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Hey guys!

I posted a couple months ago looking for some feedback on a praise and worship album that I was just starting to mix. I am finishing up that same album now, and looking for some more feedback on a few of the songs:
http://jungleheart…"]Rough Mixes | JungleHeart Productions[/]="http://jungleheart…"]Rough Mixes | JungleHeart Productions[/]

1) I Am Yours- I just rendered this one yesterday, so it's still pretty fresh to my ears. Any constructive criticism would be helpful
2) Majesty- I feel like this is the best recording I have ever done, so I wanna get the mix really good. Any ideas you guys have, even if it's subtle, finicky things, I would appreciate.
3) Wonderful Are You- I'm pretty happy with how this one is sitting, but feel free to give me pointers for this one to.
4) Symphony of Praise- This is the one I posted already.

Here's the catch- 3 and 4 I mixed on my AKG121 headphones and iMac speakers, but since then I got a pair of KRK V4 monitors that I've been working with. 1 and 2 were mixed on the V4s. I find the songs I mixed on the headphones/iMac have a lot of bass and low mids to compensate for the tinniness of my iMac speakers, and the ones I mixed on the V4s have more balanced midranges. When I listen back to Symphony of Praise now, the first song I mixed, it seems too beefy and muddy, but when I listen to the songs mixed on the V4s through my iMac speakers, they sound tinny and hurt my ears. How do you professional guys get your mixes sounding good regardless of what you listen to them on?

Pax Caritas et lol,


anonymous Tue, 12/18/2012 - 15:40

I didn't listen to all of them entirely, just snippets, but based on what I heard...

You've got a lot of gain reduction going on here. On vocals, on bass, on drums.... I have to ask, how new to this are you? It sounds like beginner mistakes in terms of reduction and EQ.

For example,the piano in the first track is over compressed - and unless that's the sound you are looking for, which to my eras is thin, shallow and squashed, then you probably need to go back and give it another listen.

The mixes across the board in general lack depth, they are very compressed, one dimensional, vocals are thin and in some cases upper mid heavy with very little substance, body or warmth.

For the most part, there's not much space, depth, or air. You need to let these tracks breathe a little... actually, a lot.

What mic and mic pre were you using? What was your gain reduction usage/stages - ratios, thresholds, attacks....? I can hear the compressor kicking in on a regular basis on the vocals.

Unless you are VERY familiar and experienced with your headphones, it's probably not in your best interest to mix using them. You should stick to reference NF's as much as possible, and you should do that with every track. If you mix 3 tracks with headphones and 3 tracks with NF's, I guarantee you you'll be left chasing your tail in regard to tone.

Here's what I think: I think perhaps you are too close to the mix, and that maybe it might benefit you having someone come in with fresh ears and fresh perspective - and if at all doable for you, you should pony up the cash and get a real engineer to take a listen, and perhaps remix these tracks for you.

I'm not sure of the "sound" you are looking for, perhaps this is it, and if that's so, then that's fine... but it doesn't sound like a pro recording, at least not to my ears.

I'm not trying to be offensive, that is not my intention. I'm simply telling you what I heard. Take it for what it's worth.

How do you professional guys get your mixes sounding good regardless of what you listen to them on?

Practice, practice, practice. ;)


ClarkJaman Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:23

DonnyThompson, post: 397863 wrote: I have to ask, how new to this are you? It sounds like beginner mistakes in terms of reduction and EQ.

This is my second full length album, plus a few small projects and lots of messing around. I am definitely a beginner in the grand scheme of things. That's why I come here to learn from the more experienced engineers like yourself.

DonnyThompson, post: 397863 wrote: What mic and mic pre were you using? What was your gain reduction usage/stages - ratios, thresholds, attacks....? I can hear the compressor kicking in on a regular basis on the vocals.

I should have mentioned, for all the vocals I used a C414 through a Line6 UX8. I don't have a consistent vocal effect chain, especially because there's lots of different singers on this album, as you heard. But, I typically will run it fairly heavy through a compressor like the Waves H-Comp for example, with low attack and release time, but only at about 50% mix to get a parallel compression. Then I'll usually run it through an EQ, and from there some sort of reverb or delay and sometimes a limiter at the end of the chain just to bring the loudness up a tiny bit when necessary.

Thanks for the feedback, I guess. It's a good reminder that I have a lot to learn, and a long ways to go. But that's not really what I was looking for. I already knew that I wasn't a professional, and hiring a professional to remix everything is not an option. I don't have the money for it, and that wouldn't help me learn and improve, which is kind of the whole point. The two useful pointers you gave me is that the piano is over compressed and the tracks don't breathe. Can you expand on that? What does that mean, and how can I counteract it?

Pax Caritas et lol,

anonymous Wed, 12/19/2012 - 03:16

When large, heavy or drastic amounts of gain reduction are used - in any form, be it compression or limiting - it has the tendency to squash the "life" out of tracks. Things are so compacted that the tracks don't sound open or natural anymore, or, in other words, they don't "breathe".... heavy and drastic settings of gain reduction can build up, cascade and accumulate, particularly when you start using these settings and amounts of it on a track by track basis, and the instrumentation no longer exists in its own space dynamically or naturally, anymore.

As a side note, if you are using a limiter plug on every track or on a track level basis, I would encourage you to not do so. Use compression as you need it, to tame transients and stop them from jumping out at you, but when you start to turn to limiting on every discreet track, you're asking for trouble sonically by the time you add all the tracks together.

If a particular part is jumping out at you, you may want to consider using volume envelopes on just those sections that are out of hand... because if you are using heavy compression settings to accomplish this, you are also effecting the other sectons of audio around the peak that doesn't need it, so if you assign the gain reduction as a blanket across the entire track in heavy amounts, you may be compressing things that don't need compression.

Gain reduction is generally used as a way to tame transients so that instruments can exist - or co exist - with the other parts around it. There are various ways to accomplish this, through EQ, panning and compression, but it's always best to consider the sound of the instrument on its own.... - for example, does the piano sound real to you? If you would reference another song that had piano in it, say a song by Elton John or Billy Joel, or even a commercial release within the genre of what you are working in, and then compare it to your own, does the piano sound the same to you? It doesn't even have to be a song that is heavily piano focused, but if there is a piano in the song, isn't it best to make it sound like a real player is playing a real piano?

You could use the same theory on the vocals. And you need to be truthful with yourself, does the vocal tone on the song sound the same to you as it would if the vocalist was standing right in front of you and singing live?

Now here's the disclaimer... if these tracks sound okay to you, and if the song on the whole is sounding the same to you as what you pictured it in your head, then you aren't doing anything wrong at all.

Heavy amounts of compression, along with drastic sculpting of tone, can be used, and frequently are used as an effect.

If this is what you were after, and you've accomplished what you set out to do, then it's nobody's place, particularly mine, to tell you what to do or how to do it.

In short, if you don't think the track needs any sonic repair, then that's all that matters. If you were after a particular sound, maybe based on some other song you heard, and you feel you grabbed the essence of it, then you've succeeded.

I'm not well versed with what is popular in contemporary Christian music these days in regard to production and engineering, Pax.

