Wasteland (Big Al Contest Mix)

Wasteland (Big Al Contest Mix)
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I didn’t add anything to this song. I only used the WAV files (with the exception of the glitchy cymbals) that came in the download. All I really did was a little panning, EQ, reverb, and compression.

As part of the 2017 promise to myself, this is on my “do things that scare the crap out of me” list. I’ve never joined a mixing contest. (I really need a mentor. lol)

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0 voters


I like how you didn’t make the vocals super bright like a lot of other people, but I think they could definitely use some more compression or gain adjusting to help them be more consistent in level. They’re also kinda building up in the boxy area in the low mids, what’s your high-pass set at on them (if you have one)? I’d also slap some more reverb on those vocals just so they gel better. I think the backing vocals are too dark though, usually with backing vocals you can afford making them sound a little unnatural solo’d so they fit better in the mix by scooping the shit out of the midrange and putting on a high-shelf so they stand out to add a glossy finish over the main vocal. That’s what Queen did. I don’t think the kick quite stands out enough either, and the drums sound too dry to me. The whole song was kind of made to be ambient, so I would have upped the reverb game substantially on this one. Then when the guitar solo comes in with a lot of reverb it feels like a culture shock compared to the rest of the song. And the vocal volume fluctuations are pretty distracting towards the end of the song. My two cents biggy al. Nice new profile pic.


Thanks, CPF. I’ll take your input along with any other input here and remix the track and drop it in the Bash This Recording section. I definitely need the criticism to know what better to listen for.

Glad you like the profile pic. One of the ladies I work with got that coffee mug from her daughter and I couldn’t resist having my picture taken with it.


I can’t read the mug, what’s it say? The picture is too small. How do you like my holiday avatar?


Hats off to you and your holiday avatar, CPF!


Much as said above really ,Vox are really loud and up front.Yes enter contests its good, it keeps you trying harder .Keep it up




Really dry,
the general tone is really nice. Love it really. Natural and smooth
Sometimes i lost the main vocal, just need some automation.
Or maybe a slight pan move to the left for the main gtr could help. To give some space to her.
The solo is just good !
The attack of the ending saturated gtr is hard, and could be softer.
Generally the 150-200 hz is loud for me (in my mix it is too)

Good job Big Al


First of all, you are Big Al, so that gets you points with me. It takes guts to put a mix in here these days, the talent pool is pretty impressive.
For starters, I found it interesting that you chose to keep the main vocal dry, since almost everyone else seemed to use reverb in various levels. I think the song’s brooding quality makes that a natural choice, and you went the opposite way.
I also found the lead vocal to have an indistinct quality to it. I don’t like mixes where that is made up for by pushing up the high end for “air”, but you have a little blurriness on the bottom of the voice that needs to be notched out a touch, and maybe just a little lift in the top end.
I think you did a very good job with the levels and panning, and that overall the mix is very good without being showy. You took a very good, basic song structure, and treated it as such, without adding distractions.
Thanks for posting this, it’s not perfect, but it shows a lot of promise, which is about the best I can do with my own stuff, so I feel for you.


Thanks, y’all. I’m taking notes. I can only get better from here.


I think that mug would be more appropriate for CPF, of course, it would have to be a lot bigger to fit all the tears, and shaped phallic. I’ll echo past sentiments, it feels a little on the dark side, but that’s not a big problem. The volume shifts in the vocals and the lack of reverb is what caught my attention. Definitely work on leveling out those vocals, and use reverb in a way that it doesn’t muddy up the signal, high-passing it is a good practice.


My first contest too. Overall nice sound. I liked your instrument placement and levels, but the vocals seemed to fade a little near the end and a little more compression might help.

Nice job !!!


The first thing that sticks out to me is that the vocal is verrrrrry dry compared to everything else. It would be nice to hear it sweetened up and a bit more airy. Everything else seems pretty well balanced except the guitars in the 3rd chorus, they seem too loud and kind of drown out her voice. Hey, nice job on this and a very tasteful approach to the song.


I think you got a good balance of things. I hear you went very light on the processing which is not a bad thing, but don’t be worried about over eqing, compressing etc that"s how you learn. I think @CPF hit on a lot of things so I would start there. Also I would pick up the free nova plug in it’s a dynamic EQ which will help tame some Freq that r a little unruly, but u don’t want to take it out all the way like when u use an eq. Here is the link for it
http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/ and yes its free.
The other thing is automation .This song needed some on the vocals and some other parts so if you have time look up how it works in your DAW .This will help if it’s done pre EFX(so your compressors don’t have to work so hard)

Anyways hope this helps.


Yup, natural works for me. I can’t hear her sweet voice as well as I would like tho. In the 1:42 ish area had to concentrate to hear. No, I don’t have a clue on how to fix that. For a brief moment, I thought “little panning, EQ, reverb, and compression”…I could do that. Ha ha Lots of great input. Like the “I am taking notes” ha ha Keep at it



I cannot say how much I LOVE the Nova GE plugin. I’ve had the free version for a while now, but I picked up the Gentleman’6s Edition over Black Friday for $25 and WOW! Just wow. The GUI is so intuitive and all the things you can do with this one plugin alone is absolutely amazing. My best plugin purchase in a long time! I used the “deresonate” feature on the Nova GE on this mix to tame the lows on the main guitar track. The only downside to this plugin is that it can be a little hard on the CPU on my very limited laptop. (Although it DOES have an “ECO” setting which helps.) Even so, I think I managed to have 4 or 5 instances of Nova at various places doing various things at various times on this mix. :heart_eyes:


I’ve got that one and I actually used it on the guitar solo. I’m not saying I used it correctly though. lol

Thanks. This is very useful. I never really know which plugin should go first in the chain.


Hi Al,
This sounds dry good, good and dry, good but dry, dry but good.


I used “clip gain” on the main vocal on this track. I went through and split and edited every section or phrase or word so they were approximately the same levels or at least so the levels “made sense”. (i.e. not too loud or too quiet) It was a very dynamic track with a few loud and some quiet parts. If they didn’t sound “right” afterwards, I adjusted until they did. I did some deessing the same way while I was in there too.


Good Job Big Al!
Things I noticed.

  • The guitar/vocals balance in the beginning. I’d prefer the voice to be louder than the guitar or the other way around.

  • I am missing some ambience.

  • I like the solo guitar tone very much.

Very good mix in general.