Hey everybody. A few months ago we were having discussions about hurricanes, and it brought this tune to mind for me. I’m getting some help with the mix and production, and it would be great to get extra ears for suggestions. I’ve sent in some notes on some of the things I’d like to change, and any input you have will be considered. Thanks for your help.
Edit - Revised Mix with some changes as suggested:
Edit #2 - Further revision with the bridge plosives taken out:
Listening on my MD7506 cans. I think the bass is coming through just fine; it’s quite prominent in fact. Al, I reckon that’s an earbud artifact for ya… however I am getting a little fizz in the high end in general (recognizing that these phones do accentuate the highs a wee bit).
I would like to hear the snare a bit more, something a bit crisper to complement the low end of the bass and kick. Maybe some complementary EQ between the snare and kick to leave the snare some more space? Vox is cutting through nicely, and the performances are all very solid, especially the lead guitar work-- nice!
On second listen, from about 2.5 min on out, the sound is dominated by the guitars and vox that are kind of in the same basic EQ range, and it piles up a bit to my ear. Not sure what to suggest though, you’re already making good use of panning on the guitars. Maybe another application of complementary EQ adjustments? Edit: after writing about the rhythm guitar below, I came back to this, and I think that might help too, to drop the rhythm riff guitar back a little. Less can be more in cases like this…
On more subjective stuff: At 2:10 or so, just before the solo, it would help to have some kind of breakdown or a bit of quiet, because from there on things are kind of same-sounding for the rest of the tune. Something to divert attention a bit would help hold interest. In the last minute, you might consider bringing the level of the rhythm guitar riff down just a bit while the two leads/fills panned to each side are doing their thing. Gets just a tad busy to my ear in those sections.
Again, really good performances, excellent playing. And the material definitely gives me flashbacks to Harvey…!! Wishing my house were built on higher ground, watching the world float by… I can totally relate.
Cool song! Sounding pretty good, nice attitude. I guess my comment would be ‘bitey’ guitar tone, but that may be what you were going for with Fender Strat or Tele. A bit bright overall, but I tend to like dark, so if the Allman Bros did this the tone might be just right due to analog ‘warmth’.
Thanks, Dave. There are a couple of areas of buildup that are problematic. We are working on it, along with a touch more bite than I would choose. I hear the snare pretty well through the tune, but there are areas where it could snap a little more It is a bit repetitive, I guess that’s representative of being locked up behind boarded windows and hoping the rain stops.
Thanks, Stan. There is a touch of jagged edge on the guitar. It is an older tune where most of the guitar was recorded using a Pod which always had an unnatural bite to it. The slide at the end is a Strat through a little Marshall amp, and I would prefer it a little glassier, but I tend to send my stuff into a late 70’s time machine, so a compromise might help.
Okay, here’s a mix with a few revisions, if anyone is still listening, please feel free to take a whack at it before we shut it down. Hopefully, the glare in the eq is taken care of, and a few little pan and volume changes were made. I am at work, so I can’t monitor it properly, so please pile on if you have suggestions.
Thanks, Andrew. You of course were an enormous part of the way it sounds. Most of that was pre-Marshall, and done through a regular red-bean Pod, which may have been why the eq was a little harder to nail down. On the final mix, was the eq change on individual channels or more of a 2bus shaping?
Ooh great song! Diving straight in to version 2 - LOVING the vibe of this - the combination of raw grit thickwall guitar with the sophisticated ear candies and the vocals that fit in so very well. Fab curling guitar, yum yum! In bash terms must admit to struggling here, the only teeny wee bit my ear caught was a couple of small plosives in the vocal round 2.53 - " gathering up my possessions… and the “piece of dry land” Seems too small to mention but here we are…
It’s so cool knowing the origin of the song and yes, great to hear the fHumble touch in the mix!! Great stuff!!
Thank you, Emma. It was fun going back and forth with Andrew describing what I wanted. I asked him to make the little wha-wha licks sound like cold raindrops hitting the back of your neck, like an aggravation that you can’t anticipate where it’s coming from. He also knew what I meant when I told him to arrange the background vocals like a drunken church choir. We’re building up a lexicon of production.
I hear the plosives too, I let them go figuring he did what he could. This song is a few years old with some updates, and I’ve learned it’s a lot easier to use better mic technique to avoid that, especially when it will be the beginning of a word.
As for the origin of the song, I live in Florida, so there is always a storm brewing, but the last one prompted me to finish this version. Thanks very much for listening.
After I sent you the 2nd revision (Mix 3), i did a bit of a reference check and realised I’d over-cooked the high mids a bit. I reference fairly regularly as I go along in the mix, but this caught me by surprise and kinda crept up on me… But the basic balances of the mix were solid, and I didn’t want to mess that up by going in and tweaking individual eq, so 2 bus eq was the best solution.
What was interesting was, just after I had just emailed Bob my concerns about that aspect of the mix, Dave @Chordwainer chimed in with his mix critique and mentioned the very same thing! Lesson: Reference, Reference, Reference!
Thanks - Yeah I think I can fix that before I send the final masters to Bob. I know people talk about plosives as being devilishly hard to fix in the mix, but I’ve done it before, so I’m pretty confident I can get rid of them here.
@BigAlRocks, @Stan_Halen, @Emma, @cpf, @Chordwainer
I leave it in the capable hands of those who were kind enough to respond. I’ve heard it a few hundred times now, and can only say that in addition to taming the plosives in about 14 seconds, @ColdRoomStudio has done all he can do and more, and if there are no objections, court is adjourned.
Special thanks to @CPF for not responding and taking my song down the rabbit hole (although I’m sure it would have been a humorous and enlightening journey, although I shouldn’t have used the word “hole” in any conversation with Dillon). Everyone is still welcome to bash or comment, but I think this horse is glue.
I did listen to it if it makes you feel any better. I would have left feedback but it sounded good and I don’t like just saying it’s good because it makes me feel like a cunt.
By calling me out and poking fun at my shenanigans I assume you’re trying to get me to perform the expected behavior of bashing your song through strange metaphors or inappropriate language. I reject, Bitch…ley.