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Special Mixoffs => Mixoff Contests => Topic started by: JohnSuitcase on July 05, 2011, 07:31:11 PM

Title: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 05, 2011, 07:31:11 PM
THIS MULTITRACK HAS BEEN MOVED, YOU CAN NOW FIND IT HERE: http://mixoff.org/AllHandsLost-Ambitions.zip (http://mixoff.org/AllHandsLost-Ambitions.zip)

Barry Wood, author of the new book "Waves Plug-Ins Workshop: Mixing by the Bundle" has graciously agreed to serve as judge on a mixoff!

And the great band 'All Hands Lost' from Detroit has agreed to provide a track to mix! You can read about them here: http://www.reverbnation.com/allhandslost

The rules for this contest will be the same as for the previous mixoff contest, you can submit a first mix, which Barry will critique, until July 19th. After that, you'll have another week or so to submit a revised mix, taking any of Barry or the bands' (or anyone who cares to comment!) input. You can do whatever you need to get the best mix, no references from the band, but it wouldn't hurt to choose one or two yourself!

UPDATE: Submission deadline for revised mixes is July 28th!


Barry will select a winner by the end of July, who will receive a copy of Barry's book: Waves Plug-Ins Workshop: Mixing by the Bundle (http://"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1435457463/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=suitcasemusic-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=1435457463")!

The raw FLAC files can be found here: http://mixoff.org/AllHandsLost-Ambitions.zip

And here's a quick mix I did, so you can hear the track. It's a pretty basic mix, no automation, just basic eq, compression, a little reverb and one delay for the vocals (ok, a little detune on those, too!): http://mixoff.org/AmbitionsJohnSuitcaseMix1.mp3

Good luck, have fun!

John
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Loon on July 05, 2011, 11:48:10 PM
Vocals sound like Tool.  Should be a blast to mix.  Will volume be a factor in the judging?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 06, 2011, 12:24:01 AM
Vocals sound like Tool.  Should be a blast to mix.  Will volume be a factor in the judging?

While this isn't a mastering competition, so volume shouldn't be a consideration, a mix which is easy to master to be competitive will probably be a better mix, in the end. So, don't apply mastering to your submission, unless you're very happy with your mastered result! In that case, note that you did some mastering.

It's becoming a grey area in mixing. Many of us apply compression to the two buss while mixing, and possibly an eq, and a limiter. It's pretty much mastering, in the end, I suppose, though if you screw it up, it ties the hands of a mastering engineer to correct your errors.

My rule of thumb is to mix through a pseudo mastering buss, then remove that processing when exporting for mastering. But for references, I leave that stuff on.

I think if you make a note that you did or didn't do any two buss processing, Barry should be able to judge fairly!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 06, 2011, 12:51:37 AM
First off, I'd like to thank John for inviting me to judge the mixoff contest, this should be fun.

To expand on John's response about loudness, you are free to use whatever 2-bus processing that you might like to mix with but please don't end up with something that's so devoid of headroom and dynamics that it would cause the mastering engineer to send you a nasty note.

I've downloaded the tracks myself and done some poking around. The basic drum/bass/guitar/vocal instrumentation doesn't leave you with anything to hide behind, all the elements will need to really stand up on their own in the mix. This ought to be interesting :)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: MortenRa on July 06, 2011, 09:03:33 AM
This should be good! ;D
Looking forward to it. And Barry Thanks for taking the time to do this!, and help us out in our mixing endeavors. 8)
See you all in the mixoff  :D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Vincent on July 06, 2011, 09:30:50 PM

Decent tune...should be fun to mix.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 07, 2011, 12:03:58 PM
So. I guess the actual mixoffs come here?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26696007/Ambitions_Bounce_V1.mp3

Very skillful singer indeed! With such talent there's a small possibility that this band could end up somewhere :)
There's nothing extra added to here apart from one little string thing for the choruses. That was little weird situation for me; usually on a mixdown
I'm muting and removing all the excessive stuff, not the other way around.

This has been mastered. But on to a quite low level. The Wavs dynamic range is "11" (TT DR offline meter), something they would have done in the early to
mid nineties. 
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Kryogen on July 09, 2011, 06:22:20 AM
downloading now - what key is the song (or various parts) in?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Lastrite on July 09, 2011, 02:50:54 PM
Two questions before I dive into this wonderful tune:

* Was it recorded to a click and if so: What's the tempo?
* Any chance I could have a glance at the lyrics?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: MortenRa on July 09, 2011, 05:06:47 PM
To me it sounds like the gtrs where recorded to a click... and not present when the drums were recorded... theres like 2 different feels to the tracks, Kinda odd.
But we´ll see how this fairs when I get to it later next week.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 09, 2011, 10:27:08 PM
http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix-320kps
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 09, 2011, 11:31:13 PM
Aiight, now that my ears are a bit rested I listened to the other mixes so far:

J.S.: about "faders-up", as you said, but hooked me on the song!

Spede: Sounds like you did some EQ on the drums; I hear what yer goin for, altho' I personally like more of a integrated kit sound, but yer frequency-separation and highlight of the snare is impressive.  Nice job on cleaning up the vox, and the bass - I found the bass in particular a bit muddy, and still, in my mix.

I agree with the above comment, BTW, that the guitars are a bit "tight" vs. the "looser" drums, not really sync'd to the "late" snare, but I rather like that tension!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 10, 2011, 02:47:46 AM
This is my kind of tune, will definitely take a stab at it.

Edit: Have started working on the mix and I gotta give props to the recording engineer; These are great tracks to work with compared to a lot of what I get to tinker with  ;D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 10, 2011, 05:55:12 AM
Two questions before I dive into this wonderful tune:

* Was it recorded to a click and if so: What's the tempo?
* Any chance I could have a glance at the lyrics?

I've forwarded these to the band, should have that stuff soon, I hope!

Listening to the tracks, I heard a couple of spots where some timing edits might help add a little punch, but overall nothing too severe. Also, the vocals are pretty much on pitch, I remember hearing one note that I might tune, but overall it's right on!

The hardest thing from my perspective is probably the guitars. I think they sound good, but just a touch more distortion than I'd like, maybe a touch fizzy.

I'll try to post a proper mix myself if I can, I have a super busy week of tracking this week!

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: japancakes on July 10, 2011, 08:12:25 AM
These drums really need to be recut. The timing is shaky. What's with the wimpy snare hits and loud cymbal smashing in the chorus? Unusable.

Great vocals, like everyone said! Reminds me so much of Tool. This guy needs to find another band IMO!

One of the guitars is very fizzy, possibly from clipping, or just too overdriven.

The bass timing is really off.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Lastrite on July 10, 2011, 11:57:03 AM
Two questions before I dive into this wonderful tune:

* Was it recorded to a click and if so: What's the tempo?
* Any chance I could have a glance at the lyrics?

I've forwarded these to the band, should have that stuff soon, I hope!

Listening to the tracks, I heard a couple of spots where some timing edits might help add a little punch, but overall nothing too severe. Also, the vocals are pretty much on pitch, I remember hearing one note that I might tune, but overall it's right on!

The hardest thing from my perspective is probably the guitars. I think they sound good, but just a touch more distortion than I'd like, maybe a touch fizzy.

I'll try to post a proper mix myself if I can, I have a super busy week of tracking this week!



Did you track this by the way John?

I agree that the sound of the vocalist is great and the pitch is fine, but in all fairness: there are some timing issues with all the tracks. Drums, bass, guitars, vocals. They all have a few moments where they disturb the tightness of the song imo. I'd fix some stuff here and there if I could put it on a grid, but without, I won't bother. Guitars will be hard to edit anyway without DI tracks :)

That being said: Very cool band, I like the stuff on Reverbnation as well!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 10, 2011, 03:21:40 PM
I didn't track this, they did it themselves, I have mixed one song for them previously, though!

I agree DI tracks for guitars would be nice, I usually ask for them if a band hasn't started tracking yet, but in this case, they didn't have them.

I'm sure there are lots of little timing things, which you're welcome to fix, if you feel it necessary! You should be able to find the tempo using something like Music Math, or build a tempo map, if you want. I don't personally ever grid things out, I just tweak timing issues by ear.

Looking forward to hearing some more mixes!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 10, 2011, 07:01:33 PM

Spede: Sounds like you did some EQ on the drums; I hear what yer goin for, altho' I personally like more of a integrated kit sound, but yer frequency-separation and highlight of the snare is impressive.  Nice job on cleaning up the vox, and the bass - I found the bass in particular a bit muddy, and still, in my mix.


Thanks. I added some of my own amp sims to the bass, since I couldn't get the original amp signal to work with the DI (No matter what I did, they
always seemed to eat each others lowest octave away). I've also added exciter great deal, actually so much that it's contributing to the bass distortion ;D
To be precise I didn't do almost anything to the vocals, apart from little compression and cleaning EQ; everything else has been trimmed quite a lot to
pave way for those incredible vocals. ;)


http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix-320kps


Yeah, the bass is pretty "heavy" on the low end :D but in this kind of genre it's okay to have little extra oomph in there. IMO problems rise when you pan
them to the edges occasionally. That's where the muddiness starts to show it's ugly rear IMO.
Using lots of pannigs in the guitars is pretty neat feat here to get some dynamics out of this song. But it feels, that when they center, they drop in volume.
So I guess you should pay more attention to the guitar volumes when panning them back and forth.     
Those vocal delays are working very well in the middle eight! Good job there! :)

These drums really need to be recut. The timing is shaky. What's with the wimpy snare hits and loud cymbal smashing in the chorus? Unusable.

Great vocals, like everyone said! Reminds me so much of Tool. This guy needs to find another band IMO!

One of the guitars is very fizzy, possibly from clipping, or just too overdriven.

The bass timing is really off.

Well, I guess since this is what we get, this is what the band is happy for. I tightened the band just a little bit with moving guitars and snare hits here and
there to get rid of most dramatic flamming effects. Snare can always be augmented with a touch of sample if necessary. Fizzyness can always be eased
with little dipping eq in the 4kHz (eased for me :D)


We can't do everything, but we can do something.   
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 10, 2011, 07:15:08 PM
These drums really need to be recut. The timing is shaky. What's with the wimpy snare hits and loud cymbal smashing in the chorus? Unusable.

Great vocals, like everyone said! Reminds me so much of Tool. This guy needs to find another band IMO!

One of the guitars is very fizzy, possibly from clipping, or just too overdriven.

The bass timing is really off.

I appreciate your comments, but let's try to focus on working with what we have. If you do any mixing for projects recorded in home studios, you've surely come across much worse than this. These guys record themselves, and I think they do a good job of it. Let's do our best, and try to minimize the criticism of the recorded tracks. Critiquing one another's mixes, is, of course, great!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 10, 2011, 07:48:15 PM

I appreciate your comments, but let's try to focus on working with what we have. If you do any mixing for projects recorded in home studios, you've surely come across much worse than this. These guys record themselves, and I think they do a good job of it. Let's do our best, and try to minimize the criticism of the recorded tracks. Critiquing one another's mixes, is, of course, great!


I agree.

I'm not a recording engineer or whatever else in music business but come on : the band gives us tracks for a contest, I'm sure we could do better than saying "the singer needs to find another band"...  ;D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 10, 2011, 08:34:33 PM
I think these tracks are pretty decent for a band that recorded themselves. There are a few timing issues here and there, but all in all its not that bad. Here is my shot at it: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12979410/071011%20-%202.wav

Note: I did use slight master bus compression, and did very minimal editing. Any criticism is welcome. Thank You
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 10, 2011, 08:47:16 PM
Had a chance to listen to some other posts. I'm using headphones right now so take my criticisms with a grain of salt.

Spede - I really like the sound of your entire mix. Especially the snare, but the vocals are a bit loud and upfront IMO.
vvv - I like the sound of the vocals and toms in your mix, but the rest of the mix sound very bass heavy IMO.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Marcel K-O on July 10, 2011, 09:43:54 PM
Hi everyone. Im new here and this is my first post. Some really nice projects going on here.

As far as my mix I must admit I struggled to rein this song in. I experimented quite a bit to balance out the spectrum to my ears. I referenced plenty of Hard Rock and Metal because I love that stuff. So I did some A/B ' ing to help me along. At the end I used a limiter on the bus to make it louder but not to knock down the peaks crush it.

Here's my mix    http://www.box.net/shared/ysq2m8k7ap6s9rkjctd2 (http://www.box.net/shared/ysq2m8k7ap6s9rkjctd2)

To JohnSuitcase I really like the clarity of your quick mix it makes my speakers sound deep and wide..


To Spede your guitar tones kickass and I love the drum tones as well I like plump sounding drums, very clear and punchy..perfect..A nice balanced mix.



Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 10, 2011, 10:32:29 PM
Thanks. I added some of my own amp sims to the bass, since I couldn't get the original amp signal to work with the DI (No matter what I did, they
always seemed to eat each others lowest octave away).

I did notice that when I brought up the tracks. There are a couple of ways to make those two bass tracks work together; I can explain those techniques now or after the contest completes. I suppose since people can resubmit mixes it wouldn't be giving anyone an unfair advantage. There's no guarantee that using both tracks together is the right approach anyway :)

If anyone is interested, let me know.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 10, 2011, 10:49:50 PM
Re the bass, I thought about a li'l time-shifting, but then thought, if I was in this band I'd want my tone (bassist, here). 

My approach, my mixing philosophy (as it were), is to assume that the tracks I am presented, especially when recorded by the band, captures their basic sound as they want it.

I look to maximize the presentation, without altering that sound too much, e.g., I'll use compression and EQ on vocals because singers wanna be understood, I'l use delay, etc. to make it interesting.  But I won't use pitch-shifting unless there's a clear clam, and never as an effect unless requested.

So on that bass, I did a little pass filtering and compression/limiting, and I used the DI about 3dB under the mic'd track for the oomph, and I did add a cuppla dB at 900hz (1.3Q) for clarity.

Then I rode the levels to keep it audible, which of course brought the kick up to keep it audible ...

But lemme say I agree with everyone else here - helluva voice on that guy! I like this band.  8)

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 10, 2011, 11:03:54 PM
Got an email back from the band, here's a little info:

"Song is in the key of D
Tempo is 80 bpm, then up to 90 for the bridge, down to 84 for the final chorus, then back to 90 for the outro.  Though like someone posted I don't know how strictly we stuck to the click.  All the instruments may not have played with the click.

Also I posted a copy of the lyrics here: http://db.tt/u0blfLZ

Let me know if there are any more questions.
I'm going to try and get on the forum this week and post...been a busy weekend here."

Hope that helps to clarify any questions about the timing, etc. Building a tempo map around one of the instruments is probably the best option, if you really want to get in and edit things.

