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Anyone willing to rip into my mix?
Old 24th August 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
Anyone willing to rip into my mix?

Hey guys. The audio on this video is my first time mixing a full band recording.

Is anyone willing to critique it? Don't worry you can slam it, I am not self-conscious about it, hahah. I am fully aware that I am not an audio engineer, but I need to be told what I can improve in order to learn to be able to take on that role sometimes when I need to.

It is obviously a live recording, not a studio recording, so recording conditions were far from ideal, however I did the best I could with no prior knowledge in order to try to make it sound acceptable for the video.

If it's of any interest, it was literally recorded straight through my sound engineer's Behringer XR18 (it's all we had at our disposal), in fact the whole gig was run off that into a pair of PA speakers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXzJ5DOhqvM

PS - Further info. I mixed this on headphones. Sony MDR-7506. Yes, I also know that is far from ideal, but I can't afford monitors yet. I will as soon as I can. I just did what I could with what I had and if there is anything to learn from this process I am open to hearing it. I used Logic and kept things pretty basic.

Thanks very much.
Old 24th August 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
By the way, the only comments I have had from people I know so far that resembled any sort of criticism were one saying the bass is too low and the other saying the bass is too high (funny how they're so polar opposite and yet nobody focused on anything aside from that). And then one other guy saying that the mix was a bit dry.

Apart from that, everyone else thought it was fine, however they're not audio engineers or musicians. Only the ones saying the bass is too high and the mix was a bit dry have audio experience though. I do tend to favor the dry side of things for this kind of music, but maybe I went too far with it?
Old 24th August 2019
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Just as a general observation, a song like that is supposed to be sorta bigger-than-life. You might want to go for a little more of that.
Old 24th August 2019
  #4
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Owen L T's Avatar
immediate reaction - and before reading the other comments: the bone dry vocals are, well, too dry. It detaches them from the mix, and is an unnatural sound. It doesn't need to be obvious - it could be the kind of reverb that only other engineers would pick out as being reverb - but the vocals, especially, need some ambience to place them in some kind of space, rather than sounding like they're singing straight into your ears! Something to move them back a foot, rather than being out in front of everything else like that. A basic convolution reverb, with a "small club/venue" impulse would be the obvious remedy.
Old 24th August 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Biggest problem is the sound of the drums. they sound week, thin lifeless. Loudest thing is the cymbals. You drums are mixed more for jazz than Rock.

1. You need a good solid kick sound and build from there.
2. The bass guitar sounds thin and has zero sustain. In a busy mix a thinner sounding bass might be OK but not with this small group.

In this case it may be that you perfectly captured what they sounded like. If that is the case you need to decide what your goal is for the sound, Do you want to try and nail the balance of what you have or do you want to try every trick in the book to get a larger than life sound?

I say go for both. If you have good clear recordings then all your processing will sound be and you can do more tricks.

Blessings.

PS, it's hard to get LARGE sound from dual, looks like 18", kick drums, but that would be a good start.

1. Bring down the volume of the drum Overheads.
2. Get a GOOD sound on the kicks.
3. Get a powerful sound on the snare.
4. Add some liveliness to the bass guitar
Old 25th August 2019
  #6
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badmark's Avatar
Listening quite quietly on a tablet, the dryness on the vocals calls attention to itself and I couldn't hear much of the music apart from the cymbals. Did you use any of the internal effects on the XR-18? The lack of presets and cursory documentation doesn't help but I've recently started using the Vintage Reverb on vocals and it seems OK.
Old 25th August 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
Thanks a lot to everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Just as a general observation, a song like that is supposed to be sorta bigger-than-life. You might want to go for a little more of that.
That's a perfect observation, however, do you have any suggestions how you might go about that mix wise?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
immediate reaction - and before reading the other comments: the bone dry vocals are, well, too dry. It detaches them from the mix, and is an unnatural sound. It doesn't need to be obvious - it could be the kind of reverb that only other engineers would pick out as being reverb - but the vocals, especially, need some ambience to place them in some kind of space, rather than sounding like they're singing straight into your ears! Something to move them back a foot, rather than being out in front of everything else like that. A basic convolution reverb, with a "small club/venue" impulse would be the obvious remedy.
Alright, I have been told by others that it's too dry, so I guess you noticed the same thing. I was aware it was quite dry, so I may have gone too far.

In the land of karaoke style huge reverb and echo at every gig, even when highly inappropriate, you kinda develop an aversion and just say "NO REVERB, NO REVERB! NONE!" because as much as you ask sound engineers to put it down a bit, it either sounds exactly the same after asking 50 times or they just put it up even more. Hahah. Too much reverb / echo is a big thing here.

Not to mention, for this music I favor a bit more of a raw sound too, but seems I went TOO far with that on this mix. I'll experiment with wetter sounds!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DownTheLine View Post
Biggest problem is the sound of the drums. they sound week, thin lifeless. Loudest thing is the cymbals. You drums are mixed more for jazz than Rock.

1. You need a good solid kick sound and build from there.
2. The bass guitar sounds thin and has zero sustain. In a busy mix a thinner sounding bass might be OK but not with this small group.

In this case it may be that you perfectly captured what they sounded like. If that is the case you need to decide what your goal is for the sound, Do you want to try and nail the balance of what you have or do you want to try every trick in the book to get a larger than life sound?

I say go for both. If you have good clear recordings then all your processing will sound be and you can do more tricks.

Blessings.

PS, it's hard to get LARGE sound from dual, looks like 18", kick drums, but that would be a good start.

1. Bring down the volume of the drum Overheads.
2. Get a GOOD sound on the kicks.
3. Get a powerful sound on the snare.
4. Add some liveliness to the bass guitar
Regarding point 1 and 2 OK. I guess the bass is not too loud then as I was told by another person.

I didn't capture this, my sound engineer did. I am playing. And we did not sound exactly like that in person, but I guess it was the best we could do with what we had.

Regarding larger than life, for learning purposes, I would like to try. However, I don't know any tricks so far! I was hoping to pick some up in this thread.

Regarding your 4 tips, I will certainly experiment with those.


Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
Listening quite quietly on a tablet, the dryness on the vocals calls attention to itself and I couldn't hear much of the music apart from the cymbals. Did you use any of the internal effects on the XR-18? The lack of presets and cursory documentation doesn't help but I've recently started using the Vintage Reverb on vocals and it seems OK.
I see, so it seems the dryness and the cymbals sort of take the listener out of the experience.

We added nothing, just straight in. We were just recording on the side of running the gig. I actually didn't know it had built in effects. I mixed this in Logic afterwards from the raw sound files.
Old 25th August 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DownTheLine View Post
Biggest problem is the sound of the drums. they sound week, thin lifeless. Loudest thing is the cymbals. You drums are mixed more for jazz than Rock.

1. You need a good solid kick sound and build from there.
2. The bass guitar sounds thin and has zero sustain. In a busy mix a thinner sounding bass might be OK but not with this small group.

In this case it may be that you perfectly captured what they sounded like. If that is the case you need to decide what your goal is for the sound, Do you want to try and nail the balance of what you have or do you want to try every trick in the book to get a larger than life sound?

I say go for both. If you have good clear recordings then all your processing will sound be and you can do more tricks.

Blessings.

PS, it's hard to get LARGE sound from dual, looks like 18", kick drums, but that would be a good start.

1. Bring down the volume of the drum Overheads.
2. Get a GOOD sound on the kicks.
3. Get a powerful sound on the snare.
4. Add some liveliness to the bass guitar

Oh, I forgot to mention, those kick drums are actually 13 or 14 inches! Hahah. He hates big kicks and I don't particularly love them either. Especially for the double kick stuff, not much definition. This is referring to live sound though. I mean, when it comes to recording I don't know much of anything.
Old 26th August 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
badmark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by konkon View Post
...

In the land of karaoke style huge reverb and echo at every gig, even when highly inappropriate, you kinda develop an aversion and just say "NO REVERB, NO REVERB! NONE!" because as much as you ask sound engineers to put it down a bit, it either sounds exactly the same after asking 50 times or they just put it up even more. Hahah. Too much reverb / echo is a big thing here.
...
.
Hmm. You're possibly going to have to build a defensive wall of pedals to get your sound the way you want it before it reaches the sound engineers.
Old 26th August 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by badmark View Post
Hmm. You're possibly going to have to build a defensive wall of pedals to get your sound the way you want it before it reaches the sound engineers.
Hahah. It's mainly on vocals. With guitar I can already do that I guess and just ask for NO reverb! With vocals though, many of us just ask for no reverb now, because even bone dry is better than karaoke echo.

Actually it doesn't matter, because for random earning gigs it makes little difference what the music sounds like or what setup is used. It's musically random and pointless anyway in most cases. It only really matters for my main band concept and now we have our own sound engineer usually, who knows us well and is very attentive. So I guess it's not a big deal for me anymore...
Old 26th August 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
GYMusic's Avatar
Your mix is bright and brittle in the 7-10 k range. Cymbals sound harsh. Bass and kick are lacking in the 200 Hz range. A bit of post reverb would make it bigger sounding. Compression would help on the vocals.

Here's a very rough example.
Attached Files

Fire_Konkon.mp3 (1.74 MB, 207 views)

Old 26th August 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYMusic View Post
Your mix is bright and brittle in the 7-10 k range. Cymbals sound harsh. Bass and kick are lacking in the 200 Hz range. A bit of post reverb would make it bigger sounding. Compression would help on the vocals.

Here's a very rough example.
Oh great, thanks for that. This is very useful to know. Did you just do some eq and reverb on this?

Did you just know which frequency ranges are off by ear? Or did you analyse the frequencies somehow as well to figure it out?
Old 26th August 2019
  #13
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GYMusic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by konkon View Post
Oh great, thanks for that. This is very useful to know. Did you just do some eq and reverb on this?

Did you just know which frequency ranges are off by ear? Or did you analyse the frequencies somehow as well to figure it out?
Yes, just some EQ in the ranges I mentioned and a touch of a medium size room reverb. I'm a musician and an engineer and have been doing this all of my life. The tweaks I did were just what I heard initially. If this sounds better to you, then maybe my suggestions are in the right direction. Good luck with your project.
Old 27th August 2019
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
konkon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYMusic View Post
Yes, just some EQ in the ranges I mentioned and a touch of a medium size room reverb. I'm a musician and an engineer and have been doing this all of my life. The tweaks I did were just what I heard initially. If this sounds better to you, then maybe my suggestions are in the right direction. Good luck with your project.
Thanks. Yeah I think being BOTH really helps. Okay I will focus in general on a bit less of a dry sound and will be careful of the highs. I think that's pretty much the consensus on this topic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
The actual delivery of the song is quite clipped and almost military in a way. You got to let your freak flag fly and get in the muck man!

Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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