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Overtime: mix critique

New lead vocalist ... who happens to be my drummer's brother in law - and they're both neighbors of mine ... also laid this vocal down the other night - at the same time he did "Brown Haired Girl".

Apologies in advance for the keyboard sax. It's a concept idea, and we are friends with Chris Beaudry, a Jazz Saxophonist originally out of our town, now playing with the Jazz greats in NYC. I'm his mom's insurance agent.

Anyways, he's going to come and fill in that part with "NOT" keyboard sax. We might have him take over the middle lead section too. Reminds me, though. I have got to get in touch w/ his Mom.

As always, ANY/ALL comments warmly appreciated. I know the folks here hear with learned ears.

 

  • 463153=19370-Overtime.mp3

Comments

DogsoverLava Wed, 01/15/2020 - 08:37

Hey Kevin - another cool & creative one - you've been on a roll. A few thoughts with my make believe producers cap on.

I'd put a light to medium tremolo on the organ (synth) on the right side - especially in the sections right after the verse (around 1:00 & 1:30) - those chord are a bit flat, and I might try to make the guitar attack more in those little lead and then later the solo sections - not quite SRV / Bowie (Stevie Ray) but similar - I think the song would benefit from that extra guitar "attack"... The bridge section at 3:00 is cool but he two guitar parts are bumping into each other. I'd retrack the guitar on the right side an add more delay and palm muting and let it be the main guitar part for that section (make it responsible for the time and feel of that section) , then on the left guitar side I'd float some simple guitar lines - three or four note lines like brush strokes with a gentle lead (Not the style I recommended earlier).

I like La La sections in songs --- but I wouldn't have the BG vocals do the same A-la-la's ----- I'd have them them doing something in contrast (but still "la la 's") - Like descending chord tones in 2 half notes followed by a whole note, or have him do a harmony overdub on his vocal, and the BG vocals do a little line in lush harmony as a response.... I'd be looking for more commitment from those BG vocals either way - Singing "la la la" is tough to pull off - you really need to support your lead singer so he's not so naked here.

I like this song too. I think this one will be pretty cool when the sax comes in proper because I can hear what you want to do

kmetal Wed, 01/15/2020 - 12:21

i like the syncopation between sax and the other instruments. Its a bit loud in level. Im not sure about the snare sound, its a bit snappy imho. Maybe something with a lot more body on the low and low mids?

Id consider heavier compression on the lead vocals. Maybe even a slight doubler effect on this one.

I think the BG vocals could use some more body maybe more air and less mids? Something doesnt feel just right to me with them.

It has a cool police style feel to the song.

bouldersound Wed, 01/15/2020 - 12:47

It would be nice to hear a mix with some headroom. I don't know if that would mean skipping the mastering process or just mixing without hitting 0dBFS. It's hitting +2dBFS on my main mix meter and +2.2dB true peak on the Youlean meter.

The kick has a bit too much beach ball high end to it for my taste.

The BVs sound out of tune. I don't have the world's best sense of pitch so I could be wrong.

There's plenty of good stuff going on. It's not far from being a really solid recording.

kevinwhitect Thu, 01/16/2020 - 05:30

DogsoverLava, post: 463181, member: 48175 wrote: Hey Kevin - another cool & creative one - you've been on a roll. A few thoughts with my make believe producers cap on.

I'd put a light to medium tremolo on the organ (synth) on the right side - especially in the sections right after the verse (around 1:00 & 1:30) - those chord are a bit flat, and I might try to make the guitar attack more in those little lead and then later the solo sections - not quite SRV / Bowie (Stevie Ray) but similar - I think the song would benefit from that extra guitar "attack"... The bridge section at 3:00 is cool but he two guitar parts are bumping into each other. I'd retrack the guitar on the right side an add more delay and palm muting and let it be the main guitar part for that section (make it responsible for the time and feel of that section) , then on the left guitar side I'd float some simple guitar lines - three or four note lines like brush strokes with a gentle lead (Not the style I recommended earlier).

I like La La sections in songs --- but I wouldn't have the BG vocals do the same A-la-la's ----- I'd have them them doing something in contrast (but still "la la 's") - Like descending chord tones in 2 half notes followed by a whole note, or have him do a harmony overdub on his vocal, and the BG vocals do a little line in lush harmony as a response.... I'd be looking for more commitment from those BG vocals either way - Singing "la la la" is tough to pull off - you really need to support your lead singer so he's not so naked here.

