Hey Chelsea Mix - for contest

Hey Chelsea Mix - for contest
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I had to get it in today so I will not be changing it much from here on, I have a few other mixes I need to work on. I do appreciate any feedback though because it is how I learn. Thanks.
Take 1

spent 10 mins and reduced some compression, pulled some more low end out of the guitars and did a little boast on the high end on the master buss.
Take 2

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nice energetic song and catchy! Has a great likeness factor imo
The mix however is not translating the energy properly, could be the compressor. The guitar hits seem quite soft instead of energetic and punchy. Also possible that there is a bit too much low pass on the whole mix.

The mix sounds boxed in, I would experiment with aggressive high passes to clean up the mix.
Bass requires a bit more drive and possibly a narrow Q.
Vocals seem quite nice, not much to pick on there just the bass response and the mids.

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Thanks for the feedback, that is helpful. It is something that I am trying to stop doing but I just seem to go back to it every time. I push too hard into the compression. I also tend towards dark thick mixes, so again I am not surprised. I wish that I had more time to do another version of it but ah well.

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What @FluteCafe Michelle said😊

Cleaning up low end on sources and individual tracks will help with this. The thing that has the most energy in the mix triggers the compression (unless you sidechain filter) and since low frequencies consume the most energy, they are more likely to trigger your compression, even if they aren’t apparently loud per se.

Are you referencing? That really is the simple fix to the issue. I’m only listening on my cruddy speakers at work, but I referenced your mix against the released mix of the song and the overall frequency response difference was not subtle.

FWIW, the internal balances and the overall shape of the mix is really good.

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Yeah I do some although I do find it hard to get myself to sometimes. I did only a little on this but I do tend to also prefer a darker mix so I am always aiming a little darker anyway. Thanks for the feedback. This is why I need to do more of these, such a great way to learn.

Ok @FluteCafe and @ColdRoomStudio I took a little time and did some tweeking as per your suggestions. Golden. I know there is more that I could do but even in that little time I could hear improvements. Thanks again. I posted the a second mix in the Original Post if you want to give me further feedback.

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definitely better than first to my ears. Now that the track is cleaned up a bit, lead vocals could likely use some spark, maybe a stereo double or a slight delay. Could boost a wee bit around 85hz, amplify the frequencies around 5k for the vocals I think it should be quite ready

I agree with FluteCafe, listened to both versions.

So I just went to youtube and put in " Somos - Streets Upon Streets" to find something similar. I played their song and yours back to back, in and out with different sections with just my headphones on. I adjusted the volume down on youtube to be the same. There is a lot of clarity on the Somos song and I can hear “space” in their song between the instruments. When I listen to your song, it seems to sound more like every instrument is run through the same bus or has the same feel to it. I think that is what makes it seem boxed in to me. I don’t know how that helps you but I am trying to be as specific as I can to what I hear. It’s a great song, I have to say, great job on both the chorus and the verses.

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Hi,

You mentioned that you liked dark mixes, which I totally respect. However, this sounds not only dark but also a bit muddy to me.If you could achieve darkness without compromising clarity that would be a great accomplishment. I’m not sure how a “dark” mix suits this particular song though, because it is un upbeat song with a cheerful melody.

Anyway, apart from that, I think the bass sounds muffled, it sounds to me like there’s some interesting string tone going on but it’s been turned down and even though the bass is really loud, it doesn’t have a lot of presence in the mix. I think it should have more grit in this arrangement.

Otherwise, I think the balance is great: the vocals and guitars come through nicely.

Hi Eric. I downloaded your second mix, as well as the released mix to see if I could learn something. What I found was interesting. I could actually get your mix in the sonic ballpark of the released mix, but it really took some doing.

First I used the old “Match EQ” trick with Equivocate. That brightened up the high end, but the low end still sounded “woofy” and indistinct. The kick drum really lacked definition and “point” , getting lost in the louder guitar parts.

I grabbed Fabfilter ProMB and messed around with the low end and the low mids, compressing them to bring them more under control and tightening them up. I also compressed the high mids a bit to bring out more of the attack on the kick, and also to get the shouty singing bits under control some, as they were really jumping out of the mix too much.

Things were sitting better now, but the mix was lacking “density” as the drum transients were really peaking much higher than the rest of the elements, making the guitars feel a bit gutless. I absorbed some of the transients using a tape emulation and a soft clipper.

It was much fuller now, but the transients were slightly blunted, so I grabbed an SSL buss comp emulation and set it fairly aggressively to give back some “pap” to the transients. Much nicer. A little bit of Pultec eq on the lows and highs gave the mix some gloss and fullness. It’s by no means perfect, (never a really great idea to heavily process an mp3!) but I think it brings the overall shape of the mix a little more in line with genre expectations:

What I noticed is that I couldn’t really improve the consistency of the low end in the bass guitar. The released mix just has a super consistent low end, whereas even with all the changes I made, in your mix the bass comes and goes.

I get not liking super-bright mixes, but I wonder if there is something else at work here… Monitoring levels perhaps?

I hope you don’t mind me doing this…I don’t know if any of this is helpful - I mainly did if for my own curiosity.

I realised a couple of years ago when I really analysed my past mixes in the cold light of day, my perception of high end needed re-calibrating. I’ve been working on that for a while now, and I think I’m getting somewhere, but I like to keep checking myself.

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Thanks for the feedback. I do like it to feel more cohesive but do also want to have the clarity so there is some work to be done.

Thanks so much for the feedback.

I should probably use different wording there really because dark or bright can have a lot to do with the way an instrument is played or what instruments are being used. I should say thick verses thin. I like body to a mix and I find that even the official mix is too thin for my taste.
So.
Because of this I have a tendency towards mud which is unpleasant so I am trying to learn how to get the thickness and the clarity.

I didn’t like the jangly sound of the bass so I was trying to cut that out while building a solid bass sound which was not really there in their bass. I found the bass to be the hardest part for me on this song. In fact if I was a better player I would have redone it that is how much I didn’t like what they had done with the bass.

Thanks Michelle, that is funny I guess I should have pushed them a little harder here is a shot of my eq settings

Nice mastering job!

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That is awesome. I love that you are showing me so that I can hear and compare. This is all super helpful. I would agree I do have an issue with thin/bright mixes. While I want to say I have been working on it the truth is I haven’t mixes anything in ages. This has definitely helped to remind me how much work and practice I need to put in if I am going to develop.

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