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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!  (Read 67525 times)

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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




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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...

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.