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What am I doing wrong?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What am I doing wrong?

I've been bedroom recording and mixing for about a year now. I've made a lot of improvement I guess but I'm still at a loss why my stuff isn't sounding that great. I have put my 3 "best" mixes in this google drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...92g8Vl51819t9W

Any help is appreciated, I just don't know what to do anymore.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
I've been bedroom recording and mixing for about a year now. I've made a lot of improvement I guess but I'm still at a loss why my stuff isn't sounding that great. I have put my 3 "best" mixes in this google drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...92g8Vl51819t9W

Any help is appreciated, I just don't know what to do anymore.
One year is absolutely nothing

Keep reading, learning, trying, studying, experimenting, thinking; find a mentor, do a course, attend a university, read textbooks etc etc

Common misconception: music production is easy

Never give up
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack101 View Post
One year is absolutely nothing

Keep reading, learning, trying, studying, experimenting, thinking; find a mentor, do a course, attend a university, read textbooks etc etc

Common misconception: music production is easy

Never give up
I never said it was easy, in fact all of my instructors in college were pretty adamant that it's not. (To be fair my focus was more into sound reinforcement than studio engineering). I wish i could find a mentor but no one is really into that kind of thing unless you pay them (like URM) and i ask for crits on my stuff everywhere but no one is willing to give them. It's kind of a catch-22. You need feedback to get better, but no one will give it.

Thanks for your tips and thanks for listening to my mixes.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Snare is terrible. Kick is walking all over the bass. Cymbals are buried. In my opinion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murky Waters View Post
Snare is terrible. Kick is walking all over the bass. Cymbals are buried. In my opinion.
Thanks, any tips on how to fix those things?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
Thanks, any tips on how to fix those things?
What exactly are you hoping for? There's no magic

Stop focusing on other people, focus on developing your ears and ability to critically listen to sound

Compare your mixes to other mixes and try to work out why the music you like sounds better than your own, use visual tools to analyse

Listen to lots of different types of music, pay real attention to it

Spend hundreds/ thousands of hours working on things, work out what sounds 'better' and what sounds 'worse'

Invest in some good quality sound equipment

Set up time with a local recording studio, offer to help make tea/ coffee

Read books, read articles - the knowledge you need is all publicly available but it's not all in one place

Make every part of your process (from recording to final mix/ mastering) as good as possible, 10,000 papercuts will kill a man

Expect to make huge sacrifices and to spend a lot of time and energy making mistakes

Learn an instrument probably helps to better understand music and sound

If you want it badly enough, things will improve

I can carry on, but basically, don't give up and get to work
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
Thanks, any tips on how to fix those things?
1. Solo kick and bass. Make them work.
2. Solo bass and guitars. Make them work.
3. Solo snare and overheads/room mics. Make them work.
4. Solo all drums. Mix.
5. Add bass. Mix.
6. Add guitars. Mix.

Or something like that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
Thanks, any tips on how to fix those things?
Look into 'Complimentary EQ Techniques' and look into 'Creating a 3D Stereo Image' and the use of 'Dynamic controlled processing'.
Then apply them to your mixes.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Overall, sound is harsh and fatiguing, mids are painful. Snare sound is a bit strange. Try a narrow mid band-cut on the guitars, sweep until you find the ugly frequencies that you won't miss. You're getting some power from the tracks, that's good. But think of the listener, they don't want a sharp stick poking them in the ear for 70 minutes. Step back a bit and think like a scientist for a minute: how can you get these sounds to fill the frequency range and dynamic range in the most effective way? Sometimes, thinking like a scientist (for a minute) can actually help the emotion of the music be expressed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
I wish i could find a mentor but no one is really into that kind of thing unless you pay them (like URM) and i ask for crits on my stuff everywhere but no one is willing to give them.
I've been recording and mixing for a really long time and I wouldn't know where to start with you and your music. I say "and your music" because you've got everything going full blast all at once and it's all incredibly fast. I'm sure it all makes sense in your mind but it's hard for a listener to absorb.