To Barry, feel free to explain anything that you feel might benefit mixers, I know I'm always open to tips, and I think everyone else is of the same mind!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 10, 2011, 11:05:57 PM
Thanks. I added some of my own amp sims to the bass, since I couldn't get the original amp signal to work with the DI (No matter what I did, they
always seemed to eat each others lowest octave away).

I did notice that when I brought up the tracks. There are a couple of ways to make those two bass tracks work together; I can explain those techniques now or after the contest completes. I suppose since people can resubmit mixes it wouldn't be giving anyone an unfair advantage. There's no guarantee that using both tracks together is the right approach anyway :)

If anyone is interested, let me know.

That would be nice Mr. Wood. Most of the time I get away with those with just zooming in into the waveforms and determining how much delay needs to be
applied (usually) to the DI signal. But it seems that the low-end structure in these tracks were so different from each other, that no matter how I lined
them I couldn't get the results I needed.     


Re the bass, I thought about a li'l time-shifting, but then thought, if I was in this band I'd want my tone (bassist, here). 


I really don't mean to rude here, but would that mean that you wouldn't flip the phase of the top snare to line it better with the overheads? "Hey, that's the way
the tracks were presented to me, so I guess they just wanted a snare with no low end" :)

We all look to maximize the presentation and IMO one the easiest (but yes, maybe a little boring) ways to do it for the bass is to get it's low end consistent.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 10, 2011, 11:41:14 PM
Thanks. I added some of my own amp sims to the bass, since I couldn't get the original amp signal to work with the DI (No matter what I did, they
always seemed to eat each others lowest octave away).

I did notice that when I brought up the tracks. There are a couple of ways to make those two bass tracks work together; I can explain those techniques now or after the contest completes. I suppose since people can resubmit mixes it wouldn't be giving anyone an unfair advantage. There's no guarantee that using both tracks together is the right approach anyway :)

If anyone is interested, let me know.

That would be nice Mr. Wood. Most of the time I get away with those with just zooming in into the waveforms and determining how much delay needs to be
applied (usually) to the DI signal. But it seems that the low-end structure in these tracks were so different from each other, that no matter how I lined
them I couldn't get the results I needed.     

There is often a discrepancy in the timing between the DI and the mic signal. Typically it's the mic that's a little later than the DI but in this case it was the other way around. Also, the delay was not the only issue, it sounded like the polarity of one of the tracks was reversed; that was the major culprit in causing the bass to disappear when the two tracks were played together.

I found that delaying the Bass mic track by 20 samples and inverting the polarity got them to work well together. This is where something like the Little Labs IBP comes in very handy.

(http://www.otheroom.com/misc/mixoff/ibp.jpg)

There's a little bit of delay added and the phase invert button is engaged.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 10, 2011, 11:57:09 PM

Re the bass, I thought about a li'l time-shifting, but then thought, if I was in this band I'd want my tone (bassist, here). 


I really don't mean to rude here, but would that mean that you wouldn't flip the phase of the top snare to line it better with the overheads? "Hey, that's the way the tracks were presented to me, so I guess they just wanted a snare with no low end" :)

We all look to maximize the presentation and IMO one the easiest (but yes, maybe a little boring) ways to do it for the bass is to get it's low end consistent.


I agree with Spede here. I wouldn't hesitate to fix something like this, in fact, when I loaded up the tracks that was the first thing I did aside from flipping the polarity on the bottom snare mic after hearing that it had not been done during tracking.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 11, 2011, 12:15:22 AM
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26696007/Ambitions_Bounce_V1.mp3


Sorry for the lag in my critiques, I've been pretty busy around here.

So far there have been four mixes submitted and I'm numbering them in order of submission as I download them so I can keep everything straight.

#1 Spede

Right off the bat, this is an excellent mix. I like the edits you did, they aren't obvious and they move the song along nicely. Of course, the band may have something to say about them but that's another issue. The subtle string thing adds a nice texture too.

The drums very focussed, it sounds like you probably triggered the kick, snare and toms.

As has been noted, the original guitar tracks are kind of fizzy. It's difficult to pull back that kind of high end without really killing the tone. The only EQ that I've had success in doing something like that is the Manley Massive Passive (hardware or UAD version). The way it attenuates is very nice. I would like to hear a little more body and a little less fizz on the guitars.

The only thing I would be looking for would be more "excitement" in the vocal track. It kind of pales compared to the guitars. That "excitement" could be anything from more effects, less effects, creating compression, EQ, harmonic distortion, or anything else that might make them, well, more exciting. Backing off on the "fizz" of the guitars may be all it takes. When you're making small changes to a mix that's already sounding good it generally doesn't take much.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 11, 2011, 12:16:04 AM
http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix-320kps


#2 vvv

I do like how the bass anchors the song in your mix, but as others have mentioned, it's probably a bit too much. From a mastering perspective I would have some trouble getting the bass under control without sacrificing the kick.

The vocals are staying present throughout the song and the effects aren't overbearing. I particularly like delay in the scream in the end section.

@ 1:50 the stereo field narrows significantly with the guitars panned to the center. It causes kind of a loss of momentum in the song that's a bit distracting.

I think some work on the drums would go a long way to making this a better mix. The kick is really quiet and snare is kind of flat sounding. The low end of the toms also gets a little out of hand.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 11, 2011, 12:17:05 AM
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12979410/071011%20-%202.wav

#3 rfahey86

I like the overall tonality of this mix. The levels are pretty low but as long as you're mixing to 24 bit files there wouldn't be any problems. When I turned up this mix I kept feeling like the kick was too far out front, it just kept drawing attention to itself by punching through everything else. In contrast, the bass kind of came and went in the mix, it's possible that you were using both bass tracks and they were suffering from the phase cancellation problem because of the polarity and delay issue.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 11, 2011, 12:18:13 AM
http://www.box.net/shared/ysq2m8k7ap6s9rkjctd2 (http://www.box.net/shared/ysq2m8k7ap6s9rkjctd2)

#4 Marcel K-O

This is another solid mix. I really like the guitar tone. The vocal effects are cool but that would be a band/producer call. I would probably make them a quieter for more of a subliminal approach. I also like how the vocal sits in the mix, it may be a little mid-heavy. Dropping the EQ boost in the mids a little and maybe widening the bandwidth would smooth that out a little.

The snare sounds kind of thin. Did you flip the polarity on the bottom mic? If not, that would account for it but causing low frequency cancellation.

There are times when the bass jumps out of the mix. Sometimes more (or different) compression can deal with it, other times I've found I just have to write automation throughout the bass track. It's not uncommon to have notes on certain strings come out louder due to resonances in the bass itself, uneven frequency response in the pickups, or resonances in the amp/room.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Marcel K-O on July 11, 2011, 01:03:41 AM
Barry,

Thank you for your critique :) I agree I was very heavy handed with the vocal effect thing but I thought I'd just throw the idea out there.

I did not flip polarity on bottom snare, I actually went for the thin snare sound :D  as it is better to have good collaboration to achieve a great end result. Therefore the next mix will have FAT snare ;D

When we get a chance to resubmit our entries I will apply your suggestions and any others that might be stated to the remix..
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 11, 2011, 02:20:49 AM
#2 vvv


Thanx, I'll try those things!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Lastrite on July 12, 2011, 04:19:47 PM
Here's my contribution:

EDIT: Decided to keep it at one version with no mastering applied for clarity :)

http://www.unseensound.com/AllHandsLost_mix_11.mp3

Some notes:

* I did some mini-mastering like I would when I would send it to the band. If it were to be mastered externally, I'd take that stuff off the masterbuss of course. So watch the volume!
* I decided not to do any of the edits that would have been needed to create a 'radio' version (the song could be . So think of this as the 'album' version :)
* It's dry, in-yer-face and hard-hitting as much as I could manage. It sounded like modern rock to me, so I mixed it like that, or at least tried to.

Enjoy and feel free to comment/flame/ask questions!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 12, 2011, 05:26:08 PM
FYI: Regarding premastering & dynamics

Please don't feel the need to submit mastered mixes, particularly those with masterbus limiting or heavy compression. When I critique the mixes I equalize the listening volume and listen to them side by side so that the apparent levels are all equal. Those mixes that have already been squashed will simply sound less dynamic.

Part of my criteria is going to be based on what kind of problems would be encountered in the mastering stage. Ideally you want to produce a mix that's not going to need any "fixing" at the mastering stage. A good balance between the kick and bass, and a good overall spectral balance are two important features of a good mix. It's hard to deal with things like quiet kick with a loud bass (or the opposite), or overly guitars with dull drums.

I've been doing mastering work for 16 years now so I've got the experience and imagination to know how a mix is going to sound after mastering.

Beyond that I'm looking for a mixes that's exciting and engaging.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Marcel K-O on July 12, 2011, 06:26:55 PM
Hi Barry,

Thanx for your insight. I've always struggled internally about mixing and mastering. I've always been led to mix it like a record and so I hear a very polished sound I'm trying to imitate. I'm not at all sure what a premastered mix sounds like.

With simple guide lines you have laid out , good balance kick and bass and spectral balance it would seem easier to come out with a good mix. I would like to hear a good premastered mix as a reference. I would find that a much more helpful tool than a commercial CD .
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 12, 2011, 07:18:32 PM
Thanx for your insight. I've always struggled internally about mixing and mastering. I've always been led to mix it like a record and so I hear a very polished sound I'm trying to imitate. I'm not at all sure what a premastered mix sounds like.

With simple guide lines you have laid out , good balance kick and bass and spectral balance it would seem easier to come out with a good mix. I would like to hear a good premastered mix as a reference. I would find that a much more helpful tool than a commercial CD .

Technically "premastering" is what a mastering engineer does. The step after that where it's readied for manufacturing is "mastering" but these days the terms are kind of interchangeable.

In the old days there were very few studios that did mastering in-house. The mix engineer would do their job and record the mix to a 2-track machine. That 2-track mix would then be sent off the mastering engineer. Even though the lines are blurred between mixing and mastering these days I've always encouraged people to make them two different steps even if they are doing it themselves.

There are two benefits to this:

1) You'll have a clean, unmastered 24-bit mix that you can archive for posterity and future remastering. I've mastered many compilation albums where there was no unmastered mixes available for some of the tunes and there was little I could do to them to make them better. This is particularly troublesome when they were mastered poorly or with tools that weren't top notch.

2) You'll give yourself some perspective. If you give yourself a day or two break between the mixing and mastering you'll listen to the songs with fresh ears. If you're mastering multiple songs for the same album you will hear things that you didn't notice in mixing. When you hear those things you can go back to the mix and make adjustments.

For some genres whose aesthetics learn toward the "zero-dynamics" end of the spectrum, you will probably need to mix while utilizing heavy mixbus compression and limiting because those processes drastically change the sound of the mix. Fortunately it seems that there is a trend to leave more dynamics in music so this should be less of an issue.

As far as good reference material, it's really about finding music in the genre that's not had the life squeezed out of it. For straight-up rock 'n roll I reach for AC/DC's "Back in Black" album for reference. For a song like this I might reference something off of Lacuna Coil's album "Karmacode." It definitely got some compression and limiting going on but you've still got a about 4dB of variation in the loud parts of the song. IMO it's much more listenable than their later album "Shallow Life".

It's not a bad idea to drop a limiter on the master bus at some point just to see what's hitting it and how the mix sounds with limiting. You might find that you've got something really punching through the mix that may need some compression applied to it.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Lastrite on July 13, 2011, 09:45:17 AM
Sure then. I added an mp3 to my post with the same mix but without the mastering processor (FX-G is on the other). There's still a hint of compression on the masterbuss (2db max gr). But I mixed the song through that one from the start, so I'll keep that on or the mix will sound very different (I'd still give an external ME versions with and without it so he could decide)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: DirkZuber on July 13, 2011, 07:47:50 PM
Hello there,

Here is my first mix ...
I did no editing (even there are some parts that would need some correction), just eq, comp, reverb and some final limiting.
I´m not 100% happy with it, but after good comes broken.

http://www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-mix1.mp3

Thank you for sharing these files and thanks to the band.
Dirk

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 13, 2011, 07:59:15 PM
There's still a hint of compression on the masterbuss (2db max gr). But I mixed the song through that one from the start, so I'll keep that on or the mix will sound very different (I'd still give an external ME versions with and without it so he could decide)

Just to clarify, I have absolutely no issue with using plug-ins on the masterbus. There is some very cool processing that works great on the 2bus that has an affect on how you mix the song. I'm just encouraging people to avoid excessive compression and limiting on the master bus.

The overall volume of the mix will play no part in my evaluation. I wish I could say the same for clients ;)  When giving a client a reference mix of the song it's likely that you'll have to toss a limiter on it to keep them from coming back with "it sounds so quiet." I've got most of my repeat clients trained pretty well to turn up their playback systems when listening to unmastered mixes.

I should get to the latest round of critiques today and then I'm out of town until Monday. I'll be able to participate in discussion while I'm gone but I won't be able to do any critical listening of mixes until I'm back.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: SouthBrooklynSound on July 13, 2011, 10:27:54 PM
OK. Call me a mixaholic. I listened today and decided that I needed to give the song another shot. The stereo perspective wasn't large enough for the style and my mix needed more sonic clarity.
http://soundcloud.com/sbsrs/ambitions-mix-03 (http://soundcloud.com/sbsrs/ambitions-mix-03)

Cheers,
Joe Ford
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 14, 2011, 04:30:44 PM
Cool song, cool band, hopefully a cool mix  ;)

http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions
 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions)
No Master Bus processing, but it's an MP3 for convenience sake  :-\, will upload final mix WAV via Dropbox, is that ok?

Feedback appreciated!

Updated Mix (15-07-11):
http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1)

Updated mix/master (17-07-11) posted further down the thread.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 14, 2011, 04:46:01 PM
I ran out of time yesterday so I won't be able to critique any mixes until next week.

