4th song of New Album, Mix 1 - "Fade"

4th song of New Album, Mix 1 - "Fade"
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Another mix done - A bit of a “mini-epic” at just shy of 5 minutes…How’s it sounding?

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Awesome. Listening on my PC speakers which are decent enough. Love the space in the mix, even when things build up.
Nothing huge to note from me. The only minor thing I picked up was the fill at 2:31 (the first two tom hits) seem to poke out more noticeably compared to the other fills in that section.

Love the lead guitar sound. Would like to know what your settup/setting are there. There is clearly not a huge amount of gain there, as you can hear that it is almost not enough during the run at around 3:25, yet the notes sustain well enough, say at 3:40.

Can’t comment on the length as I often listen to and write lengthy songs. All I can say is that even with the lengthy solo, I didn’t get bored, so that’s a good sign.

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Hi Andrew!
Sounds excellent to me! No suprise there…
Some nice lyrics as well.
Two things I have to mention.
I guess you did it intentionally but the solo part from 3:14 to 3:43 sounds a bit emptier/weaker to me compared to the part leading to it. The hihat and tambourine might be a bit too loud and distracting. Might also be the way the bass plays.
Regarding the length of the song, if you had to shorten it I think the part from 2:59 to 3:13 could be the one to skip or at least half of it.

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Hey Andrew,

One of my favorite songs by you, for sure. I like that it is less on the heavy side of rock, that it has some jazzy accents here and there and the fretless bass is awesome. As usual in your productions, I particularly appreciate the richness of the arrangement and the well-thought structure.

To answer the question, I think it sounds great. Guitar tones are beautiful, the mix is expertly crafted. I have not much to comment that might be useful to you. The only things I can say is that I am not a fan of the snare sound. It sounds to me like a metal-ish snare, I wish it was a bit fatter with more snares and more sustain, but that’s mostly a matter of taste.

Also when I listen to your mix loud, I find there’s a little bit of harshness in the high mids, but I can’t spot something in particular in the mix that would cause this.

Nice to see the album is slowly but surely being built!

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sounding real good!
I think I remember hearing an earlier version of this.
sub coming a bit heavy 2:26 - 2-40 but everywhere else seems fine
same section the guitar tone has some unpleasantness. I think that is likely your ‘hotspot’ area for minor issues.

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Sounding really good here mate on some desktop speakers .Also unplugged them and even sounds good on just my laptop speaker and fantastic in my cans too.Your not going to improve much on that

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Very nice, epics work for me. Love the pedal steel effects and clean chordal parts, could do more with that. Kind of Zeppelinish at 3:00 ; always a good thing. Maybe something to make the drums mellower at the quiet parts and make more contrast, not sure what, just a thought.

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Thanks Dan - cool, good to know it translates!

NIce pick up! Thanks for that.

The lead tone is my 95 Fender Lonestar Strat, mainly on the front pickup, but switching to the bridge pickup for the lead break and then back again at the end of the lead break. That runs into a Vox Big Ben Overdrive and then into my Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special Amp (Channel 2 set to slight overdrive). I have a Carl Martin DeLayla XL delay pedal in the FX loop. I bypass the Mesa’s speaker and run directly into my Marshall 2 x 12 cab loaded with 25w “Greenback” Celestion speakers.

I just mic’d up the cab with in SM57 and ran it straight into my Steinberg MR816CSX mic pres. I ran the speaker and mic cables down to my work van under the house, covered it with a blanket, shut the van up and turned it up LOUD. Getting that separation was a great way find the right placement for the mic on the speaker.

Here are some photos:

Good to know! Thanks!

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Thanks George! With the last album, I was pretty brutal about cutting any “fat” from the arrangements and honing them to be as catchy as possible. I’m not going for that vibe with this album.

Of course, I realise that I could cut a lot of the solo section and make the song more “succinct”. But I also think that would make the song somewhat more “one-dimensional”.

I’m going for less “pop”, more adventurous arrangements that tend to take longer to develop. The extended solo in this track came together pretty spontaneously, and I want to keep that adventurous spirit, rather than overthink it.

Thanks for your input - much appreciated!

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Thanks Jean-Marc! Yeah, I imagine the mellow part of this track is right up your alley!

By and large, the snare sound is not a matter of choice, as it is a live drum kit, and that was how the drums were tuned when they were recorded. I could have replaced the snare sound with a deeper one, but I preferred to use the natural sound of the drums. A BIG component of the drum sound is the room sound, so I had to make the best of what I had.

Interesting… I cranked the mix up in the car just yesterday, but I didn’t notice any harshness. I actually thought it sounded pretty mellow (even in the ‘heavy’ bits) compared to a lot of commercial releases.

Thanks for your input!

Thanks Michelle. I do think I could tighten the bass on this. I notice this when I play the mix loud in my car.

Maybe the guitar tone thing is what @Lophophora was talking about? Probably switching from a humbucker to a single coil at that point might be what you’re hearing.

Thanks for your help!

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Thanks Alan. That’s good to hear… I’m sure there is always something that can be done to make a mix better… As they say: “A mix is never finished, just abandoned”!

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Thanks Ingo. I actually toyed with the idea of automating the drums a little more like you describe. There is actually a fair variance in how the drummer plays the different sections already, but accentuating that further with automation definitely wouldn’t hurt

Thanks for listening and commenting!

No, it was more a general feeling. But listening back today I realise that it was actually a fleeting impression, I don’t have it today. I listened at the end of a day I spent mixing so it was probably just ear fatigue.

By the way I forgot to mention that the background noise/hiss from the electric guitar is quite high and clearly audible in the right channel at the beginning of the song. I guess leaving it can be a choice, maybe to make it feel more authentic, but I personally don’t like it when it is too noticeable.

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I remember this song. The mix is sounding great !

I’m listening through my AKG K-77 headphones.

There’s not really anything to bash here. It’s all a matter of taste. Some may find the snare drum too snappy and high impact at times. I can understand that point of view but I don’t think it really bothers me much. Had I not read what others have wrote I may not have even zeroed in on that. Also, I’m a hard rock/ metal fan, so I’m probably very used to a big, loud snare drum

I give this one 2 thumbs up! :+1: :+1:

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Crazy!
So, to be clear - after you mic it up in the van, you play a little, go back, move the mic and play more and compare and adjust until you get a good tone? I mean, as I type that, it seems obvious that we would do similar in the home studio or amp room or similar… it must look odd to the neighbours!!! :grinning:

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Intro is sexy…and long:) Soooo clean. I read the other comments and I can’t compete with their refined ears. I can hear every word you say/sing for the first time. congrats this is awesome.

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Thanks W!

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Yeah, this is what I call my ‘guerrilla recording” tactic. Doing it as a Reamp is even better, because you don’t have to strap on the guitar and play in between going out to the “control room” to move the mic.

Thanks Paul, good to know! BTW, I made a bit of a vocal breakthrough on this one. When I originally recorded the demo for this, I wanted to sing the really high “fade away” part, but I just couldn’t get that highest note. I could sing the Eb, but not the high E…so I found an an alternative. In the meantime, I’ve been experimenting with vocal technique, and had a bit of a breakthrough. I was pretty chuffed to learn that, as a result, I’ve managed to extend my range a semi tone!