You can take everything I say with several grains of salt because I'm an old geezer and your tastes and mine are pretty far apart -- click my songs link and you'll see -- but I can tell you've got some real playing skills and musical goals.

Even within the ranks of engineers and mixers who have been at it a while, your genre is a fairly cloistered subspecialty. Maybe you should actively seek out one of those specialists and work out some sort of way that you can intern and observe. Even if people like that don't really need a studio assistant, they still need their car washed and their laundry done.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

There's a big difference between slapping something together and learning a craft. If your favorite music is metal and that's what you're into mixing and recording you're mixes will likely continue to be handicapped mainly due to the lack of dynamics and over compression that music typically winds up having.

If you want to learn how to mix well, you have to mix all genre of music from the softest classical to the hardest rock. You wouldn't think the techniques used to make elevator music sound good would be used to make metal music sound right, but that's in fact true. In short you cant learn to control your audio tools and develop your own style without some practice using them gracefully. Things like reverbs, Compressors, Echo's, Chorus don't function properly without silence between notes. Once you learn how to span the silence then you can go ahead, shorten the duration and ramp things up to machine gun speeds and wow people with the white noise generated by a fully pumped band doing 120 miles per hour.

You see the techniques for setting those effects are still used on that music too but you cant learn how to use them very well if that's all you do. At beat you slap them on there like lipstick on a pig and that's all other people wind up hearing. Tracking, Mixing, Mastering are artforms, the same as the Musical performance is. It takes just as long to learn those artforms as does the musical performance except in the case of recording you actually have to learn how things work technically in order to command the tools to do the kinds of work your mind wants them too.

The only shortcut I have for you is to work with commercial recordings. Import a song you know how to play very well into your daw program and then play along to it while recording your own tracks. Work on getting an identical sound to what the commercial artists used and your tracks will need a hell of a lot less mixing when you do your own stuff. save presets and document how you got those sounds right down to the settings on the instruments and the tweaks on your gear.

Once the tracks are recorded better, mixing gets a whole lot easier. You can continue the exercise. Record each part to that commercial song, Guitars, drum bass etc. Mix them to match that commercial mix as though you were actually in that band and don't be a frequency/volume hog in the process. The trick is to make your part fit in stealthily so it sounds like you were part of that recording, not the start of that recording. Mix one instrument in at a time to match the recording then mute it and go on to the next.

Once you've done them all, you mute the commercial recording then unmute your own tracks. If you did the work properly (without bias and favoritism), your tracks should sound darn near identical to the commercial recording. The playing style will be uniquely your own but mix wise you should have been able to nail things down and make them sound convincing.

From there you can then learn some of the techniques you're missing like giving a solo part a boost of maybe 1~2dB so its as loud as the vocals then have it drop back when the vocals come in. During the process you'll learn musical placement and exactly how much of certain effects are acceptable and what's not.

All of this can be carried over to your own recordings too. There were of course need to be certain tweaks based on musical timing, pitch meter etc. If the song is in a different key, most of the EQ settings probably aren't going to be right, at least on pitched instruments. Drums you might get away with similar cuts and boosts of you use the same sets. Compressor attack and release times will need to be reset to whatever the music tempo dictates. Threshold and makeup might be ok, if the dynamic energy is the same. Reverbs, can go either way. Echo has a tempo as does LFO effects like Chorus so they would need to be retimed.

After you do a couple of dozen, you should start to "Get It" by understanding some of the things commonly being done and some of the things you were totally blowing it du to ignorance.

Oh, I should also mention, if you haven't got studio monitors, which I suspect you don't based on what I heard on those clips, you can forget about ever getting a decent mix. Your mixes suffer from having a two dimensional sound which is a classic handicap caused by mixing with headphones.

Headphones have no crossfeed which means you cannot mix properly. You can get the width and height tweaked some where in the ball park but that third dimension called depth is going to bust you every time. When you use headphones the center of the image is always inside your skull. When you mix with monitors your outer ears detect distance between you and the source of sound and you have the ability to tweak sound near and far using EQ, and time based effects. In short, all you can do with headphones is draw stick figures on a flat piece of paper. Any attempts to add depth will have no basis in reality and you'll drive people nuts who try and listen to those mixes through speakers. Believe me I tried to mix with headphones for 10 years and hundreds or recordings and never had more then a 10% success rate and only that good because I'd take the mix and play it back in the car and on Hi Fi then go back and remix it again and again. Wasted allot of time and those lessons were hard earned first hand long before the internet was available.

