As a note, I didn’t record any of this, and it’s not for a client.
Testing some fun new toys… I’ve started investing in 500-series gear. On this mix I have a stereo pair of DBX560A’s doing parallel drum compression and a Dizengoff Audio Type 120 Dynamics Processor that’s doing some compression and a bit of dirt on the lead vocal… and as is standard for me now, everything gets bussed to 8 channels of analog summing on my Dangerous DBox+.
This is my first pass, and I’m pretty happy with it. It was recorded extremely well, so it wasn’t hard to get a good sounding foundation quickly.
Its a great mix, very well panned and the arrangement flows really well. Vocals are amazing. Great work!
ok Putting the critic hat on.
its mixed perhaps a bit too well, almost feelts like cylons created the mix. Everything is balanced to perfection, the frequencies are ironed out evenly to create that high “digital” sounding mix. I personally would like to hear more guitar lows in the range of 30-80 hz, to add a bit more low end. Unless it is by design ofcourse.
Mix has a pretty large mid spread which sort of works for this song but for repeat listening it might come out a bit harsh on the more sensitive ears.
Vocals are a bit isolated (like in a different space), might need a bit of color matching with the guitars. might need a wee bit delay or a stereo double. Other than that nothing else to pick on. Mix is fine as is.
Thank you! All very valid points and well taken. I for one, welcome our new Cylon overlords
This stood out to me, because generally my first order of business is to high-pass the guitars to like a minimum of 120hz (variable depending on the track) and give it a little bump around where the slope starts for some beef.
Do you think that boosting in that range would make the guitars fight a bit with the bass? I also just realized you may be including the bass in that statement too…
its not a mixing mistake, its more of a preference. Which is why I added personally. I have a bit of a listening bias towards classic rock which is not as aggressively high passed and has a bit more dominant low end. This is more towards the modern style which is great as is. If you really want to toy with it, you could “hack” it by adding a tight mono boost on the bass guitar around the 30-60
I think I’m so used to mixing metal that some of the things that are standard there get ingrained and I don’t wind up experimenting when I’m making forays into different genres… which I should be doing plenty of if it’s not for a client! I’ll play a bit with low end on the guitars and bass and see if there’s something I’d like better too. Thanks for the perspective!
I still really like your original mix. What I meant was basically leaning towards the skynryd vibe. (lol preference)
anyway this is what I meant with a small boost. I did some fiddling with the mp3 (so excuse the quality) but you will get the idea of what I was visualizing … a bit of the classic rock. The changes are subtle though. Has a bit of color and miniscule low boost to it.
Are the tracks available somewhere? I didn’t see any info on that. I really like the song, so if it’s mix tracks that are available I’m sure I’d have fun playing with it. The song is very cool, and it does sound very well recorded.
The song is really good and reminds me of 80’s hair metal in some ways. I have found that the modern style sometimes seems too thin for me. While the ‘punch’ in the original mix is really good, the ‘crunch’ or ‘beef’ seems a little lacking IMO. As Michelle says, it’s opinion and taste, and mine is wholly a product of growing up in that era. Whatever Michelle did sounds good to my ears, though it probably is a bit subtle. It was just ‘more’ toward what my ear likes.
Sounds really excellent. I don’t mind the super-clean vibe at all!.. I also like some of the mojo that @FluteCafe Michelle added - it does give it a slightly more “traditional” sound-print.
Personal-taste alert! I’d love to hear the choruses get more animated by automating delays etc. The song has a pretty exciting sound, but the choruses would really explode better with some more prominent delay action (IMO).
All I really did was that I felt that the track was too tight in the mids and well polished. I spread some of the mids a little bit. You can hear the guitars mids and lomids a bit spread out in the left right ears cutting a tiny amount of overall harshness. I boosted a small amount in the 30 to 80hz to get the guitars sounding a bit “old school”. I cut a very small amount in the 16k+ since classic rock did not have much “air” . They were a bit easier on the ears. Added a tiny amount of color to the whole mix so the vocals seem like they are in the same space as the guitars, as if recorded live.
OP mentions that guitars were high passed at 120hz , if goal is to sound a bit classicky then taking the high pass back up a notch and slight rebalancing in the mids could be all thats needed.
Fyi I didnt mean to shadow the original mix in anyway. It is great as is. Since the changes I felt were too subtle to explain… I figured it might be easier to “show” than tell.
No shadowing done! I also really dig your tweak to it as well… I listened on headphones to mine last night before going to sleep and through my bass-heavy Bose headphones I felt it lacked a bit of grunt in the low end too. Next time I open it I’m going to play around with that a bit. So… your show n’ tell feedback was greatly appreciated!
Dang, Blair! This is just a good mix. I agree with Michelle, that it was so perfect. But I didn’t see it as overdone. Heck, I had to look up what a cylon was! So what do I know!
I’m only listening right now on my MacBook Air speakers, and it sounded really nice. Translated well on those little speakers. Nice balance.
Man, I dunno that I have much to offer: you guys are just so beyond me. So, Michelle is commenting on that low end 30-80 Hz thing, and I’m thinkin’ “nah, I like it the way it is.” But then I listen to her re-mix (remastering?) and I’m thinkin’ “Oh! I get it. I like that!” Subtle, but significant, adding the low-end. I don’t tend to do that in my mixes. I will be exploring that more. Nice touch, Michelle!
Michelle, could you explain to me what that means? I mean, how do you do that when all you have is an mp3?
Love @ColdRoomStudio Andrew’s comments about the delay thing on the chorus. Would love hearing more about that: You said automating it, but then you said ping-ponging it. So, most of my delays (e.g. H-Delay) have a ping-pong setting. When you say automate, are you doing that manually instead? Would love to hear more specifics on your settings when you build up the excitement in the chorus.
There’s something about the vocals that bugged me, but I dunno if you can do anything about that. I’d have liked a little more grit in the voice. It just was so clean, so perfect, it somehow didn’t “sit” well in the mix. It sounded “separate” from the rest of the mix? Maybe that’s what Michelle meant with the comment about the vocals being “a bit isolated (like in a different space).” So, like would a smidge of saturation or distortion or maybe even a bit-crusher help there? Just a thought. It wasn’t “bad” – in fact the vocals are quite good – the just didn’t sit right.
But then, what do I know! This was a very professional-sounding mix to my ears.
Now about the above comment… it’s interesting because I actually set out to mix the vocal a bit more “dirty” than I normally would. I have it running through a 500-series compressor that adds some nice harmonic distortion. That being said, I think I’m going to do another version for fun based on comments in here. Definitely want to try the delay in the chorus, and add some more beef a la Michelle’s comments… and I’ll make the vocal a bit filthier!
I do agree that the mix was fine as is. The subtle touch I was trying to show was more geared towards the “preference” of classic rock but ofcourse it doesnt have to be that way. I do notice a lot of classic rock fans coming back and the genre is sort of on the up and up. Imo the ears that are more attuned to years of classic rock do tend to prefer slightly more low end and a bit less tightness.
Not sure if I understand. I imported the mp3 in my daw and layered with an imaging plugin targetting the low mids and I spread em out a bit. Then boosted the lows very slightly so the ears get that a bit spread out low and low mid range of the guitar. Sort of classic vibe.
Automating meaning adjusting them dynamically to fit the mood of the music: Bringing the delay up in volume for the chorus, then pushing it even louder on certain words or phrases to emphasise them. I mentioned ping-pong delay because I like the way it gives the sense of echos coming from all over the place… it gives the impression of a really loud and exciting event happening - like when an emergency vehicle with its siren on barrels down a city street.