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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Mike Senior - Win Mike's New Book!  (Read 189019 times)

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April 06, 2011, 10:59:28 PM
Hi, Mike,

thanks once again for your great advice. here's my revised mix, just for the sake of it.
some may find a part of it a bit inspired by mrtuesday's... they may also be right ;)


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April 07, 2011, 10:49:55 AM
So this is my final mix ....

There are still some things I´m not 100% happy with...

But right now I would show the mix to the band and it would be their call to say what they want to change in the mix :-)
I didn´t change too many things, cause I think there are so many things you could do that it is impossible to determin what the band really wants to be done with the mix !

Thanks for the possibility to mix this song !!!
This is a great forum.


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April 08, 2011, 09:19:53 AM
Hello there,

Here is my mix. I hope everybody will enjoy it!!v ;D


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April 08, 2011, 02:00:51 PM
Hi There guys!

So there is my Final Mix, hope you guys like it, and also the band.

See you guys.

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April 08, 2011, 11:06:24 PM

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April 09, 2011, 12:10:34 AM
Just wanted to say - Your book arrived today Mike and its awesome so far - I'm on the road this weekend and will probably read the whole thing (as my wife is the driver for this trip :))

FYI, the reasonable price tag on it was a huge selling feature compared to some of the hardcover industry tome's out there - which I've shied away from to date for that exact reason. I would wager this contest and review process you're undertaking certainly helped your sales too (did for me at least).

Josh Maitland - Red Room Recordings
Running Cubase 5 on the Tascam US-1800!

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April 09, 2011, 12:42:23 PM
Suitcase....Hope you blog along the wait...This contest is the "Shizzle!" and "The EveryDay Dizzle" knows it...(Trixter,"Hear!" Produced by Bill Way, 1992)

" Website on the Planet!" -MiXit 2011

"Aftershock" (Van Halen's "Balance" Produced by Bruce Fairbairn at 5150 Studios, 1995)

Thank You for the "Appreciation" and "Respect" for the "Mix Community". (Tesla, "Anything", 2011 -Audio Monkey)

Mr. Mike Senior...

It's hard to please everybody...but at the same time...Not everyone can be Pleased...(Skid Row, "Slave To The Grind" Produced by Michael Wagener, 1991)

"Everyone wants to be a Producer but not everyone can Produce." (Audio Monkey, 2011)

We all have different setups but the one thing we all have in common is we all did our best with what we have...some only have one headphone monitor that works between the hours of 7pm and 12:30am. Others have full blown systems that sound amazing, other people are told our monitors aren't good enough and it's time to invest is something smarter. Or...our time is crucial (just like everyone else's) and we put out something that we're not proud of but again our time is limited so we settle.

Your opinions are amazing and spot on (Gordon Ramsey, Kitchen Nightmares) but yet getting blurry with all the revisions you listen too.
One of the things that really got me going was the fact that I was doing this for the Client....and if I'm correct, the Client has logged on and was super happy about the responses to their song getting mixed...Now, I know your book is the prize, but if there wasn't the bands' music to mix we'd all feel like a "Failure" and your book would be irrelevant. So I guess what I'm asking is when is Young Griffo gonna pick the Mix (Producer) (not just "Failure") for their album, and if so when is the expected date?

Your one man listening to thousands of addition, who's not to say the best mix wins has a write up in Sound On Sound (reason why it's the best mix)?

I propose the best mix...mixes the other tracks for the album which you are producing (Young Griffo, Produced by Mike Senior, 2011)

Much love to my Mixheads...Including you Mike!


P.S. I ain't changin' shit! I love my subs! Keepin' it deep, down and dirty!


Mix It!

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April 09, 2011, 02:03:47 PM
So I guess what I'm asking is when is Young Griffo gonna pick the Mix (Producer) (not just "Failure") for their album, and if so when is the expected date?

Glad you're liking some of the critiques, and I agree that it's getting a bit of a brain-melt comparing all these different versions of the same mix! The competition closes on the 18th, and I'd hope to announce a winner (and runners up) in the following few days, in consultation with the band. Whoever tops the list, though, we're all winners really, because we're creating something together that I think will help all of us with our own listening and mixing skills, as well as providing a unique educational resource for future readers.

I propose the best mix...mixes the other tracks for the album

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the band end up approaching someone from this thread with regards to further collaboration, because they've been extremely impressed with the quality and variety of different ideas everyone has brought to the table.

P.S. I ain't changin' shit! I love my subs! Keepin' it deep, down and dirty!

That's what I love about hearing this many mix versions, because you can really hear people's individual personalities coming through. The world would be a boring place if everyone's mixes sounded the same, so I'd hate to think that my opinion would stop any of you doing what you feel needs to be done for the music! ;D
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 09, 2011, 02:16:11 PM

The overall mix tonality here is a bit of a sticking point, I'm afraid, which makes it difficult for me to judge many other aspects of the balance. You've got masses of 200-800Hz, which gives the whole production a rather boxy sound, and the response drops away very steeply below that, such that the low end feels very lean compared with the references. Trying to bring out the low end better using EQ over the whole mix reveals that lowest LF information in the mix is coming from the bass, but this only extends to about 80Hz, leaving the bottom two octaves of the spectrum largely untouched. In most people's mixes the kick's low end has been used to fill out this region, but here it sounds as if the kick has been high-pass filtered at 100Hz or higher so that doesn't help out here in the same way. I can see that you might have had trouble dealing with this with mastering processes, and that's usually an indicator that something in the mix is fighting what the mastering is trying to do.

