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I feel like my mix sucks and would like advice
Old 3rd June 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
I feel like my mix sucks and would like advice

https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedanlane/hey-delihlah

So I used multibus compression. Top down stuff, with a different kind of saturation and a different compressor on each bus. One for all the verbs+delays, one for all the vocals, one for all the instruments, and one for drum and bass.

All itb.

Into a 2mix with nothing on it. Its not limited. I started referencing everyone else's mix. My vocal just isn't loud enough according to where everyone else is at. But my LV is hitting it's compressor harder than anything else.

Is this because the CLA2A has a higher ratio than what I should be using on my vox bus? I used the helios emulation (working off horizon and soundtoys currently,) on the instrument bus, H-comp on the drum and bass bus, and another CLA2A on the verbs bus.

I automated quite a bit but I feel like the way I set things up at the beginning is the problem... Whatever though I'm not an expert. I've been working in real life to buy microphones and I guess I dropped my game a lot in the past 4 months.

Anywho, your advice is appreciated.

P.S. The compressors are pre-calibrated to a -18 dB sine tone. This sine tone is set to create -1 dB of compression, and is brought back to parity through a saturation plugin of my choosing. I used little radiator, saturation knob, decapitator, and kramer tape.

I can see by watching the compressors while I'm printing that the vox compressor is slamming harder than everything else. I know it sounds like it shouldnt be possible but yeah, apparently its not good for bus compression maybe.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #2
The guitars might be a tad loud. The vocal could use some bite maybe. I like it though. Good song.

Old 3rd June 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedanlane/hey-delihlah

So I used multibus compression. Top down stuff, with a different kind of saturation and a different compressor on each bus. One for all the verbs+delays, one for all the vocals, one for all the instruments, and one for drum and bass.

All itb.

Into a 2mix with nothing on it. Its not limited. I started referencing everyone else's mix. My vocal just isn't loud enough according to where everyone else is at. But my LV is hitting it's compressor harder than anything else.

Is this because the CLA2A has a higher ratio than what I should be using on my vox bus? I used the helios emulation (working off horizon and soundtoys currently,) on the instrument bus, H-comp on the drum and bass bus, and another CLA2A on the verbs bus.

I automated quite a bit but I feel like the way I set things up at the beginning is the problem... Whatever though I'm not an expert. I've been working in real life to buy microphones and I guess I dropped my game a lot in the past 4 months.

Anywho, your advice is appreciated.

P.S. The compressors are pre-calibrated to a -18 dB sine tone. This sine tone is set to create -1 dB of compression, and is brought back to parity through a saturation plugin of my choosing. I used little radiator, saturation knob, decapitator, and kramer tape.

I can see by watching the compressors while I'm printing that the vox compressor is slamming harder than everything else. I know it sounds like it shouldnt be possible but yeah, apparently its not good for bus compression maybe.

Honestly way too many effects and compressors. Remove them ALL. Mix your song with only a small amount of master buss compression and then repost the song. It's tough to tell what's really going on here.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #4
Gear Addict
 

The real question here is do you like the way it sounds? I understand everything you are saying and exactly why you are saying it. However, to be honest... your explanation to me sounds like its coming from the perspective of someone who is relying more on theory than actual processing. It is very common these days because there are so many people on the internet that very convincingly tell you how to mix. So...

What I take from your post is that music is a hobby that you are spending a considerable amount of money you earn from a day job to maintain. Because of this you are looking at expensive pieces of gear or software from an hourly perspective and I know from personal experience how easy it is to have expectations based on these things. However, there is only one way you will get where you want to be and that is through practice. Treat each plugin or piece of gear like it is all you have and spend more time learning how to use your tools effectively than how they match your expectations.

