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Another Drool'nDogg Records Session

Profile picture for user Davedog

This part of a series of music I had restored from tape written and recorded a few years back. So you could say it's Hybrid recording. This came from a project that was never really finished and with all the time down since March 2020, I had time to finally restore the 16 tracks and drop them into ProTools sessions for enhancement and sweetening. I was surprised at the recording quality on most of the tracks. We had a decent little studio at the time although we lacked a few really great pieces in the outboard.

I put this up as a sample of the hybrid way of production but I'll listen to critique as well. You guys have great ears and this isn't quite finished.

The vocals and drums are from the original tracks and all the guitars, Keys, and a new bass track were added this year. (2020). The vocals have been tuned and timed with Melodyne 5. I'm still sorting out the compressor. Right now there's an LA2A on the track and a multi across the 2 buss. Every element in the mix has a buss. The guitars are an actual stem I had built to send to the keyboardist, Howard Helm, who does all my key work. Anyone needing real keyboard production should hire him!! Seriously it's what he does. PM me.

As always, I'll answer any questions about what you hear and why. Thanks and enjoy "If My Heart Don't Fail Me" It's mine and the singers composition from 1987.
 

Attached files

If My Heart Dont Fail Me print.dup1.06_02.mp3 (9.9 MB) 

Comments

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Sat, 01/16/2021 - 10:59

It's good, Dave - you like mixing these really hot, don't you!

I can't prove this, but I just have the feeling that one or both of the kick or bass is causing the whole track to duck in the 2-bus compressor. Could I suggest a separate mono mix put through an HP filter to use as the comp's side chain, rather than have it use the full-range mix as the compression source? A different approach would be to have the bass at a lower level in the sidechain mix, but either way, it would probably mean bringing the bass down a dB or so in the overall mix.

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Davedog Sat, 01/16/2021 - 11:41

Boswell, post: 466799, member: 29034 wrote:
It's good, Dave - you like mixing these really hot, don't you!

I can't prove this, but I just have the feeling that one or both of the kick or bass is causing the whole track to duck in the 2-bus compressor. Could I suggest a separate mono mix put through an HP filter to use as the comp's side chain, rather than have it use the full-range mix as the compression source? A different approach would be to have the bass at a lower level in the sidechain mix, but either way, it would probably mean bringing the bass down a dB or so in the overall mix.

LOL. Thanks Bos. I'm not shy. LOL. I have the Abbey Road Mastering chain with the CLA Mixdown on the aux master before my print and I'm beginning to think that the 2-buss comp on the bass stem is not playing well with the stuff at the end. I will certainly look at that. I think without these plugs on the aux master it's hitting the meters at around -16LUFS.

I said it wasn't mastered but that's not entirely true. What it is is "semi-mastered" like if a client asked me for a daily to live with for a week. And thats why the Abbey Road and CLA across the aux for the print. If I take those off then I'm sure the effect thats popping up will disappear but then I would have to worry about it at mastering. Although my mastering engineer uses GREAT hardware and he wouldn't let this happen. He'd also send it back with the same instructions!

Thanks. I'll put up another one without the "sorta-mastered" stuff on it. See how that sounds to y'all. Stay tuned.

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Davedog Sat, 01/16/2021 - 23:36

Reworked a few things.
Not to make excuses but I'm down my main power amp for my bigger monitors for a while and I have a temporary amp in place. It's a Crown but not as much headroom and power as my regular custom built thingy....."so what!" yeah really.......

Here's something different than the other one. I think I was not paying attention to the low-end when mixing on my Neumann KH120's. I should know better by now I've had em for a few years. But now and then when I'm mixing at a low volume I keep trying to "hear" things that they are actually reproducing but not so much at the low levels.

Funny. I ALWAYS check my finals on them before sending things out to mastering.

I put this 'splaining in for those who maybe don't quite get it yet. Even someone who has mixed a large number of things throughout the years can get complacent or lazy and forget where they are.

Not to say this a great mix yet but I'll wager you guys can hear it better now. Comments appreciated.
 

