critique Happens

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by kevinwhitect, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    Another one of mine that I've got our new lead vocalist (our drummer - his brother in law -- does background harmony) singing. I think his voice is just made for this style of material.

    The one has an odd history. It sounds absolutely nothing like my original version ... basic melody and verse are the same - but the signature hooks and arrangement are totally different. You'd recognize it as the same song, but go: Wow. WAY different.

    That's kind of what we do - we keep taking pieces and parts out until the song is boiled to its essentials. We had a vocal session last night on a couple more, but I'm still wrapping up some arrangement/mix items with them. Hope to get them up on the not too distant future for comment.

    Looking for overall impressions: Too loud? Anything poke out? Levels good?

    As usual, any/all comments are warmly welcome about anything - and almost always attended to. Thanks in advance for the help!!

    ... and Happy New Year!!

     

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  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't mind hearing the voice sit just slightly more in the mix rather than on it. Switching from my home theater system to my Bluetooth speaker confirmed this impression. And it might be nice to hear the keyboard parts a little more, though on the BT speaker they popped out a little more.

    It is a bit loud, and in mp3 form it has true peaks of +1.7dBFS. I'd pull the output of the mastering chain down 2dB. That would bring the LUFS level to what's fairly typical for a streaming standard, and it would keep the true peak level just under 0dBFS once it gets compressed. Your call.
     
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  3. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    Thank you on ALL counts, bud. You mirrored my thoughts on how the lead vocal sits (I lean towards in-your-face lead ... just a habit), and the need to bump the organ and piano part a hair more.

    I did NOT though, catch the loudness issue. It looks borderline hot on my meters, but I wasn't watching them that closely. I tend to increase the limiting until the mix "locks" at the right balance of dynamics and "natural sheen". I will address everything you mention, and THANKS for the input!!
     
  4. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    New mix with suggested improvements ... Lead vocal pulled back, keys up, whole mix pulled down about 2 db.

    I also worked with the kick sound a bit - as I wasn't getting that whoomphy "push" from it that I wanted to hear. I also added a tight reverb on the snare to distinguish the same push/pull with the kick/snare that I was looking for.

     

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  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    This is an improvement. I would consider a bit of a boost of 1-3k on the kick to give it some point/pop, and cut. I think part of the issue is the relationship between the bass and kick. I don't have any reference that reproduces low end at the moment, but i feel like there is some masking going on. I would have a look at the low mids/mud range, and subs. My hunch is a little less low mid growl on the bass, and maybe a touch in the upper mids/top end for definition. Generally in the subs the only one instrument bass or kick gets the 40-60hz and the other gets thr 80-100hz ranges. It varies by taste.

    Another enjoyable song.
     
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  6. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    Great catch. I thought so also. This is a more recent version.

     

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  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I love the echo in this track. Adds a really fluid feel, nicely done. Being said, if I was to improve something here, it would be to correct the timing on the hihats. In fact, if it was me mixing it and having full freedom to do some magic, I would replace the kit with my kit. You'd never know it was done but you would likely say, wow, the drums sound great.

    Well done.
     
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  8. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    I won't tell Frank. :D

    Thanks bud!
     
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  9. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    These songs have that great East Coast Billy Joel, Eddie Money, Springsteen feel..... and the singer in this song has a real neat little Billy Idol tone to his vocal which is cool and unexpected. I agree on the drums and the timing - not sure what happened there but it's very obvious in the beginning of the track - less so going on into the song. To my ears there's a little bit of sonic conflict between the guitar on the left and the keys on the right that has them bumping into each other a wee bit and we lose the clarity and crispness that I know is there in that guitar part... I think you could adjust this a bit in the EQ for each to open up the space. Still really digging this classic early 80's east coast vibe... almost a Philly vibe.
     
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  10. eternalsound

    eternalsound Black-top!! Active Member

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    Pretty good stuff. The problem I hear with this is the bass - it's too thin - it sounds like a "string wobbling" rather than going through a "bass amp". The lead vocal is too "hot". There seems to be more low end trimmed off in general than there needs to be. As a result the track is a little "small" sounding.
     
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  11. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    Another interesting thought. I DO roll off the bass under 70 cycles, but hype it in the 150-250 cycle range typically. Under 70 hz is basically air mud ... and I leave it for the kick whumpf. The last post may not be the most recent mix, as I'm still working on dialing things in. Right now, I'm letting my ears rest on this one while I track new material for our later release. Thanks again!!
     
  12. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Kev Active Member

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    Updated mix ... starting to really drill down into minutiae ... fixing toms/snare misses etc ... cleaning up bass/mud low end interplay. Ya know, the nitty gritty. :D

     

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