Old 02-27-2021, 09:57 PM   #1
kindafishy
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Default Music to Murder - Nerve Damage

Time for these old dogs to post a new song. This tune is one of those "I've had this riff sitting around for around for years and years" kind of songs. Ten years gone by bookended by 30 seconds to stumble across the main riff and 10 minutes to finally come up with the rest of it.

Any and all thoughts are most welcome.

Music to Murder - Nerve Damage -> https://app.box.com/s/3lgwlqvrds6rew7jbnzguj7oei2kcoog

Updated to a new revision - final version for now unless there are glaring issues. Toned the guitar down further and pushed it back in the depth field, embiggened the low end, pushed Sammy's main vocals further out front (background vocals are not up front and loud on purpose). It's about as decent as my current skills will allow me to do and I am happy enough with it to ship it. Thanks for all the help, advice and thoughts on the mix. Further comments are most welcome of course, but will be applied to the next mix most likely.


Lyrics and Music by Eagles/Dixon 2021

Feed me now I'm falling... with remedies that push me farther down. Extricate me, desecrate me, leave me now, you're free.

Bleeding out, blown out and faded. No hand to guide, everything is gone. Can't get around this turn again now, too much damage done, too late.

Seeking escape from delayed pain... sanity is getting hard to reach. Sleepwalker, why did you give me these wings, beneath the hanging tree rescinding my sins?

No way out. Chasing dragons through the town. Cranker man is on the prowl.

Guess you're crying… I see you, crying alone for all that's dead and gone.

Reeling down, torn up and jaded. Slam a little dirt now, everything is fine. Don't waste your time, no hope for me now, too much damage done, too late.

Bleeding out, blown out and faded. No hand to guide, everything is gone. Can't get around this turn again now, too much damage done, too late.

Tell you one thing, you'll soon understand this, we all need to be here, bid your world good bye.

Last edited by kindafishy; 03-09-2021 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:20 AM   #2
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Cool song and a nice riff.
The vocals and other instruments doesn't get through.
Maybe you like the riff too much
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:58 AM   #3
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Love it, great jam! Really dig the groovy interplay and the hint of descending into chaos towards the end. I bet it would be really cool played live.

Take care man!
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by msundh View Post
Cool song and a nice riff.
The vocals and other instruments doesn't get through.
Maybe you like the riff too much
Thanks msundh. Ha! I guess this is what happens when the guitar player is allowed to mix a tune.

What are you listening on? Gotta be a translation issue since the relative levels are good on any system I've listened on so far. They are 'featured' to be sure, but maybe they are too hot on certain systems. I'll try to listen on something close to what you're listening on if I can.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Love it, great jam! Really dig the groovy interplay and the hint of descending into chaos towards the end. I bet it would be really cool played live.

Take care man!
Cheers my friend. Very happy you are digging this. This would indeed be a blast to play live. Fun for the lighting folks too, I'd think .

You make me jealous when you talk about how fast you write songs. This one took about 10 years lol.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:58 PM   #6
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I listened through my monitors first.
Did a second listen on my head phones, my normal listening device, and it was better, but not enough to me.
The second half of the song is better.
It's the vocals that I feel get lost in the mix.
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:07 PM   #7
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Nice music, but the voice is too quite.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by msundh View Post
I listened through my monitors first.
Did a second listen on my head phones, my normal listening device, and it was better, but not enough to me.
The second half of the song is better.
It's the vocals that I feel get lost in the mix.
Found a pair of headphones that are letting me hear that I could improve the overall balance. Thanks man. I'll work to improve it in an upcoming revision.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by vitalker View Post
Nice music, but the voice is too quite.
Thanks kindly for the compliment and crit vitalker. The main vocal is intended to be clearly audible at all times, but the background vocals are intentionally placed in the background. I am not a fan of mixes where everything is up front, even and level, rather, I really like to have to really listen to something to get the full effect. It's much more interesting to me personally, so that's where my head is at.

With that in mind, do you feel like the main voice is too quiet? I am listening back and I feel like if I push it up even a half a dB more, it will be out in front of the mix too much. Are we into subjective intent here or do you feel like there is an objective mix problem here?
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kindafishy View Post
With that in mind, do you feel like the main voice is too quiet? I am listening back and I feel like if I push it up even a half a dB more, it will be out in front of the mix too much. Are we into subjective intent here or do you feel like there is an objective mix problem here?
Yes, I feel it like that. I don't know whether there is an objective problem. You better wait for other opinions.
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msundh
Maybe you like the riff too much / It's the vocals that I feel get lost in the mix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitalker
Nice music, but the voice is too quite.
Updated to a new revision. Revisited the guitar processing to reduce the top end focus and lower the prominence in the mix (I actually had a plugin on there that I was experimenting with that I forgot to remove before rendering the first mix - doh). Vocals turned up as much as I thought I could get away with (about a full dB or so across the board).

