"Too Much" Rough Mix

Hi everyone - I haven’t been around as I have been busy working on my music, trying to get as much done while I have some time…

I’m resurrecting this song (written in 1993) for my new album. I just finished production on the new version, which I’m hoping to get someone else to mix and put out as a preliminary single. We’re having a competition over at Audio Mix Club for it - $300 prize, and the possibility that the winning version will be on the album.

In any case, here is my rough mix (or, at least, where I got to as I was recording the parts for the production):

2 Likes

Doesn’t sound rough to me. You know I am going to say I love the first 57 sec because of the clarity. ha ha Having some ear problems with pain and hissing so there’s that. Though I might have heard a touch of extra high freq in your vox tho? One thing I do know is that this place takes a big hit when you are not around. Congrats on this song

1 Like

Thanks Paul - glad you made it through almost a minute! :wink: Thanks for listening and commenting- much appreciated :+1:

If you have other songs like this stashed in the Way Back Machine you need to bust them out.
Very nice composition and performance. I’m hearing a little U2 influence with the harmonics and guitar stabs, which is great. The guitars sound expensive.
Somebody is going to have fun mixing this. If I were producing, I could see lots of background vocals fattening things up (ooohs and aaahs in the choruses) and maybe darkening the main voice a touch to get it a little bit deeper into the mix, but I’m not listening on monitors.
The song stands very well on its own merit.

1 Like

Hey Bob, thanks for listening and commenting.

Haha, yes… so many songs… so little time! This was one of those songs I wrote really quickly - one inspired little session of about 30 minutes. Getting it to sound like I hear in my head is another matter!

Cool - I like expensive guitars! :grin: These guitars are a mix of amps and pedals blended together to get different textures. Mesa Lonestar, (using the different channels for different parts) THD Univalve, Vox Big Ben, Marshall cab, and a bit of Vox AC 4 too. The blend is all a bit “mad professor-ish”, but I’ve really been growing in my appreciation for the Mesa’s 1st channel switched down to 1 valve at 5 watts. It has this lovely, glassy compressed thing going on that I can’t really get any other way.

I hope so - I’m looking forward to sitting back from the mixing this time. Production and recording are pretty draining sometimes.

I actually have a tonne of BGVs toward the end of the song, but I think you’re talking about counterpoint vocals - is that right? Great idea, but I never thought of that at the time! :man_facepalming:

I agree on that one. No automation on the main vocal - it’s just sitting there at the moment. Someone else’s problem now! :laughing:

1 Like

sounding good. As per you have a nice collection of ear candy while not distracting from the song. I look forward to hearing the final mix.

1 Like

Thanks Eric - I really appreciate the input!

Sounds like a good mix to me. I like the way you intro’d !

Yesterday I listened to this song/ mix through my cheap iPad speakers. The only thing about the mix that had me unsure was the vocals during the first verse, where it seemed I could hear a bit of excessive sss’s and a particular breath on the vocals. I thought it might be due to the way iPad speakers accentuate the higher frequencies, so I wanted to check it out again tonight, through my headphones, via laptop. Now, as I listen through the headphones I seem to be less concerned with it but after a few listens I’m wondering if I’ve just become accustomed to the high end sizzle on the vocal. It’s a very minor observation, though.

After reading what Paul and Bob said, alluding to “hiss, extra high frequency” (Paul mentioned) and “maybe darkening the main voice a touch” (Bob mentioned), I’m wondering if they were getting a bit of that high end sizzle that II’m referring to? Maybe we’re all using different words for the same thing each of us are perceiving. I’m not sure.

Everything sounds nicely balanced here. I hope you post the winning mix here so that we can hear what they come up with!

1 Like

Thanks mate - I appreciate the listen and your thoughtful comments. You’re absolutely right - If I were to complete this mix I would soften the vocal tone, especially in the quieter parts of the song. I figured I’d leave it as is for the moment, because I’m really hoping to hear a great mix of it from someone else.

2 Likes

I thought the vocal was a bit out front, which could be sizzle or simply a volume adjustment.
The cool thing about this project is that someone other than the Maestro is mixing it, so when he posts it, we can have a WWAD thread. (What Would Andrew Do?).
I think it’s a great tune, and I have a little feel for where he might take it, so a different approach may be surprising.

