Old 03-20-2017, 10:44 AM   #1
upside24
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Default needing a critique on an Indie mix

Hi Reapers,

I'm new to the game, but have been writing music for 20 years or so. I'd love to get some feedback on this song "Jukebox" that I completed this weekend. Your constructive criticism is much appreciated!Thanks!

https://theonlyhumananimal.bandcamp.com/track/jukebox
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:13 PM   #2
Bass6
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Nice quirky tune, but I feel it's a bit lacking in balls - needs more kick, more bass, just more bottom end generally and a bit less sizzle on the top. Maybe overdone the hi-pass filter if there's one on there?
Kudos for getting it out there - got any more?
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:05 PM   #3
RDBOIS
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Hello.

Nice song has a catchy beat. Had a hard time with that link, it came out as a video, not an audio file?

But, like he said above; the song lacks bottom and has lots of mid-highs.

So... let's see here.

Hope you don't mind, but I added your song in Reaper and did a few things to demonstrate what it would sound like with more bass frequencies and less mid-highs/harshness included.

First, here is what is sounds like (please don't freak out, I will delete this song as soon as you tell me. I have no intentions of taking anything that does not belong to me):

https://soundcloud.com/consciousgroo...rationtempfile

And second, here is what I did:

This is the dynamics and loudness of your song (notice that is clips (over 0 db a few place and has a very large range which is not a bad thing, if you actually planned it that way - I suspect you didn't because of the clips and the harshness that makes creates the loud peaks):



1) I added an EQ to boost the bass freqs and tame some "pain frequencies"





2) I added a multiband compression to tame the bottom end boost that I just applied, level the mids and highs.



3) Added one more compression to deal with very strong peaks (because I did not have access to your tracks I did it this way). Notice the following settings:

PRE-COMP = 40 ms : this means it will reduce peaks at the very beginning of the signal; the attack which often is overly loud

ATTACK = 0.1 ms : this is very fast, to be consistent with the Pre-Comp strategy

RMS SIZE= 0 ms : because we do not want to use an average of sound, but only the direct signal hitting the compression




4) I put a limiter (free JS Reaper - Event Horizon Limiter-Clipper) to make sure the final product would not clip; I also boosted the overall loudness a bit to get back what we lost due to the compression




____
And this is what it looks now; less peaks, less range, more even a bit less loud:



_


This was just for demonstration purposes. Technically I would of done things a bit differently if I would of has the track to work with... But it serves to show how I got more BASS and tames the mid-highs and harshness.

Note: I'm not saying you did a bad mix, this is only a different perspective on things: your song processed with more low end.

Here is a ZIP file with all the pictures above and the MP3 song:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2...HprUXFwZXBRQ28


Note 2: let me know when to delete the soundcloud version, ok?
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:29 PM   #4
upside24
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WOW. that's sounds great! this is the exact type of critisism I need. And your help with each step you tool along the way is extremely helpful. Seriously, i'm floored right now. I'd like to download your version for a reference if that's ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
Hello.

Nice song has a catchy beat. Had a hard time with that link, it came out as a video, not an audio file?

But, like he said above; the song lacks bottom and has lots of mid-highs.

So... let's see here.

Hope you don't mind, but I added your song in Reaper and did a few things to demonstrate what it would sound like with more bass frequencies and less mid-highs/harshness included.

First, here is what is sounds like (please don't freak out, I will delete this song as soon as you tell me. I have no intentions of taking anything that does not belong to me):

https://soundcloud.com/consciousgroo...rationtempfile

And second, here is what I did:

This is the dynamics and loudness of your song (notice that is clips (over 0 db a few place and has a very large range which is not a bad thing, if you actually planned it that way - I suspect you didn't because of the clips and the harshness that makes creates the loud peaks):



1) I added an EQ to boost the bass freqs and tame some "pain frequencies"





2) I added a multiband compression to tame the bottom end boost that I just applied, level the mids and highs.



3) Added one more compression to deal with very strong peaks (because I did not have access to your tracks I did it this way). Notice the following settings:

PRE-COMP = 40 ms : this means it will reduce peaks at the very beginning of the signal; the attack which often is overly loud

ATTACK = 0.1 ms : this is very fast, to be consistent with the Pre-Comp strategy

RMS SIZE= 0 ms : because we do not want to use an average of sound, but only the direct signal hitting the compression




4) I put a limiter (free JS Reaper - Event Horizon Limiter-Clipper) to make sure the final product would not clip; I also boosted the overall loudness a bit to get back what we lost due to the compression




____
And this is what it looks now; less peaks, less range, more even a bit less loud:



_


This was just for demonstration purposes. Technically I would of done things a bit differently if I would of has the track to work with... But it serves to show how I got more BASS and tames the mid-highs and harshness.

