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Axonaut
07-23-2010, 08:27 AM
I'd really appreciate advice on where I'm going wrong with mixing this track:

http://www.box.net/shared/q8hkm33il3

There are lots of things I'm not happy with but haven't been able to fix (and probably other problems which I'm not even aware of).

For example, I think the lead piano sound is too dull (I mean the high right hand melody notes starting about 00:10). This piano melody is the lead instrument in some parts, but the tone sounds very lifeless for a lead.

The bass doesn't sound warm and round enough, but if I turn it up, it sounds boomy. When I try to smooth it out with eq or compression to make it rounder, it loses definition.

------------------------------

If you'd like to try mixing this song yourself, here's the project file with the individual audio stems (no fx). There are also midi versions of every track. Feel free to re-render the midis or re-arrange the song if you think that helps. Please post the results (and .rpp project file, if possible)

Project file download link (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9405809/Library2-44-Axonaut.zip)

Just download and unzip this into a folder. Then open the .rpp project file. Audio is FLAC to reduce size (it's about 60MB total)

Alternate download link for the project (divided into three separate zip files)
file1 (http://www.box.net/shared/uv944i5nrv) - file2 (http://www.box.net/shared/rmac2kadd7) - file3 (http://www.box.net/shared/cuidb5teru)

Lawrence
07-23-2010, 08:36 AM
Can you post the standard midi file by itself? I have no interest in downloading the entire large audio file(s) if the midi tracks are available.

Thanks.

Lastrite
07-23-2010, 08:39 AM
I think taking a chunk of mid out of the piano and guitar will solve a lot of your problems.

Axonaut
07-23-2010, 06:32 PM
Can you post the standard midi file by itself? I have no interest in downloading the entire large audio file(s) if the midi tracks are available.

OK, I'll prepare a midi-only version and post it later. The audio files aren't actually very large by the way, only 60MB in total, so only about 5-10 minutes to download.


I think taking a chunk of mid out of the piano and guitar will solve a lot of your problems.

Thanks. I'm going to give this a try. Roughly what kind of range do you mean by 'a chunk of mid'? Currently, I've boosted the piano about 4db from 1.5k to 3.5k, so maybe that's the area you mean? The piano low end (<500hz) is also cut once the bass comes in.

Axonaut
07-24-2010, 08:00 AM
Can you post the standard midi file by itself? I have no interest in downloading the entire large audio file(s) if the midi tracks are available.

Thanks.

OK Lawrence, here's a project file with just the midi tracks, no audio.

http://www.box.net/shared/06suryuz7i

winten
07-26-2010, 08:38 AM
Man, you know, when I listened the second time and stopped being distracted by the mix, I began to think Damn, this is a kick ass track!

The groove makes me think of Down to the Bone when they used to be good

Sure you do have some kind of awful eq problems in the mids, it sounds like, too 'thick'. The piano is really ok but it needs a delay maybe to bring it up some more. Saxes aren't perfect neither

From my opinion, the song needs to be let to breathe and run more because you get a awesome groove going but you'll keep breaking into it and not just letting it flow.

Count me in on the mixing, because I want to get my teeth into this

producer
07-27-2010, 07:29 AM
check if you like

http://admin.home.asmundma.operaunite.com/file_sharing/content/library2-N3_remix.wav

Producer

nofish
07-27-2010, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the files.

Here's my version:

http://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/963554/library2-N3%20-nofish%20mix-.mp3

I only replaced the Synth melody because I found the other sounds quite usable. The horns sound uhm, like synth horns but I don't have better ones anyway.

Feedback appreciated of course.

spikemullings
07-28-2010, 08:06 AM
I'd love a go at this when I get some time. d/l'd

The piano sounded really harsh to me and a bit distorted.

I agree about letting the track breathe but hey I had better shut up and see what I can do with it when I get a chance!

camerondye
07-28-2010, 08:04 PM
I didn't have the time I needed to get the parts 100% right but I had fun doing it and figured I would post it.
Cam

http://www.box.net/shared/339boprytj


EDIT: I did this completely with the midi Reaper file and used different sounds. I played the bass and guitar parts, I'm a bass player first but I got by with some minor timing issues on guitar.

Axonaut
07-29-2010, 10:27 AM
Thanks so much for your remixes everyone. I still need some more time to listen properly (a PC breakdown has left me with only a laptop and headphones), but I've already learned a lot from listening it's like hearing the track through somebody else's ears. Here are some preliminary comments.


Man, you know, when I listened the second time and stopped being distracted by the mix, I began to think Damn, this is a kick ass track!

The groove makes me think of Down to the Bone when they used to be good

Thanks for your kind comments. I'd be very pleased to get a sound like Down to the Bone, but I've really got a long way to go to get there. Look forward to hearing your remix.

check if you like

http://admin.home.asmundma.operaunite.com/file_sharing/content/library2-N3_remix.wav


The drums on your mix sound so much better than my original, how did you do them? This is really the kind of drum sound I should have been getting, and I'm a long way away from it.

