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Old 11-30-2016, 06:39 PM   #361
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Sorry if ive missed this, but what are the rules? Am i allowed to layer my own subs and snares? Etc. . .
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:02 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by Tod View Post
I faded it exactly like the original studio cut, because I think they faded it for a reason.
I don't think I ever actually listened to the studio cut. I gave a half-ass view of the video just to get a quick indication of what I'd be working on and never listened to the other or watched the video again. I didn't want a subconscious target before trying to find my own way.

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There is/was. It's more that to identify those things (in that song anyway) you have to more view it from a performance perspective, not so much a technical mixing perspective. The spotlights in that track would be in and out pretty fast, nothing really lingering.

The thing I dislike most about modern pop is how "level" everything is. If you listen to old R&B you'll notice things (correctly) occasionally jumping out at you, as what actually happens in live music. This is not me talking btw, this is from people much better than me, one of their common critiques of "our" mixes, that they're static, and lifeless.
This is exactly how I always feel about my own mixes, kind of "static and lifeless." I partially attribute it to laziness. I mean, intellectually, I know I need to create some more movement throughout the mix, but too lazy to do all that automation. I guess that's why I only try to present myself to others as someone who can mix you a really good sounding demo.

I always begin my process as "Mr Fix It." I try to eliminate all the crap that I hate or find distracting first before anything else, well, along with organizing/setting up my folders. It seems like by the time I get through all the Mr Fix It that I've lost much perspective and enthusiasm for any more tedious automation-type work.

Ultimately, I haven't really done enough mixing to get to that next level yet, I think.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:04 PM   #363
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is to be very careful with other musician's and artist's material. Like I said, this doesn't really apply here, but, heh heh, with my old brain I have a hard time forgetting it.
Hi Tod, to be honest, that's why I played it a little safe myself.

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Also, I don't know if it's because of my age or what, but I like some things, like vocals for example, to be natural, at least as natural as possible.
Most of the time I do but there are some instances I like it distorted - not very often though, would need to be tasteful. In fact if you turn up the duplicated vocal track in my project, you'll see it has a fuzz JS or something on it. I was previously blending in to the clear vocal much more than what I submitted. I had wanted to just make the verses sound like a megaphone (seemed to work with the lyric), then ended up backing it way off in the final mix.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #364
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Sorry if ive missed this, but what are the rules? Am i allowed to layer my own subs and snares? Etc. . .
There's no steadfast rule as yet. But, I brought it up earlier in this thread (drum replacement) and I think the general consensus was to avoid doing so. If for no other reason, to keep the total upload/download files to a minimum.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:13 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post

P.S. My first inclination was to ask you (for every contest) to post an mp3 of the song so people could listen to see if it was something they were interested in mixing before downloading... but when I thought more about it... that's a bad idea, because it probably would influence mix decisions, especially if the sample mix was really great. Probably better to not hear any mix of it first and go in "ear blind" as it were.
I've still haven't heard the real mix of this contest we just mixed. I don't want any part of hearing it first, you wouldn't get that in real life - much of the job is having a vision for what it should be. I may go listen now but for the contest, no, I don't want any influences.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:30 PM   #366
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I totally agree with you Lawrence, but even in the old days with tape, we tried to bring out the best of each instrument, and then put them all together.
I was thinking about this very thing on the way to band practice tonight aka the thing you and I are talking about and the type of spotlighting Lawrence is talking about. I'm gonna have to put them down as both valid and having some overlap.

I deal with something similar in my band and telling bandmates... "you don't have to play every single measure of every single song beginning to end and at the same volume" or "Hey man... You are playing your part in the exact same register I am and mushing up the sound, either counterpoint me or change to another register" and so on. All that really means is allowing the orchestration (for lack of a better term) to do the spotlighting.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:03 PM   #367
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I very much agree with this as well. I didn't feel like this song was produced well.
I have to be transparent here. If I were in my twenties, I'd not have produced it a bit better myself, probably far worse. I simply didn't know then. All I knew was some songs sound good, others don't but how to do it, just keep making stuff up sort out of natural and expected ignorance and if one suddenly sounded good, we didn't really know why LOL.

Now, decades later, it all sticks out like a sore thumb. That damn sure doesn't make me a good producer/composer but it does make composing/orchestrating much less of an aimless stab in the dark. That's why I think home recording is great for musicians, it forces you to think that way when you are coming up with parts. Since you played them all, you start noticing when part A is stepping all over part B so you rewrite part A. I used to spend hours trying to say pack 10 guitar tracks in with all of them feeling like they belonged there without stepping on each other and no two playing the same part.
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Old 11-30-2016, 10:23 PM   #368
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It is but IMHO much of that should have happened during the composition. I'm not saying a mixer shouldn't do it, they should, but I am saying if the mixer finds themselves automating the shit out of it to do so, I start questioning the composition - I guess as a musician I place a hell of a lot of expectation on them.