Regarding mp3 vs. wav, as long as you use 256kbps or 320kbps rates when you encode the mp3 files that will be fine.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: LCressy on July 15, 2011, 02:53:05 AM
O.K. ..Here's my mix. Nothing on the mixbus, just a mix as I would submit it to an ME.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/21000802/Ambitions-LCressy%20Mix.wav

The bass and the fizzy guitars were a bit of a challenge I must admit! Thanks to the band for sharing the files! There are some really good mixes here, lots of fun and lots to learn.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: leaky24 on July 15, 2011, 01:37:25 PM
Thanks for the tracks from a great band.
Heres my mix

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10010222/all%20hands%20lost2.mp3
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 15, 2011, 07:55:33 PM
Updated Mix (15-07-11):
http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1)

Could you authorize the download of your files on soundcloud ? It must be an option in soundcloud... I don't like to listen on my computer.  8)

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 15, 2011, 07:58:58 PM
Updated Mix (15-07-11):
http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1)

Could you authorize the download of your files on soundcloud ? It must be an option in soundcloud... I don't like to listen on my computer.  8)

It is, way down lower left when ya post it, prob'ly there to edit.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 16, 2011, 03:41:48 AM
Here's my first crack at this song - Haven't done any "production" type stuff (yet) i.e. accent guitars/keys/vocal harmonies etc. Mainly due to the time of night ;)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23535250/All%20Hands%20Lost%20-%20Ambitions%20-%20Mix%20Off%20-%202.mp3

Very cool song, sounds like newer Maiden crossed with Tool, and a little bit of thrash influence for spicy goodness. Hope my mix does it credit.

Also, as far as the judging goes:

1) Does "production" count, or is it simply based on the balance/mix? I recall some fights breaking out last contest over this issue.
2) I did some loudness processing and mix buss compression/EQ (i.e. self-mastering) so there's not much headroom - I put my mix buss processing in early and make it part of the sound. I think the peak reduction on the buss limiter is like 0.6 or something so its pretty tame. I like how it sounds, and have submitted as such, but where the judging comes in, how much does headroom*really* count :) ?

Here it is on Soundcloud too:

http://soundcloud.com/red-room-recordings/all-hands-lost-ambitions-mix
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 16, 2011, 10:11:02 AM
Hi,

here is my mix, nothing on the mixbus.

mp3 (320) : http://snd.sc/qjvqvE (http://snd.sc/qjvqvE)
wav : http://snd.sc/oiAxS5 (http://snd.sc/oiAxS5)

Will now listen to others mixes !
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 16, 2011, 04:20:36 PM
I'm going to have a lot of listening to do when I get back into town.  :o
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 16, 2011, 06:28:31 PM
Barry, thanks for taking the time to critique my mix. I took what you said about the bass phase issues as well as the kick punching through the mix into consideration. Here is an updated version: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12979410/071511%20-%209%20multiband%20comp%20kick%20boost%202.wav Please feel free to critique this mix as well.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 16, 2011, 07:29:29 PM
Hi,

here is my mix, nothing on the mixbus.

mp3 (320) : http://snd.sc/qjvqvE (http://snd.sc/qjvqvE)
wav : http://snd.sc/oiAxS5 (http://snd.sc/oiAxS5)

Will now listen to others mixes !


Kinsoubus, I really like your mix. Especially they intro. I noticed there was quite a substantial drop in volume right after the first chorus though.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 16, 2011, 07:33:59 PM
And as an added bonus, here's a link to the WAV:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-15%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-15%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav)

I really like the ping pong effect at the beginning along with the wide guitars. It definitly has a nice spacious feel to it. The only thing that stood out right away seems to be the overheads. They sound loud and over powering at times. I would compress them a little more, and then automate.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: the-grid on July 16, 2011, 07:35:20 PM
Hi all

I'm new here so first of all, let me say thanks to John for starting this great forum, and Barry for agreeing to judge - I've had a blast mixing this track.

My mix is posted here:

http://soundcloud.com/the-grid-studios/ambitions-ah-mix

The download is a 24/48 .wav file, which has had some compression and EQ on the 2-buss, but no loudness processing.

Hope you enjoy it!

Cheers

Alex

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 16, 2011, 07:40:26 PM
Aiight, following the comments, my fecund mix (320kbps - no post-mix processing):

http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix2
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 16, 2011, 07:40:42 PM
Kinsoubus, I really like your mix. Especially they intro. I noticed there was quite a substantial drop in volume right after the first chorus though.

Thanks ! I tried automation, some things, guitars, kick & voice are getting louder in the pre-chorus, then stay loud... But if a drop is noticeable after the chorus, maybe I did that too strongly  ;D ...
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 16, 2011, 07:41:37 PM
Hi all

I'm new here so first of all, let me say thanks to John for starting this great forum, and Barry for agreeing to judge - I've had a blast mixing this track.

My mix is posted here:

http://soundcloud.com/the-grid-studios/ambitions-ah-mix

The download is a 24/48 .wav file, which has had some compression and EQ on the 2-buss, but no loudness processing.

Hope you enjoy it!

Cheers

Alex



Awesome mix, I really like it. Sounds like there is slight pumping going on though. Probably the compressor on the master bus.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: the-grid on July 16, 2011, 09:19:43 PM
Awesome mix, I really like it. Sounds like there is slight pumping going on though. Probably the compressor on the master bus.

Thanks! Yes, the stereo comp is set up to give a teensy bit of pumping, to give an impression of loudness even before those putative MEs get their hands on it...  ;)

There are some other interactions set up between individual tracks that might also contribute to the effect - the consensus may be that I've overdone it by getting too familiar with the sound over the last week, so I'm interested in feedback on this point.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 17, 2011, 05:57:38 AM
Aiight, following the comments, my fecund mix (320kbps - no post-mix processing):

http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix2

Nice sound. I like how the guitar in the intro starts in the middle and then they pan wide. Vox are a bit loud though. IMHO
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: stickfigure on July 17, 2011, 11:05:50 AM
Hi everybody!

Just let me thank All Hands Lost for some great tracks and Barry for his patience.

Here's my mix:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24873953/AllHandsLost-Ambitions%20-%20Stickfigure%20mix%20v1.mp3


And now, off to listening to the other mixes... and to starting to get depressed... ;)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 17, 2011, 12:55:04 PM
And as an added bonus, here's a link to the WAV:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-15%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-15%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav)

I really like the ping pong effect at the beginning along with the wide guitars. It definitly has a nice spacious feel to it. The only thing that stood out right away seems to be the overheads. They sound loud and over powering at times. I would compress them a little more, and then automate.


Thanks for the input; yeah, the Ride and Hi-Hat stood out quite a bit - I'm not sure what I was trying to achieve with that, so I've reined them in a little bit and tweaked one or two other elements.
Here's the amended mix, without any Master Bus processing:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-17%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav
And here's one I Mastered earlier  ;) (just some basic 'Mastering' applied):
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-17%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MSTR.wav

A lot of cool mixes being done with this track!

UPDATE: Newer mix posted 20-07-11 (further down...)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Walka on July 17, 2011, 10:29:28 PM
Here's my take on the song.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7983175/mixoff_walka.wav


/walka

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 17, 2011, 11:48:55 PM
Here's my contribution:

EDIT: Decided to keep it at one version with no mastering applied for clarity :)

http://www.unseensound.com/AllHandsLost_mix_11.mp3

Some notes:

* I decided not to do any of the edits that would have been needed to create a 'radio' version (the song could be . So think of this as the 'album' version :)
* It's dry, in-yer-face and hard-hitting as much as I could manage. It sounded like modern rock to me, so I mixed it like that, or at least tried to.

Enjoy and feel free to comment/flame/ask questions!


Lastrite

I like this mix a lot; it's got great punch without the kick or snare being too far out front. In mastering it would all glue together really well.

The parts that you added to the intro are kind of overstepping the bounds of the mix engineer and would have to be run past the band to see if they liked it. I've been down that road before, sometimes they love it and sometimes they hate it. Personally, I like it.

On the second listen I was hearing too much of the gated snare effect. A little effect send (or return) automation could manage that.

The vocals were a little thin sounding, particularly when compared to the rest of the mix. A little more low mid and/or some mid cut would get them to sound fuller. Nice judicious use of effects on the vocals in the bridge, the harmony vocals were a nice surprise. As with the intro additions, that kind of change would be something that the band would have to make the call on.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 17, 2011, 11:56:41 PM
Hello there,

Here is my first mix ...
I did no editing (even there are some parts that would need some correction), just eq, comp, reverb and some final limiting.
I´m not 100% happy with it, but after good comes broken.

http://www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-mix1.mp3

Thank you for sharing these files and thanks to the band.
Dirk


DirkZuber

The source guitar tracks were pretty crispy but I think they came out to dull in the context of the entire mix. You got the vocals and cymbals sounding bright and natural but the guitars are just not bitting enough.

The bass could probably use some low and low mid cuts to keep it from sounding too tubby. I do like the way you've brought out the bass licks at the end of the phrases, that's something I haven't heard anyone grab onto yet.

You might consider putting a de-esser the lead vocal to tame the sibilants that pop out from time to time. That's something that can be tricky to dial in, too much and the singer sounds like they've got a lisp.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 18, 2011, 12:07:35 AM
OK. Call me a mixaholic. I listened today and decided that I needed to give the song another shot. The stereo perspective wasn't large enough for the style and my mix needed more sonic clarity.
http://soundcloud.com/sbsrs/ambitions-mix-03 (http://soundcloud.com/sbsrs/ambitions-mix-03)

Cheers,
Joe Ford

SouthBrooklynSound

This is a solid mix.

The slap on the vocals sounds good but could probably come down a little bit. I'm a big proponent of effects that support a part without being obvious; when they're on you don't really hear them but when you turn them off you miss them. I think the vocals could probably come down a dB or two overall but it's not something that probably couldn't be handled at the mastering stage. I just think that if the vocals sat in the track a little more it could have more impact.

I like the way you brought out the bass licks in the transition before the bridge but once the drums come back in I think bass could come down a little bit.

With the bass being kind of loud, it also seems like the kick could be more prominent to anchor the mix more solidly. The tone sounds good, it might just be a matter of turning it up a little.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 18, 2011, 12:26:31 AM
O.K. ..Here's my mix. Nothing on the mixbus, just a mix as I would submit it to an ME.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/21000802/Ambitions-LCressy%20Mix.wav

The bass and the fizzy guitars were a bit of a challenge I must admit! Thanks to the band for sharing the files! There are some really good mixes here, lots of fun and lots to learn.

LCressy

The intro fade-in/panning is an interesting idea, I do kind of miss the bomb-drop of the guitar/bass/drum hits though.

The sound of the vocal and it's level make it sit in the track perfectly.

The guitars are mostly fizz and could use more body to carry the song. The bass is pretty big already so that would be a tricky to address in mastering. I put your mix through a Manley Massive Passive and added a medium-wide bell curve filter at 300 Hz and boosted it 5-6db and it made the guitars, drums, and vocals sound great, however, the bass was way too big and mushy and the kick got too boomy. Some rebalancing of EQ and tightening of the sound of the bass would take this good mix, and make it much better.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 18, 2011, 12:40:52 AM
Barry, looks like you're getting close to my mix - If you don't mind theres something I'd like to tweak before you review - just listened back on a better monitoring system and really not liking my FX choices for a certain part of the mix. If you've already gone through it by the time you read this no worries, I'll fix it in the final submission.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 18, 2011, 12:45:48 AM
Barry, looks like you're getting close to my mix - If you don't mind theres something I'd like to tweak before you review - just listened back on a better monitoring system and really not liking my FX choices for a certain part of the mix. If you've already gone through it by the time you read this no worries, I'll fix it in the final submission.

Yours is next up but I this is a good time to give my ears a rest. I'll make note to skip the current mix that I've got from you.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 18, 2011, 12:46:25 AM
Thanks for the tracks from a great band.
Heres my mix

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10010222/all%20hands%20lost2.mp3

leaky24

Overall the mix is really thin but it is pretty consistent within itself. If I stack a couple of low shelf boosts, one at 470 Hz and another at 820 Hz the mix comes into balance pretty well. This is usually indicative of monitoring issues; if your monitors/room are giving you back too much bottom end you're going to end up with a light mix like this. Something that I strongly suggest is that engineers listen to commercial releases on their studio system as often as they can. It's possible to mix on just about anything if you're intimately familiar with it.

The vocals really need to come down several dB overall so that they don't dominate the mix. I like the effected parts that you added in the end of the song but I think they'd be more effective if they were more subliminal.  That effect chain would sound really cool if it was used on a "preverb."  It's easier to do proverb with tape but it is possible in a DAW.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 18, 2011, 01:27:48 AM
Yours is next up but I this is a good time to give my ears a rest. I'll make note to skip the current mix that I've got from you.

Here's the updated version - still uploading / synching to Drop Box as I type, glad I caught you when I did ;)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23535250/All%20Hands%20Lost%20-%20Ambitions%20-%20Mix%20Off%20-%203.mp3

Edit: Link was broken, should work now

This version has some mix bus processing, but I've excluded any of the production changes where you'd need to consult with the band first (i.e. added instruments) - though I have a few things I want to add, and may still throw in if I have time before the close of the contest.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 18, 2011, 08:19:07 PM
UPDATE: Tomorrow, July 19th, is the deadline for mixes, if you want a critique from Barry! The deadline for final mixes is July 28th, Barry is planning to pick a winner by the 30th!

Great work so far, and of course, anyone can comment on others' mixes after tomorrow, too!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: DirkZuber on July 18, 2011, 09:03:30 PM
Hi there,

i listened to nearly every mix and it´s allways great to have the opportunity to listen to other peoples ideas.

So here is my second mix....

www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-mix2.mp3

Thanks to you Barry for your time and your critiques !

Dirk Zuber
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rotund on July 18, 2011, 11:28:39 PM
Howdy everyone...

First post here. Did some listening and now I'm uploading
as well. Thanks to the band and Barry.
I think this is a great song with not so great execution.
The band could be tighter and the drummer needs to hit with more conviction
consistently.

Unfortunately I'm forced to listen on crappy computer speakers but I know how they sound.
Here are my first set of critiques. If I seem mostly negative I'm sorry but telling everyone
their mixes sound fantastic isn't the point here correct? I expect the same...

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/35665801/Ambitions_ApeMix1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/35665801/Ambitions_ApeMix1.mp3)

Nothing on the Masterbus.

DirkZuber

Like the snare sound, hearing some weird click kik resonate thing.
Scratch that its the bass gtr clicking.
It only seems to happen occasionally though.
Gtrs take over after the break, though they may be taking over just a bit too much.
Seems to come together for the big ending though.



JoshERTW
Super harsh when drums and bass come in.
Some frequencies being boosted too much. highmids/highs
No definition in the bass or maybe there is some modulation fx on it .
The vocal seems to be on its own sometimes.
I would check your listening environment.



Walka
Nice weight in the intro.
Love the drum sounds so far.
Vocals seem a tad distant.
Maybe the snare could come down in the verses a db or 2.
The vocal fx got a little obvious in the bridge. Only for a line or two though.
Good mix over all.

 
aglinder
Pretty loud mix.
Gtrs almost seems too wide.
Bass Gtr seems a little loud.
The vox echos were a little naked? loud? the first time they happened.
The kik is pretty non existent but I know its there.
The vocal distortion was nice at first then seemed too much
for the latter vocal parts.


stickfigure
Like the reverb on the intro gtr.
Ahh the bottom snare mic sound.
The vocals really jumped out on the word "Realize" twice.
Too much, they need to be controlled more. Either automation or automation of compression or both.  The gtrs seem like they want to be louder overall so far. Maybe not in the chug parts.