Attached files

IfMyHeartDontFailMev4_03.mp3 (9.8 MB) 

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Davedog Sun, 01/17/2021 - 11:58

bouldersound, post: 466822, member: 38959 wrote:
It's not ducking with the kick so much now, but it's still so heavily compressed it's hard to evaluate. Unless that compression is intended as part of the mix, then I'd say it's too compressed.

Interesting. The whole mix (2 buss)doesn't have very much compression at all. Maybe a touch over 1.2:1. There's a small amount of limiting but the levels aren't even hitting it. I'll make one more just to see. I worry when people use terms like "heavily" or "Too".....To the point where they say it's impossible to evaluate something.

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Davedog Sun, 01/17/2021 - 13:45

bouldersound, post: 466824, member: 38959 wrote:
It might be compressed at the track or submix level. I don't know how else you would get it to 10.5 LUFS integrated with a Loudness Range of 1.7 LU.

Could you put up a screen shot of these figures please? There just isn't that much compression on anything. The guitars have their fair share but the keys have none, the bass was backed off a LOT. The drum buss has some but not what I would call a "lot" ...There's an SSL comp across that 2-buss (of course). I print my drum sounds once I get them ironed out since I use Slate triggers and don't like how cpu heavy they can be with multiple incidents. As I explained in the post, the drums and vocals came from tape. So there is some of the compression you get from that. Other than that I can't find a point that would be over compressed or would generate those kinds of output levels

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:08

This may be the sort of effect that is pushing up the LUFS figures. It's one beat taken from about 1:02:40 to 1:02:60 in your track showing the bass guitar note lasting the whole beat and the other material riding on top of it. This is a simple screen shot from Audacity with no adjustments to the amplitude, so the top and bottom screen extent of each channel is 0dBFS. However, it may be that the RO MP3 is normalising everything.

 

Boulder and I are not attacking you Dave - I certainly am just as keen to find out how the LUFS figures represent different types of material, and why this track is pulsing my sub unusually heavily. The overall Audacity display shows only very light compression at the 2-bus level.

Attached files

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Davedog Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:27

Thanks Bos. NOT feeling an attack at all. Just want to sort this out as best I can. I'm very curious as to the why and the how. My hearing is still intact and as you have observed I like to 'fill it up' a bit. I always am unimpressed with MP3 encoding. I've started simply making the MP3s I present through the ProTools ...It actually seems to sound better than say the MP3 generated through iTunes or some other devices. I don't know if RO changes anything. Chris would know.

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audiokid Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:34

Boswell, post: 466827, member: 29034 wrote:
However, it may be that the RO MP3 is normalising everything.

The uploaded mp3 is exact to the file it came from. Our server isn't modifying anything. When its played, its playing the file, not resampling etc.

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Davedog Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:40

Kurt Foster, post: 466828, member: 7836 wrote:
were the source tracks recorded with dbX?

Yes. Tascam MS16 w/dbx and at the time I had it biased at the recommended +9 for the 456 tape which was brand new. The digital transfer was done on an Otari MX70 w/dbx and if I'm not mistaken that dbx is encode/decode simply to protect the tape.

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audiokid Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:40

Davedog, post: 466829, member: 4495 wrote:
I don't know if RO changes anything. Chris would know.

For whats it worth to the community, I've done many test with mp3's here. I've uploaded an mp3 and then downloaded it and it matched to my master mp3.

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Boswell Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:43

audiokid, post: 466830, member: 1 wrote:
The uploaded mp3 is exact to the file it came from. Our server isn't modifying anything. When its played, its playing the file, not resampling etc.

Thanks, Chris. That's good to know.

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Davedog Sun, 01/17/2021 - 14:43

audiokid, post: 466832, member: 1 wrote:
For whats it worth to the community, I've done many test with mp3's here. I've uploaded an mp3 and then downloaded it and it matched to my master mp3.

Thats what I am finding too. Good to know without a doubt. Some of my earlier posts I made the MP3 through other programs rather than PT. The PT MP3s are all @ 320kbps