples of what I've been talking about? I've got a few things I've posted on sound cloud. It's certainly not like your genre. But what you'll hear in this particular cut is what I do live. This essentially is a live mix down. The drums are compressed with EQ and gated. The bass guitar has a slow attack limiter. The guitar soloist is on a wireless and is getting some RMS DBX compression with EQ but not much. And be careful because the punch might loosen your front teeth?
Another little trick I use with high energy, up-tempo music is inverting the phase of only the bass drum. Because the drum microphone for the bass drum, is inside the bass drum. Therefore, the phase needs to be inverted. And what will happen when you do that? It causes phase cancellation. It causes the correct phase cancellation. You don't get the correct phase cancellation when the bass drum microphone is not phase inverted. This would be true of any of the drums if you were to mic them, from underneath. Such as also having a snare drum microphone not only on top of the snare drum but also underneath the snare drum. The one that's underneath you must phase invert. This will give you a much harder pounding bass drum. It will take away the flabbiness which might be fine for jazz but not your $*^t. And I use that term loosely, excuse me. I'm not the only one that does this. Lots of folks I know do it. Though I don't hear that much here that way from others as they don't prefer it that way. But they're good enough at what they do that they still come away with something that is listenable. And that's the key word here, listenable. You've got to listen. You haven't learned how to do that correctly yet. And you won't make a good recording until you learn how to listen. But I can assure you... it's not a natural process. So here's some suggestions:
When you listen to one of your favorite big-time artists, don't listen to the whole song but once. Then you go back a second time. You pick out a single instrument. You tell your brain (if you have one?) To only listen to that single instrument through the entire song. To only that single instrument. Then you go back to the top. You pick out a different instrument and you hone in on that one. You keep doing this until you have listened to every single instrument in that song, through. And in listening to that instrument, you dissect what you're hearing. And it won't be a whole bunch of stupid gobbledygook plug-ins. This comes from real audio engineering. Which means you, the instrument and your finger on the volume control and maybe a little EQ and nothing else if it's not absolutely necessary. However... for the kind of work I do, I have only 11 dynamic range compressor/limiters. But all 11 are going. None much really beyond 2-15 db. With slow attack times, no lookahead and release times that are not too fast. Because fast release times while they can present a better sense of " apparent loudness ", can just crush the life out of everything. So you make it go as slow as you can tolerate and not fast fast fast. This ain't drive-through McDonald's. That's crap food. You want to make a culinary delight for everyone. Even if your music sucks. Which to me... and apparently for others here... does.
So don't let people destroy you or knock you down by what's been said. You're on a learning curve, most obviously. Or at least I hope you are? And not thinking you're the greatest thing since the Beatles engineer? Or Metallica? Or Black Sabbath? Because what you've got here is beginner kid stuff designed for beginner kids, not for professional adults. So don't make yourself a laughing stock. Make yourself an audio engineer. Do some listening. Do some reading. Do a recording without any plug-ins that all. Get good doing it that way and then you could start to add some plug-ins for enhancements. You think playing with plug-ins makes the engineer. It doesn't. It makes the child. You want to be an engineer not a child.
We all do this at one point in our careers early on. So you're done. Time to get good.
Mx. Remy Ann David
Can't compete with what Remy says, brilliant stuff. Listen to some Blink 182, Sum 41, bands of that type. Pop one of the tracks into your DAW, then emulate the sound and timing. Vocal is way too clean for this style IMO, I'd want in your face aggression. Scream
You need to make the singer work to get over all that noise. It just sounds wrong for the vocal to be at conversational volume while the band is blasting away. Make the headphone mix loud and the vocal just barely audible. Then bury it in the mix because that's what happens with stupid loud stage volume and a crappy PA. That's your best bet, make it sound live. Maybe redo the vocal through an SM58, preferably with a dented grill caked with beer grunge and spit.
in the words of Nancy Kerrigan? "Why?"
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