Thats all for now.


randy
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: websoul on July 18, 2011, 11:57:51 PM
Here is a quick effort from me, about 90 mins worth ran out of time.  Lots I would still like to finish off, but it's a start.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: deejsirois on July 19, 2011, 03:12:31 PM
Here is my stab at mixing this song

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23347971/All%20Hands%20Lost-deej%20mix%201.mp3

No mastering.


Thanks to the band. And a huge thanks to Barry, another brave soul who has taken on a monster task.

EDIT:

Had a little extra time to do a couple tweaks. Here is the updated mix.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23347971/All%20Hands%20Lost-deej%20mix%202.mp3


No mastering.  ;D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Walka on July 19, 2011, 09:19:47 PM
Here is a quick effort from me, about 90 mins worth ran out of time.  Lots I would still like to finish off, but it's a start.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)

you seem to have mixed it in 44,1 when the files are 48kHz, it's a bit slow...
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: websoul on July 19, 2011, 10:02:04 PM
Here is a quick effort from me, about 90 mins worth ran out of time.  Lots I would still like to finish off, but it's a start.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)

you seem to have mixed it in 44,1 when the files are 48kHz, it's a bit slow...

Spot the person who was rushing to get an entry in!  Yep me!  Very embarrassing.

Thanks for for letting me know, I just updated the file!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 19, 2011, 11:09:54 PM
Here is a quick effort from me, about 90 mins worth ran out of time.  Lots I would still like to finish off, but it's a start.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)

you seem to have mixed it in 44,1 when the files are 48kHz, it's a bit slow...

Spot the person who was rushing to get an entry in!  Yep me!  Very embarrassing.

Thanks for for letting me know, I just updated the file!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)

Don't feel bad, I did the same thing for the first half of my mixing on this one haha!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: trumpino1 on July 20, 2011, 12:22:01 AM
Hello all I am new to this place and I got to say this seems like one heck of a cool place to learn. I have learned a ton just from the time I have been here. Anyways I thought I would try this contest out to see what kind of feedback I get. Here is the link to my file http://www.box.net/shared/o883novf94a160hygj5h (http://www.box.net/shared/o883novf94a160hygj5h)

I will definitely be commenting on other peoples mixes and being an active part of this community.

Thanks alot.

Trump
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: SouthBrooklynSound on July 20, 2011, 05:18:56 AM
Barry thanks for your critique. Here is a revision that I hope is a suitable solution.
It's posted here:  http://soundcloud.com/sbsrs/ambitions-mix-04-07/ (http://soundcloud.com/sbsrs/ambitions-mix-04-07/)
Cheers,
Joe Ford
SBS
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 20, 2011, 08:03:57 AM
Updated mix, taking into consideration various critiques:
No Master Bus processing.

EDIT: 21-07-2011

Ok, ok... FINAL Mix, I promise:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-21%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-21%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav)

http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: MortenRa on July 20, 2011, 12:12:13 PM
Finally got time to do this!.
But wow this one needed some help editingwise! :o
So I tryed to get the song a little under wraps timingwise, I didnt do the hole tracks just the parts that were the worst to my ears.
After that the drums needed to be heavily augmented to get a constant feel and sound to them. I only did the Kick and snare, otherwise it would have taken too long.
So its not mastered. Its straight of the mixbuss.

Hope you like it
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 20, 2011, 01:05:31 PM
After getting critique from Barry, I've made small adjustments to my mix, adding little more body to the guitars and more edge to the vocals.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/26696007/Ambitions_Bounce_V2.mp3

Likely this might be my final mix for this actual competition.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: trumpino1 on July 20, 2011, 09:01:39 PM
It got a little late last night after I posted my mix so I didn't get to comment on the others so here goes. Also I have only been doing this stuff for about a year so I am still kind of new to it all.

SouthBrooklynSound: I like the sound of your mix. The guitars sound good and the bass is really driving it right along there at the end. I've listened to a lot of the mixes on here and most start with the intro guitar on the left or center and yours starts on the right. Not that it matters but that stuck out to me. Sounds good overall to me.

Aglinder: I like how the intro pans back and forth. I like the delay on the vocals and the guitars sound real good to me. I like the effects on the vocals at the last part. Really cool. Pretty cool stuff going on with this one.

MortenDK: I like the effect you did on the intro to this one too. This sounds really bright and clear, but I'm not saying it is too much or anything, maybe about right, IDK. I think the last part sounds pretty good.

Spede: Your first mix helped me out a lot, because when I first listened to yours and VVV's on here my mix was horrible. I had hardly any bass at all and the kick was completely lost. listening to your two mixes really helped me a lot. That and the explanation of how to fix the bass by BarryWood. Thanks for that. I like how you shortened the intro part and just jumped right into the rockin'. I think this second mix is really great.

I have listened to a lot of the mixes on here and I got to say they are all pretty good. This is really going to be a great place to learn this stuff and there is definitely a lot of tough competition for sure.

Have a good one everyone.

Trump
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Mavro on July 20, 2011, 09:13:48 PM
Hello,

Here is my first try on this song.
Ive changed the mix alot from the beginning and im not realy sure where im going with it. But now it feels good so i bounced it :).

Thanks to the band for sharing the material. And thanks Barry for your time helping out here.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4384939/All%20hands%20lost%20-%20Ambitions%202011-07-20.mp3

Regards
Johan

Edit: The only mastering ive done is getting the volume up abit with a limiter that only took lik 1-2 dB sometimes
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rfahey86 on July 20, 2011, 09:39:12 PM
Hello,

Here is my first try on this song.
Ive changed the mix alot from the beginning and im not realy sure where im going with it. But now it feels good so i bounced it :).

Thanks to the band for sharing the material. And thanks Barry for your time helping out here.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4384939/All%20hands%20lost%20-%20Ambitions%202011-07-20.mp3

Regards
Johan

Edit: The only mastering ive done is getting the volume up abit with a limiter that only took lik 1-2 dB sometimes


I think you are off to a good start especially with the sound of that kick. I think the bass needs to be toned down a little. It kind of drowns out the guitars. Also try automating the overheads and high hat so that that they don't jump out and take your attention away from the rest of the mix. 
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Mavro on July 21, 2011, 01:14:41 PM
Hello,

Here is my first try on this song.
Ive changed the mix alot from the beginning and im not realy sure where im going with it. But now it feels good so i bounced it :).

Thanks to the band for sharing the material. And thanks Barry for your time helping out here.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4384939/All%20hands%20lost%20-%20Ambitions%202011-07-20.mp3

Regards
Johan

Edit: The only mastering ive done is getting the volume up abit with a limiter that only took lik 1-2 dB sometimes


I think you are off to a good start especially with the sound of that kick. I think the bass needs to be toned down a little. It kind of drowns out the guitars. Also try automating the overheads and high hat so that that they don't jump out and take your attention away from the rest of the mix. 

Okey thanks for feedback, i will keep that in mind when i continue to mix it.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: MortenRa on July 22, 2011, 01:30:06 PM

MortenDK: I like the effect you did on the intro to this one too. This sounds really bright and clear, but I'm not saying it is too much or anything, maybe about right, IDK. I think the last part sounds pretty good.

Hey Man
Thx for listening!. I did have some issues with the EQ on the high hat and OH I had set the high shelf too high and it made the high end jump out every now and then!.
I did a revised version with a little bit more snare aswell.
Thx again! :D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: garanimals on July 23, 2011, 06:06:22 AM
Hey Everyone.

Thanks Barry for hosting this mixoff and thanks to the band for allowing us to use the tracks!

This is the first mixoff that I have done, I am hoping get a little constructive criticism!

I haven't gotten a chance to listen to everyone's mixes yet, but hopefully will get to this weekend.

Here's my mix
http://soundcloud.com/garanimals/ambitions (http://soundcloud.com/garanimals/ambitions)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Peterjk on July 23, 2011, 08:49:06 AM

UPDATE: Submission deadline for revised mixes is July 28th!



I did NOT get the time to put in a mix to be revised, but I hope it's OK to submit an unrevised mix before the 28th. I am working on it right now. (Missing the chance to do a 2nd mix off course).

Peter
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: MortenRa on July 23, 2011, 09:55:52 AM
Dude get going!!!!! ;D Welcome Peter to the Forum!!.
Man im looking forward to your mix buddy! ;D I thought you didnt want to do it..... ya bastard :D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: DirkZuber on July 23, 2011, 10:56:29 AM
Hey there,

this is my final submission :-)


www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-final.mp3

Happy Weekend
Dirk Zuber
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 03:26:25 PM
Sorry about being MIA. Of course, the number of mix submissions is indirectly proportional to the amount of time that I have to listen to them  :P

Back on it today...
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 04:28:07 PM
Hey Everyone.

Thanks Barry for hosting this mixoff and thanks to the band for allowing us to use the tracks!

This is the first mixoff that I have done, I am hoping get a little constructive criticism!

I haven't gotten a chance to listen to everyone's mixes yet, but hopefully will get to this weekend.

Here's my mix
http://soundcloud.com/garanimals/ambitions (http://soundcloud.com/garanimals/ambitions)

You're going to need to allow downloading for the mix you put up on soundcloud.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 06:21:11 PM
Here's the updated version - still uploading / synching to Drop Box as I type, glad I caught you when I did ;)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23535250/All%20Hands%20Lost%20-%20Ambitions%20-%20Mix%20Off%20-%203.mp3

This version has some mix bus processing, but I've excluded any of the production changes where you'd need to consult with the band first (i.e. added instruments) - though I have a few things I want to add, and may still throw in if I have time before the close of the contest.

JoshERTW
Your second mix is definitely better than the first one. It sounds to me like you've got all the faders panned center, the only stereo information in the mix are the cymbals and the short reverb returns. The way the guitars are recorded they are really intended to be panned apart from each other. The guitars could also use a different EQ approach; the intro tone is very mid-rangey and once the vocals come in they fall into the background. If you can pan and beef up the guitars and bring down the vocal down a bit you'll have a stronger mix.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 23, 2011, 06:35:34 PM
JoshERTW
Your second mix is definitely better than the first one. It sounds to me like you've got all the faders panned center, the only stereo information in the mix are the cymbals and the short reverb returns. The way the guitars are recorded they are really intended to be panned apart from each other. The guitars could also use a different EQ approach; the intro tone is very mid-rangey and once the vocals come in they fall into the background. If you can pan and beef up the guitars and bring down the vocal down a bit you'll have a stronger mix.

Hey Barry,

Thanks for the feedback - I was trying to go for a "telephone" effect on the intro guitar, with a big drop in once the drums come it, I actually have a separate EQ for that effect which I automate into bypass mode after the intro. It could be more pronounced though I agree. I also had the guitars panned, but not too far off center, I think I had them at about 30L 30R (where 100 is full L/R) - will try and push them a little further afield and see how it turns out. I'm mixing on can's and two computer speakers taped together to test mono compatibility at the moment - once I can afford better reference monitors I should be in better shape. Looking at the KRK VXT4's right now.

I also have separate EQ's on both gutiars but I'll play with them some more too, maybe change my amp sim settings on the doubled tracks that I made, and adjust their balance vs. the recorded tracks - with no DI's I tried a little experimenting on the guitars so I apologize if it missed the mark ;)

Agreed re: vocals, I tend to overcompensate on vocals and keep them too high, as traditionally I always got criticism for leaving them low.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 06:54:01 PM
Updated mix, taking into consideration various critiques:
No Master Bus processing.

Ok, ok... FINAL Mix, I promise:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-21%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-21%20AHL%20Ambitions%20aglinder%20MIX.wav)

http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1)


aglinder
Due to my lag in offering critiques, aglinder has three mixes that I've yet to comment on. The mixes definitely improved upon each other. The first mix was kind of thin and weak, the second was better, and the third got quite a bit better. The guitars are much more focussed in the third mix and I like the balance between the instruments. The kick could stand to come down a bit or maybe just rolling of the low frequencies from 40-45 Hz down would do the trick.

I really like the panning and filtering on the guitars in the intro. I would probably not repeat the panning on the guitar break before the bridge; sometimes it's better to a use an obvious effect once in a mix. The vocal treatment in the bridge is also cool, you might bring it down a couple of dB because that distortion with the "telephone eq" really cuts through.

I forgot to mention one thing... You might want to turn up the power chords on the intro so when the drums and bass hit, it's really big.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: garanimals on July 23, 2011, 07:08:01 PM
Sorry - thanks for taking the time to reply.  Here is my new link


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14176541/Ambitions.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14176541/Ambitions.mp3)



Hey Everyone.

Thanks Barry for hosting this mixoff and thanks to the band for allowing us to use the tracks!

This is the first mixoff that I have done, I am hoping get a little constructive criticism!

I haven't gotten a chance to listen to everyone's mixes yet, but hopefully will get to this weekend.

Here's my mix
http://soundcloud.com/garanimals/ambitions (http://soundcloud.com/garanimals/ambitions)

You're going to need to allow downloading for the mix you put up on soundcloud.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 07:25:05 PM
Hi,

here is my mix, nothing on the mixbus.

mp3 (320) : http://snd.sc/qjvqvE (http://snd.sc/qjvqvE)
wav : http://snd.sc/oiAxS5 (http://snd.sc/oiAxS5)

Will now listen to others mixes !


kinsoubus
You mix has more a "live band" sound than the "hyped beyond belief" modern metal sound so my critique will be based on your approach.

The short reverb on the guitars gives them a nice live sound but it does put them into a different space than the other instruments; if you pulled that back a bit the mix would sound a little more cohesive. I'd like to hear the bass better anchor the song. Maybe some 1176-style compression and possibly some bass amp-sim would lend the presence and grind to get the bass to stand up to the guitars. Other than that, it's a good mix.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 23, 2011, 07:41:05 PM
aglinder
Due to my lag in offering critiques, aglinder has three mixes that I've yet to comment on. The mixes definitely improved upon each other. The first mix was kind of thin and weak, the second was better, and the third got quite a bit better. The guitars are much more focussed in the third mix and I like the balance between the instruments. The kick could stand to come down a bit or maybe just rolling of the low frequencies from 40-45 Hz down would do the trick.

I really like the panning and filtering on the guitars in the intro. I would probably not repeat the panning on the guitar break before the bridge; sometimes it's better to a use an obvious effect once in a mix. The vocal treatment in the bridge is also cool, you might bring it down a couple of dB because that distortion with the "telephone eq" really cuts through.

