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Lonely Road: featuring real drums (1st for me)

Here's an early mix of a new song. (I was going to be re-cutting vocals today but woke up stuffy nosed). This song features real drums in the mix tracked Glyn Johns style. After I recorded my scratch tracks I sent them out to a drummer to lay down the drum parts, then on their return I re-tracked the song locking into his drums.

Mix-wise, what I imagined as I created this was the kind of mix you'd hear if a band had setup in a studio for a life performance. That's what was in my head as I mixed this - a very visual mix.

At this point I'm looking for a starting point with these drums -- am I in the ball-park or really off base? Would you suggest a particular song as a reference mix for this that might help guide me?

https://recording.o…

Attached files

Lonely Road DemoV7.mp3 (14.9 MB) 

Comments

DogsoverLava Sun, 01/28/2018 - 17:41

pcrecord, post: 455509, member: 46460 wrote: It all sound comb filtered, specially the drums..
the toms are too far away and the ride misses some high freq..
In fact it doesn't sound like a real drummer on a real drum.. more drum samples.. Sorry !
I can't wait that you go further with the mixing.. ;)

I'm trying to get more info on how they were recorded -- I was initially spooked by how much cymbal there was so I tried to tame it pretty hard by dropping levels and using compressors/eq and de-essers... Do you have a popular song or mix I could use as a reference for drums recorded in this way that seems to have lots of cymbal wash -- just something I can use to zero in on some kind of treatment?

Kurt Foster Sun, 01/28/2018 - 19:07

DogsoverLava, post: 455498, member: 48175 wrote: real drums in the mix tracked Glyn Johns style

drums recorded that way need to be mixed by beginning with the overhead as the main source. mix the kick and snare in as needed but most of the sound should be the O/H. the more you compress the O/H the more cymbals you will get.

DogsoverLava Sun, 01/28/2018 - 19:32

Kurt Foster, post: 455513, member: 7836 wrote: drums recorded that way need to be mixed by beginning with the overhead as the main source. mix the kick and snare in as needed but most of the sound should be the O/H. the more you compress the O/H the more cymbals you will get.

Thanks Kurt - that's the bone I need! I'll start there.

DogsoverLava Sun, 01/28/2018 - 22:00

Here's a new mix with all the compression and EQ etc removed from the drums and the master bus with the drums adjusted where the OH is doing most of the work. There was an immediate improvement on my end when I made that adjustment which is why I removed all the FX to keep it naked to start from scratch. Would it help to hear a rendered drum track on it's own? or am I heading in the right direction by working on this within the mix? I'm mostly focused on the drums right now.

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Attached files

Lonely Road DemoV8.mp3 (14.9 MB) 

DogsoverLava Sun, 01/28/2018 - 23:14

audiokid, post: 455518, member: 1 wrote: Its better. You should try mixing this in mono. Get it sounding right in mono, then put it back in stereo And get your vocals up more. They are buried.

That's a good idea. I'm still a little timid hearing my voice on recordings. Singing solo on recordings is different than singing with a University classical choir (my last gig vocally over 25 years ago). It's why I tend to hide it in the mix or with Fx.

audiokid Sun, 01/28/2018 - 23:21

DogsoverLava, post: 455519, member: 48175 wrote: That's a good idea. I'm still a little timid hearing my voice on recordings. Singing solo on recordings is different than singing with a University classical choir (my last gig vocally over 25 years ago). It's why I tend to hide it in the mix or with Fx.

most people do not mix their own voice well. its very common.

pcrecord Mon, 01/29/2018 - 03:04

DogsoverLava, post: 455517, member: 48175 wrote: Here's a new mix with all the compression and EQ etc removed from the drums and the master bus with the drums adjusted where the OH is doing most of the work. There was an immediate improvement on my end when I made that adjustment which is why I removed all the FX to keep it naked to start from scratch. Would it help to hear a rendered drum track on it's own? or am I heading in the right direction by working on this within the mix? I'm mostly focused on the drums right now.

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Much Better !! I would like to hear the vocal more too..
Was there a reason to use Glynn John on the drums ?
This is a hard technic that needs a drummer that mixes himself. (meaning he/she needs to temper how hard the hits are done to give a good balance)
Also the room needs to sound very good.
But it's getting there.. good job !

DogsoverLava Tue, 01/30/2018 - 09:06

pcrecord, post: 455521, member: 46460 wrote: Much Better !! I would like to hear the vocal more too..
Was there a reason to use Glynn John on the drums ?
This is a hard technic that needs a drummer that mixes himself. (meaning he/she needs to temper how hard the hits are done to give a good balance)
Also the room needs to sound very good.
But it's getting there.. good job !

Thanks PC - the drummer I'm working with uses this method for himself. This is our first project together so we're working out the kinks. I suspect the next one will be a little easier. He seems to be capable of self mixing so I'd expect them to get better for future stuff.

pcrecord Tue, 01/30/2018 - 10:16

DogsoverLava, post: 455532, member: 48175 wrote: Thanks PC - the drummer I'm working with uses this method for himself. This is our first project together so we're working out the kinks. I suspect the next one will be a little easier. He seems to be capable of self mixing so I'd expect them to get better for future stuff.

Glynn John is amazing to get a vintage sounds and grab more room reverbs. It goes without saying you need a great room.
But you want to make sure that's the sound you are going for. Open, lay back and roomy.
To my own opinion, your music style calls for a more direct sound, in your face. (with more close mics)
That's why I was asking. ;)
Please post more samples.. I'd love to hear more !

