Preliminary Mix of the Last Song from My Next Album

This one is finally done! I have a bit more automation and tweaking to do before I’m happy, but this is the general shape of it. It’s called “Uber Blues” If you get a chance, have a listen, and let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

Revised Mix Here:

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1:12 the guitars seem to be a little too close to volume with the wobbly part and distract, maybe a little volume ride and about 2-3db less there. Same at 2:05.

I general I feel the vocal could use to go up in the mix while the rhy guitars could go down a touch.

2:29 the second voc behind feels to be struggling with the part.

Love the solos!

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Sounds good @ColdRoomStudio to me, I like those clean tones at the beginning of the solo and the intro. Good all around but maybe more mainstream than some of your other lately works?

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wow what a great vibe. Guitars left and right are very tight. clear vox. Enough bass I guess. Come down nicely at 1:30 Crazy works. some high vox notes for sure.
Is that nylon at 2:50 ish. Now it’s gone. Aww dotted 16 notes.
Only thing I can think (IMHO) is that the drums almost too busy, like almost all the time?
Harmonies are sprinkled well. Nice ride Andy congrats

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I like it. At first the vocals in the verse verse felt a little dry, but as I got farther into the song, I stopped thinking that.

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Hey Descent, thanks for listening and commenting. I’m not sure I’m understanding exactly what you mean by this - can you explain in more detail?

Are the vocals not intelligible enough?

Do you mean it isn’t in pitch?.. or that you don’t like the tone of it?

Thanks!

Thanks Ingo. The 1st solo is an acoustic guitar. The intro guitars are actually pretty overdriven, however - maybe they sound clean in comparison to what comes later… TBH I don’t really think about mainstream or not… I just do what I do…

Thanks Paul, the acoustic is steel string. I play the part finger-style, so that is probably why it sounds a little softer, tone wise.

Ah well, way too late to do anything about that, I’m afraid. I don’t think I’ll be getting the drummer to re-record. I love the energy the drums provide to the song.

Thanks Paul. I appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment!

Thanks Boz - I appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment!

Great work as usual. You stepped the guitar work up a lot on this one in terms of tones and content. I have to go to the main monitors for any mix critique, but on first listen, I would say that the main guitars in the verses might benefit from some slight automation to help set up the chorus dynamics. I also, on first listen, hear the tremolo or kill switch track as being a little too out front. (Probably what was referred to as wobbly).
It’s a great song. I think when you do a bit more automation you can make it more dramatic, but it is already very very good.

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This was exactly my thoughts. Never bothered me after the first verse and unlikely to on a repeat listen either.
Only personal thing I’d like is to make the vibrato guitar in ths chorus more dynamic, either louder or with some cool panning, width effects, but that’s just fancy sprinkle stuff and nothing that would really change the song up much, it may just give it a bit of flair in those sections with some more movement.

Great tone on the solos, especially the lower end!
Listening further, I feel like some of the transitions don’t jump out as much as I’ve heard in your mixes before. They sort of flow one into the other. It is not bad in any respect, nor pedestrian, but that big drum fill into the end section was cool but it never felt like it then went up a step. Not sure if that makes sense.
I actually really liked this song, it feels complex yet simple at the same time. Lots going on but easy to follow. Nice work. Yell out when the release is…well…released! :slight_smile:

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Thanks, that’s nice to hear - there are quite a few guitar layers and textures happening.

Yes, I have to do a bit more automation to do. Do you mean turn the verse guitars down a little?

Yeah, I think this is going to be one of those things. You see, I really want that part to be unsettling and impactful. It isn’t meant to be subtle at all - If you listen to the lyrics, the music is re-enforcing the narrative. Kind of hard to explain, because I know a lot of people will think of it as taking your attention… but it is meant to do that… kind of like… if you turn it down to the point of not grabbing your attention, then what is the point of having it there anyway?..

Yeah, I think some of the comments have made me realise just how much of an impact the mix automation that I usually do has on the song. Thanks again for your input - it is really valuable to me.

Hey Dan! Great to hear from you. How’s Melbourne?

Interesting that both you and @bozmillar have mentioned this - it’s something I’ll definitely keep in mind when I remix.

