Ok, so this mix OFFICIALLY sucks. Whats the worst thing about it?

Ok, so this mix OFFICIALLY sucks. Whats the worst thing about it?
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Where is the magic elusive path people somehow find where they have their own ears properly trained? id love to find that place
All I can say is the magic path should not lead you to the cliff you seem to be ready to jump off of. Ear training and referencing are two good steps along the path, but another suggestion would be to mix some music outside your favorite genres, maybe a little poppier, to get out of the heavy metal epic mindset. Might give you a fresh perspective on things. You are already more skilled at this than you’re allowing yourself to believe. If you took your mix and played it for a few normal people who are not interested in fighting to the death over the sound of the drums on their favorite music, you’ll probably find that most of them will say “Wow, that sounds pretty good”. When you put it up here and ask to be bashed, you’re going to find out about a lot of details that may or may not be important to the overall validity of what you are doing, and it is certainly not worth giving the whole thing up for. Have fun with it until you like it.


I think you have a good point. There are commonly accepted boundaries, for the most part. And that’s even more-so the case for “commercial” music.

I talked about objective skills vs subjective art. I’d say that “mixing a track such that it sounds like this other track” is mostly an objective skill. “Mixing a track to sound commercial,” can be a skill. What I’m hearing from Jon-Jon is a lot of “this sucks,” and “can’t get a decent mix” and that sort of thing. And that kind of thinking leads to depression. It’s much more productive to think in realistic, concrete terms. And you can do that with a lot of elements of mixing.

I see what you mean though. And I might be getting caught up on semantics, but they can make a big deal in how we feel about things. Sure someone can tell you if your mix sounds like other mixes. If it sounds up to certain accepted standards.

I guess my main point was that you have to stay grounded in your own thinking. Your own opinions. Your own reasons for wanting to make music in the first place. You can’t just rely on other people to tell you how you’re doing. Hope that makes sense.


Hey im not the only one. im just relating back in terms of what gets dished at me

for example:

should we go thru and pick out the overblown imagery and hyperbole?

Whats a potato chip sound like?

What db level does “blaring out of control” relate to? 3db? 6 db? 12 db?

‘ton of overpowering mud’. A ton is 2000lbs but how many db is it?

kick is ‘completely’ buried. So in other words I could mute it and it wouldnt make any difference?? So no, its not “completely” buried at all.

“way too much chorus on the guitar.” oh, THAT guitar. there are only like a dozen guitar tracks there. The only one I remember adding chorus to is the solo.

So I guess we can argue if there are any objective standards for mixes and while we are at it we can discuss objective standards for clear communication in text

So dont be amazed if I say “it sucks”. Im just relating back in the overblown terminology that is coming at me

and btw I did post this mix 16 days ago and got no replies. Karnivool Deadman final mix

I could have made substantial changes to it before submitting it.

no big deal. no one here owes me anything


You’re right. Think about that for a minute, as it relates to your example of Jonathan’s notes on your mix. Nobody owes you a perfectly clear, step-by-step guide on how to “fix” your mix. Or whatever. What I like to do when I get feedback on a mix is to always consider it. “Hmm, my snare sounds like a potato chip? Do I agree with that? Hmm.” Sometimes you have to read between the lines. There’s usually something of value, even if you have to think about it for a minute. And then finally, you take it or leave it. It’s up to you to take all of the opinions sent your way, and decide on which ones are of value to you. It seems like you’re getting mad at people for not all agreeing with each other. That’s why I brought up how subjective this all is. And that you have to be the final arbiter.

The words you use are also your responsibility. It’s your responsibility to decide whether to say “it sucks,” or to say something more realistic and productive. Frankly who cares if other people tell you it sucks. You’re relying too much on other people’s opinions, even in your word choice. Do you see what I mean?


to me personally, it does suck that im not far better than I currently seem to be. yes, i think ‘sucks’ is a fair word. I could be quite a bit more descriptive considering ive been a musician for 30 years but when it comes down to it I dont have even ONE song i can proudly hand to someone and say “here is what I do”. I have plenty of “almost” good stuff. To my generation, “almost” and “sucks” are about the same lol

The potato chip thing. I didnt start this site or RR. Ostensibly the “bash” section is to give feedback so others can improve. Its pretty hard to draw conclusions from extreme hyperbole and abstract imagery. I mean, if we are going to tout “standards” as applied to art, then surely communication would have even clearer standards


Cold Room has given me fantastic feedback that i am now reminded of with every mix i do. A very valuable point my mixes were missing or i wasn’t focused on enough, i feel it improved my mixes . Feedback is great but can also be painful too lol.
Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy .Keep cracking on and you will get over this little hurdal .


Indeed :slight_smile:

I’m talking about the noise it makes when you bite into one.

