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Thread: Discuss your reactions to to the mixes

  1. #11
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    Well, I have at long last had a couple of hours to sit down and critically listen to all the mixes. I brought every mix into ProTools and balanced the volumes so no mix was louder than another. Just as a caveat, I tend to be supercritical of everything, and even more critical of my own stuff. So my critiques tend towards listing the things that I noticed that I would change. (again this is true even more with my own mixes) Please don't take anything personally, I tried to also comment on the things I liked in every mix, but if I didn't, it's not because I didn't find anything good, it's just that when something is good or OK, it gets the aural check mark in my brain and I skip over it. It's a failing, and I'm working on it, but I am sure many of you are familiar with being perfectionists and never being completely satisfied. There is always one more tweak that could have been done. It was a priviledge to listen to the different ways people approached this mix, and enlightening to discover what changes I need to make in my mixing (and definitely monitoring) environment. So with that being said, here are my comments. As a general thing, I felt like the original ending of the song was too long, and I liked the ways people shortened this when they did. The amount of DI sound to put in the acoustic blend is very personal. I tend to like a little less, but to each his/her own. Also whether to use the dreaded Autotune or like plug-ins is also a personal thing. If there is no chance of getting someone back in to sing it right, I prefer to tune things up a bit. I like to think I've gotten good enough at it so that it's not obvious (i.e. it doesn't suck all the timbre out of the voice like so many of the alternirock bands on the radio). So in general I felt that there were some tuning issues, and I tried to fix them on my mix with greater or lesser success depending on the source.


    1 Acoustic guitar a little too much DI for my taste. Strings a little dull out of tune. vocals a little dull. Kick and bass go well together. Snare ponging sound accentuated by long reverb needs some high EQ. Electric guitars sound phasey and muffled when they come in, left heavy. Volume rides on guitars 2/3's of the way through (around 4:10) a little extreme. Interesting vocal panning at the end.

    2 Nice string sound. Tuning on strings in the intro? Lead vocal too far back in mix, slightly scooped in the low mids? Nice transition to main piece. Kick too prominent overshadows lead vox. Electric Guitar sound cut too much low mids boosted too much highs sounds buzzy and lacks impact. There is more room above bass and kick for guitars to fill out. Bass and kick work well together, are intelligible. Good verse snare, no ponging . Kick more in line near the end of the song. Vocal tuning near end of song needs work. Good ending.

    3 Introduction and outro are too loud for the rest of the song, it makes the body of the song sound anemic. A preference thing, but I like less DI in the acoustic. Everything sounds band limited except the drums. Too much emphasis in the 1k range overall. Mix could be wider in the stereo field. Harmony vocal is louder, and panned far away from Lead in intro. Harmony vocal level gets better later in song. Bass too prominent. Drums lack high end snap but OK. String tuning a little out. Tuning in vocals and lead guitar at the end.

    4 Nice intro, transition from it to verse a little abrupt. Interesting ambience to lead vocal. Good lead guitar sound. Guitars a little dull on top. Great drums, a little too dull on snare in chorus but very punchy. Good bass and kick. Lead vocal sits well in track. Like the distorted vocal in that little break. Nice FX added. Guitars have good body. Final mix sounds a little too compressed especially noticeable on the snare. or perhaps just the snare? End transition is a little abrupt but overall good song edit.

    5. Acoustic sounds a little scooped in the mids but good balance with DI. Good lead vox sound. Pause too long between intro and song. Snare sound in verse pongy and off center. Good kick and rest of kit otherwise. Bass a tad too soft. Good lead electric sound. Hard left right E guitars sounds a little boxy, wet and dull EQ-wise. String tuning. good verb on vocals. Pumping compression on cymbal sounds? Lead guitar and vocal tuning at the end. Very clear sounding in the top.

