Posted in : Forum : Mixing , Mastering And Production Techniques
Youve created a track but how do you give it that polished edge ? Discuss the art of mixing and mastering and swap production techniques.
So this is my competition in the radio. Similar sound and mixes.
I got my own opinion, but I wanna see what others think before I make decisions.
1- I could be wrong, but it does not sound over-compressed to me.
2- It does not sound as bright as I would have wanted it to be if it was my song, but it's not bad by any means.
3- It sounds like a live recording with a minimal mix (high passes, compressors, panning, and mastered)
That's all I have to say I'm not a good judge.
Do you notice anything outstanding about this mix or does it sound more like an average mix?
I mean I don't think it's a bad song, but if it was my mix I'd have it sounding more along these lines:
For some reason this song sounds denser. Is that a sign over NY style compression and pushed to a limiter, or just pushed to a limiter by itself?
I think the first song is a different genre of music altogether, as well as a live recording. Both are good, just different. The second song is more along the new country/pop genre, mixed with more loudness in mind. But like I said, both are good. I think I prefer the first style though, since it doesn't seem to have as squashed dynamics as the country song. I don't know if the second song was mixed with NY compression. It's just more compressed in general.
Thanks for replying. I gotta say I like both. I think I might go for a very dynamic end product since my music is kinda dense such as rock music.
I don't understand what you mean by the first sentence of your thread - "So this is my competition in the radio. Similar sound and mixes."
Can you elaborate? Are you competing in regards to something with one or both of these songs? I guess I just don't see what you are asking about.
The second song is a bit different as the vocals were recorded in a studio. and I hear the auto tune working on it as well. It's typical country pop. The first song is a live mix of vocals and sounds quite good for live or faux live. The first one sounds more natural almost like a seventies live mix at the budokan. I prefer the first mix but both are good in there own right.
Ahh I see. Ok so the whole thing was this and I'll try to keep it short and simple:
This latin radio station plays songs that sound like song A. They are not limited to any genre, but at least half the songs sound like song A
I personally like song A better, but not because of the mix, but because of the arrange. I really prefer the mix from the country song. Not to say the country song is bad, because I like it too, but prefer song A.
This is not a personal attack. I'm just doing some research. If it was up to me I'd go for the modern recordings 100% of the time, but I already know what I think. I wanted to see what others thought.
Are you saying that you prefer to listen to a song based on it's mix, rather than the song composition itself or the other way around?
I'm further confused by your response to crucethus. Mainly this - "If it was up to me I'd go for the modern recordings 100% of the time, but I already know what I think." My confusion is that both of these are modern mixes.
yes, you can possibly get some feedback after posting those tracks on looperman. Simply set is as 'featured' and by going outside your track (and leaving reasonable comments on other tracks) you'll get some feedback (eventually).
@promenade2239 - I don't think that these are his songs, which just adds to my confusion regarding the thread.
I was confused too about those songs. Just wanted to point that there is some amount of effort needed to get to the point of getting any feedback.
Crazy I swear at times somebody behind the scenes tries to get some of these millionaire artists to sound more underground practically ripping off sounds. It cant be a coincidence
I think what Zergmazter is saying which one of the two mixes would suit his song he's competing with. I gathered these are not his songs, just examples of different mixes he's pondering in choosing.
-yes, you can possibly get some feedback after posting those tracks on looperman. Simply set is as 'featured' and by going outside your track (and leaving reasonable comments on other tracks) you'll get some feedback (eventually).-
I agree, post your song on here and you'll get plenty of comments to help you choose.
Personally, I like the first mix better but only because there's a brightness to the mix. Second one is really good, just a bit compressed for my taste. We'll never know until you post both songs :)
@Promanade2239: I appreciate your reply but this is not about me posting any songs. I will clarify below.
@Spivkurl: Clarifying below hopefully.
@Spd2: Thanks for replying, but I have nothing to post. I'm just asking a question about personal preferences from you guys to know what I'll do as an amateur mixer.
@Venuslove: What? A song is not about the mix. A song is an arrange, and the mix is nothing without the arrange. My specialty does not lie in a sound, but in the way I arrange, and in the particular way I track stuff. I'm not mashing loops together. I am arranging every single detail down to the farts of the drums, bass, guitar, piano, synths, strings, and even vocal arrange. I just wanted to clarify that. You can't just rip off NY style compression for example. I don't think I get where you are coming from.
Hopefully I can clear things up now:
Let's say I have an idea for a song, but I'm not sure how I wanted it to sound because I don't know what the audience likes. I come here and I ask you guys, then I decide what I'm gonna do. That's all guys. I have nothing to show at least related to this topic.
Mixing is a lot of work for me, and I thought it was a reasonable thing to ask about what people liked before embarking on a journey to then find out my mix is unappealing, and having to redo it all over again.
I haven't been mixing long enough to do a mix in even 4 hours that's why I ask. I do have older songs, but they are not relevant at all, (or are even mine anymore) as I will be making a new song from scratch to compete commercially against music that sounds like my example A.
I'm just looking for some advice on what to do before I start. Just trying to work smart man. I see no point on making a song and blindly mixing to then post it here, for something that will be a new experience before first asking questions, then having to go back and spend as much time fixing it.
Hopefully you guys understand now. If you don't well I need to retake my English classes lol.