I think this update improves the guitar tone (it is still pretty high gain for me and top endy/bright but I don't think it is over the top), the overall balance and features the vocals a little more (which it should because the vocals are kickass). Hopefully this sounds more balanced?
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:10 PM   #12
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I haven't listened to the updated version but I noticed in the previous version that the vocal was a little buried. However, the first thing that occurred to me was the vocal and guitar were pretty much dead center. So, if there are two guitars, pan them out a tad (like 10 and 2 o'clock) or if one, to the left or right a tad should automatically make the vocal easier to hear. I would prioritize that over a perfect L/R balance.

Mainly because they are in the same spot in the stereo field and contain similar frequency ranges making them fight each other (assuming I didn't do something silly like listen in mono without realizing it which has happened before).
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:51 AM   #13
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The vocals can now be heard But some of the action, drive has gone.
Don't know how what it is. Maybe the guitar is less heavy, thick?
An idea, the BV at 2:30, emphasize it, maybe a crescendo?
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I haven't listened to the updated version but I noticed in the previous version that the vocal was a little buried. However, the first thing that occurred to me was the vocal and guitar were pretty much dead center. So, if there are two guitars, pan them out a tad (like 10 and 2 o'clock) or if one, to the left or right a tad should automatically make the vocal easier to hear. I would prioritize that over a perfect L/R balance.

Mainly because they are in the same spot in the stereo field and contain similar frequency ranges making them fight each other (assuming I didn't do something silly like listen in mono without realizing it which has happened before).
Indeed they are both dead center. I generally don't double track guitars. Partially because I prefer the sound of a single guitar but mostly because I play so loosely that I find it difficult to double and maintain a feel I like. It gets too stodgy if I try to be tight.

With the updated mix I did try to move the vocals more to the front and refocused the frequency of the guitar so it's a bit lower. I think it helped, but I am open to moving it a bit out to the side as a next move if that wasn't enough. Fully agree with you on what should be the priority.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by msundh View Post
The vocals can now be heard But some of the action, drive has gone.
Don't know how what it is. Maybe the guitar is less heavy, thick?
An idea, the BV at 2:30, emphasize it, maybe a crescendo?
I think I had to make a trade off with the guitar. I took a layer of saturation/distortion off of it to smooth out the top but that reduced a lot of the forward movement that comes from saturation. It lowered the sense of aggression a little bit. Gave the vocals more room and they are more important of course. You've given me an idea to try to try to thicken the mids on the guitar with a bit of that saturation I removed, but target it more carefully. I might be able to get a little of the aggression back while keeping the top end a little more tamed.

I LOVE the vocals at 2:30. Those were stuck in my head for days upon days. Just kept singing it over and over again to myself. Ear worm. That's such a hook. I like your idea. I can automate those up to a bit more of a swell for sure.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:35 PM   #16
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Killer riff indeed! Aggressive.. Reminded me of early Judas Priest. Raw, no frills - in your face. Nice interplay with the kit. Always a sucker for some nice syncopation...

Liked the keys around 2:15.

Nicely done! Great ending! Great vox by Sam as usual..
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:20 PM   #17
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Killer riff indeed! Aggressive.. Reminded me of early Judas Priest. Raw, no frills - in your face. Nice interplay with the kit. Always a sucker for some nice syncopation...

Liked the keys around 2:15.

Nicely done! Great ending! Great vox by Sam as usual..
Thanks brother. Judas Priest, eh? We'll definitely take that. Raw hard rock was the goal here for sure. I really like the keys too. Those are all Sammy. I think they bring in a really nice contrast to the rest of the song. Gives a bit of atmosphere and class to what is otherwise scruffy and straight to the point.

Awesome vocals. Sam always delivers the goods .
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:16 PM   #18
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Cool riff! The odd timing drew me in right away.

Sounds nice and tight. all the textures sound nice and rich.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:30 PM   #19
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Cool riff! The odd timing drew me in right away.

Sounds nice and tight. all the textures sound nice and rich.
Kind thanks Glennbo. I really appreciate the timing and tightness comments coming from a talented drummer such as yourself. I think there is room for improvement in this mix. I'm a bit burnt out on it right now though. Trying to motivate myself to polish it up a little bit. Cheers man. Appreciate it!
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:53 PM   #20
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Kind thanks Glennbo. I really appreciate the timing and tightness comments coming from a talented drummer such as yourself. I think there is room for improvement in this mix. I'm a bit burnt out on it right now though. Trying to motivate myself to polish it up a little bit. Cheers man. Appreciate it!
I get the the trying to motivate thing. I've adopted a policy that I will blow music off 100% until I'm really having fun, which results in some dry time, but the "on" time is so much better.

Your song drew me in instantly because of the timing. Maybe a big surprise nobody was expecting FX wise could spark up the old ears, but I regress. I'm just a caveman drummer who fell into some ice.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:45 AM   #21
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Ohh, great guitar riff - no wonder you've been behind that
for so long. It was worth it. It's just fun to hear.

On the other hand: The vocals stay a bit pale. We also
have the problem of getting the right volume ratios.
Maybe you should check again how the song - heard
from a distance - works?

The microtiming looks very lively. We might make it more
closely, but that's a matter of taste.

