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Thread: Mix This: Cover of 'A Long December' by Counting Crows

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    Mix This: Cover of 'A Long December' by Counting Crows

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    Can you mix my cover of 'A Long December' by Counting Crows?
    25 Tracks
    Tempo: 76 bpm

    Hi Guys. I would really appreciate it if anyone would like to have a stab at this. I've been working on it for quite a while, and I'm really excited to see what people do with it.

    Notes:
    All tracks are clean but for both bass and piano I also included a couple of alternate tracks. For bass: One with Amp/DI Sim. For piano: One EQ'd a bit brighter as used in my basic mix. Use whichever fits.

    Vocal: Needs narrow frequency cut for a room resonance problem at roughly 10800hz. Maybe same for melodica, but it's less apparent. Please don't auto tune vocals, even if they're not perfect.

    On the last pre-chorus (at 3:43): The idea if for the Melodica to grow smoothly from soft to *almost* irritatingly loud, then suddenly cut (this might work or really might not, but it would be good to try it out).

    Tracks: LongDecember_MichaelWard_30Aug2016

    Please come back with any tips/questions. Feel free to be creative.

    I had a lot of fun making it, hope you have as much fun mixing it.

    My basic mix: LongDecember_30-Aug-16.mp3
    Last edited by Michael Ward; 08-30-2016 at 14:13.

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    Will do,, be a few though, got a little busy

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    Hi Michael!

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...erecording.mp3

    So i just did a quick mix/cut of what i would do, so there is no automation etc.

    But basically i wanted to give some edge/character to the different sounds, and kind of find an atmosphere for the song. Wich you especially find in the vocal and melodica sounds
    Anyhow got at lot of ideas for the Beat etc. but didn't have the time for it.

    Great version by the way, lotta fun

    Cheers

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    Hi Soendergaard,

    Funny that the first mix back should be a semi-remix.

    Thanks for that.

    Do you have any time to give it one more pass? I liked the concept, and listened to it on a few different speakers. I noticed that the slap back delay is coming across a bit strongly on the vocals and snare. Could you make the delay a bit more subtle (about half as loud?). Also, I like that you brought out the soft glide synth at the end, but maybe a bit too much. Could we pull that one back a bit too? (but not so soft you can't hear it, I like hearing it clearly.)

    Otherwise, a nicely creative mix. Thanks.

    Just curious, what does your username mean?

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    here's my mix : https://www.dropbox.com/s/fhusqaiury...4_mp3.mp3?dl=0

    I really liked the piano playing in particular, great cover, I enjoyed mixing this one! would love to know what you think of it,

    regards,

    Ben.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ward View Post
    Hi Soendergaard,

    Funny that the first mix back should be a semi-remix.

    Thanks for that.

    Do you have any time to give it one more pass? I liked the concept, and listened to it on a few different speakers. I noticed that the slap back delay is coming across a bit strongly on the vocals and snare. Could you make the delay a bit more subtle (about half as loud?). Also, I like that you brought out the soft glide synth at the end, but maybe a bit too much. Could we pull that one back a bit too? (but not so soft you can't hear it, I like hearing it clearly.)

    Otherwise, a nicely creative mix. Thanks.

    Just curious, what does your username mean?
    Ye sure, it wont take long..

    Username is actually just my last name.. So nothing fancy there

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    Re: The mix

    Hi Btyre,

    Thanks for the compliments.

    I listened on my good headphones, basic earbuds and PC speakers. I haven't had a chance to listen to it on a hi-fi or car speakers yet.

    At one point my little daughter was listening to this mix with me and she kept asking me to put in on again and again (4 times), so you must be doing something right.

    So...

    I really like this mix.

    THINGS I LIKE:
    The overall clarity, and that I can hear all the instruments well. That is an accomplishment in and of itself.
    The vocal/instrument balance is very good. The vocals gel well.
    Your treatment of the piano. It really makes it stand out.
    Bass has been brought out nicely (tho a few small points at the bottom)

    FOR MY OWN LEARNING:
    Can you tell me what all you did with the vocals? I like it, whatever it was. Did you have to do the narrow cut at 10800hz?

