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Had this up the other day and pulled it down for a tweak or 2 more.

Anyway, this isn't a song per se, just a bit of an instrumental I tossed together to try out some of the mixing stuff I'm attempting to learn.

My "mixing" environment isn't exactly optimal and my speakers/headphones aren't near top quality, so I was thinking some extra sets of ears could let me know If I'm on track.

It sounds "ok" to me, and I'll settle for "ok" atm, but if it's fudged up I would also like to know.

Not looking for feedback on the "music" itself, it was just something I put together to try to get stuff to sit in the right place.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

SOUNDCLOUD LINK

Peace

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I think it sounds great. Better than OK, you've got a nice blend of frequencies that is easy on the ears. The only thing I'd encourage you to do is turn down the synth at 0:32. For me, the song sounds like it has passed the baton to the guitar, so it feels odd when the synth returns demanding so much attention. Having it return is great, I just think it needs to be pushed back a little.

Or maybe you've got other plans where the loud synth makes perfect sense. Even without the change, you've certainly exceeded your stated minimum acceptance level. :)

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I think it sounds great. Better than OK, you've got a nice blend of frequencies that is easy on the ears. The only thing I'd encourage you to do is turn down the synth at 0:32. For me, the song sounds like it has passed the baton to the guitar, so it feels odd when the synth returns demanding so much attention. Having it return is great, I just think it needs to be pushed back a little.

Or maybe you've got other plans where the loud synth makes perfect sense. Even without the change, you've certainly exceeded your stated minimum acceptance level. :)/>

Hey O,

Thanks for the listen.

I actually pulled the guitar back a tad at that point( about .75 db) because it was steam rolling the synth, it (the synth) is a bit more pronounced than I meant it to be though, now that I'm listening a day later.(gonna blame it on tired ears :P ) Time to fiddle with the controls a bit more after I rest my ears from this one a day or 2.

Thanks to your better than expected review I feel like I've finally made it over the first hump.

It's been a bit frustrating at times but it's cool to see the work is paying off a little.

Thanks again, it's very much appreciated!

Peace

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Sounds good on my stereo system, an old 150 watt DC300 two channel Crown amp, feeding a pair of vintage JBL L50 loudspeakers. Yeah it's old, but still sounds just as good as the first day the switch was turned on.

You mix sounds balanced, didn't really detect any competing frequencies or phasing going on with them, they all sat nicely in the mix, the high and mid range was good, though I thought the bottom end was there, just a bit too compressed, it could stand to breath a tad more given the genre and style of this music, it can be a fine line between keeping it clear, clean, and focused, or muddying it up, something that you seem to be aware of, which is good, trust your ears on the bottom end.

Bruce

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Sounds good on my stereo system, an old 150 watt DC300 two channel Crown amp, feeding a pair of vintage JBL L50 loudspeakers. Yeah it's old, but still sounds just as good as the first day the switch was turned on.

You mix sounds balanced, didn't really detect any competing frequencies or phasing going on with them, they all sat nicely in the mix, the high and mid range was good, though I thought the bottom end was there, just a bit too compressed, it could stand to breath a tad more given the genre and style of this music, it can be a fine line between keeping it clear, clean, and focused, or muddying it up, something that you seem to be aware of, which is good, trust your ears on the bottom end.

Bruce

Hey Bruce thanks for the listen!

Observations such as these are very helpful. Let's me know what I should be paying a bit more attention to.

Thanks again, it is very much appreciated!

Peace

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For my ears, there's not enough bass in the mix for this kind of "thumping" electronica. I don't think upping the volume of the synth bass that comes in when everything kicks in is what I'm wanting. In addition to the synth bass you have now, I think what my ears want to hear is another, lower (more "sub") and centered bass to come in to just match the kick with some short, deep notes.

FWIW, that's my $0.02.

Well that's the thing eh, what are the quality of the samples to start with ? Yeah there's a number of plug-ins you can use with your DAW to try and massage the sound/sample on the track to sort of get what you want, but now I'm just thinking, why not just model and record the sound you're looking for, and want in the first place on to the tracks, without relying that greatly on using the plug-ins on the DAW.

