2nd Mix of 2nd Album Track "When I Die"

Based on the kind comments I received on the last version of this one, I made a few changes, re-recorded a few things, and did a few tweaks. Here’s my second version of the mix:

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There’s many things that I’m hearing that I don’t recall hearing when you posted this before. It could be that my recollection isn’t that great but there are definitely some thing that you’ve obviously changed and/ or re-tracked. The vocals at the very end of the song is a solid improvement. Sounds like a significantly better ending. It sounds like you re-tracked the vocals in the part at 1:52. That’s sounding solid now.

The very first thing I noticed when the song starts is the guitar trill. Did you track that again? I seem to remember it being a bit slower before. I’m very possibly wrong on that one.

Next thing I noticed was the bass (maybe it’s the bass and guitar combination). I don’t remember the bass having the same impact in the verse that it does now. It seems like it cuts through, even when I’m just listening through laptop speakers. The tone sounds different. I like that !

Even the chorus vocal sounds smoother than before. I’m probably just remembering that wrong though.

I love the way you create a big soundscape and get that 3 dimensional mix. All the guitar frills/ embellishments add depth and colour. Everything is just …right. I think you’re done with this mix…if not, you’re pretty damn close!

There’s a ton of things going on in the song and I’ve already forgotten a few subtleties that I was wondering if you added/ changed for this mix. This is sounding great !

Too many things to mention but I gotta say, I love the big chorus!

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Wow Andrew,
Another fantastic song! I was surprised by your recent post about only your friends and family buying your album or listing to your streams. The world doesn’t know what it’s missing. I get the feeling that if you had put out this music in the 70’s you might have had huge success. It really is that good. I love the way it’s a heavy song but still has all this acoustic ear candy. Bits of sparkling acoustic guitar, breaks with interesting chords. It’s all there.
I’m listening on my laptop and can’t hear anything to nag about.
And I get what you’re saying with the subject of your song. The last question “when I die will I be alone?” lingers on and starts reverberating in your head. Good stuff…

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hadnt heard this one before, dont know where this was hiding! Great song, great arrangement, great mix

only thing striking out to me is the the harshness of the note in the chorus “when I die” , the vocals are a bit shrill there around 0:34 s , its not the loudness of the note, they have an unpleasantness that comes out for a wee bit, like a slight warping of the delay or the reverb, then again at 0:49s and 3:22 and later. Only thing I would suggest is a different delay or reverb for those high notes in the chorus, something a bit cleaner so the scream comes out livid and undampened.

It could also be the wetness from one of the guitar tracks colliding in those parts. I noticed this on one track in the progress where the vocals go, ‘and the cars, the congestion, the pollution’ , they had a similar effect when layered with the guitar but the vocals themselves were clean and clear. I did a slight deverbing of the guitars in just that area that seemed to lessen the issue and replaced it with a dry delay for a few seconds than back to normal. I am not quite sure if its the solution or not.

Rock solid!

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Glad you worked on it. You should post the first one for comparison. Wild bridge for sure. Can’t even imagine the guitar work time you have in this. Unreal the accents. Love when you come down in the verse. The chorus is as good as it gets. No kidding.
I remember the first time I thought I had said (I think) that it was a bit cluttered in places. Not anymore.
I know the lyrics are great, but this time I only focused on the music. It had a top gun feel to it. I am hearing movie possibilities. Hard to fault anything for sure. Big congrats on your extra effort.

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Nice one Andrew love this style of stuff .Sounding great just on my pc speakers

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I’ve listened a couple of times. I’m trying to come up with something constructive to tell you. Sorry I got nuthin’. :wink: Love the arrangement and the guitar playing. Sounds great Andrew!

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Thank you all for taking the time to listen and comment - Much appreciated!

I did re-tracked the vocals in the bridge (I think that was your suggestion?) and added some harmonies underneath it. I re-tracked the very end, and I might have changed the odd lyric that I wasn’t happy with.

No, that is unchanged from the last version.

Those are both unchanged, except for I edited one note on the bass guitar in the bridge that was poking out too much for me.

Thanks W… I think I’m pretty happy with this mix. I’ll probably call it done for now, then take one last look at it when I have the rest of the album completed.

Thanks Evert! Glad you like it… Actually, I usually give my albums away to any family or friends. I think the streams and sales are actually mostly from people I don’t know who have somehow managed to find my music. I’m fairly certain of that because there are a lot of streams from countries I don’t have any friends or relatives in!

Cool - Yeah it’s not exactly lightweight subject matter, but hopefully it is something people can relate to.

It was “hiding” here:

Thanks, I’ll check that out.

Hmmm… That’s strange, I don’t usually track guitars with any reverb on them. Unless I’m going for a specific effect (like the rotary speaker effect in one of the bridge guitars in “Progress”, the only thing I sometimes bake into the guitar tracking is my Carl Martin DeLayla pedal’s delay. :thinking:

Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

Thanks Paul! The first one is in the link above.

Thank you Allan! Good to know it translates.

Thanks Mike! Yeah, I think I’m happy with this at this stage. Workin’ on the next mix at present!


Few days later and I listen to this mix and as usual lot things and parts in the song.
It has some very “guitarish” sound you always has in your mixes, but for guitar-oriented song, there is nothing here.
Mixing-wise, it’s as polished as you used to do and it sounds great.
Two things (matter of taste for sure):

  • I missed some low-end (or lo-mid) on the bass guitar (around 150 Hz) and let that area a bit empty I found.
  • Except the part when the tambourine is playing, I found the song lacking of some hi end stuff to open the mix in that range

By the way, great production, writing skills, playing and recording, as usual Sir!

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Thanks Phil, I appreciate the listen and comment.

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Sounds really good, Andrew. I’m listening on my cell phone and it presents quite well on my ditsy speakers. Well-balanced. The bass and low end are good. Would love to know more about your treatment of the low end and how you accomplished that. I know you use maxx bass on many (most?) of your mixes. Anything else? I was just listening to some old mixes of mine and they sound decent on my headphones (Sennheiser HD600) and on my monitors, but do pass the cell phone test. Crap. (These are the songs I’ll be posting on AMC in the next day or so),

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Thanks Tes… Good to hear it translates well…

I think the bass translation on small speakers is due to the gobs of distortion and saturation I usually slather on the bass. Solo’d, the bass tones in my mixes are pretty damn ugly, but it’s those upper harmonics generated by the distortion that are coming through.

As I said before, my technique is still pretty much the same as described in detail here

Very nice. I love how you’re playing it loose in there from time to time; it gives it a hard rock swing and sounds like Godzilla is stomping into the picture.
Really adventurous and entertaining. The singing is great, it is hard to keep the dynamics right when you have to reach up there with the guitars banging away, but I think you nailed it.

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Thanks Bob! I appreciate the kind comments!