Old 07-13-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
Jeffsounds
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Default Help With This Mix, Please?

I usually run my completed mixes through Ozone 8 Elements' Master Assistant just to check and see if I'm in the ballpark. On this mix, Ozone is cutting the low and and the low mids and I just want to know if anyone else thinks the lows and low mids are too hot. I can hear the different instruments and the detail and to me it sounds fine, but am I liking it because I like the lows boosted?

I'd really appreciate it if I could get some opinions on it.

Thanks!

EDIT: File uploaded is 24-bit, 44.1.

EDIT: Sorry! I didn't trim the leading silence. It's only a few seconds.

Down The Drain TEST
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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Can't speak to the mix question Jeff, but it's a really good song.

Hope someone can help you get the mix you're looking for. Can't wait to hear the finished product.

Rock on brother!!!!
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default A few thoughts

Disclaimer: I am not an expert, I am learning mixing and producing an album for my band.
I have tried using some reference tracks while mixing to see if I am producing something in the ballpark of commercial sound.
I find I always end up mixing the low end of the bass/kick much fuller/louder (as it sounds good to me at the time, on my monitors)than appears to be typical, and have to cut quite a bit.

As to your mix, overall, sounds good!
I agree with you that nothing in your mix seems obscured or drowned out due the low end, in other words the mids and highs seem clear enough.
It does seem a little tubby/chunky maybe where the bass and guitar overlap frequency wise Is there a lot of lows in the rhythm guitar? It might sound a bit tighter/more clear if you did some complimentary EQ (cut either bass or guitar a bit at the offending regions).It may also clarify your vocals or obscure them less. Or maybe lowering the bass just slightly.
I don't see how ozone could tell you what's right, as a lot of it is your opinion and the particular arrangement. Do you care if it sounds commercial or not? If so compare to your favorite mixes?
Another consideration, which I don't know if you care about, is if the lows aren't too loud you can compress and limit a little more during mastering without artifacts to get apparent loudness higher, as the lows don't hit the limiter as hard.
Keep rockin!
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:24 PM   #4
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To me I'd say more than anything else, it has an exaggerated treble peakiness to it. The low end in comparison seems better balanced, though you could try trading out some subs for a bit more mid-bass.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:03 PM   #5
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Listening with my studio headphones.

It sounds good on my end. Overall balanced; my taste would up the vocal track a little bit, but that's relative.

Song arrangement wise, the song is a bit to choppy as all the instruments, including the vocal melody, seem to be all falling together on the downbeat, and perfectly in sync in length with the beats (click track). As analogy, imagine 100 soldiers marching together in perfect sync, all legs and arms moving at the same time. It makes for a very tight regime, not lots of excitement, for what should in purpose be a very exciting song (i.e. a rock song).

But no worries man, it's not that noticeable, I'm a bit bias because my own songs are a bit to perfectly aligned with a click track, which is what I'm currently trying to move away from = more life in my songs : planned micro-imperfections to make it more humanly exciting.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyMusic View Post
I find I always end up mixing the low end of the bass/kick much fuller/louder (as it sounds good to me at the time, on my monitors)than appears to be typical, and have to cut quite a bit.
I do the same thing! And I'm wondering if I am doing it now because Ozone 8 is pulling the lows and low-mids out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyMusic View Post
As to your mix, overall, sounds good!
I agree with you that nothing in your mix seems obscured or drowned out due the low end, in other words the mids and highs seem clear enough.
It does seem a little tubby/chunky maybe where the bass and guitar overlap frequency wise Is there a lot of lows in the rhythm guitar? It might sound a bit tighter/more clear if you did some complimentary EQ (cut either bass or guitar a bit at the offending regions).It may also clarify your vocals or obscure them less. Or maybe lowering the bass just slightly.
I feel like I have the bass guitar sounding pretty good with good definition and it gets lost if I bring it down. There's not a lot of lows in the rhythm guitars but one of them is a 7-string playing on the lower strings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny Tortoise View Post
To me I'd say more than anything else, it has an exaggerated treble peakiness to it. The low end in comparison seems better balanced, though you could try trading out some subs for a bit more mid-bass.
I have to agree with the high end on listening today. I like the crispy hats and cymbals. I'll bring it down some.

