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Author Topic: Critique my mix, please! (very poppy but Pixies-esque)  (Read 1388 times)

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May 26, 2014, 03:50:34 AM
Hey everyone - I've been working on this mix for my band and would really appreciate some feedback on it. I'm really trying not to overproduce this song, so there aren't many bells and whistles on the track (at least compared to what we usually do, which is usually a lot more ornate than this). There's some tape saturation (from the Waves J37 plugin) on the vocals and drums, and that's really it besides some minimal EQ'ing and compression and reverb on all the vocals. Currently there is nothing on the master bus.

Any general advice/feedback would be appreciated, but I'm mostly worried about EQ/frequency issues that my inexperienced ears might be missing. I feel like I always struggle with the EQ process, especially when trying to add complimentary EQ to instruments. If any of the elements in this track seem to be fighting for frequency space, or if you hear any detrimental frequency buildup, please let me know!

https://soundcloud.com/cameraobscured/nay


« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 03:57:05 AM by GoldenTanuki »

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May 27, 2014, 02:12:29 AM
My $0.02 worth:

Vocals sound good. Maybe minor level adjustments on some of the backing vocals in places.
Drums could use a bit more EQ contouring (lower mids down a bit, highs up a bit for the cymbals).
Guitars could cut through a bit more around 3-4k, less around 500hz.
Overall balances seem pretty good.

If you want it to sound a touch brighter, some light harmonic saturation and 2-3db compression on the 2-bus -- but I appreciate that may be the opposite of the sound you're going for here.

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May 27, 2014, 10:35:04 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Jeff! I was struggling a bit with the background vocal levels, especially the close harmonies in the verses and the bed of "ooo"'s/"aaa"'s in the middle part.  Any thoughts on if those verse and/or ooo/aaa backing vocals should go up or down?

I posted this mix on a few other forums and the general consensus seems to be that its a bit dark with too many low-mids, and the guitars could cut through more.  Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, I really appreciate it!

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May 27, 2014, 11:25:34 PM
I agree with jeffd42.

To my ears, a slight cut (1 or 2db) around 700Hz might bring a touch more clarity to the lead vocal.
I've found that a 4 to 6db cut around 400Hz on the drum bus seems to be a quick way to open them up without having to boost the highs.
Guitars are a bit quiet.

Overall sounds good. Very Weezer like. The guitar solo reminds me of the guitar solo in "Say It Ain't So".
Chris
Drummer, Songwriter, Recording/Mixing Engineer
--
Mac | UA Apollo 8p | Studio One Pro v3.2 | Eris E5 | Slate Digital Everything Bundle

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May 28, 2014, 09:30:33 PM
Thanks for the advice, drumanimal05.  I'll try out what you suggested. 

And Weezer is a huge influence on us, so I'm happy that you can make that comparison!

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May 28, 2014, 10:06:51 PM
> Any thoughts on if those verse and/or ooo/aaa backing vocals should go up or down?

Good point -- I managed to provide a singularly unhelpful comment there, sorry! Listening again, maybe up  slightly. But using a different (possibly quite aggressive) EQ to separate backing from lead vocals might do the trick better than volume adjustments.

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May 28, 2014, 10:48:47 PM
>
Good point -- I managed to provide a singularly unhelpful comment there, sorry! Listening again, maybe up  slightly. But using a different (possibly quite aggressive) EQ to separate backing from lead vocals might do the trick better than volume adjustments.


Thanks Jeff!  Using EQ to separate backing vocals from lead vocals is something I'm really trying to improve in my mixing.   I did attempt to do that in this mix, but didn't feel like I had quite achieved yet.

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June 03, 2014, 07:10:08 PM
Hey again everyone. I had some time to work on this mix over the weekend, and I would be eternally grateful if anyone would be willing to give it another listen. I think (read: hope!) I was able to incorporate a lot of the previous feedback to make a punchier, brighter mix. I dialed the tape saturation down quite a bit, brought down the vocals, and liven up the guitar and drums. I also added a tape delay to the 2nd half of the 2nd guitar solo to make it a little more interesting.

Finally, I attempted to make a few more EQ tweaks to give each track element it's own frequency space, but I am assuming more work needs to be done in that regard.

Here's a SoundCloud link to the new mix: https://soundcloud.com/cameraobscured/nay2/s-j7kFK

What do you think? Is it a step in the right direction?

Thanks again!

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June 12, 2014, 12:15:31 AM
Hey the new mix sounds a lot better :) Brighter and happier! I think the bgv needs to be thinner though. Maybe throwing a more drastic lowcut on could help create more separation between the lead and back vox. You can always just say I like it the way it is and disregard this haha. I listened to it at work on a pair of ear buds and that was my first thought.

-andre

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June 12, 2014, 08:29:57 PM
Hello! The new mix sounds better than the first, but it's still rather "dark" EQ-wise, and either the vocals need to come down a bit, or the instruments need to be louder.

Hey again everyone. I had some time to work on this mix over the weekend, and I would be eternally grateful if anyone would be willing to give it another listen. I think (read: hope!) I was able to incorporate a lot of the previous feedback to make a punchier, brighter mix. I dialed the tape saturation down quite a bit, brought down the vocals, and liven up the guitar and drums. I also added a tape delay to the 2nd half of the 2nd guitar solo to make it a little more interesting.

Finally, I attempted to make a few more EQ tweaks to give each track element it's own frequency space, but I am assuming more work needs to be done in that regard.

Here's a SoundCloud link to the new mix: https://soundcloud.com/cameraobscured/nay2/s-j7kFK

What do you think? Is it a step in the right direction?

Thanks again!
GEAR: 2010 iMac, Roland Quad Capture, Logic Pro 9, Yamaha HS80M speakers, etc.