At the end of the day what matters here is if you like the way it sounds. I assume you aren't taking paid clients but even if you were you will have your own style of mixing that they either like or dislike. When it comes to mixing you have to be prepared to throw your ego out the window and either admit you aren't the right engineer for a certain song or aknowledge you don't agree with a client but are going to do what they ask anyway because that's what they are paying for. All that being said you can't base what you are doing on reference mixes or how much compression someone else will say is too much. Asking for advice is great but it only helps if you spend significantly more time testing what you were asking about than you do asking about it. You can use a calculator to answer many math problems but it will never make you better at solving them. Forget what is supposed to happen and aim for what sounds right and once you are happy with the mix no matter how long it takes then sit back and figure out what you could have done better and/or differently. You can't study in the middle of a test and in my opinion mixing is best treated similarly. Otherwise you end up with more theories than finished mixes and we are all here to finish songs. Not test plugins.

I'm sorry my answers weren't all technical but from my understanding your questions were based on a lot of theory and assumption rather than actual technical flaws. Hope I helped at least a little bit though.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #5
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notheorem729 View Post
The real question here is do you like the way it sounds?
The thread title starts with I feel like my mix sucks , and you are asking him if he likes the way it sounds?

Dlane - cool tune!

First problem I hear is that the vox sound like they were recorded at a great distance. If there is no other mic/track, there really is nothing you can do about that.

Second, is I would try panning the guitars a bit closer to the center. Not too much; you don't want them too near center, but a little bit.

Next, the hi-hat and/or OHs need to come up. The kick and snare sound good, but the overall kit sounds b-o-r-i-n-g, and that ain't due to the playing.

Last, is the guitar on the L. Is that the sound as recorded, or did you do something to it? It's really overdriven, and not in a pleasant way. It's close to being pleasant, but there is something going on there that makes it a bit unpleasant, and there is no definition. If you have done something to it, as in, added some saturation, take that off, or severely lessen it. If that's the way it sounds, then there is nothing you can do.

Cheers.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
I think I honestly just didnt add enough 1k to the vocal. I scooped out 1k of the instrument bus but didnt add enough to the vocal to really do what I meant to do. I agree that there are a few too many delays. I also think only taking the 1k out of the middle wasnt good. I should have taken 1k out of the mid and the side when the LV is happening. Automated 1.5 dB out of the inst bus while the LV is in. Still reading what you guys are saying otherwise.

I'm starting to think that way, but then again I mixed that song Lightyear with multibus compression and it was my best mix ever. It's so hard to judge yourself though, because that song was started as a triple A production before I touched it so it was easy. This song is different, I don't even like my drums that much and I did so much to the kick and snare.

I really do have many layers of saturation which can likely be done away with. Perhaps if I only used the saturation from the bottom up it would be better.

To the guy who is basically telling me that if I was pro I would be getting passed over for this track, in my defense I do have a diploma in audio engineering but it's vastly out of date. It took me way too long to pay it off, (the student loan,) and I was stuck in construction the whole time. My end goal is to produce and my next 5-6k are commited to mics and pres. So I guess I get what you're saying but I don't like that reading your post makes me want to give up because I'm waaaay to invested in this to do so. Perhaps one day I'll be subbing out my mixes. I want to record jazz honestly, that's a whole other story though.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
I think I honestly just didnt add enough 1k to the vocal. I scooped out 1k of the instrument bus but didnt add enough to the vocal to really do what I meant to do. I agree that there are a few too many delays. I also think only taking the 1k out of the middle wasnt good. I should have taken 1k out of the mid and the side when the LV is happening. Automated 1.5 dB out of the inst bus while the LV is in. Still reading what you guys are saying otherwise.

I'm starting to think that way, but then again I mixed that song Lightyear with multibus compression and it was my best mix ever. It's so hard to judge yourself though, because that song was started as a triple A production before I touched it so it was easy. This song is different, I don't even like my drums that much and I did so much to the kick and snare.

I really do have many layers of saturation which can likely be done away with. Perhaps if I only used the saturation from the bottom up it would be better.

To the guy who is basically telling me that if I was pro I would be getting passed over for this track, in my defense I do have a diploma in audio engineering but it's vastly out of date. It took me way too long to pay it off, (the student loan,) and I was stuck in construction the whole time. My end goal is to produce and my next 5-6k are commited to mics and pres. So I guess I get what you're saying but I don't like that reading your post makes me want to give up because I'm waaaay to invested in this to do so. Perhaps one day I'll be subbing out my mixes. I want to record jazz honestly, that's a whole other story though.
Wait, are you saying that I said if you were a pro you would be getting passed over? I don't really see anyone including myself saying anything even remotely close to that so I'm just trying to clarify before responding further.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
The thread title starts with I feel like my mix sucks , and you are asking him if he likes the way it sounds?

