The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Motown/Beach Boys Mix-Off!
Old 23rd May 2013
  #1
Motown/Beach Boys Mix-Off!

Hi Gearslutz,

This song is a very vintage-sounding jam with a lot of soul and some pretty cool vocal harmonies. When I heard the original by Daniel Merriweather I knew that it would be a challenge for me and my friends to re-create, but it is a great song and is worth the hard work.

I am singing lead and vocal harmonies and I am also playing keyboard. My two friends are playing bass, acoustic, mandolin, and drums. I tracked all the instruments and am proud of the sound I recorded, and would hate to ruin all of that with my mixing! I thought this would be a fun mix-off because of the limited number of tracks and the love for Motown on this board.

I would appreciate any help with this project, I am looking for a 60's Motown vibe with a lot of grit and character. Thank you for your help, can't wait to hear all the talent that we have on this site! I've attached a rough mix that I did, which of course I am not happy with.

Dropbox link (zipped folder with 15 files):
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...ould%20You.zip

--Justin
Attached Files

Could You Mix 2 Master.mp3 (8.26 MB, 398 views)

Old 23rd May 2013
  #2
Does anyone want to have a stab at it or have any comments?

Waiting excitedly in anticipation!

--Justin
Old 24th May 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
slammy80's Avatar
 

Wait...

You are wanting someone to mix your song for you - for free? And calling it a "mixoff" like it's some sort of contest?

No thanks.

But good luck!

Old 24th May 2013
  #4
Hey Slammy,
I thought that's what a mix-off is, practice for others and a chance to compare your mix to someone else's. I have already tried my hand at this mix that you can listen to, and would like to see how others compare.

---Justin
Old 24th May 2013
  #5
Id love to give it a shot. I'll try and get to it this weekend!
Old 24th May 2013
  #6
Hi fastlanestoner,
Thank you so much, can't wait to hear! I appreciate your effort and taking the time out of your schedule. Let me know if you have any problems or questions!

And btw, vocals and acoustic guitar/Mando were recorded with a Blue Woodpecker<Sebatron Pre<Purple Audio Odd Eq<Chandler Little Devil Comp, and the bass guitar was recorded DI into the Sebatron also through the Purple Odd eq and Little Devil Comp.
Old 24th May 2013
  #7
Gear Addict
 
catawbawine's Avatar
 

I'll give it a shot later today!
Old 24th May 2013
  #8
Hi catawbawine,

Thank you so much, can't wait to hear the results, thank you for your hard work!
--Justin
Old 24th May 2013
  #9
When I get to the studio I'll d.l. it and give it a shot!! I will run it through my analog gear and see if I can get that vintage vibe.

Sent from my M860
Old 24th May 2013
  #10
Hi reggiesears,

Thank you man, can't wait to hear it through some nice analogue gear! Appreciate it!

---Justin
Old 24th May 2013
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I'll take a crack at it too.
Old 24th May 2013
  #12
Hey shogunassassin,
Thank you, awaiting your mix, so excited. Once again thank you for participating!

---Justin
Old 25th May 2013
  #13
Gear Head
 
davidpaulpaige's Avatar
Here is my attempt.

Old style DBX compression. Bricasti reverb.
..."I'm never gonna get the gear I need by working for free BUT I would rather mix than do most anything..." -me
Attached Files

Could You auto.mp3 (8.23 MB, 404 views)

Old 25th May 2013
  #14
Hi davidpaulpage,

Sounds great thank you for taking your time to mix! I love how the reverb gives the vocals so much space! It is interesting how prominent the organ is in the beginning. Thw background vocals have never sounded as good or smooth. Thank you again man, great job! Will keep listening,

---Justin
Old 25th May 2013
  #15
Gear Addict
 
catawbawine's Avatar
 

OP, I started mixing your song yesterday but I'd like to devote some more time to it! Will get around to tweaking it when I get the chance.

I'm not sure why everyone is complaining about someone wanting a mix for free. The OP didn't say anywhere that the mix was to be used commercially, nor did he say that he was looking for a professional mix for free. I've put up the raw tracks to two of my songs on here, just for fun; I don't see the harm in it.

I like to mix other people's stuff, and being that I am not a professional mix engineer, this subforum gives me the privilege of mixing others' stuff without having to worry about money!
Old 25th May 2013
  #16
Gear Head
 
davidpaulpaige's Avatar
Smooth vocals!

Hi, thanks for the opportunity and great recording. What did you use?