I forgot to mention one thing... You might want to turn up the power chords on the intro so when the drums and bass hit, it's really big.

Cool, thanks for the feedback Barry! Will try out your recommendations  :D
Yeah, this is my first 'competitive' mix, so I've gotten a little carried away with all the submissions  ::), but the feedback from other forum members has been of great value and listening to the other mixes has really pushed me too!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 07:41:35 PM
Barry, thanks for taking the time to critique my mix. I took what you said about the bass phase issues as well as the kick punching through the mix into consideration. Here is an updated version: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12979410/071511%20-%209%20multiband%20comp%20kick%20boost%202.wav Please feel free to critique this mix as well.

rfahey
I can see where you were going with the vocal effect in the chorus in trying to differentiate them; the problem though is that the heavy chorus effect you're using is messing with the pitch too much. On singers with bad pitch control this can be a good thing but this singer is solid in that department.

You got the overly-bright guitars sounding really good but like a number of the other mixes, the bass could use more definition. That's a challenge given the space that the guitars are already filling.

It also sounds like the drums are scooped in the upper mids and sound kind of closed-in. A wide boost around 6KHz would probably open them up nicely. Of course, making that change may very well cause you to want to adjust the tone of the guitars and vocals but that's the domino effect that is mixing :)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 08:07:01 PM
Hi all

I'm new here so first of all, let me say thanks to John for starting this great forum, and Barry for agreeing to judge - I've had a blast mixing this track.

My mix is posted here:

http://soundcloud.com/the-grid-studios/ambitions-ah-mix

The download is a 24/48 .wav file, which has had some compression and EQ on the 2-buss, but no loudness processing.

Hope you enjoy it!

Cheers

Alex

the-grid
The overall tone of your mix is really good. The drums are nice and punchy and the bass has good presence. I would bring the guitars down a dB or so overall and see if that makes gives the mix more impact by letting the other tracks have more space.

Something strange is happening with the bass at 0:43 where there are notes played that are not in the original track.

At 0:58 and 2:13 in the pre-chorus where you adding the vocal effect it sounds like your 2-bus compressor is really kicking in. It's possible that the effect is generating excessive low end that's causing the compressor to act. You may need to use a high-pass filter the effect.

BTW, I absolutely love the muting going at the last vocal line, that adds a lot of drama to the end and the lyric is perfect there. If I were the band I'd start playing the song that way from now on.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 23, 2011, 08:31:49 PM
Aiight, following the comments, my fecund mix (320kbps - no post-mix processing):

http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix2

vvv
The guitars could stand to have their high end tamed. Compared to the rest of the mix of the mix they are by far the brightest element. This would be a problem in mastering because there's little that could be done to brighten up the other tracks without making the guitars super crispy. Once you get the guitars dialed in it will likely expose the other instruments more and cause you to take a look at changes to them. Right now the bright guitar tone is likely masking other issues that you're not currently hearing.

A hallmark of a good mix is consistent frequency perspective between instruments. If everything is consistent then it's possible to make overall tonal changes in mastering to get the track to match up with other mixes on an album. I find that sometimes a mix just wants to be a little dark. I would rather mix a song a little on the dark (or bright) side if it means not having to beat every single track into shape with EQ. I get better results if those broad stroke EQ changes are either done in mastering or as a gentle 2-bus EQ.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: deejsirois on July 24, 2011, 02:27:12 AM

[/quote]

 Of course, making that change may very well cause you to want to adjust the tone of the guitars and vocals but that's the domino effect that is mixing :)
[/quote]

[/quote]
A hallmark of a good mix is consistent frequency perspective between instruments. If everything is consistent then it's possible to make overall tonal changes in mastering to get the track to match up with other mixes on an album. I find that sometimes a mix just wants to be a little dark. I would rather mix a song a little on the dark (or bright) side if it means not having to beat every single track into shape with EQ. I get better results if those broad stroke EQ changes are either done in mastering or as a gentle 2-bus EQ.
[/quote]


Thanks, Barry! You are giving us some gems. This is the kind of info. that I have experienced, but could not articulate. Thank you. Some pro mix engineer said "changing anything affects everything" (I forget who it was), but man that was a gem, and you are saying the same thing. I am also re-learning the great art of NOT doing things to tracks (Eq etc..), unless they absolutely need it.

Thanks again for a piece of your brain and your experience!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 24, 2011, 01:20:27 PM
Final Submission Mix! 8)

No Master Bus processing.

http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions
 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-23_AHL_Ambitions_aglinder_MIX.wav (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-23_AHL_Ambitions_aglinder_MIX.wav)

Good Luck to All!
It's been, emotional.  ;)

EDIT 26/07/2011: Ok, FINAL Final Mix:
http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1 (http://soundcloud.com/aglinder/all-hands-lost-ambitions-1)
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-26_AHL_Ambitions_aglinder_MIX.wav (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25245080/11-07-26_AHL_Ambitions_aglinder_MIX.wav)
Title: FINAL SUBMISSION: Peterjk
Post by: Peterjk on July 24, 2011, 03:33:04 PM
Hi All,

I'm so sorry I did not reach the deadline to have Barry critique a first draft, but hey I'm all in - and hope for the best!

Cool band. I would love to produce an album with these guys.

Here's my mix:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3164224/MASTER_AllHandsLost_Ambition_PeterJuulKristensen_01.wav

I have on purpose not listened to any other submission before I did my own. But I am dying to.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: LCressy on July 24, 2011, 10:02:54 PM
O.K. - Here is my final submission....

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/21000802/Ambitions%20-%20LCRessy%20Mix%20Final.wav
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 12:19:18 AM
Hi everybody!

Just let me thank All Hands Lost for some great tracks and Barry for his patience.

Here's my mix:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24873953/AllHandsLost-Ambitions%20-%20Stickfigure%20mix%20v1.mp3

And now, off to listening to the other mixes... and to starting to get depressed... ;)

stickfigure
The first thing that struck me with this mix is that the vocals seemed like they were pretty far out in front of everything else. One trick that I've found useful for gauging the overall balance is to listen to the mix at a very low level; if you can still hear everything you've probably got a good balance. When I do that with this mix it becomes apparent that the vocals are too loud. Many of the vocal effects work well but they're kind of in your face. Dropping the overall vocal level might be enough to keep the effects from being too much.

I think you've got the guitar tone tamed pretty well, which is difficult with these tracks. The snare sounds a little over crispy, it's possible that you're using too much of the bottom snare mic. As in many of the other mixes, the bass needs some help to get into a place where it's going to really support the track.

The vocal edit in the bridge was kind of cool. That part rock pretty hard and it's nice to let the instruments go a bit before the vocal comes in.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 12:32:25 AM
Here's my take on the song.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7983175/mixoff_walka.wav

/walka

Walka
The is a good mix overall. The drum tones are all really solid although the lower toms do get boomy. The guitar tone on the last section of the song is really nice but in the first half their natural fizziness needs to be toned down. That troublesome bass track seems to be a gotcha for many people and the same is true here. There are times you really need to use everything in your arsenal to beat certain tracks into shape.

I like the tremolo effect on the intro guitar. I wouldn't be afraid to make it more extreme and then cut it out either at the drum hits or when the beat starts. As I've mentioned in previous critiques, I'm a big fan of effects that are nearly subliminal, I'm also a fan of really obvious effects. Lenny Kravitz productions are a great example of obvious effect use. This brings me to one of my personal mixing maxims:

Less is more, unless more is more.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 12:50:27 AM
Hi there,

i listened to nearly every mix and it´s allways great to have the opportunity to listen to other peoples ideas.

So here is my second mix....

www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-mix2.mp3

Thanks to you Barry for your time and your critiques !

Dirk Zuber

DirkZuber
In your first mix the guitars were too dark and too quiet, you've done a complete 180 with this mix but I think you've gone too far. If you can find a happy medium you'll be there. To me the guitars have a slightly phasey sounds that I generally associate with over-EQing.

The bass sound in your first mix was also boomy and indistinct. You've nailed the bass sound with this one; it anchors the mix and cuts through nicely. The drums and vocals sound good. If I were to do anything to the drums it would be to boost the level of the snare a little to help drive the song although if the guitar EQ is backed off the snare might be perfect.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 06:42:14 PM
Howdy everyone...

First post here. Did some listening and now I'm uploading
as well. Thanks to the band and Barry.
I think this is a great song with not so great execution.
The band could be tighter and the drummer needs to hit with more conviction
consistently.

Unfortunately I'm forced to listen on crappy computer speakers but I know how they sound.
Here are my first set of critiques. If I seem mostly negative I'm sorry but telling everyone
their mixes sound fantastic isn't the point here correct? I expect the same...

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/35665801/Ambitions_ApeMix1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/35665801/Ambitions_ApeMix1.mp3)

Nothing on the Masterbus.

Rotund
That was an interesting edit on the intro. For me that would go beyond the bounds of what a mix engineer would normally do with out carte blanche from the band.

I like the tone you got on the guitars, the fizziness is controlled but they still cut through. That's a nice doubling effect on the chorus vocals too; It sounds more like it was actually doubled rather than an effect that was added. The drums all sound solid too. I think the bass tone could be improved. Right now it's not bad but it could use a little grind to make it more than just an extension of the guitar sound.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 07:09:53 PM
Here is my stab at mixing this song

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23347971/All%20Hands%20Lost-deej%20mix%201.mp3

No mastering.

Thanks to the band. And a huge thanks to Barry, another brave soul who has taken on a monster task.

EDIT:

Had a little extra time to do a couple tweaks. Here is the updated mix.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23347971/All%20Hands%20Lost-deej%20mix%202.mp3

No mastering.  ;D

deejsirios
This mix has a different tonality than most of the others and I think it has a lot to do with the sound of the snare. Making a dramatic statement like that with the snare sound can be a effective technique for making a mix stand out. It reminds me a little of Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealing" where it's hard to tell if it's a snare or a clap or both, in any case it's different and cool.

The balance is good and all the elements of the mix are working well together. I don't know if you did some editing but a number of guitar parts sound out of time. If you're using a short, panned delay to beef things up it might be too long. Short offset doubling like that is difficult to pull off, too short and you get comb filtering, too long and the timing gets screwy.

You've got the bass under control with what sounds like heavy compression, which is about the only way to reign this in. With that much compression I'm missing the attack on the individual notes. In these cases I always use a compressor that allows me to control the attack time. I set the attack slow enough to let the initial transient through but fast enough to control the overall dynamics. On really problematic bass tracks a multiband compressor can save the day. You can set one up to jump on particularly boomy ranges but leave the upper frequencies alone to cut through.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 25, 2011, 08:01:37 PM

kinsoubus
You mix has more a "live band" sound than the "hyped beyond belief" modern metal sound so my critique will be based on your approach.

The short reverb on the guitars gives them a nice live sound but it does put them into a different space than the other instruments; if you pulled that back a bit the mix would sound a little more cohesive. I'd like to hear the bass better anchor the song. Maybe some 1176-style compression and possibly some bass amp-sim would lend the presence and grind to get the bass to stand up to the guitars. Other than that, it's a good mix.



Hi,

thanks for your advices - very useful, and motivating ! All that stuff is very interesting.... I would be curious to know what make you think I have a live band approach... To be honest I have few mixing experience, I try to do... what I can ;-) (and I learn a lot with sites like this one !)

Anyway, I tried to make some changes, the bass could indeed really have been better on my first mix. I also removed guitars from the room reverb. Being far from home, I had to make those changes with headphones, so this mix could be worst than the first one ;-)

http://snd.sc/qMe0xf



Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 25, 2011, 08:06:42 PM
While I'm here, do someone have tricks to "reset" ears ? I downloaded most of the mixes, and I try to listen to them, but if I listen A then B then C, or B then A then C, I have not the same feeling at all with C... How do you deal with that ? I tried to listen to a track I know between mixes, seems better but if you have tricks...
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rotund on July 25, 2011, 08:16:34 PM
Quote
Rotund
That was an interesting edit on the intro. For me that would go beyond the bounds of what a mix engineer would normally do with out carte blanche from the band.

I like the tone you got on the guitars, the fizziness is controlled but they still cut through. That's a nice doubling effect on the chorus vocals too; It sounds more like it was actually doubled rather than an effect that was added. The drums all sound solid too. I think the bass tone could be improved. Right now it's not bad but it could use a little grind to make it more than just an extension of the guitar sound.

Barry, thank you for taking the time.  I was starting to think my submission got overlooked.
I must have misunderstood about edits. I thought a fade in would be ok. I can fix that...I edited the chorus vocals to come up with a mult. So that really is a second take you hear, plus I duplicated that and set it back about 50-60ms and blended it in. The drum sounds, at least the kik and snare are pretty much the 1st samples I loaded up that sounded even close. They could use a little attention. The bass is simply holding down the fort, I tried a little fuzz but the clicki-ness of the bass made me hold off.

Thanks again Barry for doing this. Sometimes I feel that time is the only thing we have that is really worth anything. Time and what we choose do with it. Thanks for spending yours on this.

I will be able to do some more critiques soon.

randy
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 08:32:33 PM
thanks for your advices - very useful, and motivating ! All that stuff is very interesting.... I would be curious to know what make you think I have a live band approach... To be honest I have few mixing experience, I try to do... what I can ;-) (and I learn a lot with sites like this one !)

I just thought that your mix sounds more like what you would hear if a band was performing live, as opposed to a recording that had be highly processed. Many metal albums these days have gotten to the point where they sound nothing like real instruments.

Anyway, I tried to make some changes, the bass could indeed really have been better on my first mix. I also removed guitars from the room reverb. Being far from home, I had to make those changes with headphones, so this mix could be worst than the first one ;-)

I always do a "save as" for my session files because there are times when you realize that a previous mix was better. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole and lose sight of the big picture.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 08:48:13 PM
While I'm here, do someone have tricks to "reset" ears ? I downloaded most of the mixes, and I try to listen to them, but if I listen A then B then C, or B then A then C, I have not the same feeling at all with C... How do you deal with that ? I tried to listen to a track I know between mixes, seems better but if you have tricks...

There are a few techniques I use.

Listening to another piece of music can be helpful. Sometimes I'll go for a reference track by another artist that's close to what I'm working on, other times I go for something completely different.

Making changes to your monitoring levels can work too. It's easy for the monitoring levels to increase over the course of a session and turning things down, even just for a little while, can help.