I've been looking at getting a decent midi keyboard, and the Arturia V synth collection, seems you can model whatever sample you want and at whatever frequency you desire for the sound you're looking to record in the first place, what with their collection of vintage analogue synths, this video is just over 30 minuets long, but the sounds being demo and modelled are fantastic, and he's just playing with the presets.

You know, why try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, when you can use the silk purse in the first place, if you're into electronica, this is the way to go by modelling your own samples, if I'm making sense.

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For my ears, there's not enough bass in the mix for this kind of "thumping" electronica. I don't think upping the volume of the synth bass that comes in when everything kicks in is what I'm wanting. In addition to the synth bass you have now, I think what my ears want to hear is another, lower (more "sub") and centered bass to come in to just match the kick with some short, deep notes.

FWIW, that's my $0.02.

Hey Hobo,

I know what your saying, and will add something along those lines when I come back to expand on this idea.

I'm a newbie at this point so every little bit helps.

Thanks for the listen and input, much appreciated!

Peace

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@Bruce

I've been learning a bit of sound design with some free soft-synths I've come across.

Once I get to know what I'm doing a little better I plan on getting something similar to what you show there. That sounds really amazing, I can only imagine the possibilities.

So right now I guess you could say I'm using the Chinese knock-off of a silk purse until I'm comfortable enough with what I'm doing to make that investment.

Thanks again, much appreciated!

Peace

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The production uses some compression, but it is still very clean.

It does not have it's own characteristic, but the production itself is flawless when thinking about each layer.

The only thing worth thinking about IMO is the sound level of each layer, the use of compression and most importantly: give the mix its own characteristic other than the norm.

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The production uses some compression, but it is still very clean.

It does not have it's own characteristic, but the production itself is flawless when thinking about each layer.

The only thing worth thinking about IMO is the sound level of each layer, the use of compression and most importantly: give the mix its own characteristic other than the norm.

Hey MagVesHa,

Thanks for stoppin in and commenting!

I'm still kiinda feelin out what the norm is, still kinda new at this, once I begin to trust my self a little more I'll hopefully be able to give my musings a bit more characteristic.

Any tips/tricks you may have would be helpful!

Thanks again, much appreciated!

Peace

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Came across this video by Sound on Sound magazine, on Edrina Martinez, aka Astronautica, I found it rather informative on what she's doing, and interesting in the concept of where music production could possible be heading towards, in any case, I can see where electronica sound design is emerging as a bona fide musical genre, and perhaps the wave of the future.

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Hey Bruce,

Very interesting video there. I can relate to the "staying up too late watching tutorial after tutorial"(paraphrased) haha!

Never really thought to use my guitar then mutilate the sound beyond recognition, on purpose that is. I tended to do that on accident quite a lot but the finished product wasn't very pleasant or very usable!.

I've read here and there that electronic music has been gaining more popularity over the years, and you're right, it just may be the future of music.

What i don't get is the "performance" part of it. Doesn't seem too exciting, but then again I've never been to one of the shows.

Thanks for sharing!

Peace

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Gods below... this is the first time in at least two years I've posted a comment on The Muse.

How much experience exactly do you have mixing? I am like you... not a pro or formally trained, but I've been recording and mixing now for about 8 years. Here's a link to my latest:

https://soundcloud.c...s-by-rnd-080916

Like or dislike is not important. What you might care about is the layering of various components. At some points in my mix there are two vocal tracks, drums, bass, three keyboard parts, and three guitar tracks all playing at the same time. The song is the work of two people. Me and a guy who does all the guitar work. My stuff is often RAW, but his comes in with effects already added to the tracks. I can get him to minimize this, but in the case of this tune, he was aiming for a sound that was similar to the track we were covering, and he was right to assume he was better able to produce that matching tone.

