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Gimme Some Feedback Please (Folk/Rock tune)
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9th December 2010
Old 9th December 2010
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Gimme Some Feedback Please (Folk/Rock tune)

I'm in the middle of recording and mixing a sort of acoustic album with my band, want to see what you guys think. please take into account this is a work in progress and it is by no means a definite mix, neither the tracking is final, might add remove stuff, but what the hell might just jump into the water.

All kinds of critique is welcome.I'm primarily interested in the mixing aspects of your critique, but anything regarding arrangement or production is welcome too.

thanks
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9th December 2010
Old 9th December 2010
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I enjoyed that.

On the production front I thought that the delays on the voice at the beginning were a bit too pronounced and distracting - mostly seemed to be echoey sibilants.

On the arrangement front it either needs fleshing out (I wanted to hear an accordion!) or the song needs to be a tad shorter.

Otherwise, nice work.

Hope this helps!

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9th December 2010
Old 9th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyGone View Post

On the arrangement front it either needs fleshing out (I wanted to hear an accordion!) or the song needs to be a tad shorter.
yeah I agree, there are still elements to be tracked, that should liven it up a bit. Though about the accordion, not sure if I want to take that route though.

thanks
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10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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anyone?
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10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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Guitar sounds dull, did you change the strings before recording ?
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10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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that was done on purpose actually. thought it added vibe to the song..
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10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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I think the guitar sounds very nice as is.

I'm finding the vocal is kind of artificial sounding compared to the very natural sounding guitar. I'd have asked the singer to take a step back from the mic. (What I mean is, the guitar sounds like it's in a room, while the vocal is hovering between my speakers like the Great Oz). Mixing, I'd roll off a bit below 200 hz somewhere on the vocal so it isn't quite so big, and maybe roll off just a touch of highs so its a little darker like the guitar. Listen to some Nick Drake for comparison. Your mix is not bad by any stretch, just some ideas to play around with.

What mic was used on the vocals?

Nice music btw.
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10th December 2010
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Sorry im listening on laptop speakers. Guitar sounds good. Vocals sound just a little too full in the low mid range. Also the delay is just slightly overkill. other than that sounds pretty good, good job!
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10th December 2010
Old 10th December 2010
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Hey, What's that Fender Rhodes type sound? At the beginning.
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10th December 2010
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@radiospace:Thanks for the suggestions, have not had the time to revisit the mix, but vocals are definitely on my to-do list. BTW we are all big Nick Drake fans.
Mic used was an AT 4033a

@BlueTick:
that was a preset from Halion (70s piano) into a tremolo and a guitar cab sim, all Nuendo's native plugs, probably has SSL channel in there too.
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10th December 2010
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Sounds to me like you may have caught it a bit hot. I'm hearing some subtle distortion throughout.

Also.......I'm not hearing any space around the elements.....particularly, as has been noted, the vocals.
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10th December 2010
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I like the tune. It reminds me of a bit of a Decemberists sort of vibe...

Sticking to the mix question for a sec... I think the vocal is just a little too much in the 2500-3500 Hz region on the terrible speakers I'm listening to at the moment. I like the sound of the guitar...

The BGVs sound a little random to me, which may suite your artistic intention. If you like that... why not add even more BGVs with other voices, not more of yours.

I like songs and mixes that grow and have motion. I think this one could use a little more of that. After a few minutes, we've pretty much heard what you have in mind for the whole song... why listen all the way to the end?

At 3:30 or so, the backwards guitar or whatever that is shouldn't be hidden as it is. Turn that UP!, so that we benefit from the surprise of the change.

What about some percussion? A concert bass drum in the distance on the downbeats of each measure at some point in the song would certainly add gravity and change... Snare rolls here and there to pull us into the next change... Mandolin, banjo, hammer dulcimer... something along those lines that would come and go as you please would give us something to live for as a listener.

