Bash this indie folk song: Witness

Bash this indie folk song: Witness
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#21

[quote=“ColdRoomStudio, post:20, topic:1308”]
With this style of stacked vocals, sibilants always generally become an issue in the mix phase, particularly when you compress. One very effective way to deal with this is to over-de-ess the stacked vocals and leave the main vocal to carry the weight of the sibilants.
[/quote]I edit the sibilants out completely. The backing vocals sound crazy in solo but mixed in with the track they sound totally normal, with the added bonus of tightening up the timing - i.e. no flamming caused by each take starting and finishing at slightly different times.


#22

Nicely done and as per usual for my taste Andrew has nailed it with his suggestions. Take some time and try those out and repost and not only will the mix improve but also your mixing ability. I really appreciate you sharing the process with us.


#23

This is a really nice song! It has a lot of feeling.

I really like the embellishments of both the instruments and the vocals. The vocal embellishments especially bring more colour to the song.

The biggest flaw in the recording that stood out to me right away was the fret squeaking on the acoustic guitar. I know that some other people mentioned that also. The good news is the song sounded so good that even the annoying fret squeaks didn’t turn me off…and like others have said that kind of thing can be fixed in the mix.

Over all, this is just a great job! How the hell can I bash this? WTF?


#24

@ColdRoomStudio Wow, thank you for taking the time to do that! I definitely like the clarity that you achieved on the master track. That gives me something to aim for. I agree that all the stacked vocals were giving me issues, especially with the reverb, and I did end up EQing them more heavily when I had a second go of it. And those string squeaks are something I will never let happen again when I’m recording! I did a little research and convinced myself that I could effectively edit them out, but I used automation, plus de-essing, plus more de-essing, and they are still sticking out too much. Never again!!! Haha.

I’ll go ahead and update the original post with the video I ended up with. I made some small changes to the mix based on feedback, though it could still be better. I applied heavier de-essing to the vocals, tried (and mostly failed) to turn down those squeaks, cut out some mud, and brought up the level of the main vocals a bit, (while also bringing down the vocal’s boosted highs.) I do think it sounds a bit better at least. What’s a bit funny is that I boosted the muddy regions on the master track originally, because I thought it added warmth. It does, in a way, but it was still tough to hear the vocal. I love mixes where the track is incredibly rich–both sparkly and deep–and yet somehow the vocal shines brightly on top of it and is clear without being overpowering. I guess that’s just called a good mix, haha.

Thanks for all the excellent feedback and kind words!


#25

[quote=“AJ113, post:21, topic:1308, full:true”]

This is a great idea. I tend to use heavy de-essing on backing vocals for that reason, but I’ll have to give this a try!


#26

Yep, I do that heaps…, it can sound weird in solo but works very nicely for layered backing voxes/voxi? :slight_smile:


#27

In a quick effort to test drive my copy of Ozone that @BigAlRocks gave us a link to here: (Would you like iZotope Ozone 8 Elements for FREE?) , I fired up this gem and gave it a quick go. I sure enjoy this song @Cristina. It’s a rough mix, and my room isn’t really set up lately, but it was still fun to fire up some plugins that I picked up but hadn’t tried yet. :+1:


#28

My bad. I was editing and accidentally deleted the link… here you go.


#29

Hey Bryan, this sounds great on my grotbox speakers at work… but, did you render it in mono?

I’d like to have another listen on my studio speakers.


#30

Haha! That totally sounds like something I’d do! I’ll check


#31

Bryan, thanks for posting on this thread! This is the first I’ve heard this gem. I’ve been listening to all the versions while reading through the thread. Simply beautiful @Cristina! You really have a knack for “moments” in your tunes. i.e. When the chorus hits at 2:00… Haunting. Wow!


#32

You hadn’t heard that one @miked? Yeah, @Cristina is a great songwriter and has a real knack for creating interest musically too!


#33

Don’t know how I missed this one. (??) Oh well, thanks again for reposting on the thread. :grin:


#34

Hi Cristina,

This is a great song, really. I like everything about it, and as a fan of the Netflix show the lyrics also resonated deeply with me.

The mix is already pretty good imo, but since you’re after perfection my comment would be that you should change your mic placement next time you record your guitar. Those squeaky fret noises are prominent enough to distract my attention from the essential, and I don’t think this can be addressed properly at mix stage without losing some of the natural guitar tone. I also think there’s some frequency masking going on between the guitar and the vocals in the highs, you should probably make room for the vocals somewhere up there. Finally, there is indeed a little confusion in the lows and mid-lows, although I don’t think it is as drastic as previously mentioned.

Lastly, the percussions also collide with the guitar frequency-wise, I think it would be worth finding another sound or tweaking the EQ so that each instrument finds its own place in the mix.

Congrats for the beautiful song!

BTW, this Tascam Portastudio reminds me of very old times when I started making demos as a teenager :slight_smile:


#35

That’s totally what I did. hahaha. I left it in mono after I checked it. :stuck_out_tongue:
Here’s the correct one!


#36

Hey @ColdRoomStudio, do you mind checking out that latest version I threw on here? I’m curious about the lows especially. Like I mentioned, I hadn’t set my room back up all the way when I moved my desk (room treatment, etc), so I’ve lost track of where I should be. Seemed ok on my end, but you know how it goes. lol


#37

Don’t feel bad, I missed it too!


#38

WONDERFUL I can finally hear that VOICE.


#39

Hey Bryan,

I’m at work now, so I’ll try to have a listen when I get home tonight.


#40

Hey Bryan, not that you’re asking, but… :grinning:

The bass sounds good to me, but this mix seems a bit “top-heavy”, that is too “brittle” perhaps on the high end and not enough warmth. Probably just a taste thing though. Damn this is a beautiful heart-wrenching song…