You'll also have a nasty bump in the upper mids because you're outer ears aren't being used, When you use headphones you blast the sound directly down the ear canals and the outer ear adds no coloring to what's being heard. When you finally do hear the mix through speakers and the coloration the outer ears produce is added the upper mid bump is extremely annoying. to trained ears its like fingernails on a chalkboard. If you are using headphones to mix I suspect that's exactly what several posters here were complaining about.

One last trick. if you play back that mix and gradually turn it up what's the first thing your should hear as it emerges from the silence? typically its the lead singer if the recording has one. Second a lead instrument if its in the middle of a solo. You have the snare louder then guitar which isn't going to work. Snare should be as loud as the kick and rhythm guitar. Its not a solo instrument in most recordings. My playback system at work here isn't very good but even that tells me the bass bass is non existent.

That can be another indication the mix was done on headphones. Headphones hype the bass and it can be extremely difficult if not impossible to get the lows to sit properly in the mix. If the headphones produce too much bass, you will compensate mixing trying to make things sound flat and you're wind up having too little bass when played back on anything except those same headphones. The reason monitors are so important is their frequency response is neutral. They neither add causing you to mix with too little, nor do they lack frequencies causing you to add too much.

If you are using good monitors then you either have really bad room acoustics or your ears are still too green to know what they're doing yet.
trial and error, copying the mixes of others, and picking up tidbits as they become relevant, then attempting to incorporate those techniques is what gets you there.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
There's a big difference between slapping something together and learning a craft. If your favorite music is metal and that's what you're into mixing and recording you're mixes will likely continue to be handicapped mainly due to the lack of dynamics and over compression that music typically winds up having.

If you want to learn how to mix well, you have to mix all genre of music from the softest classical to the hardest rock. You wouldn't think the techniques used to make elevator music sound good would be used to make metal music sound right, but that's in fact true. In short you cant learn to control your audio tools and develop your own style without some practice using them gracefully. Things like reverbs, Compressors, Echo's, Chorus don't function properly without silence between notes. Once you learn how to span the silence then you can go ahead, shorten the duration and ramp things up to machine gun speeds and wow people with the white noise generated by a fully pumped band doing 120 miles per hour.

You see the techniques for setting those effects are still used on that music too but you cant learn how to use them very well if that's all you do. At beat you slap them on there like lipstick on a pig and that's all other people wind up hearing. Tracking, Mixing, Mastering are artforms, the same as the Musical performance is. It takes just as long to learn those artforms as does the musical performance except in the case of recording you actually have to learn how things work technically in order to command the tools to do the kinds of work your mind wants them too.

The only shortcut I have for you is to work with commercial recordings. Import a song you know how to play very well into your daw program and then play along to it while recording your own tracks. Work on getting an identical sound to what the commercial artists used and your tracks will need a hell of a lot less mixing when you do your own stuff. save presets and document how you got those sounds right down to the settings on the instruments and the tweaks on your gear.

Once the tracks are recorded better, mixing gets a whole lot easier. You can continue the exercise. Record each part to that commercial song, Guitars, drum bass etc. Mix them to match that commercial mix as though you were actually in that band and don't be a frequency/volume hog in the process. The trick is to make your part fit in stealthily so it sounds like you were part of that recording, not the start of that recording. Mix one instrument in at a time to match the recording then mute it and go on to the next.

Once you've done them all, you mute the commercial recording then unmute your own tracks. If you did the work properly (without bias and favoritism), your tracks should sound darn near identical to the commercial recording. The playing style will be uniquely your own but mix wise you should have been able to nail things down and make them sound convincing.

From there you can then learn some of the techniques you're missing like giving a solo part a boost of maybe 1~2dB so its as loud as the vocals then have it drop back when the vocals come in. During the process you'll learn musical placement and exactly how much of certain effects are acceptable and what's not.