IMO, the most effective technique for those times I start feeling like I'm losing perspective is to simply take a break. A number of years ago I was doing some marathon mix sessions at The Plant in Sausalito, CA on San Francisco Bay. We were doing 14 hour+/per song mixes on a massive automated Neve board. I was used to doing "all hands on faders" manual mixes so I'd never spent that much time on one mix and my ears were getting fried. A short walk out of the studio to the edge of the bay made a huge difference.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 08:58:21 PM
Barry, thank you for taking the time.  I was starting to think my submission got overlooked.
I must have misunderstood about edits. I thought a fade in would be ok. I can fix that

Feel to free to make whatever edits you like. I just was offering my opinion on the intro edits you did. I probably wouldn't gone that far unless I was doing an alternate remix. Ultimately it would need to be approved by the band and producer and you never know what they will have to say.

I edited the chorus vocals to come up with a mult. So that really is a second take you hear, plus I duplicated that and set it back about 50-60ms and blended it in. The drum sounds, at least the kik and snare are pretty much the 1st samples I loaded up that sounded even close. They could use a little attention. The bass is simply holding down the fort, I tried a little fuzz but the clicki-ness of the bass made me hold off.

The bass is definitely a challenge with this mix. Don't be afraid of tracks that sound funny when they're soloed, it's all about how they work in the mix. I've seen a couple of presentations made by engineers where they bring up individual tracks from some hit song where the mix sounds great. When you hear the soloed tracks, some of the sound muted, or thin and just not very good. When they are put together in the mix they sound perfect.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: vvv on July 25, 2011, 09:00:03 PM
Aiight, de-fizzed the guitars (I have rambled before about how I question unilaterally radically changing tracks I am presented with, but since it is the judge what said to do it ...) what of course required other adjustments, mostly EQ and levels, and caused me to add a bit more compression on the lead vocal; anywhat, strike 3:

http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix3

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 25, 2011, 11:48:43 PM

Spot the person who was rushing to get an entry in!  Yep me!  Very embarrassing.

Thanks for for letting me know, I just updated the file!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3)

websoul
The mix seems to lose volume at the end of the intro when the beat kicks in. Dropping the level of the intro guitars ought to restore the impact. The guitar tone on the first half of the song is pretty different from the last half. I would try to beef up the first-half guitars and give a little more edge to last half. That might help alleviate the apparent volume drop at the end of the intro.

Since the majority of the mix is dry you should think about lowering the vocal effect level so they don't feel so separate from the rest of the mix. That being said, I really liked the effect that you used on the scream, don't touch that.

The drums sound pretty punchy and tight. The half-open high hat parts sound a little thick in the mid range, particularly on the first chorus.

Overall this is another solid mix.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 26, 2011, 12:04:45 AM
Hello all I am new to this place and I got to say this seems like one heck of a cool place to learn. I have learned a ton just from the time I have been here. Anyways I thought I would try this contest out to see what kind of feedback I get. Here is the link to my file http://www.box.net/shared/o883novf94a160hygj5h (http://www.box.net/shared/o883novf94a160hygj5h)

I will definitely be commenting on other peoples mixes and being an active part of this community.

Thanks alot.

Trump

trumpino1
There are some good things going on in this mix tone-wise but I think what's really lacking is dynamic processing. It doesn't sound like you've got any compression going on and the bass and drums in particular are really calling for it.

Arguably, compression is the sound of rock 'n roll. The satisfying splat of a snare, the solid bottom end of a bass track and vocal that stays on top of a raging band are all accomplished with various form of compression. That compression can come from a compressor, tape compression, or the compression that an overdriven amp creates. Used right, you get a mix that "in your face" that sounds loud but still has punch. Used poorly you can easily end up with a lifeless pile of goo.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: stickfigure on July 26, 2011, 12:39:28 AM
stickfigure
The first thing that struck me with this mix is that the vocals seemed like they were pretty far out in front of everything else. One trick that I've found useful for gauging the overall balance is to listen to the mix at a very low level; if you can still hear everything you've probably got a good balance. When I do that with this mix it becomes apparent that the vocals are too loud. Many of the vocal effects work well but they're kind of in your face. Dropping the overall vocal level might be enough to keep the effects from being too much.

I think you've got the guitar tone tamed pretty well, which is difficult with these tracks. The snare sounds a little over crispy, it's possible that you're using too much of the bottom snare mic. As in many of the other mixes, the bass needs some help to get into a place where it's going to really support the track.

The vocal edit in the bridge was kind of cool. That part rock pretty hard and it's nice to let the instruments go a bit before the vocal comes in.

Hi, Barry!
Thanks for the feedback. I guess I left the vocals so upfront because I felt they were clashing with the guitars and it was the only way for them to be heard. I just spread the guitars a bit and managed to find room for the vocals and tuck them in the mix.
Fixed the snare sound, although it wasn't quite a st. anger, was it? ;)
The bass... well, I'm still scratching my head over it... re-amped it, re-equed it... it's better, but far from perfect... like peterjk's... :)
Regarding the vocal edit on the bridge, didn't really know if I was stepping out of boundaries but that vocal line just felt better a little later, next to the part with lyrics.
Oh, and I also loved the-grid's muting at the last line! So much that... well, you get the point...  :-[ ;)

here's the revised (and probably final) mix:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24873953/AllHandsLost-Ambitions%20-%20Stickfigure%20mix%20v3.mp3

Thanks!!!


Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 26, 2011, 12:52:16 AM
I've made it through the critique process for all the mixes that were posted through July 19th and are a few days left for everyone to post revisions :)

There were a couple of people who posted their first mixes after the deadline. If I can squeeze it in, I'll try to get a critique up for them, no promises though.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not taking overall volume into consideration at all. For critique purposes I've created a project where I have all the mixes loaded up in a stack of stereo tracks. Before I do any critiques I adjust the fader so that each mix is at essentially the same volume. the quieter mix end up with faders higher than those that are louder. That evens out the playing field and allows me to get as close to comparing "apples to apples" as I can.

Here is a screen grab of my mixer showing the first 24 mixes:

(http://otheroom.com/misc/fader.jpg)

On the 29th I download all the mixes up to the 28th and will announce that day.
Title: Final Submission take 2
Post by: DirkZuber on July 26, 2011, 08:28:46 AM
Here is my last submission take 2 :-)

www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-final-2.mp3

Thank you Barry for your great tips.


Dirk Zuber

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: the-grid on July 27, 2011, 09:51:42 AM
The overall tone of your mix is really good. The drums are nice and punchy and the bass has good presence. I would bring the guitars down a dB or so overall and see if that makes gives the mix more impact by letting the other tracks have more space.

Something strange is happening with the bass at 0:43 where there are notes played that are not in the original track.

At 0:58 and 2:13 in the pre-chorus where you adding the vocal effect it sounds like your 2-bus compressor is really kicking in. It's possible that the effect is generating excessive low end that's causing the compressor to act. You may need to use a high-pass filter the effect.

BTW, I absolutely love the muting going at the last vocal line, that adds a lot of drama to the end and the lyric is perfect there. If I were the band I'd start playing the song that way from now on.

Hi Barry, many thanks for your encouraging critique. I've incorporated your suggestions/comments - plus a couple of other refinements - in the following mix:

http://soundcloud.com/the-grid-studios/ambitions-ah-mix-v2

Embarrassed about the bass at 0:43 - I spent two days on editing duty here, and put this uncharacteristic lapse down to snow-blindness at the end of day 1! Thanks for spotting that.

The pre-chorus problem was caused by an over-enthusiastic ducker keyed from the vocal. I've calmed him down now.

Hope this mix delivers the necessary improvements!

Best

Alex
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Aof on July 27, 2011, 10:16:33 AM
Hi everybody

Thanks to "All Hands Lost" for the song, and to Barry for being the judge and for the comments.
First I would like to say that I am not a mixing engineer (as a matter of fact, I am an engineer, but not audio related), but I really like all things audio related and I just started learning all this about mixing. I don't have any kind of equipment for this task, so I had to do all this in a friends computer (who is a musician). I liked it so much that I bought a license for Studio One and some plugins  ;D.
I am a little late to the party, but here is my attempt at a mix:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/36480005/All%20Hands%20Lost%20-%20Ambitions%20-%20MixOff%20-%20AOF.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/36480005/All%20Hands%20Lost%20-%20Ambitions%20-%20MixOff%20-%20AOF.mp3)

I hope I can participate, even though I didn't submit a mix before.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: websoul on July 27, 2011, 02:41:36 PM
First off, big thanks for the feedback.  Really appreciate it!!  I've made a few changes based on your feedback and also a few other tweaks here and there.

Here is the file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-Updated.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-Updated.mp3)
And comments below  :)

websoul
The mix seems to lose volume at the end of the intro when the beat kicks in. Dropping the level of the intro guitars ought to restore the impact.
I've dropped the guitars a few db and also dropped a compressed drum group a whole bunch of db's, which are then pushed back up when the full band kicks in.

The guitar tone on the first half of the song is pretty different from the last half. I would try to beef up the first-half guitars and give a little more edge to last half. That might help alleviate the apparent volume drop at the end of the intro.
This was actually intentional.  There is a different intensity from the first part of the song to the last part.  So I tried an EQ difference on the guitars to try and emphasis this.  I've now gone for a different approach with the guitars as they are EQ'd the same, but different from the first try.  The outro is still slightly different as the compression is different to help with the change in the songs intensity.

Since the majority of the mix is dry you should think about lowering the vocal effect level so they don't feel so separate from the rest of the mix. That being said, I really liked the effect that you used on the scream, don't touch that.
Glad you liked the effect with the scream.  It was the first thing that I thought of when hearing the original mix.  I have also dropped the reverb lots from the vocal.  There is a tiny bit there, just not as prominent.

The drums sound pretty punchy and tight. The half-open high hat parts sound a little thick in the mid range, particularly on the first chorus.
I've changed the EQ and compression on the high hat.  Hopefully that's done the trick.  Also tweaked the snare's slightly.

Overall this is another solid mix.
Thanks Barry, and hopefully I've improved on it.

Just a side note, not totally sure, but I get a feeling the bass tracks are labelled incorrectly.  I actually think they are reversed, so the bass DI is actually the Mic'd and the Mic'd is the DI, if you see what I mean.  If you crank up the volume and pan the parts, on the intro and outro you can hear talking and background noise on the DI track but not the mic.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Lastrite on July 27, 2011, 04:54:38 PM
Here's my final submission: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11332908/AllHandsLost_mix_12.mp3

I did some small tweaks based on Barry's feedback, but I didn't have time to really have another critical listen, so this will have to suffice :)

Thanks Barry and John, good stuff!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 27, 2011, 06:10:54 PM
My final mix (v3) ... (I tried to deal better with the bass).

http://snd.sc/nMqw7M

Already said by many but many thanks to Barry, the band and this great site !  8)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: stickfigure on July 27, 2011, 09:41:31 PM
ok... minor glitch on the previous final mix...

this should be the one ;) :

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24873953/AllHandsLost-Ambitions%20-%20Stickfigure%20mix%20FINAL.mp3

Barry, John... Thank you!!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JoshERTW on July 28, 2011, 01:19:21 AM
Hey Barry,

Here's my latest (and final) effort - I realized I had panned duplicate guitar tracks opposite one another which is the same as not panning them at all haha. Rebalanced a lot of stuff and added some different automation this time around, made the stuff I had in there less drastic. I played with my effects choices a bit too. Enjoy!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23535250/AllHandsLost_Ambitions_Mixoff5.mp3

Thanks for the helpful feedback and taking on this task - Thanks to the band for the wicked song too, and John too for coordinating all this!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Vincent on July 28, 2011, 05:52:44 AM

Love the intro to song... 8)

Finally finished my mix.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8412827/D_Vincent_Contest_Barry.mp3
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 28, 2011, 06:59:39 AM
Thanks to Barry for judging this and all the critiques! I've listened to some of the mixes, and heard some great stuff, some really creative 'stunts' etc.!

Here are my mixes, I realize I'm late for a critique, but if anyone cares to comment, I'm all ears!

The limited, 'loud' version: http://suitcaserecordings.com/AmbitionsMix072711Limiter.mp3

And the un-limited 'quiet' version: http://suitcaserecordings.com/AmbitionsMix072711NoLimiter.mp3

I didn't go too crazy with drops and stunts, etc. but I feel like it came out pretty well. Had to mix in cans, though, so who knows? ;-)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: leaky24 on July 28, 2011, 08:38:36 AM
This is my final mix after the feedback from Barry

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10010222/all%20hands%20lost%20remix.mp3

Thanks to Barry & the band
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: THF on July 28, 2011, 12:10:12 PM
I am mixing it right now, wait for me.  ;D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: globule_655 on July 28, 2011, 04:13:12 PM
Hi Folks !

Here is my mix I hope it is not too late to participate :)

It's great to see a place like this on the net !
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 28, 2011, 04:39:37 PM
Any mixes posted today are in the running for the contest. I'll be downloading all the newest mixes tomorrow and doing the judging.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: THF on July 28, 2011, 08:13:29 PM
Okay, here's mine:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/36630171/THF_ambitions.mp3

I am looking forward to seeing the review!

Thanks for everything, It's was nice to participate!

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: rotund on July 28, 2011, 09:22:00 PM
Ran out of time, of course, but I did manage to make a few small changes..
Thanks again to the band and to Barry.


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/35665801/Ambition-ApeMix-Tweak.mp3 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/35665801/Ambition-ApeMix-Tweak.mp3)


randy
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Black Sheep on July 29, 2011, 12:45:34 AM
Came to this way too late.  Love the song.  Here's my effort:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/543762/ambitions_mixa.wav
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 29, 2011, 07:27:54 AM
So Black Sheep is has submitted the last mix before the deadline. I'll be back here tomorrow with results.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 30, 2011, 02:31:38 AM
And the winner is....

After listening through the 28 final mixes a number of times I narrowed it down to three mixes: spede, DirkZuber, and the-grid. There were a lot of good mixes and a great deal of improvement shown with the revisions that were submitted. Now on to the judging…

The first mix that was submitted in this contest was from spede and he nearly hit it out of the park the first time up to the plate. I don't know if I like his first mix better than the revision though, they're both great and probably the slickest of all the mixes submitted.

DirkZuber stuck with it and submitted three different mixes. Going from too dark to too bright, to just right, he turned in a final mix that has some serious visceral impact. The progression of improvement was impressive.

In music production I'm always looking for the performance, arrangement, sound, lyric, or mix that gives you that shivers-up-the-spine feeling you get when something magical happens. The edit that the-grid made on the last vocal line did exactly that. Just brilliant. That edit, packaged in a great mix gets my nod in the contest as the best mix. PM me and I'll get a copy of my book in the mail to you.