You may very well be nailing the sound that is widely accepted in that genre right now, which is why I mentioned that if it sounds good to you, then that's all that matters.



ClarkJaman Wed, 12/19/2012 - 10:57

Ok fair enough. One last thing I should mention is that although these tracks aren't "mastered" yet, I did run a compressor and limiter on the master out to get the effect of a mastered track for while I'm mixing. So at least I can assure you that the recordings won't breathe even less after they are mastered.

I'm just trying to get a sense of your bias and where you're coming from before I go and make any drastic changes with the way that I use compression. Can you humour me and listen to a minute of two of this song:
[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Kristian Stanfill - "Say Say" - YouTube[/]="…"]Kristian Stanfill - "Say Say" - YouTube[/]

To me, that song is over compressed and doesn't breathe at all. Yet it is mixed and mastered by top professionals. To my ears, my songs breathe much better. I would be interested to hear what you have to say comparing my songs and that one.

Thanks again Donny.

RemyRAD Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:14

I think this is going to come as a shock to you all??

I listen very carefully. Very very carefully, all the way through all four cuts. Really love the way you ended cut three LOL. I choked on my toke. LOL and I really think you are pulling our freakin' legs? I really enjoyed reading Donny's post because I really admire and respect him. He's a real pro like I am. I think I might also mention I have a Soul Train Music Award nomination, for best engineered Live Gospel. And... I'm an atheist Jew. However... I really love, really good contemporary Christian music and the recordings. I also worked with another guy that some of you contemporary Christian guys might remember from a generation ago, Don Moen? Your stuff Clark, is absolutely, positively, first rate. And what the heck Nashville studio did you do this in?

Everything Donny said, was spot on. However, this is a beautiful example of fine, contemporary Christian music. There is nothing here for you to change or correct. It is correct. It's spot on! It is ready for the Mastering dude Guy to do his thing. So send it out to a nice Nashville Mastering House and be done with it! I mean I am perfectly serious here. This is a very highly stylistic quality to your engineering. You have a style here a moniker of mixing. Many engineers long for the day that their highly stylized technique of recording and mixing will be easily recognized by others. This is what I am hearing here. It's highly Pro tooled around with sounding but at the highest level of technique and expertise. So like I said, I really think you're pulling our leg?

Should you do anything different? I don't think so. Should you change anything, anything at all? I don't think so. What I've heard here, whatever technical engineering minutia may have been overlooked, it's right. And some of these small minutia sized changes are what that mastering dude Guy is GUNNA' do.

Preamps, interfaces, compression and limiting, gating, EQ, is all fully and expertly in play here. It's killer sounding! Or maybe I should say it's Inspirational sounding? It's both. Your stuff rocked my socks off! This is going to get some great broadcast on-air contemporary Christian airplay! You're going to win some kind of freakin' award and be in heaven while you're still freakin' God damned alive!... Maybe that didn't come out exactly right but this hedonistic cod damned crazy atheistic Jew love the God damned crap out of it! Sorry... there I go again. I'd buy your freakin' God damned record... sorry... somebody please stop me... I think I'm possessed?

This is all perfectly right. Because it came from your inner magic. It came from creator.

Sorry I agreed with you Donny. You're perfectly right in and oh so wrong way.

Mx. Remy Ann David

audiokid Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:52

Well, I was going to comment on these tracks after Donny but waited. I'm in the middle on these all. I think they sound pretty darn good ( for what they are), so I'm surprisingly agreeing with you on this one Remy! But they could sound a lot better so I agree with Donny too. It depends what level we are talking. A ME could definitely improve them but its still not going to improve the over processed feel or lack of punch, over compressed and space missing. They are mixed nice, I like the balance and blend but are crammed and tame. Donny nailed it on the last response.

I think you need better monitors Remy.

Not that I'm any genius, but out of my own curiosity It would be interesting to see what I could do with one track. I think I'll try.

audiokid Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:36

Well, I can't do much with it other than give an example of more energy. This track is compressed wrong , crammed together and distorted for certain but , I spread it out to hear more of it, recklessly whacked a comp on it just to give it some thwack, added subs, low mids (where the money is!) and some top end around 12k and it does sound better in regards to giving it better energy, but the track really needs to be redone IMHO to get it to a pro level. Donny's correct from this POV.
There is no punch, headroom left anywhere. Sounds like this song was recorded too hot and the converters sound very low end to me. It all sounds like a glass salad bowl is in front of me, or behind my head. Swirly and washed together.

This is my idea of, more of what you want ClarkJaman.

  1. [=""]Majesty Mix5 | JungleHeart Productions[/]="http://jungleheartp…"]Majesty Mix5 | JungleHeart Productions[/]
  2. [[url=http://="https://soundcloud…"] https://soundcloud…]="https://soundcloud…"] https://soundcloud…]

    I added a few notes in the SC timeline. Hope that helps. Sorry for being hard and for taking the wind out of Remy's epic moment but. Your music is excellent, you just need some help like we are giving you and you will be sailing!

    First thing to always be sure of, unless you have stellar gear, and even then its a bad thing, record in the green, not yellow or ever in red. Never normalize your individual tracks in a full project. It sounds like you've done this? Avoid compression until you really understand sound. Its way better to learn how to make music sit well with out them until you know what you are doing. This comes with time. But you need the basics embedded first.

    In a digital world, people seem to think, if you can't see it, there is nothing there. In an analog world, that's where all the magic lives. When you undertand that, it all starts to makes more sense and this is when you can make cheap gear sound expensive.

audiokid Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:12

ClarkJaman, post: 397945 wrote: I would still be interested in what you guys think of a comparative analysis between my songs and this one, in terms of compression and breathing:
[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Kristian Stanfill - "Say Say" - YouTube[/]="…"]Kristian Stanfill - "Say Say" - YouTube[/]

For starter, that song is far more punchy. You can at least hear the kick. Buts its pretty poorly mastered too. Its really cluttered and poorly processed for online audio.

audiokid Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:17

Re Breathing:

Your song is breathing in an untimely and poorly compressed way. The track you are referencing to, isn't suffering from the same thing. If you listen to my example of your track, I spread it out more so you can hear what breathing sounds like. Do you know what compression breathing sounds like?

A trained engineer can hear this and this is what Donny heard right away.
You can make breathing interesting in dubstep or dance music as a few examples but the way you've attempted to use compression, its not helping. The release timing isn't right plus its just not right. Plus, it sounds like you've used compression on all the tracks. The energy of the music is suppressed.

Does this make sense?

Did you normalize your tracks and use compression on them?

ClarkJaman Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:29

audiokid, post: 397946 wrote: Someone needs better monitors or to stop sipping on the Christmas Spirit lol. Its really obvious.

Yeah, but Remy's posts are always the most fun to read! :P

audiokid, post: 397948 wrote: Do you know what compression breathing sounds like?

I thought I did, but I don't know anything about how to time the breathing. Are "pumping" and "breathing" the same thing?

audiokid, post: 397948 wrote: Did you normalize your tracks and use compression on them?

