Mix feedback please

What's Hot
I've got a very slow moving side project to self record an EP of tracks I wrote in the mid-late 90s. My 'listening environment' is far from ideal so mixing is a challenge, and I'm continuing to learn as I go in terms of mixing experience.

I've got my first track to a point I think I'm happy with the mix, but would appreciate any feedback from anyone with good ears / mixing experience on anything I might want to think about before moving onto the other tracks. I'm thinking if I can learn to make this one sound decent then I can use that as the mixing basis for the others.

Lyrics / vocals aren't a strong point but I'm working with what I've got! Any feedback / pointers would be much appreciated thanks.

0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 151
    It's slightly hard to tell because of the horrible SoundCloud data compression, but the basic balance seems pretty good. There is quite a lot of reverb. I'm guessing that's a deliberate stylistic choice but I think that some elements are a bit too wet, especially the acoustic guitar. Not sure if you are already using automation to keep the level of the vocal under control, but there are places where it seems to get a touch too loud or quiet.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    Stuckfast said:
    It's slightly hard to tell because of the horrible SoundCloud data compression, but the basic balance seems pretty good. There is quite a lot of reverb. I'm guessing that's a deliberate stylistic choice but I think that some elements are a bit too wet, especially the acoustic guitar. Not sure if you are already using automation to keep the level of the vocal under control, but there are places where it seems to get a touch too loud or quiet.
    Great ta - I did soak the acoustic a bit as I wasn't happy with the tone I'd managed to capture and it was too harsh. I found recording the acoustic on my own difficult because I couldn't move the mic and listen easily. What else seemed too reverby to you?

    There's just broad brush automation on the vocals so I'll listen back and try to adjust with a bit more detail.

    Thanks again - much appreciated
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 151
    I did wonder whether the reverb on the drums was a bit OTT, but I'm on the fence. Sounds OK on headphones, might not sound so good on speakers.

    Are you using different reverbs on different things, or is it all one reverb? It might just be that some of the elements would benefit from a slightly different reverb.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    There's a short ambient reverb and a longer hall with various sends into them. Then the acoustic guitar, drums bus and vocals have some individual reverb added each too - trying to push the drums and acoustic back a bit - maybe too much?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I'd agree on too much reverb, it makes the drums a bit 'big room'. I also noticed the voice not being even. Bass gtr seems a bit full in the mix, and as it's played legato the notes can boom.
     I know you haven't asked re styling but you've sung the vocal quietly and then added reverb - the problem being a quiet vocal implies intimacy - but the reverb adds distance, I think if you sang a tad louder it might fit better. Now't wrong with your voice!

    I'm no pro - just a serious amateur!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 151
    It depends what you're after. At the moment the overall effect is 'whoa, this guy likes reverb'. But I don't know what other music you're referencing.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    I'd agree on too much reverb, it makes the drums a bit 'big room'. I also noticed the voice not being even. Bass gtr seems a bit full in the mix, and as it's played legato the notes can boom.
     I know you haven't asked re styling but you've sung the vocal quietly and then added reverb - the problem being a quiet vocal implies intimacy - but the reverb adds distance, I think if you sang a tad louder it might fit better. Now't wrong with your voice!

    I'm no pro - just a serious amateur!
    Stuckfast said:
    It depends what you're after. At the moment the overall effect is 'whoa, this guy likes reverb'. But I don't know what other music you're referencing.
    I maybe over-using the reverb thinking 'I should do this' rather than listening and thinking, so I'll try reducing it across the board. 

    I had wondered about the bass being too loud in the earlier sections, but is it too loud when the guitars are there too?

    You'll laugh at my point of reference - in terms of trying to get the eq and general levels reasonable I was listening to The Bends!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • spark240spark240 Frets: 757
    edited January 13
    Dude...I really like it !.....main thing for me is vocals, I couldn't even tell what the words were at some points, and the levels were a bit all over, solos about 2.20 got a bit lost....and I like that solo !...LOUDER please.....

    Would help if you post you recording setup, DAW etc...

    Or if your really brave....dropbox the stems so we can all have a go ;-) 

    This is how I think the vocal should come through....





    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    spark240 said:
    Dude...I really like it !.....main thing for me is vocals, I couldn't even tell what the words were at some points, and the levels were a bit all over, solos about 2.20 got a bit lost....and I like that solo !...LOUDER please.....

    Would help if you post you recording setup, DAW etc...

