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What's her name - new mix

@DonnyThompson @Chris @pcrecord

Hi Guys,

Per suggestions and comments, here is a new mix. I am working on new songs, but I just felt like knocking this one on the head, while I was in the mood. Bass has been tightened, voice fixed, over all mix redone. As usual all comments welcome :).

Tony

[MEDIA=soundcloud]tony-carpenter-1/whats-her-name-all-fixes[/MEDIA]

Comments

pcrecord Mon, 03/02/2015 - 13:57

Hi Tony, thanks for posting your song. Takes courage and open mind ! ;)

You don't really say on which subjects you'd like comments on, compo, arrangement, recording, mixing ...

Anyway, the first thing that pops to my head is that the rithme is a bit confusing. The drum is kind of weak and soft while the bass is kind of up beat with a lot of notes.
It's like you have not decided if it's a balad or a pop/rock song...
Also the sound chosen for the keyb solo, is disturbing. The notes might be ok, but the pitch shifts and roller coster sound is a bit weird..

The balance is nice, except for the drum which could be more present and solid.

That's it for a start, nice work in progress !! ;)

Tony Carpenter Mon, 03/02/2015 - 14:16

Thanks for listening and commenting Marco :). I am really trying to get a feel for if I am pulling the song sound/mix together properly. Guess the answer is still no :). Interesting comment about the drums.. I thought what I have was actually loud on my system.. LOL, go figure. I am wondering if the tambourine is bringing the solid state of the backing down a little. I really like that synth personally, and I believe this is a personal thing perhaps?. John Farnham did similar things with songs in the 80s on his album Whispering Jack BTW.

Donny mentioned the first time bass was not, in the groove, last time, I got that right now, yes?. Also, vocals were a bit off and needed a bit of a delay (per Chris) to fit better, do you feel they stand out?.
It's definitely a pop song, the bass line was made to drive it and the drums to sit behind a little purposely.

I am still getting the feel for the whole hybrid thing, and I am doubtful I have it entirely right in my BUS settings... I suspect the route through the DBX 231s, the DBX Quantum and the Eventide aren't making it in the bounce... I thought it was. I am also learning how the Event Opals sound at different levels and to different music styles. As I write folk and pop music, it's a learning curve still :).

Cheers,

Tony

DogsoverLava Mon, 03/02/2015 - 19:13

Bass was in the groove - whole song reminiscent of very early 80's early Toto feel -- if Toto's tour bus crashed into Joe Jackson and Gram Parker's tour bus..... cool that way

Ya -- I'd bring drums up-- and I'd keep the sticks on the hat and open and close that hat as you motor on -- moving to the ride cymbal for a change up - Just a little more energy there. IIRC you are using Superior Drummer? I've been using it and I'm struggling to match the beats I hear in my head with what I end up using.... I just don't have the skills there and I feel like a cheat using the midi (but I use it) - wish I had a drummer on call right now.

Tony Carpenter Tue, 03/03/2015 - 06:28

@DogsoverLava @pcrecord @Kurt Foster

Morning people :).

OK, so, I will get to work on this shortly again. Thanks Dogs :) yes I do use Superior Drummer. I still think the tambourine is part of the issue, I'll tackle the issues :). Thanks about the bass, it's very important that drives things. Wife also said she dislikes the sound of the lead synth at the moment BTW Marco, obviously I went somewhere astray with it :). And yes Kurt, it's like, what do you call someone who hangs out on stage with musicians, a bass player ;). ( Personally btw, I love a good bass player).

Cheers,

Tony

DogsoverLava Tue, 03/03/2015 - 07:49

Makzimia, post: 425693, member: 48344 wrote: @DogsoverLava @pcrecord @Kurt Foster

Morning people :).

OK, so, I will get to work on this shortly again. Thanks Dogs :) yes I do use Superior Drummer. I still think the tambourine is part of the issue, I'll tackle the issues :). Thanks about the bass, it's very important that drives things. Wife also said she dislikes the sound of the lead synth at the moment BTW Marco, obviously I went somewhere astray with it :). And yes Kurt, it's like, what do you call someone who hangs out on stage with musicians, a bass player ;). ( Personally btw, I love a good bass player).

