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Would be VERY useful with some critisism on my song (not used to mixing acoustic) Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 11th September 2011
Gear Maniac

Would be VERY useful with some critisism on my song (not used to mixing acoustic)


I finished mixing an acoustic song which I don't have too much experience with. I usually mix heavy distorted guitars. I recorded with a Bruce Springsteen Takamine, a SM58 (it's true) and that's about my livingroom.

I really don't have an idea if I succeeded or not. If the recording is good enough. Would be very helpful indeed to get some critisism on the mix.

What can I do to improve? How is the vocal performance? The strings? The guitar?

All comments are much appreciated.
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear
YOHAMI's Avatar

Sounds good overall, has a green day feel.

I would compress the vocal more (la3a) and bring it to the front.

The acoustic guitar sounds boomy. I would EQ that bottom down, and I would cut the reverb if its a plugin. Maybe copy hard right and left and offset to create a false stereo.

I would eq the strings narrower and push them back, with more reverb.

And then compress the **** of the whole track in stereo.
Old 11th September 2011
Gear Maniac

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen and give some tips. Really interesting technical things you mention, very specific, I like that!

I really don't have the skills though to do what you mention

I would eq the strings narrower and push them back, with more reverb.
Exactly how? How do I EQ the strings narrower? Please, explain.

I would compress the vocal more (la3a) and bring it to the front.
That's a thing I'd love to learn, to bring it to the front. Can I do that by compressing? Any special settings? Ratio, attack, release?

Once again, thank you!
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear
YOHAMI's Avatar

If you are doing this ITB, grab a Waves CLA la3a, dial the input up and the limit up until you have a flat in your face vocal. Then use the Waves JJPUIG pultec (or the nebula csoundmaster pultec / analog in the box dr fear), cut some bottom, cut some highs and boost some highs around 5K to taste. That will bring it closer

Make room with the acoustic guitar: cut the bottom under 100 and roll off the bump at 300 or something. It sounds boomy. Make a copy of the guitar and pan them left and right. Then either offset them a few frames to create a stereo fake feel, or if you repeat the same parts in different parts, swap the order in one of the channels so left and right are playing the same part, but played differently. Put both channels in a bus, strip an opto compressor and a waves L2 and trim some transients / even the feel. Then check the vocal EQ with an analyzer (and your ears), figure what frequencies you can substract from the acoustic guitar so the vocal cuts through better.

Narrow the strings= cut the bottom and roll off the highs, and add 3D long reverb to taste. And lower the volume. That will send them back (if thats what you want - thats what I would want)

Old 11th September 2011
Gear Maniac

Thank you sir! Much appreciated. I'll work on the track and get back
Old 11th September 2011
Lives for gear
YOHAMI's Avatar

no prob
Old 11th September 2011

In my opinion, your mix is NOT the MAIN problem here.

Your problems lie elsewhere:

Production + Arrangement + Writing + Performance criticism.

Pleas feel free to ignore. This is just my opinion.

Remove reverb from vocals (!)

Work on lyrics. Lyrics are awkward, and don't sound like native English.

Work on vocal performance, including pitch, dynamics and rhythm.
Rhythmic phrases need to be more interesting/syncopated/with natural groove.

Make guitar chord voicing and rhythm more interesting. Perhaps add one or two more guitar layers -
melodic, chordal, ostinato/fills, ambient/textural/effects, arpeggiated and/or rhythmic parts.

Work on guitar performance, including rhythm - needs to be tighter.

Strings at end are not smooth in the mix, need more interesting arrangement/voicing/melody/harmony/harmonic rhythm.

The whole thing sounds very stiff and a bit rushed, and not professionally written, performed or produced.

The vocal phrasing needs to be more natural, more relaxed, more power, more groove. Also, the singer needs to get in touch with his natural voice. Currently, it sounds like he's singing very loud, without a natural groove, along with some pitch and dynamic issues.

The melodic phrasing needs to flow and be more cohesive. Currently, it sounds disjointed and unnatural.

OK. Now for the pros heh

There are some nice melodic and lyric ideas. A lot of good potential.

The voice and guitar are good, but they need to be developed so they are more smooth, solid and natural.

In my experience, adding just a few simple layers to enhance and support the existing guitar can make the mix stronger.

I would definitely add some interesting guitar/synth/groove/melody/backing vocal elements, textures, ambience, etc.
in order to make the song, arrangement, production and mix stronger. This could be very simple and sparse.

...But please get that vocal reverb out of there

And please consider working with someone (preferably a songwriter) who does solid and eloquent English translations.

I apologize in advance if any of this criticism is offensive. I'm just offering my opinion. Again, feel free to ignore.

Cheers, and I wish you much luck!

Old 12th September 2011
Gear Maniac

Thank you for your comments.
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