All of this can be carried over to your own recordings too. There were of course need to be certain tweaks based on musical timing, pitch meter etc. If the song is in a different key, most of the EQ settings probably aren't going to be right, at least on pitched instruments. Drums you might get away with similar cuts and boosts of you use the same sets. Compressor attack and release times will need to be reset to whatever the music tempo dictates. Threshold and makeup might be ok, if the dynamic energy is the same. Reverbs, can go either way. Echo has a tempo as does LFO effects like Chorus so they would need to be retimed.

After you do a couple of dozen, you should start to "Get It" by understanding some of the things commonly being done and some of the things you were totally blowing it du to ignorance.

Oh, I should also mention, if you haven't got studio monitors, which I suspect you don't based on what I heard on those clips, you can forget about ever getting a decent mix. Your mixes suffer from having a two dimensional sound which is a classic handicap caused by mixing with headphones.

Headphones have no crossfeed which means you cannot mix properly. You can get the width and height tweaked some where in the ball park but that third dimension called depth is going to bust you every time. When you use headphones the center of the image is always inside your skull. When you mix with monitors your outer ears detect distance between you and the source of sound and you have the ability to tweak sound near and far using EQ, and time based effects. In short, all you can do with headphones is draw stick figures on a flat piece of paper. Any attempts to add depth will have no basis in reality and you'll drive people nuts who try and listen to those mixes through speakers. Believe me I tried to mix with headphones for 10 years and hundreds or recordings and never had more then a 10% success rate and only that good because I'd take the mix and play it back in the car and on Hi Fi then go back and remix it again and again. Wasted allot of time and those lessons were hard earned first hand long before the internet was available.

You'll also have a nasty bump in the upper mids because you're outer ears aren't being used, When you use headphones you blast the sound directly down the ear canals and the outer ear adds no coloring to what's being heard. When you finally do hear the mix through speakers and the coloration the outer ears produce is added the upper mid bump is extremely annoying. to trained ears its like fingernails on a chalkboard. If you are using headphones to mix I suspect that's exactly what several posters here were complaining about.

One last trick. if you play back that mix and gradually turn it up what's the first thing your should hear as it emerges from the silence? typically its the lead singer if the recording has one. Second a lead instrument if its in the middle of a solo. You have the snare louder then guitar which isn't going to work. Snare should be as loud as the kick and rhythm guitar. Its not a solo instrument in most recordings. My playback system at work here isn't very good but even that tells me the bass bass is non existent.

That can be another indication the mix was done on headphones. Headphones hype the bass and it can be extremely difficult if not impossible to get the lows to sit properly in the mix. If the headphones produce too much bass, you will compensate mixing trying to make things sound flat and you're wind up having too little bass when played back on anything except those same headphones. The reason monitors are so important is their frequency response is neutral. They neither add causing you to mix with too little, nor do they lack frequencies causing you to add too much.

If you are using good monitors then you either have really bad room acoustics or your ears are still too green to know what they're doing yet.
trial and error, copying the mixes of others, and picking up tidbits as they become relevant, then attempting to incorporate those techniques is what gets you there.
I'm using KRK Rokit 5s which I'm aware aren't the best but it's all I could really afford. I did make sure to properly calibrate them and set them up in the equilateral triangle, i occasionally check on my headphones which are HD650s that I was required to buy for a college course. The mids might be a bit much on the guitars but that's the only way i could get them to "cut" through the mix. There probably is something wrong with my room because when I playback my tracks the bass is almost overwhelming and I tend to turn them down. Although commercial music sounds just fine and balanced so perhaps my bass just sucks?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Addict
 
jugetsu85's Avatar
Hey man, there is nothing wrong with your mixes considering that you've been mixing for a year. The way I see it: All those who have real passion for music production are already on a journey towards being truly great at it. But some are further on the path working on their 1000th mix while others with the same passion are working on their first mix. But the passion is the fuel that'll take you there eventually, if you truly want to to be great. Just keep producing and you'll learn something new with each mix! When you nail something in a mix, save the settings as a preset and use it in the next project, but tweak it even better in the new context.