Normalize, no. Compression, yeah, just about every track, and sometimes on the group channel tracks too, and on the master bus.

RemyRAD Thu, 12/20/2012 - 00:19

Clark, I find everybody's comments quite valid. While at the same time, what we do is so 100% subjective, we would all approach your production from different angles. And then things get even more interesting when quite frequently, different people will do things completely differently and the end results still sound remarkably nearly identical. This is because we have all established our own highly refined techniques. Which doesn't mean that we all do things the same way. That's what they teach in school to do. And so I hear a lot of guys like yourself coming out of these recording schools all sounding like McDonald hamburgers. None of them have a unique or identifiable style at least not yet.

I certainly marvel over good jacked up sounding engineering. Again, one of percent subjective but I like it. In fact, not to clash with Chris's concept, I didn't quite care for what he did. And I usually love everything I've heard from him. Same with Donny. So, one out of three ain't bad. Besides... I think I'm right.

Now Chris was joking with me about the monitors. He doesn't know how right he was. I got two control rooms in my truck. Both with different monitor systems. One the largest. The other, about half the size. Then there is the 30 foot RV. That's currently got a pair of KRK Rock-It's been the coach. And a pair of FOSTEX 6301's in the rear post video suite a.k.a. the bedroom. And it was the 6301's that I was listening to this on and quite purposefully. I didn't listen to it on the larger JBL's. This was in a small room that is only 8 x 6 and being played out on a pair of monitors that are appropriate for a room the size that I think, most other people, will generally be listening to. This is not necessarily going to be normally listened to in control rooms or even on high quality playback systems. Most people don't have anything like that. And who will be buying this? Most people that's who. So, Chris was absolutely correct.

Of course if I were to have done your mix, I'm not sure that I would have done it all that much differently? Yes, some of what Chris and Donny have expressed, I kind of coincide with, in places. But not across the board or so to speak LOL. And that's why I actually think it's ready for the Mastering Engineer. If the low end goes woof in a couple of places, he'll fix that. If the high end gets a little funky or brittle in places, he'll fix that. But the rest of it will still be your stylistic stamp which I think is superb. Sure, it's a little over the top in places but I think it gives it a great overly engineered feel to it. And that's your moniker. It's your sound. You have a sound. The rest of these guys are just jealous as they can't believe what they're hearing. So they're telling you what's wrong with it. And while I might agree with them, I think it sounds cool, I think it sounds ready to go. And yeah, I'm listening to it on small 4 inch monitors. The same that everybody else is going to be listening to it on. That and earbuds. And then 2% of them might be audiophiles that might feel the way Chris and Donny do? But hey, that's only 2%. I mean it absolutely rocked. And they all agreed with me on that. So what else is there? It's a performance. It is what it is and it's good. Sometimes people can ruin things with improvements. We've all done that. I can't tell you how many times and how many other stories just like the one I'm going to tell you I've heard through the years. So ya take this mix and you mix it again and again and again. 92 mixes later you go back and listen to your original mix. And what you end up picking out? The original mix.

I've got many recordings that I have done over the past 20 years. Many of these recordings were for live broadcast purposes. So, no second chances. No second takes. No remixing. All live to stereo. Compressors going. Equalizers equalizing. Gates, gating the job done LOL. And at the same time, I was rolling to 24 track. Early on it was analog. Later on it was digital. Either way, I'd go back later to remix those 24 track recordings. And a good chunk of the time, I ended up going back to my original live stereo mix for broadcast. And that's because when it was engineered originally, there was a certain kind of spontaneity in the engineering, certain kind of performance in the engineering. You can't always re-create that which has already passed. And it's because of the way the recorders work. It's the way that the console sounds. It's how many times the signal has been summed together. All those variables make for nuance differences that actually make all the difference in the performance and listening value. At least that's the way I feel? Score one for 100% subjectivity. And so in the end, I feel that Chris made it worse? Because... I've got a feeling... a feeling deep inside... oh yeah... so it's not quite in the style of the Beatles. It's in your style.

You got style kid.
Mx. Remy Ann David

anonymous Thu, 12/20/2012 - 02:12

Sorry for being hard and for taking the wind out of Remy's epic moment but. Your music is excellent, you just need some help like we are giving you and you will be sailing!

I never for a moment disliked your music. There were more than a few very cool musical things happening on your tracks.

I'd just like to hear them with more life, depth and space, is all.

anonymous Thu, 12/20/2012 - 06:10

ClarkJaman, post: 397917 wrote: Ok fair enough. One last thing I should mention is that although these tracks aren't "mastered" yet, I did run a compressor and limiter on the master out to get the effect of a mastered track for while I'm mixing. So at least I can assure you that the recordings won't breathe even less after they are mastered.

I'm just trying to get a sense of your bias and where you're coming from before I go and make any drastic changes with the way that I use compression. Can you humour me and listen to a minute of two of this song:
[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]Kristian Stanfill - "Say Say" - YouTube[/]="…"]Kristian Stanfill - "Say Say" - YouTube[/]

To me, that song is over compressed and doesn't breathe at all. Yet it is mixed and mastered by top professionals. To my ears, my songs breathe much better. I would be interested to hear what you have to say comparing my songs and that one.

Thanks again Donny.

I agree with you, and truth be told, from a musical perspective, I prefer your stuff much more over that which I just listened to. Yours has much more feeling, and if gain reduction was tamed and used correctly, you could have some very nice dynamics happening to support these nice songs as well.

To my ears, this "commercial" release didn't sound like a pro recording to me, either. It's highly over compressed, badly EQ'd, and limited to the point where the life of the tracks and whatever dynamics there may have been there originally are now gone.

This may just be the current trend in CC music. If it is, then it's certainly no different than any of the other popular secular recordings out there right now; pop, rock, and even country have all fallen into the trap of smooth and pleasant sonics being sacrificed to that of just LOUD.

Your material doesn't suffer quite as badly as the pro release I just heard least not yet.

Your music is good, Pax.. I never once thought that it wasn't. You've got some very nice parts and changeups, it's hooky and memorable, and from a musician's standpoint I find your stuff to be very pleasant to listen to.

Which is why I think it's important enough to go back and remix the tracks -(Remy and I will simply have to agree to disagree on this one... although that doesn't have anything to do with the tremendous amount of respect I have for her as one bad-assed, experienced, seasoned, and highly intelligent audio professional. Professionals can and do disagree from time to time... it's happened before and it will happen again. :wink: )...

If the performances had been bad, out of tune, out of time, or just badly played, I'd tell you to send it off for mastering and be done with it, because no amount of engineering chops can substitute for musical skill.

But I believe your stuff is good enough... and matters enough to have it released as good as it can be sonically.

Give the instruments and those vocals some life, some warmth.

Listen with a critical ear to the tone of the vocal, and I mean really listen. Now, put a CD on of something that you love. I don't care who or what it is, it doesn't matter. Now, see if you can hear what I'm referring to in regard to the vocal on your tracks being thin, squashed and lacking body and warmth. I'm NOT saying the performance was bad, to the contrary, I thought it was well done... but because it's lacking in body and warmth, it's tough to listen to.

