Here's a Fun Mix I did over at AMC

I enjoyed mixing this song… There was a lot of scope for creativity with this mix, and the production and performances were excellent.


Listening on my iPad this sounds great! I imagine this must sound killer on any good playback device if it sounds this good on an iPad.

Really like the vocal effects and at which spots you chose to emphasize them. I like the singers voice and the song is strong.

The drums are kicking ass! Powerful and clear. The whole production and mix sound great! How difficult did you find this song was to mix? I’m suspecting the untreated stems were quite strong even before you began your mix, but I hear some really beautiful things that you’ve implemented in the mix. This song SHINES on just an iPad !

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Thanks @Wicked !

In some ways, the quality of the production and source sounds made it easier. The trick was to maintain and amplify the song’s intensity in the right places.

The soft/loud verse/chorus dynamic is a pretty straightforward idea, but it can be tricky to maintain the listener’s interest and not all the format to become too predictable. That is the area I put a lot of work into.

The other issue was that we didn’t have a rough mix to guide us. It was basically a case of “mix what we were given”.

They were - especially the way the vocals were recorded. The guitars were a little tricky, because we were given some DI tracks to re-amp in addition to the amped sounds.

Here’s a “faders up” version of the stems we were given. The only thing I did was some very basic LCR panning. As you can hear, the basic source tracks were very solid, and I think the way they were recorded gives a very strong direction for the production:

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Listenting on my PC speakers. This sounds phenomenal right off the bat. It seems small but those BG vox right are the start were stunning!

Are the guitars “pre-distorted” or is that an amp sim/re amp? They have loads of crunch and yet clarity. I did find both the rapid fade and the immediate cut off of those guitars a little abrupt, but it wouldn’t be enough to pull me out of the mix if I wasn’t critiquing it.

Everything sounds fantastic. But I’ll repeat, I think the BG vox are the highlight throughout. I absolutely love your use of reverb on them in a way so that they have heaps of depth and space both in quieter sections and in the heavier, fuller parts. It never comes across as smeary or muddy.
Well done, ripper song brought to its fullest potential right here!

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Hi Andrew, is this the vanilla mix? I didnt remember hearing this. I like the other version slightly better with the first chorus impact. Overall the guitar impacts and tones arent quite agreeing with me in the chorus. The sound of the guitar on the impact is thinner than I would like it, vocals are also a bit muted in the chorus as well in this version than the one I remember hearing(or it could be both). I didnt like many mixes of this song over there and sort of gave up on this mix (and amc as well - too time consuming for me and my ocd ). I am also too biased for this song lol.

It is a great mix and great production nevertheless.

Is that effect at -3:26 to -3:22 a some kind of modulating reverb plugin or a synth pad?

Really interesting!

Thanks Dan, yeah the BVs were really well arranged and beautifully performed. The key to getting them to sound good was balancing the different levels of each part.

The guitars were mostly provided as amp tracks, but the main left and right distorted rhythm guitars were supplied as both amped & DI versions. I wasn’t fussed on the amped sound supplied, so I reamped the DIs through the Rig Player (whole amp chain impulse response - kind of like an ITB version of the Kemper) Overloud’s TH-U (Slate version), running one guitar through the “NRG JCM800” impulse, and the other through the “Peavey 6505 Rhythm - 6505 4 x 12 Slanted” impulse. I tweaked them a bit, as well as eq’d and compressed them and ran them both through tape simulation.

Yeah, that was kind of how the tracks were supplied - the cut off very suddenly. I remember thinking about messing with that to make the transition a little smoother, but then I guess I got used to it. No one mentioned it in the critiques over at AMC, so I didn’t bother going back and changing it. :man_shrugging:

Thanks, I used quite a variety of verbs and delays here. There was IKs “Classik Room”, Slate’s “Verbsuite Classics”, D16 Repeater, Soundtoys Echoboy, Waves Abbey Road Plate, Valhalla Room , Waves CLA Epic and Valhalla Supermassive. (Wow! That’s a LOT!)

No, this is definitely NOT the “Vanilla” mix. In the Vanilla Mix, I took out my arrangement changes - this mix has them.

No worries - each to his/her own. :slightly_smiling_face:

As I said, it is the same version as the one I posted at AMC, so maybe it’s just that you’re hearing things differently on a different day? - that can happen… The thing I’ve found with mixing rock with big guitars and big choruses is that something has got to give. The guitars won’t sound as big if the vocal is too loud; and the bass will lose power if the guitars are too thick in the low end.

It sounds like you had a very definite vision for how you wanted to hear the song, but didn’t hear it anywhere.

Having a definite vision is vital to mixing IMO. The tricky part is that, sometimes, as hard as you try, the actual supplied tracks don’t allow you to realise your vision, so you have to pivot and go in a different direction.

That happens quite a bit to me, but rather than get frustrated, I just view it all as part of the creative process. It even happens quite a bit with my own productions!

The interesting thing is, I find that, if I open myself up to it (rather than try to force it to fit my will), it actually ends up going to a better place than I envisioned originally! There is a point in the mix/production where this happens, and at that point, things get really exciting!

Sometimes, a song just wants to go where it wants to go! :grin:

Thanks, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

That’s actually a guitar part with a slow attack-style sound that is running through 2 instances of Valhalla’s free “Supermassive” plugin.
One instance (“Dark Matter” preset) is on the track itself, and the other (“Swollen Pad” preset) is a send effect. A great plugin for ethereal sounds - highly recommended (and it’s FREE!).

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I don’t see (hear) it as a problem at all, just noticed it with the critical ears on. I seriously doubt I would notice it when listening casually.

Man, that’s a hell of a lot of reverb. I can’t say my ear is refined enough to a) hear much of a difference in various reverbs within the context of a mix (although I haven ever tried) and b) don’t have the depth of knowledge or experience with a range to say to myself “this track needs this reverb”.
Is that how you operate in that regard, or do you simply chose a range so that the sounds are subtly different without thinking about which specific reverb goes on which track?

I don’t put much conscious thought into it, actually. That’s why I too was surprised when I saw how many different time-based effects I had used! Most of the time, I’m just going for a feeling, and once I get the processor that gives me that feeling, it’s done, and I forget about it…

I’ve been able to draw very well ever since I was a little kid - precociously so. No one ever taught me - One day, I just picked up a pencil or a pen and started drawing what I saw around me, and what was in my imagination. Other kids used to ask me how I did it, and I’d just shrug my shoulders and say “I don’t know, I just do it”…

… It’s only as an adult, with a more well-developed analytical brain that I now realise what was happening - It really just came down to this: I was more observant… or at least, my powers of observation developed really early on in life. I noticed things about shape, shade, proportion and perspective that other kids didn’t… and then I just drew it as I saw it.

… so I think it’s the same thing with using ambience in a mix. I’m still “drawing”, but with sound. For some strange reason, I’ve always been acutely aware of reflected sound/ambience/space around me in the real world. All my life, I’ve been fascinated by the connection between the sound of different spaces and the different feelings triggered by those sounds.

So, if I was going to suggest a thought process for assessing the right ambience for a mix, the first thing I would suggest is to start by consciously paying attention to the sound of space in the real world, and then asking: “How does this space make me feel?”. Once I connect the feeling with the space, then I can use it to enhance the sounds in a mix to create the feeling I’m aiming for.

…sorry for the long rambling answer… I hope it makes sense.

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Not at all! Very informative actually. I’m the same but with dad jokes… doesn’t quite feel as impressive as drawing with sound though.

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