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Originally Posted by RDBOIS View Post
Listening with my studio headphones.

It sounds good on my end. Overall balanced; my taste would up the vocal track a little bit, but that's relative.

Song arrangement wise, the song is a bit to choppy as all the instruments, including the vocal melody, seem to be all falling together on the downbeat, and perfectly in sync in length with the beats (click track). As analogy, imagine 100 soldiers marching together in perfect sync, all legs and arms moving at the same time. It makes for a very tight regime, not lots of excitement, for what should in purpose be a very exciting song (i.e. a rock song).

But no worries man, it's not that noticeable, I'm a bit bias because my own songs are a bit to perfectly aligned with a click track, which is what I'm currently trying to move away from = more life in my songs : planned micro-imperfections to make it more humanly exciting.
I agree on the vocal so I brought it up a bit more. It does kind of sound like it's all in sync but that's the way the drummer played it!

Ok, here's a link to the same song run through Ozone 8 Elements so you can hear the difference between the 2.

Down The Drain TEST OZONE
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:39 PM   #7
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Default a few more thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffsounds View Post
I do the same thing! And I'm wondering if I am doing it now because Ozone 8 is pulling the lows and low-mids out.

If you're mixing through ozone, yeah I suppose you could be compensating and then the low end comes out louder? do you use reference tracks though, so you have an objective comparison? Make sure the reference isn't going through any 2 bus processing so you aren't processing an already mastered song as you compare. (take the reference song track out of master parent send and send it out an unaffected output and of course match levels when comparing).


I feel like I have the bass guitar sounding pretty good with good definition and it gets lost if I bring it down. There's not a lot of lows in the rhythm guitars but one of them is a 7-string playing on the lower strings.

You probably are aware but ways to give the bass definition without having it too loud or booming include boosting higher frequencies of the bass and not the fundamental, adding a hair of distortion or saturation (parallel perhaps)and cutting other competing instruments that have lows that might be muddying up the bass. The ozone version is less boomy but I can still hear the bass fine. perhaps trying some of the above would help the bass cut and still have it a bit lower, less boomy.


I have to agree with the high end on listening today. I like the crispy hats and cymbals. I'll bring it down some.
Cymbals and hats still sound pretty essssy to me, maybe too loud? They sound a little phasey too, but that could be soundcloud encoding? IDK.


I agree on the vocal so I brought it up a bit more. It does kind of sound like it's all in sync but that's the way the drummer played it!
I think the vocal is still a bit low, gets obscured, but then I like ever present pop/country type vocals.

A drummer who plays in sync, no one should complain about that! Did you hear the one about the drummer?
(what do you do when your drummer is running around your back yard bleeding? Stop laughing and shoot again.)
Perhaps an instrument that has a rhythmic and harmonic counterpoint function would be interesting.

Ok, here's a link to the same song run through Ozone 8 Elements so you can hear the difference between the 2.

Down The Drain TEST OZONE
Sorry I blended my replies with your post but, anyway there they are.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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First is the better of the two.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyMusic View Post
Sorry I blended my replies with your post but, anyway there they are.
Thanks for the comments! Just to clarify, I do NOT mix through Ozone. I only use Ozone as a reference. In other words, when I get the mix to a point that I think I'm done, I'll run it through Ozone and see what it does to the mix. The difference was so drastic with this one that it made me wonder if I'm way off base with it.

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First is the better of the two.
I think the first one sounds more full than the second one but I think that's where the problem is!
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffsounds View Post
I usually run my completed mixes through Ozone 8 Elements' Master Assistant just to check and see if I'm in the ballpark. On this mix, Ozone is cutting the low and and the low mids and I just want to know if anyone else thinks the lows and low mids are too hot. I can hear the different instruments and the detail and to me it sounds fine, but am I liking it because I like the lows boosted?

