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Messages - Ermz

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After mixing up all the entries in a folder and listening to them under the most objective circumstances I could, I've come up with my personal 'Top 3'. Here are the finalists:


After boiling it down and listening to these 3 ceaselessly against each other - trying to judge each on its own merits as much as possible - we've got a winner.

That person is...


Congratulations sedit1, if you'd like to private message me with your e-mail account, I'll organize a complimentary copy of the Systematic Mixing Guide for you.

Thank you all for taking part.

If you're wondering about the reasons behind this mix being chosen as the winner, then I'll elaborate a bit on the decision. Looking back on the feedback given to this mix, you can see I remarked on how balanced the song sounded, and how it seemed to make sense through the eyes of this mix. Above all, that is the most important facet to me as a mix engineer. I need a mix to be a near-perfect delivery mechanism for the music, and sedit1 did an admirable job of delivering the intention of the music with his. The fact that it is a good all-rounder mix, with no particular weak spots or certain elements dominating others, makes it a great example of the sort of mix which would serve a client's ambitions.

If you're thinking that I may have been caught in the 'louder is better' trap - as this mix is one of the loudest - I assure you that I auditioned them all using my volume knob to get them to a similar, and equally appropriate level.

If I might go further and play a partial self-promotion card, then I would say that many of these mixes had certain audible markers which tell me that a many of the contestants could benefit from a read through the Systematic Mixing Guide. I wrote it specifically to deal with the inherent issues which reside in many of the submissions, and I'm confident that many of you would find it quite helpful. I'll leave it there, at risk of sounding too much like a marketing blurb!

Once again, thank you all for taking part, and I hope we all learned a few things from it!

Okay guys, thank you very much for all these submissions! It was nice to generate so much interest and get so many people involved. You guys have opened my eyes up to some very different takes on this song, which I'd not considered before and I'm grateful for that.

If I could please get you all to post your FINAL submissions, in a DOWNLOADABLE format (very important - no streaming!) then I will get around to listening to them all sometime tomorrow and give us a verdict here.

Once again, these 'competitions' are much more about the journey and the announcement of a 'winner' is rarely more than circumstantial factors resulting in the outcome. So long as we've all picked something up and learned from the experience, everybody has won.

Since you'll all be posting downloadable versions of your mixes, it's only fair that I provide a downloadable version of the original mix. You can get that here:

Thanks again for your input. It was a pleasure to be a part of your community for this little while.

Thanks Ermz for this opportunity! This was A great challenge and nice one to mix. Just noticed this competition last saturday so I had only two days to complete, but I still wanted to take part.

Here is my mix:




You're welcome, but once again the thanks should go to JT and John for making it possible!

Good work in keeping the mix together. It feels quite glued and cohesive. Nothing has a 'sore thumb' effect, and the music is making sense through the eyes of this mix.

One thing I might suggest is just clearing up the midrange. Feel free to slot the tracks around a bit more into their own specific spaces. Sometimes you have to get really aggressive to make dense midrange content work. Guitars in particular love to let nothing through, so you may have to get brutal with your cuts in order to allow the synthesis and leads to come forward to the listener. All this will ultimately lead to greater perceived depth within the mix.

Thanks a lot for that submission!

Well here's my go at it, and just in time haha. Not a lot of noteworthy things I did with the mix other than I reamped the guitar through a Mesa 4Fourty, mixed the original snare with a sample, instead of trashing it all together, kept all of the original Tom tracks, and even though I did master it relatively hard like I would have for a client, I still strove to get a dynamic contrast between the verse/chorus.

Looking forward to a review from Ermz! (if I'm not too late for that portion of the contest)


Cool industrial snare! It's nice to hear something a little more trashy and off-the-wall. There are industrial influences within the music, so it makes contextual sense.

Nice volume swell leading into the chorus!

Consider perhaps clearing out the high mids a touch on the guitars in order to allow the vocals and leads to breathe a little easier. Consider clearing some midbass/low mid content away from the kick in order to let it punch deeper and cleaner. It's all about opening up some space within the mix.

Cheers for that!

Hi all, first post here.

Been lurking for a while (downloading tracks to mix ;D). I had a really fun/educational time mixing this song. Getting the ambient stuff to bounce around etc

Here's my mix, Ermz:


Yes, getting the ambient stuff working is half the fun.

