I assume you mean this.
#20 Stretch Markers
I assume you mean this.
#20 Stretch Markers
I would cut up the waveforms and move them around as much as you can get away with. To me that’s easier and more natural sounding than time-stretching them.
Cristina and other fellow REAPERites. Here’s passing on a pretty impressive video by Kenny Gioia explaining some pretty impressive features in REAPER, documenting it’s ability to edit wave forms for timing. I was not aware of this feature. This isn’t the same video that Vaughan recommended, but references that one and details some additional nuances of how to use what they call “stretch markers.” The part I found useful was about “Transient Guides,” which, when adjusted become markers that you can drag to adjust timing.
For info specifically on how and when to use the transient guides, go to 7:13.
Thanks again, Vaughan, for putting me on to this! Wow. You guys will love this! Seriously. To my ears, edits are pretty seamless.
So, I haven’t had time to do much with this song this week; all I’ve been able to do is fix the bass as described above. Actually, it didn’t take much, cuz my bassist, Scott, was pretty tight with the metronome. Still, this made it tighter.
I’m hoping to be able to lay down the guitar tracks sometime this weekend and will repost. Here’s hoping it makes a difference.
Thank you guys again for the feedback. More to come!
Thank you for the review! Now your recording: the vocals sound much more impressive when there is more than one vocal track. The timing can be tighter in some places, especially the intro. I don’t recall hearing a rock version of this song, so that’s pretty cool. I use Melodyne Editor. More often than not, I combine a non-pitch corrected vocal track (or sometimes half pitch corrected) with a track that has pitch correction. It often sounds less pitchy than just a pitch corrected track for me, and gives pseudo double-tracked vocals, which sound more full (after time shifting the vocal tracks 0.020 to 0.030 seconds). If you don’t already use pitch correction, I recommend Melodyne. It can do timing correction, but more often than not, the timing sounds worse for me. I have used it successfully on electric bass a few times. Your audio quality sounds pretty good, I don’t have any advice in that regard.
So I’m taking another run at it. I pretty much re-recorded the whole song, except bass and drums. I did tighten up the bass a touch, some minor tweaks.
I did two versions.
On THIS version, both electric guitars are totally re-recorded, with priority given to tightening them up, a LOT. Jonathan, Cristina, et al, you were absolutely correct. Man that’s a lot of work! I’m hoping you’ll tell me this is an improvement. This has been a learning experience for me.
Cristina, I re-did EG1 (first guitar, left side) using my PRS in center position, just for you! The previous version was done on my strat with the bridge pickup. Much harsher. EG2 is also totally re-done, also on my PRS. Mellower tone. Seymour Duncan pickups, btw.
I tightened the vocals and, as Jonathan suggested, moved the opening vocals up an octave. Both versions have totally new vocal tracks and I totally re-did the background vocals as well. Also used ReaTune to tweak any vocal pitchiness (haven’t had the time to figure out Waves Tune from the Gold Bundle yet; seems unintuitive and clunky to me. Ugh.).
So, here’s version 1:
Version 2 is a slightly different arrangement: lost the lead guitar and EG2 is on my Fender. Grittier. Different feel on EG2 and without the lead.
Sorry for taking so long to re-post. Been busy with work and life, but also have been really busting my bottom on the guitar work.
So, in addition to just a good bashing, my specific questions would be feedback on which version is the better direction to go, and also, compared with my original post, what y’all think of the high vs low register on opening verse.
And, of course, the biggie, please comment on the timing.
Thanks in advance!
Seems like you really sharpened up the timing. It’s much tighter now. That was a really important issue to fix!
I still find that the kick drum is really distracting. It has a very “slappy” sound to it that draws my attention to it…not in a good way. I have quite a few old demo recordings in which I used a drum machine and your kick drum sounds very similar to the kick drum in my demos. Not sure if you have the option to replace that kick with a subtler/ less slappy kick sound, but I think that could be improved a lot.