It's your tune. I like what you have so far....
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11th December 2010
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Sounds very nice - the only problem I have is that the acoustic is much bigger, fatter and present than the lead vocal so they don't quite sound like they belong in the same space. I would try backing off the lower mids on the acoustic a tiny, little bit or maybe eq out some lower mids on the acoustic's reverb or both - that should bring them a bit closer together to being in the same space. The acoustic is much more forward in the z plane if you know what I mean, front to back - the vocal sounds further back in the mix - check out your vocal reverb, this could be the cause or try adding a bit of low mid to the vocal and maybe a bit of low end around 120hz - this will help bring it forward

Also, I could be wrong but it sounds like there's some extreme eq'ing going on with the lead vocal and or maybe double eq'ing on the channel? Try not to have such extreme settings if I'm right about this. Also, maybe the lead vocal is too compressed? This can take the livliness and presence out of any sound. If you have any room to back off on the compressor, then I'd do so. I don't mind the vocal sound, it sounds a little overprocessed as I've said, but I know the sound you're going for and lots of indie songs have this kind of sound, you're not miles away from that - but, the lead vocal needs to be the strongest thing in the mix and right now, the acoustic is the strongest thing in the mix. Also try panning the acoustic a hair more to the left, for my taste it's a little close to the lead vocal and is eating up its space.
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11th December 2010
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The thing that stands out to me, and please don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like English is not the singer's first language. His phrasing could use some work. It might help to listen to someone speak the lyrics and get a better feel for the natural phrasing. For example "i know THOSE legs are tired. please don't GIVE up" sounds awkward. If spoken it would be more like "i KNOW those LEGS are TIRED. PLEASE don't give UP"

I really like the sound (guitar?) that's buried on the left during the second verse. I think it would be good to bring that up louder.
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11th December 2010
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sounds great, i think the guitar tone is spot on for this.

what mic/placement did you use?
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11th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyGone View Post
I wanted to hear an accordion!

I was thinking the exact same thing. Accordian in the back with a bit of room noise would add an awesome vibe to the song. Great song by the way.
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11th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
The thing that stands out to me, and please don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like English is not the singer's first language. His phrasing could use some work. It might help to listen to someone speak the lyrics and get a better feel for the natural phrasing. For example "i know THOSE legs are tired. please don't GIVE up" sounds awkward. If spoken it would be more like "i KNOW those LEGS are TIRED. PLEASE don't give UP"

I really like the sound (guitar?) that's buried on the left during the second verse. I think it would be good to bring that up louder.
I was thinking the same thing. It's a cool song but the singer is a little stiff in his phrasing. Words, like articles and pronouns, that would normally be said faster are getting the same amount of time as more meaningful words. I've worked with singers before who English was not their first language and I've seen this come up.

Their is a book about writing in English called the Elements of Style by Strunk and White. One of their rules is to omit useless words. I think in singing the rule should be don't hang out on useless words.

Otherwise its got a good vibe! Good Job!
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11th December 2010
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thanks for the feedback.

Some general thoughts,

vocals... definitely right, none of us are native English speakers, will probably re-track the vocals. The phrasing critique, surely it was something that was not even in my agenda, now that it has been brought up I totally agree. Strong compression was/is intentional.
His voice is really thin, the "over processed" sound on vocals is indeed intentional, sort of a work around for this one, definitely calls to have a better place in the mix though. I wanted to go for a more "megaphone" sort of thing, but I settled for milder mid range, have to play with it some more, yet "artistically" I do find a need for that exaggerated mid range sound.

Mic placement and such... Gretsch Historic Reissue Jumbo, Shure Sm 137, around the 12th fret, slightly off axis. Waves SSL channel strip on the track, some eq, mild to heavy compression, pretty old elixir strings (.12)

"Backwards" Guitar on the left, that is coming up in the mix for sure!!! for those wondering that is: a Gretsch jet into a Pod XT with some noisy patch I made, the sort of thing that happens when you listen way too much to Fennesz. Not backwards at all. I was not planning on using it, was something I tracked just for the fun of it, turned out pretty cool.

Additional elements, those are coming, accordion? perhaps... percussion is coming for sure, after all that is why we have a drummer. this mix is growing for sure. This is not only a premix but a work in progress, just wanted to make sure I was on the right path mix-wise. there is motion coming, I can assure that.

the clipping thing... meh, that has more to do with turning EQ knobs up to 11 rather than tracking too hot. I do hear it, though.

Backing vocals, BV on the left is me, on the right are the same as the lead singer, will probably add some more. I'm in a very Background vocals mood lately, listening to pet sounds right now to get some inspiration...

finally, I want to thank you all for chiming in on this, the main goal of this exercise is to open my eyes to the sort of things that might be slipping under my radar. It is so easy to get lost while being obsessively doing something, let alone while obsessively composing, recording, producing, playing and reading gearslutz.

Thanks again and keep 'em coming!!
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13th December 2010
Old 13th December 2010
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one last bump, we are resuming tracking this week.
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