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Help With Mix? (Green Day - Sweet 16 - Cover for YouTube)

Hey everyone,
Well, it's been a long time, but I'm back to the recording and mixing! If you helped me last time (a year ago), you might remember that this will go up on my YouTube channel at and mat be available for download on iTunes at some point. But basically, I need help with a new mix. It is a cover for [=""]Green Day's Sweet 16[/]="…"]Green Day's Sweet 16[/].

I've done at least 5 hours of mixing so far on this, but I don't feel like it is finished yet. So I would like to ask for some help, advise, any tips that will make this mix sound complete.

For context, here are some details:
Audio interface is a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP.
Drums are in Superior Drummer, the NYC kit, with a few plugins within the mix section of SD.
Clean (strat) guitar is double tracked, from a Fender Mustang III 12", mic'ed with a CAD m179 up close, and SM58 further away.
Distortion (LP) guitar is double tracked, same mic setup.
Bass is a cheapo Squier Precision Bass, DI'ed into the Saffire, with a Waves JJP Bass plugin .
Vocals are mic'ed with both the CAD m179 and the SM58. Double tracked in the chorus parts. Separate instances of the Waves CLA Vocals plugin , with some compression, delay, and eq.

Just tell me if you want to know more. Here's the file: [[url=http://="https://www.dropbox…"]https://www.dropbox… 16 (Draft3).m4a[/]="https://www.dropbox…"]https://www.dropbox… 16 (Draft3).m4a[/]


P.S. I would love to hear from you, Remy!


kmetal Sun, 03/16/2014 - 01:53
I'd like to hear the snare drum brighter, and more upfront. It also sounds like the guitar and vocals are fighting for the same space, carve out some room for both. Also a pluggin like a decapitator or other saturation pluggin to give the vocals some edge, punk rock is about attitude, not prettiness. I wouldn't say bury the vocals, but they should be a bit more immersed In the music, as opposed to way out front like a pop record. This has to do w levels and frequency content. I think making the music bigger and brighter will help, because right now they sound too far behind the vocs.

Also you should put some some mids and even some highs on the kick, so it cuts on small speakers. The sounds themselves are in the realm of the song, they just need some work to get where they can go.

JoshHPMusic Sun, 03/16/2014 - 18:49
Thanks, kmetal.

I had originally been only using the mixer inside of Superior Drummer, with those built-in plugins. But I wanted to make the drums sound better altogether, and fix the snare, so I switched Superior Drummer to the 16 Multi-output, which just sends everything out to separate aux tracks. I started changing things, adding plugins, all that.
And now the snare drum is very thin, and may be a little brighter, but it is way too thin. Any tips on how to fix that, make a snare drum sound fuller? Once I can get the snare to sound right I will move on.


kmetal Sun, 03/16/2014 - 22:54
We'll first I need to know what you did to it, it sounds to me like you possibly didn't make it brighter properly. Keeping it as was, and adding a bit of 1-3k and some compression w a slow attack and fast release is a good place to start. Don't knock off much more than3-6 db to start. W snare drums and a lot of things, when your setting the release time you want the gain reduction needle to return back to zero by the time the next hit happens, so it "breathes" in tempo w the song. These are just good general starting points.

The other potential is that you simply added too many efx, this will quickly thin out, and choke a sound. Go back to square one, try just those two things I said, and let me know where your at.

I the idea is that if you made it thinner, you want to un-make it thinner, before attempting to make it thicker after making it thinner. Make any sense?

kmetal Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:50
Sounds good. I'd probably bring the vocals down a bit maybe a 1-3 db so that the music didn't sound quite as far back in relation to them. After ab'ing ur mix w the green day one, the vox are just a bit more envelopped by the music in the green day one. And I'd be a bit more subtle w the chorus distortion, more so that it sounded like tape saturation or transformer saturation, as opposed to a distortion "effect", this is really a taste thing, but I'm really appreciating the art of subtlety lately.

JoshHPMusic Thu, 03/27/2014 - 16:31
Awesome, thanks for the tips. I've been working on this more, and I think it is sounding better. I'm pretty happy with the vocal level now, but I could go down a tiny bit more if necessary.

About the chorus distortion, believe it or not, there is no effect! The only thing I've got on there is a Waves Kramer Master Tape plugin on the main output channel. The distortion I believe was actually some clipping that was happening on the way into the output channel. So I lowered all the tracks by 2 db, which seemed to solve it. Of course, I kept working so they are not all that low now.

I'm still having a minor problem though. It seems that when I play it through my iPhone speakers, there is some volume fluctuation during the guitar solo section. Is this just because of the speakers or compression applied by the iPhone, or is it some compression issue that I should fix in the mix itself? On other systems, it sounds fine.

Here's the new file:


JoshHPMusic Fri, 03/28/2014 - 00:48
Alright, so now it seems to me that the mix is too bottom heavy, and could be more "open" or "clear".

The distortion guitar that is in the intro and comes in at the chorus, it doesn't really sound right to me- like some frequency is missing. I just want it to sound like a Green Day hard punchy guitar, not so hollow like it sounds now. Any ideas?

I only have today to finish mixing, so any help is really appreciated!


JoshHPMusic Sun, 03/30/2014 - 11:11
It's done!

I discovered that most of the boominess came from the kick drum, so that was easy to fix. Did some more eq and tweaking, got it sounding pretty good. I compared it to a frequency diagram of the original song to help me find which frequencies needed to be dealt with. I threw it back into a logic mastering file, mastered it, and uploaded that thing!

[[url=http://[/URL]=""]Here it is:[/]=""]Here it is:[/]

Thanks for all the help,