All the guitar and bass parts seem cool. The bass has a good sound but I find the sum of all the guitars to be a bit overwhelming from a listeners point of view. I think the riffs are good but the particular guitar sounds make things sound messy. The first thing I’d try is to cut back on reverbs and distortion/ overdrive…Maybe even bring the guitars down a bit. I’ve found that you don’t really need much effects and distortion when you have multiple guitars playing. Even with a single electric guitar sometimes it’s better to use these things very sparingly so that it introduces less noise into the recording…UNLESS you have a really good sounding guitar…AND it depends on the particular song.
You’ve made really good progress on the song. Keep up the good work!
Wow. Noticeable improvement on the timing. Keep working on it!
I still like the second one better.
There might be an issue with the clarity in the lead vocal. Its like there’s an excessive room verb or a doubler on there thats creating a weird ambience. If you go back to post number 12 and listen to my first mix, take a quick note of how focused and forward the vocal is. If you want to add a widening effect on it, I can show you some tricks on that down the road when you get some more feedback on the guitars and are ready to take a shot at that lead vocal.
Astute observation on the vox. I added the Waves Reel ADT to get somewhat of an anolog tape doubling effect on the vocals. Wasn’t sure if I liked it either. I think I did maybe like it on the background vocal group, but wasn’t sure about the main vocals.
Man, ya can’t get away with _nothin’_with you!
Seriously, thanks for noticing and commenting. I agree. I do like the more up front vocals. Will go back to that.
I do have the ability to tweak the kick. I’m thinking losing some in the 2-4K range to lose some of the slap you don’t like? Maybe cut a bit around 200 – 250 Hz to make it less boomy? Interesting you comment on that. I kind of liked the “bigness” of the kick, but maybe it was too much. I’ll fix.
That’s good feedback. Cristina also commented on it being to bright and crunchy, lacking warmth.
So, W, which direction would you go with the two versions? Asking here cuz cleaning up the guitars would be easy to do with the first version. With the 2nd version, the gritty EG2 (R speaker) is kind of central to the mix I’m thinking. Or would you still tame that as well?
So, version 1 or 2 for you, and if 2, would you still tame EG2?
Dont confuse creating attack/pointyness to the kick drum mic chnnel, with adding back in the midrange (you probably just removed), from your overhead mics. More distant mics provide excellent mid-range for drums, close ones… meh - not so much.
I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying I should pay more attention to editing the overhead than the kick channel directly? Meaning, to soften some of the slap, take it away on the O/H channel, not the kick channel?
I listened to version 1 of the latest mix. Way better on the timing, and the vocals are much better pitch-wise. A huge improvement overall!
Not quite, just allow your overheads to dominate your mix a little more in the high midrange, then you dont need so much of the the ‘pointy attack’ on kick drum.
It should feel more natural, ‘full range’ and clear, without the aggressive ‘tap’ or ‘click’ that often gets added in EQ to make it ‘poke through’.
You could try cutting back in that range or even higher to see if it helps. It might.
vtr is on the right track I think. As he said, it’s that aggressive tap" or click" sound that needs to to reduced.
I’d suggest trying to clean up all the guitars that you can. You might even want to try differing EQ for each guitar so that there’s more separation between them. And yes, if you can tame the EG2, do it.
I think I like 2 better. Yeah, try taming it.
I was going to mention this as well, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you with critiques. It sounds like that vocal effect creates an annoying phase that just contributes to make the recording sound messy. You probably have it sorted out by now though.
Thanks, W. Haven’t been able to do much with this yet. Weekdays are hard. I’ll have time this weekend. I think I know what you’re saying.
I didn’t have time to do anything with ver 2, but here’s another run at ver 1:
I nixed the analog thing on the vox. I agree with you. So the vox are cleaner, more up front, smoother. EGs are cleaned up a lot but still have a bit of bite. I had them cleaned up more, but it sounded too thin, so I brought it back a bit. Thoughts? I also hard-panned them L and R, which I think makes a big difference. Much more space. I tried tweaking the drums a bit, but didn’t do anything with the room or O/H, just the kick track. Brought them down a bit and tweaked the EQ for a bit less bite. I think Vaughan is right though, that probably more of what’s needed is in the room and O/H.
I haven’t had a time to play with ver 2 (I did this before I got your vote!). I’ll work on that next.
