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Piano Pop Full Band Mix (Advice Needed) Dynamics Plugins
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Piano Pop Full Band Mix (Advice Needed)

Hello everyone,

I have been in the process of mixing my new song in Logic Express 9 and feel stuck at the moment. I would greatly appreciate some feedback as to where I should go from here as far as the overall mix is concerned. Also, suggestions on ANYTHING regarding the mix of individual instruments, vocals, etc. is encouraged and welcomed.

Thank you in advance.

PS: If anyone is interested in mixing the track themselves, please let me know.

Kevin
Attached Files

Her Favorite Song (Mix 1).mp3 (5.65 MB, 664 views)

Old 14th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I like the song. Cool idea, quoting classic lyrics like that. The overall vibe of the song and the production is very cool.

Good vocal performance.

The mix is really good.

I think think it could be more of a performance issue
with the drums and piano. They both seem to need more "oomph".
The snare is especially weak and lifeless. This song could also have more
aggresive and creative basslines too.

Are you using samples?
If so, i know how hard it is to bring static samples to life. Compressors
and Expanders can help.

I like your work alot. I like your taste. I hope to hear more from you.
Bravo!

TK
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
I like the song. Cool idea, quoting classic lyrics like that. The overall vibe of the song and the production is very cool.

Good vocal performance.

The mix is really good.

I think think it could be more of a performance issue
with the drums and piano. They both seem to need more "oomph".
The snare is especially weak and lifeless. This song could also have more
aggresive and creative basslines too.

Are you using samples?
If so, i know how hard it is to bring static samples to life. Compressors
and Expanders can help.

I like your work alot. I like your taste. I hope to hear more from you.
Bravo!

TK
Thanks so much! I really appreciate the compliments and the feedback. As far as the "weak and lifeless" drums are concerned, are there any things I should do in particular to bring them to life a bit more? I am using EZDrummer samples. Also, are there any other suggestions you would have regarding the rest of the mix? Are the vocals balanced? Are all of the volume levels balanced as well?
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I think its a great mix. Well balanced. It really sounds great.

Are you familiar with parallel compression?

Create a buss channel. Insert a compressor. Create a send on the snare channel to the compressor buss.

This way, you can fatten the snare without losing the original uncompressed snare sound.

Crushing the snare with some compression will make it sound like it
was hit harder, and will give it more energy in general.
TK
Old 15th September 2011
  #5
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
I think its a great mix. Well balanced. It really sounds great.

Are you familiar with parallel compression?

Create a buss channel. Insert a compressor. Create a send on the snare channel to the compressor buss.

This way, you can fatten the snare without losing the original uncompressed snare sound.

Crushing the snare with some compression will make it sound like it
was hit harder, and will give it more energy in general.
TK
Thanks Todd. I have made some changes to the overall mix. However, I feel that the snare is a bit too squashed and distant and would like a more prominent and centered sound. Any ideas on how I can achieve this? Also, how do you feel about the entire mix at this point? I really appreciate your help.
Attached Files

Her Favorite Song (Mix 2).mp3 (6.01 MB, 70 views)

Old 15th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
Hi! my middle name is Laurence,so I had to check this out
Sounds great,you have a nice voice
The drums are a bit over squashed for me now. You might find it easier if you create a room sound for the drums and squash that rather than the whole kit.
If you cant do that in ez drummer (i dont know),try a Space Designer room or even record the drums coming out of some speakers at a decent volume.
I thing a bit of guitar would help(especialy in the chorus)
It is good though,gets the song over and your voice sounds good
Old 15th September 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbrowne View Post
Hi! my middle name is Laurence,so I had to check this out
Sounds great,you have a nice voice
The drums are a bit over squashed for me now. You might find it easier if you create a room sound for the drums and squash that rather than the whole kit.
If you cant do that in ez drummer (i dont know),try a Space Designer room or even record the drums coming out of some speakers at a decent volume.
I thing a bit of guitar would help(especialy in the chorus)
It is good though,gets the song over and your voice sounds good
Thanks so much for the feedback! I ended up changing the snare (EZDrummer) and also backing off on the compression a bit. What do you think now? Also, any other thoughts on the overall mix?
Attached Files

Her Favorite Song (Mix 4).mp3 (6.01 MB, 68 views)

Old 15th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I think maybe i spoke to strongly when i said "Crush". LOL Dont crush!

