Help - One mix sounds pro, the other weak .. Ideas!?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by audiovisceral, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. I've been mixing my tracks and getting diverse results - some sound great, others are taking a lot more effort. I'm working with pop/urban (eg. Black Eyed Peas, Britney, Outkast, Justin Timberlake), so I'm looking for a full frequency response and maximum RMS.

    I just put up three representative tracks at Tracks 1 and 2 sound good enough to my ears. However, track 3 is significantly weaker, despite the fact that I've mixed and re-mixed it a hundred times. I just can't get it better than this, and like several others, I'm not sure where to go with it.

    Mixing advice would be very much appreciated. I've got about 14 tracks to get through, so I think some good insight might really be beneficial. I believe that with all the software I have, a bit of guidance should be able to help me get these demos all sounding pretty pro.

    Software details:
    Sequencer is Sonar PE4; Sounds from Reason and Sampletank.
    Plugins - full range of Waves plugins, TC Native Essentials, Cakewalk Sonitus fx, etc..

    Mixing details:
    Most tracks have some level of compression and EQ. I've mastered with a multiband compresser and an L3 limiting set to about 4 or 5 dB (a bit agressive, perhaps). I've also applied Waves Maxx Bass and BBE exciter depending on the situation.

  2. I've updated the mix. I think the issue was I didn't have my Maxx Bass enabled on the master (perhaps). It's hard to say what changes improved it because I edit these tracks so much.

    It's still quieter despite aggressive mastering but unless I get some help I guess I'll just have to live with that.

  3. So, do you feel like a proper mix is one that is very loud and has plenty of low-end? Because if so, your problems lie deeper than a checkbox in some software.

    I'd say the problem to address first is the fact that I listened to all three of those tracks on your website and they all bored me to tears. I hate to have to say that, but it's true. I have nothing against instrumental music, nothing against all-electronic music, nothing against dance or hip-hop music. But if I was listening to that as a demo for consideration I'd have chucked it 1 minute into track one. It was boring.

    So, your choices come down to, do you want to learn more about mixing because you want to be a mix engineer, or do you want to improve your music because you want to be a musician? Very often the two are not connected.

  4. I feel that for my genre, this is undeniably important, yes.

    I've only been here a bit, but I get that you're seen as a bit of a troll among the group. Personally, I don't mind the harshness - I enjoy the honesty of it, so thanks for the feedback.

    From your post, I am going to do a cold read on you - I am guessing that you find 90% of what MTV plays boring and uninspired, too highly limited, and of poor production value. You feel like top 40 charts have little content of any significant value and that it seems these days few record companies know anything about good music. Once again, that is fine, but keep in mind the market I am writing for.

    To be honest, I feel I am quite strong musician and my mixing skills are getting better as I go. I will post the rest of my pop/urban tracks shortly, as well as some of my full band (one man band) pop/rock tracks. Please feel free to critique more when I do. I enjoy all input.

    Until then,

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