The kick is noticeably less intrusive. It still sounds “slappy” but it’s not bringing so much attention to itself now. That’s an improvement.
I like the panned guitars. It gives more separation between the instruments.
The vocals could probably use something to bring them out more. They feel a bit hidden at times. Maybe the guitars are overpowering them. Maybe a little eq in the upper mids or highs could bring the vocal out more. Possibly a different effect too, but avoid overdoing it. But it’s good that you got rid of that doubling effect that you had before. Vocals are cleaner now.
Nice. I wasn’t sure if I’d cut it back too much.
I agree. I’m happy with that too. Cleaning up the timing, taming down the tone a tad, and separating them has made so much difference. So much more space now. It has changed from feeling cluttered to now having room for something else. Not sure what though. String pad? Piano?
Jonathan said he’d walk me thru some tips at widening the vocals. Eager for that! I’ll tweak the EQ: I “think” I know what you mean. I also have a couple very nice convolution reverbs that might bring it out more. Will work on that too.
Just listening to the latest one on here from a few days ago. The timing is so much better! Great job there. I also like the overall tone better. The thing that stands out the most to me now as far as room for improvement goes, is the vocal tone. It’s sounding a bit muffled to me. Like you’re singing through a scarf.
If you’re looking to “bring out” a vocal, reverb isn’t the tool to grab. Reverb essentially pushes things back in a mix. If you think of each of your tracks/instruments as existing within a large room, then the ones up front will have less reverb and the ones in the back will have more. For something like a vocal, you want enough reverb/delay on it that it “sits well” in the mix, (as in it feels like it exists within the same space as the rest of the instruments,) but not so much that it sounds far away. Sometimes you do want more reverb/delay as an audible effect because it fits in with the aesthetic of your song, but I don’t think that’s the case here.
This last version is a lot less Dire Straits/Rolling Stones and more straight feeling, maybe tightening up the timing makes me think that? The mix itself, though, is much improved. Vocals are well behaved, not striving for too much attitude, and for this particular song that may be the best choice.
And it’s never too late to add something, there’s room. Try some piano perhaps and see. You never know, what would Billy Preston do?
How’s this, Cristina?
I did several things here. The first is I took almost three weeks off without listening to the song at all. I needed to get away from it! In part cuz I’m getting sick of it (how much time can ya spend on one song!) and part cuz I needed to get some distance so I could come back and hear it differently.
When I did, my reaction was, “yuck” on the vocals. Read you’re comment and thought, “how in the WORLD did that sound good to me?” Odd.
So I did some other stuff too:
√ Did quite a bit of editing of the lead AcG to remove a bunch of clicks from the pick on the strings that were a bit out of control
√ Reorganized the tracks better into busses so I could do more processing there, esp some compression
√ Simplified the fx on the vocals: no sends, no reverb, no chorus. All I have on the vox now is some surgical eq (ReaEQ) going into Sheps Omni, followed by another de-esser; then that went to a buss that has CLA Vocals on it. That’s it. I like it a lot better than the “scarf” approach to vocal mixing. Would love your thoughts.
√ I tweaked the compressors on the guitars: I got rid of most everything on the EGs (S-Gear, all) and did most of the processing on the EG buss: just a Red3 comp to brighten it up “just a touch,” followed by CLA-3A to bring it out more.
√ I added Scheps Omni to the BGV and added a teeny bit of chorus to thicken.
√ The other changes were adding R-Bass to bring out some higher end harmonics on the bass, so it came through a little better on my earbuds and in my car. Seemed to work, but I’m not confident in how to use that thing. Would love feedback on the bass.
√ Then I tried my hand at setting up a sidechain with the vocals, compressing the “rest of the band” just a few dB when the vox come in. Would love to know if it was transparent enough, or was it “too much.”
Mixing is such a challenge! I’m having fun learning (you guys are great! Thanks for the candid feedback), but it’s such an art. I think writing and playing pales in comparison to how hard this is. It gets discouraging. I wish I could mix like you all do. I guess that’s what keeps me goin’!
Enough for now. Thanks in advance!