Help Needed on Modern Metal Mix

Hi Guys,

Here’s a project that I’ve been working on lately. How does it sound on your speakers?
I hope you guys can help me out.


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Thank you for reviewing my song! Now your song (I’m listening on pretty good Sony headphones): it sounds very loud without fatiguing over-compression, so that’s good (I’ve heard plenty of hit songs, that to me, are over-compressed & very fatiguing). Very often I find modern metal to have annoying vocals, but you have a good balance of high aggression without being too darn scream-o or over-growling, in my opinion. I think the audio quality is very good. It sounds very full. I honestly can’t think of a way to help you, because the audio does sound excellent. I like the galloping guitar riffs, and the melodies. Drums fit really nice. Everything is tight timing-wise. Good job! It doesn’t even need more cowbell. :wink:

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Sounding good. I do wonder if you have rolled off the top end of the guitars because they lack the edge i would expect to hear in this type of song. I think i prefer it this way myself but it is not about what i like.

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Thank you very much for the in depth review aaron. And thanks for reassuring the sound of the mix from your end of the speakers. The cowbell - yes i know… :slight_smile: To tell you the truth, I removed the cowbell when I first submitted the mix to the band. I thought it was a metronome and was not intended to be in the song. Turns out, the drummer wanted that cowbell to be part of the song. :slight_smile: Thanks again aaron. By the way, are you playing drums on your tracks? They really sound great.

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the kind words. Yes I did put a low pass on the guitars because they sounded very “edgy”. I think I put it at around 10k. You think i did too much?

I think i would like to hear just a touch more back in.

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sure I will do that. :slight_smile: thank you

Thank you for the drum comment! I am not a real drummer. The drums are all toontrack. If my memory serves me, it is Rock Solid EZX operating within Superior Drummer 2. Most likely mostly factory drum patterns.

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Really? I have rock solid ezx and I didn’t even notice that it was the one used by you.
Good job in the mixing department. :slight_smile:

OK, you made me look it up, and my memory was correct. I forgot to mention I added u-he Presswerk compression, which helps the drums stand out in the mix. Without compression, drums can get lost in the mix. By using the effects in Superior Drummer 2, you can alter the sound quite a bit. For example, you could get the gated-reverb (ala Phil Collins) thing happening with the right combination of noise gates, “ambient mic(s)”, and perhaps SD2’s compressors.

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Hi @brianinogang amazing work as usual. For me, you are pretty much the reference for modern metal in this forum. The guitars are on point IMO, and a fine tuning at the high freqs is a matter of personal taste. The one thing that really caught my attention is the vocal. The dude sounds so much like Phil Anselmo it’s SCARY. Also props to you for making him sound excellent in the mix. The song starts at 100% at it stays there throughout, which can be tiring for some but I personally loved it. Congrats on the awesome mix, and cheers to more projects from this band :beerbanger:

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@aaron_aardvark thank you very much for the tips. I’ll try that compressor. It really glues the drums well. I’ve been looking for that kind of sound for projects my other projects. I haven’t really much tweaked inside superior drummer because I’ve always routed them into my daw and tweak there. Its pretty interesting. Maybe this time I’ll try your method. Cheers man. Your drum sound is GREAT!!!

@JonniKELANA Thank you very much for the kind words and for boosting my confidence mixing wise. Thank you. Yes I also noticed the Phil vibe when we were tracking the vocals. He’s a really talented vocalist. And also I’ve looked into the “tiring” factor of the song. Thank you for bringing it up. It seems that it needs more dynamics from part to part. I have put in a parallel compressor during chorus parts and parts that need to explode in the new mix. I also realized there was problem was with the eq. There was a frequency (4.7k) that’s really poking out and it was causing “ear fatigue”. I’ve also removed that with about 5db reduction. The mix is down below. I hope you can check out the new mix.

@redworks - Done adding with “hair” on the guitars. :slight_smile:

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Sounds good to me

You are welcome. Conversely, I never figured out to route individual drum items (snare, kick, etc.) onto individual tracks in Cubase (AI8), if that is what you are talking about. Perhaps my cheapest version of Cubase can’t do that.

Perhaps the mic bleed thing (in the mixer) in Superior Drummer 2 affects the sound quite a bit. I can’t imagine you could get that effect with just your DAW.

You’re probably done working on this mix by now but just wanted to jump in and say it sounds badass! Really loud and clear. Vocals and lead guitar tones especially stood out. You mentioned routing the drum channels from superior drummer into daw for processing, wondering what do you add to them there?

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Hi @crooked09 thanks for the kind words. When I’m editing samples from superior drummer, I usually edit outside of the plugin. usually for the kick its eq then a compressor. Settings for the compressor depends. If its metal, I try to make it tight and punchy. Usuall 30-45ms attack and 150-250ms release depending on the tempo of the song. for the snare its the same. If the snare is sounding thin, i try to boost around 150hz. depends of the tuning of the snare sample. then I also compress. hats, i do noting. toms, I usually make it brighter by eq. the I cut the low end rumble because it eats up a lot of the headroom. for the overheads, I usually chop the snare peaks using a plugin called Gclip. then compress a little to even out everything but not to the extend that the sound will “breathe”. For the reverb channel, i usually just add or subtract the volume depending on the song. If its a slower song, then I’ll make the reverb more heard as compared to faster songs. For room mics, I just leave use a bit of compression if needed just to make it more “analog” sounding. I usually use the FLstudio stock compressor on vintage mode. But for pop punk, i usually focus the energy on the direct mics. for pop punk songs, i usually cut off all the low end from the room then just add the energy on the individual tracks. This makes the song a lot punchier and up front. for the drum buss, i use slate tape machine then glip to chop the peaks again. then the final stage of the drum buss is a SSL master buss compressor from waves. I think thats about the usual stuff that i put in. I would also sidechain the bass to the kick so the kick is more prominent when its being hit and also sidechain the overheads to the guitars so if the guitars need space on the upper mids - highs, the cymbals would give way. I hope this help you out.
Cheers! Brian