Originally Posted by engmix
Hey Gregg, very nice effort on this.
By the way, it's obvious there's a bit of distortion in the vocal in the chorus that's inherent in the mix, but i was interested to see how you guys would deal with it, verses replacing it with a non distorted take. Because a lot of tracks that i get have distorted elements in the tracking.
Here's your stats. Your average RMS was -12.5 and your peak RMS was around -9.5.
First off, really like the kick and snare, they sound big and full, definitely hitting the right kind of attitude. The low end in general sounds really good to me. Did you do any widening, because the stereo field sounds a little wider to me, like the pads are more defined and the vocal fx in the chorus seem more in focus. On my system perhaps the low mids could sound a little more open, but it's by no means bad. The top end sounded nice to me too, not searing or strident, and the vocal has a nice polish and glued in well.
Do you think this is a competitive level, do you think the client would be barking for more. Personally speaking i think it sounds really good, but certainly not really loud.
Thanks for the kind words.
Distortion in the vocal didn't bother me at all. I happen to like such things here and there, not a problem!
Checked it with Elephant again, it was telling me the RMS (AES +3dB) for the whole track was around 9.5dB, so maybe you're using a non +3dB RMS meter to measure it? Seems likely being the difference is exactly 3dB! The DR figure I got with the Foobar2K DR plugin was 7.
I boosted the low end with the Bax, plus 1.5dB at 84Hz (with HPF set at 24Hz).
Only stereo widening I did was the aforementioned drop of the M channel by -0.3dB with Voxengo MSED (should have mentioned what I used before). So the "mid" channel has been dropped to slightly enhance the stereo width. I often find with no M/S gain/attenuation my chain/limiting slightly reduces the stereo width, so I will use MSED to compensate (and occasionally increase/decrease stereo width if needed). Was a subjective call, but I liked it very slightly widened here. Am checking against the original file all the time with the Crookwood monitor controller, to make sure I'm not over-doing it. The compression will also help bring up the background details, I noticed it on the delay on the vox in the breakdown too.
Yeah, I could possibly have scooped some low mids out for clarity, but I thought the mix was very good in most respects (just a little dark on top, but I like that more than too bright), and didn't really need it.
Top end was a mix of shelving boost with the Pullet and a LPF with the Bax. Slight mid EQ boost was applied to enhance/pop the vocal.
I personally think that this is a competitive level, but as I said earlier, some people want it way hotter, and some people way quieter/more dynamic. I seem to err on the Bob Katz/K Man side of things, as I like to turn it up and the transients to really hit me, but I can accept that some clients would want it another 2 or 3dB louder. This would be something I'd decide with the client themselves in communication (that discussion is always missing from these kind of shoot-outs, which makes them not really representative of what it is we really do every day). I wouldn't be "happy" to push it much further, but I would do so if asked.
Thanks once again for running this, and all the great comments!