I feel the same way about the piano. It just sounds so squashed and one dimensional to me. It doesn't have that "warmth" and open-ness that you hear when you listen to someone playing a piano live. Go to Youtube and listen to a song by someone like Bruce Hornsby, or Elton John. Take a good listen to the piano. Now, go to your recording program, open up I Am Yours, and, solo up the piano track. You will absolutely hear what I am talking about, I guarantee it. Now, bypass all effects, all processors on the piano track. If the original piano patch/sample was decent to begin with, you should hear warmth, clarity, and silky top end emerge, and it will be full and open sounding.

Now...a few good things....The acoustic guitar tracks were pretty good sonically... not bad, nice placement in the stereo field, nice silk on the top end. You've done well in eliminating the common "mud" that can so often occur with recording of acoustic guitar. I didn't hear any "boominess" or "muddy" lo mid end that would result in a lack of definition. Whether that was accomplished by mic technique or mix technique, or a combination of both, you've done well there.

I like your stuff, Pax. Which is why, if I were producing the tracks after the fact, I would insist on a remix. If you choose to go that route, feel free to continue posting along the way if you desire more advice or help. And if not, and you decide to send it out for mastering now and be done with it, then that's fine too, although I think it would be a mistake because the dicey sonics will overshadow the nice music you have happening.

In My Humble Opinion, of course.


audiokid Thu, 12/20/2012 - 09:45

+1 for Donny on all counts including the well deserved comments on Remy. She is a legend around here to say the least.

But remix them! The "over use" of compression killed it all. Its very obvious. You can do better and will the next round. Don't compare your music to that youtube example. It sounds terrible! Shoot higher my Canadian friend and DO NOT listen to youtube music for mastering reference examples.

ClarkJaman, post: 397955 wrote:

Normalize, no. Compression, yeah, just about every track, and sometimes on the group channel tracks too, and on the master bus.

Remy, the extreme example of what I did was to open eyes (ears), not to impress you. It was by no means an example of better sound, you should know that? You are scaring me. :confused:
That was an example of expanding over-compressed tracks, and increasing energy in the area's that count, for the OP!

IMHO, NO ( qualified) self respecting Mastering Engineer can or would attempt to improve these tracks over a Remix first, they are what they are. I wouldn't touch this. Look at how you interpreted what I did on a small scale! I'd have to add a memo all over the web stating that I know these tracks are over-compressed and distorted but I took the money anyway . lol. geez...

IMHO, even the best M.E. on the planet cannot fix smash and burn.




ClarkJaman Thu, 12/20/2012 - 09:51

Cool, I'm visiting the family for a few days for Christmas, but when I'm bringing my mixing computer and monitors with me, so when I get there, I'm gonna try remixing a couple tracks and see if I can get them breathing better. :)

Lets pick this up in a few days. Thanks for your expert advice, all three of you!


RemyRAD Thu, 12/20/2012 - 12:12

We all have fun doing what we do. We all do it very well. I don't know what Chris was talking about agreeing to disagree? I didn't disagree with anything he or Donny had to say. Your engineering was cool, slick, highly stylistic. Perhaps overly stylistic? Which is what everybody was talking about. Over the top in places where it doesn't really need to be over the top. While still being over the top with what works over the top. And where other more traditional engineering practices may be more in play?

OK, so I wasn't really going to say this... many many AES audio convention years ago, the FM loudness wars were in full swing. Many highly renown professional audio processing equipment manufacturers were all lying to have the ultimately loudest limiters. And of course they would be showing them off with program content trying to get through their boxes. Some of this processing, to make it competitively loud... sounded pretty brutal most of the time. Certainly hyped up. Certainly loud. Abso****inglutely LOUD! Enough to take your breath away... and give you a heart attack and a stroke at the same time. And then your station would purchase that device. And it made everything sound like you're recording currently sounds... expensive cool. So ya recording is definitely not proper, gentle, delicate, stunning fidelity. Hell no...? There I go again... that other place, sorry. But it's what they teach all of the young stars to do with ProTools and contemporary music today. I mean you pay something like $40,000 for a degree from Full Sale to learn how to make things sound as wonderfully crappy as yours. That's why I think it's cool. That's why I think it's oh so contemporary sounding. That's where everybody is today just like the FM broadcasters were back in the early 1980s. You know what goes around comes around. What's old is new again. These other folks are older guys like me.

So the question of the engineering versus your demographic target, that's what influences what you deliver. These other guys like really finally recorded material. Because we all hear into the mixes. We all know what's going on. Most of us expect a certain kind of accepted practices, technical accuracy. That's not what yours is. It's what it is. It's who you are. It's how you hear it that really counts. They're not going to buy your record sounding the way it sounds. It doesn't tickle their eardrums the right way and they can't feel it in their crotch. Which is ultimately where the money is.

In a similar incident LOL... I got contracted to record this band. At the 930 club in DC and this other club down in Richmond Virginia. While it was my truck and equipment and me, I was not the contracted Recording Engineer. That guy was Mixer Mark (Williams) from North Carolina. Mixer Mark and I got along fabulously. He brought some extra equipment with him. And I patched it in for him since it's a big 4 foot tall patchbay and looks a little bit like a Georgia roadmap if you don't know your way around her is that Virginia? And so he liked the Neve and all of my other vintage processing in my control room.

Later, this other person was contracted to mix the Emmett Swimming Live CD. When I got a copy, it was like WOW! HOLY CRAP THAT'S AGGRESSIVE SOUNDING! THAT'S COOL!

Later I talked to Mixer Mark. He expressed almost the identical comments to me that Donny and Chris have expressed. Mixer Mark told me he thought it sounded " too Pro Tooled around with." I know that I certainly don't quite engineer that way myself. I think my engineering is more like what Chris and Donny do for the most part? But I like pushing the envelope. Somebody's gotta' do it.

Have a great and safe holiday and have fun mixing. Because you know you have to remix this don't you?
Mx. Remy Ann David

ClarkJaman Thu, 12/20/2012 - 12:58

RemyRAD, post: 397988 wrote: But it's what they teach all of the young stars to do with ProTools and contemporary music today. I mean you pay something like $40,000 for a degree from Full Sale to learn how to make things sound as wonderfully crappy as yours.

Yeah, but I have a very positive, almost romanticized view on human nature that effects everything about me. And because of that, I think this whole loudness war stuff is just a fad, and that sanity will prevail, and contemporary music will eventually get back to what Chris and Donny are talking about. And even if I'm wrong, I want to sound good, not contemporary. That's why I didn't go to no recording school. I'm studying English literature at a real university and learning how to record on the side, self taught and picking up whatever I can from guys like you. I want to sound authentic and real, like you three, not contemporary and sellable, like they teach you to be at full sail.

