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m5blackmond
11-04-2014, 09:28 PM
Hey guys,

Struggling a bit with this one. Was hoping you guys could give a bit of feedback on the mix.

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/01NOV2014_mix.mp3?_subject_uid=354673277&w=AAB2tFON3vQHIqdKyo5td9ie4_WZjEO4K70LvsR-GLW_PQ

I hope that link works... I just signed up for dropbox (what year is it?). If that doesn't work, here's one to download (I know that's frowned upon):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vsa8051jwgdjvq7/01NOV2014_mix.mp3?dl=0

Edit: Here's the second mix per the feedback: https://app.box.com/s/eszyfqvt6qv9zt4w6780

In my studio headphones, it sounds fine. But, on my monitors, I feel like there's something clashing, but I can't put my finger on it. Like, maybe the high end of the bass and the low end of the guitar?

Also, just the levels in general. Anything need to come up or come down? Any glaring annoyances?

And then finally, a few song critiques, if you don't mind. I found a guy on the internet with similar tastes that maybe wants to add vocals (I haven't showed him this one yet, but he said he wanted to on my future songs after hearing my last one), but does this one hold its own as an instrumental? I kind of wrote it with vocals in mind, so I'm not sure. Does the end go too long or not long enough? Or is it just right ;) ?

Guitars - me, Schecter Blackjack ATX C-7
Bass - me, Fender P-bass
Drums - AD, "huge metal" preset... lol

All DI -> Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 -> Reaper. I also just bought Guitar Rig for my amp sims. Still not sure about it. I think I may prefer just amp-mic'ing, but we'll see. I feel like DI is a bit cleaner, but I also feel like I lost a bit of the tone I've gotten out of all my pedals and nice amps.

I'm also thinking of doing another youtube video for the lead playthrough as there are plenty of notes in there :)

Anyway, thanks in advanced for any help. Help me, cockos forum, you're my only hope.

Edit: So that first link definitely doesn't work, as I tried it while I'm at work while not signed into dropbox.

How do I share that embedded dropbox player like Sammy does? Is having to download the mp3 making anyone wary and then exiting the thread?

HugoRibeiroDotCom
11-05-2014, 06:25 AM
Although I'm listening on shitty PC speakers, its sounding pretty good and balanced!
I love all your compositions! But you already knew that! :P

cheers

msundh
11-05-2014, 07:15 AM
It starts out just fine. Maybe too much lows.
When the solo guitar plays it's too messy, I can't hear any details.
Too much reverb/delay on the guitar?
I liked the song by the way;)

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 08:06 AM
Although I'm listening on shitty PC speakers, its sounding pretty good and balanced!
I love all your compositions! But you already knew that! :P

cheers

Thanks Hugo!

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 08:13 AM
It starts out just fine. Maybe too much lows.
When the solo guitar plays it's too messy, I can't hear any details.
Too much reverb/delay on the guitar?
I liked the song by the way;)

Yes, I think I hear too much lows as well. Do you think I should scoop out the low end of the rhythm guitars or scoop out the low-mids of the bass guitar? Or is it that just overall in the mix too much bass (I love bass :) )?

Solo guitar -- you mean the one that starts first at 1:05? Oh man, you have no idea the struggles I had with this one. It's easy to play, but I just could not get it to sound right. I must have re-recorded it like 10 times -- first with all the effects pre-DI, then no effects pre-DI and everything done in reaper, then half and half... ugh then I just said fuck it. I will first try with less reverb/delay (yes, there is a lot) Any other suggestions? Does the weird timing part's lead guitars at 1:28 sound alright? For me, those leads sound a bit better than the other lead stuff surrounding it.

sammydix
11-05-2014, 08:17 AM
the song sounds as good as the quality of anything I've heard you do. Still got that M5 style.

As for the mix, drums were standouts for me. loved em. but i also hear what msundh stated, esp when it got to the big ending. lotta stuff got mushed a bit--particularly the right panned guitar.
Also, i feel the bass more than i can hear it--but i do hear it, still I think it could be a tad clearer.

whiteaxxxe
11-05-2014, 11:55 AM
sorry, I dont hear any problems. :-)) that is a fine sound! (imo ... not that ivansc comes again around the corner ... :-(()

and I love that snare!!! what is that? Ian Paice? speaking of Deep Purple: I had today a listen to a Deep Purple live album from 2011 (Montreux, the "smoke on the water" - town) and that didnt sound as good as your mix here. really.

so ... again its proven, that quality doesnt belong to the "pros", assuming that you are not a pro in the sense of "making real money".

