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View Full Version : "Slow Wind" - Collab w/ Sammy


mschuster
12-09-2014, 12:38 PM
A few months back I decided to post a note here asking if any vocalists would like to collab on a song. Sam was gracious enough to reply and offer up his voice. I'm glad he did! I think this song turned out fantastic and it couldn't have been done without his unique voice and wonderful sense of melody and phrasing. So, thanks Sam!

Let us know what YOU think!

Slow Wind (v1.0, Original Mix) (https://soundcloud.com/markbschuster/slow-wind)

Slow Wind (v1.1, Vox Boost) (https://soundcloud.com/markbschuster/slow-wind-v11)

bluetinstar
12-09-2014, 01:40 PM
For me Sammys' vocals are GREAT, but to my ears, (and on various monitors and 'phones), they are a bit 'buried' and 'overwelmed' in the mix.
Great track though, and really enjoyed it; but I would approach the mix differently !!

Regards
Fred

HugoRibeiroDotCom
12-09-2014, 01:53 PM
Another killer tune Mark! As usual!

cheers

msundh
12-09-2014, 02:34 PM
Agree with bluetinstar. There are also some great backing vocals that could take more room.
Really great guitars, but the mix is quite guitarded if you don't mind the joke;)

Iain
12-09-2014, 03:17 PM
Great guitar tone but the vocals need more room to breath. Lot's of energy too.

hamish
12-09-2014, 03:41 PM
Great tune, playing and singing. Put me down as one of those people who'd happily look at doing another mix for you :)

[edit] Just go to the solo!! Awesome!

mschuster
12-09-2014, 04:56 PM
thank you all!

well, i guess this is what you get for letting a guitarist mix the song ;)

i've render a new mix (v1.1) with a bump to the vox and pulled back on the master limiter a little for some more breathing room.

let me know if it sounds in the ballpark now. thanks!

hamish
12-09-2014, 06:41 PM
Hi again Mark, for me the problems weren't the vocal levels so much as some de-essing and other vocal treatment that I would do. Having the vocals down in the mix a little can give the song an 'epic' quality and I think that it would work in this tune.

Also in general I don't think the mix is wide enough, and has some eq and balance problems that means it doesn't come over so well on small crap speakers.

It sounds OK on big speakers played a little louder because that covers up the problems, and I do enjoy listening to the good musicianship.

As I said before if you can be bothered to go through the hassle of uploading the tracks in flac somewhere I'd like to do an alternative mix for you.

kindafishy
12-09-2014, 08:46 PM
Very cool track. Excellent guitar tones all around, as expected. Too great though, maybe? They are coming across as being very dominant elements in the mix for the most part. They settle into a very good level near the end of the song from 4:47 to 5:15 - that's the area where the balance really comes together nicely.

I didn't listen to the first version, but the new one gives me the sense, again, not that the vocals could come up, but rather, the guitars across the board can safely be dropped by a few dB.

This really has a Motley Crue feel to it. I swear I can see Tommy on the kit behind you. Not sounds like, rather it has that kind of vibe to it.

Killer solo, wow. The little lick at 3:12 makes me giddy because it is so freakin' awesome. Ha ha, I just keep rewinding the track to that one spot...

The song holds my attention from start to finish and Sammy's vocals are excellent. Interesting arrangement and good melody/harmony.

I knew you and Sammy would bang out a killer track.

BeeStang
12-09-2014, 09:21 PM
awesome song guys. i do like v2 better. great job all around. i think the guitar solo is a lil loud. have it peak around the same as the vox did. no? idk just my inexperienced ears on some cheap speakers tho so...

msundh
12-10-2014, 11:32 AM
So much better!! And the backing vocals, WOW!!
I do think the lead vocals are too low and some times feels a little bit muddy on the low freq scale.

bluetinstar
12-10-2014, 01:32 PM
So much better!! And the backing vocals, WOW!!
I do think the lead vocals are too low and some times feels a little bit muddy on the low freq scale.

+1

Fred

OpIvy
12-10-2014, 02:13 PM
Hi again Mark, for me the problems weren't the vocal levels so much as some de-essing and other vocal treatment that I would do. Having the vocals down in the mix a little can give the song an 'epic' quality and I think that it would work in this tune.

^ agree with this. Vocals sound awesome sitting back slightly so I like version 1.0 best.

These are massive guitars and the tone is great. Keep 'em cranked.
Out of interest, how many guitar tracks do you have and where are they panned?

But great raspy vocals (that's exactly why I need you sammy!). Chorus is sung with balls!

mschuster
12-10-2014, 07:48 PM
Thank you all!

@hamish: let me give some thought to uploading the tracks. i'm not even quite sure how that'd work given i use Toontrack metalmachine and MANY impulses for the guitars(all DI), not to mention EFX for panning purposes. i lost count how many tracks there are... as for the the other comments, i am de-essing, although don't claim to be a master of it by any stretch of the imagination. i'm a guitar instrumentalist at heart, and vocal mixing/treatment is something i'm still learning. as for EQ and Balance, i'd be interested in hearing specifically what you thought was off. i work very hard on these, and spend a lot of time making sure the EQ is working in the mix and items are properly balanced pan-wise.

