Mixing Practice: Turn On Me by Banned From The Zoo

Mixing Practice: Turn On Me by Banned From The Zoo


And here’s the latest crack at it. I don’t have too much compression left on this mix. So I went and removed the MAutoVolume from the instruments (bass and guitar) where I was thinking I would just level them out. Maybe that was “squashing” things too much? I left it on the Lead Vocal and the Flute to help get a more even performance on both.

Then I went and applied Tony’s suggestions on the EQs. The guitar/ukelele are hard panned L/R. I added a widener to the drum OH tracks and also to my Parallel Drum Crush bus. Not sure what else to do to widen the mix. (?)

How is this? Thanks again guys. I truly appreciate the input!


Hey Mike, could you post the mix (or a snippet of it) without this?.. I’m wondering if this is part of what I’m hearing…


Sure thing Andrew. As soon as I am able!


Just listening here on my iPhone - and the EQ tweaking seems to have worked. The squash is gone - there is note and body to the guitar and the vocal seems much more present. Will have a listen on my studio monitors to see if translates at volume - but I have to say that if it sounds good on the phone to my ear…


Here you go Andrew - waaaay more than you asked for…

  1. A 20 sec snippet before the 2nd verse with everything as mixed.
  1. No parallel drums on this one…
  1. For fun, here’s what the p-drums sound like by themselves…
  1. And just the drums, including p-drums from the mix…

And finally, a snippet of my drum busses…

A final note: I usually just send the drums (no cymbals) into my parallel drum bus - “DRM CRUSH” in the pic. I did that on this mix as well. All of the cymbals you hear in the DRM CRUSH is bleed from the Snare Top mic and the 2nd Tom mic.

I hope this isn’t too confusing!

…and I’m guessing you’re right on target to Andrew. These drums were tough. And after taking them apart like this - ugh! In my defense, I liked what the DRM CRUSH did with the snare. :slight_smile:


Great - I think it sounds much better too! I really struggled with that guitar track trying to get it somewhere pleasant-ish and less obtrusive. …and I love what those tweaks did to the vocal - and the flute. Thanks for the tips Tony!


What a cool track!
This is a free mixing package that you got hold of?
I love the drums and the vocals… good progress from the first cut.
Perhaps the repetitive guitar, which is almost annoying, could be reduced to almost-subliminal.
Can the drums and the vocal, with a little bass, carry this tune?
I almost think so…


Hmm… Listening here, it sounds to me like the crush buss may be contributing to the issues I’m hearing, but it’s not the sole cause.

The drums don’t seem to have much in the way of transient information and punch in the low end, and they seem to have a lot of boxiness in them around the 400-500hz mark. I think some reductive eq might be in order, as well as some judicious boosts in the right areas.

Just wondering if you are referencing any pro mixes for comparison here - Maybe I’m not hearing what angle you’re coming at this from…?


Yes, FREE multi-tracks are available here - lots of 'em!
(Sorry, I thought I had put the link in the first post.)


I agree with you 100% on that guitar track too. If this were my recording I’d spend a bit of time working on the timing and tone and performance, maybe even re-record it. I basically spent my time on that trying to make it less irritating. :wink:

I absolutely agree, this is a great track!


Ummm… No. (Hangs head in shame.) The angle? An RnB vocal supported by smooth jazz-like backing tracks. Now that you’ve called me out on it, I’m sure a good reference will help - a lot.

There was so much bleed and lots of “ambience” in the drums on these tracks. I took the approach of trying to do a little as possible and just try to mix them “as recorded” and try to bring out what was good and get to an acceptable sound.

I’ll go back through them and try to just focus on your comments here and clean them up a bit. Otherwise, I’m thinking it may be time to zero the faders on the drums and rework them. (Which will have to be another time because I’m getting a bit tired of the song so am not “hearing” it like I should.)

In any event, thanks so much for taking the time to listen and add comments Andrew - it is very much appreciated! :slight_smile:


I just started checking out some of those songs on the cambridge site. I did a quicky of “streetwise revelations”. The drums were one big mess of bleed but there are ways to clean them up

to get cymbals out of the snare mic there is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR3mKXORiiw

then there was the kick drum pretty strong in the snare mic also. Dunno how hip you are to sidechaining but you can set up a compressor on the snare and have the kick signal coming in as the sidechain to try to duck the kick out of the snare track.

What I did was to duplicate the kick track and move it back some milliseconds…I forget how many, maybe 20-40?? I then used THAT kick track as the sidechain and played with the release on the compressor to get it sounding decent. of course I disabled the master send on that kick track so it didnt sound in the actual mix

any little bit that you can get that junk off the snare track helps a ton. even a few db. That way you can have a bit more control over the snare itself without having lots of confusion coming in due to the cymbals and kick being affected

Same with the cymbal track etc, naturally it had tons of snare on it but on that I just more or less used a hi pass filter and moved it high enough to get rid of most of the snare.

They should have just labeled all the mics “room” because thats what it sounded like anyway lol


I remember running across that YouTube tutorial awhile back, thanks for posting that! Some other great ideas to try out here too. Thanks Jon-Jon!


Listen Mike - whatever sounds good to you is right. That’s the bottom line - and where all great artists reference as a baseline. They do something different and probably away from convention.

We all have a different perspective and preference. You could be tweaking this forever on advice from us all - at some point you have to close it and say ‘finished’. Forget the science - trust your ears.

Don’t forget the things that are uniquely you in this recording. It all counts… and when all is said and done - there is no right and wrong…


Well said Tony. I’ve got a ways to go before I’m at the mixing and listening skills of a lot of you folks here on this forum and looking forward to when my mixing skills catch up with my taste, as Andrew said in another thread. But I’m at the stage now where I’m trying to take it all in and figure out what works and what makes sense for me and my workflow. Thanks again for all the input - keep it coming!

Looking forward to hearing more of your stuff!


And the “final” mix. This one includes Jon-Jon’s link for phase cancelling of the cymbals. Used on the snare top and Tom 2 mics to minimize the cymbals in my P-Drum bus. (I’ve been meaning to try that for a while now. Neat trick!) Also did his kick-ducking side-chain - thanks for that one JJ.

Then it was time to play with my new plugins: I added the new Boz Big Clipper to the Ukulele track(s) - I doubled it for the flute section when the guitar drops out - and then added SoundToys EchoBoy Jr. to the Uke tracks during the Flute solo for some extra texture.

Time to stick a fork in this one and call it “done”. Great track and thanks everyone for the feedback!

Big Clipper by Boz Digital Labs Released!

Hi, I am late,

but miked, I really prefer the clarity of the previous mix, the nail the mix trick is cool,
but in this case, I am not sure it is the solution. Not fan of chorus fx on gtrs, but ok. Good
balance, good vocals. About those cymbs, maybe you only just adjust the cymb attenuation,
by lowering the phase inverted track’s fader, it will be less dark !