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Thread: Am i Doing this right? (Acoustic Guitar and Vocals Mix)

  1. #1
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    Am i Doing this right? (Acoustic Guitar and Vocals Mix)

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    Hello Hello

    I'm learning how to mix at the moment and I've hit a snag in that i don't know whats next.

    My sound doesn't sound right yet but i can't put my finger on why. I'm using a compressor and eq on both Vocals and Guitar, as well as Reverb, Saturator, delay and flanger.

    Am i leaving something out or am i not using something right?

    soundcloud.com/user-921915819/post-card-draft-1

    Any advice would be super useful.

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    Your voice is fine. The guitar sounds like a Facebook pocket money mandolin or ukulele.

    I'd love to hear the mix with the vocal exactly as it is, and the guitar with the eq, compressor, saturator, reverb, delay, flanger all turn off. I suspect you've just squashed it to death. Let is have a listen to the raw recording. Why did you use such a stack of processing on a poor acoustic guitar. You've made it into a new instrument - a 'madolele'. I'm sure it didn't sound like that. Two voices, one guitar - sounds like a project with gentle compression on the voice(s) and some sparkle and openness to the guitar - so a nice reverb, sensible eq and good mic placement. We hear something different?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Your voice is fine. The guitar sounds like a Facebook pocket money mandolin or ukulele.

    I'd love to hear the mix with the vocal exactly as it is, and the guitar with the eq, compressor, saturator, reverb, delay, flanger all turn off. I suspect you've just squashed it to death. Let is have a listen to the raw recording. Why did you use such a stack of processing on a poor acoustic guitar. You've made it into a new instrument - a 'madolele'. I'm sure it didn't sound like that. Two voices, one guitar - sounds like a project with gentle compression on the voice(s) and some sparkle and openness to the guitar - so a nice reverb, sensible eq and good mic placement. We hear something different?
    soundcloud.com/user-921915819/post-card-no-guitar-effects

    That's with raw guitar. Thoughts?

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    What did you use for a guitar?

    The guitar almost sounds like a Baby Taylor or other very small sized short scale acoustic. Also, there's either a tuning issue, or else a really WEIRD chord, specifically the 4th chord in the chorus. Its the descending chord progression and quite a few of them just sound out of tune.

    At 1:48 the guitar takes a big jump in volume. Did you do something there, like a punch in or a volume adjustment? The vocal seems a bit on the dark side, it could use a bit of top end air. What did you use for the vocal mic?

    In a lot of ways, I think the sound of the guitar really fits the overall intimate tone of the song. I like the song, but it needs polishing. I don't know that throwing a deep dreadnought would give the same attitude.

    For an example, I'm thinking about this kind of sound.


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    There is a volume increase there, didn't hear it before but now its super obvious. the guitar is on the smaller side but i feel it fits. When you say top end air? what do you mean? My mix is a SE X1 A which is recorded into a Focusrite Scarlet Solo.

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    There's at least one chord that you hit from time to time that's obviously out of tune. Can you hear it? I think it's more of a finger positioning thing than an out of tune guitar because most of the other chords seem mostly in tune. On occasion your vocal is also a bit flat.....but you can correct that. What the other poster was telling you about getting more "air" into your vocal is IMO true. Boost the upper frequency sound in your vocal track a little bit.....and see if you like the result.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Its interesting that you used the SE X1 A for the vocals, yet is sounds dark. Normally the X1 has a HF rise around 4K and up. The problem is that a boost between 5 and 8K can lead to increase sibilance.

    What EQ curves did you apply to the vocals?

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    For my EQ i have a HP at 45. A slight drop at 2k and then a LP as 10k. I can fix tuning easy. I'm just concerned about the mix. What would you recommend as a basic effect chain for a vocal and guitar song from scratch? Also thank you so much for all the replies everyone

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    I don't know that I would do a drop at 2K, instead maybe leave it flat there. Depending on the bandwidth you use, the 10K LP may be dropping out the "air" we mentioned. If you look at the response curves of most microphones, they have what is called a "presence peak" somewhere around 5-10K. It brings out the voice, and adds sparkle to guitars and cymbals.

    You may be adjusting to compensate for your monitoring system/headphones. Its a common mistake that we all make. If the monitor system has a peak or valley at a particular band, we will adjust for that. Then when someone else listens on a different system it will sound dull or bright depending their system.

    The solution is either get a really superb monitoring system which has been tested and equalized for many $$$$$$, or for the REST of us, just try to check on a few different speaker systems until you get a really good handle of the response curves of yours. Also doing room treatment can help a lot to balance out peaks and valleys.

    As for your particular song, I don't know that I would use a lot of effects. Its not a particularly dynamic song, so you probably don't need much, if any compression. I don't know what the "saturator" is for on this one. I would be trying to reproduce the basic sound of the guitar as is, adding a bit of echo or reverb (your choice) to add some ambience to the track as a whole.

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    Thank you so much! I will do all of that!

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