    6. Strings dull. Lead vocal too wet. Lead vocal needs support more verb and some tuning to carry through the silence right after intro. The harmony vox would help. Snare EQ on beginning snare weird. verse snare sounds too small and compressed. so does kick. Chorus lead guitar too much verb. Nice panning on instrumental before first chorus on electric guitars. E Guitars sound a little dull and far away compared to vocals and kick. Kit need more high end. I like the addition of sidestick in break before verse 2. Verse 2 song loses energy, drums are quiet lead vocal very loud. Good end fade out. Lead vocal sounds good overall

    7. Nice acoustic guitar. Lead vocal a little too far back in beginning but sounds OK. String panning a little distracting to me. Vocal tuning. Entrance after intro a little cut off. Tom sound a little too boomy. Acoustic guitar too loud in verse. Need more kit in mix to help drive the song. Bass good. Electric guitar too soft. E Guitars nice body but a little dull. Toms sound much better further on in the song. String tuning. Verse snare too small sounding. Cymbals overly emphasized especially at the end of the song.

    8. Nice acoustic but a touch more high end, strings dull EQ on high end. Good lead vocal EQ. vocal tuning on bgnd vox in a couple of places. Good vox FX. Guitars too loud, kit needs more prominence and life; better later in piece. Lead guitar a little wet for my taste. Nice hard left/right E. guitars! good EQ and body. Snare sounds dull. Strings tuning.

    9. way too much bass. Funky snare drum sound too much distortion added or drum replacement sample doesn't quite fit the rest of the kit. hat also sounds weird. Acoustic guitar and first electric lead OK. Hard left/right guitars dull and mucky. Lead vocal sounds OK. Drumless verse loses energy for me. Mix out of balance. The whole kit sounds frequency limited low end rolled off of "overheads" and highs also rolled off? Vocals get lost behind other instruments at the end. Nice short outro.

    10. Cool start, nice modulation effect to electric guitar! Good lead vocal sound, reverb a little too mono for me. Drums sound really overcompressed. dull and dry. clean electric sounds OK. Acoustic does too, but too quiet. Lead electric OK. hard left right guitars too dull. Mix overall sounds really compressed and muffled. Cool ending!

    11. Good string sounds!! Good acoustic and electric sound in the beginning. Hit at the beginning a little weird. Tuning background vox. Very aggressive drum sounds, I like the attack, esp the kick. A little dull on the top end. Verse snare ponging more than I like. Good electric guitar sound! the cymbals and hat sound a little pumpy in the louder section at the end. Good vocals overall. Nice vocals at the very end. Nice ending too. Whole mix a little overcompressed and slightly distorted; very aggressive mastering?

    12. Good string sound. Acoustic good but too quiet and needs a little more body. Good lead vocal sound. nice reverb, vocal tuning on background vox a little wonky. Good job getting more attack out of the verse snare but maybe a tad wet? Good kick and bass I want more snare. Nice meaty clean electric sound. Lead electric nice sound, too wet? Hard left/right guitars need a little high end boost in my opinion but otherwise sound good. Snare could come forward in mix along with Hat. Kit overall good. Whole mix needs more openness in the highs.

    With all that being said, I think the mixes that I particularly liked were 4, 11, 5, and 12. When all was said and done, I felt like my mix was acceptable, and I particularly enjoyed the drum sound I got. Even if my kick was too prominent. Mine was mix 2.

  2. #12
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    Just had a chance to listen to the mixes of Springtime. A lot of the sounds were good. I really feel that the song was too long and needed some arrangement help. Mix number 4 had the best combination of sound and arrangement choices. It was by far my favorite mix. Good sound, smart balance and nice use fo special FX--especially the distorted vocal break. It really sounded like the style of mix that makes the band and the singer work. Nice job.

    By the way, I didn't have time to mix, but Logan was kind enough to send out the mixes so that I could listen in with the rest of you.

    Steve

  3. #13
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    I'm still interested in what the artist thought about the mixes. Anyone know how to get a hold of this guy and have him chime in some reaction to the project?

