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How's this mix? (Pop/rock) Condenser Microphones
Old 6th February 2011
  #31
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john caldwell's Avatar
Enjoying this, Tom.

The mix, while on the wetter side by today's standard, is not a wet mix. I much prefer the way in which you have handled the incidental vocals, in terms of eq and space vs. your initial posting. The only mix point I'll make is that the soundfield is rather narrow, in a L-R sense, with a fair number of elements competing for center, or near center, standing. Since you have both tremolo guitars, piano and the accordion pad as colors, I see no reason to not use extreme, or near extreme, panning positions for those.

The points that keep me from feeling the track is finished are points or arrangement. Considerations include:

1) The track is long. While I'll not necessarily hew to the notion that 3:20 is an absolute deadline for popular oriented tracks, I do think you need to have a reason to take a song like this, a lyrically-driven melodically-accessible piece, and hit the near five minute mark. Further, you tip you hand fair early in the song by introducing most or all of the elements by one minute or so. That sets your listener up for the feeling that not much new is happening, by the 1/2 way point. That the bridge isn't reached until 3:20 or thereabouts is frankly unusual.

2) Concrete suggestions are to hold the piano until later, and have it play less often. A few of the piano lines step on the vocal, and I'd call that an absolute Don't in this situation. The phrases at 1:18 and 2:27 can easily be muted without loosing the piano's message.

3) The L-I-E echo vocal, while a favorite part of the track for me, especially now that you've shaped it, doesn't need to play the first time we hear it. The last time we hear it, in the context of the lead vocal crescendo, it could have a harmony part paired with the familiar echo part. The point would be to add progression and growth.

4) The outro is unusually protracted, again with no new ideas surfacing throughout the last 90 seconds. I like the idea of a long fade, and you have deferred that for mastering I understand, but I would have the track over and done with by 4:20 at the latest.

Once again, you get more from me than you might care for or need to listen to, naturally, but I've enjoyed your progression with your WDYL piece.

Good luck, Tom.

John-
Old 7th February 2011
  #32
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TCW's Avatar
 

Thanks-a-million, John!

I'll take these great tips with me back into the studio. I agree about the wider panning. It was something I was contemplating too.

1. Yes, the track you're hearing is way longer than it needs to be. The fade will actually start at about 3:50, so the song should be over by 4:05.

2. The piano phrases you pointed out do seem to be timed with the vocal, and might need to be cut indeed. I'll see how it sounds with more extreme panning of the piano and maybe a fader ride.

3. Re: The backing "Why - y - y vocals". Cool idea about the harmony at the end! I'll try that out.

4. Yep. Way too long. As I said, probably 4:05 is where the fade will end the song.

Last couple questions:

- How do you think the lead vocals sat in the mix throught the various parts of the song?

- Even though the delay/verb on the mix bus was quite subtle, should I roll it back or does it sound fine where it's at?


Thanks again for the awesome feedback. You took the time to really listen to this song, dig into it and come up with very useful advice. I really appreciate it, John! I'll have to give you album credits

Tom
Old 7th February 2011
  #33
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john caldwell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCW View Post

-probably 4:05 is where the fade will end the song.

- How do you think the lead vocals sat in the mix throught the various parts of the song?

- Even though the delay/verb on the mix bus was quite subtle, should I roll it back or does it sound fine where it's at?
1) 4:05 will be very good
2) Lead vocal good as is
3) No objection to the wetness as is. There would probably be no disadvantage in a slightly drier approach, a personal matter really. I do suggest, however, maintaining the dry/wet relationship between your lead vocal and incidental vocal lines.

Very good, Tom.

John-
Old 10th February 2011
  #34
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TCW's Avatar
 

OK. Thanks a lot, John!

