Hi everyone. This is my first time on this site and I wanted to get some serious feedback on my first metalcore mix from professional producers. I was originally sidechaining the bass, but I took off the sidechain because some people said it’s better to rely on EQs. I’m quad tracking the guitars, using a pitch shifter to make it sound lower (since I can’t afford strings). I’m using MIDI drums and MIDI bass. The bass MIDI is on 2 tracks, on one track, everything over 600 is cut, and on the second track, everything below 100. The high track is distorted a bit to taste. I’m using Emissary as my amp sim. I’m struggling with making the mix not sound flobby and I want it more glued together, and also I feel like the kick should cut through more. Please tell me where and what I’m doing wrong and how to improve it. I’ll have to link the track through SoundCloud so it will be compressed more and sound poorly.
I’d say the kick cuts through plenty. Probably a little too much. I feel like the drums could use more space. It sounds like you are relying a bit too much on the close mics and not enough of the overheads. I mean, it’s not super out of the norm the way it is, but it sounds like you were more focused on getting the drums to cut through than you were on trying to get the drums to sit right.
Thanks. The drums are MIDI (recorded) so I don’t really have control over the mics. I totally wish I did though. How do you think I could get them to sit better? I’m really new to this.
What drum plugin are you using?
Doesn’t that one give you the option to mix the mic perspectives?
I don’t think so. I can check again. I have the free version.
If you go into the mixer section, you have direct access to the mic levels.
edit: scratch that. It looks like you only have control over the volume of the drums, but not the mix.
Yeah, i thought so.
What else is there to do?
Okay I’m going to try Steven Slate drums. It looks like they have more control over the mics
Alright I switched to SSD5 and i’m really happy with how the drums sound. The only thing left is making the guitars less flabby sounding.
I’m not sure, but comparing the two drum kits I think I might prefer the MT-Power kit. Maybe it’s the way the drums cut through…but maybe it’s the simply the volume of the snare and kick. When I first listened to the initial mix with the MT-Power kit I thought the drums were somewhat overbearing and not sitting perfectly in the mix but going back and forth listening between the two, I think it’s not too bad. Maybe add a bit more reverb on the snare to see if it helps it sit better. I should add that I’m only listening through laptop speakers so what I’m suggesting might have to be taken with some uncertainty. I’ll try to give this a listen with headphone sometime soon.
I think the drums are just a bit too loud in general. You said you are trying to get it to cut through, but you have the opposite problem. They are demanding too much attention.
Sounds cool overall. Creative effects! I like the arrangement the tones overall.
Sort of agree there. The issue with getting the drums to “cut” through the mix can get the mix to sound like a “drum cover”. With the backtrack playing in the background. Which may or may not be an issue, depending on the genre. If its a dance mix, featuring drum and bass, sure why not. However, if its in the genre of a rock song or an immersive soundtrack like this, balance and depth are important as well imo.
Yeah, I did some changing on the drums more recently, i’ve just been too lazy to reupload them here. I agree the old ones were too loud.
That’s exactly the phrase I was looking for but for some reason couldn’t think of. I hear it happen often, and I find myself doing it too when I’m too hyper focused on one thing, I lose track of how to listen to the mix without focusing on the details. This, to me, is the #1 hardest thing about mixing is being able to switch back and forth between looking at the details and looking at the big picture. But you can always hear it when other people do it because it has the “karaoke effect.”
Alright i finished production of the song and i’m really proud of it. Please critique the mix as much as possible, i really want to hone in my skills from feedback.
Hi is there any particular area you are looking for the critique in? For a fanbase driven music like this, arrangement is key and you have a good arrangement. I really love your arrangement. You may want to listen to other popular tracks in your genre and play it alongside to see if it fits. In a high level sense you will get an idea. I would listen to Kevin Rix, Thomas Bergersen and visualize their songs with your style of percussion.
We could likely bash any piece to kingdom come even if it doesnt need it but if you are truly looking for technical critique, the image gets a bit muddled around 3:30ish when the guitars join the orchestral arrangement, you may want to carve out some more space for the guitars in the future. The violas might be panned too far hard left, you may want to keep some viola frequencies closer to the center so they dont sound unnaturally panned.
Other than that I dont see any major issues, nice work!
Alright thanks so much! Any advice as to how i can get rid of muddiness? And yeah the main things i want critiquing are is the mixing and mastering. And the style i’m going for is similar to Dead Butterflies by Architects.