A very nice balance this, with a lovely natural open sound and a decent sense of both size and long-term dynamics. Up there with the best on this thread I'd say, in those terms, and possibly the slickest-sounding mix I've heard so far in terms of straight sonics. A lovely thing to listen to, and also pretty well in line with the reference sonics -- although I might add a speck at 800Hz and take out a sliver at 3.5kHz. The clarity is great, as is the blend, and there are just enough more expansive effects to enlarge the field of battle nicely without washing anything out or adding clutter.
In a situation like this where the sounds have been so carefully woven together, I find that the interaction of the different timbres makes all the tonal choices seem logical, irrespective of whether they match my own tonal preferences. So, for example, if I really concentrate , then I can come up with a number of little things that I'd tweak personally. I might want the opening bass tone to have a bit more 1kHz solidity, for example, or the kick to have slightly less click in the verses -- perhaps that's what you meant by the kick being too loud?. The snare could have a little less transient and a fraction more 'boosh' (to use the technical term ) or the toms might be blended slightly more with the entire kit. The bass might have a touch more weight and warmth below 500Hz... But, to be honest, in the grand scheme of things there's such a cohesive overall vision here that it's hard not to just get swept along by it and forget about any minor niggles. A big factor in this, I think, is automation, because it seems to me that things just ease themselves forward in the mix slightly whenever they want to be heard, directing my attention and making it very easy to take everything in without having to work too hard as a listener. This reminds me very much of Andy Wallace's mixing technique, where he uses extensive rides so that he doesn't have to rely on EQ or other processing as much.
As with Daunt's entry, though, your version sticks fairly strictly within the parameters of the supplied tracks, which means that despite a sterling 'pure mixing' job, the musical 'light and shade' isn't as dramatic as I think it might be, and the long-term dynamics don't quite deliver the spine-tingling pay-offs I'm hoping for in the final chorus and outro. The mono-compatibility could do with some additional consideration, as well, because the cymbals are really suffering in mono, and the hard-panning you've used for the guitar and backing-vocal parts leaves the backing feeling slightly skeletal and mid-less against the drums/vocals on a single speaker. You're sounding great in stereo, admittedly, but I'd be more inclined to go for slightly more of a compromise position. (Bear in mind, though, that opinions do vary quite a bit amongst engineers on mono/stereo balance issues, even if there is something of a more general concensus on the issue of left/right phase-match.)
You've left a good deal of natural dynamics in your submission, and while that's commendable, I do wonder if a bit more attitude in the buss compression might not help to add some worthwhile extra excitement here. The thing is, though, that adding this in will inevitably change things like the lead-vocal balance and intelligibility (which are good, despite the remaining tuning/timing issues), so it would make sense to mix with the compressor in place rather than leaving this until mastering.
All in all, you probably deserve some kind of medal for making the band and the recording engineer look so good! This is a really great mix, and it's been a pleasure listening to it -- thanks!
Thanks a lot for the feedback and your kind words!
There´s definitely more tweeking to be done, to get it real good. Sadly, since I don´t have melodyne/autotune, tuning issues would have taken to much time sorting out with a pitch shifter, so I had to let it go, to make it before deadline.
The bass drum and snare have a litte too much transient I agree, and the solution was simply to turn the drum bus compressor off.
But I found that out after I printed and posted my mix... Using a limiter and parallell compression worked better.
Snare could be a bit warmer, but I couldn´t get it done with eq. Boosting low mids didn´t do much other than it made the bass drum spill noticable in a way that I didn´t feel worked so well. Drastic eq tweeks on one element in the drumkit, can make an other element sound really weird...
The bass is, as you noticed, has some cuts in the low mids/hi bass, more than I would like normally, but it made the chordal part a little bit clearer in the intro and verse. Should probably be a bit fatter on the other parts.
I found out about this mix off a bit late, and wanted to post my mix within the deadline(although I don´t know which time zone you´re in, I had to guess...), so I had to let a couple of things go, so I agree that my mix might be little too static.
The mono/stereo issue, didn´t notice any abnormal changes to the cymbals in mono. Have to check what´s going on there. Decided to go with hardpanned guitars and backing vocals. Kept one guitar in the middle at one place though, so there would be at least some rock ´n roll left in mono.
Funny you mentioned Andy Wallace, I always use an old RATM record as reference when I need to dail in a punchy bass drum...
Thanks for your critique! What an awesome job you done reviewing all of these mixes. Hats off!