This tune is recorded live I realize as I listen to the last bars of the tune. Everything you hit upon in your post about what you think about the mix is accurate. Like you say "the song is not too bad" nonetheless. The first thing I wanted to know is what type of mic is the vocalist using as it didn't strike me as a top notch studio mic which would make an awesome addition to the lead vocals when you are in the studio next time. I feel the tune is not as bright as it could be but this was recorded live and you may not have as much control over that in that case BUT it sounded very cool live no problem- I liked it on Youtube, good work. The only suggestion I would give - The vocalist (lead) would only sound better with a higher quality mic that can cut through the instrumentation you have going on during live performance. Good work
Maybe add a touch (just a touch) of an Aural Exciter to the lead vocals and maybe brighten up the cymbals on the drums just a little bit:) Yes, the drums do sound a little compressed as the dynamics of the shells are a tad limited (in other words the drums tend to sound as if the overall volume of the set was stuck at one volume setting throughout ..maybe more dynamics there to show more space between the softer parts and the loudest) take care!
@Windycity: That was actually not my song, but you find a lot of those type of mixes at this radio station where I'm considering sending music one day.
Thank you for your reply. I agree the song could be brighter, the drums are not as dynamic as I'd like. The vocals are dull too.
I don't know what you imply by live recording. Does it mean everyone played live at the same time as a full blown band? If that was it, then I will make sure to never record like that as I'm not a fan of the outcome in that song.
I just wanted to make sure what I thought about the song was not all in my head and others could hear it too, since you know I've learned on my own and the only reference I have is what I think or believe sounds good.
Now I know what I'll do thanks. I'll stick to recording 1 person at a time, and sample replacing drums. Bass, guitars, pianos, and synth are going direct. Actually any keyboards will be midi. I think that's what might be best to avoid that live dull sound using microphones. Well I'm not recording. I'm going to a studio to record, then I'll mix it myself, and send it elsewhere to master.
Hey, I thought it was live because I heard an audience at towards the end of the tune and 2) because to me, I thought I could almost hear how big the room was..that and the feeling I had that the mic's for drums, vocals, rhythm section were possibly bleeding into each other as they would on a live stage. The energy of the performance was very cool and I like studio recordings that give a live energy. Perhaps if you could separate the mics with egg shell cartons (you know what I mean). Those panels they sell for studio drummers work okay. I am a drummer so in my opinion finding a good drummer to do the session live has it's advantages though I use loop drums occasionally myself when my kit is down or I'm doing something on the fly. It's a challenge to mic drums sometimes and I know in the old days the pro's would book an entire day at the studio just to set up the drums for the remainder of the project (6 to 8 hrs) But I'm somewhat prejudiced and rely on the saying "A drummer can make or break a Band':)
I have a Roland TD 20 so I just plug in and work it from the V Drum modeling; I can pan, do mic placement, change the size of the cymbals, or the room, etc. I'ts in the process of going to the shop for maintenance but in the mean time I am using Aerodrums for the first time. Check this out if you have time its a video for aerodrums (air drums played like an air guitar)
I suppose I understand a bit what you are asking.
My first instinct is to say - a song you are writing and recording has nothing to do with an audience until someone else hears it. Are you doing what you love and *need* to do, or are you trying to please people?
As far as reactions to those mixes, I find them both very poor. The first one I can forgive a bit, since it is recorded live in concert. That is a totally different situation from tracking in studio. The second one was impossible for me to keep listening to, between the mixing/mastering and the horrible song.
Because of what I mentioned in the first paragraph, I am probably not a good person to be giving advice in this situation. I don't think I would be making music if I did not already know what I wanted to create.
Four hours of mixing (which you mentioned) is, atleast from my point of view, a very very short span of time. This explains part of why your ears are fatigued when you are mixing. You may want to consider taking breaks, doing other things, possible working on some sound design instead, reading, taking a walk, experiencing life - things like this. Ideas for the perfect change to your song may come easily, otherwise possibly your song has little to do with life. Just a thought.
@Windycity: whoa those air drums lol. What a cool Idea. I'm gonna tell my bro to watch this. He's a drummer.
I make stuff I think sounds good to me, but also stuff I think people would like. It's my art and I guess I shouldn't mix for others but for myself. You cannot please everyone after all. I'll give you that.
The first mix I get where you are coming from, but you left me wondering about the second song. Why is the mix bad to you? I get the mastering part, but the mix? I had the opposite reaction you had to the mix. I actually thought it was a clean mix, except for the vocals in the verse which I found dull, but I think that's more of a staple in country music. I've noticed their vocals sound dry, then more processed in the choruses.
I can understand using released music as reference material for your own work, but this is something best done by yourself and then for you to formulate your own opinions and act on them....Put your own music up for scrutiny and you'll get much more pertinent feedback. I could post tracks from the Rolling Stones and ask for opinions in the forums and what good would that do.
I think that the vocals in the second video you posted are extremely far from dry. They are obviously autotuned, plus reverb at least. The vocals are so much louder than the music as well. The actual music is barely present. The mastering has little to do with the problems of the song. I am a bad person to criticize a song like that with any amount of acceptance. Pop country, to me, is less musical than the sound of someone vomiting when I already feel nauseous. It is a musical rendition of blind support of fascists. It's the sound of a hick standing next to his truck which is left running for no reason. It's about as pleasant as watching people shooting small animals for sport. Seriously, though, that sort of music is one of the few forms which I will turn off every single time... sickening.
@PlanetJazzbass: Thanks I'll work on that. It just seems sometimes to me that the world of music engineering has things upside down at times. It's like work now, and ask questions later, rather than ask first about what techniques are widely accepted as being efficient, then work based on your research. It's very frustrating.
@Spivkurl: How in the world do you hear auto-tune, and the reverb on the vocals as the background is noisy with guitars, and drums. I know how auto-tune sounds when it's heavily used with EDM, and rappers, but this? I can't see a hint of auto-tune.
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