I had to remove any and all guitars starting with the first verse for example (at least I think I did). There are a number of others but no need to mention since I don't think they were noticeable enough to discuss - they are visible in the project anyway.
Funny you say that - as a bassist, whenever I'm working with any kind of ensemble, and something isn't quite gelling, playing fewer notes, or simply not playing at a certain spot really offers some room to breathe. As I've played with numerous bands and such over the years, I've more than a few times said, "You know, we don't all have to all be playing all the instruments and all the notes all the time."
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:27 PM   #369
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I have to be transparent here. If I were in my twenties, I'd not have produced it a bit better myself, probably far worse. I simply didn't know then. All I knew was some songs sound good, others don't but how to do it, just keep making stuff up sort out of natural and expected ignorance and if one suddenly sounded good, we didn't really know why LOL.

Now, decades later, it all sticks out like a sore thumb. That damn sure doesn't make me a good producer/composer but it does make composing/orchestrating much less of an aimless stab in the dark. That's why I think home recording is great for musicians, it forces you to think that way when you are coming up with parts. Since you played them all, you start noticing when part A is stepping all over part B so you rewrite part A. I used to spend hours trying to say pack 10 guitar tracks in with all of them feeling like they belonged there without stepping on each other and no two playing the same part.
I barely remember my twenties. That said, when I went to audio school at 26, the way I learned editing was when the engineer handed me a reel, a single-edged razor, and a wax pencil and barked "get to work!" It was the cusp of digital, and ADAT had just become mainstay. However, most of my learning was on 2" Ampex and Teac machines - and when I mixed, it was always me and at least two other people riding those faders as best we could. From there, it was my Tascam Portastudio cassette deck - and now, for the last 15 years or so, all computer with some outboard.

Regardless of the technology, the simplest path is best. Just like everyone here is pretty much agreeing, spend the time to get it right at the source. Spend time working with mic placement, amp placement; get to know your space. You know whether or not you've recorded your best performance. If not, do it again...and again. Then, take a day off, and revisit it.

When I first meet with any client, it's not usually at the studio - most times, it's at a cafe or even my kitchen over coffee or beer, depending on the time of day. We talk, we listen to music, talk about our favorite records, whatever. Once you get inside that persons head, you can have some direction. But when you're recording yourself, you're so often focused on getting it to sound like what's in your head - but in isolation, that can be really difficult. When I write anything for anyone, whether it's for a licensing deal, or just writing a birthday song for my wife, I always include someone else in the process to keep me honest, and to critique me along the way. Otherwise who knows what'll turn out, right?

A good song is a good song is a good song. Whether John Lennon sings an acoustic version of 'Cold turkey', or puts together a kick ass studio band to play it, it's still a damn good song. And maybe this guy, recording in isolation, really had no one off of whom to bounce an idea. Maybe he performed and recorded the whole thing himself, then assembled a band to promote the album - a band of musicians who hadn't recorded or written or took part in arranging any of the music.

Anyway, it's quite late where I am, and I think I lost my original train of thought, so it's a quick sip of bourbon, then bed for me. Already downloaded and set up the next competition session so I can have a go at it this weekend if I find the time.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:17 PM   #370
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martinmadero: I was most taken with the rhythm electric guitars, most especially during the choruses. I thought they sounded defined and cut right through the mix. My only gripe was your heavy-handed compression. Looking at your session and seeing almost everything redlining at one time or another, I saw you attempted to keep everything in check on the master track. That really messed with the dynamics of the song overall. When I went through and solo'd individual sections or tracks, the clarity and nicely tuned sounds were there - together they just competed for attention.
thanks for the comment! i will like to share my opinions, but the fact is that my english is not so rich, so this is a limitation in words and expressions, so if you want or let me write in spanish i probabbly talk a lot
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:46 PM   #371
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thanks for the comment! i will like to share my opinions, but the fact is that my english is not so rich, so this is a limitation in words and expressions, so if you want or let me write in spanish i probabbly talk a lot
Try help of google translate. It has become MUCH better very recently.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:01 AM   #372
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I was thinking about this very thing on the way to band practice tonight aka the thing you and I are talking about and the type of spotlighting Lawrence is talking about. I'm gonna have to put them down as both valid and having some overlap.

I deal with something similar in my band and telling bandmates... "you don't have to play every single measure of every single song beginning to end and at the same volume" or "Hey man... You are playing your part in the exact same register I am and mushing up the sound, either counterpoint me or change to another register" and so on. All that really means is allowing the orchestration (for lack of a better term) to do the spotlighting.
Yep. If you listen to ... say... a live funk band, you hear that, where (for example) the rhythm guitar guy knows where the gaps are and will fill them with little phrases that kinda pop out. It's the musical counterpoint thing where musical phrases played dynamically kinda act rythmically, but it kinda gets lost when everything is compressed to death or automated to be too level in the mix.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:53 AM   #373
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should we maybe use just a single thread for the contests? The admins still didn't put the December one as sticky...
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