Old 08-26-2018, 02:45 AM   #1
fred garvin
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Default Comments, tips, help w my mix

Welp, just about out of excuses w my latest project, nothing I really hate about it anymore, looking to do some final polishing, if you'd be so kind as to have a listen and share your thoughts and any tips you might have I'd appreciate it.

Warning: This is a MOR, GOR, midtempo, pop-soft-rock-lite sappy love song. Sorry, not my favorite genre either, just came out that way lol. If this is going to offend you please don't bother to listen just to tell me it sucks lol.

https://soundcloud.com/user-953089356/fall-jills-song

Notes:

I'd like to get a little more air meaning pleasant, musical high end into the final mix esp. around the vox and guitars, any tips on the best way to do that?

Mix seems more dense to me than it should. Bass, drums, B3, r. guitar, fill guitar, vox, solo, strings on outro... so 5 piece band w strings going out, not super busy I'd think and I mostly like the full sound of it but it seems to me like it should have a little more space. Any tips on how to create that?

Compression. Sigh. If you were to say it's a little overcooked I'd agree and Soundcloud isn't helping, they're doing something extra to it. But it's in the 13-14 LUFS range which is right in the modern ballpark so I hear and really I'd like it even a bit louder lol, it's still noticeably quieter than the radio and average commercial trax. I understand a quieter more dynamic mix is more musical but unfortunately this is perceived as a quality issue by your average listener, and they don't wanna mess with their volume to hear your track. I think this relates to the mix density issue above. Any help?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:19 AM   #2
Eliseat
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Hi,

you have a very interesting voice in that mix, but in my opinion its way to dry. It doesn't need a big hall or so but something to get the voice more in upper front instead in the very down direct front. Maybe an ambience, just some subtle reflections? You also should take a look at how the levels are. Sometimes the voice seems not one level (maybe its from the recording?). You could watch the volume waves of the audio items in the arrange view if there are some passages with less volume.

And at the end i would try to fix some intonation problems with reatune. Its not much, but in certain spots it gets nearly a semi tone out of tune. Its pretty easy and subtle to fix and no one will hear the little trick.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCb313W6yf0

The left guitar has a lovely character. I really like it. And it fits perfectly to the rough voice. But if you listen carefully the stereo image seems a bit odd because the guitar is to dry and nearby the listener. In my opinion it needs a bit room to build the opposite of the organ. I would highly recommend a plate reverb.

Bass and Drums sound pretty nice to me. But i only listening over headphones, so i can't say exactly if they have enough presence or not.

This are my thoughts.

And by the way: I like the song and its character.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:50 PM   #3
fred garvin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliseat View Post
Hi,
Hi! Thanks for your kind words and advice. I really appreciate it.

Re the vocals, yah they're problematic. Not much of a singer but I want the song to exist and no one else is gonna sing it so I'm stuck with me lol.

Re pitch, there's a bit of pitch correction going on already, and I think that's become part of the problem, I experimented with it a bit and just left it on while tracking other tracks and I think it's doing some weird stuff that I just got used to. Like at the end of the verses I intentionally do kinda a up and down thing that I think it's having trouble with. Would you give me a example time or arrangement cue of what you mean?

Re vox volume, there are a few things. That part's put together from 3 takes but nothing crazy, whole sections only and all from the same session so I should be able to match them, thought I had more or less. There could be issues with de-essing, I really hammered the S sounds when singing and it made deessing a nightmare. Also not being entirely happy with my singing there are a couple things I tried to just kinda tuck back into the mix lolz. Again, if you could give me a cue much appreciated.

Re reverb, yah good note, I'm trying hard to preserve whatever clarity I've achieved so have been staying away from reverb but I bet it does sound weird in cans to hear that little bit of verb I put on the drums and totally dry vox and guitar. Definitely will address that.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:53 AM   #4
Eliseat
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Hi again,

a plate on a guitar won't "act" as reverb, it just puts the guitar a bit back and fills the dry endings with a tiny tail. And of course it shouldn't be to wide or long. Instead you maybe could just put the guitar a bit more to the left to balance the stereo image.

I highly recommend to watch Kenny's video about reatune that i have linked in the first reply. And in your case i would use the manual mode to have a visual guide of where the tuning doesn't fit the key. There are several words slightly out of tune. But that's not a bad thing. Your voice and singing style reminds me of Udo Lindenberg, a German singer (star) with a very huge fan base. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFmrPIDM6CI
EVERY German knows him and he never sings in perfect tune so ... you also could end up as a star just with voice character and good songs.

The voice volume differs from different takes. That happens if the distance between mouth and micro differs and/or the mood/intensity changed from take to take. As i already described, sometimes you recognize it by the item wave forms in the arrange view. Take a look at where the levels per take seem a bit lower and correct it by increasing or decreasing the take volume until every take looks nearly the same. But don't forget the context. Some passages need to be a bit lower. ...its not easy to describe. I'm not a native speaker.

Reverb doesn't always mean to fill every instrument gap with long tails. Mostly short reverb times help to place the instruments in 3d (depth). And you wouldn't believe how this helps to clear a mix.

At the end i have to say: I love your song. No joke! Its a really good mood making melody. And i could imagine it as a hit after a nice production and maybe with a bit more overwhelming power at the end of the song.

Keep going.

And if you stumble ... just ask. Maybe i or others could make the mix for you.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:01 AM   #5
Eliseat
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"way" and "last" of the second verse are good examples where the voice is a bit out of tuning. I know a lot of singers and musicians who don't hear such imperfections, and of course there a people who just get used to it. Nick Cave would be a good example.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:48 AM   #6
fred garvin
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Awww, thanks, you're so kind, gonna give me the sniffles lol.

Those were good notes, thanks! I put a plate on the guitar and light reverb on the master and it gave the mix more cohesion without mucking it up.

Re "way"and "last", oops, that might just be me "singing", that's a really sad part which I try to convey in the singing, maybe a bit too much sad sauce huh? I'll see what it sounds like if I pull those into key. And yah, lazy of me to rely on auto-autotune rather than using it more judiciously. I'll watch that vid and do it properly.

Re volume issues, ok I think maybe I get it, that might be "sauce" again lol. For instance I'm definitely singing and mixing the second verse a bit quieter again to try to convey the sadness lol, and in the third chorus I definitely sing and mix it a bit louder to signify, I dunno, hope eternal or something. Very unprofessional I'm sure, good note, I'll reel it in a bit.

"Overwhelming power at the end of the song". I literally have actual tears in my eyes, that's exactly what I'm trying for. I feel like you really get my song. Ooops I gotta go to work, again thanks so much, really appreciate it, hey you really wanna do a mix you're welcome to, sorry literally gotta go now lol bye.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:02 AM   #7
fred garvin
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Ugh. Well I listened very critically to my new clearer mix, the reverb thing worked great, also got some air back w the Voxengo overtone eq, and now all I can hear is out of tune lol. Oh well I think I can save it, hope so, I knew those takes were a bit rough, but hell the whole thing's a bit rough, and that was a semi impromptu session actually in Jill's living room so singing to the person the song's about, it would mean something to me to be able to use those takes.

Well thanks again, really appreciate your interest and help, and hey if you were serious about wanting to do a mix I'm serious about saying yes please thank you lol.
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