    Devin DeVore
    TSC

  4. #14
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    Ryan is a member of the list, I'll see if I can ping him. I'll try to give an analysis of the mixes of my song soon. take care Logan

  5. #15
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    It's Raining and I can't do the work I had planned, so I'm gona atempt to give some reactions. I'll start with the Those Fools mixes.
    Mix # 1
    All the tracks are nice and out front. I don't know where the all the guitar tracks are from, but the chunker track seems even more out of time then the original but I don't know if it's a new track or not. It also sounds kinda harsh to me. The lead guitar track is a nice touch and fills in some spaces, I mostly like the tone of it. The vocals are nice and out front, and I like the sonic signature. There's some percussion stuff added that is sometimes out of whack but adds a more organic feel and loosens up the ridged drum tracks.
    Mix # 2
    Left out all the wacky guitar tracks and is real sparce, at first I didn't care much for it but it really grew on me tone wise. Had a nice laided back feel partially created by the various verbs that nicely filled up the spaces. Sounded nice and mellow.
    Mix # 3
    Unbelieveable change to a challenged song. Steve how did you get all those vocal things happening? Did you tune the vocal? It surely changed my vision of the song, and that's cool it had some real problems and that was the exercise, If I could end up with a recording of this tune that was half way between your version and the vision I was trying to get which would have sounded like something off The soundtrack from " The Harder They Come", I'd be exstatic. Did you snap it to a grid for the instrumental parts? All the delays in the Clarinet solo part got on my nerves but that's about my only criticism. The tones on the vocals and all the instruments are great.
    Mix # 4
    When I first tranfered these tracks from a tape ,which was made sometime around 1985, it had all the drum parts and bass and organ parts as well as the clarinet, that everyone received. It also had a guitar part that was recorded at the same time, unfortunately it was laiden with a chorus that was on the amp I used then, and since all the parts were recorded live off the floor it also had drium tracks and vocal all over it. I canned that track and tried to redo a dry chunker guitar, that as some pointed out was slightly timing challenged. I don't know why, other than lack of talent, that I couldn't nail that sucker, it always seemed to be OK when I played it but then it would be not quite right on play back, I don't know maybe some sort of latency was at fault, yah that's it blame it on latency, anyway I did try to lay down a new track for this mix but it wasn't really a whole lot better. I Also recut the vocal shortly after the transfere and that's the track everyone got and I used that here. I like the bigness of the bass but wish it had a little more attack, some pick with the growl. Like the drums which I got with a mix of the original and some stuff I triggered with Drumagog. I used some parts of mix 5, which was done shortly after the transfere and built on them.
    Mix # 5
    This a mix of the song I did when I first transfered it to digital. I think I used Drumagog on the drums but I don't remember. I was trying for a doubling of the voice with a chorusing but at the time I didn't have much in the way of digital chorusing at that time, just whatever was in Nuendo and a demo of Ambience. Still I like it and I used that slight doubling in both my mixes. The vocal is out front with all it's warts. I ended up losing the guitar parts which are here and they weren't in the files sent out, if I remember correctly. I still had the project but some of the files were missing. What was I thinking on the bridge vocal part? Yikes I toned that down for the newer mix. I hope that mix 4 is a slight improvement on this.
    Ok I'm running out of steam here and I'll try and do the Springtime mixes a little later. Take care Logan
    Last edited by Logan Murray; 01-04-2006 at 09:30 PM. Reason: idiocy

  6. #16
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    Logan,

    Glad you saw what I was going for on my mix (#2), and that you finally enjoyed it.

    The guitar just didn't do anything for me, so I left it out. I LOVED the clarinet part, and with a little added dynamics, and squeak reduction , it really sounded great. That was the feel I was trying to keep for the whole piece. I really enjoyed working on it.

    -- Martin
    Martin Schiff (3D VIP)
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  7. #17
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    Logan,

    My mix was mix #1. Let me first say that I thought the tracking was generally pretty darn good. I mixed Those Fools on PTLE (Digi002 rack). I did very little in the way of eq or anything else. I did compress the vocal track and the kick drum and used a BBE Sonic Maximizer on the drum bus to provide more definition (maybe too much). If I had it to do over again, I would probably reduce the volume on the "chunk" guitar. It was a bit too present and I think the timing issue became a bit more prevalent when brought this far forward. On the Master Fader I used a T-Racks plugin with a setting that sort of emulates tape, and Pow-r dither. That's it.


