Old 08-23-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
zoso2
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I'm mixing this song for an old friend, it's a beautiful piece but i'm not sure if i'm missing something or what else i can do to make the mix better. It peaks at -16 so be prepared to crank it up.

Mix 2http://www.box.net/shared/n6f29c1dsu

Mix 4 http://www.box.net/shared/0ch5cvcegt

Last edited by zoso2; 08-26-2010 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:53 PM   #2
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Seems to be conflicting reverbs. The drums sound like they were recorded in a small room, but one of the guitars has a large hall echo/reverb.
I'm always trying to get away from a small room sound as much as possible, but in this case, it might be easier to embrace it.
Rather than a large reverb, try a echo/delay to give the same musical effect, then a small room reverb to put it in the same acoutic space as the rest of the band. Hopefully it'll make that guitar sound less like an over-dub.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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the electric guitar was recorded that way with effects so nothing i can do, unless i try to match it by reverbing everything else but that's not really the way i envisioned the song.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:37 PM   #4
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Nice song and good vocals for sure.

The ride is too loud and the rest of the drums are too quiet. There is a boominess to the vocals in some places that you may want to notch a bit. It sounds a little bit like there are too many frequencies trying to occupy the same space, so finding better placement for the various instruments may help gain a little more clarity in the mix.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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thanks for the reply kindafishy, i was beginning to think that maybe i had the perfect mix on my hands haha. this friend of mine is not a gear head like many of us here and only has 2 mics at his disposal so the drums were recorded with 2 room mics, one close and one farther away, so as far as the overall drum mix i can't do much there, i will fiddle around with the multiband compressor a little bit more though. i'll do some more tweaking with the LPF and HPF to fit each instrument in it's "niche"
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoso2 View Post
the electric guitar was recorded that way with effects so nothing i can do, unless i try to match it by reverbing everything else but that's not really the way i envisioned the song.
Sounds like you're already painted into a corner. Classic case of "I've recorded some songs in a bathroom onto an answering machine, do you reckon you can remix it for me?". I'd say the mix is pretty good, given the limitations. Hopefully your friend has expectations that match his level of gear
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:22 AM   #7
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Interesting problem with the drums. I agree that you have done a great job given the limitations you are facing.

Something you could try with the drums (I have never tried this before so take it for what it's worth) is to bring down the ride with phase inversion.

If I was trying this, I would duplicate the drum track to another track, isolate the ride as much as possible and then flip the phase. If it works, the ride will get much quieter in the mix. Play with it from there to get the right level.

I dunno if it will work, but it might be fun to try.

Another possibility is to duplicate the kit, and on the duplicated track, LP it to get rid of all the highs, maybe somewhere between 500Hz and 1k. Then, compress it heavily to make it pump and then bring it up under the original kit. This should balance the kit quite a bit. This is just NY comp with a strong LP, really.

Anyone else have tricks to mixing a kit recorded as described?
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:56 AM   #8
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That performance is sure worth to squeeze the max out of it mixwise. I like the fact that the vocals are very emotional.

I hear that song close to the folks above.

I miss low end and too many instruments are clashing in the highs. I guess you mixed the ride cymbal too loud just to make it stand out enough off that clash. Reduce treble on the clashing instuments could help.

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindafishy View Post
Interesting problem with the drums. I agree that you have done a great job given the limitations you are facing.

Something you could try with the drums (I have never tried this before so take it for what it's worth) is to bring down the ride with phase inversion.

If I was trying this, I would duplicate the drum track to another track, isolate the ride as much as possible and then flip the phase. If it works, the ride will get much quieter in the mix. Play with it from there to get the right level.

I dunno if it will work, but it might be fun to try.

Another possibility is to duplicate the kit, and on the duplicated track, LP it to get rid of all the highs, maybe somewhere between 500Hz and 1k. Then, compress it heavily to make it pump and then bring it up under the original kit. This should balance the kit quite a bit. This is just NY comp with a strong LP, really.

Anyone else have tricks to mixing a kit recorded as described?
why didn't i think of this? i will definitely give it a try and see how it goes.

@ stupeT: I was probably over compensating for the amount of bass that my friend had in his original demo mix. and plus there are 4 bass tracks. one regular bass and one bass played with a violin bow to get a cello sound, each close mic'd and room mic'd
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:22 PM   #10
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This is a neat track. The only thing I have to add that hasn't been mentioned already is that the vocals sound a bit sibilant. I'm thinking a de-esser and some EQ adjustments might help.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat View Post
This is a neat track. The only thing I have to add that hasn't been mentioned already is that the vocals sound a bit sibilant. I'm thinking a de-esser and some EQ adjustments might help.
yes I meant to get rid of this. i tried using the JS deesser in reaper but i couldn't tell if it was working or not, i don't think i understand how to use it actually.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
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yes I meant to get rid of this. i tried using the JS deesser in reaper but i couldn't tell if it was working or not, i don't think i understand how to use it actually.
I find reaXcomp to be pretty easy to use as a de-esser.