Tom
Old 10th February 2011
  #35
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Beyersound's Avatar
Upon a quick listen, the first thing that jumps out at me is that the vocal could be at least moderately de-essed. De-essing can be the difference between a cold, small, and wispy sounding vocal and a big, warm, pro sounding vocal statement. The best part is that it keeps the esses from driving the effects, making them sound much bigger and more pertinent to the song. You also might want to try high passing the vocal a bit more, and concentrating more of the that energy in the midrange (450-750hz) with eq. It's a bit of a master class technique, but you can clearly hear it on just about every vocal Clearmountain ever mixed (Daryl Hall, The Boss, Shawn Colvin, etc), it really makes them pop in a mix, and adds a lushness to the effects and dry vocal as well. If you check out great older classic vocal sounds (60s, 70s) they have that sound. It was mostly due to the mics (U47, U67, M series, etc), transformer desks, and comps that gave them that "mid forward" sound.

You have a pretty good handle on the rest of the mix. Nice work!
Old 10th February 2011
  #36
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TCW's Avatar
 

Very interesting!

I used a 251c on this song so maybe that's why it's missing that U47 sound. Maybe a U47 would suit my voice better (?). At this point I would have to cut the lows and increase the mids using UAD plugins (Harrison EQ), so I'm not sure how that will sound, but I'll give it a shot.

I'll probably increase the de-essing a bit too.

Thanks!

Tom
Old 4th March 2011
  #37
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monsieur x's Avatar
Bravo!

Just throwing some things out here:

The 251 sounds great on your voice! No need to change it! I do not believe a 47 style microphone would sound better.

Love the howl right before 3:30! I really appreciate the space and depth it was mixed with.

Also really digging the panning, and how you used it to emphasize the responding melodies in the song. The melodic guitar on the left communicating with the melodic piano on the right is very nice. And I know it can be difficult to get the balances right, but you did a great job. (Lots of listening I'm sure.)

The whole song has evolved in mix, arrangement and production quality!

I would consider it done, and happily move on to the next now.

If you could post a conclusion thread at some point with at least three MP3s of the process. (Beg., Mid., End) that would add a lot of value to this thread for future fellow artists!

Lots of great thoughts and knowledge in this whole thread, I want to thank everyone who has been so cool with taking their time to share what they know and love.

Best,
Old 10th March 2011
  #38
Gear Maniac
 
TCW's Avatar
 

Hey Albert!

Sorry for the delayed response...I just got back from a trip.

Thanks for listening again and for the great feedback! You're the man. I sent the song away to get mastered, so I'm done. Good idea to post the different mixes. I'll do it this week sometime.

BTW, I just listened to the work you did with Teepee. Wow. That's a amazing, atmospheric, moody, totally original sounding album. Very nice job! I'm interested in learning more about these guys and buying an album if it's available.

Thanks for your help, Albert and to everyone else on this thread who pitched in. I appreciate all the awesome sets of ears out there!

Tom Woods
Old 11th March 2011
  #39
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john caldwell's Avatar
Good news, Tom. Please share where and when on the final and mastered version - happy to buy it. Best of luck with the project.

John-
Old 12th March 2011
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
TCW's Avatar
 

Mastered

Thanks, John!

Here's the mastered vs pre-mastered.

Thoughts on the mastering job?

Tom

(Pre-master on post 29)
Attached Files

Why Did You Lie- Mastered MP3.mp3 (4.94 MB, 74 views)

Old 23rd March 2011
  #41
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monsieur x's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCW View Post
Thanks, John!

Here's the mastered vs pre-mastered.

Thoughts on the mastering job?

Tom

(Pre-master on post 29)
Just finally heard this now. Sounds like a record!

Honestly, this is an example of how important a mix is, because the song is truly enjoyable now. When you first posted a very long time ago, the few problems were distracting and kept our ears off the song!

Wish you the best!
Old 23rd March 2011
  #42
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monsieur x's Avatar
P.S.

You can visit Teepee or Teepee to find and buy Teepee's music. The album I recently produced has not yet been released, but he has a large and interesting discography. Look for the Heal and Heal Part 2 releases, I recorded and mixed that one as well.
Old 26th March 2011
  #43
Gear Maniac
 
TCW's Avatar
 

Awesome! Thanks for the links, Albert, and for the feedback on the master mix. You've been a huge help and I can't thank you enough!

Here's a quick "video" that put up on youtube (just a few stills of me). Of course the sound quality is compromised on that site, but oh well. (Warning: I'm a musician not a video producer)

YouTube - Tom Woods - Why Did You Lie?

Talk to you soon,
Tom
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