Dlane - cool tune!

First problem I hear is that the vox sound like they were recorded at a great distance. If there is no other mic/track, there really is nothing you can do about that.

Second, is I would try panning the guitars a bit closer to the center. Not too much; you don't want them too near center, but a little bit.

Next, the hi-hat and/or OHs need to come up. The kick and snare sound good, but the overall kit sounds b-o-r-i-n-g, and that ain't due to the playing.

Last, is the guitar on the L. Is that the sound as recorded, or did you do something to it? It's really overdriven, and not in a pleasant way. It's close to being pleasant, but there is something going on there that makes it a bit unpleasant, and there is no definition. If you have done something to it, as in, added some saturation, take that off, or severely lessen it. If that's the way it sounds, then there is nothing you can do.

Cheers.
You are correct. That is what the title of the thread is. However, every reason he gives for his mix sucking are based on other peoples mixes and an amount of compression he assumes to be too much. Nothing he said specifies whether or not he thinks it sounds good. He also said he "feels" like his mix sucks. Meaning it is only a feeling. My post focused on why he thinks his mix sucks rather than giving him useless technical approximations that are worthless outside of theoretical discussions. You can either tell someone how to turn a knob or tell them why they are turning it. I personally chose the latter.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #9
Gear Nut
Tbh the other mixes I referenced just had better vocals. I used too much reverb and left the guitars too loud. I must have got mind ****ed some how because of course with bus compressors already setup the solution is not to push more vocal in it is to turn other stuff down.

I dont have time to really get good at mixing, Im doing so much overtime to get mics. Its depressing but whatever. I wrote down what I learned in my notebook anywho.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

HI,

I don't think that the mix suck's. it could use some more polishing but it has a nice live vibe. The vocals could be more upfront maybe mix them on the individual channel instead of top down?

But i think that you take a way to theoretical approach to mixing. Calibrating the compressor with a sine wave? Watching the compressor while printing and seeing it slam.

I think you would be better off listening if a compressor is giving you the desired effect.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
To the guy who is basically telling me that if I was pro I would be getting passed over for this track...
Well, he's completely correct. The song is cool, and the mix def does not suck, but it is FAR from pro. And the problem w/the vox is, as I said before, proximity - it has nothing to do with the fact that you scooped 1k, nor does it have anything to do with EQ.

It really sounds like the problem is more in the recording, than anything.

Oh, and a diploma in audio engineering means NOTHING when it comes to mixing.

Keep at it tho!

Cheers.
Old 3rd June 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post

So I used multibus compression. Top down stuff, with a different kind of saturation and a different compressor on each bus. One for all the verbs+delays, one for all the vocals, one for all the instruments, and one for drum and bass.
I guess my question here is why? What was your specific goal in using this technique? What was the aim that couldn't be achieved just by balancing the mix on the faders? Did you just do it because that's what you read that someone else does?

The main problems with the mix as far as I can tell are (1) too much reverb and the reverb not really being appropriate for the sources, and (2) the whole thing is way too dark and muddy, it's like listening to it through a wall.

If I were you I'd take it right back to basics, get a good balance on the faders and use a master bus EQ to get the whole thing in the right area tonally first of all.
Old 14th June 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
I took everything you guys said into account as well as looked at some of my sessions from the past and took notes on what I had done differently. Here is a different song with the same multibus compression approach but the guitar bus is barely compressing while the vox bus smashes with the same calibrated threshold. (-20.)

https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedan...rkupines-sugar

Also edited the drums, but that's less relevant. Got to mix on my HS8s this time instead of the headphones, I feel like that actually made the biggest difference.
Old 14th June 2019
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
I took everything you guys said into account as well as looked at some of my sessions from the past and took notes on what I had done differently. Here is a different song with the same multibus compression approach but the guitar bus is barely compressing while the vox bus smashes with the same calibrated threshold. (-20.)

https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedan...rkupines-sugar

Also edited the drums, but that's less relevant. Got to mix on my HS8s this time instead of the headphones, I feel like that actually made the biggest difference.
I don't really know what you're trying to accomplish, and this style of music is definitely not in my wheelhouse (AT ALL), but what stands out to me is how dull the snare sounds. When you hear the kick in a more open spot in the mix, you hear sufficient (if not too much?) attack, but in guitar heavy spots, the kick and snare sound pretty dulled down instead of front and center. This sorta tells me both of those are being masked in their mid to high up harmonic range by the guitar.