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 05:24 PM
the song sounds as good as the quality of anything I've heard you do. Still got that M5 style.

Unsure if that's a good or bad thing!

As for the mix, drums were standouts for me. loved em. but i also hear what msundh stated, esp when it got to the big ending. lotta stuff got mushed a bit--particularly the right panned guitar.
Also, i feel the bass more than i can hear it--but i do hear it, still I think it could be a tad clearer.

So, the drums were alright? Since they're programmed, I'm trying super hard to make up for it by making them as interesting as possible. Sometimes I wonder if it's a bit overkill. But, if it makes me go that's sweet, then it stays :)


but i also hear what msundh stated, esp when it got to the big ending. lotta stuff got mushed a bit--particularly the right panned guitar.
Also, i feel the bass more than i can hear it--but i do hear it, still I think it could be a tad clearer.

Ooh, dang. I thought the ending was pretty good. Is it those tremolo picking parts that are mushing it up or is it just everything may be a little too loud and my compression is mushing too much?

Any suggestions on cleaning up the bass? Should I just muck around with boosting and cutting frequency ranges? Any particular range that you've found good to cut/boost for clarity? Any good plug-ins I should look at?

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 06:22 PM
sorry, I dont hear any problems. :-)) that is a fine sound! (imo ... not that ivansc comes again around the corner ... :-(()

and I love that snare!!! what is that? Ian Paice? speaking of Deep Purple: I had today a listen to a Deep Purple live album from 2011 (Montreux, the "smoke on the water" - town) and that didnt sound as good as your mix here. really.

so ... again its proven, that quality doesnt belong to the "pros", assuming that you are not a pro in the sense of "making real money".

Thanks, dude! That means a lot

For the snare, I'm just using addictive drums with a "huge metal" preset that I found on youtube. I really only tweaked the snare and the kick drum from the preset to get the snare as punchy as possible and the kick to have that click sound. Here's what the snare preset looks like:

http://i.imgur.com/wFaVsoV.png

ANd yes, I'm far from a pro! I just do the music after work (SW engineer). I only do the music because I love it. To date, I've only made 2 dollars off of my music :) (bandcamp downloads)

Thanks again -- really nice words.

sammydix
11-05-2014, 06:32 PM
Quality: that's a GOOD thing. Meaning I've always thought of it as high quality and I don't hear any 'drop' in that quality here. keeping to standards.

Drums: just love how you progged them. energy!

Ending: when I said "a bit", I meant that literally, it's really not glaringly noticeable. fairly minor actually. I think i was focused on one particular rhythm guitar that seemed to disappear, but after re-listening just now, i don't feel it's important because it added to feel of the section. tiny.

Bass: the way it, in combination with the kick, hit my chest, well, just felt good. I think it's fine and just a matter of personal taste in this case. I really like that Chris Squire or Tony Levin tone with just a touch of treble and a hint of growl, and thought it would fit in this tune, but that probably was not what you were after. So it's moot. Sounds good regardless.

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 06:34 PM
Oh, also whiteaxxxe, my company (TRW) is global with a big branch in Koblenz. I support a BMW project, so they are always sending me to Koblenz. Usually I take a trip up to Köln at least one weekend for some drinking! Maybe next time we can grab a bier!

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 06:40 PM
Ending: when I said "a bit", I meant that literally, it's really not glaringly noticeable. fairly minor actually. I think i was focused on one particular rhythm guitar that seemed to disappear, but after re-listening just now, i don't feel it's important because it added to feel of the section. tiny.

AHH yes, I see what you're saying. Very good ear, Sammy. I had another rhythm guitar in the "chorus" that dropped out when the ending started because honestly, I could barely even hear it. So basically there were two rhythm guitars in the chorus (well 4 tracks, 2 panned each way), but one was a bit quieter, and if I"m being honest, I just didn't get around to recording the second rhythm for the end (getting lazy...). I think I'll do that tonight.

Also thanks for the words. Very nice to hear from you!

m5blackmond
11-05-2014, 06:44 PM
Bass: the way it, in combination with the kick, hit my chest, well, just felt good. I think it's fine and just a matter of personal taste in this case. I really like that Chris Squire or Tony Levin tone with just a touch of treble and a hint of growl, and thought it would fit in this tune, but that probably was not what you were after. So it's moot. Sounds good regardless.