So, it turns out my dad is sick and I'm not going anywhere until tomorrow. So I remixed Majesty. I basically just backed off the comp ratios a little bit, payed more attention to the attack and release times and when and how often it was hitting the threshold. You can find the new mix (mix 6) on the same website. Take a listen and let me know what you think:
[[url=http://[/URL]="http://jungleheart…"]Rough Mixes | JungleHeart Productions[/]="http://jungleheart…"]Rough Mixes | JungleHeart Productions[/]

I brought them both into Cubase and A/B'ed them, and the new one sounds way clearer. It's like someone cleaned the windshield on the vocals so now they can actually sing through. The low end sounds better to me to. I love the way the kick drum and bass guitar interact. So much better. And I'm not trying to pump my own tires here, it's thanks to you guys that I was able to clean up these tracks. :)

audiokid Thu, 12/20/2012 - 13:21

Sorry to read your Dad is not well. Hopefully nothing a Turkey dinner and family hugs can't help.

Much better!

But lets help you even more now, we are getting somewhere. You aren't hearing the low freq in your monitoring. How do I know this? You would NOT be mixing like this if you could.
I have to ask you what you are using for monitors, and are you able to control the bass? Your room is producing too much bass which ( pay attention to this!) forces you to mix with less bass. Make sense? To much room bass increases tiny sounding music. But I know in "your" room, your mix sounds bigger but in my room, your mix sound tinny.

Your track is missing a lot of vibe from 400hz down. And I know this isn't your intention. This is causing you to produce and mix smeary and over controlled music. If your room could handle the low freq, you would be able to hear and mix better. Make sense?

RemyRAD Thu, 12/20/2012 - 13:33

I think I'm going to confuse the crap out of you?

The new and sounds great. It's perfectly wrong. You have turned it into what sounds like everybody else. You have conformed. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Your little mix is a Borg box.

I like MIX 5. Why do I like mix five? Honestly, it's more organic. It's actually more gentle than this new thingy. It's Christian music isn't it? You want people to get the message with a cattle prod? Now this new one... this... this is over the top or perhaps I should say into a Ziploc baggie? I mean all you have to do to your mix now is put it in your microwave and plug it into your ear buds. It's ready for your average Christian. Mix 5 was much more special. Maybe special isn't the right word? Secular? I don't know I'm an atheist. So you certainly know better what's going on here for your demographic target.

Five has angles and curves. Six gets me all wound up. Think about that.
Mx. Remy Ann David

audiokid Thu, 12/20/2012 - 13:55


Remy, no disrespect but I don't think your monitoring is up to par either. I cannot believe you would think different if your monitoring was up to par. I've actually been wondering this for a long time. But, not everyone hears the same so its why our world is so colorful and interesting indeed. You said that nicely in the previous posts!

FWIW, the Christian Music I have listened too and respect, kicks serious ass! This has absolutely nothing to do with the genre here. If you run these tracks through a scope even, its not rocket science. If you look at the waves, they are dead. If you listen to them, its clear they are over compressed still. Its why I wondered if they were normalized. If they were, they are done. If not, we are able to help.

To both of you... I'm certain both of you have monitor issues that need addressing. You cannot hear things objectively so we will never grow beyond this with positive results. Your hands are tied per-say. Your listening POV is not accurate or acceptable.

The second mix has better clarity because he backed off on the compression a bit. Its better. If I had these tracks here, I would take ALL the compression off, pull all the tracks down and start over. Which poses a whole other nightmare that I won't even talk about lol. But its the only way to get them alive.

Most importantly... Do a search on Transients!
Do a search on Loudness Wars
Do a search on Limiting and compression
Do a search on room acoustics and what bass trapping does, how it helps you mix better bass. ( Note: I have 13 traps in my mix room and I wish I had a few more.)

Do either of you have bass treatment? If not, how can either of you even hear low freq accurate? FWIW, this is the most common and un addressed area's of a mixing room.. Its why mastering engineers can do their job. They get the room acoustics right from the beginning.

Its like I have a radar gun here, I know you are going 100km but your speedo says you are only going 80km. You are right about that from your sitting position but in the real world, you are going 100km.

Back to you.... diddlydoodiddlydoodiddlydoodiddlydoo

ClarkJaman Thu, 12/20/2012 - 15:36

I have no doubt that my room has tons of issues. The only sonic treatment I have is a rug from wal mart that I hung up on the wall with thumb tacks. It's hard enough for me to get my roommates to keep it down so I can record, let alone treat my room. My house has an old noisy furnace that has to run solid to keep up with the -30 weather. Forget bass traps man, lol. If I had enough money for bass traps I would spend it on a real preamp or a pair of SDCs.

audiokid, what frequency analyzer do you use? I have the waves PAZ one, but it sucks at low end. Everything below 60Hz is just a flat line that moves up and down every few seconds. And I only have 4 inch V4 monitors with no sub, so I can't really hear anything below 60Hz. :(

audiokid Thu, 12/20/2012 - 16:00

I use Sequoia 12, the scopes are cool, but not everything either. Everything helps. Those sub freq aren't essential if you have intelligent low mids. They are actually a bandwidth hog. Its all relevant to the balance. If all I had was a transistor radio speaker, would I be able to mix music. I think so! Its all relative to the balance. Why we use different sizes of speakers.

I actually roll off the subs and the highs. The money is in the low mids. The key is getting it to punch without sounding muddy or metallic-ally. You don't need subs to get a great mix, but they are fun indeed.
The highs are what lower end converters can't deal with. If you can't hear it however, you can't mix it or give opinions on it or judge gear correctly either. Plain and simple. So if your room is messing up your ears, pretty tough grind. Always a mystery and always more work.

Imagine sitting inside a speaker enclosure. That's what most peoples home studios are like. Mixing in small rooms without treatment are a bass freq nightmare. Gives you dilutions of bass grandeur lol. We get used to it though, and you can work around it if you learn how to deal with it. Maybe eq your room. Pull out the hot spots, standing waves. I dunno, they never go away unless you have a way of trapping and absorbing them. Compare CD's to your mix. Don't use online music as a mastering reference. Only use it to gauge volume war.

Little NF are great. I'm actually ordering a pair of Audix 3/1/2 . I'm excited! Nothing special, small and right for my reasons. Mids, mids and mids.

anonymous Fri, 12/21/2012 - 03:44

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Thoughts and prayers...

Mix 5 shows much improvement :)

It has a much nicer, more "open" feel to it. It has space, it has room to breathe.

A few problems still exist, or at least, they exist to me.

To my ears, it's lacking body around, and it's only a rough guess, but I'd say maybe 160-300 or so. The most likely causes of this would be either your monitors, or your room.

During mixing, you are hearing frequencies in those ranges that are exaggerated, yet truthfully really aren't really there, they are only there as a result of your room lying to you... which causes you to think that you either have:

1. enough of those freq's, so you don't make any changes... or ...
2. too much in that freq range, so you are attenuating those freq's that don't truly need attenuating.

The result is that when played back on other systems, those frequencies will sound shy.

FWIW, a rug hanging on a wall will do little to nothing for frequency absorption below 2k or so. Even the Sonex 1" panels that you can buy don't do anything for frequencies below 1k.

You'd be amazed at how many rooms I walk into as a hired gun engineer only to find entire walls covered with 1" sonex, and the owner of the studio is under the misguided notion that the room has been "treated" and that those 1" panels will solve all the problems. In some cases, it actually makes the problems worse, especially in frequency ranges above 1k.