Snare itself, sounds like it has too much meat and also sounds pretty dead. I'd cut out some of the fundamental and first harmonic and see what I could do about some very subtle but livening delay/reverb. The guitar is extremely dominant through most of the high mids and a bit up in the fizzy range. I'd definitely turn them down a few db and if they're lacking meat, maybe try and make up for it with the bass (which seems to largely mirror the guitar's part anyway). If not, maybe high shelf guitar down a little.

The subs seem like a bit of mess (but i'm possibly confusing it with a truck outside). If you're compressing the subs, I'd stop doing that til you get to hear it somewhere that can accurately reproduce low end and just roll it off or shelf it for now. Also, the cymbals sound overly compressed to me. Almost like the wash and attack are the same volume.

There are probably a few freq to cut out of vox, but they're probably the least of your worries. I actually feel as though if you free up some space around 2.5-3.5k the vox might breathe a bit better and you might change your mind about boosting at 1k.

If you're not using a limiter yet, it really shouldn't sound too much like this imo. You should try to open up the mix, give everything a little bit of space and THEN let the limiter do some saturation. Though I'd personally just open it up and leave it nice and quiet

A song like this does not need complicated techniques. It's best to use the faders first and foremost and then resort to other measures if needed.

Just my two cents, but maybe my knowledge is largely outdated.

EDIT: another thing to realize is that your song will only be as loud as its peaks..... turning down some of the things that are adding up to make those peaks will make the other elements (like vocals) louder once normalized....
Old 14th June 2019
  #15
Gear Nut
Something that I get is that the kick and snare maybe need to come up and down as the layered guitar parts change the overall volume of the mix. However, I ducked sooooo much of the snare's harmonics. Among other things. Some of the things you're telling me to do are things that I already did. It feels weird.

I sucked soooooo much 3-4k out of the guitars. I also know that there's still less of what's above that in the frequency spectrum because I happened to listen to it and look at an analyzer. I think it might be my monitoring system. I'm on Hs8s and senn 600s. I'll take another listen to it.

Maybe what you're hearing is vitamin on the 2mix. Its just giving a baxindahl type thing on the top end though, nothing extreme.

Coincidentally I could easily add 2-3k to the vocal because I took so much out of the guitars. I feel like it works either way. I did add 2k to the vocal though. That's the thing... So maybe add another decibel of that? I added static 2K, 8.4k, and dynamic 1k. Cut like 800, 4000.... I forget.

Who are you? Just wondering.

Maybe a hi-pass filter on my drum and bass compressor for the key input might be good, that way the meat of the drums and bass wouldn't trigger the compressor.

I appreciate that you took the time to listen though, if you want I can go back and check everything that I did and sort of write it down and show you.
Old 14th June 2019
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
Something that I get is that the kick and snare maybe need to come up and down as the layered guitar parts change the overall volume of the mix. However, I ducked sooooo much of the snare's harmonics. Among other things. Some of the things you're telling me to do are things that I already did. It feels weird.

I sucked soooooo much 3-4k out of the guitars. I also know that there's still less of what's above that in the frequency spectrum because I happened to listen to it and look at an analyzer. I think it might be my monitoring system. I'm on Hs8s and senn 600s. I'll take another listen to it.

Maybe what you're hearing is vitamin on the 2mix. Its just giving a baxindahl type thing on the top end though, nothing extreme.

Coincidentally I could easily add 2-3k to the vocal because I took so much out of the guitars. I feel like it works either way. I did add 2k to the vocal though. That's the thing... So maybe add another decibel of that? I added static 2K, 8.4k, and dynamic 1k. Cut like 800, 4000.... I forget.