Cheers,

Tony

I was going to comment that I'd like to hear a bit more of an overdriven, higher gain tone on the lead synth as well. Something a little bit meaner.

Tony Carpenter Tue, 03/03/2015 - 15:53

@DogsoverLava lead given some edge :). I haven't bounced this version yet though.

@Chris I got the mix done today, major issue though, I suspected I had one, now I know I do. Newbie issue I am sure... the X-Patch seems to not like having 1-2 in and 1-2 out suddenly. It's been working fine since I first installed it. Today it suddenly decided to cause feedback.. :(. Any ideas?. I did change some stuff around now to eliminate that, however, when I am listening back, it's sounding like it's doubling stuff up now.. or perhaps, I am hearing the results of too much stuff on something LOL.

Bottom line is, as I suspected I wasn't getting a TRUE bounce down through the 'master chain'.

Thanks,

Tony

Voiceofallanger Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:30

I'm gonna go ahead and say the mix of this is great except the drums need to come up. I think any problems you're having with this are in the actual instrumentation because I've noticed that pretty much every element of it is completely staccato. I think the problem with the gelling of the track is mostly coming from the fact that the playing doesn't flow in parts. To highlight an example, the piano doesn't appear to have much sustain (even though there's pedal sustain on it) but the dynamics are very ... one dimensional and so it sounds slammed and the strings are very jagged. I think a lot of the problems with this can be fixed in the instrumentation because right now to me things sound a little TOO separated ? If all else fails there's always mastering verb. As for that synth.. As much as music is preferential I'm going to get fierce and say it's outright unsuitable in my opinion. Haha! Just my 2 cents :) Hope that helps somehow. A lot of pluses in this mix though man, nice job.

anonymous Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:30

Voiceofallanger, post: 425725, member: 41142 wrote: I'm gonna go ahead and say the mix of this is great except the drums need to come up. I think any problems you're having with this are in the actual instrumentation because I've noticed that pretty much every element of it is completely staccato. I think the problem with the gelling of the track is mostly coming from the fact that the playing doesn't flow in parts. To highlight an example, the piano doesn't appear to have much sustain (even though there's pedal sustain on it) but the dynamics are very ... one dimensional and so it sounds slammed and the strings are very jagged. I think a lot of the problems with this can be fixed in the instrumentation because right now to me things sound a little TOO separated ? If all else fails there's always mastering verb. As for that synth.. As much as music is preferential I'm going to get fierce and say it's outright unsuitable in my opinion. Haha! Just my 2 cents :) Hope that helps somehow. A lot of pluses in this mix though man, nice job.

This is a really accurate response to my thoughts too.
To add, the mix on this is fine (good enough) right now. (y) I'd spend more time on the song over the mix right now.

Tony Carpenter Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:23

@Chris Thanks, I am narrowing down the issues.

@Voiceofallanger and @Chris I know that mix needed work, part of it is the issue I am having with hardware, some is in how I am presenting it. I believe, IF I can get this bounce down issue solved, you'll hear a big change in how it all fits together now.

Thanks to all, very good constructive comments :).

Cheers,

Tony

Tony Carpenter Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:01

Ok here we go again :). Hopefully this answers a few more comments in a positive light :). I have one remaining hardware issue, but (mono sounds weird), bounce is true to mix now.

New fixes for drums up. Piano up and added sustain. Overall remix . Lead narrowed and grunged up. I think I glued it more, but I am at saturation mode I admit.

[MEDIA=soundcloud]tony-carpenter-1/whatshername

Tony Carpenter Wed, 03/04/2015 - 15:54

Boswell, post: 425744, member: 29034 wrote: This is going to be very good, but it needs a bit more attention. Some of the component tracks (critically including the vocal) are out of phase between L and R channels.

Thank you Bos!!!. Now I need to find out why... bloody SSL X-Patch is involved... I mentioned the mono issue.. tied to it. I think I need more study into how the X-Patch is setup. Someone mentions (in a google link) setting up chains before presets, going to try that next!! (tomorrow :).

