David Tyo mix comp

Greetings good people!

Taking a shot at the David Tyo mix competition. Here’s my first pass!
I don’t generally mix country, but I quite enjoy it. The lyrics on this hit a bit too close to home, so it was actually hard to mix. Left the vocals off as long as I could. Yay.

This also represents a bit of a science experiment… I got a Dangerous D-Box+ a little while back, which has 8 channels of analog summing. So, this is my first mix implementing that. For those interested, I sent bus outputs to the 8 channels as 4 stereo pairs, returned a stereo signal back to Cubase, did my 2-bus processing on that channel and printed the track for output when I was ready. There’s plenty of debate on whether analog summing does much, and I didn’t do a version without… BUT I feel like it sounds wider and a bit more 3-dimensional. I could also be delirious.

i’m pleased with this so far, I think on the next round I’m going to tune the vocals, he loses his control a bit towards the end of the song. To be honest I didn’t reference anything, so there’s probably a few frequencies areas that are kinda dodgy.

I now turn this over to you, Hive Mind.

Here’s V2, and this will be my entry. Changelog in comment below:

So I kinda lied… here’s V3, and this WAS my entry!


Just did a car listen… sub bass is a bit oppressive, and it feels maybe a bit sizzle-y in the high end.

Just having a quick listen on my cruddy monitors at work. It sounds pretty good on these! Maybe a little bright in the high mids, but I’d have to have a listen on decent speakers to be sure.

No, AS is definitely a thing. I’ve used Slate’s AS emulation on my mixes for years, and it definitely makes a difference.

I had a quick listen to the multi-tracks, and the overly HUGE dynamic range of the lead vocal performance is definitely a massive challenge. Seems like you’ve gotten a pretty good handle on it here… Automation?

Just be careful with that. I think the rules state that he doesn’t want any vocal tuning done. Maybe check that.

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Yeah this is sounding good. I can’t say anything about the subs. I feel like that vocals are a little lost in the mix excitement wise. It is like the instruments have more going on but that may be because i find them so boring.

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Snare sounds great, and your stereo field is nice and tight. Very tasteful.

Pretty LOUD though. I am getting clip warnings in Console. Sounds nice though.

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You’re mostly a metal guy, right? I think your drums are really good. I compared to Tmaster’s mix on this and he has some pretty amazing vocals and steel guitar I think. His drums didn’t hold a candle to yours though. The two mixes are like night and day. Quite a comparison.

Damn, I thought this was a love song, and a very impactful one, but J.C. it’s like life and death. :grimacing: That takes music to a whole other level. I guess that’s the one thing I do like about Country music is it can really cut to the chase when necessary.

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Having a listen on my studio monitors now…

Those drums - wow! Especially loving the snare. The kick is a bit too “Black” album. Take a bit of the subs and the click out of it, and give it a bit more mids maybe. Tame the cymbals a tad too.

I love the space you have on the lead vocal - very nicely judged! Now maybe bring the vocal a bit further forward in the mix, so that the drums don’t hog all the limelight.

Sounding very good so far!

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Yes! Much automation… I tried to smooth out the vocal a bit with clip gain automation so the compressor didn’t have to work as hard… I don’t do that often, but this was one of the more inconsistent vocals I’ve heard. Seems like he was moving around a lot, and really dug into the mic in spots.

I didn’t read the rules… whoops! Too bad I cant tune the vox, but I get it.

Agreed, I think one of the challenges here (as it was for the Two Bare Hands mix) was dealing with a lot of mono sources… I’m used to dealing with things like double/quad-tracked guitars that I can spread out wide. The mono stuff against the vocals is definitely a weakness that I need to work on.

Thank you! I think the clip warnings are coming from inter-sample peaks when converting to MP3… I usually output at -1dB to compensate.

Yup! :smiley: Although admittedly I’ve been gravitating towards non-metal lately in terms of mixing stuff.

I mean, who doesn’t love the Black Album??!?! :wink: This what I get for not listening to country and not referencing when mixing! I tend to default to the kick sound I hear in my head, which is that.

Thanks for the comments all! I’m gonna let this one rest a couple of days and come back at it with all this in mind, and fresh ears.