Overall: You can hear the love for the guitar and for
playing, that's really great!
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:33 PM   #22
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I like this a lot, but I have to agree that the vocals need to stand out more. Perhaps both raise the vocals a bit and pull the guitar down a little, just where the vocals are. Is there any compression or saturation on the vocals? Either or both can help raise the presence of the vocals without increasing the peak level.
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Old 03-07-2021, 06:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by enroe View Post
Ohh, great guitar riff - no wonder you've been behind that
for so long. It was worth it. It's just fun to hear.

On the other hand: The vocals stay a bit pale. We also
have the problem of getting the right volume ratios.
Maybe you should check again how the song - heard
from a distance - works?

The microtiming looks very lively. We might make it more
closely, but that's a matter of taste.

Overall: You can hear the love for the guitar and for
playing, that's really great!
Thanks enroe. Just trying to get motivated to go back to it and do some tweaking, but I will be looking at the vocals more closely. Tried with a revised version already (the one you likely heard), but I still didn't go far enough. That reassures me that it's not a level problem, rather it is a masking/translation problem. I'll try to get to the bottom of it.

Indeed, the timing could be tighter, but I'm a bit of a hack that hides behind the old "as long as it feels good" excuse. It's not so much a matter of taste as much as it's a matter of being the limits of my (lack of) technical proficiency. Feels good and gets me grooving, so I'm happy enough. It's only rock and roll after all.

Thanks very much for your thoughts. Appreciated!
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Old 03-07-2021, 06:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Time Waster View Post
I like this a lot, but I have to agree that the vocals need to stand out more. Perhaps both raise the vocals a bit and pull the guitar down a little, just where the vocals are. Is there any compression or saturation on the vocals? Either or both can help raise the presence of the vocals without increasing the peak level.
I'll look at both of those possibilities to improve the vocal focus. It is for sure my intention that they should be the focus so if they are not, that is a mistake on my part.

There is some compression and level automation on the vocals, but they are not squished as you can hear. Light saturation for a bit of tone, but done in parallel so that won't be affecting dynamics much. That you are asking about these things must mean that they are audible and up front sometimes but not all the time.

I feel like I have some frequency masking issues happening here, but I will take another look at my compression settings. I wanted to retain a good deal of Sammy's dynamics but maybe I should lock them in place a bit more.

Kind thanks for the great feedback.
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Old 03-07-2021, 07:21 PM   #25
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I feel like I have some frequency masking issues happening here
That was the reason for the panning advice early on, it's going to be a bit of a fight to keep the vox/guitar from fighting if they are stepping on each other - when items are in their proper separate sonic places (frequency, time or stereo field), masking issues go away without needing other tools. Always ask yourself "am I shoving two things that have similar ranges in the exact same sonic spot?" if so, consider never getting into that situation from the getgo if possible... that said...

If they must/should stay in the middle you might side chain the guitar to the vocal with a compressor on the guitar that tucks the guitar back a smidge when the vocal comes in and brings it back up when the vocal stops.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:03 PM   #26
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That was the reason for the panning advice early on, it's going to be a bit of a fight to keep the vox/guitar from fighting if they are stepping on each other - when items are in their proper separate sonic places (frequency, time or stereo field), masking issues go away without needing other tools. Always ask yourself "am I shoving two things that have similar ranges in the exact same sonic spot?" if so, consider never getting into that situation from the getgo if possible... that said...

If they must/should stay in the middle you might side chain the guitar to the vocal with a compressor on the guitar that tucks the guitar back a smidge when the vocal comes in and brings it back up when the vocal stops.
Indeed, and I am planning on taking your advice but I haven't done any tweaks since then .

I am hoping only to change the panning of the guitar if I have no other option. I have heard mono mixes that are perfectly fine and I do want to have the guitar up the middle so I want to give other options a shot first. I am planning on lowering the frequency focal point of the guitar so they aren't as close to where the vocals live and I am planning to attenuate the transients a little to push them behind the vocals as well. I don't think it is too far off. I think some subtle changes will do.

As you suggest, ducking is also an option but like changing the panning, I'd like to see if I can get it working better together without doing something like this first (I did use ducking in the past with another song where I had a mono guitar up the middle with very good results, so I know it can be a good and natural sounding option).

I very, very often have one guitar and vocals, so this is stuff I need to learn how to deal with better for sure. We shall see. I'll PM you when I put up a new mix or maybe before I put up a new mix to see what you think.

Thanks for the help karbo.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:54 AM   #27
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I didn't mean to push the idea too hard, it might not do the trick. Either way good jams!
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:04 PM   #28
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You definitely didn't push too hard karbo. Your thoughts are invaluable.

Updated to what is the final version for now unless there are glaring issues. Toned the guitar down further and pushed it back in the depth field, embiggened the low end, pushed Sammy's main vocals further out front (background vocals are not up front and loud on purpose).

Thanks to all for your observations and advice, it was all super helpful and all very much appreciated.

Updated link is in the original post if anyone would like to check it out.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:40 PM   #29
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Sounds good to me.
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