    I used only the original tracks I received except for the added lead guitar on the right side. I probably should have taken the time to put together a more creative lead. As it was, I took about 5 minutes to learn the song and then just winged the lead guitar track. It was done with an American Fender Strat (50th Aniversary) through a '69 SF Fender Twin Reverb Amp loaded with 12" EV SRO's. (Ted Weber reconed the SRO's last year.) I mic'd the amp with a Studio Projects C-1 into a Focusrite ISA 430 Mk II preamp.


    I really liked this song. It definitely is/was not mainstream. (My kids, all late teens/early 20's liked it too and said they thought is sounded like reggae blues.) The addition of the clarinet to the ensamble was brilliant. I liked it so much, I pretty much brought the clarinet volume up and mixed everything around it.

    I think all of the mixes provided really nice variability. I just tried to keep it simple.

    Thanks for the oportunity to mix this song. It was a lot of fun.

    Greg

  8. #18
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    Greg
    Kewl I'm glad you liked the song, I have a blues sensibility but I love reggae. I'm so far from the mainstream in my writing that it's not even the same river, but they just come out that way, I have no real control over the process.
    You really gave the guitar bite and brought it out front, and I kinda like that, if it had of been a better track, it would have been a perfect thing to do. The character of the track changed enough that I wasn't sure it was the same track, I thought maybe you sucked as bad as me ;-).
    All the other guys who played on that are fine players, it was the second run through on a preproduction thing and we always ment to get back together and redo the 5 songs we tracked over a couple of days. Unfortunately the Bass player died, from a allergic reaction, not long after that, while on tour, so we just never got back to it.
    Of course they were all tracked in less than ideal circumstances as well. A 57 on the snare a AKG 1000 for one over head and a Shure sm59 for the other a 421 on the kick. Drummer was barricaded in a 6x7 foot room, with a mattress covering the door.The drummer, Chris Ward, had never tried to play any reggae before and was having a hard time so just originally played a one drop thing with the snare and kick falling in on the 3 and some triplet 8ths on the hats. He over dubbed the timpale afterwards using his hand on the snare and wacking the snot out of it. Chris is a great hard hitting drummer and this is not really representative of what he can do. Joe Chihalen played the bass and it was a direct line from the Amp head which was a good amp but I don't remember what. It was a cheap fender bass. The organ was direct from some sort of Yamaha dual keyboard synth thing and the clarinet parts were over dubbed by the Keyboard player, Spencer Evans, also a fine player. They were played into an AKG535 EB small dia condenser. Everything went to a Yamaha 16 track 4 buss mixer, I don't remember the model. I recorded the vocal with the same AKG mic. The guitar part was put in later when I transfered it into Nuendo 1.62, it was an 80's american Strat direct into a Drawmer MX60 (with the compressor enabled and tube saturation turned on, I think I boosted some low mids as well), right into the AD converter. I transfered the files from a 1/2 inch fostex b16 directly into the RME AD at 48. Take care Logan

  9. #19
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    Re: Mix # 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Logan Murray
    Steve how did you get all those vocal things happening? Did you tune the vocal? It surely changed my vision of the song, and that's cool it had some real problems and that was the exercise, If I could end up with a recording of this tune that was half way between your version and the vision I was trying to get which would have sounded like something off The soundtrack from " The Harder They Come", I'd be exstatic. Did you snap it to a grid for the instrumental parts? All the delays in the Clarinet solo part got on my nerves but that's about my only criticism. The tones on the vocals and all the instruments are great.
    Hi Logan, glad you liked my mix. To answer your questions:

    1. The lead vocal is all yours but tuned. I edited some words out of one line into another to get rid of background noises (there's a clap in there somewhere). The backing vocals are all me, there's three voices behind yours in the acapella part and one bass part in the verse that follows.

    2. The tempo changes so I made a tempo map to your drum part and put all my instruments on that grid. I didnt snap to the grid much - sometimes the grid was slightly off so I fiddled until the timing sounded right by my ears. The drums are all played in real time and not snapped or quantized.

    Apologies for the delay on the solo I'd be quite happy to remix this song if you give a song whose style you want to emulate to get to where you want to be. I really enjoyed this

    steve

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