But I digress....

What you need to look at are bass traps of some kind, devices or objects that will allow those frequencies around 300hz or so and down to be tamed.

Now, you can spend huge dollars buying professionally made traps, and if you can afford them, then go for it...but truthfully, for what you are doing, unless you plan on opening your doors to clients and hanging out a shingle, there are some easy, quick and dirty fixes you can look at to help with bass absorption.

Couches, chairs, anything with substance will all help... now, to what degree, I don't know because I'm not standing in your room mixing.

The other thing you can do is to build your own traps, and they aren't hard or expensive to fabricate. You could probably solve many of your issues for less than a hundred bucks, maybe even half of that.
If that's something you may want to do at some point, bring it back up and I have some suggestions that may help, at least to imp[rove your current environment.

All in all.... a drastic improvement. You're headed in the right direction, Clark.

In my humble opinion of course.


RemyRAD Fri, 12/21/2012 - 18:12

Donny he got you. Mix five is the old mix. The one I was raving about earlier. Mix number six is the new improved version based upon Chris and your suggestions. And you're simply talking about small mastering changes to make mix five 100% lovely to listen to and commercial. He's trying to emulate your suggestions in mix number six.

My first impressions and gut rarely leave me wrong. That's part of my genius. That's part of what's kept me employed through the years. At least until my businesses collapsed and I can't find any TV work. But that's the times we're living in today. Good one day and gone the next. It's enough to give you motion sickness.

Next number six sounds exactly what I've been hearing for months folks in recent years. Especially with the proliferation of ProTools. Everybody has to have the same plug-ins and used in the same way to get that same sound that they hear everybody else is getting. And so he has conformed to a currently established mixing character of sound. I'm not like that. I've never been like that. I stand apart. His original mix as I said stood apart. And that's mix number five. So I know you and I are very much in tune with one another. So when I initially heard here was somebody that approached their mix quite a bit more like myself and quite a bit more like what I've heard from You (that's a compliment). Much more organic sounding. It flows over you instead of slapping you with it.

And so I initially heard was the same reason why other studios have spent thousands of dollars to bring in acoustic engineers to correct control room monitoring issues and still have been displeased with the outcome. That's when I get brought in. They just want me to listen to it and tell them what's wrong and fix it. And numerous times, I have had to undo what the acoustic engineers that have come in pairs to do and undo it. That's correct though in theory and I know that. This recording came off the same way to me.

Mix number five just immediately leapt into my core and the switch goes click. I immediately heard somebody that hears things and perceives things much in the same way as I do. Though I can understand his desire to be more of a conformist with mixed number six? In that I find it has now a much more similar style of mixing to most of the other good Pro tool like produced contemporary Christian music. And what I felt exactly you and Chris were trying to get him to do. And he was competent enough in his engineering skills to lock that ride up. Which I also personally found duly impressive about his engineering expertise. Clark has it built in. He is still fine tuning his sound and I wanted to encourage him to do so. I could see into his soul that he knew where the focus ring is on his camera. I mean this guy is already an awesome engineer. Another leg puller that is just green enough to be uncertain of his direction. Which is why you posted this here.

As you notice in his response to me, he became defensive about his goals and his perceptions. I felt that you guys were trying to skew that and so we get mix number six. Now he may feel this is better because of the consistency he now hears in his mix of number six in relationship to the other successful contemporary Christian performer. And I would tend to agree with that. Both mixes are equally beautiful, sound first-rate, professionally engineered, produced and executed. Or at least maybe created through divine intervention? Immaculate Conception? Immaculate Perception? What the hell I don't know I'm an atheist?

So obviously... time for more holiday season spiked eggnog. Damn it's after nine I missed the liquor store.
Mx. Remy Ann David

audiokid Fri, 12/21/2012 - 22:26

hehe, I saw Donny # 5 as well and was waiting for you to see that! lol. I'm thinking he made a typo and meant #6 but either way, they both are over compressed ( nothing has really changed) . They are recorded too hot and compressed too much so its irreverent which version. The second mix has a clearer Vox ( slightly) but its still suffering from the same problems which are exactly what we both picked out in 30 sec.

The OP won't be able to make a fast transition on his mixing nor will you, Remy. Of course you are going to like the first mix. I believe your monitoring is less than right as well. I'm sorry to keep going over this, but you aren't making this easy to let go of either. There is nothing below 400 in these tracks worth mentioning. Its dead below this. He's been referencing to youtube and mentioned he used compression on every track, groups and 2-bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never use compression like that with real music. Thats the worst thing you can do. And they are plug-ins to boot!

Your testimonial confirms your room is whacked too, Remy. Don't believe me, okay, what more can we say. ... Where are the mastering engineers around here to help these two lol! ROTF howdy

Anyway, he is going to have to re learn his hearing and that doesn't come overnight, especially in a room with no bass treatment. His ears will tell him to mix like this for a long time to come. But if he grasps the gist, he will thank us for ever. That I'm certain of.

And on that note, I made it to the Liquor Store in time! You guys thrash this one out. Why don't mastering engineers ever chime in on these threads. I find that a bit disturbing.


anonymous Sat, 12/22/2012 - 03:27

hehe, I saw Donny # 5 as well and was waiting for you to see that! lol. I'm thinking he made a typo and meant #6

Yes, it was in fact a typo. I did listen to 6 and that was indeed the one that I commented on.

However, I will give you this because I'm an honest guy: ;)

I went back and listened to 5 after I listened to 6 and it didn't bother me as much as when I first initially heard it. Perhaps it was that the song itself was growing on me, or, maybe it's because this most recent back surgery I had 5 days ago has put the zap on my head and ears. duh

Now....I still think my comments are on par for the last version I heard. I think the mix was lo-mid to bass shy from around 300 and down. Chris says 400, I say 300... close enough for government work.

The vocals still sound thin to me... there's a body and a warmth missing. LOL... maybe he needs a ribbon mic!!

BUT...The vocals do have more clarity than the first mix (mix 5) that I heard, and overall, the entire track isn't as squashed. It does indeed have more of the "space" I was referring to number 5 not having. Not as much as I'd like to hear, but I do hear an improvement.

Now... I'm not claiming my room to be perfect... in fact I know damn well that it's not. But, I have become familiar with it (Remy has mentioned this "familiarity factor" before as a huge thing and I happen to agree with her... again) and I certainly appreciate her kind words in regard to us both for the most part thinking the same as engineers , (that's a great compliment!) and I would wager that we can agree to disagree without losing that respect for one another. And I'm not disputing her knowledge and her dedication and intelligence with the craft.

And with that being said, I still think these songs are good songs and just need a bit of fixing, in the areas that I mentioned.

And one last thing... if I didn't like the music and I didn't think Clark had the potential to do this craft very well.... I would have never commented in the first place. ;)
Helping people that help themselves and who constantly strive to improve what they do, is much more interesting and enticing to me than just being a simple "yes" man and just telling them what they want to hear, or doing the mix for them.