@Kev: thanks! i love your reviews. not because that are so pleasing to read (although i'd be lying if i said i didn't...), but because you convey your message so well. i never thought "motely crue", but now that you say that - yea - i could see that. even the slide. Mars did that on several, and i am a huge fan of Tommy Lee. in my book, he's right up there behind Bonham. I'm concerned dropping the guitars a few db may lose them in the mix. i'm starting to wonder if the new X50 (TSE) isn't consuming more frequency real estate than previously thought. there's a new algorithm being used in the 'speaker motion' aspect of the plug that i notice is a lot "fatter" (for lack of a better word), than stay a LePou Hybrit.

@bestang: thanks. i'll have another listen to the solo tomorrow. it's definitely not up there with the vox level. i think it's playing at a time of "not much" in regards to the band/mix - so much more prominent and not so in need of any boost.

@msundh: thanks. i noticed a low end resonance from the vocals early on too, so there's some mutli-band compression happening, but perhaps not enough. i'll take another listen. i agree the backing vox are amazing!

@OpIvy: thanks. for rhythm guitars, there's two playing at all times. the chorus is 70L and 70R and other parts like verse, ending are 80L/80R due to the busyness of the mix at those parts. i tried 100L/100R, but it didn't sound right to me. given the comments i've received here, perhaps i should rethink that...

sammydix
12-10-2014, 08:22 PM
damn man, I didn't even know this was up! thx for the email. haven't had much time to check in lately, so i'm sure i've missed a lot more. i'll try to catch up some this weekend.

for as much stuff going on vocally and musically in the song, i think you did a pretty damned good. i think maybe some of the highs on the guitars could be a little subdued, but other than that, i like it--but of course, i'm bias.

glad you let me be a part of Slow Wind though because i was in need of some ballsy vocal release at the time. damned city life.

appreciate all who took the time to listen and the great comments.

and OpI, I'll try not to let you down!

hamish
12-10-2014, 10:38 PM
@hamish: let me give some thought to uploading the tracks. i'm not even quite sure how that'd work given i use Toontrack metalmachine and MANY impulses for the guitars(all DI), not to mention EFX for panning purposes. i lost count how many tracks there are... as for the the other comments, i am de-essing, although don't claim to be a master of it by any stretch of the imagination. i'm a guitar instrumentalist at heart, and vocal mixing/treatment is something i'm still learning. as for EQ and Balance, i'd be interested in hearing specifically what you thought was off. i work very hard on these, and spend a lot of time making sure the EQ is working in the mix and items are properly balanced pan-wise.

Mark I can tell that you've done a lot of work on the mix, the major problem I hear is some build up in high mid around 1:35-1:47 and anytime that same combination of guitar parts and vocals are hitting the reverbs and delays in the same way.

The other things aren't so much a problem as a taste thing, I love the bass and I'd have it up here and there.

Maybe I'm just being greedy :) - I'd love go get my mitts on your juicy guitar tones and sammy's gritty vox.

My suggestion on a project export (for my purposes) would be to consolidate all tracks to flac (24 bit, 'slowest' to get maximum compression). Make one stereo track with track FX printed in for each guitar part, the drum mix, the bass, but the vocals just the raw track please. This way no buss effects are on the tracks.

All those tracks should import back into a project from time=0 and give the basic arrangement. In the case of a BV or occasional guitar part that has a lot of silence in the track the flac compression will squash the data for that really efficiently, so the files should be quite a bit smaller than for example drums which play all the time. I love flac.

I totally understand if you don't want to do it, I hope you just take it as a sincere compliment to what you're doing.

mschuster
12-11-2014, 09:20 AM
My suggestion on a project export (for my purposes) would be to consolidate all tracks to flac (24 bit, 'slowest' to get maximum compression). Make one stereo track with track FX printed in for each guitar part, the drum mix, the bass, but the vocals just the raw track please. This way no buss effects are on the tracks.



Hamish, sent PM with links for files! let me know if you have any issues loading up.

thanks again everybody!

hamish
12-11-2014, 04:07 PM
Hamish, sent PM with links for files! let me know if you have any issues loading up.


Ah Mark, you're very kind. Thanks for going through the hassle of the upload. I have got all the files loaded up in a clean project now. Not sure when I'll be producing a mix yet, but I'm loving the tracks.

thequietroom
12-11-2014, 11:18 PM
awesome song. other than the sections with lots of backup vox getting a little cloudy I thought mix was pretty damn good.. but then again I'm one of them guitards

really a great song though. I picked up classic rock/metal elements with even some modern (A7X) type moments.

Really friggin cool!

sammydix
12-12-2014, 07:48 AM
@Quietroom

Mark asked me to 'think retro,' so i tried to comply.

karbomusic
12-12-2014, 08:57 PM
I like it, great job across the board, reminds me of something I'd have done in a past project but not as well. :)

mschuster
12-13-2014, 09:40 AM
@thequietroom: thanks! like A7X quite a bit, and that's saying a lot since i don't think i've liked anything that much since 1987... ;)

@karbomusic: yea, there definitely are elements to this that have that "been there, done that" kind of feel - but i think Sam and I were both successful in putting our unique stamp on it. thanks!

karbomusic
12-13-2014, 03:40 PM
@karbomusic: yea, there definitely are elements to this that have that "been there, done that" kind of feel - but i think Sam and I were both successful in putting our unique stamp on it. thanks!