    How much limiting has been done so far??

    Which piano track did you use, the darker or brighter one?

    Did you use the "Piano +1 octave" track? That's fine if not, and if you did it has been very subtly blended in.


    A FEW THINGS TO PLAY WITH:
    In this song, one of the ideas was to experiment with moving into dissonance (not exactly the right word here) and back to resolution/musicality.

    The first 'dissonance' is the silent bit at 3:22 where the listener is thinking "Is that all? That was a strange ending..." and just as they start to wait for the next song, it comes back in with the reprise of the pre-chorus onto the chorus. It's OK if it's uncomfortably silent for a few moments there. Could we put it back to being completely silent? And don't worry if the timing sounds off, I added 2 extra beats of silence to not be too predictable.

    The second bit (which I'm less sure about now) is just afterward where the Melodica rises up louder and louder, almost overwhelming the vocal until it suddenly cuts before the last chorus. This might interfere too much with the musicality, (or just be awful ), so maybe it would be worth trying still having it build up, but not too loudly.

    Chorus Vocals: They sound a bit too distant. Could you make it more like an augmented version of the verse vocals? (i.e Primarily the main chorus vocal track, with the other 2 sat further back just adding 'weight'/support). Or try any other ideas that come to mind.

    Melodica: I'm not really a fan of audible reverb/delay, except when it's part of a guitar effect or that kind of thing. Here, I feel like it makes it almost a bit too happy. Can we make it more clean and do something to bring out the melancholy-ness of it? Think more 'sad french accordion' than saxophone. Also, can we try it with the second half of the track back in, through to the end? Feel free to adjust the volume/eq as needed wherever it overwhelms the vocal though. And let me know if you think there's anywhere it really doesn't work, especially at 2:59 (starting with '..talk a little lower about the things you could not show her..."), where I'm not sure it flows at all.



    LITTLE THINGS:
    Overall, you've found a good balance between the Piano and melodica levels. I'd like your opinion... could the melodica be just a bit louder on the solo?

    The final 'Yeah' at the end: I like the reverse reverb idea. Could we make it a bit less wet though?

    Bass: A bit clicky on PC speakers, but that might just be the nature of the beast. Also, is there anyway to bring out the 'meatiness' of the slides at 2:19 and 3:52.

    Percussion:
    I noticed that you didn't use the 'Brush beat delayed' track. Did you feel it muddied things too much?? That's fine if you did.

    Crash cymbal: Might just be the samples I used, but there's too much 'gong', it needs to be crisper. Maybe a lowpass at about 3000-4000hz? Or whatever you think would help. (Also it's slightly too loud, but fixing the 'gong' might fix that too).

    Anyhow, except for those two minor things, the percussion was otherwise very alive and well balanced. I liked how you brought out the HiHat, it was just what I had envisioned.


    Gosh, that turned out a bit long and over-detailed, but I think it's just building on a really good initial mix. If you have any thoughts or any of these things you feel differently about, let me know. All things are open to discussion.

    Also, I'm guessing from the cuts you made that you felt there was just a bit too much 'stuff' in there. I'm open to discussion about that too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ward View Post
    Hi Btyre,

    Thanks for the compliments.

    I listened on my good headphones, basic earbuds and PC speakers. I haven't had a chance to listen to it on a hi-fi or car speakers yet.

    At one point my little daughter was listening to this mix with me and she kept asking me to put in on again and again (4 times), so you must be doing something right.

    So...

    I really like this mix.

    THINGS I LIKE:
    The overall clarity, and that I can hear all the instruments well. That is an accomplishment in and of itself.
    The vocal/instrument balance is very good. The vocals gel well.
    Your treatment of the piano. It really makes it stand out.
    Bass has been brought out nicely (tho a few small points at the bottom)

    FOR MY OWN LEARNING:
    Can you tell me what all you did with the vocals? I like it, whatever it was. Did you have to do the narrow cut at 10800hz?

    How much limiting has been done so far??

    Which piano track did you use, the darker or brighter one?