Who are you? Just wondering.

Maybe a hi-pass filter on my drum and bass compressor for the key input might be good, that way the meat of the drums and bass wouldn't trigger the compressor.

I appreciate that you took the time to listen though, if you want I can go back and check everything that I did and sort of write it down and show you.
I'm definitely no one of note to almost anyone here. And if what I'm saying makes no sense to you feel free to just ignore me lol. I mostly record and mix music that is performed live and use almost no compression at all, so it's a different ballgame.

But yeah, after what you're telling me, I'm personally just curious about what your stems sound like. If you've already cut most of the presence and high end of the guitar out, then how little low-mids were there to begin with? But that's not even really the point. The EQ of the guitar isn't THAT off or 'wrong' or 'problematic' to me, the guitar is just overall too loud in comparison to the other instruments occupying its frequency space in the mix... And also i'm not saying that the vocals aren't audible or need an EQ boost. I'm saying that once you lower the guitars you might be able to reverse the boosts you've made on vox around that area as space opens. Or you can leave it. Whatever floats your boat. I think the vocals are a little rich sounding personally and a bit too distorted, and part of that might be the fact that you've boosted them near the most sensitive range of human hearing.

Looking to pop-punk-ish stuff as a reference, yeah, the snare is not really quite as there in most frequency bands as it is in a lot of pro-done stuff during the layered parts. It's far too in the back-drop. But when it is loud and clear, it doesn't sound very good.

The snare is the worst instrument sonically. It sounds a lot like what happens when you put a mic on a kick beater. If you're ducking the harmonics of the snare, that makes a lot of sense to me. There seem to be a lot of low mids and mids, and 'pecking' but not much of a crack. I couldn't tell you what's causing that, because I don't know what you've started with or what you've done.

But I'd say working on a better snare would likely get you halfway to a pro sounding mix. Then you just gotta work out the low end, which you can probably do way better on, but it'll be hard to get perfect without a nice big room. I'd understand if you said I totally don't get the genre or what you're going for though.

Last edited by untitled73; 14th June 2019 at 07:56 AM..
Old 14th June 2019
  #17
Gear Nut
I cut upper mids. There was a lot of whistling and ringing. After that there was less fizz, (I'll call it post 5K stuff,) so I may have added a touch of that to some of them. There was 8 seperate guitar tracks, sometimes all playing at once. They don't all have extra high end. I feel like you're hearing the master bus high end boost. I just threw it on there, maybe because of ear fatigue the extra highs just sounded better. So its a case for using a seperate guy to master in a way.

Consider this. The Guitar bus compressor is sometimes not compressing at all, but its threshold is set to get -1 dB of compression at -20 dB on the meter. (3:1 ratio.) The CLA2A on the vocal bus is set to get the same -1 dB of compression at the same threshold, (sending that -20 dB sine tone through it,) and then they're both made-up to come back to pairity on a VU meter.

So basically if the guitar bus is barely compressing and the vox bus is smashing then it means the vox is SIGNIFICANTLY louder than the guitar, it just doesnt seem that way. For one thing the fx on the vocal are probably not high enough, its soudning a bit mono, which I'm realizing post-humously. and for another thing the vocal might be lacking some punch because the optical compressor is riding it so hard. But they're initial levels are definitely not the same. Technically its going through RVox, then a multiband c4 for the 1k dynamic boost, then the LA2A on the vox bus.

I feel like the solution might just be cheating up the output gain on the vox bus compressor.

As far as the snare goes I like it personally. If you were my client I would take maxx bass down on it a lot and perhaps add a snappier sample. The reality I'm facing is I only have 4 snare samples to work with. I have to buy that stupid cranborne adat box and get my analog compressors going as well before I invest in drum samples too. I already committed to that. So for the most part I can't even solve that problem until many months have passed. Already used my best sounding sample. The original snare was insanely garbo.
Old 15th June 2019
  #18
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Owen L T's Avatar
The guitars are drowning out everything, and all the stuff that is not drums are also too loud - which means the drums sound small, and off in another plane from the rest of the mix.