As far as the egg nog, well, no, I haven't started drinking holiday cheer just yet. But you can betcher arse that at some point I'm damn well gonna. :)


jli Sat, 12/22/2012 - 08:42

* in advance please forgive me for any typos/errors or violating "grammar laws".

Hey Clark, James here: I can't believe I've never signed up for this message board yet! I know I've read stuff here before, but I must have mixed it up with one of the other message boards LOL :)

Just to give the guys a little background, I want to give my 2 cents on Clark:

1. 1st album: Clark did a great job of recording arranging and mixing. Everything had "space", and there were neat "subtleties" to the mix. Very little compression was used on it and the levels were fairly low, giving a lot of room for the mastering engineer......Then the guy that mastered it, squashed the ever loving crap out of it, and all the detail that Clark work so hard on was gone! Now part of this is experience on Clark's part too. A seemingly good mix with cheaper preamps that get a lower DR level, can reveal some really strange things as they get compressed/EQ'd/processed....

2. 2nd album: I talked the guy that Clark is doing this for into letting Clark have a crack at mastering it himself....this way Clark can get a better sense of how to better prepare a mix for mastering and have ultimate control over the final product. There is nothing worse IMHO than having your name on something that gets completely altered from what you had intended to the point that it sounds nothing like what you had actually made.... ...This is totally my opinion, but I think mixing and then only having one 'pass' at mastering is no way to learn how to mix... ...unless it turns out great of course!

I think a lot of these guys giving advice to you Clark are steering you on the right track:
What you have going for you:
- You've made a very clear polished sounding mix
- In Majesty Mix 6 I can really heard what's going on with ALL of the instrumentation
- Great arranging, great creativity going on
What is missing:
- The high end (siblance on the vocalist and hihats) is way out of focus from the rest of the mix
- From a frequency point of view, your instruments sound great, but related to the drums, they are sucking the life out of your track (stepping on the lower frequencies that the drums should be in).
- From a frequency point of view, your drums have almost no "thump" (like that youtube video does)
- From a frequency point of view it does have an squashed FM radio sound... which is kind of cool
- From a "spacial" point of view the tracks do sound fairly 2 dimensional compared to that youtube video (not that everything needs to be completely dimensional...but a bit more would be nice)
- From a perceived distance point of view (closest to farthest): Lead VX, Hihat, BGVs and guitars are pretty close together, bass, and last drums...I'm guessing that you probably don't want this song to feature the hihat!
- Because these tracks do sound pretty squashed or almost "mastered", I think that what you are hoping to fix in mastering will actually make more problems for you in the end.

Unfortunately, getting that extra 10%-20% improvement, I think you need to redo the methodology of the way you mix from the ground up... ...I will outline for you somethings that I have found helpful when mixing.... ...although I'm sure lots of guys make great mixes without doing all or any of these things:

* while doing this, it is a going idea to put a mastering limiter on the master bus to get an idea of what will happen in mastering. Waves L1 (1ms) or George Yeohng W1 (2ms) at 3-5 db is a good starting point. Between each step, turn off the limiter to make sure that nothing "poking out" too far in the mix and eating up most of the gain reduction from the limiter.

1. "Clean" your waveforms as best as possible:
- solo each track with not FX and remove any pops or clicks
- look for portions that a fair bit of difference in volume - make "cuts" on either side and adjust the volume to be more even. This will give you the ability to back off the compressors if you want to. Also be mindful not to make your waveforms SO even that you do not have any dynamics between the loud and quiet parts of the song.

2. Get the routing on your drums setup and start setting up the eq/compression chain:
- The great news is that EZD has done most of the work for you....I would get the kick to thump a little better by using BootEQMII; turn on the tube emulation and turn up the drive knob. You might also want to cut some highs and maybe even some mids in the kick.
- I would do the same thing for the hihat too to tame it.
- Send your Overheads and Room to a Group called "Drum Room" and then send that group and all your other drums to a Group called "Drums Bus".
- To get that modern drum sound (like on the youtube example) you need to learn how to use 1176 style compression in parallel.
- Put the Stillwell rocket on the drum room and set the attack times to either med-long or to subtly "pump to the beat" (you can google on how to calculate bpm to milliseconds etc.) I like to set the attack to a 32nd note and the release to an 8th or 16th most of the time.
- Keep an eye on your gain reduction: you want the needle to hit about 7db to start.
- For more drastic room sounds you can use more, but the room mics will also be going through the drums bus and get compressed wait until you get everything setup to play around with it.
- You can use the ratio and threshold to change the "density" of the sound...
- First put Waves VEQ 3 or 4 on the drums bus or Stillwell 1973. Roll off everything below 40Hz.
- You may need to make EQ adjustments here to make everything "fit" as you add other instruments
- After the EQ in the chain, put the Stillwell Rocket on the drums bus.
- We are going to do parallel compression here and you can do it 1 of 2 ways with the Rocket.....

A. Smash the ever loving crap out of the drums so that it pumps to the beat and the turn the parrallel knob so that the uncompressed sign is only coming through. then slowly start turning the parallel knob back to introduce the smashed sound in. You will probably end up somewhere between "1-3 O'clock" on the knob.

B. only use 7db of gain reduction at a ratio of 4 (maybe sometimes 8). You can either have a mid/long attack and release or set it to the beat (I prefer it to the beat). Make sure that your kick and snare are drum are causing the same amount of db reduction. If the kick is causing more db reduction, turn up the SC filter knob until they are even. If the snare is causing more db reduction, turn it down in the mix a bit.... turn the parallel knob somewhere between 9 and 11 O'clock to taste.

*For steps 3-6, start by doing this with the bass (mute the instruments and vx). Reference the drums and bass to a pro mix (listen carefully as you add other instruments too), then mix the instruments in and reference to a pro mix. Use a stereo widener to gently widen the instruments before you add the VX (do not use the Waves one, it's really "smeary"). I like the Bluetoobs one or even the T-Rack Classic comp stereo widening knob (set the ratio of 1:1 and the SC fully engaged)

3. Reductive EQ (BTW there is a great thread on GS about this right now...):
- Put a good analyzer in the last slot of each audio track. BTW PAZ is set by default to only go down to 40hz because a lot of mastering places are rolling everything off below that to help get the tracks louder. You can set PAZ to go lower.....
- put a really generic EQ on the the first plugin slot. I like the Waves 6 band, but anything not too colored will do.
- Find what ever is sticking out too much in the low mids with your ears AND the analyzer and make the appropriate cuts (if you are editing the Bass guitar, you shouldn't need to do much of's more for all the other instruments).
- You will notice the mids to higher mids will start sounding funny, so your will have to start reductive EQing these too.
- As you add more instruments, you may need to go back and revisit this. One last thing; this is a good time to roll off any low end that is not needed

4. First Compressor:
- Instead of doing ALL your compression at once, do it lightly in stages.
- You may want to pick a more transparent compressor, or generic here, like a VCA style, but the H comp or other "flavored" comps can be used, depending on the instrument.
- Your ratio should be 2-4, and you should be aiming for 1-6 db of gain reduction (probably closer to 3).
- Attack and release varies by instrument.
- Keep in mind that adjusting the attack and release will also adjust the db of gain reduction, so you have to go back to the threshold know if you adjust attack/release setting.

