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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Mike Senior - Win Mike's New Book!  (Read 191979 times)

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March 27, 2011, 03:24:24 AM
This is my mix.

You can find a no-limiter version here.

Thank's
Enjoy!

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March 27, 2011, 07:54:25 AM
Here's my mix, I'm a newbie, so if theres too much to talk about its ok  :-*

http://www.robrokkenaudio.com/stuff/mixoff-1.mp3

EDIT: Just noticed i missed the automation of the Main snare coming in by a hit or 2.  I like to automate the snare, so instead of killing it completely, you hear the roomy snare or room track with no main snare...
~Rob.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 02:32:47 AM by RobRokken »

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March 27, 2011, 10:45:52 AM
http://soundcloud.com/a-r-8/blood-to-bone-a-r-mix1

Nice bold move with the verse vocal, giving it an immediately intriguing telephonic mix sound with obvious delay/reverb special effects. However, I'd query the decision to pan it so far to the left, because anyone listening to just one side (people in a lot of small restaurants/shops, people sharing earbuds, people with defective audio hardware, to mention just a few) will lose quite a lot of intelligibility as a result. Even were this not a concern, I'd suggest if anything panning the vocal to the right, rather than the left, simply because otherwise both the vocal and guitar are panned to the same side, making the overall soundstage left-heavy. The extreme vocal panning in the chorus is fine, given that the two leads are balanced, but the BVs feel too dry, and are too easily confused with the leads for me. Also, if you're going to wide-pan like this, it's probably best to edit the vocal timing of the two leads to match more closely -- there's some distracting stereo ricochet on some of the consonants in particular.

Widening the bass in this mix is not a bad tactic (it's something that the famous rock mixer Andy Wallace often does, for example), but in doing so you've introduce phase mismatch at the low end of the mix. This can lead to low-frequency inconsistencies in mono, or in stereo systems that use a single subwoofer, so is best avoided. Try simply high-pass filtering the widener effect's return at 100Hz or so -- you'll still get the width, but without the risk of bass problems.

Just by nature of the fairly wet overall mix sound, most things are already blending quite well, but the snare in particular could do with some further blending effect in addition to the longer reverb, so that it sits with the rest of the kit. I'd instinctively go for a shorter stereo ambience, and probably restrict its stereo width a little to try to match the overheads image. The lead vocals in the chorus also feel a bit too separated -- upfront's alright, but if they're going to be as loud as this in the balance (and panned as they are), I think they do need a little bit more blend to really belong with everything else. The toms seem a bit over-resonant and overpowering. Maybe a bit of automation might help here to keep the balance more consistent if you like that level of those mics for their spill contributions.

Love the idea of a transition effect before the second chorus, although the execution of it doesn't quite feel on the money yet. Perhaps its the right-heavy imaging of it, or the way the following snare feels a little bit thin, I don't know. It's very difficult to judge what exactly will smooth it out without tinkering with it directly in the project. It might be that you need to let the transition effect go to the kick, rather than the snare, even though I do like the general concept of stopping it on the snare -- it gives that upbeat a kind of extra psychological power.

Serious props to you for being the first person to run with the idea of adding something new to that final chorus entry, and it doesn't half make a difference! It's certainly the most successful take on this particular long-term dynamics challenge so far. (The transition there is also part of the recipe, but again it feels like it needs a bit more tweaking before it really delivers properly. Those things can often be pigs to nail!) That said, the specifics of what you've added could probably be managed more successfully. The first thing that bugs me is that you've effectively added a seventh to the first chord in the process, which seems to destabilise the harmony significantly, making it seem less powerful. The second thing I'd say is that the sound feels a bit too sustained and synth-pad-like to me (although I suspect it's guitar -- it's pretty well buried so it's hard for me to tell), and something which is matched a bit more to the existing bass or guitar rhythms would probably reinforce the band's original intent more effectively. Finally, the additions are bunched mostly into the centre of the stereo picture, which narrows it and also muffles the drum details a bit much for my liking. (It also clutters up the vocal range quite a bit, despite the wide vocal panning.) Adding pads (synth or otherwise) at the mix is almost always most successul if you very carefully target them to specific frequency ranges.

I found the stereo image very appealing, and the stereo treatments also assist with the blend to some extent. However, mono-compatibility is a bit suspect, and both the cymbals and guitars seem to lose a lot of treble in the conversion to mono. Overall tonality isn't bad at the frequency extremes, but the general mix warmth (and the bass guitar balance in particular) seem to suffer from a bit of a spectral dip in the midrange, particularly at 350Hz or so. I'm not a huge fan of this frequency range myself, because it's the most common place for muddiness to reside in a mix. However, you do need enough going on there if you're going to avoid things sounding brittle, especially in the abrasiveness 'danger zone' during the middle-sections of this mix.

Well done for trail-blazing so many valuable new ideas! All grist to the mill...
Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.
Free Mixing Resources On-line!

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March 27, 2011, 10:48:27 AM
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24395697/gagemix.mp3

Crumbs -- the spirit of the Floyd is clearly alive and well! Lots of great off-the-wall ideas here, although it does take us almost into remix territory. As such it's perhaps not that sensible for me to compare too closely to the references, so instead I'll try to evaluate what you've got a little more on its own terms.