Note: I'm not saying you did a bad mix, this is only a different perspective on things: your song processed with more low end.

Here is a ZIP file with all the pictures above and the MP3 song:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2...HprUXFwZXBRQ28


Note 2: let me know when to delete the soundcloud version, ok?
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:33 PM   #5
upside24
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Thank you for your critique. It's helpful to get outside of what in my head after working on the song for so long. After hearing the remake below, i can see (hear) what's missing with clarity. You asked for another track and here goes:

https://theonlyhumananimal.bandcamp....-a-womans-love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass6 View Post
Nice quirky tune, but I feel it's a bit lacking in balls - needs more kick, more bass, just more bottom end generally and a bit less sizzle on the top. Maybe overdone the hi-pass filter if there's one on there?
Kudos for getting it out there - got any more?
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:42 PM   #6
RDBOIS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upside24 View Post
WOW. that's sounds great! this is the exact type of critisism I need. And your help with each step you tool along the way is extremely helpful. Seriously, i'm floored right now. I'd like to download your version for a reference if that's ok.
It's your song. lol

Glad you like the pseudo-master.

I put the mp3 in the ZIP file in the link above.

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Old 03-20-2017, 07:44 PM   #7
upside24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upside24 View Post
WOW. that's sounds great! this is the exact type of critisism I need. And your help with each step you tool along the way is extremely helpful. Seriously, i'm floored right now. I'd like to download your version for a reference if that's ok.
edit: thank you for sharing the mp3 for a reference along with the notes. i'd love to have more feedback in the future if you're game.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:05 AM   #8
Bass6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upside24 View Post
Thank you for your critique. It's helpful to get outside of what in my head after working on the song for so long. After hearing the remake below, i can see (hear) what's missing with clarity. You asked for another track and here goes:

https://theonlyhumananimal.bandcamp....-a-womans-love
Yeah, nice. You've got some really interesting ideas going on there, but it all sounds a bit mooshy yet harsh at the same time.
The bass could do with coming up a bit, and overall it could probably stand a bit of a cut somewhere in the 1k - 3k range. The vocals are very wet - that could just be a taste thing, but for me it's better suited to the vocal line at the end. The main vocal is a bit indistinct under all that reverb and consequently sounds a long way back in the mix. Also, there's some really nice synth lines here and there but again they're buried and not easy to hear. Take some of the reverb out and push the vocal a bit more & it'll have a lot more impact.
Good work upside, nice songwriting
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:37 PM   #9
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Hey all. I think one concept I'm not getting could be the proper use of the Routing Matrix. This could be the issue with all the Wet (or one of the many issues)sound in my mixes. See, I create FX busses and send tracks to them, but then I typically turn the off the "master/parent" since it send is going to the FX buss. Should I be doing something differently to keep some of the dry in the mix too? Thank you for your reply.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upside24 View Post
Hey all. I think one concept I'm not getting could be the proper use of the Routing Matrix. This could be the issue with all the Wet (or one of the many issues)sound in my mixes. See, I create FX busses and send tracks to them, but then I typically turn the off the "master/parent" since it send is going to the FX buss. Should I be doing something differently to keep some of the dry in the mix too? Thank you for your reply.
I think I understand what you're saying. The normal way is to have the FX fully wet and the original track going to the Master. There are many other ways to do this now, but with analog gear this was by far the most practical way to do it.

PS: Use sends post fader to an FX track for reverb, delay and other spacial effects. Use a bus (the folders in Reaper) for dynamic effects, and sometimes for EQ. This is not in stone, but is very typical.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:17 PM   #11
Bass6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upside24 View Post
Hey all. I think one concept I'm not getting could be the proper use of the Routing Matrix. This could be the issue with all the Wet (or one of the many issues)sound in my mixes. See, I create FX busses and send tracks to them, but then I typically turn the off the "master/parent" since it send is going to the FX buss. Should I be doing something differently to keep some of the dry in the mix too? Thank you for your reply.
Ah ha! That would mean you're only getting the reverb track arriving at your master track.
If you send a bunch of tracks, say some guitars, or all drums, to a buss, then yes, turn off the master send otherwise you'll get a big increase in volume.
But if you're creating a send to an effects track, like reverb, leave the master send on. Once you've created the send, use the slider in the send/receive dialog to dial in the amount of reverb you want. One method is to push it too high to begin with, so there's obviously too much reverb, then slowly dial it back until you think you can't hear it anymore. I say 'think', because it will still be there - once you get to that 'has it gone?' point, hit the little mute button just above the slider. That will mute the reverb track only, and you should hear the difference when it's only the dry track playing. Of course, if you decide you want more verb, just push the slider up a bit til you get what you want. It's all good clean fun!
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