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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!  (Read 82492 times)

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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):




Reverbsend settings:



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

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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!
"The more one studies these things, the more one realizes that sound is the creative principle." - Hans Jenny

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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!
I'm cleaning up my server, but you can find some of the mixes I did on this forum here: http://soundcloud.com/stefhartog

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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!!!

  • ****
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

"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"
http://soundcloud.com/spede-1

  • ****
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.
"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"
http://soundcloud.com/spede-1

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  • *
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.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 06:16:18 PM by trumpino1 »

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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 ?

  • *****
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!

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  • **
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

Grid is good.