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Thread: Mixtravaganza Spring '09 Mixes!

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Now who do I need to talk to about all those singers singing major thirds while the band is playing minor thirds? Drivin' me crazy.
    That would be me lol... I wrote all of the parts, but I didn't hear any major/minor clashing If you're referring to the end of the phrases during the last 1/2 of the song where the choir is featured, yes- the band normally plays a minor (let's say Bbm; referring to before the key change). However, at "Naaaaa-aaaaame", the band hits a BbM while the choir sings:

    (Sop)aug3
    (MSop)R
    (Alto)aug5
    (Tenor)aug3

    then they resolve to:

    (Sop)3
    (MSop)Root
    (Alto)5
    (Tenor)3

    I know it sounds unorthodox for church choirs, but it fit pretty well with the Hungarian Minor scale I was basing string & guitar parts around.

    Besides, I like to throw things at people they're not used to. Keeps 'em on their toes Builds character...
    Last edited by TheMusicFactory; 05-06-2009 at 07:03 AM.

  2. #22
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    I'm enjoying the mixes submitted so far. It's always fun to hear how other people interpret how something should be put together. I like to get other production ideas as well. One mix in particular gave a huge feeling to the end of the Tenor/Tenor duet (verse 2) that I really liked. Some of you have obvious strengths in vocal production whereas others' strengths are in drums or choir. Despite the majority of the tracks being VST instruments (again, I'm really sorry about that; no money for project = no real orchestra/drums ) some of you have done a great job locking the song together. I hope everyone has had fun with this one. Hopefully we'll get some more mixes... this is very interesting to me

  3. #23
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    I had a blast mixing this. On my mix I was worried about compressor artifacts on the lead vocals as I have little experience with them.(vocals) I automated the breaths to minimize them but, still sounds a bit pinched. OTOH some of the other mixes I can hear the compression ,too.
    Michael Rogers
    (3D VIP Member)
    DeskTop Productions

  4. #24
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    I've decided to do a mix of this on my own to see what others were dealing with before I offer any more critique/feedback. I'm curious to see how what I find impacts my thoughts on the mixes of others.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    You've heard me talk about "spotlight" before. (I hope.) It's the concept that, using a theatrical/live performance analogy, there should be one spotlight so that the viewer/listener knows what/who to look at or listen to.
    For those who are new or have not heard my references, here are a few and the threads from which they came. It's an important concept to grasp.

    Suggestion 2: Don't try to make them both sit "in the spotlight." The piano can sound good but not be sharing the spotlight with the solo instrument. Don't be afraid to turn it up but it shouldn't sound like a duet. It should still be solo and accompaniment. A very untechnical answer I know.

    Source: http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?t=13245
    The lead guitar (or the one that's doing that thing in the background) at the end needs to scream. Or maybe add a guitar to it to take it somewhere. The rhythm is doing its thing, and it's very cool. But if you're going to ask me to listen to a one minute fade, give me something to listen to. There's no spotlight after the singer falls out. Who am I listening to? Where do I focus my attention?

    Harmonica solo? Background vocals? Bagpipes?

    I don't need to be lead by the nose, but give me something to hang my hat on for that last minute.

    Source: http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showth...8051#post48051

    Yea, it's the difference between knowing where the spotlight should be and just sort of having the music meander along. +1 dB on the oboe solo. -2 on the second flute. Push the violas there, the celli here. Duck that piano where it rubs with the acoustic guitar. Those little nips and tucks that make it all flow together and bring the proper focus to the music, allowing all the instruments and voices to speak in their turn.

    I think I enjoy mixing because I always wanted to be a conductor. Now I am. I just conduct the playback instead of live.

    Source: http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?p=166988

    Honestly, not everything is equally important. Everything doesn't need to be in the foreground. The cymbals shouldn't be as loud as the sax. It's just a matter of perspective and balance. I'm not sure how else to communicate it.

    Think of Where's Waldo compared to the Mona Lisa. In the Mona Lisa, there's a central spotlight and you absorb that and then continue to look at other features. In Where's Waldo, you're lost. It's all competing for your attention at the same time and your eye has no idea where to look.

