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Mix/master advice

Hello,

it's been a long time since I have posted in this forum. Hope everybody is well.

I'm still working on my album but I'm getting close with the release sometime in june and I need some fresh set of critical ears.
Here is the latest version of the title track and though I'm quite happy with it, I lack the proper monitoring facilities to make the final judgement.
So please listen to my song and tell me if there is something awkward or off-sounding or if it is okay the way it is.

Thanks!
Michael

[MEDIA=soundcloud]ouzo77/new-horizon-210325-1/s-jRfid5geZBl[/MEDIA]

Comments

Profile picture for user DogsoverLava
Member for
7 years

DogsoverLava Thu, 03/25/2021 - 09:33

You might get a better critique if you uploaded an MP3 - I liked it a lot but Soundcloud doesn't offer the fidelity I think others would need to dig into this.

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DogsoverLava Thu, 03/25/2021 - 11:03

ouzo77, post: 468297, member: 27807 wrote:
Okay, thank you. Here it is as an MP3.
 

cool - I'll listen later tonight when I get back to my space.

Profile picture for user bouldersound
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11 years 4 months

bouldersound Thu, 03/25/2021 - 13:27

I think it sounds basically correct in terms of tones and mix. The overall dynamics are quite flat, but that's actually normal for the genre. The one thing I'd look at is the True Peak value. It's hitting +0.7dB, which might make it sound harsh on some playback systems. If you can get it to -1 it should be less prone to problems when converted to lossy compressed formats for streaming.

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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15 years 5 months

ouzo77 Thu, 03/25/2021 - 14:21

Thank you, that‘s exactly the advice I was looking for. I‘ll look into the TPL issues. I do have the Sonnox Limiter which can show these problems but I haven‘t used it for some time. I guess I will do so now.

About the dynamics, I‘m a bit torn. On one hand I like dynamics and would like to have them in my mixes, on the other hand I do want to compete level-wise to a certain degree.

bouldersound, post: 468301, member: 38959 wrote:
I think it sounds basically correct in terms of tones and mix. The overall dynamics are quite flat, but that's actually normal for the genre. The one thing I'd look at is the True Peak value. It's hitting +0.7dB, which might make it sound harsh on some playback systems. If you can get it to -1 it should be less prone to problems when converted to lossy compressed formats for streaming.

Profile picture for user bouldersound
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bouldersound Thu, 03/25/2021 - 15:13

It just occurred to me that the high True Peak might not be a problem on streaming platforms that normalize to some lower LUFS level, like the typical 14 LUFS, because you'll have about 8dB of headroom. It might still be a problem for people who put the song on their phone or some other player, especially if they rip it to a lossy format like mp3.

Profile picture for user Davedog
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19 years 6 months

Davedog Fri, 03/26/2021 - 12:55

Love me some Prog...
That being said...Do you have access to the verb on the snare or on the entire kit if there is one? I think if you mess around a bit with a HPF on the REVERB on the kit a little clarity will happen. By the same token I would suggest a global 2K adjustment on the kit in its bus(if there is one) I'd like to hear more of the stick tips on the hits.....everywhere. Nothing else. HPF adjustment on the vocal verb. AND if it's a different verb than the instrumental body it will help. I'd also like to hear ...just a bit more what the little answer vocal is to the main line....it's so buried that it's almost irritating to try to catch it. Maybe turn it into a telephone speaker thing??? I don't know...just something that makes it audible....I don't think its a volume thing and I get what you're going for..I just don't think you're quite there with the effect.

Otherwise this is kinda great. Nice voice and the guitars are nice an fluid and large. You could define the bass a touch...but thats just me.

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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ouzo77 Fri, 03/26/2021 - 14:31

Davedog, post: 468318, member: 4495 wrote:
Love me some Prog...
That being said...Do you have ...

Thank you Dave.

I have access to every track and effect.
I see want you mean and I agree.
Somehow I feel like there‘s a cloud over the sound although it is quite bright.
And the drums get buried a bit.

What I did now is, that I reset my busses and a few tracks and started to sculpt some sounds from scratch. Especially the drums. I got to check it in my car tomorrow and if it‘s better I will post it here. I think I‘ve already covered some of your suggestions.

