Would love to hear any feedback at all on our mix! Please be brutally honest!
f y’all are interested, this is a song I initially wrote when I was 16 years old and played in my middle school band. I’m 33 now and my drummer heard the song and wanted to revive it. Interestingly enough, the original version of this song won 3rd place in the VH1 School of Rock Battle of the Bands contest! (Each of the band members won School of Rock DVD’s and Ipods), So here it is… Enjoy!
It's a pretty solid song but it seems to need a little work on the mix. I've only listened on headphones (HD280 Pro), but it has that "mixed by the guitarist" feel to it. I want to hear stronger drums and vocal. Even the bass seems a bit thin, and these headphones tend to have pretty strong low end so if I'm not hearing bass (frequencies) they're probably not there. The guitar seems both too up front and too carved down tonally. I like the idea of the synth part but the tuning felt weird to me. On the vocal, I'm wanting to add some kind of space, not some blatant reverb but a subtle slapback delay or something. The pop side of the genre definitely warrants the vocals not being buried.
The mix is terrible and there are some issues with the performances as well. -- BUT - it's actually a cool song and I can "hear" exactly how I'd want this to sound if I was mixing and producing it - I do think you could definitely do something with it. I think the first thing you guys need are one or two reference mixes to guide you. Find a song or songs you like the sound of the mix that are similar in style -- and try to replicate what you hear in those mixes with this. Maybe post them here and people can help you zero in on how to get closer to those mixes. I just think you are mixing blind but as soon as you identify a reference mix your next attempt at this will be immediately better.
Thanks @bouldersound ! Would you mind taking a listen to the newest iteration of our mix? (I replaced the old one) I added some more compression to the drums and lowered the guitars significantly. I added some more saturation to the synth which may have helped with the tuning issue you were hearing. I also added some slapback delay to the vocals at the prechorus. Thanks again for all your feedback! It was gold!
@DogsoverLava thanks for the feedback! I did ask for brutal honesty so thanks haha. Very good point about referencing, I actually ended up mostly referencing Green day's "When I come around" which I think was a good fit. If you wouldn't mind listening to the new version (replaced the old one) and letting me know what you think I'd appreciate it!
Vocals are still quite stuffed nasal to me - Like you have a deviated septum and are singing up in your nasal cavity - which gives them a heavy low-mid-range EQ wise. They are also a little bit too loud in the verses. I'd drop them by at least a DB there - I'd also consider double tracking them or making them a tiny bit wet. Your background vocals need to be really tight - you want them much more on point (and sync so they start an finish in unison) and a little more energetic. Back to the main vocal -- when you sing "Wonder Why" you really need to sell that -you've got some dramatic moments in this song you need to really let the drama unleash here. I'd also look at your panned double tracked guitars etc -- sounds like you used the same guitar and amp settings for them. You're not getting enough distinction between them and it makes your tracks less full (say compared to the green day track). Try different amp/guitar settings - different EQ 's,,.
Still really liking the song - I really like the arrangement and some of the fun stuff you did with the BG vocals - I'd like to see you really track these vocals with a new commitment if possible - see if you can coax out a better performance - but the mix is better for sure.