You mentioned your snare sample. I don't know what you've done to it, exactly, but it sounds like taking a normal snare and low-passing the life out of it, so it's basically a pock pock sound in the distance with no top (or actual snares) cutting through the mix. There's not, normally, a reason to "duck so much of the snares harmonics". If a snare has a loud, ringing overtone, then occasionally a bit of notching is needed for that one frequency - but that's the exception, not the rule.

But at least a couple people have immediately notice that there is something seriously awry with the snare in this song - and, the thing is, a snare has to be pretty bad for there to be that kind of consensus on GS. Somewhere between the snare processing and the drum buss processing you killed your snare entirely.

I think you may just be setting yourself up by using way, way too much processing on everything - EQ compression, buss processing on everything - rather than getting a good, solid balance, with moderate EQ and compression where needed.

Compression and saturation on every buss? Why? Why compress the vocals, then compress them again on a vocal bus, plus EQ, dynamic EQ? Yes, a good pro engineer might well, in some circumstances, find that dynamic compression at 1k on the lead vocal adds some little shine that can't be achieved through EQ alone. But that's only after getting the vocal (and the mix) 99% of the way there. If you start doing that kind of stuff where you are now, it just gets in the way of getting a good mix. An extra dB at 2k on the vocal when the entire mix is off balance really won't do anything.

I noticed that the second reply in this thread (regarding the first track) was, basically, "take off all the processing and get a good balance". That's spot on. It's not about how much 2k (or, elsewhere, 1k) you have in the vocal: it's about basic balance and the fact that everything is processed wayyyy too much.

Stop looking at analysers. Stop worrying that the lead vocal needs more compression than the guitars - which is totally normal, because vocals tend to have a lot more dynamic range. Stop with things like "different saturation and compressors on each buss" - rather than, say, using the tool that sounds best for the job, if any tool is required at all. Buss compression should generally be so transparent and minimal, that using the same compressor on every one (even just the stock compressor) would be fine. So the simple fact of (a) having saturation and compression on every buss; and (b) the idea that it's important that they be different plug ins for each buss, shows that you're suffering from too many tutorials and plug-ins. Which, by the way, is something of which many of us have been guilty - at least speaking for myself.

It's a hard thing to hear, but there is a steady stream of voices on this thread giving you basically the same advice: less processing, more balance.

Truthfully, the best thing you could do is zero out the faders, remove all buss processing, and allow yourself no more than one compressor and one EQ (using no more than 2 bands of EQ) for each instrument.
Old 15th June 2019
  #19
Gear Nut
I didn't actually saturate the mix busses in this second mix. Everyone said not too after the first mix. I used saturation on individual things. Got the message about the snare and whatnot. I can't shake the feeling that it must just be a mistake I'm making, not that the brauerizing is wrong. In another thread I was reading people are raving about how the brauerized buss compression is a great way to mix. Could the solution just be more guitar automation and a different snare sound? I dont feel like the multibus compression is really "wrong," but if I'm mixing into it wrong then there has to be a way to change that rather than change the entire approach. I feel like I could just change the snare sound and then also the guitar automation.

On the guitars I basically just have eq and trim plugins. The guitar sound was already good in my ears. That's just going into a multibus compressor and it looks like it was compressed on the way in by the recording engineer. The drums are only compressed once on the sum, (like snare sum, kick sum, ect,) and then on the multibus.

....The LV has saturator, deEsser, automation, eq cuts, compressor, dynamic boost, static 8.4 boost off VEQ and then into the bus compressor. This is such a typical line that I basically ripped off somebodies youtube channel. What I'm thinking is, if that guy is getting paid to mix and has a massive board, then it can't be 100% that the plugin usage is wrong, maybe its just the overall balance.

Like I could re-work the balance without removing plugins. Some of them are just one EQ move. I can just write more automation off what I have.

Unless if what you're saying is what you don't like is the guitar sound and the vocal sound, but what I feel like you're saying is you don't like the balance.