AHh, you mean the tone I had in the song from my last thread?

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=147261

SO, between that song and this song, I completely revamped my plug-in use (as I bought guitar rig). In that last song, I think I was just using some built in free amp-sims, but they must have done the trick! I will try changing the plug-in chain to the old one and see how it sounds!

sammydix
11-05-2014, 07:28 PM
yeah, but more subdued than Turing since this tune has a different feel to it.

zeekat
11-06-2014, 01:53 AM
This is kickass. Do you gate hard or edit the guitar/bass, or just play that accurately? It sounds super clean and tidy, with no guitar grime in pauses. Really adds punch to teh kicks.

msundh
11-06-2014, 10:40 AM
Hi
Did a second listen. Before I listen through my new speakers (Equator D5) which I'm not used to yet.
Now I listened with my headphones (use it 99% of time) and now the lows are ok, at least for this kind of Music.
I do find the solo guitar get a bit indistinct by the reverb/delay.
I'd better start listen twice on the songs before I swing my critic axe:)

m5blackmond
11-07-2014, 04:01 PM
This is kickass. Do you gate hard or edit the guitar/bass, or just play that accurately? It sounds super clean and tidy, with no guitar grime in pauses. Really adds punch to teh kicks.

Oh yeah I definitely cut out the pauses on the leads because there were a few noticeable clicks of the guitar, plus there is just that tiny bit of noise that my noise suppressor isn't completely gating away. With prog/technical stuff, I feel like it's super important to be as tidy as possible. I hope that's not frowned upon too much.

I do try to keep it as tidy as possible during the recording, but there's only so much you can do. I don't really ever edit continuous guitar licks as I think that can start to sound less organic and very fake if you do it too much (I used to do it, but I haven't done it in a while -- I feel like it's disingenuous). But, I will just copy and paste parts if I'm feeling lazy ;)

m5blackmond
11-07-2014, 04:04 PM
Hi
Did a second listen. Before I listen through my new speakers (Equator D5) which I'm not used to yet.
Now I listened with my headphones (use it 99% of time) and now the lows are ok, at least for this kind of Music.
I do find the solo guitar get a bit indistinct by the reverb/delay.
I'd better start listen twice on the songs before I swing my critic axe:)

Haha.. no problem. A big part of the post-process is making it sound good on everything (and I definitely did most of this mix in my headphones). So, anything that stands out in any way is important for me to hear. It lets me step back and evaluate again (since I don't have the fresh ears anymore). So, thank you

I'll finally get time tomorrow to play again, so I'll turn down the reverb/delay and try to get a bit more clarity on the leads, and I'll take Sammy's advice and try to as well get more clarity in the bass guitar (merging my previous bass tone into this one a little bit)

Thanks for the feedback guys -- it is very helpful.

thequietroom
11-07-2014, 09:58 PM
Really a great tune. I agree about the lead guitar parts.. too wet but the song is great.

zeekat
11-08-2014, 03:25 AM
I like the wetness of the lead guitar, gives that post rock vibe in metal context, think Russian Circles with elaborate rhythm section. Very distinct and original, those two worlds don't meet very often.

m5blackmond
11-08-2014, 02:55 PM
Aww shit, didn't see zeekat's comment before I re-mixed. Glad you liked it, but now I've taken away some of the wet!

Here's mix number two (didn't know how to give the stream link for dropbox, so i signed up for this other service): https://app.box.com/s/eszyfqvt6qv9zt4w6780

Basically just turned down the reverb on the lead guitars during the chorus (and turned the volume up a bit) at 1:05 and then whenever it happens again. Tried messing with the bass guitar, but I felt like I was only making it worse, so I undid it all and just messed with the EQ and volume a little bit (honestly, I Don't think it's even noticeable). I guess, like sammy said, the Turing's bass tone wouldn't work here. I think I'll just live with it.

Is it better?

msundh
11-08-2014, 06:04 PM
Reading zeekat's comments, makes me re-think a bit.
Maybe EQ the reverb (take away som mid lows) instead of reducíng the reverb.
But, it's Music, there's no right and wrongs, only opinions.
It's still a kicka ass song, and I have never come close to this level regarding production.
This version is better in my ears.