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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Mike Senior - Win Mike's New Book!  (Read 215678 times)

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April 01, 2011, 03:37:00 AM
hey mike, just a heads up: i don't think the player supports wavs.....mp3 only. found this out the hard way too.  :'(

The file will still download, you just cant play it through the site. And Mike (Senior) is downloading the files and transferring to his studio anyway, so I wouldn't think it's a big deal that he uploaded as .wav. :)

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April 01, 2011, 05:05:53 AM
Seems to play fine here?
Mike Mercurio
You don't know what you don't know...until you don't know it.

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April 01, 2011, 05:59:07 AM
I gave it a whirl, and this is what I got....

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April 01, 2011, 06:30:51 AM
ps. The small 'fade-in' in the first version was a fluke. Somehow the compressor on the bass starts off in a state of full gain reduction (even though there is no actual signal), so the fade in is actually the GR being released... I heard the fade in while mixing, but I assumed it was REAPER's automatic fade-in on playback :) I guess I should have payed more attention when I checked the mp3...

I figured there might be something fishy going on. A lesson to us all...  ::)
Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.
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April 01, 2011, 06:35:02 AM
... I can do better.

That's the spirit!  ;D
Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.
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April 01, 2011, 09:25:14 AM
Edit: huntermusic has queried whether I critiqued the right mix in this post, so I've taken the critique down for the moment to avoid confusing anyone -- me included! ;D Once I've worked out what's amiss I'll repost the critique further down the thread.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:56:22 PM by triviul »
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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April 01, 2011, 10:26:27 AM
http://www.box.net/shared/714y8mv34s

The top end of your mix could do with a good dose of extra air, but this could be easily remedied with some buss EQ. However, if you're going to do this then a few of the HF transients (kick, stick clicks, snare) will probably need to be rounded off a bit to avoid them poking anyone's eye out. The kick in the choruses particularly sounds almost like it's glitching -- it's a bit like it's been gated with too high a threshold, turning the natural attack into a kind of audio click. The vocal lip noise in the reintro and second verse will also need to be dealt with, I reckon, as it's rather distracting with the extra air boost in place.

In addition, there's also a bit too much woof overall in the 100Hz zone, but this is probably beyond the reach of such a simple fix, because it seems to be coming from a build-up between the bass and kick. I'd suggest looking at the EQ on those different instruments to try to focus them into slightly different regions. Most people have tended to leave the 100Hz are of the kick clearer to let the bass through, but although that's perhaps the most straightforward approach it's not the only solution.

The snare sound is relying heavily on its sharp initial transient to carve its niche in the mix, but I'd suggest giving it more sustain character as well (as I've already discussed in a number of these critiques), otherwise any down-stream loudness processing will murder the apparent drum balance. The tom fills seem a bit wide, as compared with the cymbals image coming through the overheads. I like the compression pumping! (I'm a bit of a sucker for that, what can I say... :))

I like the vocal sounds, both in the verse and the chorus, but I think they're being sucked a little too far back into the mix by their effects. Get a bit more predelay in there, and see if you can pull the return levels down a touch, because I think the performance will impress people more if you keep it a little clearer of the backing. The vocal levels, on the other hand, are probably a fraction too high throughout at the moment. That said, I think there's still quite a bit of potential for filling out the drums and guitars in the mix texture, in which case the higher vocal level might be more necessary.

Speaking of which, my suggestions for inflating the texture would be to make a bit more of the overheads and guitars in the balance, and maybe to shift a bit of the low midrange emphasis onto the guitars instead of the bass. The backing vocals could make much more of a statement too, filling out the top end of the stereo picture and hinting at more epic acoustic dimensions. Tempo-sync'ed delay could really be your friend here, as well, as it'll give you more sustain without washing things out. It already feels like there's enough long reverb, but I'm not convinced you've found the best patch for it yet. Something more spacious and high-ceilinged, but without too much length, which will only add mix clutter.

Despite the criticisms, you've clearly got a vision for what the band are trying to achieve, and it's just a case of pushing your implementation to get closer to it. Thanks for submitting!
Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.
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April 01, 2011, 11:24:18 AM
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24873953/YoungGriffo_BloodToBone_stickfigure%20mix.mp3

Vocals in the verses are nice and airy, but perhaps too obviously widened, which seems to detract a bit from the authenticity of the lyrical sentiments. Love the way you've flown the vocals around a bit to other sections of the song, and generated artificial harmonies to fill out the vocal arrangement. (I'd double-check the tuning of the latter, though, as they gave me the odd twinge.) It's possible that you've overcooked these additions during the outro, though, so that it begins to become slightly gimmicky -- that seems to me to undermine the central angst of the message in this song. Careful of the 10kHz frequencies of the vocal sibilance during the choruses.

The verse bass line's widening effect is putting out-of-phase components into the low end of the spectrum, which won't help the consistency (as I've mentioned in previous posts). Maybe high-pass the effect's return at 200Hz or so to head off any problems. The bass in the chorus feels a bit underplayed, though. I like the alternating panning you've got on that guitar riff in the verse, but although it's an elegant solution to a potential stereo-imbalance pitfall in this section, I do find that the cut-out on each side (as it switches to the other) gives the game away too much. I'd probably try to create some apparent overlap using surreptitious copying/time-stretching of the note tails to try to smooth this a bit. 

The kick drum works much better for the verse than the chorus, where it almost completely disappears on an Auratone. The overheads hold their own in the mix nicely, but their 3kHz region feels like its hashing the mix out once the guitars really get going in the mid-section, and the whole tonality starts to feel too thrashy. The snare is again balanced sensibly, but would nonetheless benefit from more HF sustain to avoid its timbre clouding over unduly during the heavier-sounding sections. You've blended and widened it very nicely, though. The lower tom sounds rather bloated during the fills, but a little notching of its powerful fundamental should easily sort that out.

Overall the spectrum isn't badly judged, although it could do with more energy in the top octave or two, and maybe a little dip at 2kHz or so. The stereo's got a decent enough width to it, but mono-compatibility could certainly be better on the guitars and cymbals in the more full-on sections. Carefully investigate your multimics and effects returns to find the worst culprits, then look to see whether some phase realignment might help improve things.

The final thing to mention is that this is probably the most extreme buss processing we've had so far, and it really makes its presence felt when the big guns start firing. While I think that no-one up until now has really pushed the possibilities of buss compression as far as I think you could do on this particular mix, it does need to be done carefully if you're to avoid disturbing the balance and long-term dynamics, and unfortunately this mix falls down a bit in those areas. It feels like the guitars and bass are getting pushed down into the mix at the very moment when they need to open up, while the drums are losing presence and definition, and folding in on themselves. The result is that the mix is tending to feel smaller the harder it hits the compressor, which is kind of the opposite of what you want! :) I'd recommend taking the buss compression off briefly and trying to rebalance the mix roughly without it, before returning to the buss compression settings and keeping your ear out as much for the side-effects as for the benefits.

Another thought-proviking mix, which opens up a number of lines of inquiry which others might also do well to explore.
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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April 01, 2011, 11:50:30 AM
Im done. Looking forward to the critique.
http://www.acousticalfabricsolutions.com/younggriffobloodtobone.wav

hey mike, just a heads up: i don't think the player supports wavs.....mp3 only. found this out the hard way too.  :'(

It supports them.

oh....for some reason wavs won't play through the player on my computer.....hmmmmm