For a start this is clearly not designed as a radio single: bass auto-panning; extreme panning of other parts (including lead/backing  vocals) and frequent stereo imbalances; screamo distorted vocal layer ("I'm a frog" -- Diamond!); tonally distorted drums with  muffled snare; prominent bright slapback vocal delay -- all these argue strongly against, I'd say. The total sonic overhaul provides a great new perspective on the possibilities for the multitrack source, though, and I loved the trippy opening overdub; the change of emphasis between the verse guitar lines; the 'Pulp Fiction' guitar sound; the distorted tom fills; and the raging solo guitar line.

Although this is obviously not designed to be something glossy, I'd still say that you might nonetheless showcase the evocative internal details of each of your reinvented sounds more effectively, in particular by attending more carefully to EQ masking issues, not least in terms of how the liberal mix effects fit in with the dry sounds. At the moment things feel a little cluttered, and there's only so much that stereo separation can remedy, even under ideal listening circumstances.

Thanks for submitting this mix. Although it's not likely to take first prize in the competition :), it offers a lot of good ideas for re-evaluating the possibilities of this set of raw files. I particularly liked the guitar timbres and contrasts, and I think aspects of them could work well within a more commercial-focussed context too.
Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.
Free Mixing Resources On-line!

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March 27, 2011, 11:13:00 AM
Serious props to you for being the first person to run with the idea of adding something new to that final chorus entry, and it doesn't half make a difference!

Haha, that was actually just the part Guitar 2 (I think, but I don't have Pro Tools open right now) played in the middle eight thing - copied and pasted. It's a bit weird because the part's naturally very different, and using it there pretty much fights against any normal musical sense. But I sort of liked the weird harmonies it added to the chords. It also seemed to introduce something new to the song and I felt repeating the chorus exactly like before was getting a tad boring.

Thanks for the tips, they're very helpful and interesting for a complete mixing newbie like me!

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March 27, 2011, 04:17:51 PM
Alrighty, here's my take on this song - I'm still pretty new to mixing so I was going for something "listenable" ;)

Have mixed it down and listened to it back through 3 times now on my crappy speakers and finally settled on this one. Tried not to overdo the FX stuff, but got a bit experimental near the end with harmonies and stuff. I mixed this with headphones unfortunately, and I apologize for that - real monitors are the next piece of gear on my aquisition list :)

http://soundcloud.com/red-room-recordings/young-griffo-blood-to-bone-mix

I appreciate the time/feedback Mike and cheers to the band for the tracks too, very cool song and fun to mix.

Edit: @ Lastrite - Dude, I totally ripped off your ending - I thought the end needed some 'closure' and thought that one lyric would fit nicely, and I love adding weird "radio" and "telephone" effects to my own music - was just listening through all the other mixes again now that I've finished mine and heard your ending.

As such - for the purpose of judging - I defer credit for my ending to Lastrite - I must have heard your mix already and the idea trickled back in from my sub-concious or something (I was clicking through a bunch of mixes while I was at the office last week crunching numbers to get a feel for the song but don't recall which ones I heard and which ones I didn't)

That said, great mixes so far everyone - its cool to see so many different approaches.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 12:21:59 AM by JoshERTW »
Josh Maitland - Red Room Recordings
Running Cubase 5 on the Tascam US-1800
http://www.wix.com/maitlandjosh/redroomrecordings#!

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March 27, 2011, 06:12:12 PM
Alrighty, here's my take on this song - I'm still pretty new to mixing so I was going for something "listenable" ;)

Have mixed it down and listened to it back through 3 times now on my crappy speakers and finally settled on this one. Tried not to overdo the FX stuff, but got a bit experimental near the end with harmonies and stuff. I mixed this with headphones unfortunately, and I apologize for that - real monitors are the next piece of gear on my aquisition list :)

http://soundcloud.com/red-room-recordings/young-griffo-blood-to-bone-mix

I appreciate the time/feedback Mike and cheers to the band for the tracks too, very cool song and fun to mix.



Looks like a dead link.  ???

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March 27, 2011, 06:50:19 PM
Fixed, should work now
Josh Maitland - Red Room Recordings
Running Cubase 5 on the Tascam US-1800
http://www.wix.com/maitlandjosh/redroomrecordings#!

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March 27, 2011, 07:37:57 PM
Of course I couldn't resist this - it's catnip to our kind!  ;D

Here's my mix - I had great fun with it. Some, erm, interesting challenges in there Mike!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/853804/BtBElven.mp3

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March 27, 2011, 10:38:37 PM
Great competition, I have listened to a good many of the tracks and really enjoying listening to them all. I will be honest, I struggled with a couple of aspects; the bass and the vocals. Really struggled with the vocals!! Bass I think is ok, but not happy with the vocals in the second half of the track! I found some cool things to edit (well in my head anyways!)

I think it would be interesting after the competition is over to have a discussion on mixing this track? Could learn a lot!

Anyhow, here is my competition entery.

http://www.romelpotter.com/Blood_to_Bone_Zabmix.mp3

Big thanks to the Young Griffo's and all involved to bring this to us all.
Cubase V5 with Yamaha N12