    Source: http://www.3daudioinc.com/3db/showthread.php?t=17083
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  6. #26
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    Thanks for that, Lynn. Great stuff!

    Though I've never tried to mix anything remotely like this, I did spend a lot of time in the orch pit in college many years ago. I did try to draw on that as much as possible for some reference. I might have pulled off a tiny bit of what you're suggesting, though certainly not to the depth you speak of. The visualization of "spotlighting" was something I hadn't thought of, but it connects with me.

    I don't have the opportunity to mix as often as I'd like so this is a great learning experience for me. I'm anxious to try another mix on this for fun after we're though discussing it.

    Steve

  7. #27
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    Take a listen.

    I offer this not so much as a "here's how I think it should be done" but more as a springboard for discussion.

    I took some liberties but nothing drastic. I did adjust some timings. You'll hear me reaching for things to reinforce ideas that were there, trying to enhance what was "on tape."

    Please share your thoughts and don't hold back. I'll post details later.

    This is a HiQ VBR MP3.

    http://www.3daudioinc.com/clips/wanttopraise_v1.mp3
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  8. #28
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    The drums are really slammin' in your mix. I also love the chorusy thing on the choir at the end.
    Michael Rogers
    (3D VIP Member)
    DeskTop Productions

  9. #29
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    Lynn,

    I really liked the vibrato/chorus at the end also.

    There were two things that I were a bit distracting to me. For my tastes, the kick drum was too prominent in most of the song. The other thing (take this with a grain of salt because I am a guitar player) is that the lead guitar seems a bit lost due to the amount of delay effect. I mean, I don't always like 'em dry, but I like a little more definition on leads. I do respect that you may have wanted it "out in the distance".

    I thought the timbre of the vocals was outstanding. In fact, this has prompted me to do another mix adding a bit more lower mids to the Choir (as well as tame the cymbals, reduce the snare in parts, clean up the metronome on the Altos, and some other things).

    Thanks, for posting your mix.

    Jim,

    I'm gonna send in rev 2. I guess I should make this one an mp3.

    Greg

  10. #30
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    DISCLAIMER: This is one man's opinion. Nothing I share here is right or wrong, just me musing.

    Let me start by saying that this was not easy to mix. I applaud all of you for your great results. I discovered some of the reasons for many of the observations I mentioned before, like the levels between Lead Voc and Harmony Vox. There was a lot of level riding needed.

    A few notes. FIRST, I'm just going to offer these as stream of consciousness and I hope no one is offended by my comments. I'll just throw it out there.

    I did not like the kick sound. All the other drum sounds worked for me. But not the kick. I worked really hard but the sound of the drum itself was really hollow to me. It made me seriously consider replacing it. It works later in the song but at the front where it is more exposed I was constantly turning it down and then realizing it was too soft and turning it back up which then reminded me why I turned it down. I ended up with a REQ and MaxxBass to get what you hear.

    I worked first for about two hours just polishing the vocals. I'll include some specifics below. All the times mentioned are from the timeline, not the actual running time of the song, so the mixers can find exactly what I'm talking about.

    I made notes as I went so you could see how I approached it.

    All times are from timeline, not running time. I renamed the Solo Tracks as Solo1, Solo2, Solo3 and Solo4. Here's my timeline:

    Look at the drum tracks and levels. Put REQs on all and lower by 1 to 2 dB to start. Some ended up down 4 dB to allow me room to add EQ.

    Listen to PNO solo'd. Notice reverb already on it. Except for two stabs where it's dry. (I noticed that hole in the other mixes.)

    Start listening through vocals solo'd. Just choir. S hard left, A1+2 middle, T hard right. Notice that SOP track is really a descant. Relabel ALTO 1 track as SOP. Pulled out the DESC (descant) tracks to come back to later.

    Noticed room tone on choir, add HPF to get rid of that. Swept up to 114.

    Sweep through vocal tracks getting rid of noises, early cutoffs. One particularly bad cutoff (two beats early than ladies) by the tenors at 2:16. Slice region in the middle of their long note and do TCE (time compress/expand) to put "T" on "lift" in the right place.