I can hear alot of pumping from the compression. Sounds like you're compressing the whole mix, and/or all the drums.

You took away the smoothness and air you had before. I hope you did
a "Save as" with the original mix you did!!

Go back to the first mix and take it from there again. This time just try working with the snare only.

On the snare, do a send pre fader, to a buss with a compressor on it. Dont go overboard on the settings. Dont think "crush". You just want
to get a bit more impact.
You're not going for a night and day difference in the snare. Just a slight energy boost.

The kick and cymbals are good. No crushing!

TK
Old 15th September 2011
  #9
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
I think maybe i spoke to strongly when i said "Crush". LOL Dont crush!

I can hear alot of pumping from the compression. Sounds like you're compressing the whole mix, and/or all the drums.

You took away the smoothness and air you had before. I hope you did
a "Save as" with the original mix you did!!

Go back to the first mix and take it from there again. This time just try working with the snare only.

On the snare, do a send pre fader, to a buss with a compressor on it. Dont go overboard on the settings. Dont think "crush". You just want
to get a bit more impact.
You're not going for a night and day difference in the snare. Just a slight energy boost.

The kick and cymbals are good. No crushing!

TK
Ha! Sorry for crushing the hell out of it. I luckily do have the original mix and will work from there. Can you please specify the process of sending pre fader to a buss? I currently have all of my drum tracks on Output to Bus 1. The "Sends" are blank at the moment.

Thanks!
Old 15th September 2011
  #10
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
I think maybe i spoke to strongly when i said "Crush". LOL Dont crush!

I can hear alot of pumping from the compression. Sounds like you're compressing the whole mix, and/or all the drums.

You took away the smoothness and air you had before. I hope you did
a "Save as" with the original mix you did!!

Go back to the first mix and take it from there again. This time just try working with the snare only.

On the snare, do a send pre fader, to a buss with a compressor on it. Dont go overboard on the settings. Dont think "crush". You just want
to get a bit more impact.
You're not going for a night and day difference in the snare. Just a slight energy boost.

The kick and cymbals are good. No crushing!

TK
Also, I want to make sure we are referring to the same mixes that I have posted. Did you like the very first one I posted at the top of the thread or the second one? I know the third one is crushed to death.
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
I think maybe i spoke to strongly when i said "Crush". LOL Dont crush!

I can hear alot of pumping from the compression. Sounds like you're compressing the whole mix, and/or all the drums.

You took away the smoothness and air you had before. I hope you did
a "Save as" with the original mix you did!!

Go back to the first mix and take it from there again. This time just try working with the snare only.

On the snare, do a send pre fader, to a buss with a compressor on it. Dont go overboard on the settings. Dont think "crush". You just want
to get a bit more impact.
You're not going for a night and day difference in the snare. Just a slight energy boost.

The kick and cymbals are good. No crushing!

TK
Ok I figured it out and I believe you had liked the first mix I posted. Therefore, I created the parallel compressor as you had suggested and the snare has quite a bit more pop in the mix now. Please let me know if you think the level is fine as well as the type of compression. As far as the rest of the mix goes, does anything else (i.e. Piano, Strings) need to be adjusted? Also, how would you suggest I raise the overall volume of the track without squashing or distorting it?

Thanks again!
Attached Files

Her Favorite Song (Mix 5).mp3 (5.65 MB, 106 views)

Old 16th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlaurence1 View Post
Ok I figured it out and I believe you had liked the first mix I posted. Therefore, I created the parallel compressor as you had suggested and the snare has quite a bit more pop in the mix now. Please let me know if you think the level is fine as well as the type of compression. As far as the rest of the mix goes, does anything else (i.e. Piano, Strings) need to be adjusted? Also, how would you suggest I raise the overall volume of the track without squashing or distorting it?

Thanks again!
BINGO!

Thats the one! Very nice! Bravo...

Raising the volume of the whole track is a whole nother animal.
Now we're talking about Mastering more so, than mixing.

Do you have a good Limiter plugin like Waves L3, Sonnox Limiter, or Voxengo Elephant?
If not, see if you can round up a good limiter, and start experimenting with it.