On the hi-hat? Everything over 9k, but simply lowering that will not fix the problem because part of it is how you managed the bleed through other mics. And the other part is how the volume levels of everything else around it don’t work.

db? Mud has to do with frequencies that clash and mask other frequencies. The problem is there’s clashing frequencies all over that mix. There’s no one frequency range that is the sole problem, but looking at what you have going on at 400hz, 1K, and 7K by the time stuff is hitting your 2-bus are are 3 good places to start.

Yeah. which ever one you put the chorus on.


im assuming you dont remember a few of the mix revisions of this same exact song I did a few weeks back. I do. Specifically the one where I had overscooped this exact same mud range and thus I had taken all of the warmth out

damned if I do or dont


I don’t know what to say. There’s just some fundamental basics tools that it doesn’t sound like you have a firm grasp on how to use.

If I were you I would scrap that entire mix and start over. Use only the following tracks.


Do not use any busses. Do not use any automation. Do not use sample replacement. Do not use any delays or reverb effects. And nothing on your 2 bus AT ALL.

Only use EQ and compression. You’re not gunning for a finished mix, you’re wanting to show that you can create a usable balance with only the bare bones basic tools of EQ and compression.

Then post the mix.

With only 8 tracks, I can do this using a keyboard and a mouse in 15-20 minutes.

Completely disregard everything else for now. Mix only those 8 tracks and see if you can get that much functional. People are having a hard time helping because its almost impossible to sort through that mix without spending hours dissecting what went wrong.

Its going to be a lot easier for people to give you feedback if they can see where your process is getting shot to hell. You have GOT to take some steps backwards and get your fundamental technique solid.


yeah it gets complicated pretty quickly for instance when you say “bass” you envision one track. Nah, 3 bass mics.

3 kick mics plus a kick sample

snare top and bottom

4 different toms in the intro plus samples later

2 sets of cymbal OH plus cymbal samples, plus hihats

mono and stereo room mics

No way to work without busses IMO, even though of course they dont need to necessarily have processing on them

dead bare bones just for the intro is probably 18-20 tracks

I saved multiple revisions at key points as I went and documented them in notepad so I could go back at any point. So I have a decent starting point.

Might redo the intro. Sick of the song though. it will always have a negative vibe for me from now on


Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times trying to get the light bulb to work as it does today. Failure is a necessity and there is no other way to learn than to fail. And most times I think we have to have something go wrong to a degree that it really causes us to take a look at what our approach. Otherwise we might not implement change. It pisses you off today but next week and next year, this experience will pay off. You might even look back and find that you made some kind of change in your mixing that really is a good thing and you would not have had that happen had this not happened.


well this definitely felt like a shift happened. I got a bad feeling it just broke me though. Broke my will

Time will tell I guess. A boxer can only get Ko’d so many times before his chin is ruined


Music is in our blood, we can’t stay away. If you think of everything that has ever happened in your life that sucked, it always got better. It always gets better, we go back to feeling “normal” in short time. I say $100 by this time next week, your back at the keyboard.


im back at it now but im still clueless. if I had a nickel for every time ive doubled my resolve id have a lot of nickels. Unfortunately thats all id have

I sit here now trying to eq the kick/snare/bass. As usual Ifind myself using some novel method that ive never seen others use…yet makes sense to me. I have a feeling I know where this is going


If that were me, I would get walk away from it all just for a day. When frustration is at its max like this it’s like trying to think with an active bee hive in our head.


its just so effin complicated. Snare mic means fk all when u have multiple OH and room mics


I have been recording for 15 years and I have thought many times there needs to be a recording therapist.


yeah, pretty much everything I have ever pursued in my life has been of the hyperdeep intense soul crushing type. Golf, chess, music. Lifting weights and working out was about the only thing I ever got into that basically gave a legit 1 to 1 input/output thing. You got out relative to what you put in. Evidently with music you can put in for years and not see much coming back


How many people have hobbies or interests that anybody else cares about? My wife likes to sew. She spends tons of time on it, and enjoys it. Do you know who else is good at sewing? 20,000 kids in Indonesian factories. It’s cheaper to buy finished clothing than it is to buy raw fabric to make clothes. All hobbies are like that.

The amount of time I’ve spent making music is embarrassing, considering how little I’ve accomplished. Why do you think I make plugins? Because my music sucks. I enjoy making it, but even the music that I’ve made that I’m actually proud of, most people would hear and think “meh, not my thing.” So what? It’s fun, and it’s a challenge, and there’s tons of room to grow, which means I won’t be getting bored of it any time soon.

You are never going to please everyone with your music. You can enjoy mixing without being good at it. But I can guarantee that if it frustrates you, you aren’t going to get better.


this is a foreign concept to me lol. if im not steadily improving at whatever im doing, there is zero fulfillment in it

if I take up bowling tomorrow i will want to have at least a 200 avg within 2 years or so. I couldnt bowl 110 and be anything approaching happy