    2:20 Sopranos are off early, tenors hang on long. Same thing. Match them to the altos. Stretch, nip, tuck.

    One tenor is repeatedly late on the S on "praise." Right channel. Fix all those.

    2:34 Tenors release early on "you." Fixed that.

    4:21 Found the major third. Soprano vibrato that is centered very high. Makes it sharp, like a major third. Resolve to fix that. [I did go back and fix that. Some I pulled down 15-20 cents, several I pulled down 85 cents--almost a half step, which is why they sound like a major third instead of a minor third.

    5:21 Guys hang on too long. Snip, snip.

    4:55 Huge gasp on Descant-R track. Gone.

    4:59 That major vibrato is driving me crazy. Remember to fix.

    Well, it took about an hour but all the choir vocals are nice and presentable now.

    Solo 1. Start with HPF, but there's an interesting and quite loud tone at around 150 Hz. Very noticeable at 1:43. I don't know what it could be but I'm going to get rid of it. [Ended up pulling 7.8 dB at 156 Hz, .78 Q. Also used a HPF at 88 Hz.]

    Full Chorus 1: Line up LV1 "s" on the word "praise" so it's not way behind the choir. Lots of cutoff fixes. This is one of the problems that I had with many of the mixes. The cutoffs were so different that it made the choir sound sloppy. Choosing whether to have a Soloist with choir accompaniment or a choir with an embedded Soloist is always a personal call, often left up to the producer.

    NOTE: Lots of click bleed from the phones. Get a different click sound that won't bleed so badly. A nice square wave is easy to hear but not so tonally predominant, less likely to bleed into the mic.

    Solo 4 (second verse) was obviously cut in a different space. The room tone is not there and the room seems a lot tighter.

    Get rid of Solo's mouth noise at 2:54:29. Same with two more at 2:57:15. Penciled them out.

    6:00 Lead guitar stab on last note is early. Moved it back to line up with all the other instruments.

    There's someone saying "Good. A little softer," on the tambourine track. Repeatedly. Talk about subliminal.

    The end of the song really feels like it needs a stinger for closure. I'll make the best of what is there.

    Now I'm ready to mix.

    There's an electronic sound to the upper mids of the piano that screams "electronic" to me. I pulled 9 dB at 3.1K, fairly narrow notch (1.79Q) which helps. Boosted the top by 7.5 dB at 10K with a huge wide .56Q. I realize there's nothing in this sample up at 10K, but with the Q that wide it affects the sound all the way down to about 700 Hz. As I mix, I alternately put more mids back in and pull them out. It's a compromise between presence and artificiality. I prefer the darker, more natural sound.

    The piano sounds narrow to me so I added a Waves S1 Shuffler with a width of 1.60.

    One of the hardest things was getting the drums so I liked them. I didn't realize how much I rely on the room sound. (Although I've talked about it here before.) For me, it's a huge part of the sound. Without it, it was really hard for me. It's the glue that holds the drums together and I really wanted that glue. I worked and worked on integrating the toms with the cymbals and the kick and snare. Finally, I ended up using two of three different reverbs on the toms and an interesting blend of OH, RM, Cymb and PZM to get what you hear. Ratio of OH, RM, Cymb, PZM was (fader settings) -5.3, 0.0, -17.4, -19.8 respectively.

    On the ending, I thought about borrowing Jim Dugger's idea. I really wanted the drums to shut the door to bring the whole thing to a close. I even tried creating that. It was marginally successful, but I didn't have what I needed to make it sound purposeful. So I abandoned that idea. I wasn't crazy about the busy drums on the end since there was no true ending. No stab. So I needed to make it feel like it had a true ending. I played with lots of things. I ended up with the flanger on the strings, reminiscent of a 70s hit (I don't recall which but this was definitely a borrowed idea). Then after I faded out the strings, I noticed that the low guitar kept going on and it reminded me of the end of Also Sprach Zarathustra so I decided to leave it to end like that. I played with the fade of that guitar for a long time, changing it at least 20-30 times until I liked the fade and the timing. Now it feels like it was done on purpose as opposed to just letting the samples go and go and go. It feels like an ending now to me.


    I'll gladly answer questions if you have any.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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