I believe the answer lies in the famous slogan of a famous sportswear brand: Just do it! All the best.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I've been recording and mixing for a really long time and I wouldn't know where to start with you and your music. I say "and your music" because you've got everything going full blast all at once and it's all incredibly fast. I'm sure it all makes sense in your mind but it's hard for a listener to absorb.

You can take everything I say with several grains of salt because I'm an old geezer and your tastes and mine are pretty far apart -- click my songs link and you'll see -- but I can tell you've got some real playing skills and musical goals.

Even within the ranks of engineers and mixers who have been at it a while, your genre is a fairly cloistered subspecialty. Maybe you should actively seek out one of those specialists and work out some sort of way that you can intern and observe. Even if people like that don't really need a studio assistant, they still need their car washed and their laundry done.
Yeah I've tried that, the problem is studios are a dying breed even where I live in Nashville and programs like Nail the Mix which are specifically geared at metal production are too congested and you get basically no personal attention or critique unless you of course pay extra on top of what you're already paying. Outside of that the most I can get is "x is bad" with no explanation on how to fix it other than just "figure it out" or "read a book". I read all of those books in college, they apparently didn't help because everything I produce sounds like ass. I don't really think the music is the problem, I have a pro recording of TDESS that sounds fantastic and I play it the same exact way on the guitar, bass, and drums.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jugetsu85 View Post
Hey man, there is nothing wrong with your mixes considering that you've been mixing for a year. The way I see it: All those who have real passion for music production are already on a journey towards being truly great at it. But some are further on the path working on their 1000th mix while others with the same passion are working on their first mix. But the passion is the fuel that'll take you there eventually, if you truly want to to be great. Just keep producing and you'll learn something new with each mix! When you nail something in a mix, save the settings as a preset and use it in the next project, but tweak it even better in the new context.

I believe the answer lies in the famous slogan of a famous sportswear brand: Just do it! All the best.
Yeah I was pretty passionate about a year ago, at this point it's just starting to seem like a waste of time and money but I'd be lucky to get even half of what I paid for all this gear back so might as well keep it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 
jugetsu85's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
Yeah I was pretty passionate about a year ago, at this point it's just starting to seem like a waste of time and money but I'd be lucky to get even half of what I paid for all this gear back so might as well keep it.
If you thought you'd be a guru in a year, you did not have the correct mindset to begin with.

I think you are actually a lot closer to having your mixes sound like what you hear in your head than you now think. Don't sweat it.

But if I had to say one thing that I think is "wrong" with your mixes is that the drums don't sit in the mix. They're mixed as a separate entity from the rest of the music. These mixes would sound a lot closer to commercial records of the genre with a few level tweaks that you could execute right now in 15 minutes or so if you really wanted :-D
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
There probably is something wrong with my room because when I playback my tracks the bass is almost overwhelming and I tend to turn them down. Although commercial music sounds just fine and balanced so perhaps my bass just sucks?
There is usually something acoustically wrong with the low end playback in almost any room. If you have no treatment in an average suburban bedroom, there certainly is a LOT wrong with your room acoustically.
If outside mixes sound normal in your room, it doesn’t prove that your room is OK, it proves that those mixes were done in rooms that are better than your room.
Fortunately, outside mixes sounding better on the low end than yours also does not prove that you are a horrible mixer with a couple of bad ears stuck on the sides of your head. If you did the same mixes in a treated room with a more controlled low frequency response, you would probably find that you would suddenly be a better mixer.
Treating the room won’t make you a great mixer right away, but it should let you at least hear what you are doing wrong.
Since you probably aren’t going to fix the room immediately, I would suggest that right now you trust your headphones for low end balance and levels. If there is a difference between what low end sounds right on the phones and what sounds right on the speakers, don’t trust the speakers. Don’t try to split the difference between headphones and speakers. For now, trust the headphones about the lows and see what results you get.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jugetsu85 View Post
If you thought you'd be a guru in a year, you did not have the correct mindset to begin with.

I think you are actually a lot closer to having your mixes sound like what you hear in your head than you now think. Don't sweat it.