But I need a break now. Can‘t make any decisions cause I listened to it too much the last few days.

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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15 years 5 months

ouzo77 Fri, 03/26/2021 - 14:33

bouldersound, post: 468323, member: 38959 wrote:
This is what my LUFS meter is showing:

 

Is this from the last file I‘ve uploaded? That‘s strange, because Sonnox Limiter and SPL Hawkeye showed true peaks below 0.

Anyway, I will upload another mix tomorrow.
Thanks.

Profile picture for user bouldersound
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11 years 4 months

bouldersound Fri, 03/26/2021 - 15:06

ouzo77, post: 468329, member: 27807 wrote:
Is this from the last file I‘ve uploaded? That‘s strange, because Sonnox Limiter and SPL Hawkeye showed true peaks below 0.

Anyway, I will upload another mix tomorrow.
Thanks.

Yes, most recent version. The YouLean LUFS meter is free, so you could have them all running and compare. The meters in my DAW (Vegas Pro 14) showed +0.6dB peaks.

[Edit] It might have something to do with converting to mp3 format.

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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ouzo77 Mon, 03/29/2021 - 06:32

So, I finally had the chance to adjust some things.

I went back to my original mix and tweaked a few things and tried to incorporate Dave's suggestions.
There are probably still peaks over 0, but I didn't really pay attention to that for now.
 

Attached files

01-01 New Horizon 210329-2.mp3 (11 MB) 

Profile picture for user Davedog
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Davedog Mon, 03/29/2021 - 08:58

WAY clearer already. It's really good. Could it be better? Are you to the point where you want to abandon it yet? All good questions.

For a reference listen to Aldenfield-Light Of Day... Guitar and keys driven Prog. Big voices and time changes.

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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15 years 5 months

ouzo77 Mon, 03/29/2021 - 11:54

Thank you, Dave.

Could it be better? Sure.
Can I make it better? Maybe.
But for now I leave it at that and use this as a template for my other songs. Then I can still decide if I want to change something.

I‘ll check Aldenfield.

Profile picture for user DogsoverLava
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7 years

DogsoverLava Mon, 03/29/2021 - 11:55

I liked it -- though I too found the levels just a little too hot for me. Good clarity and balance - I could hear everything and the cohesion was really good - a very mature work that knows what it is and what it wants to be. I would have maybe liked a bit more warmth in the breakdown in the middle (around 2:30) I just wanted more of a sonic hug there.... . The bridge to fade really rocked hard - that really worked for me. Really glad you brought this here.

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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15 years 5 months

ouzo77 Mon, 03/29/2021 - 12:53

Thank you. Good point with the middle part. It should come down a bit and maybe I will try something atmospheric, like a pad or so.

Profile picture for user pcrecord
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8 years 4 months

pcrecord Tue, 03/30/2021 - 15:48

I like the song ! Powerfull..

I hear some phasing in the cymbals specially the hi-hat.. Was it a creative decision ?
If not, I'd check the drum track alignment or that could be due to over limiting.. Or the MP3 encoding...
For a CD, the very max I would go is -8 LUFS, for streaming -13 LUFS.
Limiting less will leave more transients and punch in place.. I'm sure you are not against that !! ;)

Profile picture for user ouzo77
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15 years 5 months

ouzo77 Sun, 04/11/2021 - 15:34

Sorry for my late reply. I didn't see your post before.
Thank you!
I guess the phasing is from limiting. I backed down on the bus and the master limiters in general and applied some clipping instead. I think it sounds way more transparent and consistent.
I'm somewhere around -7 to -8 LUFS. I will leave it at that also for streaming, because it loses the density I like, when it's not hitting the limiter and clipper hard enough. So I'll leave it to Spotify/Apple to lower the loudness.

Here is my latest version. There should also be no more ISPs. I will listen to it again tomorrow and if there are no issues I will release this as the first single on the streaming platforms next week.

Thank you all so far for the input. Please don't hesitate, if you think something's off.

 

Attached files

01-01 New Horizon 210411-4.mp3 (10.8 MB) 

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