But that leaves me with the task of mixing tracks that are basically raw with tracks that have delay, reverb, compression and even phasing already added to the track. No matter what I do, there is a limit to how far I can push the tracks he sent me. I certainly did NOT want to add more FX to them. In fact, all that I felt comfortable with doing in the end was some light EQ to push them around in the mix. And, of course, the eventual general compression/gating/limiting I added to the master also affected those tracks as well.

But you run into the problem of competing effects before you ever get that far. I needed to add delay and reverb to the vocals to get the sound you hear on the track. But you can't just say "that sounds good" and be done with it. What if the FX you choose for the vox conflict with the effects on the guitars? Phasing often becomes the big issue to worry about, but then again, it can also be your friend. Keep massaging until the phasing goes away and you know you've gotten it pretty close.

The best advice I ever got about mixing was to force myself to do as complete a mix as possible without adding a single plug in effect, or reverb, delay, compression, gating, limiting, etc. Using only levels and EQ, try to make the mix sound as close to the final sound you want as you can get. With it being so easy to obtain literally thousands of plug ins which will allow you to massage a track or a mix almost any way you can think of or desire, people are getting lazy about using plain old EQ to get their mixes right. If you aren't getting 85-90% of what you need in a mix using JUST EQ, panning and levels, you probably aren't relying in EQ and levels enough to get the mix you want.

I still struggle with mixes. So my advice is such that you should always keep in mind I am not a pro. But then again, most of what I am saying is general enough to apply regardless of the messenger.

I thought the mix sounded good. Clean and clear. But, like others, I think the level on the synth and the guitar needs work. For me, it wasn't just a matter of them competing with each other, it was also a matter of subtlety. The guitar is loud. Just loud. All the time. Some of that has to do with you having produced it on a keyboard. If there is any way you can go back in and build a more natural ebb and flow of volume levels into that track, I think it would help a lot.

Short of that, I'd use the recordable faders in my DAW, on the mixing board, to adjust the levels on the guitar as the track plays... so that it has some subtlety that matches the emotional context of the music as it plays. Once you have the sequence recorded exactly right, you are done, the faders will move, in time and exactly as you programmed them, every time you play back the track. Those changes will also, obviously, be mixed into the cake when you produce a composite master track.

The same could be done to a lesser extent on the synth, but what it really needs is to fall off when the guitar is meant to be dominant. If you leave too many components up near the top of the range, volume wise, you make the listener work too hard to try to hear everything.

It is hard to know what to comment on, because I don't know your skill level. I hope all of this isn't too general. If it is, please don't be offended, I am only trying to help.

One last thing: you mention you rely on headphones to mix. That could be a problem. For most engineers I have talked to, the rule is: "record using cans, mix using monitors". Beyond that, most will tell you they actually go back and forth (as I do) between cans (headphones) and monitors. This is also the first, and often the best start to making sure your mix sounds good on multiple playback platforms.

Hope this helps. I also hope you publish a more complete mix when you have pushed the mix a lot further, on a more complete composition.

Cheers.

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Hey Rob,

Thanks for the listen and the insight to your own process. Killer cover btw.

As far as my skill level I would put myself at novice. I've been through the beginner phase trying to record guitar,bass,vocals and failed miserably time and time again. I don't see that time as wasted though. during that time I was able to get a decent understanding of the DAW and it's various tools.

Back around March or so i decided to take a different direction musically and try something more electronic. That's where this snippet came into existence. I am wanting to post more complete "songs" but I don't want them sounding like total dog poo. For me, the seemingly best way to learn, would be to post a couple short segments and see what is right/wrong and take that knowledge and apply it to the next, without boring the hell out of those that take the time to listen.

So I have posted 2 so far and have received some very helpful feedback, yours included.

Don't worry about offending me, if ya hear what you think is an issue, let me know. I'm trying to learn and part of that is accepting that it may not have passed the test.

I do plan on elaborating on the 2 pieces I have submitted but I have been a bit busy as of late (likely story right?) and have fallen a little bit behind on my goals.

So keep an eye out, and if ya take a listen feel free to rip it apart!

Thanks again for the listen,comments,advice, etc. It's much appreciated!

Peace

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