All three of these mixes had a different aesthetic going so if the band were going for a slicker, modern sound I think spede would have been their pick. If they were going for rage I think DirkZuber would be the one.

This contest has been a lot of work but even though, I wish I'd had more time to dedicate to it.  I wish I'd had something like this when I was starting out, struggling and wondering why my mixes sucked. :)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 30, 2011, 02:32:48 AM
There is something else that I wanted to do regarding this contest that I didn't want to say anything about until it was complete. When I started I decided that I was going to also give away a copy of the book to the person who I thought could receive the most benefit from it. This isn't to say that it's a consolation prize going to the worst mix, it's more a situation where I see someone who's mix was lacking something that I think the book could give them.

In additions to the explanations and comparisons of all the Waves plug-ins, the book also works as a primer to explain many signal processing concepts. To me it sounded like the mix that Trumpino submitted could use some creative compression to make it better. If he works through the mixing examples in the book I think he'll pick up some useful information.

PM me Trumpino and I'll get you a copy as well.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Vincent on July 30, 2011, 03:36:43 AM

Congrats to the winners.

Thanks again

-----------------------

For what its worth my pick for winner would of been Lastrite.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 30, 2011, 05:52:17 AM
Congrats guys!

Thanks again Barry for taking the time to do this! Your feedback has been great, and I know everyone learns a lot from this type of critique, hearing everyone else's mixes, and what you had to say about them.

And thanks again to the band for making the tracks available, as well as everyone who submitted mixes!

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 30, 2011, 06:19:36 AM
Well Done Guys!  ;D

My 2¢:

I really like the guitars in DirkZuber's mix - nice and solid sounding (tell me how?!?), but thought the vocals were too 'live' sounding in the context of the mix.

I like the use of effects and the break in the music at the end of The Grid's mix, really cool and effective. But I found the drums too pronounced for my liking (had to find something wrong!). :P

I like Spede's mix overall, everything seems to fit together nicely, and the addition of the strings/synth (hope I'm not imagining it... ???) is a nice touch; although the guitars, like mine, are a bit fizzy still.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: the-grid on July 30, 2011, 07:49:34 AM
What can I say - I'm absolutely thrilled to have my mix picked by Barry!  ;D

Big thanks to everyone involved - it's been an amazing, fascinating process. I've really enjoyed it throughout, and learned a ton, too.

See you all again on the forum soon, no doubt.

Cheers

Alex

PS To the band: if you like this mix and would like to collaborate further, feel free to PM me...
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: DirkZuber on July 30, 2011, 11:02:16 AM
Wow ... I never thought I would make it this far !

Thanks again to you Barry, for your time and the great tips. You helped out a lot improving the mixes for all of us !!!

And a big thanks to the awesome Band for this song ... Have a good time rocking out :-)

A happy weekend to all of you
Dirk


Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: DirkZuber on July 30, 2011, 11:37:55 AM
Well Done Guys!  ;D

My 2¢:

I really like the guitars in DirkZuber's mix - nice and solid sounding (tell me how?!?), but thought the vocals were too 'live' sounding in the context of the mix.


Hey aglinder... Thank you !

Actually I didn´t do much to the guitars. Only eq and a reverbsend.
Here are some pics of the settings

EQ-settings for the first guitar part (the second part has nearly the same settings, only minor changes):

(http://www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/eq-guitar1and3.jpg)


Reverbsend settings:

(http://www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/guitar-reverb-bus.jpg)

I´m using Audition 3.
The send is set to -3.
I panned the guitars -60% +60%.

Thats all.
I used a little bit of eq, compression and limiting on the final mix to clue it all together a bit more. 

I guess the other Instruments especially the bassguitar has a big impact on how the guitars sound in the whole mix.
Hope that helps.

Dirk
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: aglinder on July 30, 2011, 03:13:04 PM


Hey aglinder... Thank you !

Actually I didn´t do much to the guitars. Only eq and a reverbsend.
Here are some pics of the settings

EQ-settings for the first guitar part (the second part has nearly the same settings, only minor changes):

I used a little bit of eq, compression and limiting on the final mix to clue it all together a bit more. 

I guess the other Instruments especially the bassguitar has a big impact on how the guitars sound in the whole mix.
Hope that helps.

Dirk

Cool, thanks man - I'll give your EQ settings a try and hear if they translate as nicely to my mix!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Lastrite on July 30, 2011, 03:23:00 PM

Congrats to the winners.

Thanks again

-----------------------

For what its worth my pick for winner would of been Lastrite.

Thanks, that's always nice to hear!

I liked my own drums and vocals best (I'm narcissistic that way ^^), but I liked Spede's bas and guitars better then mine (I struggled to get those working together properly, I think I'm spoiled with DI tracks too much in my projects). So my favourite mix would be a Lastrite/Spede lovechild ;)

Congrats to the winners and thanks to Barry, John and the band again!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: stickfigure on July 30, 2011, 03:51:25 PM
Congratulations, spede, DirkZuber and the-grid!!! Great mixes!

And now that the competition is over I can finally (and sheepishly) ask how you guys got such a great tone from the bass tracks (or anyone else who did, for that matter). And I hope none will say they re-recorded it ;)

Looking forward to hearing more mixes from everybody!

Can't thank John and the band enough, and Barry, specially, for his interest, detailed and specific critiquing and a very pedagogic approach!


Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 30, 2011, 04:18:16 PM
And the winner is....

After listening through the 28 final mixes a number of times I narrowed it down to three mixes: spede, DirkZuber, and the-grid. There were a lot of good mixes and a great deal of improvement shown with the revisions that were submitted. Now on to the judging…

The first mix that was submitted in this contest was from spede and he nearly hit it out of the park the first time up to the plate. I don't know if I like his first mix better than the revision though, they're both great and probably the slickest of all the mixes submitted.

DirkZuber stuck with it and submitted three different mixes. Going from too dark to too bright, to just right, he turned in a final mix that has some serious visceral impact. The progression of improvement was impressive.

In music production I'm always looking for the performance, arrangement, sound, lyric, or mix that gives you that shivers-up-the-spine feeling you get when something magical happens. The edit that the-grid made on the last vocal line did exactly that. Just brilliant. That edit, packaged in a great mix gets my nod in the contest as the best mix. PM me and I'll get a copy of my book in the mail to you.

All three of these mixes had a different aesthetic going so if the band were going for a slicker, modern sound I think spede would have been their pick. If they were going for rage I think DirkZuber would be the one.

This contest has been a lot of work but even though, I wish I'd had more time to dedicate to it.  I wish I'd had something like this when I was starting out, struggling and wondering why my mixes sucked. :)

Thanks Barry for doing this :) I guess we all learned something in this this competition which is IMO the most important thing in these kind of events.
The bass guitar phase issue and dealing the slightly fizzy guitars are probably biggest examples here (at least for me). Sharing and passing information on
is something that I try to value.

I must say that when I heard the-grid's last line edit, I almost cried out loud: "Oh my god!". The best ideas are the ones you wished you'd have come up
with yourself ;D

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 30, 2011, 06:08:11 PM
Congratulations, spede, DirkZuber and the-grid!!! Great mixes!

And now that the competition is over I can finally (and sheepishly) ask how you guys got such a great tone from the bass tracks (or anyone else who did, for that matter). And I hope none will say they re-recorded it ;)

Cheers!!!

Well, since had serious trouble with blending the DI and the (original) amp, I did a virtual amp instead, with a lot more distortion in it. The bass sound
was a lot like a "Stingray" with an aggressive low mid (I don't understand why lots of those "heavy-metal" basses (ESP and stuff like that) do have that
character, IMO a good metal bass is all about that huge low and biting distortion and the low mid just gets in the way of guitars. That's why I think the
best metal bass would be a Fender Jazz bass -style thing with its scooped mid :) ). I removed lots of that low mid and added quite lot high end (thus
getting more "attack" out of the bass) and even some exciter (to the upper mids) and saturation so that it starts to distort. Then I compressed it hard to
make it even. The more I added high end the more uneven it became and some of the snaps popped out quite badly so I tamed it with de-esser which was
set all the way down to around 2 kHz. Occasionally it would de-ess over 10 dBs ;D. Both the amp and DI were treated something like this.

I like Spede's mix overall, everything seems to fit together nicely, and the addition of the strings/synth (hope I'm not imagining it... ???) is a nice touch; although the guitars, like mine, are a bit fizzy still.


You're not imagining the synth thing ;D I'm also starting to feel (in retrospect) that despite how much I love that high end on guitars, too much might be just too much. 

Thanks to Barry for judging this and all the critiques! I've listened to some of the mixes, and heard some great stuff, some really creative 'stunts' etc.!

Here are my mixes, I realize I'm late for a critique, but if anyone cares to comment, I'm all ears!

The limited, 'loud' version: http://suitcaserecordings.com/AmbitionsMix072711Limiter.mp3

And the un-limited 'quiet' version: http://suitcaserecordings.com/AmbitionsMix072711NoLimiter.mp3

I didn't go too crazy with drops and stunts, etc. but I feel like it came out pretty well. Had to mix in cans, though, so who knows? ;-)

First the answer to the big question: Yes, the bass sounds really good here. It has found its own place in the mix pretty nicely with that low growling
distortion.
The guitars are very crispy (which I obviously like :D) but the little stereoizer effect you've put there makes them sound like there's some sort comb
filtering going on there. In the intro I don't feel that's a problem; it sounds cool that the melody guitar stays in the center and the other guitar is spread
out wide. I feel that once the drums truly kick in, the "comb filter sound" (probably resulted from that stereoizer or whaterer there's going on) is no longer
serving the song IMO.
After the second set of guitars kick in, things go worse. It almost sounds like there's some sort of backwards expander over them ;D or wrong
(accidentally inserted) input on a compressor sidechain. Like there's a compressor on the guitars with only the lows of the guitar in its sidechain. That's
my best guess. I'd definitely check what's going on in the latter guitars, they're essentially messing the overall balance, bringing the growl of the bass too
forefront. This was in the mixes (limited and not limited) you submitted. I'm also listening this on headphones.
The drums sound overall pretty good, I definitely like that splat on the kick :) This is partly a matter of taste, but the snare might benefit more of a slow
attack compression which would bring some snap out of it more, thus making it little more aggressive. Once again this just a guess, but if you've added
a sample next to the original one, the uneven trigger detection (and the resulting phase cancellation) might also be an issue here since I feel, that some of
the snare hits do sound good with lots of low end punch.
The vocals in this mix are quite forefront, but that's pretty forgivable since part of the mixing engineers job is to bring the interesting parts of a song to
the forefront while slightly hiding the less interesting parts into background and I (as many others probably too) think you've certainly done that :)
If the guitars could be fixed (and why couldn't they be ;)), this would be a pretty solid mix.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: trumpino1 on July 30, 2011, 06:14:24 PM
There is something else that I wanted to do regarding this contest that I didn't want to say anything about until it was complete. When I started I decided that I was going to also give away a copy of the book to the person who I thought could receive the most benefit from it. This isn't to say that it's a consolation prize going to the worst mix, it's more a situation where I see someone who's mix was lacking something that I think the book could give them.

In additions to the explanations and comparisons of all the Waves plug-ins, the book also works as a primer to explain many signal processing concepts. To me it sounded like the mix that Trumpino submitted could use some creative compression to make it better. If he works through the mixing examples in the book I think he'll pick up some useful information.

PM me Trumpino and I'll get you a copy as well.

Wow! Thanks a lot Barry that is very much appreciated and I guarantee I will learn a ton from that book. That is exactly what I need. Also thanks for taking the time to listen to all these mixes and critique them the way you did. I really gained a lot of knowledge with that alone.

Congrats to The Grid for the win. All three of these mixes just blew my mind how good they were. Hopefully one day I will be able to make my mixes this good. Like I said earlier all the other mixes I listened to gave me something good to shoot for.This was a very fun learning experience for me.

The band is absolutely awesome too BTW. I would love to hear more from them.

P.M. sent.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 30, 2011, 06:43:41 PM
Thanks to the winners for sharing your experience, this is very interesting ! I would like to know : how you did use reverb on this mix ? I think I have many things to learn in this area...   

For example DirkZuber you added guitars on a reverbsend, are there other things on this send ? Is this the only reverb used ?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 30, 2011, 07:04:45 PM

Thanks to Barry for judging this and all the critiques! I've listened to some of the mixes, and heard some great stuff, some really creative 'stunts' etc.!

Here are my mixes, I realize I'm late for a critique, but if anyone cares to comment, I'm all ears!

The limited, 'loud' version: http://suitcaserecordings.com/AmbitionsMix072711Limiter.mp3

And the un-limited 'quiet' version: http://suitcaserecordings.com/AmbitionsMix072711NoLimiter.mp3

I didn't go too crazy with drops and stunts, etc. but I feel like it came out pretty well. Had to mix in cans, though, so who knows? ;-)

First the answer to the big question: Yes, the bass sounds really good here. It has found its own place in the mix pretty nicely with that low growling
distortion.
The guitars are very crispy (which I obviously like :D) but the little stereoizer effect you've put there makes them sound like there's some sort comb
filtering going on there. In the intro I don't feel that's a problem; it sounds cool that the melody guitar stays in the center and the other guitar is spread
out wide. I feel that once the drums truly kick in, the "comb filter sound" (probably resulted from that stereoizer or whaterer there's going on) is no longer
serving the song IMO.
After the second set of guitars kick in, things go worse. It almost sounds like there's some sort of backwards expander over them ;D or wrong
(accidentally inserted) input on a compressor sidechain. Like there's a compressor on the guitars with only the lows of the guitar in its sidechain. That's
my best guess. I'd definitely check what's going on in the latter guitars, they're essentially messing the overall balance, bringing the growl of the bass too
forefront. This was in the mixes (limited and not limited) you submitted. I'm also listening this on headphones.
The drums sound overall pretty good, I definitely like that splat on the kick :) This is partly a matter of taste, but the snare might benefit more of a slow
attack compression which would bring some snap out of it more, thus making it little more aggressive. Once again this just a guess, but if you've added
a sample next to the original one, the uneven trigger detection (and the resulting phase cancellation) might also be an issue here since I feel, that some of
the snare hits do sound good with lots of low end punch.
The vocals in this mix are quite forefront, but that's pretty forgivable since part of the mixing engineers job is to bring the interesting parts of a song to
the forefront while slightly hiding the less interesting parts into background and I (as many others probably too) think you've certainly done that :)
If the guitars could be fixed (and why couldn't they be ;)), this would be a pretty solid mix.


