No time to say goodbye (re-recorded original song)

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Submitted by iMacCartney on Sun, 06/07/2015 - 13:31

Hi everyone,

”No time to say goodbye” is one of the first songs that I recorded after I bought my ”first DAW” a few years ago. I was never happy with the mix / performances but I thought the song itself was quite good, 60’s kind of vintage song. So - I decided to re-record this song and do some changes to the arrangement / instrumentation.
Everything is recorded in my home studio by myself using Logic X, Kel HM-7U mic, Apogee Duet interface, GAP Pre 73 preamp, Gavin gtr and a lot of different plug-ins.

This is the first mix of this song, not mastered, but I used some eq, compressor (1-2 db), tape sim in the mix bus + limiter to raise the over all level to peak at 0,5 dbfs max.

So - I’d appreciate any kind of feedback about the mix, levels, tones, performances what ever that could help me to improve my mix. If anyone would like to compare this new version to the original, just listen to the original mix behind (copy this link to your browser)


Attached files

No time to say goodbye mix1.mp3 (6.5 MB) 

It sounds very good. The only thing that bothers me a little bit is that there is more going on with the guitars on the right channel (rithme wise) in the verses.
Other than that, and this is just from my own taste, I think it's ready for master ! ;)

Thank you pcrecord. About the gtr's in verses....before this version, I tested a several different rhythm versions on the left gtr - doubling the right gtr, playing it a little bit different etc. I think it sounded too "busy", so I decided to keep it simple.

Did you notice any other issues? Sibilance? There are some annoying "shh"'s and "ess"'s on vocals that I didn't manage to get rid of. Did you hear those? Do you think that drums / bass levels are right?
Anyway, I will upload a new mix within a few hours.

The fact that there is a different guitar than the other on either side doesn't bother me ... it's kind of "Beatle-esque" in that way. Nice song, good mix. If I had to nit pick, I'd say that the 3 - 5k area seems to be somewhat harsh...

It sounded very smooth when I listened at around 70db or so, but when I upped the volume to 80-85 , that frequency range started to make me wince a little bit.

But don't change anything based only on what I have to say - because these days, I seem to be kind of sensitive to that frequency range all the way around. ;) You might want to wait for what others have to say in regard to that specific range at that volume.

Great song, though! ;)

Donny and DM60, thank you for your feedback.

I just finished mix 3...I tried to reduce that "harshness" a bit, reduced vox levels by 0,4-0,5 db, cut some mud around 380 Hz. In mix 1 and 2, I already had HP-filter in the mix bus at 33 Hz, HP both sides at 112 Hz (12 db slope) and LP at 18kHz. Thoughts?


Attached files

No time to say goodbye mix3.mp3 (6.5 MB) 

This is very good. Sound very good when played low and louder.

Wait for more comments, if you go and tweak any more, you could put some of the high end back (pinch) just to give it more sparkle. But I mean very subtle and I wouldn't be surprised if others said I was FoS.

Really, good song and mix.

Sounds great here. I really like the way you have the guitars arranged - different tones, different parts ( I'm digging the tremolo) but that are still totally supportive of each other... for those who are new to writing and arrangement, this song is a great example of having instruments that play actual parts - As opposed to having five different guitar tracks where it's just five guitars playing the exact same thing(s).

I have no other critiques to offer. It's a great song, and it's a nice mix.

Well done, Sir.



Thanks again Donny and pcrecord + others! Before I upload this to my Soundcloud account, should I make it a bit louder? And add some high end sparkle maybe? (like DM60 suggested) The song is now peaking at -0,5 dbfs and I think that the average RMS is somewhere at -14-15 dbfs (I'm not infront of my computer now). In addition, I'm still thinging about those lead vocal shh's and ess's - should I re-track those parts"?" The problem is that I sing only when I am recording and that happens maybe 2 times a year so it take some time to "open my voice" :)


Mac -
I'm not sure if Soundcloud is one of the many music services who have begun changing their db specs or not - in the last year or so, iTunes, Youtube, along with many radio stations - and even some TV networks - have begun to adhere towards what is known as a "LUFS Standard". LUFS stands for Loudness Units Full Scale, which is a measurement of 'perceived volume".
In basic terms, LUFS measures the entire song and calculates an "average" db measurement within that window of time. In many ways, LUFS is similar to RMS, in that they are both measuring an "average". The difference with LUFS is that the audio is first put through a "weighted" filter first that tends to focus on mid-range frequencies more, because to the human ear, those frequencies are the most perceived.

The thing is, if you do submit something that exceeds this standard - pending of course that you are uploading to a site that is adhering to the newer standards - they will likely just lower the volume on their end. This only starts to become a problem if your dynamic range is squashed/uber limited, and at that point, your music could actually end up sounding lower in volume than other music that was closer to the levels of which these media streaming sites want.

I'd say that, if you mixed at a LUFS reading of around -14 db or so, with true peaks not exceeding -3db, you'd probably be safe... although in Europe, this acceptable level is actually more like -23db ( based on the EBU's R128 broadcasting code).

One of the purposes to LUFS - besides measuring a perceived volume - is that it is helping to bring back the dynamic range in music again, and has been, at least thus far, the main major strike-back against the "loudness wars".

Here is a link to a free LUFS vst.. I've used it, it's clean, bug/virus free, and there's nothing fancy about it, it's a bare bones measuring program. There are others available which also offer added features, such as phase, choices of meter speed, weighting, etc.
But this one does what it was designed to do. You'll want to insert it into your master bus, post everything else that you may have inserted.


Donny, thank you for this very useful information. Actually, I had seen this video clip earlier - maybe here on RO but it was good to watch it once again.
I will do one more mix later today and upload it here. If I receive "OK" from you guys, I will upload it to Soundcloud. Then I'll do another, a few db louder mix and upload it to Soundcloud as well so that we can hear if there are any difference in final SC loudness....

Thanks again Donny. I agree, it was a bit too bright for this style of song although "all" the reference songs that listened to were much brighter or I'd say - too bright. (Foo Fighters, U2 etc) So I went back to Mix 3, made it a bit louder - LUFS / RMS between -11-14 db which is still 3 -6 db quieter than any of those reference track that I listened to...

So here's mix 5. Approval or back to mix 3? :)


Attached files

No time to say goodbye mix5.mp3 (6.5 MB) 

I think this is nicer to listen to, it has the same smoothness that you've had in later mixes (other than the most recent one that I said I felt was too bright).

I think you are safe shooting for around that db range; if your LUFS is sitting around that -12db mark, with true peaks at - 0.5 or so, that gives you a dynamic range of between -11 and -12 db, which is healthy enough to have the strength, but that still lets the song breathe and remain nicely open to dynamic changes throughout. If this is played in Europe, they'll knock it down to -23db, but then again, they do that with all content, anyway.... so you'll still be right there at levels similar to everyone else.

Can I ask you why you are distributing through sound cloud and not through something like iTunes instead? I'm just curious... SC has such a history of adding artifacts to uploaded audio; things like smear, phasing issues, distortion... I'm not trying to tell you your business, of course you know what's best for you... I'm just curious, is all. ;)

Nice job. :)