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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!  (Read 45878 times)

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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.

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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.

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July 11, 2011, 12:18:13 AM
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.

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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..

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July 11, 2011, 02:20:49 AM
#2 vvv


Thanx, I'll try those things!

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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!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 01:17:57 PM by Lastrite »
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 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.

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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 .

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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.

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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)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 01:30:42 PM by Lastrite »
I'm cleaning up my server, but you can find some of the mixes I did on this forum here: http://soundcloud.com/stefhartog