mix critique SCARS-Ben Davis produced @Drool'nDoggRecords mastered@Specialized Mastering

Davedog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
This one is a song Ben had posted looking for help not too long ago. This is the collaborative results we came up with.

Give it a listen please. Throw it up on the analyzers. The more environments it gets a listen in the better.

Ben has been very easy to get tracks from and we are still distancing, but soon he will be in the studio for the rest of his album which he has titled "A Thin Place". He has tracks prerecorded but we are going to look at everything and retrack all the things that have been bugging him and hopefully in the process I can mentor him in techniques he is seeking to use in his home studio. My job on this one was to unveil the things that were already there and give them a purpose in the panorama of the song structure. The things that were originally played that just weren't fixable he rerecorded and those were able to be used. I added the Dobro and the bass. Howard Helm (of course) on the upright piano. Also a remote situation. If anyone in the world needs piano, he's your guy. Fabulous library and gear and he tracks for people all over the world. (<shameless plug) Chris Swanson added the violins in the chorus parts to fill out the ooo's. All gear questions answered. Ben will probably chime in as he will be watching you guys tear it all down.

Dana White @Specialized Mastering is the ME on this. He's very intuitive in his choices and has a fabulous room to listen to pins dropping in the corner...! This MP3 was taken directly from the DDP player Dana provided with his mastering services which includes a converter for different formats.

Enjoy. Sounds like a record to me.
 

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audiokid

Chris
Moderator
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Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Good sounding track, Dave! Musically, just beautiful. I did notice the compression kicking in once the rest of the band kicked in, then a few more times as well. My thinking, if you hear compression, then it's too much.
If you could remix this and take more compression off... I'm thinking it would be a good move.
 

Davedog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
Good sounding track, Dave! Musically, just beautiful. I did notice the compression kicking in once the rest of the band kicked in, then a few more times as well. My thinking, if you hear compression, then it's too much.
If you could remix this and take more compression off... I'm thinking it would be a good move.
I would have to take that up with my ME. There's nothing across the two buss and maybe the drum loop has a touch but minimal compression used anywhere. I'll ask him. Thanks for the heads up glad you liked it!

I used all bucket style plugs on any instrument and turned the compressor, if one was present in the settings, off or down below 1.5:1. I did this intentionally since acoustic instruments sound weird constantly blooming.

I must correct myself. One thing that did have compression. I tracked the bass through the UK Sound 1173 DI. The preamp barely driving the comp. 4:1 fast attack slow release. Meter deflected less than a db if you can believe this meter. I matched level with the fader only. That track is pure what went in. 87 Guild Pilot active emgs (original ones) Flat wound Fender Stainless medium. I can't imagine this bringing the bloom you are hearing.
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
I’m hearing the comp push the vocal down where it looses dynamics when it should do the opposite in there but the comp does effect the rest of the music underneath the vox as well. It does sound like it’s in the mastering.
Again though, really nice mix.
 

Ben Davis

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Location
Oregon
When I sang the vocal, i did pull away from mic a bit to far at times when singing louder at the start of chorus sections to not distort. Not sure if that is a cause... Just tossing that out as a possible cause for what you are hearing
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
When I sang the vocal, i did pull away from mic a bit to far at times when singing louder at the start of chorus sections to not distort. Not sure if that is a cause... Just tossing that out as a possible cause for what you are hearing
Hi Ben,
Really nice work.
Possibly it’s you pulling back that the ME felt needing something to help there but that could be corrected differently I think. And it would be just you if it was during tracking.
I’m hearing compression pushing the level down on the entire track.
I listened again . It’s so subtle. I hear it more at 1.47.
the song is so good I think it’s worth trying to make sure you are right up front there.
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Ben,
You deserve a record deal IMO. Hope you go a long way. Dave did a nice job with you here.
the instruments sound great too.

I’ll step back now. let’s see what the other members have to say.
 

Ben Davis

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Location
Oregon
Ben,
You deserve a record deal IMO. Hope you go a long way. Dave did a nice job with you here.
the instruments sound great too.

I’ll step back now. let’s see what the other members have to say.
Really appreciate that! Means a lot coming from you. I think Dave gets most of the credit here. Been really fun working with him on our project
 

Davedog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
I’m hearing the comp push the vocal down where it looses dynamics when it should do the opposite in there but the comp does effect the rest of the music underneath the vox as well. It does sound like it’s in the mastering.
Thats what I think. Normally Dana is not a compression kinda guy. Multiband might be on this one though and that would be the culprit when the bass and drums hit. I will call him we have great talks about all sorts of stuff anyway. I sent him a fairly cold track so he had a lot of headroom to deal with. We'll get together and figure it out. He's a great ME. Thanks for the listen Chris! Now if we can get the English chaps off their butts to chime in as well as the rest of the Canadians!!
When I sang the vocal, i did pull away from mic a bit to far at times when singing louder at the start of chorus sections to not distort. Not sure if that is a cause... Just tossing that out as a possible cause for what you are hearing
I balanced the vocals line by line. I softened the guttural noises and and the esses. I didn't like what the de-esser did to it so I did it by hand with cross-fades and volume control. The tuning was easy. Ben's pitch is pretty good and constant more than anything else plus he has a nice rig at home to record through. The chances of him actually distorting that MikTek mic are very slim. Its a solid piece.
 

Davedog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
An update. Dana (ME) didn't use compression on the mastering output. Only a mild limit. No multiband of any kind.

Thanks, Chris for the heads up. We will revisit this when we assemble the record. I really appreciate you taking the time to give it a close listen.

Would love to hear from all you critical listeners. I always appreciate your input.
 
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