I like how the track opens up after the guitar into on this. Good idea to make the main melody very prominent and 'available' to the listener. You're making most of the main elements of the song quite apparent to the listener, which is always good form. It feels like it makes sense from section to section. The right melodies are emphasized, the right elements are in the forefront.

As with some of the other mixes, I would suggest deepening your low-end content. Don't be afraid to make it punch harder and exert itself into the subs. Use aggressively bus compression to keep it all together if you have to. Some 'pumping' and movement is not a bad thing in this case.

Cheers for that submission!

Here's my effort:

Thanks to all who made this possible!

Cheers for that!

I noticed that there is a big dynamic shift downward as soon as the first part of the intro is over. Might be a good idea to find a way to maintain the energy up until the slap bass comes in on the verse. There is a bit of a neutered sound to the song overall. You might want to be adding a lot more low-end, cleaning up the midrange frequencies, and getting more aggressive with compression on the whole. The drums are very largely getting lost, and along with them the rhythmic punch of the song. A spectral shift from the upper mids down toward the lows and lower mids as a whole would help the mix come alive and start to sound immediately deeper. It could be the monitoring system impacting the ability to perceive this, so I'd suggest referencing on a few different systems if the original monitors aren't entirely accurate.

I dig that you've kept the vocals very audible throughout though. It's a good approach for a song like this!

Hi Ermz !
Nice to read you on another forum than Ultimate Metal  ;)

Here is my mix

Any feed back is welcome  8)

Hey! Yes, it's good to be on another forum every now and then.

I like how the lead vocal is nestled among the instruments on your mix. I would say a touch too much immediately obvious reverb, adding a bit too much of an 80s overtone to the music however. Feel free to add a bit more lower punch to the mix. Your balances generally seem quite in check, and so long as you back off the reverb a bit it should all come together well. Don't be afraid to get some more compression in there - particularly parallel compression on the drums. The song really craves that sense of motion that compressors can help create. It's a great platform to practice compression techniques on.

I'm unsure whether it's intentional, but you seem to have a small gap at the intro, right before the instruments all kick in. Could be a good idea to bridge that through to the song and let it flow a little more naturally!

Thanks for that submission.

Hi, here is my attempt:  I enjoyed mixing this track, it´s a cool song! Thanks to ermz for making this contest possible and for sharing his knowledge with us.

Glad you enjoyed it! The thanks should go to JT from Memnoir and John for making the tracks available to you all though. I'm only here playing the resident picky prick!

I dig that you've used some FX and automation to help the song move. If I might suggest, the instruments sound quite congested as soon as the song gets dense in the choruses. My suggestion would be to open up all the individual elements with more EQ, and all them all to breathe within their own spaces a little more. For some reason the tracks feel like they've all been pushed into a very narrow portion of the spectrum, and are quite often fighting each other for control. We want to go the opposite way and allow everything to breathe - this will help the listener identify the individual melodies and connect to the music more profoundly.

One thing that sticks out is that the 'brightening' EQ on the hats and cymbals appears to be adding some harshness to the track. Consider adding higher frequencies, rather than ones which are closer to the upper midrange to the cymbals. Cymbals commonly want to eat into upper midrange space of their own will, so we don't want to be adding anything to that.

Hi Ermin and everyone else! Here's my go at the song. Not 100% happy with the solidness and glue of the vocals but overall I'm happy with the mix! Was really fun to mix it and a very good recording.

Hey there,

Glad to hear that you had fun mixing it. That's what these comps are all about.

What immediately strikes me about this mix is that you may be wanting to get more aggressive overall with your processing. The tracks sound quite raw to me, and as such don't take on much of a 'finished product', 'radio' type flavor. It's perfectly okay to make some drastic moves in order to get the mix where it needs to go.

Hi Guys :)
Maybe i'm late, but this is my try at it :)

Thanks to Ermin :)

PS: i've listened many mixes, and they are all good, but i think 140dbSPL has done the best one for now, great job dude :)

Hey Joe,

Thanks for taking a stab at this. I like how wide your choruses get on this. They feel like they really open up.

I'm a little apprehensive about the lead vocal sounding so 'on-top' of, and disconnected from every other mix element. I would endeavor to try and nestle it amongst the instruments more naturally, and create a greater sense of overall cohesion. From a mix balancing point of view, you may want to remove some bass content from the lower-mids and let it sing more clearly in the lows. Overall a bit more separation would definitely help things come along here and breathe more easily.

These tracks want to take up a lot of space, and you really need to get aggressive with your carving work in order to make them sing well with each other.

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