Critiques on mix before mastering (meaning advice welcome)

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by devinb, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. devinb

    devinb Member

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    I'm wrapping up mixing what is my first studio project in a decade, and my first solo album, or even album as a front man.

    I'm hoping to send it out for mastering in a couple of weeks, a few tweaks to be made, then I want to sit on the recordings for a week or two and make sure I'm happy...

    At any rate, I guess I'm looking for anything about the mixes that sticks out to someone, or even suggestions for requests when mastering (I'm only so knowledgeable about mastering, so talk me through it if you think there is anything I should ask for).

    Basically, I'm looking for songs 1, 2, and 4 on the player...3 is in need of some major mixing work (levels, and tweaking the delay on the drums at one moment where things sound out like the drummer gained a beat - he didn't).

    I'm pretty happy with the mixes now, although song 2 has a few rack tom moments that sound too woodblocky to me (0:12). I think that should already be fixed, I just haven't picked up the new cd.

    Thanks for the help.

    http://www.myspace.com/prairiefiremusic
     
  2. devinb

    devinb Member

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    Thanks, on 3 we're definitely bringing the vocals down and the Rhodes up a bit, it's also got a lot more going on mic'ing wise, the vocals start off going through a Royer 122, and Leslie (in the background) and eventually have a Green Bullet added to the mix for the distorted tones. As soon as I referenced it I knew it needed a lot of adjustments.

    I was going for distant, sort of Elliott Smith like vocals in a lot of places.
     
  3. Sunbreak Music

    Sunbreak Music Member

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    Sounds nice, but it's hard to get an idea from compressed tracks--myspace is brutal.
     
  4. blacksby

    blacksby Member

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    sounds good. ....and it better sound good on myspace, as this is where your fans will find you...in other words, know your audience, and cater to them and the listening medium they use. myspace is, what it is...
     
  5. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm listening with AKG240's through the jack on my G5. To me, the balance of elements sounds pretty good. The only possible critique I have is that the midrange feels a bit blurry/fluffy (my highly unscientific terms) to me. It could be the MP3 encoding, so take it with a grain of salt. Sounds pretty good overall, but I'd look at some subtractive eq to see if I could clean up the mids
     
  6. devinb

    devinb Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Enharmonic, is there a particular instrument that you'd do the scoop from, or more of an overall thing? It's unmastered as of yet, so if it's overall...
     
  7. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd start with the instruments...wouldn't touch the vocal unless you don't startto hear some "clearing up" so to speak.

    Again, if you're not hearing what I'm hearing, it could easily be because of the MP3 encoding, or my factory sound card in the Mac. It doesn't sound bad...just kind of blurry.
     
  8. foghorn99

    foghorn99 Member

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    Q: What's the bit rate sampling at for the first tracks? I'm using Koss Porta-Pro phones. It sounds mid-range muddy on the first two tracks. Is the ride cymbal really that dark or is it just me? From an arrangement POV, the drummer is a bit busy for me...but I'm also a drummer, so I'm kinda picky about that.

    Track 3 - how 'bout adding slight trem (1/8th notes) to the Rhodes....just a thought. Love this song... quite unique

    Track 4 (Love Poem) - If it was me, I'd be tempted to redo the acoustic guitar to get rid of the buzzing during the intro....but I'm anal (LOL). Twice, track cut short on me at 33 seconds....WTF? The song is very Billy Corgan'ish...love it!!

    Ten Thousand Things....can't hear the vocals very well. Again....this might just be me being 'A' guy....but I'd switch from low-fi after the first verse to hi-fi in the second verse. Then add bass....slowly building the song with drums...then later add a B3.....strings

    Not being alone.... same comment as "Ten Thousand..." about vocals and building layers (or not....maybe this song can stand without it). I Like the "vinyl warble" at the end of the track....slowed the tape a bit then sped it up a bit, did you? You might want to add some fake vinyl "crackle n pop" into the song as well to give it that vintage feel.

    2-cents (or less)
     
  9. devinb

    devinb Member

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    Thanks Foghorn.

    First, it was done mostly at 48kHz/24bit, there was a slight mix up and a few things had to be converted for the bass which was recorded at another studio, I don't think it changed the bit depth.

    The drummer is very busy, but obviously a strong jazz background.

    I debated the acoustic part on 'Love Poem' a lot, the fret buzz on the G's, and there's a wrong note (F/C chord where the open low E rings out), but in the end decided I kind of like the rawness of it...I think it kind of compliments my raw singing.

    The last two songs are just straight into GarageBand with a 57, no mic pre's or anything. If I bring them up much more the hiss is unbearable. I decided a while ago to just record elsewhere, and save my money on home recording equipment. Those two songs at the bottom are just sketches, I didn't want to put up everything from the sessions, which are just for a online EP release.

    Thanks so much for the comments, though. The mid-range stuff seems to be a theme, so I'll see what I can do.
     

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