But if I had to say one thing that I think is "wrong" with your mixes is that the drums don't sit in the mix. They're mixed as a separate entity from the rest of the music. These mixes would sound a lot closer to commercial records of the genre with a few level tweaks that you could execute right now in 15 minutes or so if you really wanted :-D
Yeah balancing is super important and I try to get that right before doing any processing what so ever. After im satisfied with the overall balance of everything then I go in and start fixing stuff that sticks out to me. Nothing really sits in the mix to be fair everything just is kind of there. I've tried "soundscaping" to get everything to mesh better but the only way I can get noticable results is to overdo it and then the track is just "missing frequencies" everywhere.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
I've been bedroom recording and mixing for about a year now. I've made a lot of improvement I guess but I'm still at a loss why my stuff isn't sounding that great. I have put my 3 "best" mixes in this google drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...92g8Vl51819t9W

Any help is appreciated, I just don't know what to do anymore.
Without even listening:

1.WRITING! If the song or piece isn't focused, and accomplishing something, then no mix will help it. Songs are subjective, so I avoid saying "Good/Bad" but the thing that really makes a song the former rather than the latter, is how focused and effective it is in accomplishing that which it intends to do. DIAMOND BULLET TO THE NUTS!! ONE-SHOT ONE KILL! Are you leaving dead bodies? Or just maiming people and leaving them in agony? ALWAYS put them out of their misery.

2. Arranging: Delate it! Delate that! Delete that other crap too! Make your song like a high-end brothel, only those who can earn their keep get to work here. THIS is where the REAL MIX happens. DO: Be aware of all frequency ranges your instruments occupy if something isn't doing something that TANGIBLY adds to your song "accomplishing its mission" (see point 1.) Take it out back and SHOOT IT! Be aware of where you want your kick drum/bass line to be frequency wise BEFORE you track (Don't do that stupid "Uhh...so..I boost 90hz on the bass and cut it on the kick, then I cut 50hz on the bass and boost it on the kick" people...if you are doing this YOUR SONG WASN'T PROPERLY ARRANGED! No superfluous tracks, no "doubles for the sake of it" LESS TRACKS MORE IMPACT FROM THE TRACKS THAT ARE THERE!

3. Pre-production. This goes hand in hand with the arrangement, make sure nobody is playing over their head, and all sounds are as close to what you want them to be as possible, Crap in = Crap out. Also, understand this: If when you've finished tracking, your song doesn't already sound good, don't even bother with "Mixing" Mixing isn't the part of the process where crap is magically turned into...not crap....That is a really common misconception that has become prevalent in hobbyist culture....It doesn't work like that...maybe you are thinking "F&^K YOU DUDE! I know a guy who gets crap and gives back tolerable" Sure, maybe you do.....but that guy is replaying instruments, editing drums, tunning and aligning vocals and probably making what amounts to $1 an hour after it all shakes out...He will burn himself out trying to play "Magic man"

The truth is, the much-vaunted "MIX!!!!" should be an hour or two of easy and obvious work, it's kind of the fun thing that happens at the end, it is not meant to be what people have made it seem.

All the things that present problems to a "Mix" usually NOT mix problems.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
Without even listening:


The truth is, the much-vaunted "MIX!!!!" should be an hour or two of easy and obvious work, it's kind of the fun thing that happens at the end, it is not meant to be what people have made it seem.

All the things that present problems to a "Mix" usually NOT mix problems.
I completely agree (shock! horror!).


Its the writing, playing, and particularly the arrangement or lack of same, that is usually the problem.

When I was doing this sort of stuff more often, I sometimes become quite frustrated when someone would play me a commercial track and say "I want you to make it sound like that"

The honest answer was "it will never sound like that because that track features four musicians who are listening to each other, leaving each other enough space, and are locking together when they need to. They are playing carefully thought-out lines that compliment and counterpoint each other. It also has a singer who has a compelling voice. Yours has none of that - Its four guys each trying to fill all the available space with their own instrument, as though the other three don't exist."