DogsoverLava Wed, 01/31/2018 - 00:10

I've started working on the final mix - these are the same drums, but quantized by the drummer so they necessitated new bed tracks --- here's my working mix prior to cutting vocals so the drums are very audible. I hear what you mean pc by this style of drums maybe not being optimal for this genre of song/production. The next song I'm working on is a Black Crowes/Stones/Primal Scream kind of rocker that will fit them better so I hope to build on my experience with these here. Is there anything I should consider with these as they stand now in terms how I'm treating them? I decided to not try to fight them and make them into something they are not - just to give them the best treatment for what they are. Thoughts?

EDIT TO ADD: Probably going to change how the bass sounds... will wait till vocals are done

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Attached files

Lonely Road bed tracks no vocalsv2.mp3 (14.9 MB) 

DogsoverLava Sat, 02/03/2018 - 18:08

Here's the final track grouping I'm working on - drums have been re-recorded as have some of the beds and vocals to suit. Tried to be aware of your criticisms from the last mixes and get a better balance. I think I've got a better handle on the drums and that they were recorded better too this time. Happy to take direction or criticism from anyone here - is there a direction I'm moving to or away from that is right/wrong? Many thanks for you input and listening to my stuff.

[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Attached files

Lonely Road Feb 3v1.mp3 (14.9 MB) 

DogsoverLava Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:56

Dropped the OH above by about 3 db, also slightly the kick, a few tweaks in the frequencies around 4 to 9 K area...

Two Mixes: Straight Mix, then an attempt at a Master - the master pumps up the levels a bit and adds to saturation and EQ to boost a few specific areas of the mix. Had a limiter but It made things a bit harsh so I dropped it.

Mix
[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Master (Mix +some boosting/shaping)
[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Attached files

Lonely Road Feb 4v1.mp3 (14.9 MB)  Lonely Road Feb4 Master Mix v1.mp3 (14.9 MB) 

DogsoverLava Sun, 02/04/2018 - 15:20

A few more tweaks -- I continue to drop the drums a few db's... I'm hearing them "better" now - notched out some room on the kick and snare for the guitars - was getting messy there. Still playing around with a faux master track - it tends to bring out slightly different emphasis.

Mix
[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…
Faux Master
[MEDIA=audio]https://recording.o…

Attached files

Lonely Road Feb 4v2.mp3 (14.8 MB)  Lonely Road Feb4 Master Mix v2.mp3 (14.9 MB) 

DogsoverLava Mon, 03/05/2018 - 09:22

Makzimia, post: 456087, member: 48344 wrote: Just so you know, I am a living in a glass house type of guy, as you may guess :). So... I listened to current mix. I think the only thing I would say is some of it, (on my expensive laptop speakers LOL. well decent), the mix sounds not as glued into a common space as it might be?. Other than that, I am digging it.

Tony

Thanks very much Tony. Every project I do is a learning project on so many fronts so finding stuff to work on or to criticize is just what I need.. This one was so in several ways (first time working with a real drummer, but no control over his capture of tracks) as well as other things. Any thoughts on how you'd attempt to achieve that glue?

Tony Carpenter Mon, 03/05/2018 - 12:46

@DogsoverLava I'd be interested to know how you are treating BUS numbers and types. Example, are you feeding everything into a global reverb of any sort?. While a lot of reverb can muddy the waters, good use overall the mix in sparing amounts in some cases and larger amounts in others makes the mix sound like it was all done in a space. If you have external hardware route out to that, otherwise set up a BUS and set a reverb to wet and fiddle with some settings. Example : I use an EMT14o plate followed by a Lexicon 224 on a lingering reverb, (same BUS) with sends to taste. Also, might want to look at how you are treating your faux master BUS, light compression EQ to do final step perhaps... just spitballing. And, it's IMO, whatever that's worth, a taste thing. Ask 10 people get 10 ideas, I am sure ;).

Meanwhile, I'll be avoiding more stones from my glass house :).

Tony

DogsoverLava Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:02

Makzimia, post: 456092, member: 48344 wrote: @DogsoverLava I'd be interested to know how you are treating BUS numbers and types. Example, are you feeding everything into a global reverb of any sort?. While a lot of reverb can muddy the waters, good use overall the mix in sparing amounts in some cases and larger amounts in others makes the mix sound like it was all done in a space. If you have external hardware route out to that, otherwise set up a BUS and set a reverb to wet and fiddle with some settings. Example : I use an EMT14o plate followed by a Lexicon 224 on a lingering reverb, (same BUS) with sends to taste. Also, might want to look at how you are treating your faux master BUS, light compression EQ to do final step perhaps... just spitballing. And, it's IMO, whatever that's worth, a taste thing. Ask 10 people get 10 ideas, I am sure ;).

Meanwhile, I'll be avoided more stones from my glass house :).

Tony

I'll look into that stuff and report back. I'm definitely open to real criticism, particularly if it can open up new pathways for me. I think the hardest thing for bedroom artists or producers is working in a vacuum -- in the vacuum it's really hard to improve what you do without feedback of any kind. Although each project I do is a legit attempt to demo a song, they function more as learning labs for me and represent where I'm at with my understanding of what I'm doing. Feedback of any kind always welcome, particularly from guys like yourself who are doing stuff as well - I'll benefit from where everyone is on the learning curve. Most of you if not all of you are well well ahead of me (and that's awesome news for me).

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