    Did you use the "Piano +1 octave" track? That's fine if not, and if you did it has been very subtly blended in.


    A FEW THINGS TO PLAY WITH:
    In this song, one of the ideas was to experiment with moving into dissonance (not exactly the right word here) and back to resolution/musicality.

    The first 'dissonance' is the silent bit at 3:22 where the listener is thinking "Is that all? That was a strange ending..." and just as they start to wait for the next song, it comes back in with the reprise of the pre-chorus onto the chorus. It's OK if it's uncomfortably silent for a few moments there. Could we put it back to being completely silent? And don't worry if the timing sounds off, I added 2 extra beats of silence to not be too predictable.

    The second bit (which I'm less sure about now) is just afterward where the Melodica rises up louder and louder, almost overwhelming the vocal until it suddenly cuts before the last chorus. This might interfere too much with the musicality, (or just be awful ), so maybe it would be worth trying still having it build up, but not too loudly.

    Chorus Vocals: They sound a bit too distant. Could you make it more like an augmented version of the verse vocals? (i.e Primarily the main chorus vocal track, with the other 2 sat further back just adding 'weight'/support). Or try any other ideas that come to mind.

    Melodica: I'm not really a fan of audible reverb/delay, except when it's part of a guitar effect or that kind of thing. Here, I feel like it makes it almost a bit too happy. Can we make it more clean and do something to bring out the melancholy-ness of it? Think more 'sad french accordion' than saxophone. Also, can we try it with the second half of the track back in, through to the end? Feel free to adjust the volume/eq as needed wherever it overwhelms the vocal though. And let me know if you think there's anywhere it really doesn't work, especially at 2:59 (starting with '..talk a little lower about the things you could not show her..."), where I'm not sure it flows at all.



    LITTLE THINGS:
    Overall, you've found a good balance between the Piano and melodica levels. I'd like your opinion... could the melodica be just a bit louder on the solo?

    The final 'Yeah' at the end: I like the reverse reverb idea. Could we make it a bit less wet though?

    Bass: A bit clicky on PC speakers, but that might just be the nature of the beast. Also, is there anyway to bring out the 'meatiness' of the slides at 2:19 and 3:52.

    Percussion:
    I noticed that you didn't use the 'Brush beat delayed' track. Did you feel it muddied things too much?? That's fine if you did.

    Crash cymbal: Might just be the samples I used, but there's too much 'gong', it needs to be crisper. Maybe a lowpass at about 3000-4000hz? Or whatever you think would help. (Also it's slightly too loud, but fixing the 'gong' might fix that too).

    Anyhow, except for those two minor things, the percussion was otherwise very alive and well balanced. I liked how you brought out the HiHat, it was just what I had envisioned.


    Gosh, that turned out a bit long and over-detailed, but I think it's just building on a really good initial mix. If you have any thoughts or any of these things you feel differently about, let me know. All things are open to discussion.

    Also, I'm guessing from the cuts you made that you felt there was just a bit too much 'stuff' in there. I'm open to discussion about that too.
    that's some extremely detailed feedback, at the moment though I am way too busy to do a revision, I am about to start a major mixing project.

    For your info, I boosted the vocals at 2.5k, and cut the muddyness out somewhere around 300Hz, there was actually a low pass filter on it as well to remove the extreme high end. I compressed it as well but didn't have time to automate it, automation then compression would be even better, I did not notch out the 10k frequency you mention. for the vox compression it's all about getting the release time perfect so it sounds upfront constantly, the ratio was 2:1 I think, it's only turning down the louder sections, with no automation at all, I didn't want to take away from the performance.

    I used all 3 piano tracks, but reversed the phase on the high octave piano, it's just carefully blended together. I used high pass filtering and made sure they sound good together.

    At the final stage I compressed it at a 1:2 ratio then used a voxengo elephant brickwall limiter to bring the volume up.

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    OK yeah... sorry I went over the top there on the feedback.

    Thanks for the tips. I never would have thought of doing that with the high piano.

    Still, thanks very much for the mix, I really like it.

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    First try :-)

    https://clyp.it/cjdrkobi

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