Tony Carpenter Wed, 03/04/2015 - 17:10

Chris, post: 425747, member: 1 wrote: The X Patch is a brilliant patchbay loved by a lot of serious users. How you are going about hybrid and summing is whats odd to me.

Hi Chris,

Yep, no argument here :). It's all me I know, I just have to figure out how to make it work properly for me. I had it working properly one moment, the next was the feedback with exactly the same settings since I got it from you. Only difference was I went looking for how to make the bounce sound like what the mix did... and then I came unstuck LOL. I am just frustrated, I want a stable environment that I can just template, and use each time to route in and out as I can. When that happens, then I can just make music ( to the best of my abilities as they come).

Cheers,

Tony

anonymous Wed, 03/04/2015 - 17:26

Makzimia, post: 425748, member: 48344 wrote: I had it working properly one moment, the next was the feedback with exactly the same settings since I got it from you.

Chris, post: 425717, member: 1 wrote: make sure you don't have an open channel. When I was round tripping I made sure I turned off the output of the channel I was capturing too until playback time.

Tony Carpenter Wed, 03/04/2015 - 17:38

Evening Chris :)

No open channel, unless total mix is suddenly doing something funky... It's to do with me not setting up X - Patch correctly. Apparently, a chain needs to be set first, then a preset. I had made a preset from the items added on the channel page. Ie : out from orion to in to the DBX chain, and then out of the DBX chain back into the orion. That worked as I say from day 1, then suddenly not :). I changed no wiring, and no settings just changed buses in Logic Pro X. The feedback happens with NO DAW open, just with the X-Patch control open, moment I tell it to send back to the orion on what was 1-2 in, going 3-4 solved that :). It's not right though, as the song version above shows, it is sort of OK in stereo but strange, then is outright f'ed up in MONO mode :).

I'll work it out, it's just a matter of finding how the chains work.

Thanks,

Tony

Tony Carpenter Thu, 03/05/2015 - 09:49

Hi All,

To get an idea of where I am now, I am updating the mix down from yesterday, with literally just the phase/pathing issues sorted out. Apparently I can not ever make the X-Patch allow me to use 1-2 in and out, and yes 1-2 is playing back at the same time as 31-32 on my system. I have NO idea why, but that is the issue. Hence the feedback part, solved by using 7-8 instead.

Anyway, in this mix, Drums were adjusted in the mixer for SD and brought up. Piano was brought up and fed into an EMT-140 plate reverb with about 130 pre delay to give it more sustain too. Other stuff... but base line is. Can someone let me know if this is now gelling much better and balanced?.

[MEDIA=soundcloud]tony-carpenter-1/whats-her-name-post-hardware-fixes

Many thanks!,

Tony

Tony Carpenter Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:12

Good evening all,

Thanks to Chuck at Eternal sound, here is a mastered version of What's her name. For the sake of continuity, but to avoid a total cluster on my SC, I am only keeping the original version up, the pre-mastered newer (with fixes), and finally this master version.

[MEDIA=soundcloud]tony-carpenter-1/whats-her-name-24bit-master

Thanks,

Tony

anonymous Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:57

Makzimia, post: 425784, member: 48344 wrote: Hi All,

To get an idea of where I am now, I am updating the mix down from yesterday, with literally just the phase/pathing issues sorted out. Apparently I can not ever make the X-Patch allow me to use 1-2 in and out, and yes 1-2 is playing back at the same time as 31-32 on my system. I have NO idea why, but that is the issue. Hence the feedback part, solved by using 7-8 instead.

Anyway, in this mix, Drums were adjusted in the mixer for SD and brought up. Piano was brought up and fed into an EMT-140 plate reverb with about 130 pre delay to give it more sustain too. Other stuff... but base line is. Can someone let me know if this is now gelling much better and balanced?.

[MEDIA=soundcloud]tony-carpenter-1/whats-her-name-post-hardware-fixes

Many thanks!,

Tony

Hey Tony, parts of this has way too much compression imho. The vocals are too much up front in relation to the rest of the mix. I hate to be so hard on you here but I'm worried about how you are hearing things, and how its all translating.

i'm not in my studio but I'll still have a listen to what Chuck did. Before I listen, I don't even know why he would suggest mastering this. Its not ready for that. never the less, lets see what he's about here.

anonymous Tue, 03/10/2015 - 15:03

The upper mids sounds much better now, like it should.

