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Old 11-01-2019, 12:18 PM   #24
SoundGuyDave
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 125
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First things first, a "thank you" for Dave Keel for overseeing this whole thing is needed, and well earned!

There were some very nice mixes this month! Before I make the individual comments, here were my criteria, and key points:
1) HEAR EVERYTHING, all in balance, particularly the harmony and backing vocals against the melody.
2) Watch the hi-hat levels. They were a land-mine, just waiting to go off and ruin a mix.
3) Make the breakdown and “funk” sections different stylistically and musically, yet complementary to the verse/chorus sections.
4) The drum fill leading into the final chorus (unsupported) needs to breathe or move, or the whole transition falls flat.

Please don’t take any comments as attacks, they are intended strictly as constructive criticism! If any have issues with what I had to say, I would be happy to go to PM and chat about it, or even publicly. This type of situation is a GREAT opportunity for ALL of us to learn a thing or three; God knows I did!

Given the above:

#1: Bass guitar is a bit honk-y, mix is a bit mid-heavy overall, not a ton of bottom end (headphones?). Toms seem too forward in the mix. Hard-panned lead GT (~1:35) is distracting for some reason. Motion of the acoustics detracts from the vocal. Nice vocal tone, could use a bit more (longer?) verb. Too much jumps in and out of the mix.

#2: Nice drum tones, good GT tones. Re-amped? What did you use? Overall, the mix seems a bit “distant” particularly the lead GT breaks and the clean funk GT.

#3: I understand the choice, but I don’t care for the “gated” drum sound. Lead vox too dry. Interesting panning/width approach to the breakdown vox! Chorus backing vox too far down in the mix. Didn’t like the fade at the end in place of the unresolved full-stop.

#4: Hats too far forward, GTs too ambient, and kind of “pinched” sounding. Should automate or clip-gain the hats down 4dB on the open sections.

#5: Good drum tones. Too much bass distortion channel in the mix to fit the style of the song. Nice job using width to get the guitars out of the way of the vocals.

#6: (Mine) Overall a bit wet. Bass GT needs another couple dB for the funk section. Treat yer damn room!!

#7: Strange drum tones; didn’t fit the song style. Nice vox reverb. Backing vox a bit far back at times. Rhythm GTs too forward in the mix, lead GT a bit too dry.

#8: Too mid-range heavy, no real bottom end or top-end sizzle in the mix. Headphone mix? Acoustics too far back in the mix. Nice pan automation in the breakdown. Vocal could come up a bit in the funk section.

#9: Too much room in the drum sounds for my taste, or too much compression on the rooms and overs, or both. The cymbals stay on top too much/too long. I think I heard some mix distortion (c. :48) on the snare roll. Main buss clipping?

#10: Very mid-suppressed; scooped-sounding. Mixed on headphones? Some odd volume jumps here and there, need to smooth the automation. Recommend developing a monitor EQ setting!

#11: Overall, WAYYY too compressed/limited, and it sounds like it’s all on the mix bus? Youlean reads a perfect -14LUFS, but with a -6.2dB peak, which equates to a -8.8LUFS with a 1.0 peak…. WAYYY too loud, WAYYYY too harsh as a result. I liked the lead GT DDL, but with the limiting, it was too hard to judge the relative balance of everything else…

#12: Really nice GT mix, decent drum tones, but the hats are a bit too hot. The DDL on the lead vocal was distracting at points. Try side-chain ducking the delay output with about an 800mS hold/release total on the comp. The acoustics seemed a bit low; but nice mix on the funk section.

#13: Good drum mix and tones. Harmony vocals a bit low? The Rhoades was a bit hot when hard-panned, detracted from the vocals. Good funk section mix. Overall, could use a bit of high-end sizzle.

#14: Very wide mix overall; I thought the kick could be a little “heavier” overall. Not necessarily louder, but weightier? Nice chorus mix. Weird volume spike c. 1:45. Backing and harmony vox a bit low. Good breakdown and funk section mixes. Delay trick needs a bit of refinement, it got a little messy.

#15: Somehow, the drums didn’t sound “homogenized,” as if they were not parts of the same instrument. Snare too forward (too much attack?), hats/overs too distant sounding. Nice pan on the “siren” guitar. Decent funk mix. Overall, vox too dry, drums too wet.

#16: Snare too far forward. Headphone mix? Are you a drummer? Serious question; the mix sounds like a stage mix heard from behind the kit to me. Backing vox too low in the mix, lead vox a bit thick in the mids, and too dry. Good Hammond sound. Too much verb on the toms. Nice fade at the end!!

To me, it was very interesting to see all the different approaches to how the vocal parts “work” within the context of the song, and how many different approaches there were to the breakdown and funk sections!
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