Little Rabbit - The most insane Parallel compression I've ever done

I posted this for @ramshackles in the Before and after ambience examples To show how I think about ambiance when mixing.

I thought I’d post it for a proper bashing since I haven’t posted anything in a while. I rewired my studio in the hopes of trying some new tracking and mixing techniques. I used tons of parallel compression on this as well as dual compression to get sounds as thick as possible. I wanted that sense of a mix where you could hear everything but all elements were fighting through. That type of mixing has been a real weak point in my skills amongst the many other weak points:)

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Sounds good to me. :+1:

I’m listening with my laptop speakers (it’s not a great way to judge the finer details).
Some might want to hear my brightness in the mix but I’m just guessing.
I personally like the sound you have here. Almost sounds analog as opposed to digital.

Just noticed a little bit of distortion on the vocals.

Is there a click track playing in the first verse? At around 36 - 37 seconds I’m hearing an off-time click track.

It sounds really good. Almost too nice. It lacks an element with a little edge if you know what i mean.

Thanks for listening wicked. I think your saying that some might want more brightness. This is not mastered yet. I did throw an L3 on it to catch about .5db of GR. I usually make mixes too bright:). I am concerned about the guitars being too bright. Not so bright that a good ME couldn’t take excessive bite out of them.

This is very analog. I did record into a DAW however most of the compression and EQ are hardware. I am not sure analog has a sound but I know what you mean.

Yes an 1176 pushed hard.

I think what you are hearing is guitar string chokes getting a high ring on the left side. There is no intentional click in there. I am very sure I don’t have any click bleeding in either:)

Thank you for listening as well redworks. I really struggle with this idea of “edge”. As I mentioned before I did want an edgy mix that is glued together in a way that doesn’t feel too polite. Can you give me a couple of examples of what you think might give it more “edge”.

Thanks so much

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LOL I was worried that you would ask that. It is always easier to hear what I think is lacking than it is to know what to do about it. i was listening to this music linked in this when i switched to listen to your mix. I think he is really getting some good edge there but maybe that is more than you are thinking.

I think the place i would start is adding some distortion to the drums, maybe even just some distortion on the drum verb or room mic.

Haha. Yes I understand the conundrum:)

Funny I was listening to that earlier today as well. He has vibe in spades going on.

In my quest to learn this technique I added a few distortion tracks to these drums. I went into it in detail Before and after ambience examples for Ramshakles.

Admittedly I am mixing in the distorted tracks as a way of elongating close mics not to make them sound gritter. The bucket loads of parallel compression made everything VERY upfront. It turns out upfront doesn’t equal “edge” like I thought I may.

I very much appreciate your effort to help me with this. I like things to sound good and it fights my ability to make things sound edgy. I’ve made plenty of polite and glossy sounding rock songs. Making them gritty is very tough. This song is a pop song first and the grit needs to be the secondary feel IMO. I would like the grit to be a little more apparent.

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Yeah it is one of those things that really comes down to personal taste. It really does sound good so you have achieved your primary goal and maybe even your secondary one. I might just have been being swayed by what i had just been listening to.

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Hi Paul, this mix sounds excellent.

I love how prominent you have the vocals without them seeming to be unglued from the mix. The way you maintained clarity in all the elements without losing the organic feel of the sounds is really nicely done.

I really dig the pre-chorus tremolo guitars @ 39 secs - that’s a great bit of arrangement. The contrast it creates in the width of the stereo field builds anticipation for the chorus superbly…

…& here is the only “weakness” that I could really pick out: The chorus feels a little underwhelming. To my ear, it doesn’t seem to “drop” like I expected it would. This might be more an arrangement factor than a mix factor, but I think it comes down to the bass/kick interaction in the chorus. The kick dominates the low end, but the bass seems to get lost.

While the kick punctuates the low end of the chorus at intervals, it doesn’t “flow” like it would if the bass was underpinning proceedings more prominently and filling in the space between the kick hits. As a result, although there is all this big subby kick drum happening, the low end of the chorus actually sounds emptier than the verse/pre-chorus, so to my ear it doesn’t hit me as hard as it should.

For a moment, I actually questioned whether the song contained a bass guitar, but on checking the verses, I can hear it is there. Perhaps the pattern being played on the bass in the chorus is just too tight with the kick drum hits, and as a result doesn’t differentiate itself enough during the chorus. Maybe a more flowing bass pattering would drive the song forward better.

Overall though, a sweet mix!

Hi Andrew,

Thanks so much for the feedback! You are not the first one to say this about how I mix bass guitar in general. For a very long time, I had serious issues with toms. I feel like I have sorted out, for the most part, to get toms to fit into a mix without taking over. I think I’ll take a deep dive into mixing bass guitar. The advise I’ve generally had is to have bass guitar sit in the 80ish hz range for lows and then pull out some midrange articulation. I have 4 parallel bass tracks on this. I think I’ll go back and mess with the balance of them.

Thank you again:)

Sounds pretty polished. I like the dynamics. Great job!

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Thank you for listening!