The kick drum also feels very quiet in the drum balance for this style, and doesn't make much of an appearance even on small speakers. The snare, on the other hand, has a different problem, namely that it has some kind of fairly extreme stereo effect going on. I'm not sure what it is, but it's making it very difficult to work out where the snare is coming from, which is disconcerting to listen to in stereo and also causes a big balance/tone shift when you move to mono listening. The cymbal image is also pretty wide (and suffers the same kind of issues in mono, albeit to a slightly lesser extent), which makes the very narrow tom-track panning a bit puzzling relatively speaking.

The guitar sounds are pretty respectable, without any danger of harshness, although the mono-compatibility is again a little suspect -- I think it's probably those multi-mikes causing phase-cancellation issues again. The bass feels like it could do with quite a lot more dynamics and automation control, because it's really jumping around in the balance. In music like this the bass needs to hold its position in the balance with supreme confidence, especially given the comparatively interesting line played here. The vocal sound is doing a reasonable job on the whole, but it does appear to have been gated with too high a threshold -- you can hear the gate cutting off softer consonants in the verses, such as the 'f' sounds of 'flawed' and 'fraud'. There's no real need for wholesale gating of the lead vocal in this track, because any bits of extraneous lip noise between phrases are so easy to edit out or remove with fader/mute automation.

The effects seem to me to be rather reverb-heavy, where a more even blend of delays, reverbs, and wideners would probably achieve blend and size more successfully. The reverb choices you've made could probably be reassessed too, because they feel like they're pulling everything rather a long way away from the listener. (A bit of a dip around 4kHz in the overal mix tonality doesn't help with this either, of course.) Choosing the preset/algorithm you start work from is an important step in the process, so don't rush it, and then make sure you give enough time to EQ and predelay in the effect-return channels.

Overall, the impression I get is that you're trying to overreach yourself here, in terms of getting into detailed processing and effects before you've really given the tracks a chance to speak for themselves. Alternatively, it might just be that you were feeling a bit rushed by the impending deadline and tried to push on too fast with your normal mixing process. My recommendation would be to try putting together the best mix you can of this track using just faders, mults, high-pass filtering, polarity inversion, and phase adjustment -- no other EQ, compression, or effects. Once you've got the best raw balance you can like this, compare it to the references to get your bearings and refine it further. The longer you hold off adding in any other processing, the better I think you'll develop your instincts for what instrument should be where in the mix -- and the more sense the other more complicated processing decisions will start to make.

Thanks for letting us hear your work!
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 09, 2011, 03:24:24 PM

Interesting bass tone this, with its characteristic 500Hz and 2kHz response peaks, which means it takes more of a midrange role than in some of the mixes. The advantage of this is that it really brings out the instrument's melodic and rhythmic features, thereby driving along the verses and mid-sections in particular. The main downside of this, though, is that it does make the 400Hz region of the mix as a whole feel a bit overcooked to me, and the vocals and mid-section guitars in particular feel as if they lose out in this region unnecessarily if I attempt to compensate for the production's tone with mastering-style EQ. The low end of the bass guitar feels like it lacks a certain amount of power and warmth, so a little more information in the 100Hz region would perhaps help there, bridging gap between the kick foundation and the low midrange of the guitars, and allowing you to pull back slightly on the bass's 500Hz region while still maintaining the importance of the instrument in the balance.

The kick tone is great for the choruses, but I might pull the HF back a little for the verse, where it feels a bit too perky for the lyrical sentiment. The snare comes across as somehow too trebly in relation to the rest of the instruments, and I would personally tone that down a little bit, making up any lost feeling of overall brightness in the mix with a master EQ shelf if necessary. The overheads could probably be higher in the mix, because their cymbal accents are probably too reticent. Other than that, though, the general balance is very strong in this mix, and pretty much everything comes across well on a single small speaker, bass and kick included, which is a significant achievement. That said, I reckon the verse vocals in particular will balance better if you give them a bit more lower midrange, as I've already suggested. Mono compatibility is reasonable for most of the main parts, but the overheads and especially the mid-section guitars do lose some of their sense of 'openness' in mono, which I'd probably try to improve with phase adjustment if possible.

I like the way the backing vocals are balanced against the lead parts in terms of overall level, but I wonder whether a slightly less solid BV tone (less information at 1.5kHz, for example) might slot them into place more neatly, with less potential for confusing the lead-vocal line. Some tuning correction would probably assist with this too. These vocals are too upfront for me as well, which makes me think that some kind of blending reverb would be a sensible addition. The snare is another part which appears to have troubles from a blend point of view, and while toning down the high end (as suggested above) will probably help a little with this, I think some additional short ambience reverb might pay dividends when it comes to gluing it in with the overheads. Some smoothing of the snare transient might also improve matters in this regard.

Overall, though, well done for putting together a pretty solid balance in what sounds like less than ideal circumstances!
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!