The BG vox are hi-pass at 280Hz and a digital LA 2a. 280Hz is the "magical" BG cut and it works most every time. The main vox were through my favorite DBX 160VU side chain filter at 150Hz and hi pass at 70Hz to get that R&B vibe, then mult-out and hi pass at 360Hz to the Bricasti. I used the Vienna Hall and cut some darkness(150Hz) after the reverb print. The drums also went through the 160 for the parallel as well as a CL1B chain. At first I had the drums "a- Knockin" but then I came to my senses and did it a bit more sublime. This fit the track better because it let the strings and vocals 'breathe'. Overall very little EQ was used. I like to mix the track as the artist intended it not reinvent the production. I just don't seem to be good at that.

All in all... the rough took 2 hrs and the automation which I do mostly by hand, took about 3-4 hrs. Definitely had a great time doing this mix.
Just a thought... In the future you should credit all the players by name and instrument. If you would like to use this mix please credit me. I am David Paul Paige.
Old 25th May 2013
  #17
Hi David,

You are right, I should have credited the other players, I can't believe I forgot.
Drums: Marc Zakalik
Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar: Andrew Lewandoski
Vocals, backing vocals, keyboard: Justin Noroyan

I have listened to your mix a few more times and have appreciated it more with each listen. You can tell that there was a lot of automation involved, everything has its own space and I like how the strings are a lot more prominent than in my mix. I like the overall level of the drums in this mix. The DBX definitely shines on the vocals too, levels them out without over-compressing. Thank you again, and I will definitely credit you if I use the mix. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to work on this song.

The chain for vocals, acoustic, and mandolin were: Blue Woodpecker<Sebatron Pre<Purple Audio Odd Eq<Chandler Little Devil Comp, and the bass guitar was recorded DI into the Sebatron also through the Purple Odd eq and Little Devil Comp.

--Justin
Old 26th May 2013
  #18
Gear Addict
 
catawbawine's Avatar
 

Okay, so don't expect anything phenomenal! This one was tricky to mix; I spent a good hour on it, maybe I'll devote some more time to it later. It's been a long time since I've mixed with mono drums, let's put it that way. At first I tried to go for a sort of Gabriel Roth (Daptone Records) style, with the drums and bass panned hard L and R with a really wide stereo image. I couldn't get a result I was happy with though, so I went a more "traditional" route and left them both panned dead center. I found the vocals cut through the mix just fine on their own, but still tried to leave enough room "in the middle" for them to have their own space.

I really didn't do too much -- low pass filters on stuff that needed it; cut a couple resonant frequencies on the drum track; tried to give everything its own spot in the stereo field/frequency spectrum, etc. I did compress the drums pretty hard with logic's "opto" compression, with soft output distortion, as I wanted to smooth them out and give them some more "pumpiness".

Other than that I threw some tape saturation/light compression on the master bus using the Tape Delay trick and PSP Mix Saturator. Also threw Space Designer on the master buss with 100% wet "clean console" setting. It's subtle but I like the warmth it adds. With the tape delay trick you lose some highs so I boosted by maybe 1.5 dB from about 2.5khz up. Unfortunately I didn't have time to automate anything. Oh, and I sent a few tracks through Logic's Space Designer for some light reverb. There was a subtle "trick" I did with the drum track. See if you can guess what it is Not saying it was a GOOD trick, but a "trick" nonetheless!

Anyways, hope you like! I'll tweak it a little more if I get the time. File is 320kbps mp3.
Attached Files

Could You Mixoff.mp3 (8.25 MB, 265 views)

Old 26th May 2013
  #19
Hey catawbawine,

Great job, thanks again! The drums are rocking and I agree that the vocals cut through really well. I am going to listen a few more times so I can absorb everything and will hopefully figure out your secret for the drums. Thank you so much man!

----Justin
Old 26th May 2013
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Hi. My version of this song. Done with shure headphones. What do you think?
Old 27th May 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
Hi. I really like this cover. Lead vocalist is excellent.

I know you said you wanted a throwback style mix. I felt inspired to do it in a hi-fi'd kind of way. I've been on a kick, trying to customize a Pop meets Indie kind of sound.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...x%20rough).mp3
Old 27th May 2013
  #22
Hey Darwin,
Thanks for taking the time to mix Could You! I love your mix, perfect balance of every element and instrument, and the vocals and backing vocals are loud and clear. The whole mix gels well together. Would it be possible to send a .wav file because I can't seem to download it off soundcloud. Could you elaborate on what you used to mix? Thanks,
---Justin
Old 27th May 2013
  #23
Hey Storyville,

Thanks for sending in your mix, been a fan of yours since I first read the "how-to reverb" thread. I like the pop-indie feel of your mix. The drums have a really nice sound and the vocals are really controlled and sound within the track rather than on top of the track. Would you mind sharing some techniques you used to achieve this mix? Thank you for the compliment, I did vocals and the singing isn't as much of a challenge as self-tracking is. My only suggestion would be to bring the backing vocals up a little in volume especially in the intro. Thanks again man, love it.

