Originally Posted by SlyMonkey
Wow! Thanks for the detailed reply. I really appreciate your comments and the time it took to listen. I fight with some of the same problems every time I mix; harsh cymbals and getting the snare to crack through. I think I'm just heavy handed too often with gates and compressors which give me weird results. Actually I'm heavy handed with everything and learning to be subtle has been long process.
Some of your comments reinforce what I have questioned myself and it would have been really helpful to have you sitting in on the mix with me. lol! Like with All About Eve, is the piano too loud? ..but then she's a powerful singer and it makes the piano sound weak when I pull it down...
On the piano/vocal duet, I'd just try some EQ maintenance on the piano to give her vocal more space, in the high mids, while keeping the brightness of the piano as much as possible.
On Thistle Dew, you've gated the crash and panned it far left. Really don't need to gate high frequency instruments like that at all, like a hi-hat, ride, or crash. If you do, definitely not to that extreme, unless you're going for that effect on purpose. Could be you're thinking of parallel compression on the drum kit for fullness, which is different. With that you only bring the parallel comp barely up to add fullness, and that's it. It shouldn't be hardly audible at all. And I usually high cut some of the high end with parallel comping, as you're using it to add fullness, not overtake the original drum tracks.
I also strugglew with placement. As you said, you expect to hear a guitar solo up the center. But doesn't it seem strange to have it on one side the whole song then up the middle for the solo? Do I keep it real or do I deliver the solo the way we're used to hearing it??? idk.
There's no set rule really, but there are style guidelines. What you did was OK. Listen to some commercial tracks in comparison and see what they did in that situation. That's your style guideline.
Again, thank you for your comments. They will add weight the next time I'm questioning the volume of the lead guitar and such. Haha! And I will def try the de-esser on the overheads.Maybe the Rode NT5s are too bright? I don't brighten up the overheads generally, but find myself boosting the top end of the overall mix which then makes the cymbals too bright... Frustrating.
One piece of advice I remember, is to classify the color of the mics you have according to softness vs. hardness. And whatever sound you're recording, apply the opposite mic. For a strong harsh instrument, like heavily distorted guitar, use a softer sounding mic. For a soft vocal, use a harder sounding mic, etc. Pros do something similar with different colored mic pres also. If you're going for a certain effect, and want more harshness, disregard that, then simply treat it in mix to make it fit. The highs of the guitars on Rico are a good effect for that tune, but they may be a bit too much, and need some low end, per what I'm hearing.
I used to always high shelf the high end a lot on a final mix, but only sometimes do that now. Instead I'll apply a steep bell at a very wide Q around 17kHz or higher, and play with the Q. But in the mastering stage I'll always apply a smooth high cut and low cut for the ends of the spectrum. I'll usually apply a DeEsser on the drum kit or just cymbals for their tracks, or on the finished mix when mastering. It depends.