Finally got around to finishing a new track. Thanks in advance for giving it a listen…
What stage are you at on the mix here? Is this pretty much finished, or are you still looking for ideas/feedback on it?
Hopefully it’s finished - always open to input though!
The overall balances sound real good to me, but the overall contour seems dark. I wish there was a tad more of 62 to 90-somethign on the kick and bass. That’s borderline mastering type work though. If it was me, I would be preserve the level and EQ structure as-is and see if someone else could do some processing on the master and try and get that top to open up just a hair without making the cymbals and s’s on the vocals go haywire in the process. (Unless of course your comfortable doing your own mastering work). For me its really hard though…I’ve found that overarching EQ structure that’s caused problems on my 2 bus on my own stuff is often because of flaws in my room.
…I just got word back on the other sample I posted, the ME in Nashville sent a text this morning and asked if I could turn the kick down about 3-4db on everything I sent in. I haven’t mixed enough country stuff to be able to tell if thats because the kicks in country are a little more lethargic than in rock, or if its my room getting the better of me.
I was immediately impressed with the mix. Everything was clear and not clashy like my own stuff, lol. I do think however, at times, and, only at certain times, the vocals would have sounded better or more impactful if the upper register wasn’t used and a deeper more soulful approach was taken… it was almost like all the power and projection was lost hitting some of the higher notes.
The music was very interesting and for me, the draw. Lyrically it was pretty good, damn fine in fact, but didn’t leave me with the hook that would bring me back a dozen or more times and maybe it wasn’t the lyric but the way it was sung.
Nice song and lovely guitars. I’m listening through not so very fantastic headphones on my laptop. The only thing that stands out to me that I don’t like so much is the prominence of the snare. Or maybe just the way the snare is eq’d. There seems to be a lot of higher mids fq in the snare getting in the way of the vocal. Maybe even the drums as a whole, the kick also has a lot of higher mids. I don’t understand why Jonathan finds the track too dark, I would say the opposite…
Or is it just my trusty old Sennheiser HD 212 pro cans? So I checked again on my laptop speakers (not the best reference by any standard), and the snare is still a bit too much on the treble side for my liking, but the mix did sound better balanced. Well, my 2 cents worth…
Wooh cool song!! And such a great radio-friendly sound, really enjoyed this.
It’s a curious song in that the more I played it, the more I found to enjoy… the beginning has a lovely clever sophistication with the twists and turns… great space and sheen in the mix…
A hard one to bash…
One thing I did find was that the opening vocal felt just a little tucked back in the mix, it didn’t quite catch me on the first listen. With emotional ballads I always love to hear the timbre and catch of the vocals - it could maybe just be a tiny volume tweak? Great singing - I just would like a teeny bit more…
Gorgeous guitar riffing… very tasty. Mmm great songwriting… How is the album coming along??? I’ll buy a copy for sure!
I’d like the vocals to be a bit more prominent.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the notion that our X playing is so-goddamned hot, it needs to be loudest.
Truth is we do hear it. Even when it backs off a bit.
Old-timer like me, wanna be caught in the STORY that the singer conveys.
I come from a time when words still had meaning…
And to prove a point… haven’t posted this on this here forum, did on Brandon’s…
Demons and Wizards was the first album I ever bought… It was between that and Machine Head, which I got later… growing up with Heep, Purple, Zeppelin and Tull… while today’s kids grow up with Lorde, Spears and West. I thank my lucky stars…
And then… when it comes to the musical storytelling in your tune… I have a suggestion…
We start with some Steely Dan - Talbot (!!) sounding sophistication… Section A
Then we get into Section B - where the reggae feel starts and the vox begins… right?
You have a shuffling/re-orient bit between 0:16 and 0:18 - I think you should CUT that…
Instead stay on the (root?) note the lead guitar holds at 0:16
This is the note that carries us into “the other reality…”
The shuffling bit, in my mind, is “too clever” and detracts from the story…
Similarly, I think you can up the FX on the vox. Tasteful DL and verb where called for.
I know this will probably hurt, but the VOX and the STORY are the main features in this show…
Thanks Jonathan. This was a tricky song to find something appropriate to reference. I’ve never really had that problem before, but it’s I guess it’s a weird hybrid of indie and jazz-ish rock… When I went through a modern Indie Rock playlist on Snotify it was all over the shop frequency and levels-wise.
I think you’re right about the sub bass, but I’d like to tighten up the low end a little more too - I think it may be a little bloated in the 150-250 range.
(Oh, and BTW, I thought your original kick in the song you posted had plenty of “welly” )
Thanks for checking it out, Devyn. Glad you liked the music. As far as the vocals go… Well, I did my best. I did try quite a few different permutations, keys, melodies etc & this seemed to work the best. Probably just my limitations as a singer.
Hey Aef, thanks for listening and auditioning it on a couple of different systems - always great to get an “average” of how things are translating. All observations noted!
Thanks Emma. I second-guessed the vocal level at the last minute - I guess I should have stuck with where I had it!
Umm…the album, yeah… This is actually the 4th song from my second album. I have the first one sitting in limbo at present. I want to get it professionally mastered before I release it, but we’ve had a lot of unexpected expenses here recently, so frivolous stuff like that has to take a back seat for the moment.
Cool, thanks Sven! I’ll have to experiment with that idea in the intro to see if it works any better than what I have…
Honestly though, there is never any conscious attempt on my part to be “too clever”. My songwriting process consists mainly of painting myself into musical corners, then trying to find a way out without leaving any too obvious footprints, hopefully creating something mildly interesting in the interim.
I’ll take you and Emma’s advice to turn up the vocal. Thanks!
This is sounding great to me, I dig the composition and the interesting changes throughout. My only substantive comment is +1 for making the vox more prominent overall, they’re a bit buried by the wall of sound, particularly in the second half of the tune.
The song reminded me a bit of some Brand X stuff from the late 80s or so, complex both rhythmically and arrangement-wise, but quite accessible at the same time. Multiple listenings will no doubt be rewarding. Nice work Andrew!
LOL, I do look forward to your psychological and philosophical reasoning that shows:
“Too clever” IS NOT “painting myself into musical corners”
Well if I may mangle quoting Sam Cook: “don’t know much about philosophy …psychology etc”, but have a little bit of painting experience…and even the least clever, fume-addled roller-jockey would only paint himself into a corner once before wising up…whereas I seem to do it on every song.
Thanks Dave - heading over to YouTube to check out Brand X…
My fave album of theirs was called Product… “And So To F” probably my favorite of their tunes. Phil Collins was on drums at that time, and I’ve always loved his playing.
And I was mistaken on timing, it was late 70s early 80s that I was listening to them. I need to remember to just add ten years to how long ago something was as a matter of course!
Holy crap how did I miss this. Love the sound on that lead axe. Like to hear that very good vocal pop a little more. Lots competing there. So many things left unsaid…good stuff. Yup, after listening, you have to have "that voice’ shine through better?? sorry I didn’t read what others said. nice work