JUST REMEMBER!! We dont HAVE to be a part of the volume wars.

Dont be afraid to let your mix be open and dynamic. There's no rule that says you have to squash the hell out of it. So as you did with the snare, dont go overboard. Serve the song, and trust your ears.
If it starts to sound squashed, ease the limiter back!
TK
Old 16th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
MikeTSH's Avatar
I'd LOVE to mix this.
Old 16th September 2011
  #14
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH View Post
I'd LOVE to mix this.
You got it! I can send you the separate tracks or the entire Logic session. Let me know.

Thanks!
Old 16th September 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlaurence1 View Post
You got it! I can send you the separate tracks or the entire Logic session. Let me know.

Thanks!
I'd love a shot at mixing this tune as well. I dont run Logic, im running Cubase, so i would need rendered/zero'd wav files. I understand if you dont want to go to all that trouble. I figured
it couldnt hurt to ask you.

See what happens when you write good songs? You get people wanting to mix them for free! Nice eh?heh
TK
Old 17th September 2011
  #16
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
I'd love a shot at mixing this tune as well. I dont run Logic, im running Cubase, so i would need rendered/zero'd wav files. I understand if you dont want to go to all that trouble. I figured
it couldnt hurt to ask you.

See what happens when you write good songs? You get people wanting to mix them for free! Nice eh?heh
TK
Thanks Todd. I'd be more than happy to send you the WAV files. What is your email address?
Old 17th September 2011
  #17
Gear Nut
Hey man, nicely done. Well constructed song and solid arrangement.

I listened to mix 5. In addition to the critique others have offered here, I felt like your mix could use some (more?) automation. The vocal is very prominent, and when that lead element cuts out I feel a bit of a void.

If you have MIDI data for the piano track, you could experiment with layering in a more aggressive piano sample underneath the chorus. I'd be happy to take a stab at mixing it if you like. I'm running protools hd.

Congratulations on fine work!
Old 17th September 2011
  #18
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Hey man, nicely done. Well constructed song and solid arrangement.

I listened to mix 5. In addition to the critique others have offered here, I felt like your mix could use some (more?) automation. The vocal is very prominent, and when that lead element cuts out I feel a bit of a void.

If you have MIDI data for the piano track, you could experiment with layering in a more aggressive piano sample underneath the chorus. I'd be happy to take a stab at mixing it if you like. I'm running protools hd.

Congratulations on fine work!
Hey Dan,

Thanks for the feedback and the compliments. I may experiment with the chorus section a bit. Please send me your email address and I will send over the WAV files.
Old 18th September 2011
  #19
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Hey man, nicely done. Well constructed song and solid arrangement.

I listened to mix 5. In addition to the critique others have offered here, I felt like your mix could use some (more?) automation. The vocal is very prominent, and when that lead element cuts out I feel a bit of a void.

If you have MIDI data for the piano track, you could experiment with layering in a more aggressive piano sample underneath the chorus. I'd be happy to take a stab at mixing it if you like. I'm running protools hd.

Congratulations on fine work!
Hey Dan,

Well, I took your advice and wrote a piano riff which plays under the chorus. I think it gave it the "lift-off" it was lacking. What do you think?

Thanks again for the advice!
Attached Files
Old 19th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Hi Kevin!

Thanks again for sending me these tracks! I love this song!

You are really talented!

I didnt do anything drastically different. I emmulated your mix actually.

I just wanted to experiment and have fun.
I hope you dont mind, i took some liberties.
I recut the bass part, cause the sample bass track was driving me crazy! I did a new bass part with my jazz bass into a 1073.
And i re-did the drums using Superior CnV, and some Slate samples.
Kept most of the drum proggraming the same. I just wanted different sound choices.
And i added some more string sounds to your string track too.

Last but not least, i ran the whole mix through the BAE 1073 (Neve).
So that definately imparted some fat transformer goodness to it as well.

A/B this with your mix, and tell me what you think.
Attached Files

favesongfinal1.mp3 (6.25 MB, 105 views)

Old 19th September 2011
  #21
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
Hi Kevin!

Thanks again for sending me these tracks! I love this song!

You are really talented!