Really interesting point, Dan. I think you get where I want that part to go. As I mentioned above to Styles, I want it to mirror the lyrics in terms of the feeling it gives you. Have you heard the Jack White album “Fear of the Dawn”? Those songs are pretty impactful with super-bold choices. I’m trying for a little of that flavour here.

Cool that’s good to know - solos can be tricky to balance, because in my mind, they need to kind of take over from where the vocals left off. The instrumentation behind the solo really changes, so it can be tricky to maintain perspective.

Thanks, yeah makes perfect sense… I think I need to do some more detailed automation on the drums, as well as on the overall “sectional” levels so there are more impactful long term dynamic changes.

Thank you. It’s great to know it comes across well. After working on it over such a long period of time, it’s easy to start second guessing yourself and wondering if it is any good at all. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment!

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Great song Andrew! Enjoyed that… loved the sense of tension, the suppressed crazy feel with stretching wildling guitars and evocative lyrics. There’s a cool little jagged guitar riff, particularly noticeable at about 1.24, ‘cliche in a car’ that painted a cool vibe.

Fab layering with instruments and harmonies, nice keys peeping through from time to time. Really liked the transitions between guitar voices.

In terms of bash, the only thing that came to mind was perhaps a more distinctive swell and grow at the end? Perhaps a more shaped ‘lull’ and then rise towards the end? But that is likely an automation thingy.

Great to listen to, worked well through laptop speakers but earbuds caught the ear candy very nicely. Looking forward to listening to the album!!

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Thanks Emma! The production on this one was really fragmented, with it happening over very scattered chunks of time. That was a bit frustrating, as it tends to have a slightly scattering effect on my vision. It’s good to hear that it sounds reasonably cohesive.

Thanks - I tried to build the “grow and swell” into the production and arrangement, but I agree that it needs to happen more overtly. More mix intervention by way of automation will definitely help, but I also have some more invasive ideas I may try…

That’s cool to hear. Thank you so much for your feedback - much appreciated!

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Okay, just listened again on cans. Man, there are a lot of layers in this birthday cake!
Now that I’m truly hearing everything, the interplay between the guitars is great and dramatic. You put a lot of work in there. Tones are immaculate. It’s amazing that with all the guitar parts banging off each other your vocals are still very distinct. I think there are a few spots that you might automate the vox up when you finalize it, but it’ really very close to perfect right now.
Very impressive, it’s a lot to take in in one listen, but it is a great ride to go on.

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One last thing; how did you get your output so high and keep the dynamics? I turned my phones down about 20% from where my music needs to be. I don’t expect a tutorial or anything but some crumbs would help.

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Thanks for all the listens and comments, everyone! Here is the revised mix:

The simple answer is not to rely on limiting on the final master only for loudness- it needs to be "built into the mix from the start…

The fact is though, this sort of thing isn’t a one-word-answer - Here is something I prepared earlier:

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I read that whole article and actually knew what you meant a few places. Usually when I see a 5 min song I groan.
Just the last few months I have used a limiter on the main volume. It says something like tame the mix. Now when I do the download it doesn’t ask me “you are 5 db over, are you sure you want to download” I say yeah cuz I can’t hear any problems. I never thought of using a limiter on an individual track.
I usually look at an acoustic track and isolate a large spike. I then cut the track and lower that note/spike. I listen then for clicks etc. I know a compressor does that but for some reason I believe it helps.
Like I have said before, I would gladly pay top dollar to watch over a pro when they mix.
You know me Andy now I had forgotten to listen to the final mix. ha ha peace

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…so did you ever listen to it?

Hi CRS,
Uber Blues is so hip.
I love your vocals on this song, very warm and bluesy!!!
The guitar solos is so lovely, simply fab!!!
This is fantastic production.
Love this.
Rene

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Upon further review, this thing is a masterpiece of production and execution. I listened to the revised edition, and was floored by how well everything ebbed and flowed and ultimately came together. The effected guitar part fits perfectly and locks everything together now, whereas before it seemed to draw your ears just a touch too much. Now it is a percussive propulsion that drops right in where it needs to be.
Great piece in all respects. I can’t imagine trying to pull something like this together, much less while you still have a job other than music.

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Thanks Bob… yeah this one stretched out over a long period, with many, many interruptions… it was hard to stay motivated, but we got there in the end. Thanks for taking a listen to the revision and commenting on it - much appreciated!