----Justin
Old 27th May 2013
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Here's mine!

I did some work on the arrangement, nothing drastic but leaving some space
in places.
Attached Files

Could You Shogun Mix.mp3 (8.27 MB, 230 views)

Old 28th May 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
I'd be happy to share. There isn't a ton to it, the track recordings were good and everything was recorded well.

I started with the vocals. The recording was bright but the high end texture was good so I used a broadband de-esser to cool it out. Not split band because I didn't want to screw with the "air" that was already there. Bussed to my outboard - a touch touch of compression (but not much at all), tube tech to push up a bit of 3k, and Filtek mk3a to boost up 450hz. I know everyone cuts in that range but I felt it could use it. That's the area where if you leave the room, if it's done right, it sounds like the person is actually in the other room singing.

Second pass through the outboard I used my 1176 for parallel compression. In the softer spots where you aren't pushing as much I used 4:1 ratio. It's more open and provides a bit more bottom. On the parts where you push I used 20:1 ratio - that really reinforces the cutting midrange. Switching between these in appropriate places helped move things.

Lastly, for the vocal ambience I sent the vocals through my exciter, did a doubler effect to make it wide, and used the Lex480 altiverb convolution. There's a bit of eq on that as well to make it as smooth as possible.

So that was the most complicated part. Most of the vocal dynamics are controlled through rides. A touch of compression and parallel compression help as well. There's 1/4 delay throws every now and again.

Bcking vocals, took out the lows and the super highs, broad cut at 300hz, broad boost at 1400hz. That was just to even out the layering and open up the sound a bit. Only kind of cooky thing I did was automated Maxxbass on the vocal breakdown section. It's bypassed but activates on the downbeats of the first four bars, and stays active for the second four bars. Again, just a little momentum thing. Also used a 1/4 note delay and altiverb for ambience.

Acoustic guitar, it's a broad boost to the general midrange, and a notch out at 722hz. I also used a de-esser. I wanted to push the guitar up in the mix without stepping on the vocals so I needed a rounder sound/less string.

Bass was really well tracked. There's a few fader rides, but didn't need any compression. I used a peak-catching limiter, really just grabbing the occasional db or 2. I rolled out sub subs from 30hz with a gradual slope, and boosted wide at 200hz. Just has some nice overtones there that I wanted to bring out. Rbass at 92hz, intensity set down -19. I find that using Rbass can sometimes help out the bass presence without actually changing the balances around. And the bass is the rhythm in this song so I wanted it to stick out.

For the strings I used Slate Virtual Tape. 30ips. I like that on strings because it seems to shift the tone from those glassy super treble highs down to regular treble highs - so the strings stay bright but they become less piercey. That and altiverb, nothin' else.

Organs had no processing. Mandolin had no processing. Just some delays.

Tambo got a wide boost at 350 to bring out the palm slap, a wide midrange cut at 1470 to get it away from the vocals and guitar, and a big boost at 10k for the jingle. And a low end shelf pulling the thuddiness from the palm slap down a bit.

The drums were a little crazy, but, I basically triggered an acoustic snare and kick. I chose drums that I felt sounded like they belonged with the drum loop and pitched them to match as closely as possible. And I set the velocity super loose to mimic the dynamics as much as possible. I used the drum loop mainly for the hats, and a mult of the loop heavily distorted for a sense of "glue". And a touch of altiverb plate on the snare.

The final master, which I'll post in a bit I hit my tube compressor into slight soft-clip, boosted up 2.5k for pop, and a couple little eq notches just to open things up (like 1db cuts with a narrow Q, barely noticeable).