I'd really appreciate it if I could get some opinions on it.

Thanks!

EDIT: File uploaded is 24-bit, 44.1.

EDIT: Sorry! I didn't trim the leading silence. It's only a few seconds.

Down The Drain TEST
Hey Jeff, not sure which one it is, or both but I'm missing the detail in the upper freqs I like to hear (take note of my age).

Mix sounds real good on both sets of my monitors, but for me it seems like the lower end of the spectrum might be clouding the detail of the other end (possibly in mid detail). Great playing on this too dood!
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #11
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hey Jeff, had a listen to both versions. Both sound pretty good. On my setup here - the first version sounds a little fuller/fatter on the bottom. From your comments, that is what I think you thought too. I like version 1, between the two.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
Hey Jeff, not sure which one it is, or both but I'm missing the detail in the upper freqs I like to hear (take note of my age).

Mix sounds real good on both sets of my monitors, but for me it seems like the lower end of the spectrum might be clouding the detail of the other end (possibly in mid detail). Great playing on this too dood!
Thanks, Glenn! I am rethinking this one...

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hey Jeff, had a listen to both versions. Both sound pretty good. On my setup here - the first version sounds a little fuller/fatter on the bottom. From your comments, that is what I think you thought too. I like version 1, between the two.
Yes, I agree and I think the answer lies somewhere between the two. I've been sick as a dog for 3 days but hopefully I can polish this one up a bit tomorrow. Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:25 PM   #13
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I prefer Version 1. The lows and low mids are OK for me.

That's a fine guitar solo in the middle, and the tone is great.

In the mix as a whole there is a upper mid edginess sometimes.

I put the first mix into Reaper and liked the sound it had going through a couple Airwindows plugins.

Would you consider putting the tracks up for us to mix? If so, I'd be interested.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:24 AM   #14
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Would you consider putting the tracks up for us to mix? If so, I'd be interested.
I might but that's a lot of work and I'm so sick right now I don't know when I could get to it. But I'll keep it in mind as best I can.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:09 AM   #15
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OK, this is what I ended up with and is the final mix complete with ending fade.

Thanks to you all for the pointers and comments.

Down The Drain Final Mix 24-bit WAVE
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:45 AM   #16
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First mix sounded great. Song is excellent. Has some real Blue Oyster Cult vibes, which I love!
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:47 AM   #17
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it's fun and challenging to do a listening test. so here is my comment on the final track. altho overall if the public is listening to music on a smartphone speaker it seems a bit nebulous to even care about it sometimes. anyway i listened thru studio phones and imac speakers.

overall it is very good.

the vocal is really clear. i assume in this style you want it so much out-front..

i agree there is too much treble which makes it sound tinny. this is prevalent in the hats and also guitar solo. it leads to ear fatigue.

there might be too much snare. it could be brought down quite a bit.

the bass level is very good.

i also agree that it sounds quantized.

i would have liked some fader riding on the drums to lead in/out of song sections. as is, it sounds dynamically flat.

i really like the panning. this is the style of panning which I prefer.

perhaps the excess treble is because you're going for clarity. perhaps the drums could have more stereo separation which would create the sense of space which would allow for less reverb and thus more perceived clarity.

(not a mix comment) in terms of production/arrangement I dont prefer songs which fade out. songs should usually have a well-defined ending. in this case because of the final vocal message, I think it would be better to end on a dissonance/unresolved chord. fade-out, to me, indicates that the songwriter/producer doesnt know how to reach a conclusion, like a short story where the characters dont really do anything in the end, they just wander off aimlessly.

the background vocals are really well balanced and harmonized.

when in doubt keep in mind how badly lars screwed up his mixes.

this mix might sound great in my truck. the treble might give the song the added boost to keep interest, or alternatively maybe the drums would overwhelm the instruments - not sure. It would be a good test to try.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COAndy View Post
First mix sounded great. Song is excellent. Has some real Blue Oyster Cult vibes, which I love!
Thanks for the comments and the listen! BOC? I would never have thought that.