Chuck, stem mastering would be a good move for this. You could try and get the balances better.(hi hats... )
Kudo's. I'm guessing you had to boost the upper mids at least 6 db?

Care to share what you did? It would help Tony get closer to where he should be. (y)

LarryQualm2 Tue, 03/10/2015 - 15:23

Chris, you're about spot on with the upper mids! Yes, I boosted them. The high-hat was a bit of a problem because the keys were darker. It was a compromise with frequencies there. Overall I thought mix was good and smooth, however the vocal a bit loud and probably needs a little compression. Tony, I'm not trying to be negative. I think the mix is good but needs a few adjustments just as my mastering may.

What I did? Sure Chris ...had a clear direction here:

Rolled off some low end so the bass and kick would sit on the edge of being poofy and not poofy.
Rounded out the low end in general and centralized the low end more toward the middle.
Added just a little warmth to the vocal.
Removed a little brightness for HH.
Brought up volume with just a little limiting.
Little wax and polish.
Dropped in dropbox.

-Chuck

anonymous Tue, 03/10/2015 - 15:45

Chuck, its right on you are stepping up and going for it here ( with us). Publicly sharing tracks like this is welcomed. In 16 years running forums, very few mastering engineer have done this.
We need a lot more people posting their work. This will encourage others to get involved which will feed this community towards truer light. :love:

I am so bored of all the talk and no action forums. RO is taking a new approach where we want people to do exactly this, post work.

right on.

Boswell Tue, 03/10/2015 - 16:23

It's a great song, Tony! The frequency balance is good in this latest version.

However, for me, there's still something worrying about the vocals. Your voice has the fairly common characteristic of high-energy transients at the start of each word, and this characteristic can be a problem to deal with at the mix stage. Listening on loudspeakers shows the effect, but on headphones at moderate volume it can be getting on for painful.

The style of the mix puts the vocal in front rather than sitting in the mix, and that along with the chosen compression usage on the vocal track has left these transients exposed. There's one singer I record regularly who has this same problem, but he's more exaggerated than on your track. The only way I have found of taming him is to use two compressors in series, one set fast and hard and the second more mild and gentle.

Although not really a mastering problem, I'd be very interested in any comments Chuck may have on dealing with vocal transients.

LarryQualm2 Wed, 03/11/2015 - 13:21

Boswell, post: 426108, member: 29034 wrote: It's a great song, Tony! The frequency balance is good in this latest version.

However, for me, there's still something worrying about the vocals. Your voice has the fairly common characteristic of high-energy transients at the start of each word, and this characteristic can be a problem to deal with at the mix stage. Listening on loudspeakers shows the effect, but on headphones at moderate volume it can be getting on for painful.

The style of the mix puts the vocal in front rather than sitting in the mix, and that along with the chosen compression usage on the vocal track has left these transients exposed. There's one singer I record regularly who has this same problem, but he's more exaggerated than on your track. The only way I have found of taming him is to use two compressors in series, one set fast and hard and the second more mild and gentle.

Although not really a mastering problem, I'd be very interested in any comments Chuck may have on dealing with vocal transients.

Well, one thing you might try is to cut back on the reverb. I really pops out at the start of each word. Try also slowing down the attack time and increasing the release time to tone down those transients. The compressor seems to be grabbing the vocal real hard.

Tony Carpenter Wed, 03/11/2015 - 14:53

Good evening all,

I have been busy today. Per instructions I went back and did a remix, brought HH down, moved some stuff around. In addition though, since the original vocals were done when I was coming out of a long hiatus of not singing a lot, I have redone them in the new studio. New lead vocal will probably get redone still yet, getting used to the new sound etc... backing vocals are a new idea in the chorus section, removed the harmony bits.

The main thing I want to know now is, does this all sit better, I can always redo the vocal now as I say, just want a temperature gauge on the levels etc really for now.

Thanks,

Tony

[MEDIA=soundcloud]tony-carpenter-1/whats-her-name-new-vocals-and-mix

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