--------------------------------


EDIT: I guess the other important thing to mention is that I didn't push the drums in a modern-rock kind of way. I didn't feel they were really driving the record so I eased up. Particularly the kick. A modern rock kick would be much louder.
Old 28th May 2013
  #26
Hey shogunassassin,

Very cool mix! Firstly I love how you have the tambo coming in at the chorus, it changes things up a little. I also like how the vocal break-down was acapella and when you took the strings out at the end. The drums have a cool sound too, would you mind telling me what equipment you used? Very vintage sounding! Thanks again!
---Justin
Old 28th May 2013
  #27
Hey Storyville,

Wow man, thank you for such an interesting read, you definitely know what you're doing and I can tell by listening to the intricacies of your mix. One thing I forgot to point out (sorry Marc) is that the drums were played by my friend Marc Zakalik on a Roland td-9k2 electronic drumset through an mbox 2 mini, all in one take! Talented guy!

I am so excited to hear the final mix Storyville, it shows that you are using nice outboard gear by listening to the mix. Very interesting about using the maxxbass on the backing vocals, never heard of doing that before. And it sounds like a lot of work went into the drums but they sound great. Thank you again for your hard work on this song, I appreciate it so much. Will re-read your post a few more times and try to learn more from it!

---Justin
Old 28th May 2013
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Thanks I'm glad you like it!

Equipment-wise this was all done in the box. I'll break it down by part I guess.

Firstly I put all the tracks through Alex B Classic Logic Console for Nebula.
it adds something in my opinion but its not drastic.

Drums - I left the original drum signal uncompressed, and the only eqing was
taking out some sub below 45 HZ and adding some high end shelf at 10k with the Waves SSL Channel. I sent it to a second channel and lopped off everything below 300 and everything above 4 or 5k and put that thru the CLA 1176 , all in, compressing the snot out of it in parallel. for the choruses I sent it to a third channel thru the Uber Compressor which is great for destroying sounds and that added abit of decay and harshness for the chorus to make it abit more present. All reverb was Valhalla Vintage reverb.

Bass - Put thru the CLA LA-3A, very little eq just adding a little in the low end, and sent to Maxxbass in parallel to bring out some mids.

Rhythm Guitar - LA-3A, eq'ed with the SSL Channel, sent to SPL Transient Designer on a second channel and brought up until I could feel the attack. also sent it to another channel with the Togu Line TAL Chorus
LX which is free and great and brought that up underneath.

Mandolin & Ad Lib Guitars - just some eq on the top, again SSL Channel, sent to the Valhalla Vintage verb. A little LA-3A on the mandolin, no compression
on the adlib guitars.

Lead Vocal - de-essed using the Renaissance de-esser, then put thru the CLA LA-2A, Eq'ed with the SSL Channel, sent to the H-Delay for longer delays and returned hard left and right, sent to Supertaps for slap, and also sent it to the Rverb and used the reverse preset and put it low in the mix.
In the choruses I sent the vox to the 1176 in parallel, all in, with the top end lopped off going in so it focused on the mids and brought that up underneath the main vox. I also sent the original uncompressed vocal to the Vallhalla Vintage verb to add some dynamics to the verb. Again Valhalla Vintage.

BG Vocals - Renaissance De-Esser, 1176, 4:1 Ratio but hitting the compressor on the harder side. Eq'ed with the SSL Channel, sent to the Q6 parametric eq in parallel, high passed everything up to 1K pulled out 2 to 4K and boosted 5k and up all the way with a shelf. Brought in underneath the main bk vox. Its a trick that I saw Kenny Gioia do on a video, Mick Guzuaski does something similar. it adds great top that you can control. Dry during the choruses but sent to the Valhalla vintage during the intro, breakdown, and final chorus.

Organs - LA-3A, Eq'ed with the SSL Channel, sent to the Valhalla Vintage.

Strings - LA-3A, Eq'ed with the SSL Channel, sent to the Valhalla Vintage.

Stereo Buss - Softube CL1-B, Maag 4 Eq.

poor man's mastering courtesy of the L2.

God was that too long-winded? Hope not.
Old 28th May 2013
  #29
Gear Addict
 
catawbawine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnaby150 View Post
Hey catawbawine,

Great job, thanks again! The drums are rocking and I agree that the vocals cut through really well. I am going to listen a few more times so I can absorb everything and will hopefully figure out your secret for the drums. Thank you so much man!

----Justin
Thanks for the opportunity to mix it! I'll just tell you the "trick" -- not really a trick actually. I just used Logic's Stereo Spreader to give it more width. Tried to tweak it so it didn't sound totally crazy.
Old 29th May 2013
  #30
Gear Head
 
davidpaulpaige's Avatar
After I heard the original... then it came to me!

Just thought I would get some feedback.
Attached Files

Could You 2 auto.mp3 (4.12 MB, 237 views)

Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump