Lullaby: a pop/jazz ballad. Bash away!


So I’m usually more into mixing and producing but recently I’ve written and recorded 2 songs. This is the first one I mixed, I’m still looking for a guitar player for the second one. I have no intention to promote it nor do I hope that it has any kind of commercial success but I do want it to sound professional as I intend to use it in my portfolio so I can hopefully attract new customers.

This is where you come in: I’ve done almost everything myself except the lyrics and melody, written by the vocalist and the guitars that were played by a friend. So I don’t have any kind of hindsight and I need an outside view.

I’m interested in your feedback on everything, but will only be able to make corrections in the mix as none of us have the time to record anything again.

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Hey, typing as I listen.

First off, I want those vocals up a lot more. Very tucked in within the music and I am finding it hard to understand the words in parts.
Really, other than that, the balances seem really good. Once the vocals become more intense, they are clearer.
Really nice song. Love the bass line! Cool little runs throughout keep me interested. I like how each instrument has it’s moment. The piano solo is nice and it is all up front how the vocals should be (in my opinion).
May I ask how you recorded and mixed the bass. I love how the high end during its solo is clear and smooth but the low end does not seem out of place when it returns. Love it! What processing did you use, besides what sounds like a quality instrument and some expert playing!!!
Yep, outside of the vocal feeling a little too tucked in, this is a ripper. You sure you don’t want to do more with it and your project? You should… put it out there and see!!

Nice one!

This is beautiful. Love the mix. Keyboard is great. I agree with Daniel about the bass. I’m only listening on my laptop and might feel different when listening on my monitors, but could see bringing the bass up a tad. LOVE that bass solo at 3:00+. Again, it’s on my laptop, but I’m thinking a bit of EQ on the bass to bring out the low end a bit more. But it really is nice.

I know what Daniel is saying about the vox, it is quite difficult to understand the words at times, but IDK that it’s about volume or EQ or compression; IDK what I’d do to it. I think the vox sound loud enough and she has a beautiful voice. I actually like the way it sits in the mix; I just can’t make out sometimes what she’s saying. I think a lot of it is technique. She does scoop and slide a lot, and that’s probably what it is for me. That and articulation. But, that said, I love her voice quality. Really works with this piece.

The guitar solo at 4:19+ is sweet also. Is that amp’d? Nicely recorded. Would be interested in knowing what kind of guitar he’s playing, and the amp.

The drums: again, quite nice. Love the sound of the snare especially. At 1:18 when it comes in with the tambo, very smooth. Nice balance. I can’t hear enough of the kick though. Again, I’m on my laptop, so…

Yeah, I love this. Very catchy. Really nice mix. Very smooth, natural, professional sound. This is a winner.

I’m in agreement with Dan in that I think the vocals need to come up a little, but I think that might also be accomplished by ducking the electric piano a bit while she’s singing - they’re sort of fighting each other.

Other than that, it’s really nice. Really nice. Her voice is beautiful.

Beautiful intro with that voice piano combo. Wow, what a singer. A little tweaking with the vox slightly fighting for space. Just very well done. Congrats

Thanks, each and everyone of your replies was helpful.

Well vocals was the number 1 feedback I had from almost everywhere so it’s clear something had to be done here. Although in my view it had to be a subtle bump, because it seems to me it is enough to make the vocals shine and more would harm the instruments.
The bass was recorded direct to the interface then re-amped with Waves GTR (Activator + Supertube amps), then I have an SSL channel strip with some EQ and compression and that’s all. Your remark about the transition between the bass solo and the rest is very interesting because it actually gave me a hard time. As a matter of fact I opened a post about it in the other section of the forum. What ended up working is parallel compression during the solo only. The comp track also has a hi-pass filter in order to contain the low end bump during the solo, and a fair amount of tape saturation.

The vocalist is Singaporean so her accent might play a role in the intelligibility of the lyrics.
I’m not sure what guitar my friend used, he did this at home (which means on the other side of the planet since he’s in France). If I had to bet I’d say a Stratocaster. He sent me both direct and amped tracks and I used the direct take, with Waves GTR (Hi gain crush amp) and some delay. I wanted a different sound in the beginning, but I realized that a rather mid-rangy sound was working best in the mix so I went with that.

Thanks to @Mark.Fassett and @feaker for your feedback too.

Here’s the latest mix. Unless there is something obviously wrong I think I’ll stick to this version. There are a few things that bug me but I want to wrap it up and move on to something else. I’m considering sending this to a good , seasoned mastering engineer - if anyone has a recommandation on this I’d like to hear it. I usually master myself but I think it’s not a good idea to master a song you’ve written, recorded and mixed yourself, it’s good to have an outside view at one point.

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Well sir, you nailed it! I wish I could get that sound and I’m the bass player!

Have you looked at Boz’s Big Beautiful Door plugin? I think it is absolute gold and possibly the best purchased plug in I own! It does wonders for sidechaining eq and/or volume for ducking frequencies as others have mentioned above. Might work for your vocals?

It can be done without the plug of course but is super easy and saves lots of routing with it!
Really like the tune…is there more?

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Nothing to add to what’s already been said. I agree with Dan, I think you nailed it. The bass solo sounds great. Nice vocals and I love your piano playing! Guitar solo is good too! Thanks for sharing!

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That’s a great track Lophophora, good recording, great playing. I can’t add anything here; I was just wondering if your band does any r&b jazz? You do the smooth jazz really well and that’s a good flavour to add.

Thanks, my band does a little bit of everything but mostly pop/funk. It’s actually quite frustrating because we have a few good musicians and I hear a lot of great ideas when we jam (some with potential) but half of the band isn’t available to do anything else than just weekly jams and the occasional bar gig every few months.