I didnt do anything drastically different. I emmulated your mix actually.

I just wanted to experiment and have fun.
I hope you dont mind, i took some liberties.
I recut the bass part, cause the sample bass track was driving me crazy! I did a new bass part with my jazz bass into a 1073.
And i re-did the drums using Superior CnV, and some Slate samples.
Kept most of the drum proggraming the same. I just wanted different sound choices.
And i added some more string sounds to your string track too.

Last but not least, i ran the whole mix through the BAE 1073 (Neve).
So that definately imparted some fat transformer goodness to it as well.

A/B this with your mix, and tell me what you think.
WOW! This is really awesome Todd. You breathed a whole new life into the song. Brilliant stuff. I especially love the vocal you added in the spaces between the lines in the chorus. Can you possibly send me that particular WAV file? I think I may want to add that to my mix. It has been fun working together on this project and I looking forward to hopefully working together on future projects as well.

Thanks.
Old 19th September 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 
MikeTSH's Avatar


My mix. Only had 2/3 hours to work on it so not perfect but loved the song so much just had to mess with it.
Old 19th September 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlaurence1 View Post
WOW! This is really awesome Todd. You breathed a whole new life into the song. Brilliant stuff. I especially love the vocal you added in the spaces between the lines in the chorus. Can you possibly send me that particular WAV file? I think I may want to add that to my mix. It has been fun working together on this project and I looking forward to hopefully working together on future projects as well.

Thanks.
Hi Kev!

Thanks man! What a great song! The vocal in the spaces between lines
in the chorus was your own vocal taken from the end of the song.

Im gonna do another mix when i get home tonite. I thinned the piano out
too much. I need to let some more body back into it.

Question for you. How old are you?? Your voice sounds so young.
Just wondering.
You have some serious skills man, like REALLY serious. This song is an INSTANT CLASSIC!
You absolutely need to do an album. Your music needs to be heard!

I'll post another mix tonite! This is fun! haha

TK
Old 20th September 2011
  #24
Gear Head
 

Hey Kevin,

thanks for giving me the opportunity to mix this great song!
Attached Files

Her Favorite Song.mp3 (5.31 MB, 89 views)

Old 20th September 2011
  #25
Gear Nut
 

This is truly a great thread - and a great song too, I like your mixes no 5 and 6 the most.
My only concern would be the drum fill, especially the tom fill in verse 2, I could do without it. Or at least lower it. But maybe that's just me.

Great work you've done here!
Old 20th September 2011
  #26
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkaf View Post
Hey Kevin,

thanks for giving me the opportunity to mix this great song!
This came out awesome as well! Thank you for taking that time to create your own mix. This entire thread has been really awesome for me and I have learned so much in such a little amount of time.
Old 20th September 2011
  #27
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nystromfredde View Post
This is truly a great thread - and a great song too, I like your mixes no 5 and 6 the most.
My only concern would be the drum fill, especially the tom fill in verse 2, I could do without it. Or at least lower it. But maybe that's just me.

Great work you've done here!
I agree. This thread has turned out to be really awesome. Thanks for the compliments and the suggestions. I appreciate it.
Old 20th September 2011
  #28
Gear Head
 
kevinlaurence1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
Hi Kev!

Thanks man! What a great song! The vocal in the spaces between lines
in the chorus was your own vocal taken from the end of the song.

Im gonna do another mix when i get home tonite. I thinned the piano out
too much. I need to let some more body back into it.

Question for you. How old are you?? Your voice sounds so young.
Just wondering.
You have some serious skills man, like REALLY serious. This song is an INSTANT CLASSIC!
You absolutely need to do an album. Your music needs to be heard!

I'll post another mix tonite! This is fun! haha

TK
Thanks Todd. I really really appreciate it! I am actually 25 years old lol. But I do get that a lot as far as sounding young on my songs. I would love to make another album and have been trying to plot my next move as far as my music career is concerned. I will definitely keep you in the loop and thanks again for all the time you have put into mixing the song. It came out really awesome.
Old 27th September 2011
  #29
Gear Nut
 
PeterPants's Avatar
 

Really great song. Nice voice. I get asked about my age a lot here too based on my voice so don't sweat it! haha I would also love to get these tracks and give it a shot.
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