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Seeking feedback on my latest demo

I've been recording for about a decade. I think I've made good strides in that time, but am always trying to learn, grow, and improve. In that spirit, I thought I'd ask for feedback on my latest demo. It's a "praise and worship" song. (If you're new to P&W style, it's easy-listening pop with lots of recording gloss.) I usually prefer recordings with more grit, but I wanted to stay true to the genre. 

My song is here:

I was using the second of these as a reference track:

A few notes:

  • I record in my office--a carpeted, aurally uninspiring choir room--so the tracking conditions are not ideal.
  • For context, I wrote and recorded the song in two days. A lot of the tracks are done in one or two takes and I did little comping or volume tweaking. I'm not trying to aim low, just trying to stay focused on composing while also producing a demo that is good enough to put the song in a good light.
  • I am new to recording drums and am particularly eager to get feedback on that aspect of the recording. I only have two inputs on my interface, so I've been using a mid-side stereo set up on the drums. 
  • I played and sang all the tracks. I am a bass player by training and am very definitely nothing more than a hack on the drums.
  • I'm never quite satisfied with my vocal recordings, but I can't quite figure out why.
  • I often "master" with Ozone for a final polish.

Enough babbling on. I look forward to hearing your feedback!

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Comments

pcrecord Mon, 05/17/2021 - 08:38

Hi Greg and welcome to RO. 

On the 2 music blog post, I hear the compression bad.. It makes me think of soundcloud.. High frequencies are squashed, nu-natural and metallic sounding. 

This is probably not your fault, streaming sites all have their compression algorithm and they aren't all very good OR the MP3 compression of your DAW is to high. (I usually go for 320kbs.

It would be nice of you to upload the file here, so we are not redirected on another site.

I'm not at the studio, now,.. but what I can detect is the recording seems nice but I can't get pass the HF

The (bigger, pop production) is nice, although the BassDrum takes a lot of space and make the master compression pump a bit. 

On the (folksy, acoustic) version, I'd lower the ratio on the vocal compressor.. There is some dynamics shared with the piano that the vocal go under. Leaving more dynamics to the vocal would sound more natural .. At some places the vocal seems like if you kissed the pop-filter, I'd back down a tinny bit. Moving away for louder parts to make the compression work less.. other than that it sounds good. 

I'll check it at the studio if I get time tonight

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paulears Mon, 05/17/2021 - 09:43

I thought similar - just a bit lacking in 'sparkle' not remotely bad or anything, but the YouTube clip had much more going on up top. It does sound squashed. Can't really tell if it's compression on the stereo or a combination of to much processing on the voice in the main? 

GregScheer Mon, 05/17/2021 - 12:04

Thanks for the feedback so far. Here is the MP3: o_risen_christ.mp3 (Sorry, I'm new to this board and didn't know I could attach files.)

I should clarify that I didn't record the two YouTube videos. I was simply using them as reference tracks and thought it might be helpful for you to hear two popular recordings from a similar genre.

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Boswell Mon, 05/17/2021 - 15:34

The top end is OK, but It's the bass that is the problem. It's too loud in the mix (this usually due to a problem in the listening environment where you were mixing), and at least one string on the bass is out of tune.

Other than those two points, it's a good recording.

In production terms, although it's not a pop song, I think I would make it gradually go somewhere dynamically, rather than staying at the same level throughout;

GregScheer Tue, 05/18/2021 - 05:38

Good feedback. My listening environment is far from perfect, but I made a few adjustments to my monitors that I hope will give me a more accurate representation of how the bass is laying in the mix.

wrote: It's the bass that is the problem. It's too loud in the mix (this usually due to a problem in the listening environment where you were mixing

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