View Full Version : Need advice on mix: first time using a mic

09-07-2007, 02:36 PM
Hello fellow reaperers.

My brother and I wrote our first song together and I can't get the vocals or acoustic guitars to sound any good. I have no budget so all I could afford is an sm57 and a tube mp for a preamp.

I'm convinced that it is indeed possible to get a non-amateurish vocal and acoustic guitar sound using this gear, but can't seem to figure it out.

Any help with the recorded tracks or anything else that sounds bad to you would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Here's the link:


09-07-2007, 03:49 PM
Sounds nowhere near as bad as you think it does! On my cheapo monitors,vocals and acoustic guitar sound like they have far too much upper midrange eq boost though, too harsh. Cut with a wide 'q' smooth eq around 4-7 khz rather than boosting. Or leave them flat as recorded. Both need a bit of 'space' as in a little 'room' reverb to help them meld with the rest of the mix, so that it sounds like a real band recorded in a real room or hall. Or a bit of delay doubling instead of or as well as reverb. Mega distorted guitars could come down a few notches in the mix too, and also benefit from a little short reverb. Damn good mix though. A very cheap condenser mic (eg Red5, 35 UK quid and beautifuly engineered) would be smoother on the acoustic guitar and the vocal though than a shure dynamic mic. The whole mix is too loud and over compressed fom my old ears, too. A bit of headroom and lower RMS level would give a mastering engineer more room to manoever. Aim to peak at no more than -6dbfs and RMS average level of say -20, or -12dbfs for a very loud mix. 0dbfs with no clipping on the master bus if you really want to push it! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed your song. And what do I know, ha ha!? Cheers.

09-07-2007, 04:12 PM
Hey, thanks for the reply bebop!
Yeah, the vocals do sound pretty dry..but there is actually a little reverb on them already, i guess I'll make it louder or add a delay like you suggested. I'm also thinking the main vocals are too loud.

Thanks for the suggestions!

09-08-2007, 09:12 PM
Anyone else got any suggestions?

09-09-2007, 12:15 AM
You're right. Main vocals are much to loud and too dry (occasional reverb is not enough I think).
And the problem is... the vocals are not very good. They lack of emotion and they sound like singer was bored during the recording session ;-)

09-10-2007, 03:57 PM
Hi MadPsyance, my random thoughts: I'd turn the bass up. The rythym guitar is very well played, but a bit too loud in the mix. I'd do something to the snare to make it less natural sounding.

As for the vocals, I agree with Jax that they're too dry, but not that the singing is no good. It's a restrained performance, with no vocal gymnastics, but you could put some reverb and delay on it, and EQ it so it has more attack. Dirty it up, in general, and let it sit more in the mix. Think early Black Sabbath, maybe.

If you wanted to bundle up the Reaper project and post it somwhere for download, I'd like to have a play with it, just for fun. I've never mixed this genre before.