About Phase inversion: don't bother trying to do anything like this on cymbals. Because of the large area, high frequencies and inconsitenties in the way sound is produced from cymbals, you'll have no luck. The most you'll do is ruin the sound of everything else that's picked up by those mics.

Anything with low frequencies (bass and drums other than snare) might have a bit better chance, but its a massive shot in the dark.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdfactormax View Post
About Phase inversion: don't bother trying to do anything like this on cymbals. Because of the large area, high frequencies and inconsitenties in the way sound is produced from cymbals, you'll have no luck.
Not quite the case, friend.
Duplicating the track and inverting it will null it completely, regardless of the amount of high frequencies present.
Duplicate the drum tracks, polarity-invert one set, isolate the ride as best you can, and slowly mix the inverted track in, letting the polarity inversion bring down the ride (hopefully) without doing too much damage to the rest of the track.
Edit: I also don't like the kick. A sample might do good things here.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdfactormax View Post
I find reaXcomp to be pretty easy to use as a de-esser.

About Phase inversion: don't bother trying to do anything like this on cymbals. Because of the large area, high frequencies and inconsitenties in the way sound is produced from cymbals, you'll have no luck. The most you'll do is ruin the sound of everything else that's picked up by those mics.

Anything with low frequencies (bass and drums other than snare) might have a bit better chance, but its a massive shot in the dark.
the ride has quite a high frequency and there are basically zero other cymbals being played so i managed to isolate it really effectively in ReaFir. so the ride sounds quite a lot better. I upped the bass a bit too. (i'm mixing on headphones which accentuate the bass so it's hard to know if the level i hear translates well on other speakers)

Put a LPF on the spacey electric guitar, it's a bit more distinguishable from the acoustic now.

@ kindafishy: when you said boomyness in the vocals were you talking about the plosives due to lack of pop filter?
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:23 AM   #15
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First off, I have to tell you that the more I listen to this song, the more I like it.

The vocals have a really nice low end, but there is a bit of a resonance in some places thoughout the song. It's part of the character of his voice though, so it's not a bad thing. Maybe it should just be left alone. I think what I am hearing is proximity effect, moreso after 2:13 or so. Maybe he got a little closer to the mic from here on in? If you do find and attenuate these frequencies at all, it likely only needs a very gentle 1dB or so. Listening more though, I am not convinced that it needs it. Maybe some other opinions?

Now that you mention it, the plosives are pretty pronounced. I didn't notice until you pointed it out though.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #16
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i should have just kept my mouth shut! haha. i've managed to use ReaXcomp as a de-esser can i use this to reduce the plosives as well? what do you guys suggest?
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:05 PM   #17
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I did this recently on a track and I located them one by one, zoomed in on them and EQed them out with a band filter. Used automation to engage/bypass the EQ when required.

Ask him to tear up some pantyhose next time .
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:35 PM   #18
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Ask him to tear up some pantyhose next time .
Pantyhose + wire clothes hanger = serviceable pop filter.
Studio engineering at it's best.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:41 PM   #19
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updated the OP with mix 4, mix 3 wasn't anything special, the ride cymbal is much quieter and the rest of the drums especially snare seem to jump out a bit more, thanks to kindafishy's phase flip idea. the bass was over compressed, fixed that and upped the levels of it a little bit too. i just used some volume automation for the plosives in the vocals, i kept getting weird pops when my eq was bypassed/unbypassed in such quick succession. and overall i got each of the instruments sitting a little better in the mix.

http://www.box.net/shared/0ch5cvcegt

and yes i did tell him the panyhose and clothes hanger idea. i've actually used a kleenex if no pantyhose are lying around. works pretty good as well in a bind.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:39 AM   #20
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Sounding good, man.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:29 AM   #21
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thanks fishy, any suggestions for this mix?
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:06 AM   #22
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It's at the point now where you could do some creative stuff with it if you want to. You could also call it done. I don't hear anything else I would say is a taking away from the mix... maybe a little sibilance here and there.

Maybe...

It sounds like most everything is up the centre, so you could look at spreading stuff out a bit maybe. A mono sounding mix is working well for the song though. If you do that, you will create more space and open it up for a subtle reverb or delay bus to create the ambiance you want and control the space that everything is in. Then again, it sounds good the way it is.

Depends where you want it to go, or if you like where it is now. How do you hear it in your head?
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:42 PM   #23
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I have everything panned where i want them. I have the vocals on a reverb bus and the acoustic guitars a little bit, the electric was spacey enough so i didn't put it on the verb bus and the drums have a room mic so i didn't bother putting verb on them either. I'm thinking i might call it good and try and master it as best as i can, mastering is new territory for me though, however i don't think it needs much besides some loudness and maybe some mastering reverb.

thanks for you help man and i'm glad you like the tune/mix.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:32 PM   #24
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Cool tune. I actually kind of like the mixture of reverbs. It almost makes the the track sounds layered. I'm not a huge fan of the kick either, but the ride is the bigger issue. Still...it's a good vocal performance, and none of this is enough to distract from that.
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