2 Likes

Just some random things I picked out that I’m curious about. The intro guitar montage (first ten seconds) is very cool and interesting. I’d be curious how you put that together. Also there’s a sound at 1:00 and 3:15 that sounds like an agogo (?) doing a “five stroke roll” a couple times each instance. That’s a really good effect and drew my interest. How did you put that one together?

There’s an unusual timing/beat on the snare, at times, that keeps it interesting as well. Is that like a Samba or Bossa Nova type beat, or just an unusual accent? It’s like a ‘stop’ on the beat for a brief second, in different parts of the song I think, but 2:40 is one place I noticed it. Sometimes it’s the snare, and other times a side-stick.

Haha! Answer: Probably something pointless and non-productive for a long time, before finally finding the the path to something passable after a long and circuitous journey with many dead ends!

I honestly did that so long ago that I simply cannot remember what I did! It involved a lot of delay, reverb, mangling and turning sounds backwards.

Thats a crystal drinking glass being tapped with chopsticks, and it duplicates the rhythm of the strummed harmonics that the rhythm guitar is playing (outlining the Em chord). That was a last-minute idea I threw in. I think I mixed it a little too loud for where I want it to be… it probably needs a little more subtlety.

I originally played the drums on this song, so the beat/feel was something I came up with, but I was never happy with the stiffness of my drumming, so I sent it to the drummer I’ve been using for the album, and he put his own twist on it, but kept a the basic essence of what I did originally. Here’s the demo I sent him to drum to:

I hope that answers your questions!

1 Like

Ha, cool trick! I did something similar many years ago, but it was with wooden BBQ skewers rather than chopsticks. I also played around with different water levels in the crystal glasses - it changes the tone. You can also wet your finger and run it around the top of the glass and it sound like those “singing crystal bowls” that the hippies like to play. :slightly_smiling_face:

I thought the loudness was perfect. I hope your winning mixer doesn’t change that!

Yes, thanks! I can hear that beat accent in your Demo track for sure. It was nice to be able to hear the demo version of the song too.

1 Like

I really enjoy doing that sort of stuff. It really gives some personality to a production IMO.
This track, has me playing lo-fi mangled rhythms on the body of an acoustic guitar:

In this one, after the lead break , in the breakdown verse, I’m literally hitting pots and pans from the kitchen for percussion:

1 Like

I remember years ago on RR there was a thread about “Playing Around the Kitchen” or something like that. Lots of things can be used for instruments and sound effects, especially for things like “foley” sound design. Around that time I had done a cover of Judas Priest’s “Metal Gods” and tried to emulate their sound effects as close as possible. So there I was dropping a silverware tray on a tile floor right next to a mic, for the Metal Gods (crazed robots?) ‘stomp’ sounds at the end of the track. Fun stuff.

1 Like

I liked the song. The guitars sounded really good and the drums and bass all blended well. I liked the little production tricks too. The only thing that sounded a bit off was the vocal. It sounds a bit “in your face” to me. I’d like a little reverb/delay and volume reduction, but that’s just me. Great production and song writing.

1 Like

Thanks mate!

Yeah, I totally agree. I’ve heard some really nice mixes of the song over at Audio Mix Club, though… so I’ll leave it up to those guys! :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

So i went to the site and, if I am not mistakin (like I usually am) your song is up for review and there is a great pic of you in your studio? Seems like a big deal to me? Can you imagine me try to better a song???

1 Like

No, you’re not mistaken.

It is what AMC calls a “Mix Audition”. Mixers basically compete to have their mix be THE mix for an artist’s release. There is a USD$300 cash prize for the winning mix, and it will be released as a single, as well as be the mix on the album. $300 is a decent fee for mixing a song. (I usually charge around $250 for a full blown mix myself).

I won a mix audition over at AMC in March last year with a song called “Out of Nowhere” by Mike Mathis:

I’m busy working on production of my final album tracks, and I haven’t released anything in a long time, so I thought I would get someone else to mix a track of mine for a quick release, so I could concentrate on the tasks at hand. There are a few pro-level mixers over at AMC, so I’m pretty confident someone will come up with something great. I’ve already heard some excellent mixes of my song.

3 Likes

I like the way you developed the intro from the original demo, makes the glass/harm part work better when it comes in. Good sound design, really raises things to the next level. Great track all around!

1 Like