I think the brass in your mix goes a bit wrong in places. The other remixes also have problems there. Maybe because the volume of the original VST is controlled by the mod wheel and I suspect you've rendered it with a VST that doesn't work like that.


Thanks for the files.

Here's my version:

http://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/963554/library2-N3%20-nofish%20mix-.mp3

I only replaced the Synth melody because I found the other sounds quite usable. The horns sound uhm, like synth horns but I don't have better ones anyway.


This is another mix that makes me realize that I've got to work on my drum sound and improve it 500%, because the sound I'm producing just isn't adequate. Once the drums become clearer like this, I can start to see there might be some problems in the drum patterns - maybe some excess kick drum hits that need to be removed, for example.

I like the synth. The original synth line was really just a low level thing to try and make the piano line a bit more sparkly, but anyway the synth sound you've added fits in very well with this style. What did you use for that?

I'm not so keen on the guitar sound. It sounds like just the un-amped track without any FX.

The horns have been a problem very important to the sound of the track, but very laborious to program. (there are obviously a lot problems for everyone in re-rendering the brass midi tracks, because the timing and levels are very specific to the Garritan VST and samples I used, and they aren't translating very well to other VSTs)


I'd love a go at this when I get some time. d/l'd

The piano sounded really harsh to me and a bit distorted.

I agree about letting the track breathe but hey I had better shut up and see what I can do with it when I get a chance!

Spike, hope you get the time to give it a go. I am interested by your comments on the piano, because I've been tending to brighten it up more and more as I've worked on this. At the same time as I'm doing that, I'm getting the feeling that the overall mix has a lot of unpleasant frequencies popping up all over the spectrum, nothing like the smooth sound of a more professional mix so perhaps I'm making this problem progressively worse by messing with the piano sound so much. Certainly the piano tone in my mix sounds pretty weird now when I compare to the other mixes here.

The track definitely needs more breathing space, particularly later on. I've left it as a very short, compressed, arrangement so far because I thought it was pointless for me to keep adding more stuff or lengthening it when I was so far from getting the best sound out of the basic foundation of the track.

I didn't have the time I needed to get the parts 100% right but I had fun doing it and figured I would post it.
Cam

http://www.box.net/shared/339boprytj


EDIT: I did this completely with the midi Reaper file and used different sounds. I played the bass and guitar parts, I'm a bass player first but I got by with some minor timing issues on guitar.

Really love your new bass line. I do like the melody of my original bass part, once it gets going, but the rhythm of yours is way more alive, and complements the drums and piano better. I think I was worried about cluttering up the mix before, but I can see now that there's plenty of space for bass if you do it right and it's just much more interesting to have a bass chattering away like that, particularly as the track develops.

There's something strange about the drums, I think maybe the kick drum isn't coming across very strongly, and perhaps one of the original drum instruments has been switched for another sound which isn't quite working... maybe its the hihats or tambourine replaced with something splashy like an open hihat or ride cymbal? I need to listen to it on speakers to compare.

The synth replacement for the piano lead works pretty well I think.

I didn't realize at first that you had actually re-recorded the guitar part I was patting myself on the back thinking I'd played it with much more feeling than I remembered! Even with the minor timing issues, it's a much more interesting sound than the original version.

Did you swap the brass for an organ sound? I can't quite tell what it is. It's a bit patchy (it's obviously not easy working with those messy midi tracks, as I said earlier), but there are patches where it sounds great really inspires me to bring that kind of sound into the track.

camerondye
07-29-2010, 10:41 AM
strange about the drums, I think maybe the kick drum isn't coming across very strongly
I had trouble choosing a kick drum relatively quickly for cutting on this mix. Takes more time than I had last night to get it right.

maybe its the hihats or tambourine
It's a tambourine that is now a crash cymbal. I on purpose didn't go back and listen to your mix while doing mine and I couldn't figure out what that was...tambourine makes sense now. The crash thing bugged the ever living shit out of me. I actually almost got out the percussion for the track but I had to get to bed.

The synth replacement for the piano lead works pretty well I think.
I couldn't find anything better. It's not perfect but it's what was working kind of last night.

I didn't realize at first that you had actually re-recorded the guitar part
I also should have used a Fender instead of a LP and got a little bit thinner sound.

Did you swap the brass for an organ sound?
No, I actually used your last programmed guitar solo and put a B3 there instead and didn't play the part on guitar. I actually forgot to do the guitar part and the other one didn't line up well so I used organ on the 3rd guitar part instead of pulling the guitar back out.

It was a lot of fun working on this, if I get some more time I will try and do some more on it and update my mix.
cam

Axonaut
08-02-2010, 11:57 PM
I had trouble choosing a kick drum relatively quickly for cutting on this mix. Takes more time than I had last night to get it right.


It's a tambourine that is now a crash cymbal. I on purpose didn't go back and listen to your mix while doing mine and I couldn't figure out what that was...tambourine makes sense now. The crash thing bugged the ever living shit out of me. I actually almost got out the percussion for the track but I had to get to bed.

Sorry about that. It's my fault for not labeling the individual drum instruments in the midi track. It would be great to hear it without the constant crash cymbal if you've got time to render it again.