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Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
it's fun and challenging to do a listening test. so here is my comment on the final track. altho overall if the public is listening to music on a smartphone speaker it seems a bit nebulous to even care about it sometimes. anyway i listened thru studio phones and imac speakers.

overall it is very good.

the vocal is really clear. i assume in this style you want it so much out-front..

i agree there is too much treble which makes it sound tinny. this is prevalent in the hats and also guitar solo. it leads to ear fatigue.
I'll recheck the high end again when I get a chance. It may have gotten past me after 300 listens during mixing.

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i also agree that it sounds quantized.
Well, that means the drummer is VERY good. He's like a metronome. Great meter!

Quote:
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i would have liked some fader riding on the drums to lead in/out of song sections. as is, it sounds dynamically flat.
Good point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by superblonde.org View Post
perhaps the excess treble is because you're going for clarity. perhaps the drums could have more stereo separation which would create the sense of space which would allow for less reverb and thus more perceived clarity.
I think it is probably more to the fact that I like the cymbals to sound a bit crispy. Maybe I went too far. Definite possibility.

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(not a mix comment) in terms of production/arrangement I dont prefer songs which fade out. songs should usually have a well-defined ending. in this case because of the final vocal message, I think it would be better to end on a dissonance/unresolved chord. fade-out, to me, indicates that the songwriter/producer doesnt know how to reach a conclusion, like a short story where the characters dont really do anything in the end, they just wander off aimlessly.
The song actually does have a definite ending but I faded it because I wanted to relate it to a toilet flush going down the drain, which doesn't just stop, it kind fades away.

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this mix might sound great in my truck. the treble might give the song the added boost to keep interest, or alternatively maybe the drums would overwhelm the instruments - not sure. It would be a good test to try.
Well if you do listen in your truck, please let me know what you think?

Thanks for the listen and the comments. Much appreciated!
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:46 AM   #19
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Great song and love the proper bluesy voice. One tiny nitpick the vocal at the first few bars of the middle eight seems to get drowned a tad, but that may just be my ears!
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:22 AM   #20
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Great song and love the proper bluesy voice. One tiny nitpick the vocal at the first few bars of the middle eight seems to get drowned a tad, but that may just be my ears!
i agree, this mirrors my point about the drums, especially in that section with the fill (going from my memory of previous listens).

I wonder if the underlying reason it sounds the way it does is because all instruments were all tracked separately rather than live. that would explain the lack of playing dynamics and groove (timing).
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:45 PM   #21
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Great song and love the proper bluesy voice. One tiny nitpick the vocal at the first few bars of the middle eight seems to get drowned a tad, but that may just be my ears!
I noticed it as well but I hoped it would go by so fast nobody would notice.

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I wonder if the underlying reason it sounds the way it does is because all instruments were all tracked separately rather than live. that would explain the lack of playing dynamics and groove (timing).
One of the perils of living in the middle of nowhere and serious lack of quality players. SERIOUS lack... So I have to use a drummer in Ontario who is immensely talented, IMHO.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:01 AM   #22
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I noticed it as well but I hoped it would go by so fast nobody would notice.
Most of my mixes have passages like that. You just have to reach a point where you stop "improving" them or you'd never finish anything.

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Old 07-30-2019, 10:52 AM   #23
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Most of my mixes have passages like that. You just have to reach a point where you stop "improving" them or you'd never finish anything.

"Perfection is not a human trait." Barry Kingsbeer 2019
You almost reach a point where you stop improving and start going the other direction...
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:48 AM   #24
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Both versions sound nice, rich and full to me. Good playing and arrangement, lyrics too. It could need a catchy hook from Tom Petty or someone like him if you'd want it to make the charts. I say it's almost there.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:25 AM   #25
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Both versions sound nice, rich and full to me. Good playing and arrangement, lyrics too. It could need a catchy hook from Tom Petty or someone like him if you'd want it to make the charts. I say it's almost there.
Thanks, Jorgen! Much appreciated!
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