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Need mixing help! Pointers and critiques for my indie rock mix
Old 18th October 2013
Need mixing help! Pointers and critiques for my indie rock mix

Hey all,

Would really appreciate some feedback and suggestions on how to improve my mix.

Whenever I compare it to others, I think it sounds amateur. What am I doing wrong?

For what it's worth, the drums were recorded in a small, dry room so I ended up using UAD Ocean Way on the mono room mic (AEA R84). Should I crush the mic with an 1176? Right now, I have moderate compression for the room mic, but it seems whenever I crush it, the cymbals become too harsh.

Also, are the guitars too bright? Do the vocals seem like they aren't sitting right?

I think I've become too close to the mix, and really need some outside ears.

Thanks a million!
Attached Files

Hoodlum_Revised08.mp3 (6.99 MB, 79 views)

Old 18th October 2013
Gear Maniac

For the most part I think the guitars are fine. Maybe a tad too harsh in a couple of spots in the choruses, but they aren't the issue.

I don't think it sounds amateur, but I think the drums are probably what's causing you to think that. The snare is weak - it needs to be brought out more and needs more of a crack to it. The overheads are quite prominent but not really interesting enough to be a focus, so I would try to de-emphasize those a little.

The other issue for me is that there's too much reverb, and it's too consistent. Everything feels like it's pushed back to about the same distance, so the mix is lacking depth. The vocal needs to sound more forward.

There are a few places in the vocals where plosives are noticeable - such as right at the 1:00 mark (I think in the backing vocal). You should be able to fix these easily with a little EQ and/or volume automation. Little things like that (along with timing and esses) can make things sound amateur as well even when the mix is great.

It's close though, and there's a nice balance generally. Keep going!
Old 18th October 2013

Does the reverb on the drums sound natural or is it too much? Also, how is the kick/bass relationship? I struggled with that, but thought I had a breakthrough with the latest revision.
Old 18th October 2013
Gear Maniac

Kick/bass relationship sounds good to me - they are both distinct and the bass is providing plenty of low end. The reverb on the drums is a bit too long for my taste.
Old 18th October 2013
I'm having the most difficult time trying to get the snare to crack. I have spent hours and hours. I feel that I may have to resort to using a sampled snare in order to get the crack that I want.

I've tried squashing it with a compressor as well as running parallel distortion, but it seems when I bring these treated elements up, it makes the cymbals loud and harsh.

Any tips?
Old 18th October 2013
Gear Maniac

There's no shame in triggering a sample. If you can't find the right point on the snare to bring out with an EQ, that's the way to go.
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