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cassetterex 17th June 2019 05:28 PM

Honest + constructive feedback on mixes/masters!
I recently got the honor of recording, mixing AND mastering an EP by a hard rock/metal band. A very fun task, but a bit of a challenge I must say. (I haven't really listened that much to metal/hard rock lately, and I have not recorded or mixed it that much either - and never mastered heavy rock!)

So I recorded four songs with this band, and I need to get some input - what do you think of the mixes?

You can listen to two of the songs here:

Since I did the whole shebang from recording all the way to to mastering, I'm curious to see what your experienced ears think. I was hesitant to do everything, but the band asked me and I said I would give it a try. Be honest, I can take it ;-)

Just as a fun sidenote - one was recorded in professional studio with a highend-console, and the other one in a rehearsal studio with my own expensive/not so expensive gear. ;-) Can you pick out which is which?

Feedback would be greatly appreciated! :)

martinantonsson 24th June 2019 12:48 AM

I like the tone of the guitars and the vocals seems to be aligned where they should.
What I would work on is the drums first and foremost. I would like to get some more presence and punch out of them. They feel a bit too laid back at the moment and a bit to roomy and what they sound like in the rehearsal space. There's some processing on the bass and guitars as well but overall I get where they want it from what I hear.
As a reference I would look at some bands like Clutch or something like that. 70's sound but with a more modern sound. This would have been a really fun project to mix or master.

nwmusicman 29th June 2019 12:15 PM

Not my style of music but it's a pretty sweet project and interesting - thanks for sharing. I liked tracks two and three more than one and four, and if I had to guess those two were also the one's done on a large console (track two sounds much bigger and clearer than track one, it's not a subtle difference to me). Overall the first track seemed to lack both bite and cohesion, I have to actively tell my ear to follow a sound or instrument instead of something jumping out and grabbing me and taking me for a ride. Also I'd enjoy more variation of volume and intensity between verse and chorus. Some of that might need to be addressed at the writer/producer level though? But IMO it should be tinkered with. Just my $.02. Track two sounds excellent, crisp, big, consistent and sharp transients, and the track takes my ear from the lead guitar to the drums and back again, and the vocals sound clear and distinct. Track three sounds nice to me, albeit not quite as large as two, but overall it's better than one and not far behind two. Track four is probably the average of the other three, but to me it also has a much smaller soundstage and presence than two and three. Since this isn't my turf, it's a bit hard to objectively criticize any style or sound, but from the gut I want music like this to have drums that flat out smash, which means they can't be too 'busy' or have too much else fighting for space in there. Again, I really don't know what the artists or producers are looking for style wise, so it's all subjective, but I'd make the tracks punch harder and be less busy overall. Track two though, it does stand out to me. I wouldn't touch that one.

If you do make any changes can you post a note so we can check back?

cassetterex 1st July 2019 07:34 PM

Excellent feedback!

I agree with with everything so far. I won't do any alterations though - the songs are mixed, mastered and sent off to the band and various streamingservices. They were very happy with the results, which I guess is the most important thing. I am not really satisfied, but on the other hand I never am - which is a pain in the ass but also a good thing in the end I think.

So no more tinkering with this (which is a relief honestly). Being the recording engineer, mixer, producer and master engineer (and maintaining a life outside) has been quite the challenge.

Keep the feedback coming! Any mastering engineers out there who have any opinions from your point of view?