    Or if your really brave....dropbox the stems so we can all have a go ;-) 

    This is how I think the vocal should come through....



    Thanks mate. I think it's definitely an issue that I first wrote and recorded a rough version around 20 years ago, so I'm so familiar with it that my brain fills in the gaps / deceives me. Also I don't really tend to take in lyrics a lot when I'm listening to music, so maybe that also makes me more vulnerable to mushing up the vocals.

    I'm working on reaper with a reasonable set of plugins available. Mixing on headphones then checking on a couple of hifis / iterative adjustments.

    The vocals on your example have a lot more body / presence than I'd want I think on this, but maybe you mean how they sit more centrally  in the mix?

    I'd be up for sharing stems if it resulted in me learning how to mix better.

    Thanks again for listening / responding.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Are you using high pass and low pass in the reverb ? - that cleans up the mush.
     Or can be worth trying a delay instead. maybe with a tiny bit of reverb - to give a tighter sound.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    Are you using high pass and low pass in the reverb ? - that cleans up the mush.
     Or can be worth trying a delay instead. maybe with a tiny bit of reverb - to give a tighter sound.
    The 2 shared reverbs are quite heavily eq'd, but I don't think the ones on the acoustic or drums are, so I'll take a look at those as well as dropping the levels thanks.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    Okay, so I've reduced the reverb in all areas - I'm guessing it might still be too much? Also reduced the bass guitar a bit and tried to keep the vocal level more consistent.

    Part of the reverb issue might actually be too busy an arrangement?

    I think there's also the issue of it falling between 2 stools as I go - I start off envisaging a gentle melancholy track but then can't help but make it go big as I work on it. Part of the problem is restraint, but also that I like the bigger sounding parts. Maybe I should make the intro and first verse bigger to match the rest, I don't know...

    Anyhow, here's the revised mix if you good folk would be kind enough to give it another listen:

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • spark240spark240 Frets: 757
    Hey chap....this is better, , I still thinking the vocal track needs some attention, its just not right.

    Also some of the guitar parts are not sitting properly, they get caught up with other stuff and get lost, I think the problem here is that you are too familiar with the song, you can hear these bits because you wrote and recorded them, its a classic error.

    You need someone else to have ago at mixing this, and maybe even a new vocal take, all that said....I still think its a great song !.....Happy to give it a go ....


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 151
    I think the reverb is mostly better now. The vocal now seems too loud in many places to me, eg. at 1'24" and 2'57". The drums still sound oddly distant and a bit limp, but then it's not a song that really needs power rock drums. I'm guessing they are programmed?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    spark240 said:
    Hey chap....this is better, , I still thinking the vocal track needs some attention, its just not right.

    Also some of the guitar parts are not sitting properly, they get caught up with other stuff and get lost, I think the problem here is that you are too familiar with the song, you can hear these bits because you wrote and recorded them, its a classic error.

    You need someone else to have ago at mixing this, and maybe even a new vocal take, all that said....I still think its a great song !.....Happy to give it a go ....
    Thanks again @spark240 . I really appreciate the offer to have a go at it but I'm aiming to try and do everything myself on this little project.

    I think I'll come back to this one with fresh ears after I've done more on the other tracks, and maybe redo the vocal too. Part of the issue is me attempting to mask issues in the original takes!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    Stuckfast said:
    I think the reverb is mostly better now. The vocal now seems too loud in many places to me, eg. at 1'24" and 2'57". The drums still sound oddly distant and a bit limp, but then it's not a song that really needs power rock drums. I'm guessing they are programmed?
    That's really helpful again thanks @Stuckfast . Maybe there's still too much reverb on the drums then? I played them in on a midi kit then edited from there. Still not quite happy with the timing on some of the fills...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • shrinkwrapshrinkwrap Frets: 89
    edited January 14
    Yep much prefer this one - you're right it's a big arrangement - dump the slide! Doesn't need it - if in doubt simplify.
    I work with stuff our undisciplined four piece does - and my own crap - and one has to be ruthless. It's always hard to bin an element you like - or risk offending another band member - but if you can get a mood, or if you like, a vision for a piece - ya gotta stick to it and bin the rest!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • horsehorse Frets: 425
    dump the slide!
    Now steady on!!

    Seriously though, I do know what you mean. I do have a tendency to throw the kitchen sink in every time even though I know it makes  things less effective...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.