I also should have used a Fender instead of a LP and got a little bit thinner sound.
Already sounds good to me.


No, I actually used your last programmed guitar solo and put a B3 there instead and didn't play the part on guitar. I actually forgot to do the guitar part and the other one didn't line up well so I used organ on the 3rd guitar part instead of pulling the guitar back out.
OK, the brass sounds like it could be the upper end of the B3. It actually works very well with the slurs and fall-offs programmed into the midi. B3 could be a better choice than brass there, with the difficulty of getting really realistic brass from a VSTi.


It was a lot of fun working on this, if I get some more time I will try and do some more on it and update my mix.
cam

Thanks Cam, hope you can.

Axonaut
08-16-2010, 08:13 AM
I finally was able to listen to the mixes in a variety of environments, so, as promised, here are some additional comments.


nofish

http://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/963554/library2-N3%20-nofish%20mix-.mp3

The piano seems a little quiet and lacking high end compared to the other mixes. I don't know why, but I found this really noticeable listening on earbuds. It actually sounds kind of dull and muffled on earbuds. In other listening environments it sounds much better. Just guessing this might be related to the stereo field somehow...?

No problems with anything else (apart from the guitar, as I mentioned before). I like the drums, and the kick sound particularly, what did you do with the drums?


producer

http://admin.home.asmundma.operaunite.com/file_sharing/content/library2-N3_remix.wav

It doesn't look like you log into the forums very often, but when you do, I'd be interested to hear how you rendered the drums, because it sounds very good to me.

One thing that sounded a little strange is the distinct echo on the click or sidestick sound which replaces the snare in some sections (e.g. from ~0:28). The snare itself sounds great.


cam

http://www.box.net/shared/339boprytj

The bass really sounds fantastic on headphones and earbuds. I thought it was less distinct on a couple of different sets of (small) speakers - the individual notes didn't seem to come across so clearly.

I'd still really like to hear this mix without the accidental crash cymbal track


original mix

With your mixes to compare to, I can really hear some of the big problems with my original mix. These include: The piano sound is much too harsh (I wanted it to sound a bit processed, with lo and hi eq cuts, but I totally overdid it). Serious lack of lower frequency energy in the snare. Kick also lacks power.

camerondye
09-01-2010, 07:44 PM
I finally got around to redo'ing my mix. The tambourine is fixed and I messed with getting the mix a little more even and I'm not sure I did it but it's a new mix...I think.

http://www.box.net/shared/6c9a47s4su

pc999
09-03-2010, 01:20 PM
Hi decided to try it too :D, just some quick work with the steams, made it more "mellow".

I have not used any compressor (so turn the volume up), just ReaFirm/ReaVerb/ReaDelay (by order of no instances).

Personally I think it could even uses some more dinamics, a compressor in this type of music is a wast IMO.

http://soundcloud.com/pc999/library2-n3

Edit: On a second hearing I should have give a litle more volume to the brass, maybe using automation to lower a bit the volume of the piano
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Axonaut
09-05-2010, 03:38 AM
I finally got around to redo'ing my mix. The tambourine is fixed and I messed with getting the mix a little more even and I'm not sure I did it but it's a new mix...I think.

http://www.box.net/shared/6c9a47s4su

Yes, sounds even better now without the cymbal. The bass in this mix is much clearer on speakers as well.

My favorite part is the more developed version of your bass riff that you start playing in the second half of the song. It sounds really good, particularly when you can hear it without the lead instruments, like around 1:50 and in the outro - complements the rhythm perfectly

Axonaut
09-05-2010, 04:42 AM
Hi decided to try it too :D, just some quick work with the steams, made it more "mellow".

I have not used any compressor (so turn the volume up), just ReaFirm/ReaVerb/ReaDelay (by order of no instances).

Personally I think it could even uses some more dinamics, a compressor in this type of music is a wast IMO.

http://soundcloud.com/pc999/library2-n3

Edit: On a second hearing I should have give a litle more volume to the brass, maybe using automation to lower a bit the volume of the piano

Thanks for the mix!


I'm not sure about compression and dynamics. I put a compressor on almost every track when I mix because I'm trying to learn how to use compression in various situations. It's also a lazy way to control peaks and relative levels while I tweak other fx. I suspect I'm sometimes not improving the sound at all...

The rhythm piano part in your mix has a lot of reverb/delay on it. To me, this makes it sound very distant, like it's not in the same place as everything else. I don't think this much reverb/delay usually works for a complex and fast part like this, because you get so many echos that it sounds confusing: the echo distracts you from the original sound. I noticed that on the industrial track you have on Soundcloud that you put quite a bit of reverb or delay on some of the lead instruments. I think this works OK for that type of part because you're playing fewer, longer notes - so the sound is still quite distinct.

Also, one of the instruments playing the melody seems to be slightly out of sync after about 1:02 (it's more out of sync at the end). I guess this is simply because the audio file on that track is shifted slightly out of position, or maybe I made a mistake rendering the audio somehow?