What's the best way to make a rhythm guitar track sound less muddy? Often it's to cut out the entirety redundant "second rhythm guitar track" that guitarist # 2 played because he couldn't bear to stay silent for 8 bars. I find my major contribution in "mixing" local stuff nowadays is cutting out a lot of redundant parts and creating a bit of space.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
All the things that present problems to a "Mix" usually NOT mix problems.
True! “Fix it in the mix” isn’t a phrase that should ever have become popular.

There is no mix that can really fix parts that step all over each other constantly or every voice demanding to be heard as a lead voice. Real songs (in genres where songs exist) have tactics, strategy and some kind of build that helps the listener feel what the song intends (or at the very least makes the end a little different from the beginning).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Guru
 

At the risk of joining the "old geezer" ranks, I would have to say I too would have a hard time mixing this music - because of the music. I can hear some excellent chops, but starts out at intensity "11" reaches "11" in the middle and ends up at "11" at the end! Every inch of it is filled up with busyness. Instead of interlocking parts (which often will "mix themselves") every instrument here is playing right on top of the others. Everything here is a "tutti" and in what I consider the better examples of this style, the arrangements are more like a "counterpoint" or even a "fugue".

How can the Mixer create any "space" in the mix when the Composer and Arranger didn't leave any space? If the songs had more structure, there would be more places to apply some creative mixing ideas.

As a drummer, I have no problem with drum parts that are "impossible" or nearly impossible to play, but still -in my old school vocabulary - a "fill" is supposed to be a change of pace from a "beat". Not a constant state of rolling.

Think of it this way. You can be on a jet plane going 500 miles an hour. You can get up and walk around the cabin, you can drink a cup of tea. It can be genuinely boring, so boring you will watch a dumb movie you would never even bother going to the theater to see! Now get into a hot street-rod automobile and go from 0 to 60 as fast as you can. That's a mere 60 mph, but it plasters you to the back of your seat. It feels exciting. Why? Because of the acceleration, because of the change in velocity. In order to feel acceleration, you have to start slow. If you are already going fast, and you just keep on going fast, it just starts to quickly feel like you are standing still.

Mix-wise, the drums are too loud and are burying the guitar licks, there is no definition between the bass and kick. These are hard enough to balance in "normal" music, but they become even harder (and more critical) when everyone is playing the exact same (32nd note) rhythmic pattern.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
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Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
I'm using KRK Rokit 5s...
I suspected something like this was going on. Go a little easier on the compression and trying to make them boom. The mix ain't that bad all said and done. You are on the right track. Experiment, and be patient.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murky Waters View Post
I suspected something like this was going on. Go a little easier on the compression and trying to make them boom. The mix ain't that bad all said and done. You are on the right track. Experiment, and be patient.
It seems like the consensus here is my mix sucks because my songs/playing sucks. With that said I don't understand what the other guy did to make my music sound fantastic then. Maybe source quality?

Here is a link to one of the tracks with all the vsts by passed:

https://instaud.io/3XQ3
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
It seems like the consensus here is my mix sucks because my songs/playing sucks. With that said I don't understand what the other guy did to make my music sound fantastic then. Maybe source quality?

Here is a link to one of the tracks with all the vsts by passed:

https://instaud.io/3XQ3
I did not listen to the raw mix. I don't think that your mixes sucks per se, and I do not know what other guy you are talking about. I also do not think you necessarily need to re-orchestrate, arrange, or perform anything, if you like the composition, etc. You just need to get a little more sophisticated in getting the sounds right and working together; a little difficult (but not impossible) on Rockit's. Beyond this, I cannot offer anything more specific beyond what I have previously posted. Keep at it, but do give your ears a break, often.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
It seems like the consensus here is my mix sucks because my songs/playing sucks. With that said I don't understand what the other guy did to make my music sound fantastic then. Maybe source quality?
Hi

I have decent awareness/understanding re this genre, but those 3 clips all sounded far too similar to each other and were like a cacophony of wanking in my subjective opinion. A barrage of notes, but nothing that really captured my interest.
Your technical ability to play seems fine, it's more to do with the writing / arrangement / song structure.

Many of joeq's points are right on the money.