Yeah, I started using this detune plug on the bass guitar recently, sort of trying to do the Andy Wallace thing a bit, but it seems to really screw with the two buss compression.  I'll have to mess with it some more, because I like what it does to the bass tone, and how it fills and makes the mix feel bigger.  I did try it on the guitars, and I agree it was too severe. I also was running it on the guitar buss, rather than individual guitar tracks, so it's more obvious, and less effective. Once I heard my mix in my car, I could hear the bass pumping the mix, and the weirdness of the guitars!

Thanks for taking the time to comment, your mix sounded great!
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: the-grid on July 30, 2011, 07:11:29 PM
Congratulations, spede, DirkZuber and the-grid!!! Great mixes!

And now that the competition is over I can finally (and sheepishly) ask how you guys got such a great tone from the bass tracks (or anyone else who did, for that matter). And I hope none will say they re-recorded it ;)

Thanks stickfigure!

Here's my bass recipe:

First off, I did use both the DI and the mic tracks supplied. I flipped the polarity on the mic track, but I didn't time-align it. I experimented with that, but I prefered the harder-sounding mid-range of the un-aligned combination.

The mic track was low-pass filtered at 6.4kHz, and I cut 2.4dB @ 116Hz, both using Cubase's channel EQ. The DI track was fed flat to the group channel, and also fed a parallel distortion channel, which feature the freeware NoAmp plugin, PhaseBug to get it back in phase with the other tracks, HPF @ 177Hz, broad 6.2dB cut at 260Hz, LPF @ 6.4kHz. I used a little bit of automation on the parallel distortion channel to vary the tone between sections.

Now for the processing chain on the group: HPF @ 77Hz (Cubase Studio EQ) -> UAD LA2A for overall level control -> UAD dbx160 @ 10:1 to tame peaks -> 2dB shelving boost @ 60Hz (Nebula 3 running Doc Fear program) -> 3.4dB peaking cut @ 74Hz, 2.4dB cut @ 210Hz, broad 1.9dB boost @ 1050Hz, LPF @ 20kHz (all Cubase channel EQ). I know it looks like there's lots of contradictory EQ settings there, but this was a pure trial-and-error process, and in the end all those different assaults on the low end seemed to add up OK!

Two further elements: the group channel was sent to a chorus effect that was filtered at 200Hz and 3.7kHz, to give some stereo width, and I also set up a ducker using a gate channel with the polarity inverted. The gate's side-chain was fed from the kick, and that channel was low-pass filtered @ 350Hz with a linear phase EQ, so that every time the kick drum hit, the bass's low end and low-mids ONLY were momentarily ducked by a couple of dBs. This made room for both kick and bass to be louder.

It sounds tortuous, but actually I found the bass easier to get rocking than the guitars, so respect to anybody who didn't revisit those at least four times like I did!

Thanks to the winners for sharing your experience, this is very interesting ! I would like to know : how you did use reverb on this mix ? I think I have many things to learn in this area...

I used two reverbs in this mix. A plate (UAD EMT140) for the snare, and a more neutral general reverb (UAD EMT250, 2 sec decay) to give size to the pre-chorus vocals, the intro guitars, and the big tom hit near the start of the breakdown section. After the intro, my guitars were completely dry. Anything else that sounds like reverb is actually delay (I used five different delay FX in the mix).

Hope this all makes sense  :)

Alex

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 30, 2011, 07:57:01 PM

I used two reverbs in this mix. A plate (UAD EMT140) for the snare, and a more neutral general reverb (UAD EMT250, 2 sec decay) to give size to the pre-chorus vocals, the intro guitars, and the big tom hit near the start of the breakdown section. After the intro, my guitars were completely dry. Anything else that sounds like reverb is actually delay (I used five different delay FX in the mix).


Thanks. So the voice (apart from pre chorus) is without reverb ?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: AllHandsLost on July 30, 2011, 08:14:01 PM
Hello Everyone.  Brandon here from the band All Hands Lost.  I'm the drummer of the band and the "recording engineer" of this track.

I've been eavesdropping on the forum over the last month and listening to everyone's amazing submissions.  I didn't post until now as I wanted to take a backseat role and hear what everyone was able to do with this song without being jaded by my input.  I absolutely loved hearing everyones interpretations, additions, and creative input on our song. 

This song was written by the band a couple years ago and one of the first we tracked in my basement project studio for our upcoming album titled "Echoes of the Ghost".  I'm not a trained recording engineer (as I'm sure most of you found out quickly when you received the raw tracks) so it was extremely encouraging for me to hear the quality of work you were able to put out from our rough tracks.  You even put some new life into a song we were ready to bench on our live set!

Big congrats to the-grid for taking the prize, and runners up DirkZuber and spede. 
We would absolutely love to work with you on future mixes.  Stay in touch with me at Brandon@allhandslostmusic.com.  And follow the band at www.allhandslostmusic.com.

Also huge thanks to John for setting up this great site, and Barry for judging and putting up with listening to this song over and over again.  :)


Hope to participate in a future contest.  Take care and thanks again for all the great feedback!


-Brandon

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Spede on July 30, 2011, 08:51:10 PM
Yeah, I started using this detune plug on the bass guitar recently, sort of trying to do the Andy Wallace thing a bit, but it seems to really screw with the two buss compression.  I'll have to mess with it some more, because I like what it does to the bass tone, and how it fills and makes the mix feel bigger.  I did try it on the guitars, and I agree it was too severe. I also was running it on the guitar buss, rather than individual guitar tracks, so it's more obvious, and less effective. Once I heard my mix in my car, I could hear the bass pumping the mix, and the weirdness of the guitars!

Thanks for taking the time to comment, your mix sounded great!

Hmm. Interesting is the fact that it sounds pretty good the bass. Like I said, there's no prob in your bass sound.
I must say that just recently I realized that Andy Wallace has mixed quite a lot records that has influenced me (Nevermind, Evil Empire and Hybrid Theory
not being the least ones), and have heard of this bass widening. How did you set up the detune? Was it in the bass, or in the bus? Just can't understand
how can a detune in bass affect guitars and a bus comp?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 30, 2011, 09:27:53 PM
Hmm. Interesting is the fact that it sounds pretty good the bass. Like I said, there's no prob in your bass sound.
I must say that just recently I realized that Andy Wallace has mixed quite a lot records that has influenced me (Nevermind, Evil Empire and Hybrid Theory
not being the least ones), and have heard of this bass widening. How did you set up the detune? Was it in the bass, or in the bus? Just can't understand
how can a detune in bass affect guitars and a bus comp?


I don't quite get it myself. I set it up as a stereo detune (MDADetune plugin) on a stereo group, which the bass gets sent to. I have it set to do may 6 cents of detune, blended at maybe 25%. It sounds good, but I noticed on this mix andd another I did this thursday, that it seems to pump the buss compressor in a weird way, which I'm not hearing while mixing. But once it's bounced and I listen on another system, I hear it. I did the ALH mix in Reaper (still trying to learn that program) but the one thursday in Cubase (since that's what I know best.) Both exhibited this pumping, even though I used a different buss compressor, etc. The detune plug was the same, though, os it must be generating some subharmonic content or something. Maybe putting a HPF on the bass group, after the detune would solve it. It sounds like Grid  did something along those lines, too, but with a chorus? I used to use chorus on bass, years ago, then abandoned it for mono compatibility, but lately have been trying it a gain, as I hear it in a lot of popular mixes...
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: the-grid on July 31, 2011, 12:32:03 AM

I used two reverbs in this mix. A plate (UAD EMT140) for the snare, and a more neutral general reverb (UAD EMT250, 2 sec decay) to give size to the pre-chorus vocals, the intro guitars, and the big tom hit near the start of the breakdown section. After the intro, my guitars were completely dry. Anything else that sounds like reverb is actually delay (I used five different delay FX in the mix).


Thanks. So the voice (apart from pre chorus) is without reverb ?

Exactly - no other reverbs. The verse vocal goes to a simple 1/8 note mono delay. The pre-chorus goes to the same delay, and also the reverb above. (The doubling effect was achieved by "borrowing" the vocal from the other pre-chorus in each take, and mixing it in at a slightly lower level alongside the original.) The chorus vocal went to a stereo delay with slightly different delay times for each side - except during the last-line drop-out at the end, when the stereo effect was too much, so I switched to a 1/4 note mono delay at that point. Finally, the "Vocal 2" track went to a 1/4 note ping-pong delay, which was chorused, automated to increase in level during the scream, and then ducked by the vocal itself for the rest of the track.

Finally, there's also a mono tape delay effect on the guitar melody in the intro, alongside the reverb.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 31, 2011, 04:42:20 AM
Yeah, I started using this detune plug on the bass guitar recently, sort of trying to do the Andy Wallace thing a bit, but it seems to really screw with the two buss compression.  I'll have to mess with it some more, because I like what it does to the bass tone, and how it fills and makes the mix feel bigger.  I did try it on the guitars, and I agree it was too severe. I also was running it on the guitar buss, rather than individual guitar tracks, so it's more obvious, and less effective. Once I heard my mix in my car, I could hear the bass pumping the mix, and the weirdness of the guitars!

Thanks for taking the time to comment, your mix sounded great!

Hmm. Interesting is the fact that it sounds pretty good the bass. Like I said, there's no prob in your bass sound.
I must say that just recently I realized that Andy Wallace has mixed quite a lot records that has influenced me (Nevermind, Evil Empire and Hybrid Theory not being the least ones), and have heard of this bass widening. How did you set up the detune? Was it in the bass, or in the bus? Just can't understand how can a detune in bass affect guitars and a bus comp?

I've used the Roland Dimension D to do that kind of bass widening. There's no mix control on that unit and using it inline gives you way too much effect so you've got to use it as a send effect and just play with the send level. There's something about the sound of that unit that works really well with bass without screwing with the bottom end.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: kinsoubus on July 31, 2011, 09:04:12 AM
@the-grid : thanks for this details ! I almost never put a delay on vocals, will give it a try...

@Spede : what is this bass widening thing ? Detune the bass and mix it with the original ?
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: JohnSuitcase on July 31, 2011, 02:57:59 PM
I've used the Roland Dimension D to do that kind of bass widening. There's no mix control on that unit and using it inline gives you way too much effect so you've got to use it as a send effect and just play with the send level. There's something about the sound of that unit that works really well with bass without screwing with the bottom end.

Thanks for that tip, I'll have to mess around with my technique a bit more!

Do you (or anyone else who cares to comment) usually put a hpf on that send? Or does the Dimension D not process the extreme low end? I'm working on a project today that I want a very wide, huge bass tone, and plan to experiment a bit more with this. The band is a post-rock thing, with two drummers. Correcting the timing on the drummers to make them match up well enough is a fun editing challenge!

This subject should probably be moved to the mixing talk area, so I'll start a new thread and link to it from here...


Here it is: http://mixoff.org/index.php/topic,204.msg3206.html#msg3206
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: stickfigure on July 31, 2011, 09:33:23 PM
spede, the-grid and everybody else,

thanks for the detailed descriptions. I'm going to try to follow your techniques and see what I can get ;)

will follow the new thread John started.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: gsteinberg on August 02, 2011, 12:11:00 AM
Hello all!! This is the Guitar player (Gerald) for All Hands Lost. I gotta say that there were a lot of great mixes here, I wouldn't have wanted to be the one to judge them, I would have considered you all winners!!
I wanted to personally thank you all for putting in your time and effort for this project. And to thank Barry for letting us be a part of the contest!! 
Thank you all again!!
Gerald
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: globule_655 on September 21, 2011, 03:45:06 PM
Hi guys.
I know the contest is over for a while now but here is my shot at it : http://soundcloud.com/globule_655/all-hands-lost-ambition-va
I did absolutely no editing this is just EQ comp effects and moves.

There are a lot of great mixes here, can't wait for the next contest to challenge myself with other mixes :)

Cheers
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on September 21, 2011, 06:52:15 PM
As it happens, I'm still subscribed to this thread :)

I just listened to your mix and it's really solid. You got the guitars and bass under control, the vocals are sitting in a good place, and the drums are punchy. It's a rockin' mix.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: globule_655 on September 22, 2011, 09:40:06 AM
Hi Barry

Thank you very much for your comment ! Really appreciated :)

All the best
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on December 19, 2011, 12:58:11 AM
For anybody still subscribed to this thread...

In November I did a webinar for Waves covering equalization. The archived webinar can be found here (http://www.waves.com/lp/barry-wood-eq-basics-11-9-11/register.html).

In the morning (December 19th) I'm doing another one on dynamics processors. You can register here (http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=5871), and within a week or so it will be available as an archived video as well.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: efp on January 15, 2012, 06:22:55 PM
here is my attempt at mixing this!

http://soundcloud.com/efpbeats/all-hands-lost-ambition

have a go at me! ;)
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: RossAyRoss on May 25, 2012, 05:24:43 AM
This sounds like it will be pretty fun, ill be sure to give this a try.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Nuno filipe on April 18, 2013, 08:12:32 AM
Hey! I know that this contest is over but I decided to give a try at this to practice my mixing skills.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1457645/all%20hands%20lost.mp3

Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Richard.Dalton on June 14, 2013, 11:59:04 AM
The comps closed along time ago as the stems were still available decided to give it a go ran it through a few process's
Thanks to the guys in the Band and the Guys @ Mixoff.org for the Stems

Cheers
Ric Dalton




Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: japancakes on June 14, 2013, 08:19:07 PM
The comps closed along time ago as the stems were still available decided to give it a go ran it through a few process's
Thanks to the guys in the Band and the Guys @ Mixoff.org for the Stems

Cheers
Ric Dalton





Your drums are all cymbals and sound quite squashed. I know they were super hard. The snare needed a lot of 2.5-3kHz love.

Here's mine:





Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: smallfishrecordings on June 26, 2013, 10:27:34 PM
"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go past" Douglas Adams...

http://soundcloud.com/smallfishrecordings/ambitions-by-all-hands-lost
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Maoration on July 27, 2013, 10:38:53 PM
omg omg i hope it's not too late. had problems logging in as i just went on a holiday and dont have a stable internet connection.

and here is the same mix on soundcloud:




on the master bus i only had a tiny rolloff at 20hz, and the SSL bus compressor with fast response, doing no more than 1-2db.
Good luck to everyone.

P.S. - i'm really glad i found this community and can be part of it  :D
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: barrywood on July 28, 2013, 02:19:18 AM
You're only about two years late but I am still getting notifications on posts. here.

I liked a lot of the effects you added to the tune. They added some nice variation without overwhelming the feel of the song.
Title: Re: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!
Post by: Maoration on July 28, 2013, 04:48:00 PM
oh wow, im embarresed. I just fund this forum, and saw that with this competition you can submit until 28th of july. i didnt even think it was a 2 year old post.

anyway thanks for your feedback.