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Thread: Critique/ Advice Appreciated!! FIRST MIXED SONG.

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    Critique/ Advice Appreciated!! FIRST MIXED SONG.

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    http://soundcloud.com/chrisnavich/winter-song-3

    I'd love to know what I did well/ poorly in writing/ recording/ producing/ mixing this song and what I could improve on for future songs of the like. I have never had any instruction on my recording processes OR serious critique of my songs and I'd appreciate to receive some from some an experienced community. Feel free to read through this if you would like to offer advice on the recording process, otherwise just listen to the song and save some time. I'd appreciate any feedback.

    Here are some of the details of recording and production for this song.

    (Note: I find the Rode NT1A has a sharper high end, more dynamic/ boomy quality, while the Apex 460 has a warmer/ less pronounced high end and almost slightly compressed sound to it)

    Acoustic guitar recording:
    I chose a bright sounding guitar with a lot of energy to keep the main instrument upbeat and audible throughout the song. Rode NT1A miced over the shoulder and Apex off center, pointed towards the 12th fret. Lowered the recorded volume, applied minimal EQ to bring up highs, and multi-band compression to reduce dynamic range as well as using it like an EQ.

    Vocal recording:
    Used Apex 460... I liked how it sounded compared to the NT1A. Lots of vocal takes whose changing can be heard at times. Manually spliced each phrase on the timeline with detail and adjusted the volume to be balanced so that it could be heard through the instruments. Did this partly because I wanted to avoid using compression/ limiting on the vocals - the mic does that enough on its own. No pop filter (took away some nice high frequencies), just lowered the sibilant sounds. Used a "Los Angeles Recording Studio" reverb preset from one of Cubase's reverb plugins at 39.

    Bells (Glockenspiel) recording:
    I recorded the opening/ instrumental glockenspiel melody using my rode NT1A and Apex 460, one faced at the upper keys and one at the lower to equally capture low and high notes. Panned glockenspiel melody (both mics) one direction and harmony (both mics) the other direction in stereo, and applied a slight high frequency reverb and pretty significant pingpong delay to both for wintery feeling (Title is "Winter Song"). No compression on these.

    Wind sounds/ Synth/ Ensemble/ Drums/ Bass:
    VST instruments from Cubase, MIDI. After the MIDI timing/ note volume was arranged properly, it was exported to audio (individual tracks for every instrument, including drum items) for fine tuning in the mix. Applied compression to every drum drum piece to avoid red zone.

    Finally, I had to export it with still some red peaks (passing 0db?) and then re-imported the stereo mix to apply a limiter of -.2 output, which eliminated the red peaks (I not sure if it's called clipping if it's not recorded audio...). Not sure if that's a good technique to use to eliminate the peaks.

    Majority of mixing done through Etymotic Reseach Hf5 earbuds (Sennheiser 280's FR response were too difficult to work with), checked through some crappy yamaha speakers that make any decent mix sound bad. Found that to be very helpful.

    If you read through all that, let me know what your thoughts/ advice are. This is my first time really trying to mix a song and would only like to get better for this style of song among other acoustic types. Any feedback is appreciated, so much thanks in advance for that and your interest.

    Chris

    http://soundcloud.com/chrisnavich/winter-song-3

    THANK YOU FOR HELPING!
    Last edited by hernandog2; 11-30-2011 at 02:15. Reason: advice from first response

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    I don't know what a glockenspiel is, so it nearly kept me from listening. - a lesson for all. If you want me to listen to your banjos and kazoos, do NOT mention them in the opening post.

    I only listened to Winter Song. The whole of the mix is way too bright for my ears. It's missing an edge. Something that might accentuate your voice rather than mirroring it. Your voice is really unique - a lot of good quality in it for both lead and backing.

    The bells in the beginning (winter spirit stuff) collide with the guitar to me.... almost sounds like two different songs are being played.

    You're definitely putting a lot of work into what you're doing, so I hope you get some guys responding here that know their EQ from their elbow unlike myself.... all I can say is that it is too bright/shiney.
    See what the tide washed in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clam Soup View Post
    If you want me to listen to your banjos and kazoos, do NOT mention them in the opening post.
    lol great tip... I wouldn't have listened to the song, thanks for the advice. Upon listening to it again, I will probably take some treble off of the guitar and Ensemble melody. I'm not sure what you mean by mirroring (too many trebly sounds in mix?), and how might you accentuate a voice in a mix. As for the bells not coming together, I see what you're saying and think that part of it may be the trebly guitar sound and need for more of a rhythm to the song, since that is a rhythmical guitar part.

    Yeah, I worked hard on it and want to gain awareness of how it could be better. Thanks again for your helpful feedback.

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    it was great untill it got into the acoustic/vocal part.

    guitar is too bright and way too brittle, check your 2khz range on the eq.

    the voice has too much bottom end, check your 500hz range on the eq.

    and im having a hard time deciding if there are drums in the song or not... if they are then they are obviously way to quiet hahaha

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    Thanks Bisson for the EQ tips, I'll try adjusting those frequencies. Completely forgot to do a bass cut off on the vocals and heard the boost on the lower notes once you mentioned it. I have the drums up pretty loud, but perhaps if I take everything else down, especially the acoustic guitar, then they will be more audible.

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    I liked the sound until the vocal came in, it disappointed me in the fact that it didn't have the same "quality" as what I had heard up to that point. I'm on Sony headphones so maybe I'm not the best to offer this but the vocals sounded like they had alot of the mids sucked out of them. Snare drum sounded the same way.

    Catchy tune though and definitely festive.
    Jammin for Jesus and You're invited to play along!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hernandog2 View Post
    Thanks Bisson for the EQ tips, I'll try adjusting those frequencies. Completely forgot to do a bass cut off on the vocals and heard the boost on the lower notes once you mentioned it. I have the drums up pretty loud, but perhaps if I take everything else down, especially the acoustic guitar, then they will be more audible.
    A couple of things bother me with that reply and i would like you to think about it.

    #1... you should never "forget" to do something simply because you need to trust what you hear and you need to develop an ear for what needs to be done based on what you're hearing... not because there are set RULES or guidlines.

    a great mixer (which i am NOT) doesnt have rules... they just 100% rely on what they hear. you saying you "forgot" makes me think that you would reach for that EQ whether or not it needed it.

    #2 "i have the drums up pretty loud" .. if you are meaning in a db sense then i fault you for that. mixing isnt about making things louder. when i say they should come up... i do NOT mean make them louder... i mean perhaps you need to cut back else wehre to make them stand out more and possible EQ in a way to give them their own space.

    perhaps a couple of trains of thought for you.

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