Nowhere to Fall (original) - first mix

Nowhere to Fall (original) - first mix
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Hi everyone,

Some of you might remember when I asked for help on lyrics writing and singing on a song I’ve written a while ago (original topic here)

I ended up keeping the initial vocal take because I’m just unable to come up with lyrics that fit the melody in a better way. I took my time to add a few tracks and mix the song. This is my first mix. It sounds ok to me but I just finished and I’d like fresh ears to listen to it and maybe point out things I overlooked or unbalanced.

I’m also taking any feedback on the arrangement and performance. I can go back to recording stage if needed although there are some tracks I won’t change (lower octave vocals because I can only sing that low when I have a sore throat, and guitar solo because it’s not me playing but a friend of mine).

So please, bash away!

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Wow, nice clean sound. First impression was a Hallmark sound. Singer really has a great range :slight_smile: Now I’m hearing Chicago without the brass:) This is really a good song. Congrats.

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The cymbals are thin on a laptop. Could use more 800-900hz. The kick isn’t translating very well on smaller speakers, but the bass is coming through. Maybe add a sample on top, or ramp up the EQ curve on the kick so that it hits a little harder above 200? I also think you could boost 2-5k on the kick to get the beater snap just a little more present without changing the nice mellow sound of the kick.

The lead guitar at 2:30 sounds over compressed. Any way to make it breath a little more? I like the idea of the effect you chose, but wasn’t crazy about the way it was applied (though that may be the exact sound you’re going for and that’s ok).

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Vox sound great .For me the kick dont suit the mix its too heavy and thick,the snare sounds a bit thin along with the symbols.Nice track tho, but i do think the mix could be better balanced.

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@feaker Wow, the Chicago reference is huge, for me this is one of the most impressive bands of this era in terms of songwriting, production and general sound. Thanks!

@Jonathan Interesting. Too much sizzle on the cymbals is a consistent shortcoming I can’t shake off but fortunately I usually correct this on the final mix or at the mastering stage; it becomes obvious when A/Bing with reference tracks. And my new mixing room is very dead so that doesn’t help either. Not sure what to do with the kick though, because it is already a sample and the hi-mid is already heavily boosted (+9.5dB @ 4.8kHz), and it feeds a sidechain compressor on the bass bus. Maybe just replace the sample altogether? But I liked it a lot, initially.
The guitar solo is over-compressed indeed but I can’t do anything about it, it has been recorded like this by my guitarist friend. It is a very common issue I get when guitarists record themselves at home and send me their tracks: they feel that they need a lot of compression to get a good sustain.

@takka360 Noted on the drums. Can you elaborate on the balance issue?

Nice tune! The mix is reminiscent of Supertramp and Alan Parsons. I’m not hearing a problem with the cymbals or the lead guitar. The kick is a bit dark but it’s not terrible. You could try rolling off a little of the low end. Or add and extra kick sample with a bright beater attack.

Yep, very nice piece of music.
I really like the songwriting, arrangement, recording and mixing. I agree of some references mentionned above :slight_smile:
Nice effects here and there, I also like the kinda raw synth solo.

On the kick thing, I usually try to get high values for velocity (above 118 for instance) this is where the sample gets all the meat, punch and tone it has.
On lower values (below 64, it depends of samples obviously) I found them very mellow with too much low end and mids that doesn’t fit the kick purpose (indicate where the beat is).
I also would recommand to try something shorter, some James Brown’s kicks is the opposite of yours in my mind, but I’d make a try what going on with this.

On the arrangement side, I would try to make the song shorter and make some transitions more obvious (drum breaks for instance, double tracking on some sections, change instrumentation of some parts).

By the way, very nice job to me!!

@ocnor those references mean a lot to me, thanks! I’ve listened to that stuff so much when I was young, no wonder I am influenced by that sound.

@ncls thanks, interesting comment on the sample velocity!

So here’s a revised mix , I’ve addressed most issued that were raised here I think. I’ve also changed the synth lead sounds a bit because I had a lot of comments on how outdated they sound but I’m not sure I came up with something truly better. Is there anything that remains to be adjusted?

Hey, cool work!

From my previous comment, I really some differences on drum sounds :slight_smile:
The synth lead is another flavor of synth sound… after thinking about it, I coudn’t really find one sound that would fit the song without having that purpose…

But definitively there is a Parson’s vibe and sound in your work, which is pretty nice from my point of view!