Need some mix help here

This track is a jazz collab I did with composer Frank Paul. He’s hearing audio skips on his equipment, does anybody else hear skips or drop outs? I don’t hear anything like that but I’m hoping to find out if we have a problem here.

Any other comments or criticism is welcome, thanks for listening!


I didn’t notice anything like that. Make sure you’re listening to your exported file that you sent him (?) and not your DAW in order to check that.

The piano thing in the intro is cool, kind of ‘atonal’ (or whatever you call that), and a bit weird, but yet interesting. When the drums come in about 0:40 the beat feels weird and ‘off’ … I assume it’s an unusual time signature or meter on the drums, so maybe that’s it, but it is kind of distracting. Keep in mind I was a Rock drummer for some years, so I’m more used to straight ahead beats.

The splash cymbal at 1:40 is a tad loudish, though it also breaks the ‘spell’ of the existing rhythm and sets the stage for the change-up, so maybe it’s a planned cue? That’s a cool change-up at 1:47, I like how the stand-up bass (?) comes in and plays around. Then that tambo/snare/rim-shot picks up and feels very fun - though both snare and rim-shot almost simultaneously would be tricky for a real drummer - I assume this is MIDI drums (?). Another change-up at 2:40, and since this is an instrumental those changes do help keep the interest going. I like the keyboard ‘run’ at 3:30. The saxophone part is very nice, is that MIDI or acoustic? It sounds very good, so I’m guessing acoustic.

I’m not that well-versed on jazz, but I’ll say that the pattern change-ups come often enough to keep it interesting, but not too frequent to where it feels chaotic. Just unusual and different. There are some nice melodic solos going on, interspersed with the ‘atonal’ as I mentioned.


I don’t hear any skips at all. I love the upright bass and I agree with everything Stan pretty much says.


Very good point @Stan_Halen and thanks for listening. Although I did do it with this track since Frank is having problems with it I have been careless with that in the past; it’s an important step to remember.

Our trademark! But you are right about the blend of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ which always has been a hook to my ear, even with some very standard type music. You have a very perceptive ear and I appreciate you bringing that insight and a different point of view to this, it’s a big help to know what works and what doesn’t!

Thanks for listening and helping with this @WeGotLost ; yeah I’ve always been a sucker for that raspy big fiddle sound.

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Ahhhhh!!! I love the atonal vibe! Sweeeeeeet. I admire any composer who goes outside the box with that stuff. First few bars I was like ‘yeah… this cool!’.

So regarding the mix - I like how the piano is slightly off center to the left, and I don’t mind the sample library, but the piano is really dry (as in verb) for a jazz mix. In my opinion (and this is very much just an opinion), it’s begging for some room ambiance.

I would take all 3 instruments and shoot them to a bus channel so that everything is reverberating around the same ‘virtual’ space.

Another thing that stands out to me is that ride cymbal, and I think that’s a make-or-break element of your mix in terms of realism. It sounds 100% midi… the sample is dead on - it sounds like a large (23/24 inch) aged hand hammered dry ride… perfect for this style, it’s the hits and dynamics that make it sounds like it was midi dashes on a piano roll instead of a living/breathing organic (and slightly imperfect) human performance.

If you’re willing to invest a few minutes into improving this, take a listen to some ride cymbal shootout videos :slight_smile: Those usually have guys tapping out patterns that you might be able to draw some ideas from.

But again, I really did like this track. :slight_smile: Well done!


Cool piece. It kind of reminds me of some of the ECM stuff from the 70s. The the only things I’d change are adding a bit more room reverb on the drums to get them to sit a bit farther back and perhaps changing the beat under the sax solo. I didn’t hear any drop outs. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for the kind words @Jonathan , glad to hear you like the edgy stuff too!

You’ve hit on an issue that I struggle with, the virtual space as you say. What I have now is all tracks as dry as possible with EW Spaces 2 on the master bus modeling a virtual space. Seems logical but hard to get right so I’ll adjust the piano at least.

Thanks for the tip on the ride, I’ll work on that too.

@Chandler thanks for listening and commenting, I’m definitely going to look at my ambience issues so thanks for the tip. Yeah, ECM has some true heavyweights, Frank and I are honored to be on the same planet with those guys. And I still like your tune better!

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its missing flute! :crazy_face:


You make an excellent point there. Here’s a score and the alto sax part. Please look at this if you would and if you are interested we’d love to discuss solving that problem! :grinning:

This score was made for production only so there are some issues, but the alto sax part is at concert pitch and accurate I believe. :roll_eyes:

Ingo’s Tune-Alto_Sax.pdf (79.1 KB)
Ingo’s Tune Score.pdf (392.4 KB)

haha at this point I am neck deep in things. Things heating up for release of the game trailer. I have another collab I am working on with @feaker that I havent even been able to start yet :sweat_smile:
but thanks for the score I will definitely add it on the todo list!


I look forward to seeing more of that, what you showed us so far is beautiful stuff!

Really interesting piece of music! Some nice, ear-catching harmonic movement happening. The drums need some work to get them to be more jazz-like and colourful, but it definitely gets the idea across

I like just about everything about it except for the the bass. The bass just seems really robotic and lacking in variation - a lot of the rhythms are very “same-y”, so it doesn’t really convey the improvisatory spirit of jazz. The bass sounds are also very one-dimensional. To get a realistic midi performance would take a lot of work, I think.

I didn’t really hear any glitching, btw. Cool stuff!

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Thanks for listening and the encouraging comments @ColdRoomStudio ; it’s always a big help.

The drums I think are pretty close to where I want them on this. I’ve got some color and off-beats to the point where some listeners are distracted. You’re right about the groove though, that’s always a challenge. Jonathan mentioned the all-important ride cymbal needing some work and I agree and I think doing that will help get the feel you would like here. The EW library drums are pretty close sound-wise although they lack the programming depth other plugins offer.

I agree with you about the bass. The sound is good but limited which is much more noticeable with a string bass than piano for example; we just expect a string bass to have all the little slides and clicks and raspy sounds that good players use. Frank Paul has written some nice lines here and with the saxophone especially but having more sound variety and control available would let me go in and give the bass the life that it wants, as you have said. I think Trillian and VSL have much more advanced versions of string bass and I hope to look into getting something like that soon. Lacking that I’m sure some careful editing would help though.

Thanks again for your help and feedback!