So, drums up, vocals up, (and/or) guitars down in the choruses. Which might solve everything because with guitars down in the choruses everything else wouldn't be so hidden up. That along with replace the snare sound and completely rework the snare sound. Most of it isnt proccesed that much other than the drums and bass. Honestly the plugins on the LV are just doing a sliver of satruation and then some EQ, and the guitars are barely touched at all, they're just panned and stereo widened in various ways and EQ'd to be separated a little. So maybe I processed the drums too much, but the bass is just normal, compressed bass, with some low mid harmonics ducked, and rbass on the bass sum. That's it.

I can do that and print something when I get my 500 rack and it'll have analog summing on it as well, how does that sound?
Old 18th June 2019
  #20
Gear Nut
https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedan...pines-sugar-v2

Here's the changes but with no analog summing yet. Hopefully I can nail down a version that's agreed upon as good so we have something to do an A/B test with later.
Old 18th June 2019
  #21
What is the lowest frequency that you can hear from your monitor?
Old 18th June 2019
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedan...pines-sugar-v2

Here's the changes but with no analog summing yet. Hopefully I can nail down a version that's agreed upon as good so we have something to do an A/B test with later.
The balances are better than the previous version.

For me, the two major issues here are not mix problems per se, but arrangement/performance problems. 1) Drums sound mechanical and low-energy, and 2) Guitars are too thick and fatiguing, there's not enough variation in sound and arrangement.

You know, there was a time when folks made recordings and didn't think about frequencies, db of headroom, standardized plug-in chains. They thought about instruments, personalities, capturing performances. And the records still sounded pretty good.
Old 18th June 2019
  #23
Gear Addict
OK Great stuff man. Not really as bad as I imagined from what I was reading.

Sounds like there are shed loads of eq compression and saturation etc going on here.
This is what I would do.
Back off compression a bit, back off the saturation, back off the eqs. Don't use High pass filters to get rid of low end. That just kills the fundamental. Use a very controlled shelf instead.

So I am not the first person to say this but the kick is super important to the mix. Sounds a bit awkward here, maybe replace it. Once that is bossing it the rest will seem much better.

The vocals are fighting the power chords.

Harmonically the mix is a bit harsh in the high mid high 2KHz- 6kHz where the bite of the guitars is. There is some awkward sounding resonance there too. I know you want biting guitars but try tame them down and see how your vocal improves

I think the approach to eq has been to open things up for clarity but has caused a sort of pasty brittleness. reveals too much detail.

I would get more bottom end in there and tidy up the resonance in the 2kHz- 6kHz guitars range. Your vocal will then sound more rounded and clear. So push more energy downstairs and balance that out at the top. You have quite a steep drop off @ 5KHz

Don't expect every sound in the track to be super clear all the way through. If you do that they will all fight for space. Go for emotional impact rather than trying to shove every little bit in there . The vocal is the hero. Let it be king.

-13dBs average is quite loud for a non master or did you "master" the track?
Good work though. I don't think the song is the problem.
Old 19th June 2019
  #24
Gear Nut
According to the first guy I edited the drums too much. They were rushing together. I could edit the guitars along the click more and that would marry them together. If I reverted it you'd notice the drummer screwing up. At least I did I used to be a drummer.

To the second guy a few things..... I cut sooo much upper mids in those guitars to get them where they're at. Lol! I get what you're saying though. Maybe specifically 2k or 6k I didnt cut enough. Because most of what I cut was 3-5, especially 4.

Maybe I can boost more 2k in the vocal. I did "master," it. Its just a small pultech boost on the lowest and highest band and then 2 limiters to get it to that level without distorting.

Not really mastering. Just.... Loudening. Lol.
Old 19th June 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 
brockorama's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann View Post
2) Guitars are too thick and fatiguing, there's not enough variation in sound and arrangement.
Yes if I could I would change amps... speakers...cab to something that lays in there better right from first listen
I mean, there's a lot of beef in there that is hard to eq imo....masks the vocal, the snare and even lower into kick and bass territory

Eric Valentine has a cool new video series in this thread that clears up a lot of misconceptions like how to control rumbling tom grooves in a dense rock mix. Highly recommended.

OP this sounds good as it is and I like the song.
Old 19th June 2019
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
According to the first guy I edited the drums too much. They were rushing together. I could edit the guitars along the click more and that would marry them together. If I reverted it you'd notice the drummer screwing up. At least I did I used to be a drummer.