Blair, this is a really good sounding mix. I like your drier vocal a lot, especially with a song like this. However, I think you can bring it forward, i.e. turn it up a couple of dB to really make it more present. Your drums sound great too. Really no complaints at all other than bring up the vocal. Nice job on this! (Now to read the other comments and see how far off I am…)

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G’day folks! Here’s my v2, and I think this will be my submission as I’m pretty pleased with it. Thanks to everyone who commented, I’ve implemented a lot of what was suggested!

For those with nerdy interest, here’s the changelog:

  • Vox bus up 1.5dB
  • Automation tweaks to vocal levels and vocal effects levels
  • OH down 1dB and added bx_refinement to tame them a bit
  • Kick de-black album’d
  • brought pedal steel delay up a bit for some more of it’s ambience
  • bass guitar subs down a bit
  • tweaks to multiband comp on 2-bus to generally tame high end a bit more
  • limiter output down by 1dB to try and account for ISP’s when converting to MP3

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Hey Blairhall,

R-2 Mix sounds really good. I like the drum sound and it seems you got some separation on the different instruments. I think and these are just little nitpicks, at the 2.43 mark that gt slide could come up a little bit just to accent leading into the chorus also at times the lead voc could use just a little more automating on certain phrases. Vocals seem a little dry, but they sound good. Overall this is again a really good mix. Good luck!

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Great drum sound! Vocal sounds really good too. I like your dry approach, it works well for this song. The organ is a touch too loud for me, but that’s just a personal preference. Love the piano in verse 2. Nice job bringing that out. That was a nice track.

Great job and good luck!

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Allllrighty! I submitted today, but made some small tweaks first. Thanks again to commenters… here’s the V3 changelog:

  • Added a bit more sauce to the vocals… listened to my mix for the first time in like a week and I thought it was a bit too dry. As a note, all the fx on the vocals are automated, so on the more sparse sections his voice has less stuff on it
  • Automated acoustic guitars up a bit in the chorus, to help thicken it up around the edges
  • organ down 1.5db overall… still left it prominent-ish because I really dig what it adds
  • brought slide up as @Jerze suggested… also brought the pedal steel up in the choruses slightly
  • maybe a couple of other small tweaks that I didn’t make note of

A question @Jerze… I’m not terribly exprienced with automating vocal lines to bring out certain words or phrases. I left the vocals untouched in that regard, but I’d love to hear your take on what you think could have been brought up? I understand the concept but often take the more technical approach as opposed to trying to bring out more emotion… and that’s certainly something I need to pay more attention to.


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Hey @blairhall1974 Great mix :+1:! I really dig the sound and level in the different sections of the petal gt. BG are sitting nice. Vocal tone sounds Great.

As for the Question hopefully this will make sense as I’m not big on typing.

An example would be in the 1st chorus the line “with you” the you could have brought down a touch also the line “IF these miles together LEAD to the end of or road” the word If and lead jumps out and needs to be brought back a little. On my mix I didn’t have any automation until the word OUR which got brought back. On the next lines I’m TAKEN THE LONG WAY HOME on my mix all have some automaton with the word Home about a 1db drop from the beginning of the word to the end. There are some other lines, words in your mix and would be glad to post those also if you would like there’s not a lot though.

I’m think this might answer some questions. Sounds like you went with compressors first? On this song all my automation (which was a lot) was done pre Fx mainly because of how I felt some of the lines where sung and the different takes needed help feel wise before they were processed. In one line a +5 or -7 (at the high/low side) depending on the line Then in to my compressors. I will say it is very time consuming I’m hoping to find a faster workflow at automating though.

This here “often take the more technical approach as opposed to trying to bring out more emotion”

This is where I take the later in this type of song for sure each phrase line is very important. Which plays in to the music and also automating things. Writing songs has helped me in hearing things in a certain way not that their right tho LOL…. But even in other material I find I’m automating things a lot more these days and something that hopefully helps bring the song to the next level. I just keep digging deeper in the rabbit hole and probably should get back to writing, playing and recording.

Anyways, I think you’re heading in the right direction and hearing it even helps you realize it.

if you have any other questions let me know

Again nice job on the mix!