* the next steps may either go on each track directly and/or in grouped tracks ( example Electric guitars group, a general instruments group...)

5. "Channel Strip" EQ:
- this is where you want some add some "mojo" to the sound, by inserting Waves VEQ or Waves SSL or BootEQMKII.... you get the idea.
- I'm not going to say much here, because it completely depends on the instrument/EQ choices.... ....don't be afraid to make boosts with this EQ.

6. 2nd Compressor:
- I usually use this on grouped tracks.
- This is either the gluing compression or a "mojo" compression.
- Waves CLA comps work great here and you can use a fair bit of Gain reduction with them.
- If I use other compressors here, I use a slow attack, a ratio of 2-4 and usually want to use the compressor like a glue to "kiss the GR needle" 1db of gain reduction (in rare circumstances no more than 3db).
- You CAN use another VCA or generic compressor here if you are using the light "glue" method.
- Listen carefully to make sure that you don't hear any pumping if you are going for the "glue" technique.
- Comps with an SC filter knob can be helpful for this.

* The Master Bus

7. Insert an EQ in the first slot.
- Either a clean high end console like the Waves SSL EQ or something really generic.
- You can make small adjustment to the overall EQ, but you shouldn't need to at this point.

8. Insert a Summing compressor.
- Use the technique similar to the 2nd compressor stage.
- I believe the Waves SSL settings recommended by CLA is 4:1, 30ms attack, auto release, make sure you push the make up vol a bit, and get the comp to barely kiss the needle.
- Toggle it on and off: you should not be able to detect any pumping!

9. Master limiter:
- You've already had this on from the beginning.
- Make a mixdown and run it through the TT-DR meter.
- If the DR is 7-9. you are done for now.... don't even bother a separate mastering stage if it sounds "good" compared to pro mixes on every stereo you run it through.
- If your DR is less than 6, call up Metallica, because you will be their next engineer....:eek:...or reduce the amount of master limiting.
- If you are below DR 10 for modern christian pop, you need to go back and do more reductive EQing and retweek everything down the chain
- If you aren't using Waves L1, you may want to consider using a dither plugin also..
- AGAIN double check to make sure that if the Master Limiter and Mass compression are off, nothing is "poking" out too much.

Piece of cake....smoke...sorta. The best piece of advice that I have heard is to trust your ears. If anything I described above makes something sound awful....don't do it!

jli Sat, 12/22/2012 - 08:50

One last thing....
I like to use 3-4 FX Auxs

1. Vocal Delay. Make sure EQ some of the high and low end off...Darker sounding delays make the vocal sound bigger
2. A quick stereo delay: 1 tap on the left and 1 tap on the right at separate times to simulate early reflections. EQ some of the high and low end off...
3. A Reverb that suits the song....usually EQ'd as well
4. Sometimes BG vocal doubler using the Antares plugin....Again EQ'd

audiokid Sat, 12/22/2012 - 09:28

Good response!

Yup, pretty much everything I was thinking except I wouldn't be using so much plug-in compression, especially in music like this. Drums for sure though! But I might even replace them or combine the kick with a sample. They need some thumping and attitude! But I'm hybrid also and have moved away from the ITB digital techniques that I used to do . I find plug-in compression smears everything so by the time its OTB where the juice and magic happens, its been killed. I can pick that sound out right away, at least when its over used like it is in these tracks. I call it the pro tools sound or the curse. I've destroyed many transient rich mixes in the early days from over using plug-in compression. Dance music, different story.
I think of DAWs now in a more clinical way so I embrace the brilliant and fast response tools and stay clear of the simulators and so called flavour plug-ins. Everything else you mention is spot on to what I would do. !!! Wow, great advice rolling in on this thread.

Choice suggestion on the limiter on the mastering end while mixing (Fabfilter Pro L rocks too, check that out). Running a Limiter on the master bus is what I do but I use a second DAW to capture my mix, and this is because I'm already in analog at this stage so it makes more sense to do this for me. I don't do any SRC on the mixing daw. seems to sound better to my ears. The limiter is sitting on the second DAW and my monitoring is set up to hear every stage I select of the mix right to the second DAW being finished for online. So I hear "near" exact to what it will sound like online. A Dangerous Monitor ST rocks for this! Just some extra alternatives I though I would share.

I would go to a commercial ceiling and grid (T-Bar) tile shop and buy those acoustic tiles and put them in the corners and above you asap. You can buy these in 12 or 24 packs x 2x4 or 2x5 sheets for around $200 a box. They work awesome as bass traps (double up). Google diy bass traps. Check out Real Traps online for why. Ethan Winer is a brilliant resource for this. I use 13 of his traps but you can make them for fraction of the cost using those tiles. Northern Health is using these in all there new offices. If you need to see what they look like or sound like, check them out in Saskatoon.

Nice response indeed, that took a lot of time to lay out. Welcome to our community, jli!

I'm excited to hear the remix and more from everyone else here. Love this new Track Talk forum!

audiokid Sat, 12/22/2012 - 11:40

Hey, I see you are from Regina! I grew there, well partly, then moved west. Lived around Lakeview, Angus Blvd to be exact. Went to Davin. Love the summers. Is The Darke Hall still alive? Music Box? hmm, what else... The concerts at Wascana Park in the summers. Man, were they great! That was a long time ago. 1970's

ClarkJaman Sat, 12/22/2012 - 14:00

Why go to a recording school when I can come here and get all this instruction? Lol this is awesome. Thanks for that long post James. James is completely responsible for getting me into recording, lol. He sold me my first two mics and showed me how to use Cubase on an old Toshiba laptop a few years ago.

I kinda got forced into upgrading my DAW yesterday, so I'm mostly preoccupied with trying to figure out all the ins and outs of Cubase 7 right now. But I can't wait to put all this into practice!

jli Sun, 12/23/2012 - 04:32

audiokid, post: 398087 wrote: Hey, I see you are from Regina! I grew there, well partly, then moved west. Lived around Lakeview, Angus Blvd to be exact. Went to Davin. Love the summers. Is The Darke Hall still alive? Music Box? hmm, what else... The concerts at Wascana Park in the summers. Man, were they great! That was a long time ago. 1970's

Music Box was bought out by Long and Mcquade 20 years ago, and I'm pretty sure Darke Hall is still kicking, but I haven't been out that way in a long time. The summers are great, but waaay too short.

anonymous Tue, 12/25/2012 - 05:05

That's why I didn't go to no recording school.

I'm studying English literature at a real university

LOL... sorry Clark... couldn't resist... It's just that I found these two statements together to be hilarious...

"I didn't go to NO recording school"

"I'm studying English..."

Sorry, man...I certainly mean no personal offense. None is intended. The truth is that I tried to ignore this, I really did. But, in the end, I just couldn't help it. ;)

FWIW, I was an English Major at Kent State University, which pretty much meant that I spent my days studying girls, cannabis, beer and billiards in the Student Union building. ;)