Regarding the actual mix, yes it could be better, but step 1 is songwriting and arrangement unless you want to be the person with 26 views on their Youtube channel.

Here is some fairly busy music (not exactly your genre, but in the same realm) that has millions of views, and is a great example IMHO of how to do busy, heavier, technical music right.



Take some time to listen to material in your genre that you think is great. Really dissect what each part is doing, how they interact with each other. While not in the same genre, I would highly recommend you watch some episodes of What Makes This Song Great by Rick Beato (youtube)

There is an old adage about the how meaningful the notes you DON'T play can be. Roominate on that idea for a while, your music will be better for it.

Sorry if this seems like harsh feedback. Just telling you my honest thoughts. YMMV.

Cheers

Last edited by bambamboom; 4 weeks ago at 11:30 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
Hi

I have decent awareness/understanding re this genre, but those 3 clips all sounded far too similar to each other and were like a cacophony of wanking in my subjective opinion. A barrage of notes, but nothing that really captured my interest.
Your technical ability to play seems fine, it's more to do with the writing / arrangement / song structure.

Many of joeq's points are right on the money.

Regarding the actual mix, yes it could be better, but step 1 is songwriting and arrangement unless you want to be the person with 26 views on their Youtube channel.

Here is some fairly busy music (not exactly your genre, but in the same realm) that has millions of views, and is a great example IMHO of how to do busy, heavier, technical music right.



Take some time to listen to material in your genre that you think is great. Really dissect what each part is doing, how they interact with each other. While not in the same genre, I would highly recommend you watch some episodes of What Makes This Song Great by Rick Beato (youtube)

There is an old adage about the how meaningful the notes you DON'T play can be. Roominate on that idea for a while, your music will be better for it.

Sorry if this seems like harsh feedback. Just telling you my honest thoughts. YMMV.

Cheers
It is what it is, i came here wanting some mix tips and instead i get told im a terrible song writer and my mixes will never sound good because of it. It's no ones fault but my own I guess.

Cheers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
It is what it is, i came here wanting some mix tips and instead i get told im a terrible song writer and my mixes will never sound good because of it. It's no ones fault but my own I guess.

Cheers
If that’s what you really think everyone said, you also have an English comprehension problem to add to your list of woes.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
It is what it is, i came here wanting some mix tips and instead i get told im a terrible song writer and my mixes will never sound good because of it. It's no ones fault but my own I guess.

Cheers
You've missed the point.

The mix tip we have been trying to reinforce is that a large percentage of how good the song sounds has nothing to do with the actual mixing process.

I have mixed all kinds of stuff across just about every genre with the quality of the songs/tracking/production ranging from terrible to amazing.

Guess what - if you listened to some of my work on the terrible stuff (which in some cases I'd rather not even have my name associated with lol), do you think you would be impressed by my mixing abilities? No, it would be mediocre at best. On the other hand, some of my best mixes had much more to do with the artist than with me, and were actually LESS work to mix.

If you just want mixing tips, watch a bunch of "Into the Lair" sessions by Dave Pensado - there are hundreds of great tips there. But that stuff only gets you so far.

Cheers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3M0T1VAT3D View Post
It is what it is, i came here wanting some mix tips and instead i get told im a terrible song writer and my mixes will never sound good because of it. It's no ones fault but my own I guess.

Cheers
No. the message is that you need to put more thought into the arrangements before mixing. I understand the advice is not what you were looking for, but take a deep breath and think for a second about what's being said It's not that anything you do "sucks." I know a number of really good songwriters who simply do no pay enough attention to arrangement.

I have an eight band all-day show to mix tomorrow, and I can guarantee you that some of those bands will sound really good, and some won't, although they are all being mixed live by the by the same person (me). There is one band I know is going to sound pretty bad because I have run them before, and spent an entire hour frantically twisting EQs and manipulating compressors without ever getting a good sound.

The lesson should be right there- there is only so much that can be done in the mix. if you can't get the mix to sound good, start looking at other things.


I will listen your stuff again tonight when I can hear it on something other that the system in my office and see if I can give you some concrete advice on the mix only.
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