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Please Critique

Hey everybody, this is my first post but I read the forums all the time. Please let me know what you think of this recording:
It's the first song (BHC Sample)-- should start playing automaticly.
This is one my first serious recording projects and my very first that will actually be released. It's just a 30 second sample, but please let me know what you think. I plan on gating the toms because there's a ton of leakage from the cymbols...
Mod critiques would be greatly appreciated.



stickers Tue, 05/16/2006 - 11:23
Well, its not gay. see tube screamer post. Maybe try automating the toms. I like have a littel bit of the beefs up the drums a bit. But yeah leaving the toms up in the mix while they are not playing can muddy it up...try bringing them down 6 db when not being hit and then put em when they are being hit.

I like the drums though nice and full,,the verb works IMO but i think there's too much of it. The snare needs more snap-crack or snare sound. I know a lot of snare are having that sound you got on the recording but that a little over kill for that particular snare sound. The guitars need more body. They seem a little to scooped.

That being said it sounds pretty nice. good job.

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/16/2006 - 15:02
Thanks for the tips, Stickers... I'm doing everything computer free, so maybe I'll gate the toms and mix in a little of the ungated toms for the same effect as automating them?
As far as the guitars, I'll mess with them some... I've been having trouble with them masking the kick-- they're playing in drop C. :roll:
Anywho, thanks man...

Anybody else have and ideas????

RemyRAD Tue, 05/16/2006 - 22:37
FistRock, first let me begin by saying, I think your handle "FistRock" sounds just a little too sexually kinky for me?

Now regarding your recording, I like the way you cut your vocals. I thought they sounded quite good.

The drums..... The drums..... What can I say? I think you're paying too much attention to trying to control " leakage"? You're not paying enough attention to the way the drums sound. You have taken out all of the life from the drums and they don't even really sound like a cohesive drum set anymore. Stop it! If you are truly worried about leakage, try some DEPENDS! You need to put the drums into a space and I don't mean a dead closet like they currently sound like. They need to open up!

The guitars were "ratty" sounding, i.e. not flattering. Big, loud, crummy. The guitars lacked the huge fat warmth I think you were trying for?

The bass guitar was, well, too "bassy" as it did not sit up and pop through the mix. All I heard was a little flabby bassy background. A little extra boost in the midrange, a little rolloff in the low-end and perhaps some limiting would improve that?

So what to do with the drum set?? I can safely say it did not sound like I heard any SM57s or MD421s anywhere on the drums? I think you're using somebody else's idea of drum microphones or you are fiddling with too much equalization?? Stop it! It's either that or you mixed the entire thing on Yamaha NS10s??? Maybe that's why I thought most everything sounded rather muddy, except for the vocal?? NS10s are so bright! I can't mix on those things. I don't even like them.

Your guitars are probably competing with your bass drum because you're not bandwidth limiting the guitars. So perhaps you should rolloff some bottom and some top to put the guitars in their own "space" without competing with the drums? After all guitars do not require a full frequency response spectrum. Gating is tricky and if you really want to gate your toms, make sure they sound good before you gate them because the gate will take off some of the attack and they will get lost so you may even need to add a little additional upper midrange boost?

Although your music and songs are conceptually good, it sounds to me like you have not been listening to other well-established bands and their associated engineers? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so it would not be a bad idea to try and find some other reputable group with a sound that you would like to emulate. Listen to that CD carefully and use it as a reference when you begin your mix again. The idea is to make your stuff sound like that stuff.

Enough is a stuff
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 05/17/2006 - 09:39
Remy, thanks for the reply... It hurt a little, but I think it's going to help in the long run. I defintely agree about the guitar sounds... I think all around I got a little carried away with the EQ. I will definately try your ideas on bass and guitars. BTW, drums were D112 on kick, 57 on snare, 421s on toms. But again, probably not EQ'ed too well? They actually sound good by themselves, but who knows what I did to try and get them to fight w/ the guitars a little less.
Thanks for the tough love,
P.S. And I'm monitoring on Bose 4001's (not monitors at all), so that might be a factor as well.

BobRogers Wed, 05/17/2006 - 12:10
I agree with Remy that the eq on just about everything is too scooped for my taste. I know that is a tendency in this genre, but you are overdoing it in my opinion. New monitors would change the way you eq, but of course you can learn to use what you have. I think that if you eq the toms better cymbal bleed won't be a problem. Boost the low mids on the bass and cut the true bass frequencies.

Another issue that's more a matter of taste. I don't like the use of the hard left and the hard right for the guitars. Seem artificial to me.

Overall it's a good effort. Cheers!

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 05/17/2006 - 15:06
Hey, I think the vocals are the best point of the clip i heard. Very crisp and clear, cutting through the mix pretty well.

The drums sound very small IMO. They blend in with the bass and guitars too much which is a problem, and a problem that i face too often when recording. It's most likely an EQing issue that can be fixed up by turning some knobs, but it's also something that would help to be fixed up in tracking which is kind of too late now.

Pretty much Remy hit the nail on the head with everything!

God job though! I'd like to hear more stuff in the future.


RemyRAD Wed, 05/17/2006 - 22:10
FistRock, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings but my goodness, you used all of the microphones that are my first choice on drums! You completely faked out my ears! Not many people can do that to me.

Yes, I think you are fiddling way too much with your equalization as those microphones sound pretty fantastic on drums without any equalization! But I do think you are on the right track (yes I know another pun by me). Now, if you did not record all of that awful equalization on the drums while you recorded them, I would imagine they sound pretty bitchin' in the raw tracks that will allow you to remix with much better results? I hope? I would like to hear another mix from you.

I think your biggest problem is the Bose speakers? I hate Bose speakers! (Of course speakers are like underwear except that you don't change them as often and they are highly personal) They might be fine for home stereo use (not in my house!) but certainly no place in a studio. I could go into all of the technical reasons why I don't like them and I will if I am pressed to explain why. I would rather mix on a boombox from RadioShaft as I believe that would give you much better results, than Bose speakers? Another reason why most professional engineers like to use more than one pair of speakers as references. Many of us even run out to our cars to check our mixes! It sounds even better when you do the drive-through at McDonald's!

I'll take a quarter pounder with Neumann's
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 05/22/2006 - 11:11
Thanks for all the replies... Remy, no hard feelings. I always respect what you have to say in your posts. I'm just glad I didn't get a bunch people saying, "you suck... give up!"
But I'm applying everyone's tips (I flattened out the eq a lot) and it's sounding a lot better. I do wish I had some better monitors. This post bumped monitors up to the top of my "next thing to buy" list.
I'll put up a newer mix when I get a chance, but we're not even done tracking vox yet. Anyway, I'm determined to make this sound as good as I can, so I'll be asking for everybody's help again soon.
BTW, I'm sure this has been covered but can anyone recommend some decent monitors for less than 3 or 4 hundred bucks?
Thanks again,