I like this song too. I think this one will be pretty cool when the sax comes in proper because I can hear what you want to do

Good suggestions. I will experiment with them all. Thanks guy!!

kmetal, post: 463185, member: 37533 wrote: i like the syncopation between sax and the other instruments. Its a bit loud in level. Im not sure about the snare sound, its a bit snappy imho. Maybe something with a lot more body on the low and low mids?

Id consider heavier compression on the lead vocals. Maybe even a slight doubler effect on this one.

I think the BG vocals could use some more body maybe more air and less mids? Something doesnt feel just right to me with them.

It has a cool police style feel to the song.

Funny note: I changed the snare to a snappier sound FROM the lower body resonance. I also think you put your finger on a problem that bothered me about the BGVs. They're a little too fat. Mind you, they're not really BGVs as they're foreground melody as of that point in choral/ensemble fashion, but they're a little too dominant in the midrange in kind of an overly "rotund" mid-frequency range. I'm still working on the lead vocal "sound" and have already trimmed the feedback on the delay back quite a bit. Good thought on the doubler, and I will experiment with that. Thanks for the thoughts!

bouldersound, post: 463187, member: 38959 wrote: It would be nice to hear a mix with some headroom. I don't know if that would mean skipping the mastering process or just mixing without hitting 0dBFS. It's hitting +2dBFS on my main mix meter and +2.2dB true peak on the Youlean meter.

The kick has a bit too much beach ball high end to it for my taste.

The BVs sound out of tune. I don't have the world's best sense of pitch so I could be wrong.

There's plenty of good stuff going on. It's not far from being a really solid recording.

Still WAY out on final mix, but absolutely will reference your mention on the kick. Levels will be attended to later also. This is sort of quick out of the box mastering.

We've not yet completely nailed down the content/arrangement. You hit on a quite salient note regarding the BVs, and it goes to the heart of "intent". They're not precision perfect, but I sort of wanted them to lean towards "crowd song" ... in an "everyman" way ... singing:

Someday I'd like
To just settle down
Relax, take a breath
And just look around
Enjoy the fresh air
Without a worry or care
I know it's in reach ..............

Then the protagonist, lamenting how much he has to work to survive, returns: "... and I want it so bad that I can taste it ..."

Does that require "pitch perfect"? Does it sound "off" as "crowd song"?

Good thoughts, bud. Thank you.

bouldersound Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:57

kevinwhitect, post: 463191, member: 11453 wrote: This is sort of quick out of the box mastering.

I'd rather have it not mastered at all, or just peak normalized to -1dBFS. Then I don't have to try to guess what it might be like without all the clipping.

To get away with a crowd effect I think you'll need to add more takes of the BVs so it sounds more like an actual crowd.

LarryQualm2 Sat, 01/18/2020 - 00:06

Overall not bad at all! The first thing I did noticed was the snare seems too close and doesn't match the song space. The bass seems like it needs to be "bigger" - it's a little too thin, I think. The overall mix could use some more compression - naturally this would come with mastering, but to me it just seems that it needs some more prior to this step. Your lead singing projects a good deal of power and it would probably sound even better with a little more tape saturation on it. Like the previous post: Way too "beach ball" on the kick.

I think it would really sound EVEN BETTER with these "corrections". :)

(y)

kevinwhitect Sat, 01/18/2020 - 05:47

bouldersound, post: 463204, member: 38959 wrote: I'd rather have it not mastered at all, or just peak normalized to -1dBFS. Then I don't have to try to guess what it might be like without all the clipping.

To get away with a crowd effect I think you'll need to add more takes of the BVs so it sounds more like an actual crowd.

When the time comes, I reach out for professional ears. This sort of "preset box mastering" is no match for a person that knows what they're doing. It's funny you mention "get more people" ... because I was thinking of adding females to the crowd. Thanks for the thoughts, bud!

eternalsound, post: 463206, member: 48927 wrote: Overall not bad at all! The first thing I did noticed was the snare seems too close and doesn't match the song space. The bass seems like it needs to be "bigger" - it's a little too thin, I think. The overall mix could use some more compression - naturally this would come with mastering, but to me it just seems that it needs some more prior to this step. Your lead singing projects a good deal of power and it would probably sound even better with a little more tape saturation on it. Like the previous post: Way too "beach ball" on the kick.

I think it would really sound EVEN BETTER with these "corrections". :)

(y)

Yep. Good thoughts, all. I'm still working on this mix, and thank you for lending your ears and suggestions. I will take note when I lift the hood on this again.

x

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