Yes you were, very and in a good way :)

hamish
12-15-2014, 11:48 PM
Hi again Mark, Sammy and all.

Here is my little mix from the tracks Mark was so kind to provide me.


- Try this v2, I like it better: https://app.box.com/shared/static/xu1rwu5ou2ah1khi5r4s.mp3

I have taken a few liberties here and there, partly because Mark gave me the raw vocals and I didn't have his comping. So I just did the basic arrangement and then worked the sonics roughly as I wanted it.

Hope you like it, and thanks again Sam and Mark for indulging me!

sammydix
12-16-2014, 05:12 PM
i didn't really didn't know what to say about the first version except that it sounded a bit 'squished'. version 2 is more open with more breathing room with a little more heat added.

could you take the Sam choir a capella?

hamish
12-16-2014, 06:17 PM
v1 mix was a case of posting and then regretting...

I just wanted to put up something before I completely ran out of time (that being today, the day my kids finish school for the year)

I don't understand 'take the Sam choir a capella'. The 'melodic' section for example is really pretty to listen too soloed, but is there some part in the arrangement where you think vocals could be soloed? Where you meaning just what it's like to listen to the raw tracks? If I was able to spend more time on this I would really have liked all the doubled vocal parts on single tracks so that I could mess around with detuning and panning a little.

sammydix
12-16-2014, 07:14 PM
yes, i meant soloed with the music muted.

Me and Mark had the same conversation about the single vocals and I learned never again to combine trks wo keeping all the originals (i usually delete them when collaborating).

I did it to cut down on the vocal trks count, but now i know it's better to keep everything. lesson learned.

hamish
12-16-2014, 07:35 PM
He he, when I got the tracks I realised that Mark had done a pretty damn good job after all!

Still, yes I did enjoy many parts of the Vox with the music muted. Love those BV parts towards the end of the solo.

mschuster
12-17-2014, 09:37 AM
hi Hamish,

just had a listen to v2. i guess the first thing that hit me was the lead guitar during choruses (comes in at 00:10). i called it 'theme' in the tracks. sounds kinda off.. like some efx is manipulating it (phasey) and thinning it quite a bit. did you do for efx? also sounds like the vox at the bridge got off a little.

love the vox you cut/pasted in at 3:36... brilliant! and the alt close was not too shabby either. i could see that.

i too considered, many times, just sticking Sam's great acapella vox at the bridge out front of the song or somewhere isolated. they are truly special, and i could never - no matter how hard i tried - get them to the level they needed to be to let the listener hear them in all their glory. must have been due to some common freq build-up - or alike.

there's no doubt with the right amount of time and energy this song could be taken to another level, but i'm pretty happy with the mix where it's at right now. if Sam and I do a few more, i might consider looping back around and maybe re-mixing for the purpose of producing a cohesive sound.

Thanks for your effort and comments Hamish!

hamish
12-17-2014, 02:35 PM
Hi Mark, yeah I just wanted to screw with that part to mix it up a bit and that plus the alt ending were the main 'liberties' I was talking about. I got off about as well as I could have hoped, I wasn't expecting you to be too happy. Just needed to leave my greasy paw prints on it :p

Glad my vocals editing was OK, I guess the 'vox at the bridge' was something I missed, I got sick of going to soundcloud to check out how it was meant to go.

The treble build up is interesting, it seemed to happen more from one or two of the guitar parts after the master limiting, and I just used the HF limiter module in Limiter No6 to pull that down a bit but it's still there. I do think that's one part of the mix that could have some more attention. Beside that though your guitar parts are quite stunning, and it's a real lesson in arranging they way you fit them together.

The main difference sonically is just that I de-essed, and fuzzed up the vocals (with a clipper) to even out the bursts of sibilance. I de-essed all but those three lovely 'melody' parts in the interlude, and fuzzed up the lead and lead double.

After all that, I really like your latest mix, because even though the essing is there there are parts where the grit and edge is right out there, while my mix has subdued it too much.

Oh, and one last thing was I wanted some rumble in the bass in the verses and you had fairly severely High Passed that, so I automated a subbass synth in some parts. You will probably notice it if you play on bigger speakers at louder levels.

tspring
12-21-2014, 03:29 PM
I'll add my voice to the chorus of praise of this tune and recording. I like the Schuster mix 2 best. Nobody has mentioned the vocal harmonies that weave in and out of the arrangement. This is particularly well done. Guitar playing in the recording is outstanding. Sammy, I like the changes in vocal attack throughout the song. Well done.

T

Timothy Lawler
12-22-2014, 07:26 AM
I listened to v1.1. Excellent! Creative. Constant interesting details. Sophisticated and expressively wild at the same time. Mix presents it well.

mschuster
12-22-2014, 12:09 PM
@tspring: Thanks T!

@Tim: Thanks!