Mixing Practice: Turn On Me by Banned From The Zoo

I mixed this yesterday for some practice and to try out a few of the techniques I’ve been reading about here on the forum.These are a few of the things I tried here:

  • Reverb “office space” that @Jonathan mentioned on another thread. Basically it is sending your reverbs through an early reflections only reverb to place everything in the same space. Fab Dupont tutorial somewhere where he explains it. I used the Valhalla Vintage Verb for this.
  • I also use @venuestudios post here (When you face a rude awakening that you're just not that good at mixing) as the starting place for my vocal chain. (Although I don’t have the Boz plugin, I tried something similar with mine.) Anyway, thanks for posting that!
  • I clipped gained all the breaths and some of the sibilants on the vocal to tame those. I also treated the flute in the 2nd half the same, as far as de-breathing.
  • The drums had tons of bleed an ambience when recorded, so I basically tried to just use that for the space. Then, before I dump the drums, the music and vocal busses into the 2-bux, I add some “Room Verb” to tie them all together. (Hopefully!)
  • It is quite a sparse mix and I wasn’t sure what to do with some of the panning and did some automating to keep things separated and add some interest.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

PS. Listening back, ummm yeah, I’ll be working on the drums today…

---- edited to add link to revision below ----

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maybe a bit of muddiness/overthickness here and there. Seems maybe the vocal isnt hi passed? To me the very bottom of the vocal is getting muddy with the bass. :46 etc. 1:22

note jumps out at :55

maybe the bass is a bit too resonant overall at whatever freq that is that seems to want to ring

those r stems from online?

The vocal is high-passed, maybe not enough? I love his voice and wanted to make sure the warm tones and fullness stayed intact. Maybe if I side-chain the music to his vocal to make a little room?

The multi-tracks are available from Cambridge-MT. Opps! I meant to add a link. Here you go:

Thanks for the reply!

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has it ever been pro produced? I never really checked out that site, i see it referenced a lot

If you follow the link, there is an already mixed version and a link to their website. It’s dated 2012 so I assume it was.

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yeah, dunno who mixed that Mp3. Trying to look up info on the band.

But compare it to yours and somehow they have way more clarity in the vocals where the bass isnt interfering etc

It’s a very straight down the middle mix, and sounds quite cluttered through the centre.
Even taking those guitars out wider would work wonders imo. Can’t really say much else at this point, it’s pretty off-putting.
Here’s an example of the mid info vs the side info. Notice how much isn’t happening on the sides?

Side info solo’d

Mid info solo’d

Right. Going to work on it now. I’ll address that issue too. Thank for the reply!

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cool free EQ handy for mid/side https://www.voxengo.com/press/voxengo-marvel-geq-1-4-free-graphic-equalizer-plugin-released-298/

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Here’s a revision with a lot less conservative panning, some EQ on the snare, side-chain on the bass-kick, higher pass on the vocal among other things…

Thanks for the input fellas!


Significant improvement! I still hear a bit of boxiness in the mix, but you’ve made some great improvements! Keep up the good work :beerbanger:

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And finally… To anyone feeling like they’re s-l-o-w. It looks to be 10.5 hours for me on this one according to my Hofa plugin. I do love this song though!

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10? shoot, id still be trying to clip out all the silent parts in just 10 hrs lol

im like a snail going uphill in molasses…into a headwind…towing a trailer

with the parking brake on

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Ha! We’ve all been there… It sounds like you’ve hit the proverbial “plateau”. Keep at it and keep it fun. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Otherwise take a break until you miss it. Then have at it again with a new approach. :sunglasses:


nah, im opposite of plateaud, im in the steep learning curve, everything just takes forever

im hoping for life extension technology so i can finish a few mixes

Hey Mike… Interesting track - sweet song and performance. Your mix has progressed nicely since the first one - great progress in the overall tonality.

One thing that I’m hearing in all the mixes is what I can only describe as what sounds like over-compression (which is often more-accurately defined as compression with less than optimal attack and release times). It leads me to suspect that the original tracks had compression printed on them - is that correct?

Over-compression that is “baked in” is pretty near impossible to undo, but if that is not the case, I would definitely suggest looking at your compression attack and release times and experimenting with different settings…

FWIW, I can hear a too-fast attack on most elements, and the release setting seems to bring all the sustain tails of sounds way up, giving everything quite a “claustrophobic” vibe - like all the sounds have been inflated like balloons and are all now squeezed together in a confined space…

Sometimes that sound can work with really aggressive style music, but hear it seems to be at odds with the “open” naturalistic vibe of performance.

Nice work so far!

Well, first off, thanks for the feedback Andrew!

It’s probably my fault. I do typically try to time the release times with the beat of the song and twiddle the dial until it seems to be moving in time. I confess I need more practice hearing and need to take more time listening for this sort of thing. Welp, it looks like I’ll be re-visiting this one with your points in mind.

So much for my 10.5 hour mark. Personally, my most immediate goal is to get good enough to churn out a decent mix before I get sick of the song. :grinning:

I wonder if @FluteCafe is still checking in? I’d love to get some flute mixing tips from her. So far, I clip gained the track to even out the performance and de-breath, added MAutoVolume to bring down the dynamic range, high-passed and sweetened with EQ, added a dynamic EQ to soften some of the harsher notes, and added similar FX like to vocal.

A question I have regarding mixing the flute, is how to push it back in the mix, but not down, if that makes sense. I want to hear every note and nuance, but I’d rather not have the guy spitting in my face when I’m listening. I need to address more breaths, but maybe add some pre-delay to the reverb?

I really like how this song is really just 2 verses, then a nice jazzy solo. Very cool.

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Finally got around to a revision. I was experimenting with a Multi-band compression on the mixbus, and had thought I was being subtle, but it opened things up when I removed it. (I think! :grin:) I also pulled back the Attack on the vocal compressor and removed a secondary compressor on the vocal that was supposed just be there for “character” and wasn’t doing much at all. (MJUC) Now there is only Manic on the vocal…

It sounds a little better - the vocal doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as it did before. The music still sounds very compressed to me… Are you using any saturation plugins on the mix?


Hey Mike - there is most definitely progression thru’ the files - the panning is helping width but it still does sound a little squeezed to me. I also think that the main guitar and vocal could perhaps do with pulling down the mids - maybe 350 thru’ 1.5k - and pulling up some bottom and top to give it some body? The flute sits nicely loudness wise - but there too I would treat it to a smidge of 2k…

I would keep the breaths in - on both vocal and flute - leave some of them there…

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