To the second guy a few things..... I cut sooo much upper mids in those guitars to get them where they're at. Lol! I get what you're saying though. Maybe specifically 2k or 6k I didnt cut enough. Because most of what I cut was 3-5, especially 4.

Maybe I can boost more 2k in the vocal. I did "master," it. Its just a small pultech boost on the lowest and highest band and then 2 limiters to get it to that level without distorting.

Not really mastering. Just.... Loudening. Lol.
Is there a comping error at 2:24?
Old 19th June 2019
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
stixstudios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
https://soundcloud.com/driveinthedan...pines-sugar-v2

Here's the changes but with no analog summing yet. Hopefully I can nail down a version that's agreed upon as good so we have something to do an A/B test with later.
What happened to the original song posted? It's been taken down.

Anyway, I like the "Sugar" song - really love that tune.

Sonically, perhaps it could have more dynamic range. Especially on the drums. I'm certainly no expert, just my initial observations using my ears, and not math to analyse things

Cheers.
Old 19th June 2019
  #28
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlane View Post
According to the first guy I edited the drums too much. They were rushing together. I could edit the guitars along the click more and that would marry them together. If I reverted it you'd notice the drummer screwing up. At least I did I used to be a drummer.

If the kick is on a separate channel I would do a kick replacement. Did you know that the snare on Nirvanas Nevermind was a sample replacement. I think they just used the same sample for most of the album. Really it is a cliche but the kick is everything. At the moment the compressed sound of the kick is just not working in my opinion. Funny how when you get the kick right everything else seems to fall into place.

To the second guy a few things..... I cut sooo much upper mids in those guitars to get them where they're at. Lol! I get what you're saying though. Maybe specifically 2k or 6k I didnt cut enough. Because most of what I cut was 3-5, especially 4.

A tiny cut with wide Q around the middle of that area and then a more surgical one for that garbled resonance. Sweep around with a sharp q to find it then cut. These need to be very conservative. Oh just had a look and probably 1.8kHz is where the resonance is

Maybe I can boost more 2k in the vocal.

No the vocal is great. When you smooth out the guitars the vocal will pop out.
I think that the vocal needs to be the hero shot you build the mix around.


I did "master," it. Its just a small pultech boost on the lowest and highest band and then 2 limiters to get it to that level without distorting.

Not really mastering. Just.... Loudening. Lol.
Well fair enough but might be easier to hear stuff without so much mix buss stuff.
Anyway here are some pics of the frequency response of the entire track. This is the average trace. The grey line is the original and the green is a rough filter I would apply before mastering. 1/12 and 1/3 octave, its not that bad but has that typical loudness scoop. Personally I would get more low end in there and then get the low mid working without being boxy.
Attached Thumbnails
I feel like my mix sucks and would like advice-screen-shot-2019-06-19-08.50.36.jpg   I feel like my mix sucks and would like advice-screen-shot-2019-06-19-08.42.53.jpg  
Old 19th June 2019
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
stixstudios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Freeland View Post
Well fair enough but might be easier to hear stuff without so much mix buss stuff.
Anyway here are some pics of the frequency response of the entire track. This is the average trace. The grey line is the original and the green is a rough filter I would apply before mastering. 1/12 and 1/3 octave, its not that bad but has that typical loudness scoop. Personally I would get more low end in there and then get the low mid working without being boxy.
Ummm... No need for spectral analysys. Use your ears. Mixing by "numbers"...????
Old 19th June 2019
  #30
Gear Addict
Tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by stixstudios View Post
Ummm... No need for spectral analysys. Use your ears. Mixing by "numbers"...????
Oh no not another "just use your ears" person. Ha ha well done there. Oh course I use my ears derrr.
Thats how I came up with the filter. The pictures illustrate what I did in visual form to help the OP. How are you helping?
"just use your ears"? is that all you've got to contribute? Really?

Also how do you know that the OPs ears are not lying to them due to a non optimal acoustic? In fact it is comb filtering that is the most likely cause of the mix decisions in that area.

Don't listen to this guy use all the tools available to you including your ears.
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